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).
In ancient times this sacred hill did nourish weary souls
A nobleman once stood here and declared “We’ve reached our goals.”
The land I see from this high place is fertile, watered, green;
Here we can carve out a life that’s safe and most serene.
Houses and small villages can be marked out and built
Fields planted in this thick dark soil enriched with rain and silt.
A fortress to defend our young and old upon that ridge
Looking down upon that great wide river that we’ll bridge
Nine centuries of legend have grown upon this mound
It’s viewed as a great pilgrimage to almost holy ground
Parents with their precious children come here to retrace
The steps of him who gave his name to this enchanted place
Some young are not so keen to climb the steep paths up the hill
Some even lose heart so much as to make themselves quite ill,
Insisting they have not the strength to even reach its base
With wails and whines and tears that keep on streaming down their face.
The father makes the effort to snap his son out of it
Not letting despair win the day, not letting his boy quit
With gritted teeth they climb the slope part way and then they rest
Seeing that his son has so far been doing his best.
Then son decides upon a plan that takes his dad aback
To take a shortcut up the hill far from the concrete track.
The spirit of adventure lives and glows from his young face
Dad can only follow, barely keeping up his pace.
They reach the top, exultant, son has grown his mind and heart;
He’s learned of all that he can do, if only he would start.
Great obstacles now hold less fear, as he knows that he can,
He’s taken one small step towards becoming a young man.
A distant roll of thunder announces the approaching turbulence;
Ominous gusts herald the nearing storm.
Large raindrops, as if in slow motion, fall past the window as doors and skylights are hurriedly secured.
The dry road outside turns speckled, then windswept spray wafts across the tarmac.
The air becomes diagonally striped, puddles appear and grow in seconds, alive with exploding impacts.
Lightning crackles all around, illuminating the darkened clouds.
Trees wave to and fro, helpless but resilient.
The rain eases to a gentle pattering hiss, almost serene, as children run for the cover of home.
Puddles overflow the kerb and spread across the grass, transforming into a temporary swamp.
Cars leave trails of ripples in their wake as drains silently ease the flood away.
The air smells fresh and earthy as the rolls of thunder grow more distant, reminders of the power of nature’s wrath.
The atmosphere’s mild anger is sated, the earth’s thirst slaked, the air refreshed and cleansed as the storm cloud drifts on to its next beneficiary.
Day after sunny spring day cooped up inside, worshipping a glowing screen.
I open the door to the garden, surprised by the smell of life.
Bathing in the vivid sun, I can but smile;
I feel the haggard lines under my eyes melt away in the soothing warmth.
How could I have been this stupid? All of this abundance just beyond my door.
I will not make that mistake again.
Continuing the theme of contest entries, this is my entry to another contest, where it beat out a whole other entry to win, so I’m not sure that can really be counted as a victory. Entries had to include the words fire, ice, black and white.
Huddled round a fire in the days of old,
Hiding from the ire of the burning cold.
Under the stars and the grey-white moon,
Comes hope from afar that will get here soon.
A fortress of ice that gleams in the day,
With beauty to entice down a dangerous way.
“Onward, you hounds! Pick up the pace!”
Drowns out the sounds of the maddening race. Continue reading →
Well, I found out this week that my entry to a major poetry competition was unsuccessful, I didn’t finish in any of the winning places (that’s the last time I pay to enter a poetry contest). I submitted two poems, Once (Which I posted on this blog last year) and this effort:
Forested deep purity
Dusted with a winter’s glow;
Takes its place in nature’s show.
Fresh sunlight plays with diamonds soft
That glisten as they sing
In silent awe that drifts aloft
A peaceful offering. Continue reading →