In November the sunlight dapples over dead leaves wind rustles memories free storms sweep tombs, unearth bones beleaguer dead valleys to awaken an exiled Ezekiel’s breath: “The end is not night Sleep is not death Your seed-borne husk betokens Jerusalem’s dawn is nigh.”
For dVerse’s MTB this week, Frank asks us to write a Jisei (Japanese Death Poem) in either a haikai or haikai-esque form of ten lines or less.Click on Mr. Linky to join in!
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3: 21-23
This unfurled bud, precursor to a beauty that can now only be imagined, will one day cause our glance to linger on its warmth of color and its uniquely fashioned design. And it will bring us joy that our world contains such bursts of beauty, radiant under the sun’s gaze.
So it is with human souls. Many of us go through each day like unopened buds, self-contained vessels of worry and apprehension, busy with thoughts, chores, the daily pressures of life.
But what if we began each day unfurling our petals? What if our day’s beginning was one of consciously seeking joy, the light of heaven’s gaze upon us, rejoicing in the God who loves us and hears us?
If you’ve ever studied the face of someone who is in the throes of an unadulterated joy that spills out of every pore of their being, what strikes you is how in that instant that person seems to be the very embodiment of what they were created to be. You see them as they “really” are, unique in beauty, uniquely created to enjoy and be enjoyed. Their joy becomes contagious.
Yet such joy has to have a beginning somewhere, a source. That source is God, our Creator. When we like unopened buds, turn our gaze to Him every morning to drink in His love in thanksgiving, our joy in Him floods our hearts. We begin our day fully ourselves, free to praise and adore the God of providence who has blessed us with life and all its beauty, free to confront our worries and our circumstances with courage and fresh joy.
These daily beginnings are monumental. And they give us hope and strength for each new day. More than that, they spread hope in every beholder’s heart. We begin to spread joy and give comfort.
There is nothing more exciting than such a beginning. And any one can do it because it’s simple, priceless, given freely by the God who endowed us with this capacity to rejoice.
As a child, Christmas decorations made her sick with excitement. Now they made her sick for those gone missing since the lock-down. They showed up in little boxes the home projected onto a screen, but she knew they were impersonators. She watched, but refused to speak to those teary-eyed strangers. Her own family was naturally cheerful, even boisterous. “Lord, where are they?” Every day she recited their names, rolling them in her mouth like hard candy. Every day there was less of them to remember. But Christmas came. Her heart burned. There was a Light to investigate in the heavens.
Every day I see her there child by the chain link fence imagining friends and school games her mouth forming an O at the clouds as if they were breath-formed to shower the blighted with dreams dragons incinerating fences between a million small figures as time passes like wind over grass, blown green now brown, while the limitless sky watches unblinking.
dVerse Poetics #428, “Poetry as Witness”: Frank writes, “So tonight poets, let’s bear witness in our local neighbourhood.” I chose to write on the harm that is being done to our children during this time of enforced social isolation.
I am the hollow woman. I swallow holes. I can see the gaps in your cabinet of selves better than you can, selecting your latest reinvention or falling back on an old. As you reach, I look at you and your emptiness becomes mine. For a split second you pause, as if aware of me.
I hold my breath in case you hear me.
I hear you.
You say, “There is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles.”
Then you glance in the mirror and see me, and are shocked. Why? We swallow being into nothingness. (Or are we swallowed?) We make perfect the meaninglessness of it all, call it life, and make it compost, a place for new beginnings and endings. A cycle. Endless. Bare. Signifying nothing.
I am the hollow woman. And I am not alone. Am I?
Written for dVerse’s “Prosery” which asks that we confine our prose to 144 words or less and use the following line from a Lisel Mueller poem: “there is nothing behind the wall/except a space where the wind whistles.”Click on Mr. Linky to join in!