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.

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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.

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.

The Way of Wisdom

We’re called to great adventure, yet told to count the cost,

Weighing what we hope to gain against what will be lost.

Miracles are possible, and yet they’re not the rule,

We still need to use our strengths at home, at work, at school.

 

We’re given all great freedom, responsibility,

And tools to help us find our way with versatility,

But much more than demonstrate our own utility,

We’re called to grow our character into eternity.

 

Power in an untrained hand leaves chaos in its wake,

So now is when we must be schooled in which path we should take.

In little things we make our choices and our lessons learn,

And hone our meagre competence to good from bad discern,

 

So that when the task at hand entails much larger stakes

We’ll know if we should charge ahead or firmly press the brakes.

When finally we face eternal choices to be made,

We’re armed with both a holy kiss beside a holy blade.

 

So be thankful for the trials and troubles sent your way,

Today’s investment will more than a hundredfold repay,

As long as you approach each burden with a grateful heart

And turn your soul into a sculpted, treasured work of art.