Un Masked

oh Dear, remember when we looked into each other’s eyes, 
When masked, you imagined my moist lips smiling,
And saw my wrinkles like darts pointing to brighter skies.

Oh dear, let us remember , to remember, remember before we
“Grow Old and our trousers are rolled.”(1)

Oh dear, let us remember, to remember, remember before our masks are rolled beneath our chin.
Oh Dear, before you see my cracked lips lined straight without frown or grin.
And tone and contour and lines reveal our every sin.

Oh dear ,you may be shocked to find crumb , or dust, or drool on my face
And then ,see my nose quite crooked and long and out of place
Perhaps then see my cheeks too Rudy or drawn or fat
And bumps or pimples that make you ask “what the heck is that?”
then you may point to the wrinkle and sweetly call it a “dimple”
While I stare back to think of the time when all was true and simple.

To remember when you once trusted in not seeing and now ,seeing, you doubt.
To remember when we could only see each other’s souls shining out
Bright eyes of wonder and hope and love from some eternal spout

Oh dear , let us remember to remember, before our masks are rolled beneath our chin.
Remember , when the “windows of our souls” once shined brightly what was within. (2,3,4)

Despite all inconvience , constraint and irritations , the masks of the COVID 19 era allowed us to look into each other’s eyes. It gave us a focus on one another despite the pandemic intent of “separation”. Somehow , we had to focus on one another’s eyes to listen carefully to one another. This poem is a thanksgiving for the “one another” intimacy that God initiated in this season. It was a season when we took the time to look at one another in the eyes and believe a greater time was to come. Where the virus seemed to isolate, isolation gave rise to intimacy . May we remember.

1. T. S Elliot The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock “I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled”

2. Cicero (approx 43 BC) “the face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are it’s interpreter”

3. Matthew 6:22 The eye is the lamp to the body . So if your eye is sound your entire body will be full of light. Luke 17:32 “remember Lot’s wife”

4. Salluste Du Bartas (poet 1544-1596) “these lovely lamps, these windows of the soul” and Shakespeare from “Romeo and Juliet” Act 2 “eyes are the windows of the soul” both writers based text from the teaching of Jesus recorded in Matthew 6:22

The Widow’s dress

they stare strangely now at her

 Alone in the familiar pew

for now is one

when once was two.

She Pardons those who see her in black

And takes her seat with the sinners in the back.

“How do you do? ”

She replies “I do I do”

As She greets the saints from pew to pew.

“She’s not the same? ” “why she looks sorta lame ?”

Gossip echoes “It’s such a pitiful shame!”

To her they say “How do you do ?”

“I do . I do” She nods to folks two by two

While others say ” She’s growing old, a pitiful sight”

She whispers against their mask ” I’m beautiful in white ”

“And soon” she thinks ” I’ll dust the dust off my train”

“There must be a place where widows are not left in vain.”

She sits in the back rows with the hoboes and hoes

Where her twisted Kleenex soon makes garters for foes

Where the comfortable blink and wink at her plight.

“Poor one ” they think “can barely put a single doubt to flight”!

oh, pitiful bird with one wing,

broken bottle without oil

Cistern Of hope broken in toil

Oh better half now gone from the Whole

Oh better half “our intentions are for his soul.”

Soon a Bright Light pours upon them all

As The Divine illuminates the widows new call

Appearing Alone in this familiar back pew

They can only see one

when suddenly she sees two

Next to her is this one with a radiant ring

And a “I do I do ” is The only song she can sing

To Him whose eyes are as the jasper morning star

From His chrism anew , He fills oil in her jar.

Soon Turning every head and crushing all proud hearts

His Voice speaks “nothing ends where I start”

Tears drown the days of the demons final foil  

And joy now buries and rests all her terrors and toil

Finally she lifts her head up the years behind her veil

And announces with Him whom she loves “hell will not prevail.”

Then suddenly the Black dress becomes Radiant white

And every curse and judgement of others is put to flight.

“How do you do/”

“I do I do ” she tells them pew to pew.

NOTES:

“You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭62:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/59/isa.62.4.esv

There is one who marries the widow. He pursues her all the more fiercely when she entrusted to no other but Him. And so it is that the Lord tells the church to watch after the widows. Perhaps not so much for the sake of her, for she has the Perfect Husband. But for the sake of the church that they may see Jesus and His Bride the Church ever more clearly.

 

 

 

 

Palms Sunday

We remember how you put palms in our hands,

palms in our open ,naked hands. Hands that once

tapped tapped keep tapping on wood and on flesh.

Before these ritual cleansings and gloves ond trash

Palms in our hands, hands that once lifted , opened drifted and dropped.

We consider all our sins like deadly viruses on these hands caught.

Palm of our hands are dirty cursed hands that infect

tap tap tapping on our keyboard and screen without effect

faking loving and contact with people alone and unseen

palms of our hands we proudly think of as clean

dropping and depressed alone weary and lean

We shake fist in judgement at the sight of your open hands

we cannot see palms of justice nor palms of mecy’s command

so tap tap tapping as we bang shout at door and demand

“What are you doing God? Why is death creeping  across the land?”

Palms of your hands , oh the palms of your hands too far away to see!!!

Cannot believe they are surrendered , bruised crushed , stretched , nailed to a tree!

yet , now and then , we heal without knowing or holding the palm of your hands

palms of love, palms of compassion that have roots from Eden to the plank

Burrowing driving digging demanding justice rank upon rank

Yet tap tapping bleeds love from the nails in the palm of your hand.

Where you reply to us by your justice these palms from Mercy’s command

Tap tapping at every soul bent across sick shore and sick land

“where were you child when I killed my son like a lamb?

see you were here  child , then  as now , in the palm of my hand”

________________________________________

“Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:67‬ ‭KJV‬‬

 “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭49:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Indeed before the day was, I am He; And there is no one who can deliver out of the palm of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?””

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 

 

Live Stream

They said that I could not come and see you

They said I could imagine you were here with me

They said I should  dress as if you were coming to see me

They said  I should put chair and cross and water out for you

So I did , I dressed , I lit a candle , and in a bowl I poured water

And Suddenly, before  I could kneel, before I could think on you , before  I invited you to  come

you came. … as a voice of light on all that I thought about you

You came with a legion of light in places hiding from you

you said that you came to see me

you said that you are more than I can imagine

you said I can sit with you

You said to see your love on the cross

You said to drink of your water

you said “you are lovely”

you wrapped and warmed and wooed me in your arms of light.

4Th Sunday in Lent

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.””

‭‭John‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 

Ashes , Ashes, we all fall down

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly;
Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ ””
‭‭Joel‬ ‭2:15, 17‬ ‭
Dedicated to George Unglaub
Lent 2020

What shall we do in this vineyard of palms ?

where Prudentius’s vices are verdant fronds?

where we pretend to be “Blessed “trunks from the very first psalm

While our roots sit shallow in a climate so calm

What shall be our song ?

While vile villains and viruses threaten the crop ?

shall we sing “round the Rosie “before media’s shop ?

Till preachers hold out hands to command winds to stop.

Or politicians plead for another country’s crop.

Shall we hear from afar an ancient man’s song?

Telling a dirge for all we’ve done wrong?

He rebukes our tongues with Holy tong!

“young Fools who stand at palm tree with locked knee !

You Sloths at ease as you do as you please

Weaklings who can’t cut virtuous frond

you have no good thing for the King of the palm!

shame to you ,shame to you

There is no fruit to bear through you !

You fools ,Young fools !” the ancient man cries

“ you have no hallelujah !”

he Weeps and sighs

So what , Shall we say as we look at the field?

Can we bend our stiff knees where our heart’s once kneeled?

can Wednesday Ash intention bring better yield?

Can Repentance burning 40 make A sick land healed?

The child rises to Ask the ancient Man “can we believe ? “

The child takes his hands makes a ring for them to receive

Singing …

From ashes Upon ashes another Easter crop has a chance!

See old man a new palm tree made roots for our dance !

Oh sing with me old man To the king of the palm ..

and The king of the ground where we once belonged.

Oh sing ashes and hallelujah as we fall down. !

Sing once again old man and receive your crown.

 

Packin’

Oh Father God

I’m so sorry to say

I went packin’ today

Down the road far away

From the church and the gun

Far away I will run

See Father God

I’m

“ different, weird, odd”

the church folks say

They don’t all agree

on Jesus , The way

So I wasn’t sure to stay

Where to

Bend

And

Bow

And

Cry

And pray

Cause everyone was packin’ this coming Sunday

Please Forgive me my father ,

I and they don’t know what we do …

We strike the ear like Peter slew

Forgive us Father

Make us one and new

Return us worshipping pew to

Pew

Til

We bow

We bend

We die for you

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of his testimony. And they loved not their own lives, even unto death.”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭12:11‬ ‭

“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:52‬ ‭KJV

Parched

His lips are like concrete cracked beneath a florescent sun

my hands are gloved blue to hold one more moistened sponge

not hyssop or wine, nor vinegar,whiskey or the enemy gall

just one drop of water, i say …” one drop , the physician says that all.”

his eyes draw open , a pool of blue thanks ,reflecting Our distant light

His eyes flicker as sparks of joy like darting fire flies in the  night

The sponge falls from my shaking fingers onto a blanket of white

” A drop is enough for now” he says”the physician may be right”

The sponge I toss with its debris to fellowship with waste

Ive so many more patients ,my care is killed by haste

The drawing of blood and plans,injections , bedpans and pills

Thinking “Is not this thirst of his the least of many ills ?”

But ….,

His “Thankyou, ” I hear follow me like a clinging child

“That will last me for today” the man said so softly and mild

I stop with pill and pan and blankets towels pillows and sheets

There comes this moment where pride drops all at Jesus’s lips and feet

“Oh have mercy my God our Father on these and mine parched soul

Oh have mercy God our Father on both us whom the “bell doth toll”

Oh have mercy God our Father, we feel one drop from  you as a stream

One drop from you is a river, breaking through heart’s concrete seams.”

For I know there’s a physician Lord over this parched nurses heart

Who gives manna and water for souls daily start

And on this very morn , I, ungrateful for a drop of blood

Still jesus quenched my lips and now to my soul ,His body , He floods

Notes:

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”Isaiah‬ ‭41:17‬ ‭

We all are the ” poor and needy” and God has “answered us ” by His Living water , His Son.

“I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:18, 20‬ ‭

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'””

‭‭John‬ ‭7:38‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Acedia

UP from  THE COUCH, away from ACEADIA , I rise

“ACEDIA  ,excuse me, I sense I must exit  to leave.

Because , It is NOW too late for me to roll up a sleeve.

Somehow now I see  I  cannot wrestle you away from this place.

I see that You  have put a choke hold on all things of  God’s grace.

ACEDIA , there is something about your ways that  bore me to death!

So now mustering a  mere  ounce of umption  I will exit for breath.

Walking OUT THE DOOR,  away from the guest ACEADIA

“Oh come Oh Come Oh Breath of God, Breathe your Breath into my Yawns!

Blow the boredom that broods from dawn to dusk then dusk to damned dawn

Oh Breath, Sweet Breath of Jesus breathe your life Breath back into my yawn!!!

RETURN Slamming the door  to berate the guest ACEADIA

Now, hear me Acedia ,will you please leave now from my  couch?

UGH, sickly you bend and twist and then rest in a slothfilled slouch!

Your company makes thumbs stiffly fidget  on tablets and  phones

Stop euthanizing my  soul!  Our God gives Life of  His to His  own.!!!!

Looking OUT THE WINDOW at snow away from the guest ACEADIA

Oh Big Breath of God blow fragments of Life  from the sacred Sky!

Wave whirlwinds of manna from places where only angels fly!

Oh Big Breath of God bring Chinock winds to thaw what’s cold alive!

So I will trade  greetings   “just exist” for calls to  ” fully thrive”

Boldly Turning back to guest ACEADIA

Out of here you !And take your gadgets  and trinkets two by two!

I’ve  fields to harvest so white that they  glisten with gospel dew!

You must be gone now!  Gone , back to hell you tempter devil of Sloth!

Off my couch now !! Ive no room for both  you and  the one I betrothed!!

My Jesus, right here , will send you away after He crushes you on your lap!

And  His foot will curse and destroy  ALL the NOON DAY DEVILS TRAP!!!!

The Door blows open and The guest , Acedia , Flees with All his devices

1 . Acedia is a state of bored restlessness . Also, called the “noon day devil” It might be seen like a fidgeting laziness that comes after the freshness of morning. It is a definite creeping boredom with things of God. Though it was first defined 350 years after Christ as one of “eight evil thoughts”, later to become one of the “seven deadly sins” , it is a most modern sin. It is modern in the sense that it is most active today in anesthetizing the “Christian” by means of its numbing effect. The modern Christian is distracted to “present as a Christian person” but not inwardly “experience being an ALIVE and ACTIVE Christian”

2.  Acedia prevalent in these “last days” leads to what Paul describes as times “where men will be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful un holy. . . . lovers of pleasure more than lovers of good. “ 2 Timothy 3:1-5

3.  Acedia , also called “sloth” ,is what King Solomon warns us ” is suicidal “. “The fool sits back and takes it easy, His sloth is slow suicide” (Ecc 4:5 (message )) and “Sloth causeth deep sleep to fall and an indolent soul doth starve” (Proverbs 19:15 ) In contrast Solomon writs of  the godly woman  “She watches the ways of her household, and bread of sloth she eats not. ” Proverbs 31:27.

4. The only means to defeat Acedia is to invite LIFE and TRUTH in the room of our HEARTS . Killing the sin of Acedia, is to invite JESUS to THROW ALL DISTRACTIONS OUT OF THE ROOM OF OUR HEARTS and welcome only the SPIRIT OF JESUS. Jesus has conquered Acedia and given us a life free of it!!!

 

 

 

 

 

My Everlasting New

I told them “time is always new when it finds its rest in you.”

I told them of days so pure yet wild , with your love so true.

How it is  lit with flashes of your Face Of never setting Rays ..

Dew drips Mercy on mornings  “Amen ” from you  oh Ancient of days.

Oh havoc of hurricanes and hate , my Enemies plead me to ” remember….”

Instead I turn in labor groan to your watch nights late in December.

I push for Glad tidings of Hope as these  Sad longings grieve to leave.

More yet more will be born Anew , Oh Lord , as with you, I push to believe!

All the while , you take my years in your  hand and thrust them into flight,

all the while you hold my face at your chest so I might become your delight!

And though I hear clocks on your wrist tick tick tock my days  to only few,

Your Open Heart will ever beat” There is Eternity for me and you !”

Father Time seems harsh to  fling  us all through such years to the Grave

But its You oh Jesus who woos me to High heaven , and guides me through this dark cave!

I love you more and more anew oh ancient one of ancient days

For Time is now swallowed by your Word and burned by its Eternal rays

I now see Our days together will be more than galaxies or stars in the sky!

I now see Your Love for me is beyond that where deepest seas lie!

Oh Ancient of Days let’s NOW plan “Whats New ” not on manmade calendar lines

For NOW my New rests in you forever, The One, I love who lives outside of time!

************************************

“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭7:13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

#praying

Could heaven on earth be right now  held at  bay

As the devil sends  dirt into  these empty jars of clay?

As keys and fingers agree “i’ll pray, Prayin, #Pray

But souls of our flesh cannot bend knee to obey !

Are there not angels and saints reviewing this score?

Can’t  someone see clear through this dim glass  door?

See we type “ prayin’ “tweet , prayin’ “text praying tap tapping 

up up up up to heavens tear flooded floor. . ?

And yet to bend to seek and to ask , is what we abhor !

Proud Preachers  preach  for the  Martha’s child  to reap .

While prophets called ” Seers” lie dead   dry,  fast asleep.

And words “pray” “prayin” “#praying” pile into a dung heap.

 See the Floodgates are damned with hypocrisy’s typed line !

 See Our Blushing seventy seven priests  turn  to resign.

See As angels  in angst await answers  divine.!

 

Oh  every way and every day I say aloud

with Solemn surrender “help me enter the cloud” 

“I’ll pray,” “I pray” ” praying” # pray “”I’ll ask the Lord”

But suddenly sitting still  in a moment  I find I am bored

What happened to the intended  petition and prayer ?

Oh God my Father “Is it without form sitting in midair?”

 

My Jesus weeps , wanting , the ruin in these dying days

sighing  and heaving as my hipocricy pings  and plays

Then ,He sees my hypocrisy sit upright in churches

He sees My lacking belief turn blessings  to  curses..

While choir girls like Me text “I’m Praying”  # praying verses  . .

 

See Day upon day tell of Satan’s cosmic feat

See a kingdom stalled because of  my defeat

See Damned  demons giggle  “horay Horray “look at her say

so sincerely “I’ll pray Ill pray ” hah ,” see her push to obey 

“Lets Whisper in her vespers and chatter away 

Do our demon duty  to “distract the Bride today” 

Yeah they say His kingdom will delay. .  horray horray”

 

Oh now how long the lonely shadows inch across the land,

as fallen angels tarnish the Bride’s  wedding band.

Our Christ crucified looks crumbled , His words gutless and gun shot.

Our Stacked Piles of promised prayers linger languish and all forgot!

And me , now Here I sit tipped typing , in this critical chair

Where I wonder of His wonder if I would now say one small prayer.

Oh my Jesus , could but one word deliver a call for your love and care?

Does the Spirit saints and angels really fly at your command?

That I may tonight bend my knocking knees , fold my flimsy hands!

That I may tonight  watch the Father send light to land?

Oh Spirit help me Cast away  all churched  vanities

and Break free from all my double minded  insanities

and cry and call  oh Father ,Son , Spirit from up high

Let me never again also speak a  great and evil  lie!

Let me be true ! Let me have zeal ! Let me be Love!

Let me call forth the flood of every gift from Above !

I pray I pray Oh God help me to pray

Let no prayer be unspoken at the close of this day

Make my soul want madly  ‘your kingdom to come’

And let not my lying Lips loose  leave  your  will undone!

Notes:

. “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭18:1‬ ‭KJVA‬‬

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

‭‭James‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NET‬‬