Saturday, June 30, 2012

Would I?



Would I?
If Christ turned and looked at me
From cries of hatred’s violent clan
Would I stand beside Him or cry fearfully
‘I never knew this man’?

Could I?
If they all stood with arms up-raised
And rocks within their grasp
To stone me; would I declare God’s praise
And to His love hold fast?

Will I?
Will I, in spite of enemies
My Savior’s love defend
And live life’s moments faithfully
For Him until its end?

© Janet Martin

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Fellowship of Silences



The Music in It Prompt: Silence

To commune with silence
is blissful fellowship
in proper balance
But oh, the oceans
that surge and slip
as we dance

Silence teams
with wanton whispers
The sky is full
Memories and dreams
of which I am not master
Push and pull

Silences cannot be stilled
by stopping of ears
or closing of door
Who knew that silence could be filled
with the sound of tears
pelting a phantom shore?

Silence is a painter
A Maestro of thought
composing master-piece art
on canvases broader
than heavens above
but sealed in the heart

J~

In Spite of Rough Drafts




When dreams and intent scrawl a rough draft
Upon the tablet of our thought
As we ponder the impending day

We know nothing but this…

The unknown and unexpected are a testing craft
Instructed in moments tenderly wrought
Be He Whom we would be wise to trust in and pray

© Janet Martin



The Heart's Expression




The heart’s expression
Is most often uttered
Not by fluently ordered script
But by the shimmer
Of love and sorrow
In a tear that tenderly slipped

© J~

Of Things Phantom...



Tomorrow, tomorrow
Oh, tomorrow
You say
But darling, all I ever get
Is today
I’ve reached into midnight
But it is no use
Tomorrow is merely
A phantom excuse
For as surely as I lunge
At the hem of its frock
It is mist on my tongue
At twelve o’clock
And all that is left
Of its vapor hooray
Is the brand new repeat
Of another today

J~

Inspired by the title Tomorrow the Green Grass
On the prompt at IGWRT

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blue...




To write away sorrow
And missing you
Are more than a pen
Is able to do

To smooth from my mind
Your eyes and your lips
Are tasks far too heavy
For mere fingertips

What, oh what is a girl to do
When all she is can think about
Is blue?

To drain from my longing
The sound of your laugh
Is like pouring the ocean
Into a glass

The spirit is willing
The flesh is weak
I cradle your memory
Against my cheek

What, oh what is a girl to do
When all she is able to be
Is blue?

Moments compile
Like they don’t even care
That history expands
Twixt my ‘here’ and your ‘there’

To dance with a memory
Is bittersweet bliss
But it isn't the same
Without your kiss

Blue, blue, blue,
What, oh what is a girl to do
When all she is able to touch
Is blue?


© Janet Martin

Heart-thief



It is not a swift wrenching from my grasp
Or my chest
As you steal my heart
No.
It is a patient sort of tender anguish
Probing,
Pondering
Sweet and slow,
It is rendered in sudden
Intake of breath
A smile
A tear
A sigh
It trembles beneath me
Deep in the earth
As I look into your eyes
For I know full well
That parting lurks
Somewhere, in quiet wait
I hear it in the creaking
Of the rusty garden gate
And how your step
Falls heavier
Than when you were a lad
It makes me fully happy
And oh,
So fully sad
To know that you are stealing
With my blessing
Part by part
The deep
Innermost lining
Of your
Mother’s
Heart

© Janet Martin 

We attended our son's grade Eight graduation ceremony today.
What a great bunch of kids. 
What a beautiful age...

What Could it Be?




It spills across the darkness from restored horizon lines
It fills the morning and the noon and night
It teases from the humble bud the bloom, the autumn wine
It weaves its apprehension and delight
Across its span of gathered hours, it wanders; leaps and flies
It strips the garden path of flowers and taunts our hungry eyes

It tugs a breath, an hour, a day into its firm embrace
It tugs the precious baby from our arms
It ravishes with smiles and tears love’s ever-changing face
And stuns us with its sweet and simple charms
And for a while it may deceive us into thinking it will last
Before we turn to see the long blue shadow it has cast

What is this wrenching overture that pleads and bleeds and weeps?
What tunes our passions like the days of grass?
Where are its hidden pulses throbbing from galactic deeps?
To wink at seasons in its hour-glass
What is this tender melody of bitter-sweetest rhyme?
Why it is simply this; the subtle brevity of time

© Janet Martin



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Redeeming Moments




We hold within each moment
A brief and twinkling span
Yet, we ought to redeem it
As wisely as we can

For moments linked together
Form more than ethereal ties
But prove, as we redeem them
Where our true love lies


© Janet Martin

Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephes. 5:15-20

Beneath it All...


  

Poetic Blooms posted this picture prompt

When I complain
Then in a way
It is the same
As if I’d say
That I should be
The one to hold
The ball of green
And blue and gold

God, forgive me
When I pine
To know Your hand
Is over mine
Bestows a peace
Word cannot tell
Your Hand beneath
God, all is well

When I complain
Tis but to say
That God should plan
His way my way
God, I’m so glad
You know it all
And it’s Your Hand
Beneath the ball

© Janet Martin

It is Ours to Dance...




Poetic Bloomings challenges us to write a villanelle

The villanelle is 19-line poem consisting of 5 tercets and a final quatrain. It requires no set meter, nor number of syllables per line. It carries a pattern of only two rhyme sounds (ABA in 5 tercets, and then ABAA in final quatrain). The first and third lines of the first tercet repeat alternately as a refrain closing the succeeding stanzas, and rejoin as the final couplet of the quatrain.

A Villanelle

We cannot choose our sunshine or our rain
Its fusion orchestrated by love’s most perfect Hand
It is ours to dance; lest heaven plays its melody in vain

To crave a minuet of past refrain
Is but to miss the chorus He has planned
We cannot choose our sunshine or our rain

He tunes Time’s dulcimer; its temporal strain
Touched by One whose thought we cannot understand
It is ours to dance; lest heaven’s plays its melody in vain

Now high, now low, the harmony of pleasure and of pain
Sweeps soulfully across the sea and land
We cannot choose our sunshine or our rain

It is not ours to object His choice refrain
The Maestro of life’s orchestra directs His precious band
It is ours to dance lest heaven plays its melody in vain

Too soon the music fades from earthbound plain
It is not ours to know the why or understand
We cannot choose our sunshine or our rain
It is ours to dance; lest heaven plays its melody in vain

© Janet Martin

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Door Wide Open...




The day recedes into the past
As night inhales its waning gleam
And into Time’s depleting stream
Our little deeds of day are cast

The miles and smiles of centuries
Stretch silently within the wake
Of moments; for we cannot take
From it but this; its memories

How still the rush of bleeding hours
How kind and cruel its ruthless flow
For none can see where moments go
So I must pause and smell the flowers

And I must pause to see the corn
A silver sea in noon-day heat
The laughter of a child is sweet
As on the breeze its lilt is borne

And as the dark curls o’er the day
And as the twilight curtain drops
Time does not slow and only stops
When it is far too late to say…

I wish that I had paused far more
To hold a child upon my knee
And listen long and willingly
Before the closing of its door

© Janet Martin





Perfectly Placed




Placed softly
beneath our stumbling feet
not because we
deserve it
but because He
loves us…
A brand new day of grace

Placed kindly
before our pleading gaze
not because we earned it
but because He
forgives…
A brand new day of grace

Placed tenderly
over our trampled past
not because we
want it
but because we need it…
A brand new day of grace

© Janet Martin

Bottomless Chalice




Image Source:  cartwheelit.wordpress.com

It does not slip softly from our shoulders
Falling like a robe to the floor
It is not like the rushing and rolling breaker
Dissolving as it touches the shore
It runs through our senses, not like wild fingers
Of wind as it ruffles the corn
Yet, disregards fences and wantonly lingers
Where thought tumbles, both keen and forlorn

Deep in the hollow of hidden eclipses
Where hope and fear coalesce
Where love holds closely and yet releases
In simultaneous caress
Here in a twisting and turbulent tide
Or still as a frozen sea
Inexplicable oceans of longing abide
Its source an abstract  mystery

We carry a chalice somewhere deep within
That nothing in this world can fill
A hunger sprouting from the seed of sin
As we bear our share of ill
As we love and laugh and trust and pray
The ache will remain until
Heaven descends to take it away
This void that earth cannot fill

© Janet Martin




Monday, June 25, 2012

He is I AM




He is the All-awesome
All-holy
All- incarnate
All-knowing
All-loving
All-mighty
All-saving
All-worthy
All-Yahweh
All-zenith
He IS ALL in all
He IS I AM

© Janet Martin




Never Like This Again




It will never be this way again
With sentimental thought
I touch the moment I am in

I cannot curse this vapor thief
That steals while it is giving
And heals while inflicting grief

The timbre of pleasure and pain
Is love’s essence, bittersweet
As I realize it will never be like this again

Perpetual trickle of laughter and tears
Time comforts and torments
As moments become years

It will never be like this again
So I caress it tenderly
This moment I am in

© Janet Martin

I grabbed my camera to take a picture of the last morning forever, of three scholars leaving together.

With Veiled Eyes...




God’s thoughts are a mystery
We cannot explain
The reasoning of His perfect say
But someday in Heaven
All will be plain
When this world has vanished away

Life’s tribulation
Its pain and its grief
Are not absences of His grace
But, by these we long
For Heaven’s relief
And eternity’s resting place

The curse of sin
Covers the earth
With many a tortured woe
Redemption offers
Hope’s re-birth
In Calvary’s ceaseless flow

Man’s faith is tested
To be proven; refined
God’s love is oft misunderstood
In spite of our folly
He is faithful and kind
And above all; God is good

Our earth-dimmed vision
Cannot see the whole
We see; but only in part
Through a glass darkly
God sees man’s soul
And the deepest intent of the heart

God’s thoughts are a mystery
We cannot explain
His sacred and holy tears
But someday in Heaven
All will be plain
As the veil in our eyes disappears

© Janet Martin

 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.Isa. 55:8-9 NIV

God is Still Good




In spite of life’s trials
Oft misunderstood
One truth is rock-solid

In spite of His chastening
Oft misunderstood
One truth remains

In spite of our thanklessness
Our greed and our lust
In Him we trust

In spite of His love
Oft misunderstood
One truth never wavers
God is still good

© Janet Martin

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Sunset Cradle...




Jasmine, demons, window, scrap, ample, montage,
Flawed, granite, trapped, whistle, domain, sunset

This old table in the west window
cradled her sunsets for nigh fifty years
A montage of memories tuned by the whistle
of a January gale trapped on the outside
suddenly arouses pictures of a surface
cluttered with quilt scraps
or potted red geraniums
or perhaps in October 
a granite bowl of gleaming apples
much to eager, rosy cheeked children's delight
Flawed realities have been perfected by the forgiveness of time
No one ever questioned its domain
there, in the west window the old table and an old chair reigned
as from its visage-point jasmine rivers crawled white in June
and demons wandered black on a night with no moon
But history’s ample lap cannot preserve it
as the auctioneer shouts…what am I bid?
Who’ll give me ten? Let me throw in a chair

Ah, yes…. That chair where…
 The bitter sweetness of sunset years washes her face

© Janet Martin

Saturday, June 23, 2012

With Heart wide Open




Too often I do not even notice
This gift you give to me
But trample coldly on it
And I don’t thank you properly
For this miracle of beauty
I ought always to embrace
As your mercy lays before me
Another day of grace

© Janet Martin

Prayer: God, help us to see the beauty of this gift,
Not only now in the calm stillness,
but as the wrapping falls away
as glorious sunrises turn gray
Revealing deeper shades
Of what is as yet, unknown,
When we struggle and stumble
Or feel misunderstood; alone
When we are weary and worn
Let us not abuse or hold this gift
With impatience or scorn
For this gift you lay before us
Is no free-fall from above
It is a miracle, born of compassion
And bestowed in perfect love

Thank-you God

Friday, June 22, 2012

Of Things Cursed



Temptation dangles like a serpent
In an idle, slothful mind
The fruit gleams, sweet upon the tree
As to its vice we're blind
We long to reach and pluck it
Taste its sugar-coated dread
But its afterglow would haunt us
Like vile ghosts inside our head
While the thing that seemed so lovely
Is a curs-ed, empty shell
And the fruit that promised heaven
But a tragic glimpse of hell
For the well of carnal thirsting
Is a void nothing can quench
As the harvest of our tasting
Bears the fruit of consequence

© Janet Martin

Today's Friday Thoughts

Things are merely things
They have no good or evil spirit
It’s what mankind does with them
That defines their worth and merit.

I remember asking my dad when I was a child if such-and-such a thing is bad and I never forgot his answer...He said, ‘things are not bad. Nothing in and of itself is bad or good; it’s what we do with them that makes ‘things’ what they are. ‘Things’ have the potential for both…it’s up to us to choose how to use them!’

We cannot blame ‘things’ for our weaknesses
Things obey the command of the hands they are in
Hands obey thought
and thought, oh thought…
How prone you are
To sin

What a mighty sword we wield
Held in our thought
Prayer is its protective shield
If used a lot

It seems I hear a constant voice
And I believe its name is Choice

God, I prayed for patience…I’m still waiting for your answer…

Jesus loves me this I know
I looked into a flower
And it told me so…

© Janet Martin


Of Summer


video


Our first day of summer was a moody one! It began, hot, heavy and sunny before thunderstorms moved through bringing a slight cool-down and a sunset master-piece. 

Soon the gold that warms the sod
Withdraws its sultry sheen
And world’s transformed by thoughts of God
Will lose their verdant green
Too soon the lark of summer-song
Will fly off to the south
And all these hours for which we long
Devoured in Time’s mouth
Of summer

Too soon the room of July mirth
And flowers fair and sweet
Will shed their bloom back to earth
A dead rose at our feet
The shifting wave that lilts and moans
And beckons from the shore
Will heave with moody undertones
Closing the wanton door
Of summer

Ah, life will always have its share
Of care and tares and trouble
So dance upon hope's buoyant air
Before dreams turn to stubble
And you should turn with sudden grief
To see upon the hill
A silhouette of crimson leaf
And echoing quadrille
Of summer

© Janet Martin

Make this summer’s first week-end memorable!
Get out there and drink it in
Time is a tumbling water-wheel
And too soon it is over again!

I kid the kids sometimes and tell them we have two seasons at our house…Winter and potlucks!

Does anyone have any fresh pot-luck ideas? I’m stumped and it’s just June! I need food for tomorrow and a ladies’ tea-party dessert for Sunday.

The Shape of a Memory




Don’t forget me, he said,
And he slipped away
As God laid a satin spread
Across the sky to close the day

Coral-pink and amber-gold,
The ocean in her eye
Is more than firm resolve can hold
While he whispers good-by

A thousand moments blend and blur
Then slip beyond life’s reach
She wonders, does he think of her
On thought’s elusive beach

Don’t forget me, his farewell plea
Whispers in her ear
She holds the shape of memory
Within her smile; her tear

© Janet Martin

This poem's inspiration is due in part to an awesome sunset tonight and watching Ann of Green Gables in the continuing story.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Thoughts on Grudges


Holding on to grudges
Elongates grief and bitterness
Letting them go shrinks old wounds
And heals, by time’s caress

Holding on to grudges
Hurts our children
As we deny them the example
Of forgiveness

Holding on to grudges
Is like clinging to a briar-tree
There is no relief from the pain

Holding on to grudges
Robs you of the freedom
To reach out to others

Holding on to grudges
Is energy and opportunity wasted

Holding on to grudges is like drinking poison.
You kill joy

Holding on to grudges
Never works to our good
For we cannot hold a grudge
And still love as we should

If you insist on holding a grudge
Be sure you know the deal
As bitterness can bleed the life from you
And only forgiveness can heal

Grudges are often amplified misunderstandings
Grudges are the fruit of miscommunication
Grudges grow if clung to and die if released

Life is short. Don’t waste it nurturing weeds
A grudge protected and preserved drops dark and evil seeds

Holding on to grudges
depletes us of strength to let go

Holding on to grudges strengthens
our weaknesses

Holding on to grudges
Drains us of
love
thanksgiving
hope
joy
patience
peace

Holding on to grudges
fills us
with everything
contrary to
Love


© Janet Martin



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Immaculate Intercession




Sometimes it seems that I do not know how I ought to pray
The words are sealed within my thought; I don’t know what to say
But there is nothing hid from God; He knows our creature needs
He hears our deep unspoken thought and gently intercedes

My praise, my pleas, my tears, my fears, in deep emotions swell
Disappointment and dismay in desperate oceans well
Tonight there are no words to give this world of thought release
But suddenly I know He heard; I feel Him whisper ‘Peace’

© Janet Martin

Are We Ready?




Mary, your poem inspired these thoughts immediately as I pondered your words. There is no escaping physical death!

If God should knock upon the door of planet earth tonight
And hand each one of us a robe of lucent, deathly white
And if, before we had a moment to accept it or decline
Our feet were lifted from this sod to elements divine
Would we be ready?

If He should require from our breath but this; our living soul
As dust-wrought limbs succumb to death; and timeless Fathoms roll
If He should reach to take our hands within His nail-scarred own
And draw us from our trembling stance to meet Him at His throne
Would we be ready?

If we looked up to see upon the clouds, the Son of Man
If we lay down to wake in portals far beyond earth’s span
If tonight we heard a knock and opened our cottage door
To see Him standing there to lift us from this stricken shore
Would we be ready?

Time and life; two awesome gifts but each with numbered day
Grace and love; two awesome truths that never fade away
Jesus Christ: one awesome God forever with no end
You and I, one life, one death; will we be ready, friend?
Are we ready?

© Janet Martin


Time's Swift Ride...a Sonnet



The window to the night is open wide
The earth; a silver chariot bathed in mist
I cannot sleep; thought beckons me to ride
An invitation I cannot resist
The moonlight bleeds a mellow, yellow glow
Before it slips into the onyx deep
A mystic vault where time and eons flow
In rivers formed by moments as they weep
And from its shores the stirring of a breeze
Ruffles June’s verdant maple canopies

Time, like an eager, dancing, prancing stead
Urges us on against our meager will
And though we beckon, barter, beg and plead
It rushes, even while the night is still
And every azure gasp of summer’s noon
Each pulse as pain and pleasure interlace
And every bursting bud of mortal June
Will flow into this vault of ethereal space
And all that was today will be no more
History seals the gates to its vast shore

Once, on a younger day its rush was sweet
We leapt upon this phantom stallion’s back
But now the bounding, pounding of his feet
Have trampled far too soon life’s beaten track
The window to the night is open wide
I catch the tempo of a languid tone
Akin to echoes on a mountain-side
Of mother calling all her children home
And to this plaintive call I must reply
For life is small beneath Time’s little sky

© Janet Martin
 
I Wanna Live- Glen Campbell









Oh, What Then?



We observe in astonishment
Man’s newest accomplishment
And wonder what will follow
Scientists place
Their cameras in space
As we glimpse infinity’s hollow
Medicine keeps the dying alive
But no matter how we study and strive
We cannot touch the order
Of God-ordained things
Or alter the courses
His authority brings
Mornings will ever succeed the night
Two wrongs will never make a right
We all get older with each passing hour
And none are exempt from His grace or His power
No one can order the rain from the sky
There is no invention so we will not die
We cannot shuffle seasons in nature or man
Or rearrange one molecule of His plan
For He IS God, we are merely men
We are born, we die; and oh, what then?

Perhaps we ought to take a closer look
At His Word and teaching of His Book
For nothing will happen that He has not told
His truths are unfolding since centuries of old
Knowledge is admiral; His gift to men
But if we ignore the Giver; oh, what then?

  
© Janet Martin

Outer space images fill me with utter wonderment and awe!
How GREAT is our God.
He has given men the knowledge to glimpse infinity, but we CANNOT add one jot to TIME!

Time is a wee capsule...what then?
Oh, that's right! Eternity.
But His Book shows us the way to Him eternally. He did not leave us as sheep without a Shepherd for He IS love.

Just as I Am- B.J. Thomas


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How in this World are Yours?



We cannot add moments to moments
No matter how wildly we rush
Life is a tick by tock delving
Before vast eternity’s hush

If we could unclench today’s portion
What would we find in its grip?
Would it be a hallowed awareness
Of transient moments that slip?

God, teach me how to live fully
Not burdened by moments unmet
Lest I miss the present unfolding
And thus fill its hold with regret

...and stir in me flames of passion
Not roused  by the gathering of things
But the gathering of beautiful moments
That pure, purposed living brings

Granules of sand form the desert
Drops form the depths of the sea
And moments form hours then lifetimes
Dissolved in eternity

Life is a grace-lent experience
A moment by moment lease
Do we choose a frenzied endurance
Or moment by moment peace?

© Janet Martin

The Hand of Experience




Experience wields a painful rod
It frustrates foolish notion
Training its students tirelessly
In spite of frayed emotion

Experience wields a patient scepter
No student is too old
To learn the lessons in this classroom
Where unbidden, we’re enrolled

Experience wields a wise baton
For in each vexing stumble
It snuffs our aptness for conceit
And helps to keep us humble


© Janet Martin

His Passion



Passion; it formed the universe
Dividing Day and Night
It clothed the earth in miracles
And filled the dark with light
It placed in Eden’s garden
A woman and a man
And in the passion of their greed
Man’s greatest need began

Passion; it burns in mortal loins
In searing, selfish lust
It feeds the greed of sinful seed
And taints the wanton dust
Ten thousand-thousand altars built
Ten thousand-thousand flames
Could not redeem our wretched guilt
Or wash away our shame

Passion; it burned in Holy Wrath
And filled God’s heart with grief
To see the nations of the earth
Blinded in unbelief
It tore through Heaven’s glory
A fire born of Love
Compelling Him to leave the throne
His Passion’s depth to prove

Passion; it clothed I AM in flesh
To walk a skull-strewn path
While we drove nails through holy limbs
Passion; it bled from guiltless wounds
It poured in agony
To save mankind from death and hell
He died to set us free

Oh can we ever comprehend
A Passion such as this
That He should cover our sin
In Holy Righteousness
Passion; it fills the law of grace
Extending Time’s last plea
Passion; it saves the human race
From hell’s eternity

Janet Martin