I simply could not help starting to screech
Now that it invaded my space like that.
My shoes and flyswatter were not in reach,
Yet, I needed something to smash it flat, FLAT!
By a thin thread, from the ceiling it bounced:
A nightmare of fangs and pointing fingers.
Threats to my good health it announced:
Hellish apparition of bites and stingers,
Ready to stab me in the eye, I suppose.
Oh, it was nothing I wanted to see
Or have hovering close to my nose!
My home should be forever spider-free!
February 28, 2018
After escaping a very scary attack right over my bathtub, once the drama was over, and I was ready to face the world, I carried the notes for this poem to church with me, I’m afraid, and I finished the poem during the sermon. Sigh.
Three of the lines have 11 syllables instead of the standard 10. I tell myself it’s because my heartbeat was irregular and erratic during this scary spider incident.
My heart rejoices at this smell,
Announcing good things are to come:
Killed out the drought we knew too well,
Engaged the drops that windows drum.
Surrounded by the clouds we prayed
Might come, we find our hopes renewed.
Enriched by water, fears allayed:
Sure sign the dry spell is subdued.
Oh, Rain, you fall a welcome gift!
How much more welcome than you know:
Around these parts our spirits lift,
Provided you make crops to grow:
Provided you make crops to grow,
You’re much more welcome that you know.
June 9, 2018
When I showed this poem to my friend Gail, she said, “Now that we are in such a dry place, rain is not the nuisance it used to be in other places. – I wonder that other blessings we receive that we are not seeing at the time.”
If you want to pray for us for rain, that would not hurt our feelings at all. Thank you.
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.
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!
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!!!
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.”
It will—SIGH!—probably never happen;
Well, not this side of heaven, anyway.
Of course, I can’t help dreaming of snappin’
Up an orphan pterodactyl someday,
Like other people might adopt a dog.
Desperate for a good home of its own,
Jealously studying all other pets,
Upset when this one or that is shown
Someone who has chosen to rescue it,
That lonely dinosaur waits now for me:
Looking hopefully for my deposit
Of cash and paperwork so it can see
Very soon an end to its loneliness,
Expecting food, hugs, and kisses to share.
I know our meeting will bring us both bliss,
Taking us both into each other’s hearts there.
May 26, 2017
I think this would make the most fun cartoon-y children’s book, set in an animal shelter, filled with all kinds of zoo animals, each with a sign (in the animal’s own handwriting) on the front of the cage that said, “Choose Me!” and with each animal sitting at a desk, writing a love letter to its future family on fancy stationery.
I apologize for posting this twice. It needed four major punctuation edits that I did not see until after it was posted. Then I had to also go back into a couple of files to make the changes there. Sigh. And I call myself an English major!
All reported statistics shout, “DANGER!
Leave! Get you to a place of safety! NOW!!!”
It’s true: to this creature be a stranger.
Volatile beast, he would never know how
Even to begin being gentle. Mind
Precious life well. Please let him have the space
To breathe without interference. You’ll find
Enough to do giving distance. Don’t chase
Ravenous beasts which many call extinct,
Or make yourself his meal. It’s not worthwhile.
So keep all visits (and reports!) succinct.
Antipathy runs strong through rank and file:
Unwilling to accept, though tales increase,
Religious crowds are praying these will cease.
from Jonathan David Whitcombs’s book Searching For Ropens and Finding God. The sentence, “Not everyone embraces a live pterodactyl” (which, for some reason, always throws me into fits of uncontrolled laughter–I mean, really, when was the last time you saw someone embracing a pterodactyl?) was taken from page 117, and again from page 118, but to fit the acrostic, “pterodactyl” (a specific type of flying monster) was changed to “pterosaur” (a larger group of flying monsters). I somehow (while I was not actively engaged in embracing pterodactyls) didn’t see this until the poem was finally completed. It was so much work, I just can’t force myself to change it now.
May 1, 2017
I want to caution anyone wanting to read further about reports of living flying reptiles that while Mr. Whitcomb’s book is very well-researched and well-presented, he does occasionally espouse (and advertise) a worldview that I believe does not align completely with scripture. However, in the long haul, this is probably true of most of every single one of us most of the time. So, my reading friends, whenever you see me veering off in something unbiblical, you are more than welcome to call me on it. We so seldom see and recognize our own errors.
Today, on Acrostic Sonnet Monday, I want to share with you a poem I wrote by the grace of God and with the prayer support of a large number of friends. It celebrates the 50th wedding anniversary of two of my friends and mentors, Lola and Don Compton, without whose prayers and advice I would have floundered many times. Twenty-three years from now, I hope this poem will define my husband’s and my own marriage of fifty years.
Learning to look for the best, they can both
Overlook irritants as they arise,
Viewing each other through Jesus’ kind eyes,
Engaged in seeking and proclaiming truth,
Delighted to serve and share God’s good news.
And we look to their example of love
Never failing: God’s deeply rooted love.
Driven, both on the street and in the pews,
Leading many souls to Christ, they are blessed.
On their soft hearts, God’s word they emboss.
Victorious, even when life looks grim,
In Christ, “from Whom all blessings flow”, they rest.
Nearer they grow, through triumph or through loss,
Giving God the glory as they serve Him.
for Lola and Don Compton
April 28, 1967 – April 28, 2017
and the adventure continues
April 26, 2017
Exquisite, lavish designs make it great:
Visually satisfying beauties flow
Everywhere eye can see. God will create
Rich layers of colors and textures so
You needn’t look far to find a treasure
To delight the eyes, the ears, and the hands.
Here God displays His art for our pleasure:
It’s here He delights the works of His hands,
Now giving us hints of Heaven in the
Good gifts He surrounds us with here below:
Gifts to bring every gladness and joy we
Otherwise could not yet begin to know.
Open your eyes to see the pains God takes,
Delighting to bless the people He makes.
May 15, 2017
We have had some unusually beautiful sunrises, sunsets, and cloudscapes lately. And again I remember my friend Marie’s words that God customizes each landscape for the individual who will see it. Now that’s the ultimate in art and generosity, don’t you think?
I had been pondering Jesus’ account of the unjust servant, who ended up owing his master more money than he could ever repay in several lifetimes. How was this even possible? Surely, masters were not in the habit of lending money to their inferiors. Especially large sums. Last week I spent part of a morning pondering this question, and at the gas station, the title and acrostic presented themselves, along with a couple of lines. More lines came as my errands progressed. Then, during dead time in a banking office, I retrieved my phone and began playing with the poem, adding a word here, and a line there, until, suddenly, surprisingly, the poem was done. This is always a happy surprise because about half of my acrostics never get beyond the initial idea or a few unconnected, unfinished lines. I hope you will enjoy this one.
The Only Explanation
For The Overwhelming Debt
Of the Unjust Servant
It’s the only thing that makes any sense:
Canny sovereigns do not lend money
At all to servants, however cunning,
Nor loans for which there is no recompense.
Common sense dictates this is just not done.
One road remains for such a debt to stand:
Methinks some treasure broke here by his hand.
Egregious, careless accident may run
Untold thousands in losses to his account:
Pitiable loss, turning gains to dust –
We do this every day to God’s good trust –
Impossible to repay this amount!
This broken trust demands a sacrifice:
How good that Jesus paid for us sin’s price!
January 19, 2017