The Transposition of my Imagination

I was listening to an audio book of C.S. Lewis’ The Weight of Glory when I blinked a few times in the striking light of his prose, realizing for the first time what it meant to look along the light and not merely at it.  I was stunned. Lewis argued logically in poetic prose. It was so rich and clear. Lewis conversed so long in the western cannon that he wrote with a Western-Christendom accent. He spoke like one who had walked with Truth in the cool of the day through the English countryside and could imitate the Poet’s cadence and tone.

I was overcome with the idea that I was listening to someone who didn’t think about God as much as He thought like God. I purchased a copy of The Weight of Glory before I was done with the audio book and devoured the print by night and audio by day. I was transported out of myself. I had been looking through borrowed contacts. The eyes of my faith were altered. Continue reading

Lamentation for the death of a friend

I have finished many things today

a book, a cup of coffee

but I have not

finished mourning you

I have completed the things I must

clocked out, gone home but yet

The things I’ve left unsaid, undone

in the presence of a tender friend

Are crowding all my thoughts

sowing grief

in memories of a man

whom the autumn of years had yet to set

on hair not yet fully gray

I have closed out the day

the door, my eyes

but I cannot close the casket

still open; still warm in feeling

still framed by flowers and weeping

You are free; moved on

but I cannot

only bare forward the measure of injustice

in worldly terms, pray for understanding

I picture you seated at a table full,

name card in front of you

Laughing where tears can not live

But where you will, forever more

You are gone

but memories are not

you have finished, here

but here I sit

remembering, mourning

believing the day will come

when we will take hands

with a hearty shake and a loud amen

Farmer Nielson

Walks across the shorn feed

he’s bowed slightly

but not like a man hunched

like a man leaning into his work

like a man bowed in prayer.

 

With his woven sun hat

and tidy blue shirt

he looks like a man of leisure

heading to the links.

 

But he’s really heading to the back 40

to lift pipes as heavy as a mortgage

to feed the river into the field

to feed the stock

to feed his wife

 

“Use your water rights or lose them,

avista raises the rates per kilowatt every year.”

He spreads his hands like the Montana sky

“The water’s free but takes everything we got to pump it out.”

He says savoring the challenge in every syllable.

“But we know whose king and who’ll stand before who.”

 

Farmer Nielson hasn’t time to spare

but he gives it generously

to a city boy driving a hay stacker.

 

Farmer Nielson stand sin the door

gently guiding the feed from field to stacks.

 

He’s little time to rest

but watches grandkids bouncing in the haze of the truck

crossing finished work

to where he stands

smiling, giving thanks.

The Dregs of Society Made Warrior-Servants

Father

For six days we have labored in the fields. Our flesh is heavy and our toil weighs upon us. The sullenness of our failed intentions, our sour words, our blind eyes and our grumblings threaten to choke our melodies and strangle our battle hymns. Our instruments are out of harmony. Our weapons have grown dull. Our armor is battered.

But lo, there is a fell voice, soft on the wind; calling us to a drink of water without end; a victory banquet set amidst our struggles, surrounded on every side by the enemy. Here, at the set time we ascend to your inner sanctum by the mighty power of your spirit. We are not trembling at the foot of your mountain, afraid of your voice, begging for an intermediary. Yet, we cannot boast of this. We are the dregs of society made warrior-servants. We are the pathetic fools given the wisdom of God spoken. We are lame beggars overseeing the household of the Lord of hosts. We are the priesthood of the plebs. Gird our loins, sharpen our swords, tune our instruments for we shall not tarry long, but only rest awhile to gather from you new strength to resume with fervor and obedience the work of your kingdom. Glorious father we beg of you, hear our prayers…

Amen

Sunday 6-14-09

Lion of Judah

Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, a symbo...

Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, a symbol in Abyssinia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A god that does not

nor cares to

walk upon the shore of a vast sea,

breathing in the salty air,

relishing what he himself

made

Is not worth a prayer

 

A god who does not buckle on

scabbard and mail

to go before his children

to seek his enemies upon the field,

foes for the slaughter,

is not worth a lighted candle

 

A god who does not

stand at the tomb

of him whom he loved

and weep

is worth no devotion of any kind

 

A god who does not taste

or breath or hate

who does not curse or love

or serve, nor cares to

is a god worth mere disdain

no more than mockery

 

is no God at all.

Fallen hearts glad

There we were

swaying

in a snug swing

 

Watching the west

from our friend’s parent’s porch

the most hospitable folks

even in their absence

trusting

 

We had nothing to do

to read, to go to, to be, to talk about

nothing to do but be alive

 

We drank wine

and watched the birch row swaying in

come what may

and laughed at being alive

 

At being full up. To the brim. With love.

A literary Review of a 25 year old

Light is there

faintly

as through a linen curtain

drawn shut


So many words alive, unsettled

moving about with barely room for

one another, barely folding together enough

to make any real utterance

 

No civility

or reverence

 

Only harsh brutality, natural

like the first man

looking through flaming swords

 

Light barely perceived

illumination only enough

to penetrate and reveal a life

of true and utter darkness

A Seattle Winter

As the days waiver
and the sun goes to seed
in the flooded heavens

The temptation to blend in
with the drab palllete of
mirthless winter, overshadows

A people of evergreen and slate, waiting for the bus

As the will of the drab master seeps in
driving us away, from outside
we turn inward

But the rebel in citrus and rose
enters the scene of decay like
a whisper, turns one head
then another

A dawn of recollection
Eyes yawn from the sleep of winter hues
The flash turns minds out
toward ripeness and hope

Stirs, for a moment
tastes of Spring

Emerging from the Wordsmithy

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written i...

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written in alliterative verse and paragraphs, not in lines or stanzas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I used to write and write and write poems. 5 a week. Sometimes I would write for 6 hours a day. I loved to draw attention to the overlooked, everyday things of life. The magical things. The deep things in the foreground of our daily lives that we just don’t see because we’re usually so busy.

Then I was converted, over a two year period, from the age of 23-25. At the time I was baptized,  I had a fellowship with Jack Straw Productions and was well on my way to a promising career as a poet. But as the months passed me by and I began to read Spurgeon instead of Rousseau and Tolkien instead of Patchen, I found that something was different. I couldn’t escape how vainglorious my work had always been. I read it with new eyes and found that it was humanistic, shallow and self-centered.

I continued to write after my conversion, but I couldn’t help it from becoming sermonic. I would pull out my pocket notebook and pen and pour drivel all over the pristine page. Though I was clothed in the white of the lamb, my words were full of kitsch christian platitudes. Continue reading