Category Archives: Poetry and Stuff

Black and White – Winter is still here.

I just set a new header picture and realize it looks very stark – black and white – winter is still here.  It is not a black and white picture just the world is black and white since the last snowfall.  Before it was beginning to feel and look like spring – streets mostly melted clear and the ground showing through the ice.  Winter seems to have set in again.  This is Saskatchewan I guess.

I have been spending a huge amount of time in the Archibald Library.  Last night I was there till it closed at ten.  My head was so tired by the time I got home.  Sometimes in spite of being so tired it is hard to sleep and that was the case last night.  Had to wake up in time for an on-line class; which I did.  But as the discussion with the prof went on, I realized how much I still need to learn – all about how Luther and Calvin and the Anabaptists and the Catholics understood justification, and the sacraments and the idea of free will.  Very heady stuff.  Made my head spin anyway.

Then back to the library to slog away at my Greek exegesis paper.  Till 6.

But since it is Friday (isn’t this the day one is supposed to let loose and have fun?) I spent the evening doing something I consider fun.  I went back to the library to read some of my poetry in an evening event designed to showcase the writing arts.  Shared my reflection on Psalm 62:9, which you can read below.  Its not new but it makes me want to be done all this studying so I can get back to doing things I love.  Well, I do love studying a bit.  I guess.

Psalm 62:9 (NLT)

From the greatest to the lowliest –
All are nothing in his sight.
If you weigh them on the scales,
They are lighter than a puff of air.

Small Breaths

A puff of air
No more,
Scarcely even a breath,
Our days are nothing.
We are born.
We live,
Hardly even a small breath
Exhaled quickly
For the Divine.
Then we are still.

Yet, he esteems
Us; small
Breaths. Gathering us he
Raises a current.
Zephyrs trusted
To carry
Gossamer seeds. Moving them
To good soil;
O Breath of God
Your breath in us.

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, seminary experiences, Studying, Writings

Almost

I look outside my window and snow is falling. Inside I sit in my room between my desk and the small table I brought to supplement working space. I am studying for a quiz today in Greek. Principle parts. I do not like principle parts. They are the first person forms of the most common forms of the Greek verbs. I have gone over and over them and y would think that they would stick. But they do not. At least not very well.

Last night I took a break.  St Aiden’s, where I attend church while down south here, had an evening of story and song.  The “Inklings” they call it although the setting is not very pubish.  I volunteered to read a couple of my poems.  Then I also realized that Bob Currie, Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate was also reading a poem.(He is a regular member at St Aiden’s) a bit intimidating to read one of my amateur efforts in front of him.  But he gave me a thumbs up after the first one so I guess I passed that test.

Not quite as much fun studying for the Greek quiz today.  I would rather be in front of my fireplace at home with a cup of hot chocolate reading a good book – in English.

Instead – well it is strong coffee, no fireplace and Greek verbs.

Almost done for this semester though. Final exam on Thursday afternoon. Then it is home to my fireplace and Christmas preparations.

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, Studying

Palm Sunday

Today I worshipped
Amongst rocks
And shiny glass bits
Washed up on shore.
Green and purple
Glass, edges rounded,
Tossed up by pounding waves.
Child’s treasure. Burnished glass
And pebble stones
Worn smooth at lakes edge.

Today I worshipped.
Palm Sunday;
And the stones
Cried out his praises,
While I hunted treasures
With a little boy.

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Filed under Day to Day, Easter, Family, grandchildren, Poetry and Stuff, Travels, Uncategorized

Two Old Men

I sit beside two
Old men
Who talk.
The value of words
And music
Can’t be overestimated
Among the young,
Their students.
And my listening
In?
Does it count as
Eavesdropping?
Or is it only my
Wishing for company
And finding it
In the overhearing?

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, Reflections

At Sea

At Sea

Ploughing great grey green waves
Salt spray in my face
Fog on the endless horizon.

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, Travels

Seven Stanzas At Easter

In preparation for a class which I am taking this summer, The Theology of Caring and Health, I have been reading a book by Kenneth Bakken; The Journey In To God; Healing and Christian Faith. At the end of the first chapter he quotes a marvelous poem by John Updike.  It seems right for this season and it stirred something deep in me.  Poetry tends to do that for me and this one made me stop and catch my breath for the deep truths it was teaching me.

Seven Stanzas At Easter

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cell’s dissolution did not reverse,
the molecules reknit,
the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths
and fuddled eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that – pierced – died; withered paused, and then regathered
out of enduring might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
making of the event a parable,
a sign painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâche,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality
that in the slow grinding of
time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen,
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour,
we are embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

John Updike

The formatting of the original is slightly different but the blog publisher does not seem to like words that are out of line.  Each stanza has an indent that seems to add impact to the words.

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, Quotes, Reading

Right now

I sort of wondered if posting this would just be too much of a revelation of how difficult it is to say good bye this time to these folks.  And this in spite of the fact that I know it was right and good for them to go.

Then, I thought, it is where I am right now.  I will post it because it is colouring my life right now and so if this blog is about life and how I live it, then this is very much a part of living life for me right now.

 

It will get better.  I hope.  No, actually, I know it will.  But right now…

 

Do you find yourself grieving as hard as I am?  

 

How hard is that, you probably ask, and why?

 

Very hard, it seems. It hurts and tears at my gut

And my eyes, normally dry, are full of tears.

The “why” is easy, my friends have moved away,

Out of my sight, out of my neighborhood.

And when I visit places where they’ve belonged,

I’m flooded with memories that make my heart hurt.

This morning, the place of prayer was empty

‘Cept for me.  One friend sick, another gone.

Just God and me, and memories.

So this morning, God heard my tears.

Among my prayers for others,

He listened to laments.

 

God, the Beloved God that I have learned to seek,

Knows how I feel and hears me.    

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Filed under Day to Day, Dealing with stuff, Poetry and Stuff