The Vision

This poem was written in response to day 25 of Jill’s 28 Days of Unreason series. The quote for today is, “The river can’t heal everything”  ~ Jim Harrison
I decided to write a haibun with a twist: instead of a haiku at the end, I wrote a tanka.

Also, this was posted for DVerse’s latest OLN.


There is a story in the Bible about a vision that the prophet Ezekiel had of a river in the temple: The water begins as a trickle and then rises as he walks along, to his ankles and then even higher. This water is the life of God, lived in the Spirit, quenching the most profound thirst.

But! Careful with me —

I yearn for this water; still

It rises over

My head, and only in dreams

Can I breathe underwater.

Imperfect and Perfect

Today at DVerse, we are writing haibuns based on the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi, which is described as “the art of imperfection.”


I look at a chipped teacup, a broken seashell, cracks in the concrete, even a dying flower and see beauty: poignant, ineffable, intriguing, unique. On every piece of nature are God’s fingerprints, infinite. Let me extend this knowledge to my own body, a temple of personal, imperfect and perfect beauty.

 

Springtime’s trees flower,

Jacaranda’s purple blooms

Dress the cracked sidewalk.

Surprised By Joy

This poem was inspired by today’s passage from the Gospels, Matthew 13:44-52. This portion includes the parable of the man who found a treasure and, recognizing its surpassing value, buried it in a field and then sold all of his belongings and used the money to buy that field. Sometimes, we need to give up some good things in order to accomplish or attain better things or to reach a goal.


The life of faith is the pearl of  great price:

For it we seek and find, then sell and buy,

We may have to forego some momentary joys,

And sacrifice, but the reward’s a better choice.

 

It takes work to build a better life,

We must pass through mountains and valleys of strife,

But by the highest joy we will be surprised,

When we can claim the treasure on the other side.

Confirmation

This was written in response to DVerse’s haibun free for all. The topic was pretty much anything that actually happened to you.


It was a waterfall: the clove-spiced oil streaming down my face, from just above my head, through my long hair, even into my mouth as it journeyed down my chin, on to the waiting white towel around my shoulders. It was wonderful, this ceremony, being sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and my whole family celebrating. Family, friends, and even strangers commenorating this step: I have decided to follow Jesus, even to a new place.

 

Arid summer day,

Living water courses through

Souls, brought together.

Confirmation Oil

Mihi Vivere…

“To me, to live is Christ.”

— Philippians 1:21

 

You who called me from of old,

May I be purified as fine gold,

After these days of earthly tests —

Mihi vivere Christus est.

 

Over words and actions set a guard,

For I know that, though it’s hard,

To live Your way is for the best —

Mihi vivere Christus est.

 

And when pressures start to boil,

When my body is tired from toil,

I turn; You lead me into rest —

Mihi vivere Christus est.

 

This life can be a valley of tears,

We may see too much evil in our years,

But tides of life will reach their crest:

Mihi vivere Christus est.

Not a Villain

This is a reflection on anger, written in villanelle form, inspired by a challenge from DVerse as well as by the difficulties that I have had in my life with expressing all types of emotions. Often I try to ignore or squash anger, thinking it is bad and frightening, but that only makes it stronger and scarier. Anger is like a fire: It can be scary when misused, but it can also be helpful.


For too long I’ve been loath to let it in:

I’d feared its heat, its size, its strength, this fire —

Yet anger has been framed. It is no villain.

 

Emotional health under construction:

The spectrum of emotions is entire;

For too long I’ve been loath to let it in.

 

The Scriptures say “Be angry; do not sin,”

To hide anger away makes God a liar,

For anger has been framed. It is no villain.

 

Engaging in a fight I’ll never win:

Anger is angry, and it does not tire

Until I open up to let it in.

 

It teaches and it gives motivation,

It will not burn up as a funeral pyre,

For anger has been framed. It is no villain.

 

Anger is a part of being human.

It wishes to be seen and be brought higher.

For too long I’ve been loath to let it in,

Yet anger has been framed. It is no villain.

“Et Lux In Tenebris Lucet”

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

— John 1:5

Words might be hurtful,

And rejection, might be mine,

But my God redeems it,

Et lux in tenebris lucet.

Will my friends abandon me,

In this Gethsemane?

But God gets me through it,

Et lux in tenebris lucet.

Amidst mean words,

I seek my Shepherd:

My lamp is lit,

Et lux in tenebris lucet.