Sunday, September 10, 2017

Summer's End

Summer is drawing to a close with hints of fall in the air and in my backyard garden. Thinking about all that has happened this summer, here are some of the haikus I've written, a poetic review of a few of my summer adventures. 

Morning Glories in their final profusion of blooms
I've started a new tradition in our new home of writing a haiku for each dinner guest and placing these at the table. Here are the ones I wrote when dear friends from Rock Hill, South Carolina, Mel and Linda Wines, were up to Raleigh for a weekend. We enjoyed their company over dinner.

The pastor friend speaks
Words that match the resonance
Of life with his God.

The nurse’s eyes shine
Jesus into family,

Students, neighbors, all!

Beautiful 4 inch blooms

In July I slipped these haikus into the mailbox of a dear pastor friend and wife, Dave and Beth Schleusener, who were leaving shortly for a three year assignment in Japan (Dave as a Navy Chaplain).

Dressed in white faith goes
To serve among the soldiers
Pastor Dave’s new call.
She loves adventure
As Commander Dave's ally,
Gospel joys beckon. 
Morning Glories are a favorite with many!

My older brother, and the patriarch of our clan, celebrated a birthday this summer. His youngin's (as he'd say) have added new grandbabies to their family.  An engineer by day, he also loves working on their family farm, Sunny Lea Acres.

Big Brother
Father, grandpa too,
Decade filled with family growth,
Patriarch in bibs. 

This summer we celebrated from afar the graduation and birthday of Paulina Bogdanova from Osgoode Hall Law School at the University of Toronto. I met Paulina when she was in elementary school and in the neighborhood of the church where I served in Cary, NC. Her summer visits to her grandparents for many years included music and that was our connection, as teacher and friend. Tempus fugit!

Each bloom lasts only one day

Summer birthday fun, 
As lawyer sparkling new, 
Time to dance a jig.

Here are my most recent poems, for friends here in the area, Pat and Vicki Gallagher. We've reconnected with them after moving out of state for several years. Vicki sings in the choir that I led at Resurrection Lutheran church from 2000 to 2007. She was so gracious to visit my new parish this summer and sing "The Lord's Prayer" (Mallote) during a worship service. 

Bloom where you are planted!

Standing tall, he leads
Home, work, community, church, 
With a servant’s heart.

Curator of words
She teaches, convinces, loves;  
Grace-filled, singing life!  

Don't these descriptions make you want to get to know these folks even better and enjoy conversation around the breaking of bread with them? 

Variegated Liriope with Blue Spikes in August

Here's a silly haiku from a recent eating out experience. A friend suggested I may be the first person to write a haiku for McDonald's. Maybe so. 

At McDonald’s  

Coke and a sandwich 
Ketchup for the hot French fries 
Fast food indulgence.

And a last set of haiku, serious and poignant, written for my nephew Josh. His mother passed away two years ago on August 14th. He wrote a beautiful tribute to her and shared it on Facebook. I sent him this poem, a distillation of the things he said, such insight and candor for a 16 year old boy.  

Second Anniversary 

Mom is gone from sight
Two years ago departed
Thoughts of her bring tears.

Difficult, dreary,
Desert days, dripping, dreadful,
Dare I dare to dream?

Yet I feel her pulse  ̶
Memories keep her alive,
My heart gains courage.

She taught, influenced,
“Enjoy life!” was her lesson,
Thoughts of her bring joy.

My brother (Josh's Dad) took this photo from their home in the Colorado Rockies.

This photo of the sun coming up over the mountain mists, is to me, a visual representation of what Josh wrote.

The seasons end, and yet we look to what lies ahead with hope and confidence that God will be with us, lovingly sustaining us all the days of our lives.

Grace and peace to all who are reading this.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Music Links

The Lark Ascending - Ralph Vaughan Williams, for solo violin and orchestra, based on George Meredith's poem, "The Lark Ascending" (1881). Vaughan Williams used these lines from Meredith's poem on the flyleaf of his published score (1920):
He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound,
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake.
For singing till his heaven fills,
'Tis love of earth that he instils,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup
And he the wine which overflows
to lift us with him as he goes.
Till lost on his aerial rings
In light, and then the fancy sings.

Front porch at summer's end

Come sit with me and enjoy the breezes of late summer and the song of birds


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Search and Rescue

The last blog post in commentary series on Psalm 139 in haiku poetic form.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.
                                                               Psalm 139:23-24


Search and Rescue

Wickedness in me?
A speck or a ream well-hid?
Find and cure it Lord.

My heart is anxious—
Seat me in a place of prayer
Dialogue truest.

Then onward, upward
Lead me to eternal life
On paths of deep joy.

Quote to Ponder . . .
My soul is like a house, small for you to enter, but I pray you to enlarge it. It is in ruins, but I ask you to remake it. It contains much that you will not be pleased to see: this I know and do not hide. But who is to rid it of these things? There is no one but you.
        Augustine of Hippo, Confessions (written between AD 397-400)

Photos from my neighborhood in 2013


Musüda, ärka üles / Awake, My Heart - Estonian Girls' Choir

Jesus Lay Your Head in the Window - song at 4:12. This is so beautifully sung by Marlissa Hudson.

The Road Home - Stephen Paulus

Lead Kindly Light - Dan Forrest

Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom, 
Lead Thou me on! 
The night is dark, and I am far from home, 
Lead Thou me on! 

Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see 
The distant scene; one step enough for me. 
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still 
Will lead me on. 

O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, 
Till the night is gone, 
And with the morn those angel faces smile, 
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile! 

Meantime, along the narrow rugged path, 
Thyself hast trod, Lead, Saviour,
Lead me home in childlike faith, 
Home to my God. 
To rest forever after earthly strife 
In the calm light of everlasting life." 

Link to beginning of series. 
Link to previous post.