When the Wind Blows

When the Wind Blows

When the wind blows you remember an out take of a scene from the grainy sepia parts of The Wizard of Oz
And you find you are only slightly braver than the child who watched the film, scared of the parts you already know, scenes you’d seen a hundred times
Scared in new ways, of old things
Strange things like flying monkeys, houses on legs shod in red sparkly shoes, and spinning things

When the wind blows you remember that it won’t last forever
The wind and the rain and the storm and the grey

You remember the Psalms and the promises
And old poems written about the wind years ago
An alphabet of hurricanes ago, 2013, now life-times ago
Time measured by storms

And you find that every promise held
Just as was spoken and written
Every anchor metaphor was not a metaphor after all
But a Holder, a Counter-Weight and a Calmer of the Seas

As you held on to your dreams
Of words and poetry
You were held

And as you are holding tighter still to the days that follow the storm

And realize you are no longer scared
Of old things in new ways
Or the new ways of old things
That used to scare you

Now you are brave
When the wind blows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Backside

 

 

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The Backside

A hundred stories blew right by
Unseen by the naked eye, a hundred and one
If you count the one so wind-soaked, water-logged and beat down
There is nothing left to tell
Shreds of truth washed out to sea
Particles of memory swept up in the counter-current backside of the beast

A hundred years from now

Someone will dredge it up, tell it to a crowd of hungry men, women and children
Hovered on the edge of their seats to know about the day the wind raged
Again
History, a fan of repeating herself

At the hair salon
She said the waiting was the hardest part of all
Tell me your story
I’m beginning to try to listen again

Forgetting doesn’t help remembering
Warnings came from somewhere down the coast, farther south
Watch out for the backside,
The tail end
Every cliche, metaphor
You’ve heard them all
Listen up, for once, to talk of eyes and calm

While we wept for Haiti
I wept over Vascular Dementia, ALS and Cholera, hunger and disease
And Haiti some more
The Shirley May, The Mary Margaret and God’s Grace
They made it through, tethered to a wide and weary oak
Simple solutions mock me

Anticipating, we know too much of what we do not know
Wringing our hands over unknown outcomes
And then the shaming began
For the stayers and the ride-it-outers
Who know the nuances of wind and tide
But are certain of not one thing

The quiet dark of the blind preparation
Is a quiet we never knew

Run a bunch of models
Focus on the European One
Fine lines  wear the well-honed edge of a butcher’s knife
Lord have mercy plays on rewind and repeat
In sharp contrast
The Weather Channel, bless its heart
I thought I’d die if I heard one more warning of how bleak my future looked

When the wind blows
Echoes from my childhood
We are slowly prepared by  nursery rhymes
For what’s ahead

When the wind blew
At hurricane force
I sat on my backside

Resting up
No one named the raging storm in my mother’s brain
After one of the gospel writers

There is still a storm that’s raging
Though not at sea
For me
Waiting is the hardest part

 

 

Why I Long For Nothing Or Why I Want Intangibles This Christmas

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I ache for intangibles. I am longing for a filling in of the void. I am craving, in my empty hollow pit,  change and love come down and hope cracked open. Hope poured out. A drowning out of pain. I limp like the war wounded, dragging a limb with chronic pain. I limp with a ghostly pain for Love to seep into the cracked and bleeding places. Heal as aloe on our weary souls.

I look for The Healing Balm with the eyes of my Advent Heart.

I want with a weary wanting.

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And God is good to allow the empty hollow hunger. For me. I am moved. Pushed in my spirit by the Spirit to a place of chronic pain. To seek the unseen. Covered by the fog of self. Love wide open love Divine all Love out-dwelling. Love indwelling. Love Incarnate. Wash over us. This soul ache means I am made for more. For serving man and other.

If you wrap your love, which I too will do. Whisper prayers over paper and bows. Breathe the breath of prayerful change over boxes and bags of packages wrapped in love and lovely. Look out and in. And help me look in and outward too. To find the intangibles in their walking flesh and bone. And breathe new life. To heal the hurting. Calm the storms. Be the love lived out. Hands and feet multiplied. Oh Multiplier of Mercy.

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Oh but I am in my comfort. With the companion of my ache. And I am with my passion, words. I am not there. The Liberia’s with my serving servant friend. Or Haiti. Where the others that I know are walking. I am here. Longing for nothing. But a Christmas with an overflow. From the heart. Joy jumping high like hot grease in the frying pan, cooking up the Sunday bacon. Hope cracked open like the farm fresh egg, yolk of yellow nourishment. Healing spread like the salve of a mother’s kiss on a wounded blood-soaked knee.

Great tidal waves of salty seas. Of grace. Grow feet and walk up on our shores.

And mark the world with Love come down at Christmas. Love. Unfailing Love. And leave us change. By grace. Leave us changed by Grace. Love the battle winner. Love the conqueror. Love the healer of all ache.

Amen?

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The Second Act – A Guest Post: John Blase

I have invited some folks –  poets, brothers, sisters, word-weaver friends – to come here with their unique lens. Their spun- like-gold words. To visit with their art. To gather as a loose band of poets to make some music.

Today it is my honor to begin this little project with poet John Blase. I’ve marveled at his poetry for a good long while. If you aren’t familiar with John’s artful ponderings, then discover his poetry and savor his words.

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The Second Act

there were no crimes and blunders,
in his youth to finally catch up with him
because he’d lived his young years clean –
straight and narrow as an arrow.

but nobody remembers the nice guys
except God, and maybe their mothers.

so he altered mid-course and began to
decidedly miss the marks, nothing heroic,
just still small choices to daily transgress.

at first he was wobblier than a shepherd
in king’s armor but he kept at it, in time
becoming quite good at being human.

at the end the minister sighed He lost his way,
but still he’s hemmed safe in mercy’s cuff.

many from his later years came bearing
forgiveness laced sweet with affection.
a few nice allies from early on arrived
envious having followed his wayward star.

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About John – John Blase preached for over a decade but then he thought he’d go where the money is, so he started writing poetry. He’s a lucky man with a stunning wife and three kids who look like their mother. They all live in Colorado. His books include Know When To Hold ‘Em: The High Stakes Game of Fatherhood; Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas; and All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir  (co-written with Brennan Manning). He ponders faithfully at www.thebeautifuldue.wordpress.com

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Joining my good friend Laura Boggess today at her lovely writing home.

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