hold fast

hold fast to me and we will be one flesh
and set a precious orbit round this vow
of jewels and thorns we’ve yet to know or seek
and roads to where His wondrous grace allows

concessions for another’s sake, and love
that’s tender in the face of pain or strife
bolstering the ribs we share like beams
that frame a strong and sweeter sunlit life

commit with me to prize and tend our core
it’s halves, a flawed and hopeful pair of souls
replacing corners meant to trap or cut
with curves that mend and eagerly restore

and in this starry sweep of early pledge
with moonless nights still hard to be conceived
let us seal ourselves to him in truth
to guide us in tomorrow’s joys and griefs

and many waters will not drown this day
or break what binds beneath His holy sight
for we will be the partners of our youth
and spur each other onward towards the light

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

images: Wed, painting by Ben Keys, and Newlyweds Ted & Erin Becker xo

run

my quads are strong
to upward drive
and forward move
my back and thighs
into the wind
I press and steer
and spring in waking
atmosphere
or dogged sun
my gasping breath
oxygen
won’t fill my chest
and still I go
to limit quest
boundary swell
and border stretch
the purpose beats
in tracks I trek
to upward climb
and path correct
crisper temps
propel me quicker
my figure swift
within it flickers
energy
and pumping blood
a brimming song
strung and hummed
into a vision
of form and speed
my legs are light
my heart the lead
into the winter
calm and cold
quiet crunching
peace unfolds
around my body
unearthly done
with sweat and grace
and joy
I run

file

Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2

image: “Paris Runner in the Rain II” by Warren Keating

bear song dream

bear brown big
shuffle to my hand
I press upon your brow
familiarly receive me
bear arms round
cradle close my size
sit upon your hips
favorably perceive me
bear bear my
disquiet and misgiving
allay away the anxious
tenderly relieve me
bear back ride
I will catch your fish
and tell you secret things
let go the parts that grieve me
bear song dream
raise me to my feet
push me on my way
for so you have increased me

bear-exposed-diane-whitehead

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. Isaiah 11:6-7

image: painting by Diane Whitehead

sow

I hope I planted
goodness seeds
and featherheart
and giving reeds
grudge-me-nots
and can-do rows
selfless bulbs
and ebb-and-flows
I hope the roots
of humbleleaf
have taken hold
in soil deep
and robust stems
of brave-and-brights
to serve and soar
were sown just right
and when the rains
and storms flood beds
of lovingbells
and keep-our-heads
or drought denies
the tender roots
of self esteem
and fortitude
I pray that grace
is given me
who sowed the seeds
imperfectly
and greater light
redeems and grows
the field with faith
and ever-hopes.

woman-gardening-color-illustration-by-walter-crane-circa-1889

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 1 Corinthians 3:6

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11

Image: Illustration by Walter Crane

moving

from place to place I move my things
door to door I bear and bring
mementos, dishes, toys and bins
ceramic, glassware, plastic, tin
pictures hung in these new rooms
traveled too from former views
and all possessions loved and liked
or merely useful now or might
be later came with me and mine
and now we’re here for unknown time
surrounded by these things we brought
ferried, carried, corner fought
I wonder so the cost of stuff
and if belongings mean enough
to me or can I let more go
and lighter be to ebb and flow

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Isaiah 58:6

There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. Proverbs 11:24

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

moving-day-kenneth-koskela

images: left to right, paintings by Isabella El-Hasan, Nathan Abels, John Falter, and Kenneth Koskela

good friday

it wasn’t me
that cast the burden
denied the son
and all I heard in
temple
or with fish and loaves
outside the town
I wouldn’t know
it wasn’t me
who’s daughter dying
begged for breath
and saw her lying
there no more
by his command
her vitals strong
to rise and dance
about the room
it wasn’t me
who saw the crowds
yet disbelieved
his gospel preached
on love’s defense
the shepherd king
of fishermen
whose bread was it?
it wasn’t mine
a supper meant
to prophesy
and bless apostles
divinely picked
to build the church
brick by brick
no rooster crowed
to weigh my heart
for I could never
let him part
away from me
if I could speak
nor in the garden
kiss his cheek
betray the lamb
and sell his name
for silver coins
and fatal shame
and oh, not I
could be the one
for whom he bled
for whom he hung
it wasn’t me
that put him there
or took him down
limp and bare
and placed him in
a tomb of stone
for we were certain
death had won
we cleaned his endless
wounds and cuts
his broken body
and lifeless touch
anointing him
we placed his hands
and wrapped him well
in linen bands
we cried above
his holy bed
dear Lord! how can
this be the end?
and home we walked
in dark, at night
lost, forgetting
a promised life
my God, my God
I ask of thee
forgive this child
for it was me

pc-shop-forgotten

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:22-23

image: Forgotten Sin by Lance Brown

 

passion

(a repost from March 2015)

palm procession
Hosanna sing
a road of robes
for colt and King
the people praise
He’s here! He’s come!
our saving grace
triumphant one
the figless tree
is cursed and dead
the time of temple
is at its end
and we will eat
with Christ, a last
before our treason
comes to pass
for come it does
with blood and bruise
denied and mocked
the King of Jews
and when He dies
on nail and wood
the tapestry
is torn for good
centurion
in witness, awed
proclaims the man
the Son of God

the-triumphal-entry

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:3-7

1191-Anointing-His-Feet-2-08-BT-fs2

Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:3

image: image; Anointing His Feet by Wayne Fort