Adagio: Vernal Light

blades of grass adagio projectTwo women, two writers, one love of poetry, thus The Adagio Project was born. A writer spends  time penning her words alone, in a cafe, in a writing cottage, or in the middle of living. Right in the middle of where she  lives out her days. A kitchen table,  a chair by a window are  more than enough for most.

But Holly Grantham of A Lifetime of Days and I have paired our love for words, especially poetic ones. Partnered, to weave threads of thought together. We have never met, nor even spoken to one another. Our words are our tether, one to the other poet. From across over one thousand miles we create poems for Adagio: A Poetry Project.

Seeking a visual prompt to launch this part of the project, we have graciously received and incorporated  the visual art of photographer Kelly Sauer. Kelly’s love and use of light were significant  inspiration points for our offering here. She captures beauty, light and life in an exceptionally lovely way. And she shares our love for blogging on her own, La Joie, La Vie.

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Vernal Light

Hope hangs her head, long and low
Prays for light to pierce the dark
days
buried in the blur of time, gathers
pearls, drops of faith cling
to ray on ray of radiant
Hope, bows to birth
love has found her way

Vernal light glimmers golden on
pearled edges
as days lengthen and clocks spin
and the wisps of honey covered
minutes
blow airy and light
billowing curtains and hearts
alike

We cannot see frail and broken
made of bone and flesh
we  still hold to doubt and fear
but tender is the soul infused with hope
for it
holds new mercy rising on the orange blaze, promises
to take us with her
as she dreams

There are shadows, still
but brighter is that which
slants across her face
than that which seeks to rule the world
When there are only dark days
piled one upon the other

That is the promise of the
bloom
an emerging efforescence
that causes hands to lift
and eyes to shine
while their glint burns bright
upon the field

Look for signs of tender hope
when wrinkled lines curl gentle on the edge
of lip and eye, blue no more
the bird has made her
nest of
new
fragile eggs
laid in trust
hold gentle as you breathe out dread
and winter’s gloom is carried off
light breaks open
claiming hearts and souls again

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Holly and I are grateful too for Lisa Leonard at Lisa Leonard Designs whose jewelry is shown here on the model’s neckline.  The photograph used in Vernal Light was  selected  from  a collaboration between Lisa Leonard and Kelly Sauer. Again, thank you Kelly for generously allowing us to partner with you. You can find more of Kelly’s work  at Kelly Sauer dot com.  And you can follow her blog and her art through words at La Joie, La Vie.

If you are interested in reading all of the poems in the collective, click here

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Poetry At Work Between Friends: Adagio

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It is a delight to continue to partner with Holly at A Lifetime of Days for poetry. We live and breathe half-way across the country from one another, have never met in real life, but have formed a friendship and a common love for words. Most especially for poetry.

Today is the third offering of Adagio: A Poetry Project which began last year and continues to grow and fly. Our fledgling, our joint writing project is leaving the nest again. You may recall our first poem, woven and written together, was a picture of us as individual writers. The second time, Adagio involved separate poems inspired by the words of a song which Holly shared with me. It was the Christmas season and that weighed heavy on our words.

Today, January 15, 2013, is the first ever Poetry At Work Day, an idea birthed from the creative folks at Tweetspeak Poetry. Today we thread a poem together into one piece, from a distance. Holly and I write with each other, as well as in community with other writers.  I am raising three children or they are raising me. One has left the nest or flown the coop. Holly is the momma of two boys whom she homeschools.

This is the work of our hands and hearts.8050802129_c31e37d9d6

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Les Mains (French for “hands”) talks of the power, the breadth, and the warmth of God’s reach.  For us, our hands can be tools and vehicles for working, for writing, for loving. We would love to hear your thoughts on the multiple roles hands play in the living out of your days.

You may write your prose, your comments, your poetry, however you feel lead.  Just write in the comments here or at A Lifetime of Days and give us the link to your own writing. We long to read your words, the overflow of your heart.

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Les Mains

Your hands reach back
through inky curtains
worn, frail, thin
settling our shaky human brokenness
and
smoothing the broken shards of conscience
all the while
quelling a thousand restless swirling places
and
righting rattled beats

And then, as always
You are here
the warming sun your canopy
and I must grab hold of your shadow
for fear of sinking deep into
the pools of light
left in your wake
For the day
it keeps moving,
ray upon ray

Always
You reach forward
no more fevered pitch
or furrowed brow
You are slow
and steady
All that races
finds a peaceful pace
In a twinkling
the frozen is warmed
and the darkness becomes
Light

And as with all creation
Your hands
form a holy welcome
That longed for warm embrace
enveloping all restless souls
with grace

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Adagio: A Christmas Poetry Project–Black Night Of Hope

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Adagio: A Christmas Poetry Project

We are writing together. As we did a little while back( click the Adagio Poetry page tab at the top of the site’s home page). And we would love for you to join us. Holly and I and each one of you. There is a beautiful hymn, a song, sung by a  friend of Holly’s. This is our inspiration for Adagio: A Poetry Project, here in this Advent Season. Here, with Christmas upon our hearts. Listen here to Born In The Night Mary’s Child.

Holly’s offering can be found here, at A Lifetime of Days. 

It would be our hope, our desire, and it would bring us joy if you would allow us the privilege of reading your words, poetry or prose. Just add your link to your art in the comments here and at Holly’s. We are all travelers toward this Christmas Day in this Christmas Season with expectant hearts.

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Black Night Of Hope

Walk us, with us
Pray we now
Fabric frail our worn out covering
Wind howls through thin flesh

World’s cold wind blows cruel
But He, was born of you
To shield in love, save from cruel sin
Bone tired weary we and you

Cradled Him , sheltered Christ
Under covering black of night
Though radiant beams from
A Child’s face would tell of Holy

Graceful Mother out of town
Traveler on a road of dirt, dust
Let us grasp your servant heart
And sing of Holy Sacrifice

Sacred offering in the night
Reconciled hearts, gloria in excelsis deo
We proclaim the birth of King
From your very mother’s womb

And Hope was birthed in stall with muck
On cold, in winter, still of night
That when the sting of death and sin
Would weigh us down

A broken fragile mankind now is
Changed, we walk free with
Broken chains
You birthed our Hope

One still dark night
Black night of Hope
We, weary
World rejoicing

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Telling The Story In The Middle: A Study in Wait & Pause – Living In The Waiting

If there is a protocol for blogging or a template for writing blog posts or a committee of oversight for writing, they may tell me this one is coloring outside the lines too much. Well at least the long and winding title. In which I tried to say too much and didn’t opt for the pithy. The brief. The succinct.

And who has time to read through a long title? Today things should be brief and catchy and short and simple is always better, right?

How incredibly ironic and frustrating and so very timely is the spinning chrome ball forcing me to wait as I write a post impatiently on waiting. Pausing.

There would be no reason to write on waiting and patience and finding myself in the middle of much if I didn’t know in my deep down places that it is  a core human struggle.

And in the writing, in the sharing, there is  a collective group sigh or exhale or head nod— I know this place too. Or there could be. If you can make it through this long post. If you feel up to waiting for the end.

And yet in the middle of it all  are such deeply personal and individual lessons from God for me that it feels like a sacred tutorial. He is  sanctifying my heart and soul in a season marked for me. A something I need to really get and embrace and be challenged by. And grown by.

So who tells stories in the messy middle before there is closure and a neat and tidy ending? Who leaves the reader hanging, saying why did you tell me this if you couldn’t also tell me that?

I know only that I write from the heart what I feel lead to share.

And there are things upon which I wait. And it feels like a first world problem, and yet I know He cares to speak to me in all of my living. And He cares deeply about all the details of all of our lives.

As I wait for a return to a call and an email and a text from a woman, I wonder why the delay. The Patient One says I have made her mad. I can’t think how or when or what caused the quiet from her end.

So I will tell you how it ends when I get the return from my call in which I said I need to apologize to you. I don’t know what I have done but please tell me so I can say I am sorry.

I don’t know the ending but I know the peace in the middle. I told her I needed to hear her voice. I hope she calls. I have a measure of peace. I want complete peace. Don’t we all.

I have a child with a desire to be accepted to a specific college. We wait. I pray. We feel like there is a pregnant pause in the air. And God and I are tethered to One another in a way we would not be if a child’s future didn’t hang in the balance. He knows me well. He keeps me hanging. He keeps me waiting. And I know these periods of waiting well.

Of waiting for long cycles of infertlity to end. And being lead to adoption and receiving the gift of  another biological child, a daughter after the blessed adoption of a son. He meets me in my waiting. I should long for periods of waiting with Him. They have marked my life with the beautiful. Building my family through waiting, just the way He intended it to be built.

One of the most precious people in my world, my inner inner world, is going through a painful divorce. And I want it to end. I want the pain to stop for her. I want closure and finality and decision. I long for her suffering to end.

She is in the messy middle and she texts me and calls me and I hurt for her. But God will sustain her through the dark period. I reminded her yesterday to hold on to her Joy and not to lose sight of her “what is good”. She has four beautiful children. She texted me thank you for reminding her not to lose sight of the Joy. I wasn’t sure she heard me through her pain. I should listen to my own advise.

We wait for healing in our church family and  in my small community. For a new day and a rebuilding of our body after division.

I long to receive a letter from my Compassion Sponsored child in Peru. There are, I believe, long delays in correspondences between Peru and me, typically normally. This will be the new normal through the years of corresponding with her. But much more importantly, she must be waiting on me. I am overdue a letter to her. It saddens me to think I have left her waiting. I have caused her to wonder where the letter is from me.

And I wonder if God is waiting on me too. I want to be obedient in my living and in my writing. I wonder if I haven’t heard Him clearly. What does He intend for me to do and when with this writing. I am working with a friend on a poetry project, Adagio. And we wait to discuss the next season for this our fledgling poetry project. We wait a little.

My daughter wants her room redecorated. Its in process, unfinished. A stark reminder of the physicality of waiting. I walk in to make the bed and its a work in progress. And that is it. That is really a large part of it.

We are in process, we are a study in waiting, we are unfinished business and unfinished creatures and souls daily. God is refining us. And working things out through us and in us.

I lean into the understanding of this and seek to know it all better. We are unfinished until we are perfected by Him. And the right here is full of things to embrace, to learn, to hold to, to study, to enjoy, to celebrate.

On my porch sits a Christmas tree, our second tree. I received a gift which I want to unwrap and use, a box of ornaments from my parents. But there were so many they needed their own tree. And a wide eyed teenage daughter said I really want to decorate the porch.

The tree is lopsided and propped up. I can’t figure out how to “install” the tree in the newfangled tree stand. It is a mess of beautiful. A mess of white lights waiting to go up on the horizontal tree. Maybe the tree could lay on the ground and I could color outside the lines. Hang the ornaments from a laying in wait tree. Maybe that would symbolize the waiting.

We wait for Christmas Day.

But  isn’t so much of the joy in the days leading up to the day.

Fining joy in the right here right in the messy middle.

The tree on the porch and I have a lot in common. We wait.

I want to be beautiful in the waiting. And learn from the pauses.

Wait with me, pray with me, learn with me.

It would make the waiting even richer. To wait with one another, in community. As we work through and work out the days of our waiting.

The chrome colored ball has gone for the moment. But I know it will pop back up and make me pause. I hope I rest and pray and find peace in the pauses.

And the disposal is broken and the sink is clogged up and I am waiting on the electrician. Maybe I can spread some Christmas cheer while he is here.  While I am waiting for him to fix my brokeness.

Amen? Amen.

Joining Ann, Emily,Emily at Chatting At The Sky, and Jennifer

imperfectprose

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