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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Poems



A few years ago, I wrote a fun little poem about the last-minute purchase of my Christmas tree, and a long time ago, I wrote about how my brothers and I used to sneak out after Mom and Dad went to bed on Christmas Eve to lay on the floor by the tree, talking until we fell asleep.

I wrote another Christmas poem back in 2002,* when I was living in Germany as an exchange student my senior year of high school:


Oh Come, Ye Wise Men

Oh come, ye wise men;
Bring your gold,
And see the Child
Foretold of old.

Oh come, ye wise men;
Bring your incense
To the Christ
Who brought you hence.

Oh come, ye wise men;
Bring your myrrh
To Him who is
Before you were.

Oh come, ye wise men;
Worship and praise
The Lord of Hosts
All your days.



I love Christmas time, but until yesterday, those were the only Christmas poems I'd written.


I finished decorating my tree the other day, so last night, I decided to write another Christmas poem. I settled into my little overstuffed chair, happily situated between the tree and the heater. I put a little wool blanket that I received for Christmas in England when I was 16 on my lap. Christmas music wafted in from the computer in my office as I opened my poetry notebook and prepared to write by Christmas tree light. I happened to write the first line as Ginny Owens was singing “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,” and I decided to write the rest of the poem to that melody.**


Good News

The Christmas hymns have all been sung;
The presents are under the tree,
Reminding us that wise men gave
Their gifts on bended knee.

“Fear not,” the angel said, and told
The shepherds in the night,
That Christ was born in Bethlehem
To set the world aright.

So God was laid in a manger,
Made low for all to see.
He lived to die on a wretched cross
To make the sinner free.

And now, ascended in glory,
Forgiving our endless sin,
The Lord of all will return one day,
And all will worship him.




Merry Christmas, everyone. :)




*In May, apparently.

**Apparently I should have been a lyricist.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wonder


There's a book by Ravi Zacharias called Recapture the Wonder. It's been a few years since I read it, but I it's a good book, and one that I recommend. As I read it, one of the things that struck me was how much Zacharias quotes poetry. Being a poet myself, I was quite happy to see that, and I enjoyed the selected excerpts.

One day, I was sitting in a hotel bistro one day, eating lunch and reading the book. Tired out by my work in the Air Force, I had decided a weekend getaway was in order, so I drove to Atlanta for a couple days' rest. I had been writing quite a lot of poetry during that season, most of which ended up in my book, To Do This Right. True to form, I wrote three poems while in Atlanta. One of them was Wonder.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Isaiah 65 Poem


I really like the book of Isaiah, and certain chapters in particular. One of those chapters is number 65. Some of the word pictures are very striking, like those first few verses: "I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, 'Here I am, here I am,' to a nation that was not called by my name. I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people," (v 1-2a).* The descriptive language in this whole chapter is very effective in creating a sort of cinematic presentation of the broken relationship between God and his people, followed by its eventual repair.

There are also some wonderful repetitions. In verse 12 for example, God, speaking of his rebellious people, says: "when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen." This is juxtaposed beautifully (and doubly)** in the promise of the new heavens and new earth, as God says: "Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear" (v 24).

I encourage you to read Isaiah 65 for yourself; there's so much more to it than what I've briefly mentioned here. I like it so much, it inspired a poem:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Priorities


Kids think the darndest things.

When I was very small, my parents used to tuck me in every night with a prayer. When it was time to settle down and get into bed, they would say, "It's time to P - R - A - Y." I'm embarrassed to think how long it took after learning to spell, to realize that wasn't a word, but rather, the spelling out of another word I knew: "Pray."

When I wrote my poem about being nearsighted, the subject made me remember a long-forgotten childhood concern about my eyesight, years before I ever needed glasses. I jotted down a not very well-done poem about it, which I have now revised.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sound in Afghanistan


I decided to post a short script exercise (and a drawing!) focusing on sound, which I set in Afghanistan, and then I realized this Saturday is Veterans Day - how perfect!


I was deployed to Afghanistan from February 3 to September 10, 2012. I had a pretty cushy job, all things considered, but that doesn't mean certain aspects of life over there weren't an adventure.

This short piece of dramatic writing is based on real events. The loudspeaker dialogue is accurate according to my journal from that time - I heard it so often, I had it memorized, so I'm glad I thought to write it down - and for a while I had a neighbor who hit the snooze button on her alarm clock instead of turning it off, then left it in her bed and went to the showers. We were on different shifts, and this occurred basically in the middle of my sleep cycle.

Good times. :)