Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Poem for Epiphany, 2011

Stand Still

Everyone who came to that place stood still.
There was blood flowing down the dusty hill.

Brothers had fought, and both had lost.
One froze spearless and counted the cost;
While the feet which had flown like a gazelle
Lay lifeless beneath the body of Asahel.
The sickening cycle of Abel and Cain
Repeated merciless in the family vein
Though centuries of hard sinful bent
Rendered this Abel less innocent
No weapon in hand, but deaf to appeals,
Asahel nipped at his kinsmen's heels.
Right - "I begged him to retreat,
Left - "I warned him of defeat"-
Abner tried to justify his foolish blow
But his words dissipated, as all came to know.

The ignoble end of the spear ran him through;
The point to the sky, unstained and new.
Death dealt in a manner so perversely unjust,
It transfixed a crowd in silent disgust.
Till shaking off the stupor of the sight,
They took his corpse to be buried aright
To dark Bethlehem, to his father's grave;
They laid him away in a still, dry cave.
Nearby, shepherds kept their watch by night
Where one day the terrifying angel would light
The starry sky and announce a Virgin birth,
A baby who would bring peace on earth.
His feet grew beautiful and swift as a gazelle
In love, he pursued his kinsmen till it fell
To a kiss and a cross, and pain without cease
The spear in his side which brought us our peace.

There was blood flowing down the dusty hill.
And everyone who came to that place stood still.

"Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that the end will be bitter? How long will it be before you tell your people to turn from the pursuit of their brothers?" (2 Samuel 2:26)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Fresh Snow, Fresh Year

I love a fresh year like I love a fresh snow. Just as I enter a new year, I indulge in the same set of rituals. Starting a new running log. Uncluttering my closets. Staining the pages of a bright-white journal with its first ink and coffee stains. And having a few days to muse over the coming year. Usually, the first entries in the new journal are burdened with interminable lists of goals. Lord willing, this time I set my sights on a simpler daily track.

Happy New Year everyone!

day by day

strength for today

coffee in my mouth

a run in my legs

sunshine in my eyes

great music in my headphones

good food for my family

his word in my heart

truths in my head

works in my faith

letters from my pen

a book in my hands

a home to create

peace in my mind

a husband to love

prayer on my lips

rest for my bones

hope for tomorrow