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

fig

I cannot type
another sprig
until I pen
of you my fig
la vie it was
and loss of it
and so I press
your tiny print
into the page
and speak, my plum
your pace of pulse
it’s quicker drum
the dreamed up smell
into your hair
a grin and chin
of pre world-ware
expectancy
of traits unknown
new love, my lime
already sown
and though the ache
has met defeat
I won’t forget
your budding beat
now in His hand
your form can bloom
and I let go
of losing you

drawn-branch-fig-tree-20

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:27-28

image: Fig tree by Ryu Itadani

charleston

thank you for restoring me
in cedarwood and cypress
hand poured wavy windows
undoing what is lightless
thank you for your fix its
the paint and fitting textures
forgive me for the tilting frames
and all that’s been neglected
thank you for your gutting
away what’s rot and weakened
making room for banisters
to floors and floors of meeting
you, the expert carpenter
with wonderworking skill
who takes me by the arms each day
and teaches me to build
thank you for your faithfulness
to this project as it was
meant to be, unbroken me,
before this world was flawed
be with me as I persist
to bolster beam and board
to free more space and holy place
worthy of my Lord

carpenter

For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 2 Corinthians 13:9

restore wallpaper

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:3

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

to meet you

the few block walk
brimmed with expectancy
and recalled other autumns
to mind
past, but still part
my chest faintly ached
with nostalgia
in the cool apple air
and a grief-like need
to possess 
the saffron mums
and Cinderella pumpkins
on neighboring stoops
filled my throat
the leafy sidewalks,
burnt orange and soft yellow,
kept my course
and pace
as I longed for old falls
mint in memory
with fictitious ease
and for some minutes I lingered
there, pining
until I passed through
and put longing away
and I was awash
again
in present promise
so when I arrived
to meet you, old friend
ordering chai and warm spices,
my heart was already
quite steeped
in October

autumn-leaves-wallpapers-high-quality-93466008-2

The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. Psalm 67:6

‘All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’
from The Hound of Heaven, by Francis Thompson (1859–1907)