Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

11:48 Saturday April 7th Easter eve…

Easter has always been an important holiday to me since I came to believe. I was raised in a home where my parents didn’t want any talk of two things… politics and religion. My first encounter with Jesus was reading the bible back in Jr. High.  I was able to see him without a bunch of pre-conceived notions or after too many boring flannelgraph Sunday school lessons. I was taken by the way he interacted with people. I’ve never been the same since those early encounters. I like to spend Easer alone remembering… remembering how different my life could have been without the decision to follow him.  And being thankful for the life I’ve had that’s better for having known him.  I know that so many horrible things have been done throughout the ages in the name of God… and that saddens me. But I have a feeling it saddens Jesus too.  Every day I get up and think about the miracle of still being alive and of being loved by the creator of the universe. I know some of you think I’m crazy for believing. Thanks for hanging with me anyway. 🙂  This is one of my favorite Easter poems. I think of it every year at this time:

 

Bareback In Kansas

by Eugene Warren

(A Poem About The Passionate Love Of Christ)

The mare lathers the wind,

her mane streams like light,

my face is full of it;

I ride her like a lord of pastures,

a meadow in each eye,

stockpond deep in the center:

water down to mud, mud down

to limestone colorless

at those depths,

greasewhite until sun yellows it.

I am thinking of You

as her hooves bite the grass, spreading it;

I am thinking of Your face,

bearded and serene, of Your eyes

like the pond on a clear day,

a double depth cloudless;

I am thinking of the mouth in Your side

that spoke the fountain,

of the dark bloodcaked eyes

in Your hands and feet weeping,

I am thinking that You loved me

as I mounted the ladder

& shoved the thorns around Your skull,

I am thinking

that the palms of Your outspread hands

watched me as I turned from the hill

& went laughing back to the city

to spill wine like blood down my throat

& tell whores of the Fool.

I am thinking of the spear thrust

that brought the fountain from the rock;

I am thinking Your dead eyes held my image,

I am thinking You broke the darkness

& came after me,

I am thinking You tore the weeds

from my flesh

& sowed good seed,

I am thinking of the nails driven into Love,

 

I am thinking of the governments raising steel helmets

against You, of the nails of denial in our mouths,

I am thinking of Your look that changes,

of the Light that sweeps from Your wounds.

And the mare races through the pasture,

her mane flies in my face,

I lie close to her neck,

the speed of her gallop is not more

than the speed of Your mercy:

And I know that You loved me

though the hammer was in my hand,

though the spear was registered in my name,

though I laughed and taunted–

You did not crush me, You hunted me,

& the swift arrow of Your mercy

shattered the swollen ball of my selfish eye

& Your kiss blossomed my sight anew;

And I know that You are the lamb,

that You are the tiger;

I know that Your love stands against all night,

that darkness’ king has known the temper

of Your blade & fled;

I know that none evades You,

That death’s shattered on Your rock.

And I know that this mare will rise with me,

that You will touch body as well as spirit,

that the blossom will have its stem,

that Your city stands forever,

that the tree bears in season & out,

I know that You know my name

& call it,

& my answering is to

Life.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011 (1:52am)

  

I have always loved books. Some of my earliest childhood memories revolved around reading. I became a believer in Jesus after reading the Bible by myself without a big whop-de-do. After that I had an insatiable urge to get to know the Jesus I found there better. I was fortunate to find great authors who acted like signposts to point me in the right direction. I found so many quotes that inspired me and encouraged me in the faith. I was thinking that it would be nice to share some of those voices here on my blog and to share some of the things that have been meaningful to me over the years.

I thought I would start with a few quotes from a woman named Elizabeth Rooney. Many years ago I read a book called Bright Legacy. (I believe the book is out of print now but I have found copies of it used on amazon.) In it, several well-known Christian women wrote about another woman who had deeply touched their lives. One of my favorite authors, poet Luci Shaw was one of the contributors. She wrote about Elizabeth. She was a woman she met at one of her poetry workshops. Over time they struck up a friendship and Luci Shaw wrote about her surprise at finding a woman with an amazing talent for writing poetry which was something she began fairly late in life. In the book they included some of her poetry which was very moving to me. They also included some of her journal entries that I loved. She wrote about her growing love for God and her desire to be with him, and the awkwardness at trying to share that with others. Being a night owl I could relate to her late night encounters with God when she was alone with him. Elizabeth passed away several years ago, but her legacy continues through the books of her poetry that her daughter published after her death. Several years ago I contacted her and ordered the poetry books. I was able to tell her how much her mother’s writing encouraged me over the years. You can find her family’s website at Bingham farm by typing her name into google or follow the link here :http://www.brighamfarm.com/index.html

 

On the website you’ll also find examples of her exquisite poetry. Here are just a few quotes from her journal I appreciated:

“God intends us for himself and with our eager cooperation or with our rebellious reluctance he works to achieve this. He respects the reluctance; he will hint and then wait, ask and then wait, urge and then wait. And wait and wait!”

“This evening my heart and veins and arteries and my whole system have been filled with a joyousness I can hardly contain. I want to pray or read but feel as though I shall explode. I need to tell someone how wonderful God is!”

“Four A.M. I got up and found it had stopped snowing, leaving about a foot of new-fallen snow in great white billows under a full moon. Mike woke up and asked what I was going to do and I said, ‘Go to the bathroom,’ which was a deception, since after I went to the bathroom I was going to pray and write and wander about as usual. I have to stop lying to people about how much God means to me, just because I’m embarrassed by it or think they won’t understand. What if Sts. Peter and Paul had acted like that? Stroke victims have to practice and practice speaking in order to learn to speak again. I need to practice speaking about God, his love, his immanence, his active presence, his willingness to participate in our lives if we’ll only let him.”

Here’s one of her poems:

Wild Geese
Barking and calling courage to each other,
The singing skein sweeps south across the sky.
We hear their legendary cry
Saying goodbye to summer swamps and sweetness.
They know some ancient mystery of weather,
Of daring and of caring for each other,
Which we have lost.
Shrouded in sheets and city streets,
Our stifled hearts half waken at their sound.Something within us trembles, flaps its wings,
Falls back against the ground.
We dress for breakfast, start the daily round
And wonder, why we must know only fenced yards,
And shelled corn, until we die?

10/16/78

©1978 Elizabeth Rooney

From Storing September