This is My Father’s World

Happy Thanksgiving to the states, happy end of autumn to everyone else. I wonder if this wasn’t the most beautiful autumn ever here in the Great Lakes, or maybe I was just paying more attention.

***

I look around at the multi-coloured trees in wonder. How come this happens every year, yet it is is always a marvel, always a pause in the day? When I first look up and see a tree has started to change, I feel a seed of excitement. It grows as the weeks go by, with each stroll or drive, watching the fields turn golden. Pure gold, the sight of it. I have lived in places with four seasons for 54 autumns. Still, it is always new. You have created this world beautiful, to change and grow in harmony. Autumn is the bridge to winter, yet I feel so alive. When the sun starts to go down and sets the top of the church on fire, I don’t know where to look. I turn slowly in my landscape to take it all in, ever changing with each moment, until the light has gone.

little hitchhiker
stowaway on my shoe
red leaves fell

***

Title from the Christian hymn, This Is My Father’s World
words by Maltbie D. Babcock, 1901
music, traditional tune arrange by Franklin L. Sheppard, 1915

View of the church of Saint Paul de Mausole, Vincent van Gogh



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It is quiet now.

I cannot hear your stories anymore, how you would repeat the same one over and over once the dimentia had got you. Now you are not here to ask about the parts I have forgotten. How come you told me five times and I cannot remember?
It is quiet now, and I miss your grace, your smiling face, your eyes that inspired trust.
Do not worry, I will keep feeding Frisky while you are gone.

a worn Bible sits
snow falls on the fence posts
her smile on dark days

All the pieces

I have written
all of it
the pieces battered and bruised
from every time on the floor
rocking in the corner

Did you read the chapter
where I rose victorious
out of order because I want you to see it
out of place
I don’t know
what
her name is now

Hate was first
crushing soul defeat
grief kneaded with blood
but when forgiveness came in
there was hope
like miracles
like music

They were wrong
so wrong about love
not being enough
maybe they were never loved like that
(I wasn’t
for ever so long)
convinced
that
hate was bigger

But I was wrong
love
with the strength of millions
dealt a death blow
to fear
(and carelessness
and loathing)

All told
the scraps innumerable
in the thousands
sewn together one by one
with miles of unbreakable cord

heart’s rest

she came from very far
to seek perfect peace
in palaces
and in the shadows

but she sees God
in the rosy morn
in the waves
in the mountains
and she hears the nightingale
that sings

she woke from sleep
and vowed a vow
to God
she acknowledged
her secrets
and dared to tell it abroad

that she sees God
in the sky
in the land
in the ripening grain
she sees His hand
and she is in
perfect peace

III.

Is this World War Three
are we destined to stay apart
regardless of peacemakers
the efforts of the meek
to spread giving as a
worthwhile commodity

Will pain be daily
these unexpected jolts
of molten fear
followed by losses
we cannot afford, this
is not something we saved up for

Will children grow up questioning
if there is any point
in following dreams
or is there a way to keep
God’s peace close, and hope
as an option, instead of a
faraway fantasy

If anyone asks

it wasn’t luck
that brought us together
or fate
and it might have been God
doing that
but so far I have received
no official word

all I know for certain
all I remember
are fireworks going off
food tasting better
and all the senses
heightened

and if you go
there will be no more
explosions
my meals plain
and without
any spice

5:25 a.m.

split the sky

A crimson streak has split the sky
ten minutes before coffee
having woke in the darkness at 3:30

What do I owe You for this spectacle
in the middle of fractured thoughts
letting the clouds break for just this now

Hanging full and heavy these clouds
like full breasts, they
threaten to burst out but then do not

Hovering gray and pendulous
with just this slash of red
surrounded by periwinkle and ash

Dog days psalm

trees and sky

The loneliness has been beating me up
following me around during these dog days
a bag of rocks hanging around my neck
that I could not be wholly rid of

But when I fall on my knees
I feel so free, taking my eyes off me
I fall on my knees and I’m feeling released
when I pray and thank you Lord for your love

The stifling heat tries to tell me lies
that the bad will follow me around for good
voices in my head that say there’s no point
to convince me to stop trying and just lay down

But when I fall to my knees
feeling love, in sweet repose
the peace comes like fog rolling in
and the loneliness–it hits the streets


inspired by Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Come now and rest

 

trees and sky.jpg

The trees are welcoming me back
and the dust from which I was created
my flesh, failing me from too many nights
no sleep, too many words, not kept
and my lack of care has brought me here

The dirt says–come now, be still
rest here where no one will harm
I am soft and forgiving; I will not push back
when you lay over me seeking rest
your heart stilled by serial killers

The ones we know, we all know
take your soul and they won’t let go
moving on to others, despite my best effort
to hold them here, but I tired, got so tired
leaves surround me, weaving a blanket

The sky watches, the clouds in their misty wisdom
call upon the Father to bless. I know
He sees all, he sees me, when I long for home
and home’s not best. Don’t fail me now
warm hay, soft fur. Take me back

where I came from, take me back
where I was born, this pure, safe place
bring me back to forest,
and dust and dirt
and home

 

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28