Saturday, September 22, 2007

Discernment and truth

Although this is written in a call and response format, it is also inner dialogue. Both at the same time. Multiple layers of truth. Just like so much else.

Truthful Discernment
They say: You are too young.
I say: God has always called the young.

They say: You are too idealistic.
I say: Great vision is the product of faith.

They say: What about your gender?
I say: God called me, for who I am.

They say: You don't know enough.
I say: Teach me.

They say: Can you lead?
I say: Will you follow?

They say: You are too strong.
I laugh with the knowledge of my weaknesses.

They say they speak the truth.
I know the truth to be greater than either of us.

Written 9/14/07

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Journey

Week of many posts, I guess. Well, seven day period of many posts. But I didn't write this one. I'm sticking it under 'music video' because that's the medium it is, but this more than most songs is poem-put-with-music(and-in-this-case-pictures). But it's a good poem and I like the old maps. And it's my blog, so I can.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Second Poem

Here's the second poem I wrote using the line from Milosz. Find the first one below or at this link
There are a little more than 12 months separating the two poems. So much happened in those months that I cannot condense into a few sentences, much less semi-anonymous sentences. I can only offer you this.

Day so perfect it could only be a dream
Healthy-er for the first time ever
Pills and stress gone
And a little part of me

Morning comes, alarms go off, Dreams end
And who is to say it wasn’t a nightmare?
Or perhaps it was just the me of dreams,
The one I never quite recognize

Dreams end and so did this,
Here I am again
Finding new balance, new normal
A new which seems so familiar

The morning light, not harsh at all,
Brings an equally gentle and relentless truth:
This is my life
This is who I am

If broken or marred, then only in the now
The temporal, almost gone now of mortality
In the eternal almost here now of God,
I am his child, holy and perfect
A dream for another night.

Written 6/23/06

Rereading this poem, I'm not at all sure I like the poetry of it. But I still think there is something in letting you see how very different poems could come from one line.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I've been remiss

I have recently realized that on September 11 I posted something that was personal and important to me, which is fine, but in no way acknowledged the anniversary.
Editorial Note: (feel free to skip right past this to the poem) I am not pleased with the actions my government has taken in the last 6 years. But September 11 isn't about that. It is about the death of so many and how a world mourns and marks the tragic passing of men and women who were daughter or son, husband or wife, mother or father, friend, and generally beloved of someone. In their memory and to honor this loss I offer this poem, which was written for reasons in my own life, but which I hope can describe some part of that loss.

In the midst of grief
All sobs are silent,
Words are gone,
Tears fall without noise

For one cannot describe the abyss
From within
Word and thought are part of life,
Not chaos

To write, to ease
To speak, to comfort
Have no place there

We look in,
We look back
We remember
We try to forget

But when we are there,
We are again mute

Written 6/25/06

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yesterday's Sorrow

So, not so long ago a professor assigned my class the task of writing a poem using the same starting line as Czeslaw Milosz used in one of a selection of poems we had read. This is what I wrote. I am posting it this week because of what is going on this week is about Invisible Illnesses. Next week I will post the second poem I wrote using this same first line.

Yesterday’s Sorrow
A Day so happy it could only be a dream
An interlude filled with hollow gifts
No pain, no pills, no needles,
No shadows in my family’s eyes

In my mind I can name it: Normal
Yet I cannot speak this name for fear,
Dreams dissolve you see

My Heart names it also: False, Forbidden, Lost
For Time cannot be spun backwards

My days are now marked with pills
My years with doctors visits and tests
And it is easy to get lost in wanting the dream

So easy to miss the wind in the trees, children’s laughter,
The Sun on the lake and the stars at night
To forget the welcoming hugs

But sometimes yesterday’s sorrow is still too great
Too tempting, too easy to fall into
But even then the gifts of dream
Are hollow, shattered by today’s realities, necessities

And I know that here is where I must make my peace
Between the dreams and the endless tomorrows
Here today, every today
Again and again and again
Written Spring 2005

For those of you who want to find Milosz's original poem (because I really did take the first line and go somewhere very different), I recommend New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001 . It's a large book, but I promise, he's really good. For more info on Milosz check out wikipedia's page on him .

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How Long

I like this one. It's probably not one of my all time favorites, but only because most of those are something I wrote in response to a significant event. This one just came. And I like it. I also thought it might be irreverently appropriate as many people go back to school somewhere around now.
Formatting note: the way I wrote this every line that doesn't begin with 'How' or 'Have' is indented. This is both small and important because poetry, as I write it is visual too and formatting matters. I can't figure out how to make this happen here. Instead I've tried to create a similar effect through capitalization. But I wanted you to know how it should be. Any helpful hints from the more experienced?

How long O God, How long?
How long, O God, have you listened to this cry?
from Children in Egypt
and those wandering in the desert
from Children without a king,
and those with unjust kings.
from Children living in Exile,
and from those who have no home
from a Child crying from a Garden
and from those who loved him
How long, O God, have your Children waited?
for the answer left unspoken
for the action left undone
for the comfort held unseen
How long, O God, have there been tears?
did they begin outside the garden
or did Adam and Eve trip on the root of a beautiful tree
How long, O God, has there been pain?
did you name it good
or were you the first to feel it,
when your children ate what you had forbidden
Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy.
number our tears,
note the shaking of our sobs
record our cries to you
Have mercy O Lord have mercy
for we are mortal
and fear what the future brings us
Have mercy my Lord,
For you seem to love us.

Written 3/30/06