Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hurricane Haiku


Whipping, raging, mad
Gallop wild with forceful grab
Thief turns happy sad

Aivazovsky, Ivan 43- Russian (1817-1900) Storm


Sideways, stinging, slants
Shards and sheets of stinging spit
Storm surge swells swift streams.


Rivulets of mud
Expand, exclaim eerily,
“I am King of all!”

NASA/NOAA GOES Project Hurricane Matthew, Oct. 8, 2016, PUBLIC DOMAIN


Raping freighter bends
Resistance snaps futile bow
Roots undressed lay bare.


Mine! The monster cries
Abodes lay shredded, downsized,
A part of me dies

Hurricane Camille, 1969, NOAA Public Domain Photos


Gone in one fell swooping blow
Hints at days of yore


In destruction seek
For strangers with flint-like stare
Determined saviors

US Troops Heading to Port-au-Prince at the request of the Haitian Government, Oct. 6, 2016 to aid in humanitarian relief after Hurricane Matthew's devastation. NOAA Public Domain.


Hope has the last word
Human chaos loudly heard
Helpers hearts are stirred


Tomorrow will come                     
Torrid air made fresh, clean
Tears we trade for calm 

Atlantic Ocean Sunrise, Katharine Micks, photograher. Used by permission. 

© 2016 Nancy Gerst. Written October 9, 2016 following Hurricane Matthew which brought destruction in Haiti and the Carribean, and along the southeastern United States from Florida to North Carolina.  


The Tempest, Op. 18, Tchaikovsky

Master the Tempest Is Raging - based on the gospel story of the disciples in the storm tossed sea with Jesus.

Friday, September 16, 2016

When Life Is Challenging


Everything looks impossible
Until we begin.

Then, little by little, 
Small steps lead us toward the summit
Where we survey the glory,
The beauty,
The Final Say.
The winding, rocky path
Recedes in the distance,
Its nipping prohibitions
By mountaintop
Echoing across time and space
As the shadow of our Guide
Changes into gleaming
Sonlit glory.

Nancy Gerst © 2016

Photo taken in Marble, CO by Jerry Begly. Used by permission.

Pilgrim's Hymn - Stephen Paulus 

The Road Home - Stephen Paulus

Forest photo taken at Raleigh Rose Garden in 2006


Friday, July 15, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dissolved Hierarchies

Steadfast love and faithfulness meet
When justice and peace embrace
In the kiss of brotherly love.

In this clasp divisions
Melt into the clear liquid
Of a spring-like rain
Falling soft upon the earth
An outpouring of justice
That mimics the quiet
Descent of dew
Coming down from heaven
Where the Originator
Of Peace sits on the right,
Having taken once again
His crown after breaking down
Ancient walls erected by
Pride and slithering serpents.

In peace we wait for you, O Lord.
In oneness we wait for you, O Lord.
O great Provider of all that
We need for life and prosperity,
Send us peace,
Send us unity,
Send us joy.

Bluebonnet Paintings by Julian Onderdonk, 1919

Dissolving Hierarchies © 2016 Nancy Gerst, cf. Psalm 85:10, Isaiah 45:8

I chose these painting of bluebonnets to accompany this poem because of the beautiful blue color hues. Blue is a color that promotes peace and tranquility, and can give both physical and mental relaxation. Blue reduces stress, creating a sense of calmness, relaxation and order. 

The color of sea and sky, we feel a sense of calm when we gaze at these parts of God's creation. How needed this kind of peace of mind and body is in today's world! To offer peace to others, we must first be at peace ourselves. 

I pray that you, dear friend, know this kind of peace, not just from viewing a lovely color in nature, but by going a step deeper and knowing the Peaceful Color Maker, Jesus Christ, as your friend and peacemaker. May that friendship equip you to offer peace to everyone you meet today!


O God of Love, O King of Peace - hymn setting of Henry William Baker's poem from 1861

1 O God of love, O King of peace,
Make wars throughout the world to cease;
The wrath of sinful man restrain;
Give peace, O God, give peace again!

2 Remember, Lord, Thy works of old,
The wonders that Thy people told;
Remember not our sins' dark stain;
Give peace, O God, give peace again!

3 Whom shall we trust but Thee, O Lord?
Where rest but on Thy faithful word?
None ever called on Thee in vain:
Give peace, O God, give peace again!
4 Where saints and angels dwell above,
All hearts are knit in holy love;
O bind us in that heav'nly chain:
Give peace, O God, give peace again!

Thou, O Lord, Are a Shield for Me - Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. This choral group has long been a shining example of peace and cooperation between the races. 

Deep Peace (A Gaelic Blessing) - John Rutter's setting sung by the boychoir Libera.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Four Seasons at the Beginning of Summer

A set of haikus for the four seasons, written in celebration of the 
beginning of summer 2016.

Put on your bright dress
Happy summertime princess
Make the sunshine sing


Paint in strokes of gold
Orange with dappled brown and red
Autumn winks and twirls


Landscapes stark with gray
Or whitest snowy mountains
Winter's silent days


Wake up baby leaves
Dress in spring green flowered vest
Warm the world with life


Poetry and photos ©  2016, Nancy Gerst


Vivaldi's Four Seasons from four different artists...