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Frank Lee's poetry corner

Discussion in 'Fellowship Forum' started by Frank Lee, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    I don't share a lot of poetry I've written, mainly those pertaining to the Lord and His things. Please add any appropriate works you wish! In a way everything I write is about Him. I remember sharing some in Middle school and bring accused of not writing them myself. I went underground after that supposing that writing poetry was something for a man to be ashamed of, not macho like drinking, fighting and all the world's proofs of "manhood". Nonsense. If God gives you something then share it. It might help someone. Amen

    I love old homesteads and farm places. In my travels I see them sitting abandoned and wonder about those who dwelt there.

    Country Grey houses
    by Frank Lee Jennings
    ca 1997

    by Frank Lee Jennings

    I see them often as I go by
    Screen door ragged and torn
    Country gray houses against the sky
    Guarded by soldiers of corn

    An old tin roof just rusting away
    Old flower beds covered in vines
    Old windows all broken in disrepair
    garden all grown up in pines

    The old windmill still turns sometimes
    When a summer storm blows up a gale
    Then the barn loft door clacks back and forth And the tin roof clatters with hail

    No rooster now crows at the dawning of day
    No cattle now low in the stalls
    No puppies or children now frolic around
    No old clock to chime from the hall

    How long has in been since the dinner bell rang
    And the father came in from the field?
    and table was set by the Mother’s kind hands
    As the family sat down for a meal?

    Jonquils yet bloom along the roadside
    Planted there such a long time ago
    By Father and Mother just starting out
    Just setting out on life’s road

    When was the last time the screen door slammed
    And children ran out to play,
    While Father and Mother sat in a porch swing
    At the sun setting end of the day?

    old houses do speak, though they have no breath
    With a voice as gray as can be
    They tell of their life, of the life lived in them
    They, speak and I listen, you see

    Sometimes I hear them as I pass by
    Gray houses with old caved in wells
    Talking gray houses against the sky
    Houses with stories to tell

    So plainly I know this in a moment of time
    Just the time that it takes to go by
    Life love and living in a country gray house
    Resting silent against the gray sky
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
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  2. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    Playhouse in the woods
    By Frank Lee Jennings

    Peals of laughter from the pines
    above the house. Wonderful
    psalms of unfettered joy.
    Children at play, at laughing.

    Little girls playing in the playhouse
    pretending to be wives and mothers.
    Making things like they ought to be,
    Joanna and her young friend sharing secrets.

    A crystal rock edged walk leads up
    to the front door. Inside
    little shelves hold knickknacks,
    memories, hopes and dreams.

    The dirt floor she swept clean
    with an old yellow broom, and
    a small dog wandered in
    and out, flopping in the corner.

    All she had to do was ask
    And I went right to work
    building, sawing, nailing,
    making her a little place.

    I would have brought down
    the moon had she asked.
    An arm, a leg, mere trifles
    I could do without for her.

    Only deer and wild birds
    Visit there now, excepting
    sometimes me. I left
    it the way she had. Just the way.

    God built her another house you see,
    then bade her come to play, and
    so she did, in her youth
    with the roses yet in her cheeks

    and the laughter in her eyes.
    Blond locks falling all
    around as she proudly held up
    the fish she had caught.

    It may crumble down in time,
    gather itself to the forest floor.
    But not by my hand, for
    palaces should remain standing.

    It will always be hers,
    with the small things she arranged there,
    plastic flowers she put there,
    my heart arranged there on her little shelf.
    quietthinker likes this.
  3. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    Dude Winkler
    By Frank Lee Jennings


    My 17 year old mother snapped this picture of "Dude" Winkler, her father, holding me in probably late August or maybe September of 1944 after my birth on August 6th. He was a commercial fisherman, trapper and Hunter and fished I guess, nearly every body of water in Texas and Arkansas. We moved to Little Rock about 1949 following him. I'm guessing that bulge in his shirt pocket are "fixins", PA and papers. I'm also guessing that hound was a go getter! He took a 300+ pound gar to the zoo in Little Rock and we all went to see it. My sister said she thought he took an alligator there too. I remember him telling me of seeing many gators in the remote areas along the Red River.

    He's one of the old time tough as nails pioneer folk I knew growing up. I miss them all and their wonderful stories of hard times and hunting, fishing and trapping to survive.

    I started this poem about Dude probably 20 years ago and couldn't finish it for a long time. Then I managed to complete it in just a short while. He fiddled at square dances and dressed to the tees and got the Dude nickname.

    (my Grandfather John Lee Winkler)
    By Frank Lee Jennings

    I can see him now, in my mind’s eye
    A shuttle in his hand
    Pulling fast the netter’s knot
    Of loose laid cotton strand

    While I sat by just watching him
    Just watching while he wove
    His netting twine formed onto hoops
    He’d made of green white oak

    He wove and spoke as I recall
    “How old are you Frank Lee”?
    “I’m twelve” I said, and he replied
    “So soon a man you’ll be”

    John Lee Winkler fished to live
    And lived to fish I know
    The Arkansas before the dams
    Choked off its mighty flow

    I remember now his weathered hands Creased with scars and time
    From hauling in the heavy nets
    And setting out the lines

    His wooden John boat was laden down
    With buckets bait and gear
    As he headed up the river
    Long before the dawn was near

    Giant Gars tangled in his nets
    And tear them all to shreds
    Three hundred pounds and better,
    But they mostly ended dead

    Dude once took one to the Zoo
    It lived there for awhile
    Mama took us to see it
    When I was just a child

    Its many years now he’s been gone
    That old time pioneer
    I touched the past by knowing him
    That much to me is clear

    If I live to be one hundred
    I never will forget
    The picture in my mind’s eye
    Of that old man mending nets
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  4. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    Stones Appearing
    by: Frank Lee Jennings

    Walking I walk to the water again
    where no bridge or crossing awaits me. Stopping at the edge I wonder, question, How shall I pass over? I bow my head.

    Praying, beseeching, I cry out,
    Lord, make a way for me to pass over because there is no way. I am urged to step into nothingness then a stone appears.

    My foot falls onto that stone, a foundation created for me by the forger of creation, by the Maker of me. Weeping, laughing, I give thanks and cross the uncrossable

    I pause after crossing looking back
    Seeing what He made for me
    Giving thanks at His deliverance
    I must praise Him and remember

    Many are the waters I've passed over, many stones have come up under my feet on this mysterious journey of life as I walk towards my long home.

    Fearful rolling waters, foaming, troubled. Making a way He places firmament for me to tread, puts it there with His word, His untiring hands.

    Death is a dark rolling water,
    fear a troubled water, adversaries,
    impending doom, rejection, lack,
    sickness, temptation and weakness dark black waters all.

    Often I've stood long and long, weary, wondering that a way would, could be made for my shredded heart, wounded spirit, yet it was revealed in His time.

    Walking across on stones he spoke into place, Jesus the son of God steps with me gripping my hand. I will never leave or forsake you He tells me. A Carpenter is He, yes, and a stone setter too. A restorer of fallen down houses.
    quietthinker likes this.
  5. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    Frank, you make me love you!
    Hidden In Him and Frank Lee like this.
  6. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    The hills are bare, the valleys wasted
    all the watchmen sleep
    in stupefied self-consciousness
    the people walk as sheep

    ‘It feels so good’ and ‘gimme this
    it’s what I’ve always wanted’
    the cry goes up; insatiable!
    we walk the valley daunted

    In silence through the distance sped
    though not so far from home
    these words that only one could hear
    straight to the fathers throne

    With casual grace a cup is given
    the fathers eyes have tears
    not one of these will be forgotten
    though hidden by the years

    Attentive ears, his steady gaze
    my child, for you no mace
    the burden borne will burn the dross
    sufficient is my Grace

    A tender heart, a mountain moved
    consumption it must wait
    till all Gods children are at home
    now we can close the gate.
    Hidden In Him and Frank Lee like this.
  7. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    Gray the winter wood

    by Frank Lee Jennings
    February 26, 2018

    gray gray the winter wood
    up valleys toward the sky
    leaves all gone green all gone
    from summer days gone by

    they wait in silence through the cold
    through long chill winter nights
    as moonbeams stream to the forest floor
    and horned owls make their flights

    you sense they wait, they tarry
    for spring as they stiffly stand
    ranks and rows of companies
    wooden soldiers, grayly grand

    guarding mountains guarding all
    the winding Valley ways
    silent soldiers watching oer'
    the silent winter days

    hardly hardly are they seen
    as far away they serve
    away out on the mountain
    round the valley River's curve

    Oaken army thousands strong
    bend then bow and sway
    as winter winds command them
    to break ranks for the day

    sometimes Oaks speak plainly
    for they never try and hide
    news of old trees dying
    along the mountain side

    old Oaks died doing duty
    keeping place in rank
    watching out oer' the valleys
    Their lives are words of thanks

    I know they'll still be standing
    straight up in duties still
    long after I've ceased watching
    and lived out all His will

    as Oaks we stand in His army
    enduring hardness in our call
    the Lord our one commander
    stands watching oer' us all

    so Oaks and men have this then
    our common lot to stand
    a call to faithful waiting
    for the Master's last command

    I like this. My daughter Joanna was a writer and poet but I never got to see her talent mature. The title also has reflections. She wrote this at 12 not knowing it was to be her eptiaph;

    Reflections of the passing seasons
    by Joanna Lee Jennings, age 12

    A frigid winter gale will blow
    across a plain of grey
    reminding of a perfect time
    a sunny, amber day

    The snow will blow across the hills
    once cloaked in spring's sweet haze
    In winter we'll remember these
    the happy springtime days

    The trees are bare, they wave their limbs
    across a wintry sky
    and we'll recall on winters' nights
    the golden fall gone by

    Our time here is very short. Let us shower the people we love with love. Today is your best day. No matter how fraught with affliction it's what we have now.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
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  8. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    and what a good writer she is!
  9. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    She lived to 15 then Jesus took her.
  10. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    do you mind if I ask how it happened?
  11. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    Lyrics sown, of how I stand
    in eyes where I’m the judge
    unsuitable for such a gift
    O Lord, we need your salve

    Discernment, insight, vision
    are lacking and we’re black
    I know your promise to be sure
    that you won’t turn your back

    Lord clothe our naked bodies
    fill our purse with purest gold
    shod our feet with peace and patience
    courage needed to be bold

    Sing to give you all the glory
    share so souls can see your face
    reinforce the gospel story
    of your free and pardoning grace.
    Frank Lee likes this.
  12. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    I heard my children laughing
    by Frank Lee Jennings

    Long long ago I went to sit
    in the autumn evening woods
    to bask in all God's beauty
    and to catch some if I could

    The scent of wild and autumn leaves
    swept all around me there
    my back against a white oak tree
    as the golden fall so fair

    displayed itself in a fiery glow
    on the oak and hickory trees
    and bathed them each with rays
    of gold that covered all their Leaves

    God's grace was shown in things
    that so filled the afternoon
    acorns falling from the trees
    and a faint October moon

    soon off there in the distance
    way high up on a hill
    were a little boy and girl at play
    all else was respectfully still

    I heard them laughing as they played, their joyful voices clear
    in the crisp fall air they carried far
    and made them seem so near

    the joy of God rose in my heart
    just hearing my two loves
    so I laughed too inside myself
    and worshipped the Lord above

    He sets those alone in families
    and teaches their heart to sing
    His joy and His praises
    that shall forever ring

    throughout the timeless ages
    as with Him we will dwell
    to laugh and play around Him
    thus make His heart to swell

    with praises of his children
    and affection of His bride
    living through eternity
    forever at His side

    The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
    Revelation 22:17 ESV
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  13. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    Eternal Oases of God
    by Frank Lee Jennings

    His praises come up in my mouth
    not with my eyes, within my heart
    I know He's here. I press ahead
    though often weak, even perplexed
    I sense His Holy Spirit always here

    into my feeble weakness He pours strength, replaces cloudiness with clarity. Weariness with joyful energy, rising again I go on, lightened by the anointing and presence of God's Holy Spirit. Weariness has flown away

    as I yield my tongue to His spirit
    His might flows into me. Spiritual power. I can do all things, anything through Jesus Christ. He'll never fail, leave or turn away from me

    friends, kinsmen forsake me, turn away their faces. I look, as the psalmist, for love, gentleness, a kind word, compassion, prayer, yet I abide alone, save for Jesus the Christ and His promised Holy Spirit of comfort

    I too wounded in houses of my friends
    My words rejected too. Misunderstood,
    Cast back at me. Longing that they receive Him. Know Him. Oh Lord to know you more. To hear you more

    A man of sorrows knowing grief.
    Am I exempt? The son of God is my pattern. I yield to Him knowing all that besets me He will overcome.
    Firing the pots gives them strength

    I know He will change men, create reborn hearts with new lives, change the times and seasons. Hearts and faces He will turn again toward me, He will transform, change and turn me around to face others

    let me regard, offer hope, love, a kind word, forgetting myself. Even as He was obedient unto death. He prayed for them, offering God's love instead of man's gall. I follow His pattern, His ways, His footsteps. Come with me He says. See where I dwell then dwell with me

    I'm astounded. I thought He'd finished long ago His saving, molding, shaping, breaking of me. After decades He's all new, working yet on this small pot. I rest in His hands. He removes flaws, smoothes, perfects, adding glaze in high heat, so that when struck a high clear ring

    "Climb out of yourself" He demands
    "Step into the ever new me". Let go
    all holds on the old man. Divided
    houses crumble into ruin. God's new creations will abide for eternity.
    I am a new creation again, again

    I clasp the Master's garment as we walk together into the wilderness, worshipping Him as we go, side by side on the narrow path. I yield to the urge of His spirit. He takes my hand "walk with me" He encourages. Come

    firey darts often fill the air around me. Fired to kill and wound but God's armor protects me. I raise the shield of faith above while slashing back the enemy with the sword of God's word. His blood upon me a covering

    to quench flaming arrows and lies,
    I hear His words inside. The truth
    I absorb the peace He radiates
    as if a dry sponge gasping for water
    calmed by His spirit, I look ahead

    wondering about beyond, but
    I need not consider tomorrow
    turning my meditation to Him
    I recall past deliverances, sweet grace as Samson at the honeycomb

    walking on, His joy lifts my heart
    faith, I will not let go of Him.
    faith, I will not stop. Faith,
    He will never fail or desert me.
    faith, He speaks through me

    "The cross is very big" He tells me.
    "No matter how far you travel on the road of life you can always see it. If you cannot see the cross you are on the wrong path, you've lost your way. Go back to the cross, start there". Keep it in sight

    dark forces beset and wrestle me,
    assaulting my peace, I stand still.
    over and again His words and love
    I recall, wisdom He's given me
    my health, peace, joy are assured

    I speak God's promises constantly
    pray in the spirit. Secrets from God.
    Secrets to God, a pure language.
    Jesus, the only sure anchor, my shelter
    nothing else holds so fast and secure

    everything else must fail, fall, break.
    No matter how fierce or fearful, my
    enemies flee from Him, tremble then vanish at the sound of His name.
    I speak as the very oracles of God

    He freely gives me His strength
    to move forward, again do exploits
    a joyful heart, peace with purpose
    I'm walking on in life, never alone
    nothing must deflect my calling

    now I through Him lift up others,
    fellow travelers. Seeing their needs
    I speak, do what He says, go forth
    comforting as I was comforted.
    I was not whole until He broke me

    Pride was broken off. A husk
    now the treasure within is seen
    if I am seen then I've failed. His
    radiance alone must shine forth. He
    will be seen in my countenance

    a green rising appears in the
    shimmering waves of heat.
    Lush green growth near ahead,
    flowers by the flowing water, a
    treasury of ministry to wayfarers

    heat, pressure, assaults all fade
    replaced by cool breezes of peace
    they sweep around and through me
    inside me, praise God, inside me!
    Each touch heals hidden wounds

    no one heals except the Lord Jesus
    no other touch is so gentle yet strong
    no other power so great yet humble
    no other voice as living waters of Jesus

    on the long desert wilderness
    journey of life Jesus has guided
    me to yet another oasis. His yoke
    light, easy and a joy to bear
    I need never lay it down. Times of refreshing come by the Holy Spirit

    adversaries, trouble, pressure, all
    rage against His pilgrims. Trying
    to grind us down. Turn us aside.
    He carries us on waves of grace
    clearly it's seen by unbelievers

    they are drawn to His beauty in us
    they yearn to have whatever it is
    that we radiate. A sweet fragrance
    of His Holy Spirit draws them near
    they must yield to His love and grace
    or reject Him then flee away

    I take in His glory as long as I might, rejoicing in His magnified presence, basking in the glow of His peace, refreshed in the rays of His light, a wonderful, gentle loving power

    I move on, but never from Him
    or from His grace, walking with Him I journey on life's path. He's set
    this path to His heavenly city, a living oasis I carry through life's. deserts

    He calls me forward with Him, for
    in Him we live, move, have our very being. His presence is the eternal oasis that goes along, we need never depart being refreshed by His grace

    even as I journey forth and do battle,
    search and seek the lost, raise up
    the fallen, sowing seed by the way
    watering seed sown by others
    being pruned by the things I suffer

    though He is the son yet learned He
    obedience through the things He suffered. Have you turned to face his word, turned around, away from men's traditions? Been baptized in His Holy Spirit of promise? Obeyed His voice

    He makes oases inside us, His children, those wearied in their journeys. He has prepared them before us so where He is we may also be, and so dwell in His glory. In Him we live, move, once again anointed refreshed

    an eternal oasis of God's grace is
    the ever flowing river filled with living water where we freely drink as we walk and do His will, never thirsting as His river flows through us

    And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
    Revelation 22:17 KJVS

    He shall drink of the brook by the wayside;
    Therefore He shall lift up the head

    Psalms 110:7
    Deuteronomy 33:27 KJVS
    The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them .
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  14. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    I was up at 5 am this morning on the balcony looking out at the quiet blackness of the forest. The wild things had not started to stir yet.
    Sipping a hot lemon and ginger tea reading your beautifully expressed poems the tears silently trickled down my cheeks as your stories come to life.

    An hour and a half later the Sun was already above the horizon on the beach. Rays of light piercing through grey streaked morning clouds. I imagined Jesus returning and longed to share my thoughts with willing ears. Ambling along in thought on the freshly washed sand from the previous evening's high tide, no footprints or evidence of human activity, swept clean by God's broom, I sing or whistle his praises thinking of your Joanna and how it has influenced your perspective.
    I think God uses heartbreak and difficult times to bring out words that might otherwise never have be born.
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  15. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    The innermost personal feeling from Jesus He ever shared with me was a night long long ago when I was a confused new Christian. No church nor counsel to help. I sat on a moonlit night in our greenhouse and poured out my heart to Him. Psalm 62:8

    My pain, my fear, my uncertainty, my doubt, my ignorance. Every everything I could search out I poured out to Him. Even though I heard nothing I began to slowly slowly move my head up and down in a yes motion as I said over and over "you felt these same things, you felt these same things"!

    By the spirit Jesus, son of God had told me that He knew EXACTLY how I felt. Exactly. Those nights in prayer when He was away from the disciples and the noise of the crowds He poured His heart out to God the Father telling Him the same feelings I shared.

    We don't realize how much in common we have with Him. He is ever mindful of our torn lives,broken hearts, aching bodies, troubled thoughts. We as He MUST pour out our hearts before Him. He is our only refuge. We try and understand but when we pour out our entire heart to Him His peace sweeps in and we find that suddenly understanding is no longer necessary. Peace passes all understanding. Pouring out, really pouring out is an emptying of the waste basket. Cleaning out the closet. Sending a load of refuse to the dump.

    Friends pour our your heart to Him who knows exactly how you feel. The body He walked in was exactly like this burden we carry with us. He knows. He's closer than you can imagine.
    quietthinker and "ByGrace" like this.
  16. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    She died with the help of a drinking driver. We were the only ones with insurance. I stood at the gurney that held her body and said the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

    I spoke at her chapel service to a full house. Many were standing. They all knew the story of our long wait for children then God's promise of a son. He threw in two beautiful daughters to boot!

    He told me after her death that He was taking the anointing that was upon her and giving it to Laura so that she would have a double portion of anointing. I've lived many years since June 30,1997, and have seen that word to me come to pass.

    All of our days are numbered. Even the worst day is one we have. Thank Him on the worst day for the dead cannot. While we have breath let us praise Him who made us. Amen
    Heart2Soul, amadeus and "ByGrace" like this.
  17. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing that Frank.
    Frank Lee likes this.
  18. Frank Lee

    Frank Lee Well-Known Member

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    Were I the wind
    by Frank Lee Jennings

    Were I the wind I’d go
    no matter where, I’d go
    Racing swift and low over
    the rippling face of secluded waters

    Rolling herds of leaves along
    Icy cold with frost on my breath
    causing passersby to cringe
    pull in their coats, hold their hats

    I laugh at their notice of me
    They consider my presence
    Wisely change their plans
    Deferring to my powerful presence

    I move slowly then up into the heavens
    Stampeding slothful clouds on their way
    White clouds of rainless days
    brooding clouds burdened with rain

    dipping, twisting earthward again
    So circling mountain peaks
    then down against the plains
    wheat bowing and waving before me

    raising dust on country roads
    as I push ahead for the sea
    herding tiny sand boulders
    multitudes gallop over the dunes

    raising up the white capped waves
    They salute me as I pass
    choppy and small then
    large and foaming standing tall

    all must pay me my due
    acknowledge my presence
    bow before my demanding gales
    sigh at my passing coolness

    Forested armies wave me by
    Their arms saluting my might
    They bow from the waist
    Pruning their dead from among the living

    Through city canyons I sweep
    Moving the people along
    I breeze through one window
    Then back out another

    Scattering the papers before me
    I rush along rearranging things
    Taking grasshoppers by storm
    Feeding them to the fishes

    My play grows tiresome
    The day is finished, out of breath
    My gales are grown weary, I repent
    Twilight brings my lying down

    I must rest now from my travels
    The darkening stillness ends my day
    Considering the morrow I
    Turn upon my secret bed

    My empowering friend, the sun
    Has fallen away, leaving me alone
    I await his return, his warmth
    His light, bidding me arise

    Still but not for long
    I anxiously roll over in the night
    so rustling the small leaves in
    my impatience, to ever move
    is my destiny, my life's breath
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  19. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    And so also through the scriptures God uses words and names of his creation to convey messages of reproof, encouragement and prophecy and bids us to have hears to hear.
    Frank Lee likes this.
  20. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    Meet me, meet me…
    meet me where there are no images, facades or distractions
    peel back the layers which hide the sunlight that only the dead obscure
    meet me at the coal face
    where dirty and vulnerable is palpable…shocking !!
    to touch a string, to hear it sing; raw and unprotected
    the animal and intellect entwined
    creative, intuitive, spontaneous and free
    a godly song which those unshackled people be.