My Worth Can Not Be Measured

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Because I had no idea it would—
Yep!—take an unexpected flying leap
Heading straight for the floor before I could
Overpower and restrain it. This cheap,
Wiley dairy concoction had a mind—
Wouldn’t you know it! — set on suicide.
Everyone knows ice cream—any you find—
Lacks all self-control, and may not abide,
Long-suffering though its lovers may be,
Intimidation or control tactics.
Just when you think that maybe you can see
Under and into its inner motives,
Good grief! The whole thing goes out of control,
Giving plenty of grief at every turn.
Let this be a warning, unwary soul:
Every ice cream will give you some concern.
It’s what gives its dull, dairy life meaning,
Calling it out of bed early on and
Expecting all takers to be cleaning,
Cleaning, cleaning all the messes at hand.
Right now, I am telling you the whole truth:
Expect the unexpected. Get prepared
And ready to react when this uncouth
Master of surprises catches you unaware.

by Gwennon
April 29, 2018

All this trouble for just one spoon–ok, not exactly a small spoon–of ice cream! Sigh!

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I Love My Pterodactyls!

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If they take flight near my house, day or night,
Nothing good comes from it. My dog barks loud,
Then we end up chasing ghosts. It’s not right:
Here is not a good place to find them, right?
Ev’ryone can see that. They should not crowd
Or take flight too near my house, day or night:
Respect my space, and I’ll respect theirs, right?
Yep. I admit it—I’m not too proud—
Nor foolhardy: it would not be right
Or smart to hold them close: one or more might
Try something dangerous—and not allowed!—
Perhaps, when too near my house, day or night,
Really get wild and crazy. And they might
Attack us for a meal (prepare our shroud),
Catalog our weak points (which is not right)
To take what they can get: They might just bite
Into pieces ev’ryone close: their crowd
Could destroy my family, day and night,
Extend to us no grace, which can’t be right.

by Gwennon
April 23, 2018

Our dog has been barking at odd times during two of the three last nights. We can find no reason for this. I told my husband and son that surely we ought to find cougar or bear prints, or something. But it looks like our dog may be just making up stories in his head because he is bored at night. I thought that the above explanation, though patently outlandish, might at least be more interesting than the lies that the dog has been telling.

Until Now

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Here, through the eyes of loss and grief,
I’ve groaned and sighed and shared my pain,
While finding naught to bring relief,
Or from my blessings purge this stain.
And “Friends are false!”
And “Hope is dead”:
Such were the thoughts
That filled my head.
But Jesus knew great sorrow, too,
Which people sometimes may forget,
And sorrow filled Him through and through
The night before His cross was set.
And pains and thorns
Beset His way
As He His Father
Did obey.
So now, like Christ, I look above:
Above to Him Who knows my pain:
Whose plans are good, Whose heart is love,
Whose trust I want through life to gain.
I’ll trust God’s heart.
I’ll trust His love.
And rest someday
With Him above.
And rest in peace
In Heav’n above.

by Gwennon
March 31, 2018

Oh, I Say!

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Thank God for friends who speak the truth,
Who do not spare our selfish pride,
Who see the ends of foolish roads,
Who do not take the paths too wide.

Thank God for friends who love God more
Than flattery and “soothing” lies,
Who feast their hungry souls on God,
Who see the world through Heaven’s eyes.

Thank God for friends like these, although
Their friendship sometimes gives us pain,
Who make us think and help us grow,
Whose heart is on our long-term gain.

Oh, Lord, may I be such a friend
Whom others trust to speak hard truth
And speak it with such love and grace
That it may wand’ring souls recoup.

by Gwennon
March 27, 2018

for Lucille, whose only trust is God

Irrational Fear

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The dinosaur statues I love were not there!
My heart nearly stopped as I stared at the spot:
For them to run off would make life too unfair!

I had to be wrong as I turned back to stare.
My husband just sighed as I told him this thought:
“The dinosaur statues I love were not there!”

I’d seldom seen statues like those two right there:
Old tools now repurposed as treasures long sought:
(For them to run off would make life too unfair!)

Dragons now frozen in battle. – BEWARE!
Their absence must stem from nefarious plot!
The dinosaur statues I love were not there!

Then looking again, I saw THEY WERE STILL THERE:
I sagged in relief and my angst soon forgot.
(For them to run off would make life too unfair!)

Ridiculous rushing right into despair!
I cannot believe how this left me distraught:
“The dinosaur statues I love were not there!”
For them to run off would make life too unfair!

by Gwennon
March 19, 2017

for iron giants resembling a small apatosaur and a slightly larger T-Rex

Broken Epiphanies

This gem caught me by surprise. I hope you will enjoy it, too. If so, please be sure to thank the author. Thank you.

The Consolations of Writing

Save me, O God: for the waters are entered even to my soul.
I stick fast in the deep mire, where no stay is: I am come into deep waters, and the streams run over me.
(Psalm 69:1-2, 1599 Geneva Bible)

Hieronymus_Bosch_-_Triptych_of_the_Adoration_of_the_Magi_-_WGA2606 Hieronymus Bosch, “Adoration of the Magi”, c.1480-1500 View larger image https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adoration_of_the_Magi_(Bosch,_Madrid)#/media/File:Hieronymus_Bosch_-_Triptych_of_the_Adoration_of_the_Magi_-_WGA2606.jpg

Is it, as Bosch would have it, a sinking scene,
hut scarcely erect, while in the background
knights and crusaders fight, and crazed faces peek
through cracks in the broken structure?
If so, my crazed face peeks.
Show me the truth through the falling thatch.
Let me climb to the roof to see
the light greater than the dark in me.

albrecht-dürer-0052088671118..jpeg Albrecht Dürer, “Adoration of the Magi”, c.1504

Or, as for Dürer, does the Light lie in castle ruins?
Do relic-arches arc around the one who put
the promise-bow into the arching sky?
Do dark clouds gather on the edges? If so,
those…

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Elements of Redemption

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We have many troubles that can lay us loW.
Each, at times, feels sinking in a stormy seA.
Angry at ourselves, and with the world at waR,
Kindness disappears, and we find ourselves pooR.
Looks like we’re stuck on a scary safarI!!
It’s easy to seek escape while pains echO.
There must be more! We need a DelivereR
To save us from our selfish choiceS:
Lies we carelessly adopt and now cherisH,
Even knowing they destroy and steal our peacE.
So, let us turn our weary hearts to worshiP
Him Who made us to seek His heart, Who can teacH
Each willing heart Christ’s lavish graces to sharE,
Ever close to us, for His image we beaR,
Poised to save the ones whose ev’ry prayer He hearD.

by Gwennon
May 24, 2017

That’s why Jesus came down to earth in the first place. Christmas was only the beginning. Let’s keep turning our eyes back to Jesus as we celebrate God’s goodness in our lives at Christmas!

 

Two Thanksgiving Poems

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Thankfully?

As we gather with family and friends,
Let’s thank God, on Whom all life depends:
For the gifts He bestows,
And the kindness He shows,
Which for those who choose Him never end.

by Gwennon
November 19, 2017

 

Declining the Baptist’s Invitation

Though his kindness was everywhere known,
His menus made all his guests groan;
So, his friends, although kind,
At his board you won’t find:
John eats locusts and honey alone.

by Gwennon
November 16, 2017

Well, we might want to be careful what we pray for. Yesterday, after putting the carrot cake in the refrigerator to cool overnight, I sighed to myself what a shame it was that I hadn’t yet found the time to typeset these poems and share them. Then this morning when I woke up, my husband announced that the neighborhood water is off, but that the county is already working on it. So, there was nothing reasonable to do in the interim but to go ahead and turn on the computer. But if we don’t have water soon, it will be a race to the finish to get everyone clean, and ice the cake and bake the bacon-wrapped figs in time to show up on time at my in-laws. If you want to pray for us, you are certainly welcome to do so.

Anyway, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

GOD IS GOOD. ALL THE TIME. AND ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD!

Endlessly?

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Must I forgive again? Again?
And suffer through another’s sin?
The sins I find in me feel small,
Requiring not much grace at all.
But this new wound so bleeds and smarts,
I want revenge on evil hearts.
Is there not, Lord, another way
That I might follow You today?
Through joy, applause, and endless fun—
Could not Your will in this be done?
Forgiving other’s cruelty
Seems wrong and so unfair to me!
Thus, I compile my ugly sin,
As God forgives again. Again.

by Gwennon
November 13, 2017

for my sister, Shawn,
who has been praying fervently through the morning for me to forgive the egregious, sometimes dangerous,
sins of strangers

Colossians 3:13 NIV “…if any of you has a grievance against someone.                        Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

I am ashamed to have been able to write a poem like this because the emotional struggles expressed therein seem so immature, even to me. As my sister was praying for me, I pondered how western Christians generally walk with Jesus. I expect that most Eastern Christians, many of whom are suffering persecution, may be walking close enough to Jesus to have left this kind of emotional immaturity far behind them. If this is not the case, I would be surprised. Though, really, I shouldn’t be surprised by any sin. But this is not something to hang on to. The bottom line is that I need to get closer to Jesus.

Pray for me?

I Do Not Love That Dog (More Than I Love You) (“Doggie-Love” is only implied.)

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See how the title runs into the acrostic? This title really doesn’t stand very well on its own; so, I thought I would helpfully point this out to you since the typefaces I am allowed here don’t allow the acrostic to present itself as forcefully as it does in my regular format. I hope that is not too patronizing. Anyway, here is the poem, and the title once more:

I Do Not Love That Dog

My darling, beloved, loyal, good dog-soul,
Outside our sweet life together, at times—
Realistically beyond my control—
Every so often, I may chance to find
That another member of your great kind
Has found its way to me (I KNOW YOU MIND),
And, so we briefly meet, as just new friends,
Not wanting anything more. I am sure
I could never love any other dog—
Like this newcomer, for instance—more than,
Oh, Sweetheart, I have always loved you.
Velvety-soft fur did not turn my head
Even for a second from your good heart.
Yep. We did not kiss: we only touched.
Oh, please, do not let wild jealousy start:
Understand I do not love him too much!!!

for “Roosevelt”

by Gwennon
October 18, 2017

This was one of those compositions that started out with, “I wonder if this might be possible….”, continuing with the title and acrostic being captured, along with one of the lines at the bottom, followed by by other lines out of order, written into the note section of my iPhone (this is one of those times I am very grateful to have this phone, as it replaces stacks of messy manuscript papers in my purse), referred to often as I fixed myself a late breakfast (it being a school day, and my having driven my son to school before walking at the mall, then heading home), and unexpectedly finished less than an hour after it began. Some of my favorite, and most-fun acrostic poems have begun writing themselves quickly this way, and considering that some of my acrostic sonnets have taken weeks, and sometimes months, to complete, this was a very good surprise.

Those who like to analyze meter and rhyme schemes may notice a certain messiness between lines 5 and 12, which, I believe, accurately reflects the tone and message of the poem. Though there should be a constant, somewhat triangular tension holding a patterned poem, such as the sonnet, together, there are cases in which not all the elements (meter, rhyme, and story) exert equal pressure. In one poem, meter may be compromised to move the story along. In another, rhyme may the short leg on the poetry stool. Since the poem is simply a frame for the story the writer wants to tell at the moment, story is the one element that the up-front poet will want to protect above the other elements.

Moving right along, my lovely (I thought) poem spectacularly failed in its mission to enlighten and satisfy the beautiful, often-understanding doggie for whom it was written. If he hadn’t pestered me so frequently with endless questions about a dog I accidentally met, and only briefly, (the operational word being “briefly”) at the mall for less than five minutes, the poem may never have been written. In reality, my meeting with “the other dog” may have have less than three minutes before the dog left me to go on to the next person. Referring back to line 14 in the poem, you may notice that “the other dog” and I shared no kisses. And though I did not write about it here, we also shared no hugs. For me, that was huge. But my own doggie-love discounted all of that and allowed himself to marinate in insecurity and offense for the rest of the day, and I am not sure he fully understands what I am trying to tell him with this poem: he has not been replaced in my heart, nor will he be. Everyone says that dogs love unconditionally and are so forgiving. My answer to that is, “Yep. Usually. But not always.”