How did I deserve to know?

Today is my wedding anniversary. Here is this year’s poem:


How did I deserve to know?

How did I deserve to know
A girl that’s so good for my soul,
With wisdom, passion, kindness, love
That I am so unworthy of?

It’s such a joy to wipe your tears,
Discuss your thoughts, your hopes, your fears,
For these eventful, treasured years
That we have been as one.

So with His strength and with His heart
Until it’s our time to depart
We reinforce these bonds of love
That fit us better than a glove,

To face the world and all its whims,
To cleanse our hearts of all their sins
And teach our children to become
Strong enough to overcome

The storms that surely will one day
Sweep across their narrow way
To purify them to their core
As they prepare for evermore.

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You Really Are Too Good to Us

This year’s bithday poem for my wife:

You Really Are Too Good to Us

 

You really are too good to us,
So we have to thank you thus
(Plus of course in other ways,
From time to time and day by day).

There’s no one in the world that we would rather know
To hold us as we cry and watch us as we grow,
To celebrate our victories, commiserate our falls,
Encourage us that next time we will surely scale that wall,

Warn us when we wander from the straight and narrow path,
Hand us holy soap when our spirit needs a bath,
Hold us to higher standards than the world around us does,
Show unexpected kindnesses, simply just because

You love to give, to understand and help us lift our heads,
Gently kiss our foreheads when we’re tucked up in our beds,
Loving mother, daughter, friend and sister to a throng
Of souls who’d surely join us in singing you a song

To celebrate all that you are, the difference that you make,
The many blessings you provide, delicious treats you bake,
The comfort and encouragement your simple presence gives
Are heaps of shining evidence that in your heart He lives.

The Witness of the Walls


A thousand years of history, ingrained in walls of panelled wood:
A just king’s wise pronouncements, a tyrant’s fickle moods,
Power lawlessly unleash against today’s appointed foe,
Or turn the wheels of justice that grind sure but very slow?

Kick a problem down the road for someone else to solve,
Or build an institution with clear eyes and firm resolve?
To lash out at an insult in rage at wounded pride,
Or keep your head and keep the chance to win hearts to your side?

Each day every one of us can be wise or a fool,
To build up, guard or tear down the little patch we rule,
For each of us has influence, though it may not seem like much;
We all have no idea how many souls we touch.

The ripples that our acts send out can grow to mighty waves
That bring a kingdom crashing down or hordes of lost souls save,
So guard your heart and watch your tongue, act with strength and grace,
Until that day when all is done and we will see His face.

A Call Upon the Spirit

As the new year approaches, I am posting my entry to this year’s contest of the Society of Classical Poets, on their chosen themes of an open letter to the Library of Congress to restore the recognition of rhymed verse, warning against the dangers of socialism and defending the importance of beauty in art. A Call Upon the Spirit

There’s a call upon the spirit
Of the people of this land,
Each time their freedom’s threatened,
To lift their heads and stand

To fight against the tyrant,
And bring his hubris low;
To show we will not follow
Down the path he wants to go.

The siren song of envy,
That socialists employ,
Lures weak minds down the path of death
And robs the world of joy.

Sculpted, metered, rhyming verse
Is looked at with a sneer;
Higher thoughts and beauty
Are made to disappear.

Pure filth is praised as artistry,
Pure lies as brave and good,
‘Til every conscience has shut down
And every heart craves blood.

They long to lunge in lockstep
To skewer noble hearts;
Their violence always ‘justified’
Because it’s just the start

Of a new utopia
That never quite arrives;
So carry on the slaughter,
Who knows? You might survive.

Dehumanizing spitefulness
Takes its taxing toll;
People are God’s handiwork,
Not worthless lumps of coal

For feeding hellish fires on earth
To get your petty way;
Don’t gloat about such victories,
For soon will come the day

When the truth is known and all
Those plans have come to naught,
There won’t be any refunds
For the people that you bought.

Higher ways are open
To all those with eyes to see;
A glimpse of heaven has the power
To set your spirit free

To echo heroes from the past,
From their examples learn;
The greatest future you can make
Is one that you have earned;

To dig down to the bedrock
Of age-old, solid truth,
With which we can inspire all
The flower of our youth,

That they might stand amidst the storm,
Protect the weak and frail;
See through the lies of bullies,
Recover when they fail,

Regain their feet when worlds collapse,
Rebuild a nation strong,
Withstand temptations to conform
To simply get along.

Restore the place of worthy verse
With cadence and with rhyme;
Inspiring common man to be
A hero for all time.

No convoluted bitter fog
To cause the young dismay,
But clear and hopeful, noble light
To help you find your way.

Instead of sordid clumps of woes,
A city on a hill
With towers tall and solid walls
And bright lights burning still.

Inviting all and sundry
To be all that they can be,
And emulate the gentlefolk
Who faced their destiny

With open eyes and hearts aflame,
Bruised and yet unbowed;
Despite their fears down through the years
They did declare aloud,

“The lessons of our history
Will no more be ignored;
The shrieks of mobs and demagogues
Will not undo the law.

Rise up in love and brotherhood
To face the shameless foe
Who advocates for squalor
And loves to pigeonhole

Each man into a rabid tribe
To which he must conform,
Reciting every shibboleth
And joining every swarm

Of violence and hatred of
Today’s appointed prey
For having the audacity
To think and hope and pray.

Beauty, faith and reason
Will guide us on our way
Towards the new horizon
Of bright eternal day.

Silver Sunday Redux

Today is the third Sunday of Advent, here is today’s poem, again the Czech follows the English:

 


Silver Sunday

Bags of silver coins change hands
For human lives from distant lands:
Some caught in war, some caught at crime,
Some could not pay their debts in time.

With chains on their bruised feet and hands,
Worth thirty silver to a man;
Some foolishly still dare to dream
That they could one day be redeemed.

But soon That Day will come.


Stříbrná neděle

Za mince stříbrné ve váčku z kůže,
ten, kdo chce, člověka koupit si může.
Válka či zločin, stihly je lapit,
některé neschopnost dluhy včas splatit.

Ruce I kotníky sedřené pouty,
kus můžeš za třicet stříbrných koupit.
Někteří snívají bláznivé snění,
že přijde den vykoupení.

Však brzy již vzejde ten den.

Bronze Sunday Redux

Today is the second Sunday of Advent, here is the English and Czech of the Second Sunday poem

Bronze Sunday

Bronze shields and spears arranged in ranks
To form the fearsome Greek phalanx
Conquered nations far and wide;
Now there’s a new source of Greek pride:

Bold theories and insightful thoughts
That they debate in marble courts.
“Whose wisdom can outshine our own
Or that of our great pantheon?”

Twixt oracles and temples grand
In Athens a small altar stands
Placed there as a reverent nod
To an as yet unknown god.

But soon That Day will come.


Bronzová neděle

Bronzové štíty a v zákrytu kopí
falangy Řeků když moci se chopí.
Kdo může odolat moci a síle,
přichází Řekové a jejich chvíle.

Nádvoří dlážděné mramorem skvělým
debatám naslouchá, myšlenkám smělým.
“Před naší moudrostí každý se sklání,
vznešený pantheon – bez srovnání!”

V zajetí chrámů, kde lid bohy vzývá,
v Aténách oltář prostý se skrývá
Prostý a vážný uprostřed všeho
k uctění boha neznámého.

Však brzy již vzejde ten den.

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.