The Witness

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The Witness

It was deemed that I was worthy
I took a vague vow of bearing
That my senses would capture
Catalogue the beauty
Override the pain
War analogies make me weary
(Messy mirror of the bloody real thing)
And yet, I am suited up, armed and ready
Battling as correspondent in the middle
Of this war
Rallying, as a witness
Recorder of the beauty
Crying out
I swear to tell the truth
There is beauty in the pain
Hope with me
We were called to tell these stories
Joy will not die, shattered
Scattered on the cynic’s broken

Battlefield

The witnesses remind us
Hand raisers, promising to tell nothing
But the truth
Hallowed is the ground where beauty lives
Buried are the memories
Mercy holds an olive branch
White flags fly from pole and post
My eyes have seen the glory

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Maple Syrup On Sunday

Maple Syrup On Sunday

Quiet lulls like soul food, soulful
Margins widen
Again
After the long lonesome loud
Period.
Sometimes you have to call it like it is
Or was
My soul was drowning in noise
Of churning, change
Learning, living, out loud
Speeding Road Runner and Wylie-like
Braking at the last minute
At  the edges of the cliffs
And not the white ones of Dover
Pastoral and pure
More like
The ragged jagged ones
Barrel rolling over the
Falls
Nearly, but bailing out right before rolling over the
Niagara white foamy frothing falls with fierce
Break-neck speed
Like the Tasmanian Devil swirling twirling
I don’t buy that Devil in the Details
Stuff, not one bit
But in the racing like
Nascar through life
Yep
He may crouching tiger
Lay there ready to pounce

But mercifully
Peace seeps in, creeps in
Like maple syrup drips out of a tapped tree
Blanketing a stack of white and fluffy
Flap jacks with sugary sweet
Jesus peace like a river
Re-attends

And life is wondriful
A hybrid blend of glorious wonderful
Again

When Oliver wrote those words about joy and crumbs
I get it, really get it
And if joy were a condiment
It should be maple syrup on Sunday
Poured out slow and steady
So thick and sticky
You couldn’t wash it off if you tried
It wants to linger in the air
On fingers
Counters
Somehow leaving traces of itself everywhere
Creating stagnant pools
In cracks and crevices
Of joy
Sweet like maple syrup on a slow motion morning
Quiet lulls like soul food, soulful
Margins widen
Again

And poetry
Is born again.
pink beach sadie

Now Is The Time For Noticing

c.s. lewis quote

Wishing you a day of cloud gazing, petal counting, flower picking, pumpkin patch bumbling. Backyard grilling, football cheering, page turning, and fireplace burning. Hoping for you a night of sunset staring, and sofa stretching, bicycle riding, and dream making. May you rest, nap, run, walk into a day which holds all that refreshes your parched and weary soul.

May you take notice of the smallest gifts, the tiniest blessings, and the richest moments in this day.

And may you make lots of time for play. Ready set go notice.

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Ya’ll I am so honored, humbled and pleased to have a poem of mine, Tattooed By Grace featured at Burnside Writer’s Collective. It would be a gift to have you follow this link over to Burmside and read my offering. Very excited to be selected to be a poetry contributor there. Wow.
burnside

The series as it unfolds, may be read here. Today is day 6.

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Body-slammed By Grace ( And A Poem)

Some weeks just feel more grace-filled than others. Maybe they truly are. Or maybe it is our perspective. Perhaps grace comes in waves. Flowing freely some weeks and dripping slowly drop by drop during some drier seasons. Or maybe it is a matter of the lens we use to view this wild and crazy grace laden life we each are given to live.

This week was full and long and lovely. And I was body-slammed by grace. Felt the weight of its glory bearing down on my soul.  Washing over me like a tidal wave of wonderful palpable moments. Sweet and savory, a sensory overloaded stretch of amazing grace. A covering of a canopy painted in shades of neon and pale, brilliant and faded, but always, mercifully blanketed by it. Exposed. Receptive. Receiving. Surprised. By Grace.

elizabeth's path

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Vingettes of Grace

One
I got lost really turned around in circles lost. In a fog figuratively and in the rain literally. Bound and determined to eventually find the T-mobile store. I know, don’t judge. I needed a new phone. But what God had in mind was for me to be touched by the words I exchanged there with a total stranger. This is a story. This is a poem. This was the heart of human connection at a soulful and spiritual place. It wasn’t deep but it was wide. I brushed up against the cloth of his garment. He embraced me, this tall and dark stranger. He asked me if I was a Christian. This is a story. A very long one. But it left me dazed by grace. And in awe of what was waiting for me in the rat’s maze of my lost wanderings in a city I don’t yet know well.

Robert Lewis Stevenson

Two
I left town for a week or so and I am now on my fifth week away from my family, with my family of birth. I am lonely but not alone. Filled with joy, but torn into pieces. By the separation from pieces of my heart that are a five hour drive from here. This is a ministry but  I am being ministered to. A paradox. A new paradigm of love.  While I am serving in a small way I am healing.  This is my Africa. This is my foodbank. This is my shelter.  I am where I was called to go. I am home but I am not home.  I am body-slammed by the ministry of presence. And I am the receiver of the gift.

Three
I am wearing a new hat these days. I am a book editor and a proofreader and on the team of a book launch. My mother wrote a book. For ten years she invested in this project of the heart. A story that was handed to her in the form of letters over 100 years old. She weaves the tapestry of this story. One of a girl whose parents send her to Virgina while they serve as missionaries in the interior of Brazil in the late 1800’s. It is beautifully told by my mother who doesn’t remember writing the story. Dementia took that part of her journey from her.  Over two hundred pages, Homeward is a historical novel based on the letters of Esther, her great-grandmother who is separated from her family who remains in Brazil while Esther is sent to school and to extended family. This is a story. This is a poem. Here in  an eruption of grace, in the birthing of the book and the dedication of my father to have it published lies a love story. You will read more from me of the unfolding of book and its journey to be published. A grace explosion right before me. I am glad that I stayed. I like this hat. It fits me. Maybe not well.  Amazed, truly, it even fits me at all.

the glider

Four
I had my words go a couple of places this week. Humbled and honored that they have wings.  That they were invited to  fly out of the nest. I stand under the shower-head of rushing grace to think that they, my little fledglings are journeying elsewhere. I would be honored to have you see one of the places my poem “I Was Just Wondering Because I Am Weird That Way” landed. It was written a couple of Sundays ago after I visited a church with my parents. It is the overflow of my heart after a worship service in which grace was manifested, moistening  my wide-eyed windows to the world. Click this link:

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And Tweetspeak Poetry ran a little piece of mine this week under their “Literary Tour” section. If you missed it you can read it here. I enjoyed the experience that lead to writing the piece, and even more so the comments and feedback from readers. Thank you. If you haven’t visited Tweetspeak, maybe now would be a great time to check out the words, the wit, the wonder that awaits at this fun home for poetry. And you can add to my joy.  It would drip grace over me if you have time to read and leave a footprint over there. Thanks friends, in advance.

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A Poem

I joined Tweetspeak Poetry this week for their poetry prompt “Bottled and Canned”. The creative folks over there threw this one out.  Clever., huh? What a fun way to be stretched creatively.  Here is my poem:

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Canned Hands

We played with the long green veins
In church
Ran our fingers down and up
While he preached the sermon
Children, restless
Intrigued by the vessels big and raised
Called them worms
Back in the days
Of her youth and ours
Now she reaches out for me
I count on them to be there
Wish I could bottle it up
or can it, place it on the top shelf
That warm feeling
We knit fingers, grasp and clasp
I want to save those ten digits, flesh and bone
Preserve the love found in them
Can the goodness
Preserve her love
Better than any bottled potions that the Ride Aid sells
A mother
And her aging love, suspended in time
Held