Pray for India

Oceans away from me in India, doctors mark the dead, the funeral pyres burn ceaselessly. Just yesterday I heard India has become the first country to exceed 400,000 coronavirus infections in a 24-hour period. More than 3,500 deaths were also recorded during the same period.

Wayward my fluttering thoughts fly across the seas

Distracted with worry for friends and family;

Yet borne on anxious wings my prayers fly straight to Thee,

O God, pleading Thy compassionate mercy.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121: 1-2).

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!

O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

Psalm 130: 1-2
For Cee's FOTD challenge; Eugi's Weekly Prompt ("flutter") for April 29, 2021; Sammi's Weekend Writing Prompt, "Wayward," word count exactly 77 words.

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.

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!

Our Life, His Work: A Parable

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 …. H
is 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"

In the Church

In the church she felt only marginal comfort
A stranger alone in the pew
In the corner a man was praying
Modeling silent admonition:
“Be still, and know I am God.”*


The grace and joy that washed over her
As all sang and the gospel was proclaimed
Made her thankful for this time to worship
And that she had decided to stay.

*Psalm 46:10:”Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Sammi's Weekend Writing Prompt #190, "marginal" 31 words
Linda's Just Jot It January, "in the corner"
Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-on-bench-1217250/

Sunday Morning 10-11-2020

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.

Cee's FOTD Challenge

Turning Back Loneliness

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspo #77: theme is lonely and the above image

I’m lonely without You, Lord,
though all the world be mine
the city’s blue-gray skyline
the starry twinkling host

I need to know you near me
Your love-light in my eye
the fragrance of your Spirit
the sweetness of your Word

somewhere I took a wrong turn
I chased my own desire
a world of smug contentment
but lacking peace of mind

I know you never left me
so I feel you all the more
when I’ve turned my back to you
your tender love ignored

I don’t know why I do this
leave you, then come back
as if I never knew You
as if my faith were dead

returning then I seek You
repenting of time lost
joyous to talk to You, Lord,
and walk with You again.

Freedom is Soul Food

Jude’s Saturday Symphony #10: SOUL FOOD
The Great Pampas-Vinca Escape

Freedom is Soul Food

I see the white picket fences with gardens galore

“Healthy, wealthy, wise,” to you they implore

To follow their ways of crooked desire:

Forget narrow ways and the cross on a spire

When you can live like a king and master of your fate

Living it up with all you can eat on a plate.

But there’s more to life than living behind

White picket fences with gardens they design

A prisoner you’ll be to all that they crave

No freedom you’ll have to serve the God who can save.

“You gotta serve somebody,” the old crooner sang

He got it right and to amazing grace he ran

‘Cause freedom is soul food and nothing satisfies

Like breathing free in Christ with a soul that never dies.

“Gotta Serve Somebody” by Bob Dylan (lyrics included at link)

Dance Convergence

image-1

Immense and free 

The wind beneath me
Jouissance

 of gravity
A new life convergence
Soaring with the water
An overflowing hope

To carry the air

Unbounded by fear
Released by Your grace
Breathing eternity

Love's radiant beauty

Dancing in me.


Photo by Joel Valve (Unsplash) for Sadje's What Do you See (For the visually challenged reader,the image shows a girl dancing under the jets of water of a fountain, which are meeting above her in an arc.)

In a Dark Hour

ezekiels-vision-of-the-valley-of-dry-bones-what-does-it-mean_0

3 A.M.

Awakened to an eerie self-examination of the soul
on the steel-cold surface under surgically precise lights
unentombing cancers, contagion-carrying arteries, dismembered
corruption to the dispassionate gaze of an Enemy brooding,
brooding.

3:20 A.M.

Still sweating under the administered fumes seeping
through pores, guilt-driven language of parents driven
from home to carnage of children preying on children, warfare
of wretched depravity in the eyes of a man, a woman seething,
seething.

3:40 A.M.

Cannot speak, cannot hear, cannot see, cannot feel anything
but the weight of irreversible fate, the darts of the Enemy
injections of delirious oblivion only to awaken to endless night
where no refuge lies from grief and fear and the hate pursuing,
pursuing.

4:00 A.M.

Helpless, my tongue dry, the light dims, darkness closes in,
but a voice is heard, a minister to prophesy over the bitter
collocation of bones, unholy, “O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!”-
prophesy!- in the body and the blood a Life that is not mine breathes,
breathes.

DailyPostPrompt: eerie