In The Coop

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In The Coop

This may be my Walden Pond
Wired place of peace that passes even
My own understanding
Why being hemmed in with these beguiling creatures
Is often my preferred place to be
Still and rest among the fowl plummage

This may be my rock
Here among the current flock of nine
I hide and find a reason
To study nature’s brilliant
Rhythm and routine

At Five they will roost
And I’ll be forced to turn back into the world again
The one where fear and pain and joy collide
Outside

This may be my island
My pilgrimmage to solace and relief
I know the neighbors have begun to talk
And question why I go inside
And talk to them, yes I do
(Dolittle did do that too, you must recall)

Naturally, I do not care a ‘tall
Nor worry about world affairs
While I am hiden in full view
inside my beloved coop

Where I will hide only a little longer, in plain view
A refugee fleeing from the headlines
I share the name of those I  shelter
With
Joy will come in the morning
Alleluia and amen

Of Things That Have Been – Guest Post: Holly Grantham

What an honor to have my friend Holly Grantham visiting today. I invited her to bring her words. And she graciously said yes. Holly and I have enjoyed working as poetry partners in the past. You may recall our project entitled Adagio.

We have plans to collaborate after the first of the new year, writing poetry, sharing the lines and space, creating and word weaving together.

Enjoy now, the words of this beautiful woman..

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Of Things That Have Been

I finger them mindlessly most days,
These tokens of thanksgiving.
In some familiar corner of my brain I am
aware of their weight and
the anorexic string that
keeps them connected to a well
untended.
But something has shifted
inside of me and
I can’t remember
how to see.

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

I have a bowl that sits on my kitchen counter
and in it are the scraps and corners and pieces of
meals prepared and cooked and fed to
the people that I love.
The contents of that bowl get tossed,
mindlessly most days,
into a growling pile of dirt.
Layer upon layer of repasts
Just sitting there
Marinating
Giving themselves over to death.

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

Most days since Spring
I feel a hollow ringing somewhere just
below my rib cage
as if my heart was suddenly deafened by
the weighted silence left in absence’s wake.
I long to be overwhelmed by wonder.
And then, one day, the memory, it returns
Joy, it grows in the humus of things that have been,
in the layers that settle at the bottom of my days.
I remember slowly
how to give thanks.
I remember, friends, how to see.

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

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Holly Grantham, Bio

Holly is a wife, very relaxed homeschooling mom of three boys, snapper of photos, coming of age writer and a soul drowning in grace.

After years in Atlanta where she attended college, married the love of her life and lived in an intentional community, she found her way back to her home state of Missouri. She now lives in an antebellum stone house, raises chickens (sometimes) and pretends she lives in the country.

Holly may be found at her writing home A Lifetime of Days, on twitter @HollyAGrantham &
on her  facebook  writer page.  

Living Out The Prequel

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Living Out The Prequel

If I am a story
Or a story is me
And we are turning pages
There is this unfolding
My breath is held and
I may forget to breathe

But living does not rest on whether
I remember
Or I forget

It is the mystery of baited breath
God grants me this until the end
And did God feel this way
On the days, one and two
Knowing what he knew of all that lay ahead
Knowing all he knew
About the peonies in shades of flesh and rose and the oyster with its hidden pearl
The sound of rain and rainy drops
Slowly tickling the backs
Of a parched and desert dry cracked earth

Do I know I know not what is to come

But breathing deep and breathing fast
Swallowed up by the fog of a heaviness
Expectant in the coming next
I know as any mother knows
To hold the baby to her breast and sit back
Long and languid, rest in waiting
Love

I know as the salt marsh tide knows
When to ebb and
When to flow
And in its knower
Knows that it will never stop

I know that I am walking
Through the days of prequel joy
Pregnant in expectancy
Of splitting hairs of heavy wait
Of counting stars and counting dreams
Of wondering how much joy a soul can hold

All the while entangled
In a mystery of how will it all end
And when
In the days left in the waning
Of the remaining

Until healing comes to all

Again

And the prequel gives way
To what He has in store

So I will turn the page
Savoring every word
That was
And will to come

Be still
And hear

the prequel

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A Tale Of Two Churches, A Tale of Two Holidays

A Tale of Two Holidays

It is snowing in places which don’t see much snow. And there is a white out. An indistinguishable cloaking of celebrations. Is it Thanksgiving time, is it Christmas time. They are morphing and blending into a hybrid one. She can see a blur of holiday on the horizon. It is one, no it is two.

Yesterday we bought lights. I said we can hang them but not plug them in. Preparing, but straddling. Doing something, but remaining decidedly present in a Thanksgiving mindset. I am glad we did neither. Because for our home, spiritually and physically, we slowed down for Thanksgiving. We freed up mental space, spiritual room for more of Thanksgiving.

Unless I burrow down and turn off more of the world, I will continue to hear and see early Christmas. And that is okay, because I can look to and dwell on the birth of Christ in the rooms of my heart. And prepare Him room.

But I want a Thanksgiving-tide a season focusing on everything that is. I want a little separation of heart space. To be a thanksgiving family. To be a thanksgiving mother. To focus my energy for a least a few more days on extreme gratitude. So that I can fuel up my heart for the other 364 days, to be a year-round person of thankfulness.

In just a few more days it will be Black Friday. Admittedly I want to hide, run away from all that day represents. I can choose not to participate, yes, always.

Maybe one day the day following Thanksgiving can be re-named “The Day of Residual Thanks”. Where we are so full, not of food and excess, but of gratefulness and gratitude that it spills out. Everywhere. Marking the world, telling other souls of what joy is found in living a life colored grateful. Not black. But the colors of extreme joy. For whatever we have. For just what we have. And just be. A Thanksgiving People, once again.

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

A Tale Of Two Churches

She stepped off the front stoop of her little brick
home

Turned right, past the prayer labyrinth
Walked, thirty seconds
in her Alice gait, I am late for a very important date
blown by brisk winds at her back

Turned the knob of the old door, worn and gray
And entered into a sacred salty Sunday
Sanctuary, the church named for a saint

taking her seat beside him, it is now almost their pew
doing that claiming a seat thing that Protestants like to do
Wriggling in close to him to warm her soul, her body
too, touched by the cold
Her seat, worn red velvet, she thinks to herself
Frozen in time, there is nothing in this world she could possibly
Need, she is here
Saying the Nicene Creed
And the Eucharist and the Hymns
Hemmed in by him and extravagantly humble stained-glass
Blinded by beauty, familiar
She is home
Where the baby garbles a sweet uh-oh
And the gray-haired  lady,so regal and tall and very very old
Coughs and clears her aging throat
Where the sermon sings  truth where good news comes giddy
announced to the almost full pews
“we bought a water buffalo.”
Oh she is home.

But  when she stepped off the stoop
She could have turned left, too
Turned the key on the SUV
Turned left then left again on Hightway Seventeen
Driven down the four-lane road
Littered not with trash
But with splattering scenes of the sea
And salt marsh grass
Yes
She could have turned the door
Of the rather new church
Built with the reclaimed
Wood, to look old
Starred at the old rugged cross
While listening to the very new
Songs of praise

She holds a dual-citizenship
Feels a bit bilingual
As her heart lingers
Straddles two sanctuaries
And she wonders
Whose idea was it
After-all
To be forced to make a decision
About church and worship.

She may be a very long while
In this place
Of indecision, spiritual ambidextrious
Raising her hands, no, now leaving them down
Living within the body of Christ
A soul without the physical walls
Of a holy home.
Stretched, yet happy
Halved, yet whole
Wandering, yet not lost
No not at all.

A member of the body
The body of Christ,
Alone.
And she is at peace at last
At home.

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Joining Laura Boggess at Laura Boggess dot com for Playdates At The Wellspring

And Michelle DeRusha at Michelle DeRusha dot com