Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

The Moving Clouds

It doesn’t feel much like heaven now,
Though I get glimpses of it.
Those who nearly die
And have visions of heaven, or hell —
Live transformed by gratitude.

I don’t know why
Some see heaven
And others do not.

Perhaps we have to train
Our hearts and eyes.
Perhaps we need to deliberately
Think
Of seeming coincidences
As real miracles.

We have forgotten our wonder,
Filled with self-importance,
Thinking we are the only creators.
What a heavy burden to bear!

Do you ever stare
At the moving clouds,
And wonder?

The Geese Fly South

Why do the geese fly south,
Through never-ending seasons,
Only to fly north again?

I cannot comprehend the rhythms of life,
Like making a bed,
Only to have it messed up again.

Perhaps the rhythms, like an endless tide,
Or waves that ebb and flow, go “left” and “right”,
Give glory to God, in every season —
We need a rhyme; we need a reason.

We need the heat, the cold — if I may be so bold.
We need the peace of winter freezing,
The new spring buds our nostrils teasing,
The summer heat, and frenzied days,
That turn to autumn — the harvest phase.

The work, the play, exhaustion, rest,
The climax, quiet, the tears, the jest,
The hardship, ease, the stress, the peace,
Success and failure; they never cease.

Up and down, pride and shame,
Through it all, our God’s the same,
And every breath we ever take,
He watches tirelessly, for our sake.

The Stealth of Survival

The deer are seldom seen by day on our street.
They stay in the nearby woods
Until all (or most) neighbors
Are safely in bed.
Dim darkness will be their cloak of safety.

Like ghosts, they silently emerge
From the nearby woods,
Grazing on cold lawns and shrubs
And leaving behind
Only their telltale tracks in the snow
To surprise us in the morning.

Changing Lightbulbs

I’m changing lightbulbs

Instead of cursing the darkness

Instead of cursing the lightbulb company

Instead of cursing someone who might have broken them

I’m changing lightbulbs

And thanking God that I could afford new ones

And thanking God that there will be more light

And thanking God for my husband who helped me

I’m changing lightbulbs

And hoping I can give some to those who don’t have any

And hoping there will be more light than darkness

And hoping that we can work together

I’m changing lightbulbs

Instead of sitting around

Instead of having a frown

Instead of getting down

Let there be light!

I Long to Dwell

Self-knowledge:

I long to dwell in a gentle place

Where acceptance doesn’t depend on race.

Where sins are forgiven, each person driven

By self-knowledge of their own sin.

Understanding:

I long to dwell where people smile;

They say to me, “Sit down a while.”

They listen quietly, as do I;

And understanding, we say “aye”.

Safety:

I long to dwell where children are safe

No longer victims of hate or rape.

No longer killed inside the womb,

Nor harmed by parents’ angry gloom.

Growth:

I long to dwell with an inner peace,

Having confessed my anger and grief,

No longer concerned what others think —

Nor under their opinions shrink.

Humility:

I long to love as Jesus loves,

To fly like an eagle or a dove,

To have a purpose that fits like a glove,

And remember my gifts have come from above.

A Piece of Heaven

What a gift to walk today

‘Midst falling leaves, by river’s run.

To hear the birds and crickets sing,

Walk under trees in dappled sun.

I do not know this wild wood-land,

Suburban-bred, not woodsman’s child.

Yet, not so wild as it could be;

The asphalt makes the trail seem mild.

Some leaves that fell, so many pressed

By feet and wheels, a thousand times,

As if the leaves on trail embossed,

Of passing life to be the signs.

And mild, too, the weath’r today;

It draws the people out to play

They walk, they talk, they bike, they run.

A peaceful time; most smile and wave.

In wilder places I have been,

But urban trails, they make me smile.

Oasis in a crowded world,

A piece of heaven for a while.

There Is a God

There is a God, unfath’mable,
Whom many do not know.
Dark forces work continually 
So that our faith won’t grow.


They work on unsuspecting minds
And turn our thoughts away
From heavenly things, from angel’s wings;
Mankind’s their greatest prey.


There is a God Whose love is deep,
Who knows our ev’ry care.
He woos us with a perfect love;
His love is everywhere.


He never lies; nor does he cheat,
Nor practice any foul deceit.
He will not force His ways on us,
But waits in patience so discreet.


A love that’s forced can never be;
A real love must be free choice.
For freely chosen love’s the way
We’ll enter heaven and rejoice.

Every Place

Every place

Has its ups and downs —

The smiles and the frowns,

The spooks and the clowns,

Disgraces or crowns.

You’ll find

Snakes or bugs,

Scorpions or slugs,

Crows or eagles,

Mosquitos or seagulls.

Every place

Has climate and weather,

The storms and the thunder,

Hurricanes or earthquakes,

Humidity or drought.

Every place

Has interesting neighbors

Who do you kind favors,

They help with their labors,

And pick up your papers.

Every place

Has frowning faces —

Won’t give you the time,

To judgment inclined,

Won’t lend you a dime.

Every place

Has pleasures and dangers —

Or are they both one?

Pleasure can be danger

If overdone.

Every life

Has its moments

Of goodness and closeness,

Of fear or of faith,

Of love or of hate.

O Lord,

Give me hope,

So with life I can cope —

To keep a deep peace

As my faith You increase.

If Not for the Bird Songs

If not for the bird songs

My mind would be lost

With all the changes

With all the strangeness 

If not for the fairy fireflies

I would have lost the wonder

My mind torn asunder

I would have gone under

If not for the thunder

I would make the blunder 

Of sinking in sadness

Being blind to the gladness 

If not for your smile

I would have dwelt a long while

In a pit of despair

Might have torn out my hair 

If not for your kindness

I’d live only in blindness

A desert of dryness

So listless and lifeless

If not for God’s comfort

My life would be forfeit

My joy would be dormant

My thoughts tending morbid 

O, the greatness of God

Who lifts up the lowly 

Who brightens our story

Let us give Him the glory!

ON MOVING TO THE MIDWEST IN SUMMER

A distant cloud, with flashing light. 

A soundless thunder, a sense of wonder. 

Fireflies flirting; the sidewalk skirting. 

The air hangs heavy, hot and wet; 

I wipe away the beads of sweat. 

The bugs are biting; a little frightening. 

Imagining fairies riding fireflies, 

In evening silence, their dance delighting. 

For quite some time, I forget the biting. 

Until I wake at 3 a.m.; the itching has begun again. 

My long-gone mother comes to mind. 

She prayed for me; her heart was kind. 

So many changes; can’t keep track.

Need to recall– God’s got my back.

He comes to fill what I now lack.

Exhaustion is my current test;

In God I need to take my rest.

His plan for me must be the best.

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