Laura at dVerse asks us to reinterpret one of several Chinese poems. I’ve chosen to reimagine “Stopping at Incense Storing Temple” by Wang Wei.
When in the concatenation of bells that toll I stop at dusty pools of ghost-bearing scents The rains having come and gone, ashes remain The acrid smoke of the dead stings my eyes Choking the young, ridiculing the old I turn away to the bowers of forest glades Where You await storing love’s incense And I like a wanderer home at last Stand strong in Your warm embrace Escaping the dragon of the past To rise with You to eternal joy.
For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. — Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man”
There ought not to be anything but that my mind has ordered it so —
So I had been taught — for the mind is designer
Reality but the by-blow, bastard child that diminishes as I diminish
But that the Emperor of Ice-Cream has clay feet
Which stand on eternity’s threshold eyeing a feast.
There the bread and wine of Thy design
Grain and grape sweetly lies upon the tongue
To “taste and see the goodness of the LORD”
Yet nothing tasting if not sanctified by Thy Word
Blood spilled and body broken
Spoken gospel of love heard by a few
Who once nothing being are born in You
Till nothing become sons and daughters
Alive to You.
Laura at dVerse asks us to address paradox as a matter for today’s “Poetics” prompt, including using as a starting point and/or epigraph the above Wallace Stevens quotation. Click on Mr. Linky for more and join in!
It’s the weekend, right? Let’s relax and party, maybe do a little rap for Michelle’s #JanuaryWritingPrompts (“space juice”), Sammi’s #WWP (100 words, “crucible”), and Linda’s #JusJoJan & #SOC (“limitless”). Hope you enjoy it! ❤️
When I first saw, “Servant,” the #JusJoJan prompt for today, the first thought that popped into my head was, “Christ Jesus,” and then the words of Phiippians 2:5-11*(see below). My quandary? M’s prompt word: “Twin-engine turbines.” But it proved to be a blessing in disguise as it gave me the shape of the story: a parable. Serendipity!
Our Life, His Work: A Parable
–What are you making, child? the Servant asked. Everywhere metal sheets and rotor blades lay in a tangle of wires. –See this twin-engine turbine? The boy held up a photo. My 3-D printer makes it simple. –Simple, eh? The boy looked around before answering. -Well, it’ll just take a few days, maybe weeks …. maybe months …. His voice trailed away. It looked simpler when I got started. But somewhere along the way, I lost track of what I was meant to do. He took in the tangled mess around him and finally the shiny aircraft in his photograph. His face fell. –Well, now, said the Servant, it will be a grand thing when it’s done. Maybe you could use a little help. Mine, for example. The boy looked up, his face suddenly alight with hope and renewed confidence. –Really? Will you help? Please. The Servant looked down at the expectant face, his own lit with Love. –It’s why I came, child.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2: 5-11(ESV)
Michelle's January 3, 2021 Writing Prompt: "Twin-engine turbines"
Linda's Just Jot It for January 3rd, "Servant"
And still the Light abides and the darkness has not overcome it: though rabbit-wild my exiled spirit roams where bare limbed shadows squawk of quasi-subliminal maws in which the world in mammoth caves watches figures on Olympian walls cavorting corporate-jet-fueled and calls them gods.
Written for dVerse Quadrille 117: "The Dude Abides"
A quadrille is 44 words, and this time
Lisa asks us to use the word "abide."
Click on Mr. Linky and join in!
Deuteronomy 7: 9 — Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
Ephesians 1: 3-4 — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
Psalm 27:5 — For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
Are You not the Light, O Lord, and we but the mirror? Disperse the clouds that obstruct Thy light and be Thou our vision. Amen.
“Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.”