Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Grief

I cannot excise your pain,
The painful, pounding refrain,
The unmet need
Of a  heart that bleeds.


I can only say I’m here
And wipe away a tear,
Or say that God is walking near —
The pain won’t disappear.


You will learn to carry it, accept it. 
And through that burning, searing stab,
The mending bone, the itching scab,
You’ll know you lived and loved.


One day the wound will heal
And only leave a scar.
You’ll know that you are real,
That you have lived and loved.

Blessed Night

Blessed night
Stars are bright
Calming silence
Peaceful quietness

Sleep so softly
Clouds are lofty

Gentle rain
Song’s refrain
Birds sing brightly
Sky is lightening

Dawn begins
Joy within

Given Good Gifts

The world is still turning
The seasons come and go.
My heart is still beating;
Life has its ebb and flow.

The blossoms still open;
The birds still laugh and sing.
My heart can be broken,
But then it sings again.

The children are smiling,
And many others cry.
Some have empty stomachs,
Some hear sweet lullabies.

If you’ve been given good gifts,
Please share them with the world,
And one day love will conquer
All the tragedy unfurled.

Remember California

At my home near the Bay,
Stepping out into the rain-drenched air,
Covering my hair.

And then the rain stopped,
And I sensed other California places
I’ve mostly been.

The snow-chilled air of winter Tahoe,
The sea scents of Half Moon Bay,
A whiff of pungent pines in the Sierras,
Or Central Valley heat, like an oven baking.

You can smell the mud, fishing by a river,
Or at the Elkhorn Slough.
Or catch the skunk’s scent at night while driving,
Hoping death did not cause the fumes..

Did you ever smell the Jeffrey pines at Lassen?
They’re like vanilla pudding!

We all breathe the same air —
Remember California in your dreams.

The Peace I Crave

The mighty eagle spreads its wings.
Upon the waves of wind it sings.
Through mountains, valleys, low and high,
It touches earth; it touches sky.

How will I find the peace I crave?
I must be strong; I must be brave.
From worldly rage, beyond control,
I must protect my living soul.

The mighty eagle spreads its wings;
In storm or sun, its call still rings.
Through mountains, valleys, low and high,
Glides undisturbed in raptured sky.

(with Tom Rodeheffer)

I Saw a Rainbow

I saw a rainbow,
And it held the promise
Of better things to come

My spirits lifted;
I sensed a message
From God, the Holy One …

He had not left me

The storm was passing,
The billowing waves —
Were calming, calming

Down

And rather than destroying,
They lifted me
To better things to come

Armor of God Prayer

(Based on Ephesians 6:10-17)

Dear Lord,

Please gird my loins with Your truth,
Please grant me the breastplate of Your righteousness,
Let me walk in the readiness of the shoes of the gospel of peace,
And let me carry the shield of faith in You;
Let it extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

With the helmet of Your salvation,
Protect me from lies, half-truths, falsehoods, and deceptions,
From fear, worry, negativity, and anxiety,
From pride, arrogance, and prejudice.
Grant me, Lord, protection from
Depression, discouragement, dejection, desperation, and despair.

And I ask for the sword of Your Spirit,
Which is Your Word.

Let me read it, re-read it, memorize it,
Chew on it, meditate on it, digest it, and contemplate it.
Let me sing it out, shout it out,
Proclaim it and acclaim it,
But most of all, help me to LIVE Your Word.

Amen.

When Fear Comes to Haunt You

When fear comes to haunt you,
Just say, “I am not going there.”
When fear comes to taunt you,
Just say, “Your lies I will not bear.

“The Master said, “Be not afraid,”
And on His shoulder gently laid
My trembling heart,
And said again, “Be not afraid.”

In the Melting Pot

It’s a land of many strangers,
In crowds — and some lone rangers.
You might be in some danger,
But making friends — a game changer.

You look for what’s in common:
“Do you like pasta, or ramen?”
“Do you say ‘ae-men’ or ‘ah-men’?”
“Or how about ‘crawl-ING’ or ‘crawl-IN’?

You want to be understood,
But you don’t know if you should
Speak up or keep your peace — 
“Just pass the paprika, please.”

It can be so confusing —
The culture clash I’m losing.
But having no fear, must dry my tears —
Here’s wisdom for the years:

You look for the best in people,
Look up to the heights, like a steeple.
It’s others’ problem if they mistreat you,
God, who is love, won’t reject you.

There’ll always be those who mistrust you,
Or just tend to misunderstand you.
It’s just human nature; they don’t have the big picture.
Let it go, and you’ll be the victor.

Pleading

Pleading with you, Lord — 
The world at times seems cold,
My courage less than bold.

Emptiness does threaten,
The world my spirit dampens;
Please let a new thing happen.

I cling to You in trust,
My faith in You a must,
Till I go down to dust.

Deep down, there’s something solid
Since childhood I have followed —
Your Name, may it be hallowed.

Though many times I’ve wandered;
My talents I have squandered,
But then, forgiveness pondered.

Your love; I don’t deserve it,
So let me be Your servant,
And sing Your praises fervent.

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