Proverbs of a Foolish Man

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from freight trains to Ferraris
cigarette butts in the gutter to Cuban cigars
wanted to go home so many times
but it was just too damn hard…
hidden in the desert rock and sailed the Aegean sea
scrounged like a pauper and feasted like a King
ran and ran as fast as I could
but still could not get away from me…
she deserved a better man than me
she is the whole of good and light as can be
gripped all my shame then threw it in her face
and she rose above it as she walked on in grace…
These are the Proverbs of a foolish man
Please hear this and then walk another way
Avoid the Proverbs of this foolish man
the price is much too high to pay…

It was the brightest sky in a hundred years

 

amazing astronomy background bright

Photo by Luck Galindo

It was the brightest sky in a hundred years

an ancient song that drew me here

There is no burdened that these stars will fall

I know you will answer when I call

 

Like a dazzling topaz you fill my sky

as you drift from me to that Holy high

I knew that you were glad to go

though selfishly I did not want it so

 

Then you spoke to me in that gentle way

There are worse things then dying you said that day

I cried and agreed but did not want you leave

but we both know the One in whom we believe

 

For He holds all our days and all our joys

although I can no longer hear your voice

Today I know you’re both watching over us

The family that you love so much

 

 

 

 

 

 

“…but what comes to you contrary to your choosing, thinking, desiring, that is where you must follow, there He is calling.”

woman with yellow backpack standing on hanging bridge with trees

Photo by Josh Willink 

For many years I have tried to manage Christian “doctrine” and the “Truth of Jesus and His Cross.”  I write about this a lot because following Jesus Christ and being used by Jesus Christ to further his Kingdom has been the greatest longing in my life. I was basically and literally born into it. I am more than grateful for my raising, even the hardest parts where I learned what a mess I am.

I say this because while my deepest and strongest desire in this world is to be a disciple of Jesus I am now in my sixth decade and feel I am just beginning to understand what that means.

It is really quite simple. Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we could be put “in right relationship with God.” Which is marvelous in and of itself however God’s plan is to put the whole world right as well. Not just you and me. Salvation is NOT just me and my loved ones but ALL the people in ALL the world. 

This  has been quite diluted in the Church since  the moment Jesus ascended. This Revolution Jesus started on the Cross, this most powerful declaration of God’s love for us cannot be reduced to formulas or catchy slogans or politics or religious formulas and traditions. 

Again this quote from Martin Luther says it so much better than I can…

“things must happen NOT according to your own knowledge but rather immerse yourself in the abandonment of understanding and Jesus will give you true understanding. You cannot find the way of the cross. Jesus must lead you there like a blind person. Not the work you chose for yourself, not the sufferings you think up for yourself, but what comes to you contrary to your choosing, thinking, desiring, that is where you must follow, there He is calling. There you are the pupil, there is where your teacher, your Savior has come and is found.”

You see, our LORD has walked this path before us as a human. His Holy Spirit is here walking this path with us, teaching us, guiding us…

As we walk so closely to Jesus, like a blind person. Trusting Him (Jesus) the way He trusted God, our Father, becoming a true disciple is about these things… giving up control, not being my own god…Yes Lord.

The Pedestal

abstract angelic art blast

Photo by Sebastian Voortman

He said I was too good to be true

but of course there were obvious clues

 

He said your eyes are like pools of mystery

but of course he couldn’t see my history

 

The pedestal was so lovely for a season

but of course in time it crumbled all to pieces

 

He said the crumbled ruins were better 

of course no one can love a stone cold pedestal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louisiana June

white cotton flowers in vase beside clock

Photo by Irina Iriser 

I saw the first bloom of cotton

White and puffy like a cloud

it made me grin.

 

Mama Mae’s deep well water

Tasted like the honey of heaven

It rested my thirst.

 

My daddy had a smile

An umbrella to my world

it covered my heart.

 

The Night Heron

grey heron reflection on body of water

Photo by Leigh Jeffreys

She said what she first noticed was that images were spinning around her frontal lobe like those old 1950 children’s lamp shade night lights. As the lamp would spin around different nursery rhyme stories would glow in the dark. This is what she noticed first.

These scenes of life from childhood to ancient-hood would spin in her mind but then she would immediately forget what she saw. She said it was tremendously frightening at first.

She said with in a few months the the children started coming more often. Telling her what she should do more often. She just smiled and ignored them and worked in her garden. She managed dozens and dozens of tulips and daffodils around her large home built with field stones.  A beautiful home that once was in a country meadow but with human progress was now in the middle of a large city neighborhood. She said she loved to prune the bulbs and separate them each year. She used her little garden mat for her creaky knees and wore the hat which was her Mother’s. She said her Mother bought the hat in China where her family were missionaries until the Communist kicked them all out of the country.  The hat was perfect for long days in the Texas summer and was constructed so well that it looked as good as new instead of forty years old.

I would drive by her house every day on my way to work or to the market and everyday she could be found in her garden. I often stopped to chat.

One day we were talking and she said, “you know children can never know their parents young. That is why it is so hard for them to understand them as adults. They have never seen me run a relay race like a gazelle or fight with my sister. They have never seen me with skinned knees and pigtails. They surely cannot picture me as a lovely teenage girl going on her first date much less enjoying a healthy sex life at least until they were born! I also think they have forgotten that their Father always brought me tulips and daffodils our wholes lives together.”

As fall approached I would see her out there tending the bulb garden with her head bent over and her knees on her mat. It gave me a sense of comfort I think.  Then, of course, that inevitable day came when I did not see her for a week or so but had been too busy to stop by. The next week I saw a for sale sign in the front yard and stopped.

I was surprised when a nurse aid let me in and I knew this must be a bad sign but she was actually looking quite spry. I noticed when she stood up that her back was a tiny bit bent like trees whey they finally wear the shape of the wind. We sat together in some worn but comfortable chintz chairs by the front window. The gray-blue light of winter slanted through the stillness. She said, “Death’s cruel pluck is coming.” She was right.

By spring she was gone. By summer the children sold her house and the lot behind it. The new construction destroyed every single tulip and daffodil. All the lot taken up by a McMansion. They didn’t tear down the beautiful stone house but to me tearing up the garden was the cruelest act. I wonder if the children had no idea what it meant to her. I wondered why they did not see the hours she labored and loved in that garden. I wondered a lot of things.

The last time I saw her she talked about how the night Heron with it’s silver soft plumage was the most beautiful in all the marsh. She said she that the Heron had been visiting her each evening in the shadows of dusk. She said she was stuck in a memory of growing up on the Bayou of Houston and couldn’t remember a lot of things about being an adult.  The last thing she said to me with a gentle smile on her face was, ” thanks for coming to visit me Mama. I will see you soon for good.”  I just smiled and told her goodbye and thanked her for the beautiful tulip and daffodil garden.  She waved and I was gone. She was gone too.

Every time I drive by the property I go through a run of emotion from anger at her children for what seems carelessness to realizing I am not their judge. I feel sad that the beautiful tulips and daffodils no longer dance there in the breeze. I remember her smile and think of the Night Heron. I picture her in heaven with her Chinese hat on bent down on her knees with her mat working in God’s garden.

You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of the aged, and you shall revere your God. Leviticus 19-32

 

An artist and a poet

beach candle candlelight close up

Photo by Pixabay

I don’t know what you found after our childhood

Did love transform your dreams or did you have to choose?

 

Do we really know between the longing and the real?

I think of you often and am warmed by your gentle smile.

 

I hope you found a girl and some laughter.

A place to warm your heart through dark cold disaster.

 

Life is but a song we sing to touch others

An artist and a poet, a sister and a brother, a moment in the sun together

Lover’s Curtains

photo of beaded accessories

Photo by Artem Bali

It doesn’t really matter when

I pull back the curtains and see you again

It will be two-sided loving

like it’s always been

Come on in my lover and friend

 

There is a wonderful wildness in a true loves heart

once it starts the rhythm won’t stop

do you feel it baby,

do you still feel it too

When I pull back the curtains and come visit you?