Poetry in Prayer: An Elfchen #1

Blogger friend Richard introduced me to the Elfchen or Elevenie form, which is a German-inspired poem of eleven words in five lines, with 1, 2, 3, 4 words, then 1 word again for the fifth and last line.

LORD,

Help me

Be as Christ

Seeking You in prayer

Always

Then

Shall I

Walk with You

In trust, in communion

Eternal

Bee feeding on Salvia
Photos for Cee's FOTD challenge, November 20, 2021: Tulip Fields
Flower of the Day Challenge (FOTD): "Please feel free to post 
every day or when you you feel like it.  
Don’t forget that my FOTD challenge accepts 
gardens, leaves and berries as well as flowers."

Don’t Look at Me!

Don’t look at me
the woman said who rolled her eyes
at the old man’s head bent over the counter
while she waited behind just out of church,
in line and ready to be served.

Don’t look at me
the elder said who managed sales
to the seminarian needing a job in town
his hands too clean for wheelin’ and deceivin’
in the business of car dealerships.

Don’t look at me
the pastor said, and the mother, the father,
the guy who got caught with his hand in the jar,
“I’m just a sinner, no perfection here, just doing my best,
and you’re no better.”

Don’t look at me
the little girl said, who knew how it was done
from watching her betters, to believe just enough,
her tongue so glib with all the Bible verses she was sure
like them she’d get by.

When it all comes down
to sheep and goats, to wheat and tares,
how many will be saying to the Lord of all,
“Let the mountains fall upon us to cover and to hide:
just don’t look, oh God, at me!”


Luke 23:30-31
Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’
For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

James 1:21-27, 2: 18-26
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world….
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder!

Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?
You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;
and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”–and he was called a friend of God.
You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

image credit: istock via pexels.com

Hope in the Lord

For Cee's FOTD, October 3, 2021
Crimson Queen Japanese Maple in the spring

Psalm 131 (ESV) A Song of Ascents. Of David.

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.

Count It All Joy

If our hearts delight in God and his face, then we can contemplate losing earthly joys without fear.

Timothy Keller
Clover

Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

James 1: 2,3
For Cee's FOTD, September 5, 2021:

See the gorgeous red dahlia "American Beauty" on Cee's site.
Flower of the Day Challenge (FOTD).  
"Please feel free to post every day or when you you feel like it.  
Don’t forget that my FOTD challenge accepts gardens, leaves and berries as well as flowers."  

Stonecrop Joy

Light seeking

In light enfolded

See joy unbounded

In chastening trials

God entrusting

Each dear petal

Leaf and root

Together joy.

For Cee's FOTD, September 2, 2021:

See the gorgeous sunflower on Cee's site.
Flower of the Day Challenge (FOTD).  
"Please feel free to post every day or when you you feel like it.  
Don’t forget that my FOTD challenge accepts gardens, leaves and berries as well as flowers."  

Perfect Peace

Gingko leaves

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

Isaiah 26:3-4
For Cee's FOTD, August 22, 2021: See the beautiful pink hibiscus on her site!
Flower of the Day Challenge (FOTD).  
"Please feel free to post every day or when you you feel like it.  
Don’t forget that my FOTD challenge accepts gardens, leaves and berries as well as flowers."

Thirsty for You

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,

beholding your power and glory.

Because your steadfast love is better than life,

my lips will praise you.

Psalm 63: 1-3
For Cee's FOTD, June 27, 2021: See the beautiful red dahlia on her site!

Poetics and Wang Wei

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.

At the Moon Garden

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.

It’s Not a Mystery

“Why does hope spring after tragedy?

Is it weakness in sorrow, a failure of grief?

What makes us look up and watch for the dawn?”

Wiping away his tears, his Teacher softly answered,

“‘It’s elementary, my dear Watson,’

We were made for eternity

Not this life alone.”

Cee’s FOTD
Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt #199: prose or poem in 47 words exactly using the word “element” or its forms.

Rebirth

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!