Who else would dare?

Today is my wedding anniversary, here is this year’s poem:

Who else would dare?

Who else would dare to join with me,
With all my flaws and fears?
Who else has set my heart so free
To love you more each year?

There’s no-one I would rather share
My secret pains and joys;
There’s none more worthy of my prayers
For refuge from life’s noise,

For beauty’s glimmer, pure and deep
To wash right through your soul,
For heaven’s peace to fill your sleep
When hard days take their toll,

For my love to give new strength
When all of yours is spent;
That we may share the same wavelength
And know what each one meant;

That our bond may forever be
A taste of His sweet rule
That helps us touch what we can’t see,
The pledged celestial jewel

Of His kingdom on the earth
And life forevermore,
Bought by His death and humble birth
To open up the door.

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Your Sweet Soul

Here is this year’s birthday poem for my wife.
Your Sweet Soul

No words can suitably express
The gift you are to all of us;
No way to count the ways unless
We leave too many out, and thus

This minor gesture of our love
And gratitude for all you are,
Your kindness we’re unworthy of,
Your fun and varied repertoire,

Your generosity of heart,
Your skills at every kind of art,
Your patience with our petty woes,
You’re a channel where His mercy flows.

So on this commemoration
Of your worthy life’s foundation,
We hope to show you all the love that your sweet soul is due

Please let us warm your heart,
As we all play our part
To demonstrate this day that we’re so glad to all know you.

Upstream

The mighty salmon swims upstream to die and to give birth;
We, too, must resist the flow and climb for all our worth.
The world spews out debauchery and every kind of sin
In waves to surely knock us down the moment we give in.

And yet we stand on solid rock with strength that’s from on high;
Just stay upon the narrow path, that way your feet stay dry.
He promises to bring us back should we ever stray
From His footsteps up the hill along the narrow way.

Don’t dip your toe in that awful flow, it’ll soak you to your skin;
Worse yet, drag your foot away until you topple in
And tumble hard against the rocks that pulverise your soul
‘Til purity and sanity are futile, foolish goals.

That’s when a feeble plea to Him is answered at a run;
He dives in, pulls us to the shore, but still His work’s not done,
Gives us the pure white robes He left behind as He dove in,
Then sets off with divine resolve to break the power of sin,

Swims up that putrid torrent to block it at its source,
By soaking up its vileness with His own disfigured corpse.
He made himself a horror that no holy eye can stand
To open up a way for us to reach the Promised Land.

His humbling sacrifice complete, He rose again in power,
Now sits upon His throne and at His own appointed hour
Will judge the living and the dead with justice, but with grace
To welcome those for whom He has prepared a special place.

Generosity

Observe the grasses’ greeting as they wave within the wind;
They bless the ground beneath our feet as if we’d never sinned.

The quiet kindness of the trees feeds rivers in the sky;
They offer up their strength to every creature passing by.

Streams bear precious nutrients that they themselves don’t need,
Reviving weary souls of every nation, tribe and creed.

Birdsong adorns the fragrant air and sunset’s amber hues
Give otherworldly warmth to those who haven’t paid their dues.

This fount of generosity is but the faintest glimpse
Of all the Father does for us and many others, since

Eternally He gives all that He is to His own Son,
Who gave Himself to pay for all the awful things we’ve done.

His Spirit pleads on our behalf and gives gifts on our way
Of life in full abundance towards eternal day.

(I composed the above while walking around our village to give my eyes some rest from looking at computer screens, since a recurring eye problem (malfunctioning tear duct causing severe eye dryness and headaches) has flared up again. Prayers for me would be appreciated).

Eighteen Years Ago

Today is the anniversary of the first time I contacted my wife. My first email was sent on the first of May, and she read it on the second, so at the end of every first of May I email her a poem to be opened on the second. Here is this year’s effort:

Eighteen Years Ago

Eighteen years ago, I sat and struggled to decide
If sending a strange girl a note would start a downward slide,
Or if that step outside my comfort zone,
Into the digital unknown,
Would join me with a gentle soul in whom I could confide.

I trembled at the thought of reaching out and getting burned,
Now looking back I can see the many things I’ve learned:

I’ve learned how to communicate and how to bare my soul,
How to look at my old wounds in ways that make me whole,
How to trust and compromise, how to build a home,
Taking charge of more than just the simple things I own,

Loving you for who you are, not who I hope you’ll be,
While journeying together towards full maturity.
Your imperfections are a joy, as is your sense of fun,
Your warmth and vulnerability are how my heart was won.

So take my hand, let’s venture on into the great unknown,
Following the one who sits upon His rightful throne.
We’ll fall and fail and miss the mark, and let each other down,
Yet He will help us back on track towards our promised crowns.

Armed with grace and mercy, we will overcome the foe,
Who behind his rage and lies knows he can’t overthrow
The Holy One of Israel, the King above all kings,
Who offers us a glory far outweighing troubling things

That we witness in the world, that tempt us to lose hope,
When all we see each day is just the next few feet of slope.
His greatness dwarfs all that we face, His power is supreme;
Hope in him is surer than the mightiest regime.

I’ll hold your hand and comfort you when the days seem bleak,
When illness strikes, or time’s harsh wheels make our arms grow weak.
I said “I do”, I meant it, and I’ll never take it back;
Together we will shine His light to souls lost in the black.

Such As These

Trudging through a wintry plain
As toes begin to freeze;
Kind eyes look down from heaven
To watch over such as these.

Disfigured outcasts stumble on,
All ravaged with disease;
Holy hands don’t fear to touch
And make whole such as these.

Abandoned by their former friends,
Despite their desperate pleas;
A well-lined back in heaven knows
The pain of such as these.

Souls wracked with guilt that won’t wash out
And wearying unease;
Scarred hands and feet in heaven show
He died for such as these.

Slandered, beaten for His sake
And forced onto their knees;
A special place in heaven
Is prepared for such as these.

Their race full run, their strength all spent,
Their breath a painful wheeze;
Arms in heaven are stretched out
To welcome such as these.

A loving smile, a sick friend healed,
A fragrant summer breeze;
Foretastes of His heaven are found
In moments such as these.

A child’s unflinching openness,
Trustful and keen to please,
The kingdom of our God must be
Approached as such as these.

There’s no Force Upon the Earth

It’s my wedding anniversary today, here is this year’s poem/song. This one was a bit of a rush job to produce after coming back from DragonCon, so is a little less polished than I would like.

There’s no Force upon the Earth

There’s no force upon the earth
That will make me doubt your worth;
There’s no place on earth that I would rather be
Than beside you every day, united on our way
To claim the prize that shines eternally.

‘Cause your love is true, and it’s seen me through
So many times of darkness and despair;
You give me strength to stand with your loving hand
And all the signs that you so deeply care.

More than silver, more than gold,
I hope that I grow old
Surrounded by the fruits of our great love;
When bound to you I’m free, you are the one for me,
The girl in the whole world I’m most proud of.