Hiding Out In The Poetry Section of Barnes and Noble

books little switzerland 2

Hiding Out In The Poetry Section Of Barnes and Noble

You always knew you liked to touch and feel
It’s the eyes of the fingers that transmit the most
Information
Via the tactile sensory processes

And so there is something far too abstract
About a place called Amazon that sells books
Many of yours come from there
Conveniently delivered to your doorstep

So don’t complain
But you can’t run away from a world that is throwing
Daggers your way
And hitting a perfect bullseye
Everytime
Into the arms of Amazon

But you can slip into the quiet
World of books
Row on row
Air saturated in Columbian coffee beans
And the sound of the old school musicals
On the intercom system
So loud you could not dose off
If you had just taken an Ambian
Before crossing the threshold

No it is sensory overload
There in the corner by the bathrooms
Life in full swing
Grand Central Station has nothing on
This purveyor of poetry

To your right is T.S. Eliot and right in front are
Wendell Berry and Billy Collins
And Maya Angelou and the whole section is so small
You want to weep
Because you know that poetry placed right beside the bathroom
Is more than ironic
It seems cruel and condescending
But why state the obvious
When you are discussing
Poetry after all
That part you should have left out

The genre needs no defending
Don’t even go there
You have come to hide
And there is not enough real estate
To even hide
Much less cry
So you read and keep your eyes dry
Because if you soil the book
You’d have to buy the book
You adhere to old mores of retail protocol

So you wonder about this height of irony
This fact that
You have just ordered a book from Amazon
From your phone
Delivered to your Ipad
From the poetry section at Barnes and Noble
And you think to yourself
Life is odd, today
Ridiculous and strange

So you wander to the periodical section
And eavesdrop on the lady who is caring for
Her husband
With Parkinson’s
You can’t meet the lonely in the halls of Amazon
So you learn of his pain and hers and where she is from
And where she is going
And how no one has ever heard of a man having shingles for
Four years
Not you, not her, and no doctors
And you want to weep again and she looks away and tells you how hard it is
But she’s making it
And you talk to her, struggling to determine who needs whom
The most

And suddenly your problems

Are left for a minute
Back in the poetry section
Beside the bathroom
Where the air
Thankfully smells like coffee
And the poets get two small sections of books

And life today doesn’t seem fair
But it is good
And you try to rate your pain
And wonder how she’ll make it through the days
Of shingles and Parkinson’s and doctors
And she was from Michigan
(Might as well have been Siberia)

And poetry’s problems pale in comparison
So you buy a magazine
Swing through the door of the big book store
And go home to read “Love, Etc.” by Barkat
And you weep

Tears, mingled rivulets in three’s
One for the man from Michigan
One for love
And one for pain
Both the present and the future

Grateful that your tears
Cannot ruin the titanium cover of
“Love, etc.”
At which point you are sick of irony

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Hunkering Down, Holding On, and Wrapping Up

Today is Day 30. Thank you for being here for this series which ends tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a post of summary and surprise. Will you be here? There will be a bit of wrapping up. If you missed a post and would like to read the collective, it is here. Or click on the 31 Days Series 2012.

There is a bundling up on the horizon. These winds that blow, they howl.

There is a wind wailing, wind blustering.

And they gust and grasp, blistering with biting winds, swirling whirling, gusting blasts of artic, cold and cutting crisp.

The words huddle together and bundle up on the page. Shivering, shaking, trembling, quaking.

Cold, yet clustered in the sea of circumstance. The words still rattle and roll, knowing tomorrow comes, a conclusion, a closing an end in sight.

They perform a triage on the ones trumpeting the rallying cry, trumpeting their cause. And they choose for the day before the day of wrap up, circumstances and storms of life.

As the trees tremble, and as the world quivers and quakes, the storms of circumstance take their place in the series.

The natural life collides in the realm of the spiritual.

And the elements on the outside mirror the elements on the inside, of the life.

So we look to see how deep the roots have clung to the soil of Faith, the soul checks her face in the mirror and looks for signs of deep abiding.

Did we prepare for the storms of circumstance by resting in Him, abiding in Him, calling on Him, looking to Him?

All before the storms.

Did we fall on Him, lean on Him, learn of Him, read of Him, know of Him, cry out to Him, all before the storm?

And in the midst too. And right smack in the middle too. With a swirl and whirl and roar of the winds of challenge and change, are the roots clinging hard and fast in the soil. Is the soul rich in Him, in the nourishment and black rich soil of His hand. His offering.

Is the heart fixed on Praising in the midst and Praying in the middle, seeing in the circumstance the what is good and worthy of praise. That there was an element of saved from worse and saved from death.

That the giver of life gives sustenance in the storms, and the Light shines if even dim it shines, the Light of Grace. Mercy holds tight and fast to the soul feeling feint and weak.

Prayer whispered, prayer spoken, prayer humbled, quivering shaking from the lips of the wind blown traveller, they are the life-line, they tie the soul in the worst of it, the all of it. It is the language of the broken. It is the language of the healed.

Do the swells of the seas and bitter of the cold sting to a blistering or are we cupped in the hand and safe in the place of sheltering in the midst, in the middle, right in it?

Hunkering down and holding on, tethering to shore and tethering to a body, strong and bold holds us upright. Hunkering down in the warmth of the Christ-body, holding on to the Word and to the very hand of God, reaching down in the middle in the midst.

Wrapping up in Hope and Trust, bundling the soul in the expectancy of the calm after and the calming of His very breath and presence in the midst.

Don’t miss the very strengthening of the rocking soul in the seas of circumstance rolling in and down and on.

Don’t miss the strengthening of those who made it through and make it through and tell of stronger vessels for bracing and staying safe in all the turmoil, twisting and turning and spinning a soul.

There is safety in the harbor of Trust and Obey and it’s not a pollyanna children’s song. And its not a sugary simple served up platitude.

It is the very essence of the traveller in the storm. To huddle in the flock for warmth and safety, to stay where the Shepherd says to stay, to hear and follow the voice that guides and protects.

It is the body, when huddled and cradled and wrapped in Love and Encouragement that preserves its warmth and keeps the vital heat captured, fueling the life, fueling the heart and parts that beat and pulse, winds ahowling, winds awhipping all around.

And bending low while bowing the knee, the head to Him, calms her heart,  calms her spirit in the whirling wailing  blustering storm.

Was a heart prepared, is a heart preparing, does a heart prepare for all there is to come?

Nestled soundly in the arms, the warm embrace, of the Calmer of The Storms. The Lover of My Soul.

Oh to know the warmth in all He is and all He gives in the circumstances of  this life.

The buds are tight, holding expectancy and Hope.

And the blooms will burst on the limbs of tomorrow, in spite of the raging storms.

Hold on weary traveller.

Be strong pilgrim friend, look Heavenward trembling flock in the windswept tundras of this life.

The blooms are ripe and ready. The melting snow reveals the bloom.

The Christ is in this storm.


Joining Eileen and Jen.