Archives For My Poetry

Inhaled Grace Ignites

.

Relentless, I hear the sighs.
The “talentless” noticed by nothingness and its endless siren’s cry.
Sinking into the sands of insignificance,
.          head lowering with
.          a sun and its sinking glow;
.          heart being dragged under by the weight of its undertow.

Hear the black dog that snarls and rides with the incoming tide.
See the fight from within.
As the fire of creativity lights up embers,
.          and inhaled grace ignites.
For this battle belongs the beat of drums,
.          foot soldiers, metaphors, the Rock of offense;
.          the white horse, its rider and the march of the Second Adam.

Once more, embroiled in a stand-off with emptiness.

.        Once more, engulfed in battle against listlessness.

.                 Once more, pushing back echoes that drift through the mist of a toxic past.

This battle is fought in the shadows.
Where fists meet walls in nightmares,
and exhausted silence follows.
Each bit of shade.
Every movement.
One more potential mask.
Insincerity and plasticity,
.               hiding behind ersatz love, fabricated charity and a pristine facade.

Against which there is no retreat; no slide into the dark,
No giving in to the Black dog, its bite or grave digging bark.

Only complete surrender to the scarred rider on White horse;
The alpha, the omega; the finish and the start.


(©RL2017)

‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (James 4:7. ESV)

If you are among the few readers of this blog, or perhaps among the one or two Facebook friends that are following what I create musically, you may be interested in this.

I’ve managed to pin a melody to some rhythm and bass that I put together a few weeks ago. Sometimes when I’m working on an idea, I’ll come up with multiple different avenues and if they’re good enough, I’ll record those and set them aside for another day.

This particular instrumental came out of some prayerful playing and is as it is. I used three different guitars for this piece and the free play (not pre-programmed) piano option on garage band. The title comes from a poem a wrote a few months back called Soliloquy & Symphony.

Both the poetry and music are original. I was faced with somewhat of a dilemma with the end result. My time spent mixing this split the song into separate versions. Each version is alike.The only real difference being the rhythm guitar section.

I had a hard time deciding on which tune to stick with so after much consideration I’ve decided on posting both.

I’ve also thrown in a poem for good measure, and in case you’re wondering, a bagatelle is a short piece of music written for piano.

Let me know which version you prefer. I’m partial to version 2, but also really like the more full, gritty sound the rhythm provides in version 1.

Pax Vobiscum.

Version 1: with rhythm.

Version 2: without rhythm.


(©RL2017)

.

Wings stretch and earth darkens.

From West to East, wrists to wood
From the river of bitter vinegar, to where it merges with blood from the north.

South past open flesh,
.                        before which mockery stood.

To where pierced feet meet;
.                        on branch intersecting branch;
.                        where branch kills the vine,
.                        and the vine is laid to rest.

All within the borders
.            of an empire, and an empire’s hornets’ nest.

To where silent spaces are professionally sealed
For fear of blind and impassioned zeal.

Before the scarlet X.
That marks the scarlet spot;

To the place where men and women,
.                  embalm the unforgettable
.                  with a burial cloth.

Look to the place forged by Light;
.       to the heart of where the darkened,
.       once received their sight.

To where the sudden presence of the messenger
disturbed the guards and the still of night.

There you’ll find that death
.         and boulder was no match for Light from Uncreated Light.

There the fire-born, who stands inside this broken enclave.
turns to humanity and sets its gaze.

“From God comes His own humiliation.
This; God’s self-limitation, now become your exaltation.

This unforgettable vertical collision,
lifts the now forgiven.

Therefore, rise as you are raised.

For I tell you the truth, He is Risen!”


(©RL2017)

‘In the person of Jesus Christ, in the death of the Son of God on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. God allowed this humiliation to come upon Himself and this exaltation to be the lot of the other, humanity […] God could not be more glorious as God than in this inconceivable humiliation of Himself to humanity, and the no less inconceivable exaltation of humanity to Himself.’ 

-(Karl Barth, CD. II:1 pp.662-664)

.

.

How many white pages remain blank?

Ink, less applied,

.  an empty space.

Quiet and inkless.

Wisdom left aside.

Abandoned as worthless?

This divorce between mind and matter.

No longer weaving together;

.    leaving what was woven

.     to yesterday’s empty praise.

Worthiness splattered over the blue and white walls of false applause.

Oppressed by the easy choice of scroll, repeat and ignore.

Condolences distributed for dignity,

.     shattered, then gathered up, then strapped to the service

.     of insincerity.

Pinned, posted, paraded;

.     contributions constantly measured against sterilized pixels.

Beauty soaked and shivering;

.     beauty left drifting;

.         beauty become hostage;

.            lost, gagged and beaten.

It’s pain become high-priced entertainment footage.

Beauty longing for its pain to be known,

When from ashes, beauty rises with new strength to carry its own

Deep within, the Word moves and lifts the injured,

now flightless,

beyond its cage,

Beauty freed, breathes life onto the page.

No longer vacant, this paper wraps itself around wounded words

Under God, clear vision.

In Jesus Christ, one commission.

Through His Spirit, the death of oblivion.


(RL2017)

‘…I will not leave you as orphans’ 

(John 14:18)

.

God paints with nature.

Though He isn’t a picture,
He’s involved in it.

Though behind this art,
He chooses to remain hidden;

choosing when and where to make Himself known
to His creation.

Revelation incarnate.
Spoken and unspoken.

Word made flesh,
via covenant, grasp and gracious breath

The knowledge of God begins with acknowledgement,
by way of The Presupposition;
the rock of Truth,
by which all truth is measured with precision.

Still this knowledge is limited.
God exists in freedom
and by this has chosen to voice His own self-limitation.

For the God of hope,
of Christ, joy, love, justice and peace
knows the deceptive heart of His once innocent,
now sin-ravaged beast.

Thus our struggle for an adequate human explanation.

For if we had gained His comprehensive capacity
It would intoxicate all of our faculties;
senses driven mad with lust for divine equality,
like a Nazi, I.S.,
or Bolshevik socialist.
God to become another power utility
conquered, killed; dissected in a laboratory.

We know because God speaks,
this is where He has chosen to meet.

This:

The wonder of God’s intention for creation;
God dies for our salvation – resurrection is vindication.
His master plan,
the centerpiece of His revelation
His beaten, torn and crucified Son,
the apocalypse of the anointed One.

Though darkness; Nothingness seeks to devour
to this Conqueror it has had to submit all it’s power.

This, the cross and the end of the abyss.

The final curtain call, where it will no longer exist.

So it is, with horror and jubilation,
creation groans in anticipation.
For rising through darkness is the proclamation

“On the third day God forged
our emancipation!”

Now reason states
that where He speaks, He exists;
therefore, then,
where He has spoken,
we ought to respond with both ears open.

So in faith, we join this decorated Victor
and the never ending chorus
of His decorous vista.


(RL2017)

‘Those who have never been told of Him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.’ 

– (Isaiah 52:5; Romans 15:21)

.

Flail

The wheat and tares

Flail

The winding, twisted arguments and their hypocritical stares

Flail

.  The grinding edge of the apocalypse;

.  Godspeed the Prince of Peace and an end to greedy politics!

Flail

The revolutionary, veiled promises and their violence that haunts darkened thrones

Flail

. The path of injustice as it drives its warlike wedge toward our homes

Flail

.  The tyrants, who’ve enslaved people to their ideas

Flail

. their sycophants and their flood of empty tears.

Flail

. the superior denier and self-righteous believer,

.      who fails to see no grace for either

Flail

. “parent one” and “parent two” which replace gender specific roles;

.       those who’d kill mother and father,

.       and rob little children,

.       to placate selfish “trolls”.

Flail

. the revanchist;

.           controversialist,

.            who fixes an argument so it’s won;

.            where 4 + 4 equals 5, and its forbidden to correct the sum.

Flail

. vanity metrics and its socio-political funds,

.      where a hashtag can destroy an honest man

.      and any good work that he has done.

Flail

.     the auctioneers and their ideological lunge

.      who play the people’s court,

.      to shoot to kill with a social media gun.

Flail

. the willing beggar who swallows this garbage hole.

. Who then thinks, is, speaks, and blindly does, whatever the bloody-hell they’re told.

.

But, hail to the resistance and its gladdening light

Hail to those who’ve not surrendered to the storm, or to its encroaching night.

Hail to the King of Kings,

. The time tense dialectical, piercing presence of the Christ.


©RL2017

 Artwork credit: John Martin, ‘The Last Man’, 1849

Beach with high swell

.

“I’m a nobody”, said the somebody,

.     on the sunny side of the shore.

The water’s edge;

The precipice;

The moon and its tidal call.

“The somebody”, said the nobody,

“Might breathe this in with awe

But, not me,

I’m looking out to sea

Beyond the rhythm of it all

Through pierced time

.   the living Word,

.   like this water we here see,

.   pours forth,

.   turns up,

.   as waves rise,

.   when a storm arrives

.   and rain begins to fall.

From beyond this comes the Faithful One,

.   whose faithful ones He seeks,

.    He who shows the scars of the crucified

Of thorns, of nails, of spear, on side, on hands, on feet.”


(©RL2017)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1933 ‘Come, O Rescuer’:

‘Lift up your heads, the host of you who are bowed down, humiliated, despondent, like a beaten
army with heads hanging. The battle is not lost – raise your heads, the victory is yours![…]
This is no time to shake your head, to doubt and look away –

freedom, salvation, redemption is coming. Look up and wait!
Raise your heads! Be strong and without fear! – for Christ is coming!’

(Collected Sermons, Isabel Best [ed.] Fortress Press p.114)