Autumn’s Bouquet

I smelled it today
for the first time.
Autumn’s bouquet
carried on wisps of wind.
Fallen leaves–
yellow crescents–
shuffle along the roadway.
Some still dressed
in vibrant greens
hang on to life and limb,
yet when I pause
beneath the drooping canopy
and listen
I hear death’s rattle
in their breath.
Sleep comes soon to them all.

Red

I dream of red apples
crisp in the fall, sun
hanging high in the afternoon sky
like a rosy tomato
succulent, bursting with life, blood
coursing through well-worn channels,
never to stop
signs of life, dazzling and sparkling wine
tasting Merlot with hints of cherry
jam, laden with sweetness upon my lips.

*This poem came about from an exercise in The Roar on the Other Side by Suzanne Rhodes. 

Jehovah Shalom

True peace is found not
in the absence of conflict,
but in its midst; not
on sunny days
but in storms,
for peace is not
a function of circumstance
but of being
held by the One
who is Peace.

Always in Beauty

From my book, Soil of the Divine

Morning breaks forth after cool night,
like a child from the womb
sometimes noisily
sometimes with barely a sound
but always in beauty.

Whether coiffured clouds
or baldheaded sun,
the morning’s emerging light
and blanket of dew
remind of God’s mercies
each morning made new.

From the womb of the morning,
the dew of your youth will be yours.
-Psalm 110:3

O’ Radiant Light

An Independence Day reflection on true freedom:

I have been shackled, by the tyranny of sin,
both outward behaviors, and thoughts within.
A slave to my passions, which demanded my soul,
I said “yes” to them; death took its toll.
I felt utterly hopeless, as though choice were a fiction,
The accuser ever whispering, curse and malediction.
But one came along, O’ radiant Light,
his love pierced the darkness, shining so bright.
He silenced the devil and unlocked my chains
released from my prison, no penalty remains.
He looked in my eyes, with love on his face,
“I saved you not by your works, but by my grace.
Now I invite you to come, walk along with me
and never forget, my blood set you free.”

Jagged Rocks

The world is crumbling,
we all know it.
As we walk our daily paths
we feel the rocks press in to the soles of our feet.
The rubble reminds us
of culture’s dis-integration.

We pause…
peering down at the sharp-edged remnants
a thought enters our minds
“I can do something about this.”

We bend and choose a rock
a particularly jagged one,
take aim,
and throw it at our enemy.

Strong Opposition

From my book, Soil of the Divine:

The Father stands
in strong opposition
to those who
abuse His children.

He sweeps the fatherless
into holy embrace.
He comforts the widow,
drying her tears.
He feeds the destitute,
setting a place at His table.
He heals the hurting,
binding their wounds.

But to those who judge unfairly,
He stands in opposition.
Justice for the downtrodden
requires justice too
for the oppressor.

Give justice to the weak and fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
-Psalm 82:3

Americanity

Welcome to the state
of Americanity,
nine parts patriotism
just one Christianity.

We justify the sins
of leaders in the land,
when they represent
our ole party? Grand.

We call for prayer in schools
and Merry Christmas in our stores,
but rage and spit our hatred
toward Muslims on our shores.

We tear children from their parents
destroy the family unit,
and quote St. Paul from Romans
all the while we’re doing it.

Immigrants aren’t welcome
unless they fit the master plan,
rich and learned? Sure come in.
The tired and weary we ban.

But Jesus said the opposite
he welcomed the distressed.
“Come to me all you weary,
and I will give you rest.”

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