Observations in the Garden

1. The actual act of planting – placing
a desiredchosen seed
or seedling in the ground
requires very little energy other than a bit of intention and initiative,
as compared to the great effort
needed to prepare the soil

2. Which requires the backbreaking
task of piercing the soil with something sharp,
removing stones and
breaking stubborn clods that have been packed down over time.

3. Once planted, of course
consistent energy must thereafter be
spent
watering and
keeping weeds at bay –
but if tended to regularly, this is
joyful work!

4. It’s only when neglected and overrun
with weeds
that the garden requires heavy
handed intervention, by use of the
gardener’s tools, lest the plot become
utterly unfruitful.

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Discernment

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Funny how we don’t have
Fish eyes that sit on either side
Of our head
Or eyes that twist in alternate directions
As chameleons have

But we have been granted eyes that
Face forward
Always

But cannot see the future

Perhaps so that we are reminded instead to
Close our eyes
Bow our head
And pray…and then to
Stretch our neck back
Open our arms wide
And lift our faces to
The God Who Knows What

Lies ahead
Behind
And within

…………………………………………………….

Prayer of Thomas Merton:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Little Grey Mouse

I wrote this sestina a few weeks ago. Today its words were fulfilled! Now I need to find this little guy a new home far away. I should perhaps re-title it “Little Brown Mouse.”.

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Ooh there you are, little grey mouse.
It seems that you think I inhabit your house.
How funny it seems you think that I might
Be the pest of the kingdom you rule in the night.
When by chance we do meet you run, bolt in a hurry.
I also do jump with a startling worry.

The presents you leave are the source of my worry.
Unwanted in cabinets are droppings of mouse.
I dash for the bleach with no little hurry.
And spray every surface and crack of this house.
I wonder perhaps when you come back this night,
If you’ll think that I cleaned it for you, well you might.

I resolve that I’ll need more power and might
To reclaim my kingdom, though how? I now worry,
For I do not wish to snuff out this small knight.
But I am afraid, oh small valiant mouse
That I must now reclaim my stake on this house.
I will set up a trap for tonight when you scurry.

So to the garage it’s my turn to scurry.
I find a small box and I think that I might
Find some wire mesh and a spring in the house.
I fashion and fix my trap, but I worry
Is it able to draw you oh grey little mouse,
Into its lair as you search in the night.

And so I have set up my trap for this night,
Strategically placed in the path where you scurry.
I wonder the tastiest treat for you, mouse,
A snack so delicious and fragrant you might
Be drawn to my box without any worry.
I find in my fridge cookie dough. Yum! Toll House!

I add peanut butter to the glob of Toll House.
I smear it inside the box at midnight.
To bed I retire with wonder and worry,
Will my trap draw you in as you scramble and scurry?
Will the spring then release with enough speed and might
To prevent your escape, oh little grey mouse?

Good morning grey mouse! Let’s go find your new house!
In this barn there are several places you might tiptoe and scamper and creep in the night.
I’ve left you some snacks so you won’t have to worry, and please, back to my house, don’t you scurry!

Broken Bits

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a broken bit
among
broken bits
sharp cornered
embedded in the earth with all the other
broken bits
cries out with contention
“Potter!
How could you
make me so,
that I should lay here,
trodden underfoot,
a broken bit
among
broken bits!”

did it also say
as it was kneaded
moulded
and shaped
in the hands
of its maker
“What are you making?
I don’t know your hands. They must not exist. Are there no hands to hold, shape and fashion me?”

reaching in
pulling
out
the broken bit
among
broken bits
the potter lifts
the jagged shard
admiring the beauty
of its color
texture
and unique shape
he wipes away the dry caked on dirt
and admires how the broken bit now
shines with its makers reflection
placing it now tenderly
he fastens it among other
gloriously broken bits
and smiles with satisfaction
at his masterpiece.

Rhetorical Question

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Alas, April is over! For the past month I’ve dutifully checked a daily prompt to base my writing on. Waking up today, I questioned what I should write about? So I checked online for a bible verse of the day. Here’s what came up…

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
– Isaiah 58:6 (NIV)

How the Spirit prompts us!!! Here’s my poem for today:

Rhetorical Question
Is it not there?
Where?
There!
Where God chose it,
this holding back, self-restraint,
abstinence.

Why?
Not to tie you down,
but to loosen, unfasten, liberate, and
deliver from the corruption that binds you.

To untie that heavy burden and slide it
off your back
and neck
and shoulders
and mind
and spirit
where you have been bearing it too long.

You who are abject,
abused, burdened, destitute, enslaved and exploited,

it is there,
where God chose it,
to set you free,
that He may break every yoke.

Calling it a Day

Today is the last day of the Writer’s Digest PAD challenge. I’ve written a poem almost every day for this entire month, sometimes 2 (missed only one day when I was suffering from a migraine). I fear I am becoming poetry obsessed; but greater than that fear is the realization that writing has been a shelter during these past several, rather uncertain weeks of my life. Here is my last poem of the month. The prompt was to write a poem about “calling it a day!” I’ve tried to recap some of the themes of this month’s previous poems and to speak truth to what this past month of writing has revealed to me.

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Calling it a Day

April entered dusty and dull
with the inkling of something new
and the ghosts of the past
caught up
like torn rags in my bare branches.

Day by day voyages ensued.
Mixed messages and modest discoveries were unearthed
as I submitted myself,
constraining my heart to prompt and
timely penned words.

And therein I discovered
violence and peace, storge,
philia, eros
and agape which banished hate,
specs of faith stored away like the wrinkled packets of seeds
in a box in the corner of the mudroom.

I was apprehended by memories of
sunny yellow days on long ago distant
shores mingled with small scurrying
worries underfoot.

And discerning, too,
that the hanging of hope on false hooks
and imaginings of forgiveness will
not make me
new.
For in reality there are no magic
wands to chase away the monsters
within.

Lord, I can’t feel the sun today!
So I’m crawling under the covers and I’m calling it a day,
calling it a month!

But I’m holding on to the hope that whatever the weather
and in every season whether fall-
ing down or rising up,
You’ve apprehended me and I am held secure in your sheltering arms.

And I remember my sister
holding her hands out wide and singing
with every sinew of her soul,
“Lord, we need your rain!”
And I know that tomorrow will come
filled to overflowing
with Your immeasurable love.

Last Straw

It is the last straw

Which finally pushes me out
of the space I’ve been occupying,

Just occupying
like duck sauce packets that get tossed away

Momentum…

This sack of water has potential energy
which can
Instantaneously transform into kinetic energy.

It can jump from an airplane.
It can flow like a river
of living waters.
It can follow you.

And that means changing location
exploring my geography
asking for directions.

And that means
admitting I am lost
without you.

© A. Cele