Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cozy

When gray slides over, and snow piles high,
And the fire lends cozy to the room,
And hearts, deep warmed by blanket and mug,
Sing along with the crackling tune;

Then we remember that thing we forgot:
The sweet charm of Winter's long gloom.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seasons Of Languish, Mornings Of Dance

There are those seasons when life is harsh,
And refuses to grant us success,
Instead it withholds, and obstructs, and says no,
Even though we plead with our best.

But too, are the glorious gifting days
When answers flow like a stream,
When solutions long sought are finally caught,
And at last - We can dance the dream!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Experience

Frightening lightening and ranting rain,
We run from the clouds and the storm.
But when the noise has come and gone,
In freshness, the land is reborn.

And so are we, truth be known,
By the storms of life along the way.
Something happens in the fear of it all -
Our fears are washed away.

And we're born anew, much improved.
We've survived and overcome.
And in that freshness, we spring again
Now to find, we're more than our sum.

The Plan

I have a plan and the plan is good.
And I'm excited by all that it holds.
But then I have to work the plan,
And fit myself to its mold.

This part is hard. And I'm often bored.
And I wonder why I even started.
Before you know it, my knees are weak,
And all my resolve, departed.

But then I hear God's Spirit speak,
The words that I know to be true,
"In your patience you possess your soul.
Work the plan; and the plan will work for you."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lesson From A Robin

I'm a robin - and my time has come again.
The snow is gone, and the season's song
Is laughter and shared warmth with friends.

The trees spurt growth, and the colors burst,
And again I find, with sweet passing of time,
I'm saved! from mean Winter's gray curse.

So for a season, I'll hop in the grass,
And chase crickets for lunch on the fence.
And I'll fly from the cat, and dart like a bat,
Cause it's Spring! and fun only makes sense.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Cathedral

On seeing a beautiful old church in Brandon, Mississippi

Oh great white timbered monument,
Whose spire would touch the sky,
Do you think that by your height
You'll reach the God so high?

Or you, oh red brick counterpart,
With oaken doors so thick,
Is your grandeur one with God?
Is He encased in brick?

Is the way by earthy works?
Can we build a way to God?
Can our need be satisfied
With yet, one more facade?

Nay! I say. That's not the way
For it's only by his grace,
And not the beams of human schemes
That bring us to His Place.

No mortal works can ere suffice.
They are but hollow frames.
And when the winds of judgment blow,
They'll never stand the strain.

They'll crumble with the boards and bricks
And stained glass windows high.
Like all the works of self made men
Beneath God's searching eye.

For He searches not for monuments
To the grand designs of men,
But rather for the human heart
That yields itself to Him.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Flowers Of Truth

On considering the privilege of access to God's truth

We walk in the secret garden of God,
A holy and hidden place.
Yet here we walk - without restraint -
As a privilege of His grace.

We rest among the flowers of truth
That for men of every age
Have yielded the fragrance of knowledge
And enlightened the eyes of the sage.

Oh! can it be that we're really here,
And allowed here every day,
To handle these lovely, living truths
As a child consumed in play.

Thank you, Lord, for privilege bought
Which we now can take for granted
And think it normal every day
To smell these flowers you've planted.

Substance

Upon contemplating the "rock stars" of our time, musical and otherwise

What then?
When the profane is promoted
And the truly good, made low

What then?
When the pretense is praised
And the reality, ignored

What then?
When our mask is celebrated
And our substance is in the wind

What then?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

God's End

Lord I cannot see the end of you.
Your bounds are much too far.
Your bigger than my universe,
Farther than... Oh! my stars!

So - while I'm sure I'll never see,
Still, I've seen a better part
For I've gone boldly past the veil
And looked upon your heart.

And I surmise that could I see
The end of all you are,
It would be but mere reflection
Of this familiar part.

The Day's Death

As I watched a late fall day fade into night

How sad to see a dying day
As the glory of its brightness fades,
To watch the waning rays recede,
Where once the sun so boldly played.

And the sadness of the day's decline,
Becomes so poignant near the night.
But sadder still is the spirit's zeal
When it gives way in the fight.

Could ere there be more throbbing pain
Than to live in the end of an age,
Where men have walked in league with God,
But pride has turned the page.

And the light of right conceides retreat
And the darkness begins to grow
And the souls of men move slowly on
Toward the night in evil's tow.

Oh! Restore again the noon day, Lord,
Make faith again sublime
Restore to us a white-hot heart
Please Lord, restore us - one more time.

The Silent Soldier

A tribute to my Dad, "Snowy," and to all good dads.
Thanks seems so very inadequate. But thanks, Dad.


I watched a Silent Soldier fight,
But comprehend - I never could,
The sacrifice or daily toll,
Nor the cause for which he stood.

I saw him wounded many times,
But I never felt his pain.
And oft he did the hero's deed,
But never glory claimed.

This Silent Soldier in the front,
While I was in the rear,
I never knew to turn and run,
Nor bend beneath his fears.

Day by day he fought the fight,
And cried his unseen tears.
And though I could not see before,
Now, today, it's clear.

Now I understand his cause;
And I understand his pain.
I understand his sacrifice,
And worse - the daily strain.

For I've assumed the soldier's place,
and the import of his seat.
Now I bear the Father's role.
And the fight comes first to me.

It's common shame that valor's due
is often unextoled,
But it's hard to sense your Dad's full worth
Until his place you hold.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Magic Of An Airplane

What is this song that an airplane sings
to my heart upon the wind?
What is this drawing upon my soul
By this siren made of tin?

From whence this magic
which causes me
to see airfoils, and wing shapes, and streamlined nacelles
in every random spree?

And what makes me stop and stare
with every windborn passing
until it is gone?
And each time, wish that it were not.

Perhaps it is the shape,
streamlined, swept back, sculpted by the wind.
Function and beauty sweetly expressed
in a rare and perfect blend.

Or maybe the colors and the larkish stripes,
the promise of movements yet unmade,
so that even while it stands,
it stirs.

Or flight itself,
when it soars to mock the earthy pull
and then returns to kiss her gently
and but softly rest.

No - I think an airplane's magic
must flow from rhythms deep.
It comes from what I've always been,
And what I longed to be.

Purple Heart Rising

I saw a soldier's heart today.
I wondered at its strength.
It seemed afraid of nothing mortal,
fearless, breadth and length.

It spoke to me of war and pain,
the toll of Freedom's gate.
It spoke to me of sacrifice,
and noble warrior's fate.

It spoke to me of hearth and home,
revered above all else.
And the courage to defend it,
without regard for self.

It spoke to me of fallen dreams,
and a hero's later struggle.
It spoke to me in language red,
for this great heart was purple.

Reality Check

It may look as though I run this train.
I sit in the Engineer's chair.
I push the knobs and pull the levers
That bring the train to bare.

But the Fireman really runs this train
For it's he who makes the steam
Were it not for the faithful fireman
There'd be no need for me.

The Circle Of All

How long prevails the darkness Lord
That snares our dreams
and rears the head of the ugliest things.

We weep and fight and struggle and kill
To have, and to horde,
Only to find that we weep the more.

We crush the dreams of others
To mortar the tower of our own
And still it does not rise.

On any scale the circle of one
Is always far too small.
Enduring joy only lives in the broader circle of all.

And though we emerge from the human sea,
One, alone, to scoff at the rest,
Yet time, and wisdom, and the judgment of God will put us to the test.

And finally, far too late we'll see,
That all along, we were but trapped,
In the circle that was Me.

Where Are Our Children

A lament of the infamous decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States to devalue the life of the unborn.


Where are our children in these troubled days
when their laughter we long to hear?
Where are those flashing, excited eyes
and their tiny contented sighs?

Where are those moments when we're first aware,
somehow through the peek a boos,
And the rhythm and rhyme of our giggling time,
that our love is returned in kind.

Where are the memories of growing up,
those times of joy and pain,
All cherished alike, because they're shared,
all counted by love as gain.

Where are our children? Oh no! Oh God!
They're victims of our own moral sleep.
For our children lie in the grave of convenience
unmourned in the graveyard of greed.

And still we sleep while our children die,
the victims of darkened minds
That speak in a way that - it seems OK,
So on we sleep as they cry.

Where are our children in these troubled days
when their laughter we long to hear?
Where are those flashing, excited eyes
and their tiny contented sighs?

Our children lie in the grave of convenience,
unmourned in the graveyard of greed,
Because we have not awakened ourselves,
To protect as Love would decree.

The Elder's Touch

To the Elder's love, God gives children
That they may grow to fit His mold.
So that later, at the end,
They're refined as precious gold.

And oft times the Elder's love
Becomes the Elder's touch,
Since, to shape the Younger's ready heart,
Brings need for Wisdom's nudge.

The Touch of yes, the touch of no,
The touch that knows just when,
The touch that allows young freedom
Even while it hedges in.

But soon enough this help must fade,
For the Younger must evolve,
And learn to make his steps alone,
And find his own resolve.

But though a parent goes ahead,
Yet, remains the unseen crutch,
For, in the child, reflected still,
Is the Elders loving touch.

My Tears To Yours

I have basked in the light of life's goodness.
I have trod the high hills of sweet peace.
I have laughed in the sunshine of awakening grace.
And, I have captured the joy of the Lord.

But now, well beyond my childhood,
I've discovered the plane of His tears.
It's the place where He cries for those like me.
It's the garden of His grief.

And, I find I'm drawn to this crying place
To embrace the long watch of love.
Lord, may I enter this garden with you
And add my tears to yours?

Science And Faith

I am Science my aged friend,
The new and coming thing.
And now by me men find their way,
And of my treasures sing.

Upon my back must all men go
To cross life's distant sprawl
If they can't get there by me, old friend,
They can't get there at all.

Dear Science you boast of quite a lot,
And you certainly have your place.
But remember this my youthful friend,
You've never seen God's face.

Yet, I can show the man those things,
That, through you, he cannot see.
So, when seeking toward the heavens,
Young friend, he seeks by me.

Thus, you are Science and I am Faith,
And we both must fill our place:
One to serve and one to save,
Oh, do not thwart God's grace.

Fill your place and serve the man,
And help him through the way.
Lend him your strength and let him see
The secrets of his day.

And I, young friend, will help him too,
For I shall take the man
To highest heights in Heavens light
Where he can take God's hand.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

God At Dusk

This poem was inspired by a late Summer afternoon exhibition of God's
matchless grace in the natural beauty of a sunset over Lake Hawkins, Wood County Texas, 2003.


Calmly flows the orange glow through translucent puffs
that give birth to pink
and fill the rippled mirror with their image.

While happy wings fling themselves through high freedom
just because they can
reveling in all that God made them to be.

As softly comes the honeysuckle,
Its siren fragrance tumbling down to water's edge
on the spongy breeze of summer.

Only God can heal this way
at the end of the day.

Only God can merge color, and cool,
and the slow motions of a hot day's end
to make life come again.

Only God can whisper
in this voice of unspoken word
and be so clearly heard - to restore my soul at dusk.

Innocence

As a child we awaken to the peaceful morn,
and the carefree joy of youth.
In freshness, life lies sweet on our heart,
and innocence goes for truth

But then, too soon, comes the growing pain,
which the larger world would impose
Conveyed on the wings of material promise
whose substance we falsely suppose.

And each day we're swept further away,
from the innocence we knew as a child.
Each day we're coaxed a little more
toward the world of want gone wild.

So, on we run after touchable things
as we count their emptiness gain
until that day when we finally see,
their worth so cancelled by the pain.

Oh Lord, may your Day Star dawn a new day.
and restore the fresh joy of our youth.
And then, though old, we'll become your child
And once again know innocence as truth.

I Will Never Forget

A grateful tribute faithful friends inspired by all who so lovingly bound themselves to Andy, our youngest son, and to his family, when he was wounded in Afghanistan.

I will never forget.
Though the seasons of life come and go,
And the winds of adversity blow hard - again,
Still, I will not forget.

Though the world changes,
And new things rise upon the horizon,
And the old and dear things are lost to us all,
I will not forget.

Though my winter comes,
And the life within begins to dim
And the days take back what they gave in the beginning,
Yet, I will never forget.

As long as I can think with a loving mind,
I will never forget the gentleness of your touch upon my wound.
I will never forget your defending friendship against my grief.
I will never forget your faithfulness before I could ask.

And, even when we get home,
And all the tears are gone, and new laughter is our music,
Even then, especially then, I will still be cherishing the sweet memory
Of all that you have been.

Hope

The present looms so large and dark
And the past weighs so heavy.
The future seems so very small
And my plans but shades of gray.

What do I do in a day like this
When surrounded by all my fears?
I press on. I just press on.
In faith, through this veil of tears.

For on this shadowed road I walk
There's comfort from the dread
Because my Christ still walks beside
And, my Almighty walks ahead.

Bright Days

Thank you Lord 
    For sunshine and shadows and tall shade trees,
And their willingness to play in my yard on the breeze.
   How healing they are to my world torn soul
As they whisper the blessing, the sweet blessing of peace,
                    And teach me to forget.