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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

The Little Things

Image result for rooster at crucifixion

It’s not Creation’s making that enthralls me

Nor miracles of Heaven’s cosmic plan

The titles by his name or any mystery

But the little things that help me understand.

Like the farmer who brought roosters to the market

and lost one in the pressing angry crowd

And how he recognized its cock-a-doodle

But left it there for history to record

Or the stable hand who fumbled through the basket

and shaking, gave the Roman soldier nails.

And watched him as he put them in his pocket,

mumbling how the scoundrels never paid.

It’s not so much that soldiers stripped him naked

But the dice they rolled and cast with grubby hands

and the pencil Pilate used to write the message

or the ching of silver coins upon the tiles

It’s not the fact that multitudes accused him

But the Pharisee seen biting on his locks

And not how Peter cursed when he denied him

but the crackle of the fire as he spoke

Yes the most important things should be repeated

As long as earth remains until He comes

But some little things get lost within the story

Plus a million more that no one ever saw.

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MORE BLOOD, NOT LESS

More Blood, Not Less

America needs more blood, not less

We’re all distressed from violence and war

and scores of rampages by the obsessed

All the killing and the spilling, oh my God!

It seems to be headed toward Gog and Magog,

where the blood rises to the horses’ bridles

and fills the boots of the horses’ riders

But still we need more blood not less

Not like the river Nile where it ran red a mile

Or the ruby-stained altars in Jerusalem

Life flowed like rain, yet it was never enough

Earth thirsts for more blood not less,

but not

like the butchery when Romans abused and trampled the Jews

or when it froze in Leningrad streets and church pews

or the most insane battles earth ever had,

when the Mongols drained the population of Baghdad

Or the Nazis’ two million more at Stalingrad

Warsaw Uprising and Waterloo

World Wars One and Two

Yes, the world needs more blood, not less.

Not like Gettysburg, where shoes sank down

in the blood of 50,000 that oozed from the ground.

From Operation Barbarossa’s losses back to

to Via Dolorosa’s three lone crosses

Yes! That’s the blood the whole of humanity and history needs

One man’s bleeding, silent, flowing down

from his feet, his side, his thorny crown

Just a thimbleful and we tremble till we see

that it was enough absolution, the sanguine solution, for the guilt-ridden world:

From the primal garden wedding to final Armageddon,

from Eden to the end:

that’s the only blood that matters

that which spattered over weeping widows, the Pharisees

and Caesar’s centurions, the mockers, and the curious

the blood that went into the Holiest of All

and covered the mercy seat and sprinkled the walls

brought humanity back from the fall.

They pierced, they speared the Son who came up from Egypt

where blood smeared and stained the lintels and door jams

from slain but innocent, perfect little lambs,

yet the firstborn son of every bloodless home was damned.

They needed more blood, not less.

And there was Abel (the first victim of slaughter and gore)

His blood cried out from the ground for more

creating the Avenger and the art of war.

No, the carnage would never stop

not till it got even to heaven’s door and heaven’s Son Himself:

The Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world!

Friends, even still, it’s not less blood spilled we need, it’s more!

So, let the signs in Ferguson read,

Let the banners in Chicago decree,

Shout it out from the housetops of Baltimore

America needs, not less blood, but more

More blood to lift the stain from Columbine

to sift out the pain in South Carolina

More flowing from Emmanuel’s veins

More scarlet spread for Charlotte’s dead

A rushing fountain gushing up, cascading out onto us all

Only blood can wash us, and sweep away

the anger and rage from history’s every page

Know this! Only that crimson fluid

can reverse the curse – undo it –

unravel the injustices of the gavel,

pick the wounds clean of the dust, dirt, and gravel.

There is power of His blood, but it’s in virtue not volume

and Mary was told that a sword would pierce her soul

A cold blade that chased the innocent babe at Herod’s command

and assailed infants

as mothers wailed and wept and afterwards never slept –

Mary’s child would live, and another day, bleed.

More blood, not less, is what the world needs!

More of His grace and fullness free

More of His love who died for me!

Yes, blood will wash America one way or the other

Let’s take His blood and not our brother’s.

The blood began to run in Jerusalem long ago

A woman clutching her son to her breast

red, dripping down his head to his chest

as it soaked through crushed flesh and bone and skin

then flushed through the dark of the soul and sin

as it rushed in a flood through heaven’s curtain, then

spread on the altar, there forever glazed

beneath the wings of seraphim and the astonished gaze

of heaven’s host –

and in its mystical powerful ways

still cleanses us today by the Holy Ghost.

Yes, yes, yes!

We need more blood, not less.

2016jlh

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Incomparable

Eres mas brillante que un destello atómico

Mas vasto que los últimos confines del cosmos

Más rico que el escondite de un cartel

Tu fuerza, que el unión nuclear

Eres mas magnetica que  brújula

Mas dinámico que el torrente río de lava

A atraes más atención que un trueño

Comparado con tu rapidez,  el pensamiento es lenta

Me cargas  mejor que la gravedad

Limpias todo en tus mareas rojas

Me mantienes mas fresco que el oxígeno

Me levantas en tu parapente

Eres inconmensurablemente por encima

de todo lo que pienso o pido

de la naturaleza y de la vida

Enciendes el fúturo y cubres el pasado

Eres Dios, y eres Cristo.

 

INCOMPARABLE

You are brighter than an atomic flash

Bigger than space and beyond

Richer than a cartels’ finest stash

Stronger than a nucleus bond

 

More magnetic than a compass rose

Your colors outshine a rainbow

Burn more power than a gas-giant star

Forgive like a dense black hole

 

You fill all voids and keep pouring out

More dynamic than a lava flow

Draw more attention than a thunderclap

Your speed makes thought look slow

 

You hold us better than gravity

Wash us in red ocean tides

Sustain us fresher than oxygen

Lift us in a paraglide

 

You are beyond all that we could ask or think

In nature and in life

You light up the future and cover the past

You’re God, and you’re Christ!

 

 

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Death On a Swing

It was a dreadful death

there on an innocent porch swing

I didn’t mean to kill her

with such an autonomous reaction to her touch

You see, she put her bare feet on the side of my neck

and in my frightful surprise

I raised my right hand suddenly

and came down across her back

I thought I was out there alone

unaware of the company of a faithful friend

One I’ve cherished often in my  garden

Well, it is November and she’s gone

I will miss her, especially when Spring comes

and I think about her out there among the

flowers and fruits, eating aphids.

I killed a Ladybug and feel just sick about it.

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Pilate’s Sign

The governor took a black Sharpie pen,

some Chinese plywood, a packet of screws.

With left-handed cursive he scribbled a sentence

“Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

He put it in Latin, in Greek and Hebrew

In Spanish, in Braille, in the tongue of the Scots

In Semaphore signals, in sign language too

In Morse Code with tiny black dashes and dots

His handyman climbed over Him who was bleeding,

with a cordless drill, screwed the sign on

The crowd all crossed their arms and were screaming

“We don’t understand it . . . we can’t . . . we won’t!”

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I found a homeless planet by a distant star,

untouched by human vice or the waste of war.

I stepped aft of the lightspeed craft

into a burst of color and blinding vision

from a star closer than my sun –

My mission had begun.

Hastily I put some virgin sand into a wooden box

and locked the top.

I thought it ought to serve as a footstool for my king.

I crossed that world and after a while

found a stream, its water agleam and undefiled –

not once distilled.

With that crystalline fluid

I filled and sealed a mason jar

in case some future peasant – or worse,

a dying king – should thirst.

I followed the meandering river among purple reeds

to a grove of amber-ringed trees where I stooped

to scoop away strange yellowed leaves.

There I exposed an alien sapling cradled by a seed

I gently lifted that sprig up into a transparent cup

I had reserved for drinking, thinking for sure

some workman of wood would need it when it matured.

But on my way back to my lightship

I slipped and cracked the mason jar

and the water dripped out.

And, as I had forgot to seal the seams

in the wooden box, the sand leaked out

like an hourglass and formed

a thin white trail on the mossy grass.

I had rushed to unearth the novel sapling

and crushed its spidery roots

and as its leaf was drying and turning brown

I broke down, crying –

because I had hoped to make the world new,

change the past

by bringing back things unused.

But alas! In touching with stained

heart and hands, all was defiled:

the hapless planet, its land, water, air –

everywhere that I had been.

I realized it was I – not my home planet –

that was unclean,

and now, I had nothing to bring

to the One sent there from somewhere in space

to save me in the first place –

He was both peasant and dying king.

jlh2010

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COLORS

COLORS

Alluring Wyoming

on a midsummer evening before the storm:

A sun-kissed, bubbling creek

beneath an aura of ivy laurel

The forest, deep in magenta mist

and whispy, icicle blue angel wings of ivory hue

An electric yellow sunbeam glow

Turns jadesheen, then juniper green

The serene terra cotta terrain

with its ashen sagebrush,

cornhusk and rye

Like desert dust against a copper sky

Lava stone sits like a cathedral gray scone

On this tender night— 

my secret haven.

 

These are the names

of some Valspar Paint Colors

at Home Depot.

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