Open Field. A Poem.

The clouds tucked and turned southwest,

a direction they rarely float,

bringing a cool stream of air over

the back fields.

 

The repentant sky cap

chills weighted thoughts,

and drags me into the undertow

of humility and regret.

 

Humilty, common and unnoticed,

like the spaces between the tall grass,

keeps the silence safe, smooth,

secure for a moment.

 

Regret, staunch, abrasive as nettles,

scratch at the ankles

while I pace the fields

like a labyrinth.

 

Come, lay me down,

cover me with your kindness

as the dew.

Until then I walk the fields.

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Perch, Hmmm, Fish Sounds Tasty, But This Isn’t What This Is About.

Surprise

 

 

See. There. Quick.

The hummingbird

motionless

on the dead spruce branch

above the bee

balm flame.

 

She is no blur

of wings.

 

And look.

Her long nectar-

loving beak—

She has tucked it

in the feathers

of her breast.

 

John Leax

Recluse Freedom Poems

 

I read this poem aloud this morning. Never have I seen a hummingbird perched. Surprise would be my response as well. No time to reach for a camera. Just enough time to file a few words.

Anyone who knows the life of the Barrett house knows it is like a hummingbird. Much movement. Little perching. Twelve chickens, eleven children, five ducks, three dogs, two cats, two turtles, a bass, and one mom and one dad make for a lot of molecule dancing. I imagine a butterfly deep in China’s interior being pushed around by our movement here in Michigan.

I have been thinking about focus and purpose and time management lately. Some of these thoughts come from Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Listen to this:

“I speak it to God: I don’t really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done—yesterday…who actually knows how to take time and live with soul and body and God all in sync?

I just want time to do my one life well.” Pages 67 and 68.

Did I just see you nodding? Yeah, I nodded too. Come here a sec. Let me tell you that I perch every morning. The first thing I do after I wipe the sleep out of my eyes and put on a pot of coffee is sit out on the back deck. I have three or four books. A bible, some books of great inspirational writing, and a book of poems are set on the picnic table. It is there I ask God to come to speak to me while my wings aren’t flapping. I read out loud to quell any A.D.D. tendencies. The reason I share this with you is because we aren’t designed to hover around this gift of life of ours. We need to perch on a regular basis. Hey, even God took a break after six days. Rest. It’s in the design.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

“Lead me beside the still waters.”

“Restore my soul.”

Are you making time to perch? The flitting will come soon enough, eh?

https://i2.wp.com/images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/128/cache/greenish-hummingbird_12890_160x120.jpg

 

Redemption: The Hope for Transformation.

Abused freedom holds within in it the seed of redemption.

Depravity holds within it the seed of redemption.

Redemption’s necessity is only because things go awry, mostly humans go awry.

I think it was in Ravi Zacharias’ book Why Jesus that one communist/atheist country is allowing Christianity in to quell the instability and in fighting. The concept of redemption was the catalyst they put their stock in to stabilize their country.

The more that time goes by, the tighter I embrace the concept of redemption. Without it humanity is in utter despair; not to mention utter disrepair…I am humanity. Christianity’s unique element is redemption. The absolute center of the faith is the hope of redemption. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ continues to echo off the mountains, even though the characteristic of echoes are their fading decibels.

I recall a time in church years back where a young lady was singing “I Know My Redeemer Lives”. This girl started the song with the charisma of Nicole C. Mullen herself (The artist that sent this song to the top of the charts.) and as she continued she either forgot some lyrics or went off key and she struggled to get back on track and ended up stopping. She apologized. I shouted from the back “No! It’s okay. Keep going.” This was in a pretty subdued church where cat calls rarely or never happened. My passion got the better of me because of the huge epiphany. She was singing about redemption and I saw that God could even redeem her situation. He already had, in my heart anyway.

Is there a situation that you feel is irredeemable? Let me throw some hope your way. Redemption is more than an idea. It is emanating from the Christ. Jesus oozes restoration. Without Jesus the redeemer I am a man most miserable.

This song remains one of my favorites and gains more depth as my earthly journey continues…

Neo Narcissist

I bowed down to my reflection.

It was fractured

in the disturbed waters.

I had lost sight of the One

who said “Peace, be still.”

There were ripples

in my consciousness.

Then his hands

spread out the waters

like clear linen.

“You are beautiful,” He said, “see?”

I saw myself more clearly

next to him.

 

We sat beside the still waters.

 

The fear of allowing others in

or coming out of myself

smoothed into a lapping of our souls.

Soul waters on the shore.

 

 

“He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul.”  Psalm 23

Enlarged Heart

It is a muscle that flexes,

always.

 

It is toned

but rarely down.

 

When it is pulled and

ridden like a Charlie horse,

 

I pray for the hands of a masseuse

and elbows of grease.

 

I break open her chest

with the sign of the cross

 

and knead gently between

the calcified beats.

 

I search for the pressure points

and work on the knots,

 

my praying hands,

the only conversation between us.

 

Every fiber is stretched

and the blood that flows

 

through the squeaky ventricles

is the same that restores them.

 

A mother’s heart rarely

skips a beat,

 

but at times carries a murmur,

a fluttering through each chamber.

 

A mother’s heart enlarges

and at times adopts an arrhythmia.

 

I pray for a peace-maker

to be sewn in to set a new pace.

 

I pray for the steadiest of hands

and the guidance of the Great Physician.