Vulnerability Looks Like Grace

Vulnerability

I checked the pot
Truly
Over and over again
And they weren’t ready
The nouns, the verbs, the words
They needed salt and light
Heat
And time, grace to grow
Space to separate then blend
Oh friend,
Patiently I stirred with an old wooden spoon
Swirling clockwise and counter
Checking
Re-checking
You know in the folds of your soul, when they are ready
To share
And
Release

These took longer,they required
Time, it stood still
The hallmark of the moment
Generosity of minutes moved, yet frozen
The gentle branding of the transaction
Between two
Women sharing sips of soul-filled words
Vulnerable, the two

I asked if I could spill over
About the woman with the spirit of generosity
Of heart
Of honesty and humility and second chances
And when we are our most human
Our most vulnerable
You with me and I with you
A sacred thread runs through
The space and time
We are dusted by the holy
Threaded artists we

I tell you my ache, my pain
And question deep the need to rest

You tell me of your winsome brave wild and wonderful
Dream
You know we can do better than we have
I tell you I want to write a song
You tell me that I can
And we are in a ping pong match of words
Vulnerability fuels that flame

And you re-tell
A second chance
For me, the first
A chance meeting, one on one
Eyeball to eyeball, soul to soul
We speak encouragement

And I am marked forever
By the chance
Or was it God-ordained

I hope I stirred it long enough
And let it simmer, taste and see that
He is good

You are a joy
And I,  a grateful saint

Who learned what
Generosity, sensitivity
And brave can taste like
Poured out from the lips of one kindred
Spirit, Flesh, and Bone

Vulnerability looks like grace
With a soulful artist’s heart

Doors with cut out crosses

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This poem is dedicated to Joy Thigpen at Joy Thigpen dot com who taught me much about the making of art– and rivers and margins and more at Allume 2013.

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Church

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Church

A place for dry bones to shake rattle and roll in the spirit of the Lord
Among a cast of hundreds of women who were strangers
Strangers I tell you until hours before
A foretaste of heaven
Look to your right and to your left
Look with the eyes of your heart
The countenances shine like you have stepped to the other side
This is the Hyatt for goodness sake
This is a hotel, glory be
Sisterhood deep and wide like the mighty Mississippi after the rains
Came for forty days and forty nights
Shoulder to shoulder breaking bread
Singing standing, singing sitting, singing dancing
And there were tears
No shortage of the salty rivers of release
Each drop a celestial star, blinking, twinkling
A milky way of mothers and others.

A room
Small and crowded
Where you listen deep and hard and squint and furrow
Your eyes and brow
Like a net, you cast your soul to catch every single drop of good words
About art on the other side
Of the cross
You meet a woman
A sister
She is waiting in another repository of words to tell her story
And you listen
To why you breathe and make and write and why it matters
And a sister jumps up and ends the talk in prayer
Preach it sister
Preach it
Worship, in a small crowded room
Hearts seeking to make art to His glory
A gathering, communion of saints, prayer
A good word delivered
Focusing on Him
In a downtown Greenville hotel.

And we rush out
Discuss how very late we are
We are late paces from the house
We are at the door
Their dog is lying in wait for church to let out
And her bike with the artful basket
Propped up on the side of this old
Church
We slip in, slither in a pew, the sermon
It is well into the resurrection story
Of life and death
You could hear a pin drop among the sea of graying
I cast my net
Eager for words of living and dying
Shoulder to shoulder, twenty-five years
And a baby cries
And the organ plays
And we speak to the preacher on our way out
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was, it shall forever be

The dog picks up his people and they go home
Church is out.
And we breathe deep the glory from our time
In church.

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Joining Laura at Laura Boggess dot com

Voices

(photo courtesy of moma.org – Pablo Picasso’s Three Musicians)

There was never meant to be just one.
The sole, the singular, the solitary
Voice.
Each designed, gifted, carefully chosen
Parts, pieces for the blending.
No island dwellers or stone cold soloists
In a community of art, no apart from others
There is solitary lonely.

There is exponential multiplying in a cord of three,
The pairs, the duets the circles of multiples.
A community of several and many has power.
And each alone, so beautiful, comes in
To blend, enhancement happens en masse.

Each unit grows stronger in the company of
Others,
Accompaniment and melody change sound when
Blended in, a melange a beautiful mix of mediums
More interesting than the lone wolf crying in the wilderness.

A haunting howl, in the separated from the pack.
Strength in numbers builds
The vocal cords, the instruments, the writer’s pen
Grows, grouped
In community, a fellow writer links the lonely.

So the artist lifts his brush
And the writer his pen,
The musician his instrument
And all the others their voices too.

The blending begins and the harmonies arise,
Like incense, an offering up and to and for.
Each a gift, each a treasure
Single beauty, facets on the face of a multi-sided gem.

Pop the cork on the bottled words,
Pull the plug on the hemmed in notes.
Let them float,
Sail off with a tune ,a song for the masses
Or the few.
But unfurl the sails and set free the voices of each who has something quite beautiful to say.

This month at Tweetspeak Poetry, we are exploring the word prompt, Surreal. Stretching and writing in community with others. The voices are beautiful over there.

Walking

This is Day 17. You may read the collective here.

Yesterday was FearTomorrow, I will be reflecting somewhat on Emily Wierenga’s book “Chasing Silhouettes” and Emily’s beautiful story of hope and redemption.

Today, is a new day…and we’re simply Walking.

To wake up and walk.

Oh the joy in the new mercy steps to life.

To take a step away from old and into the hope-filled new.

From the past  to the promise-filled present.

Like brick-layers we lay a step, lay- place a foot on the path,

Seal it with the concrete Promise of The Cross

And Prayer. Always.

Fill the holes and cracks, the porous with portions of faith.

Make it steady, make it firm, solid

Soil fertile,

Soil rich, with Hope

And walking out not alone but with.

With the weary fellow pilgrims.

With the broken, hurting co-laborers.

Alongside a community of sojourners.

Covering in grace, clothing a weary walker in a word.

Bracing her up with the walking stick of prayer,

Carved in words, as wooden vessels of encouragement.

Walk alongside you weary walkers,

Step in tandem with the others.

Bear up the burden of the fellow traveller.

And carry her when she cannot take another step

As the hands and feet of the Water Walker,

Be the hands, the feet of Him. The Christ.

Walk beside, walk behind,

Walk in love, throw out the seeds of hope to find your way along the trail.

From this to that, and here to there

The One Who Walked On Water has walked it all before.

So Brave and Steady you may tread, along the Walking Path of Life.

So Brave and Fear-less you now may run,

Down the road to Truly, Freely  Living.

The one that’s mark for You.

Writing in community with Duane, Emily, Jennifer, and Ann