Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Over...


 With the 'mellow full-moon'  it really is a beautiful farewell party.

Leave then, leave
If you must
Over a carpet
Of cricket-tuned dust
Over the skyline
To bygone beyonds
Over the echo
Of lost, empty ponds
Over the slumbering
Wild-bloom as it nods
Over the platoon
Of  green goldenrod
Over the farmer
Who lays fast asleep
Over the woodland
Mysterious and deep
Over the moments
That ceaselessly rush
Over the mellow full-moon
Midnight hush
Leave then, Sweet July
Leave if you will
August trips lightly
Over the blue hill

© Janet Martin

Drop...



…and
the drop swells
expanding, spreading
lifting, filling, overflowing, spilling
from spoon to cup to clay pots
to puddles to pools to meandering brooks
to winding creeks to gushing, rushing rivers
to churning, surging channels to the mighty, rolling sea
to…eternity where the drop is the sea
and the sea is a…
Drop

July's Departure



I beg you to hold me in your azure gaze
Dance to a warm willow-vesper
Nurture my mind with abandonment’s blaze
Sweeten my mouth with your whisper

Cradle me where you will seal my last kiss
Gather me in your brawny hunger
Torture me tenderly in your farewell bliss
Tarry until I am younger

You know that I will not shackle the gate
I know that you must be leaving
Passion and sorrow; love’s juxtaposed weight
Entwine in bittersweet grieving

I beg you to hold me, sweet azure July
But moments do not pause or linger
Caught in a vortex of half-breaths, a sigh
You vanish on my outstretched fingers…

© Janet Martin


Preeminent Farewell




There’s a key change in the wind today
It drops from a lilt to a sigh
It clings to the tendrils of wild morning-glory
In the preeminence of good-bye

Tomorrow perhaps it may cart-wheel or amble
Nonchalantly over high-noon
Today it lingers; fingering the tassels
Of July; leaving way too soon

Long we a-wait the coveted candor
Of mid-summer’s languid kin-ship
Somewhere within its mellow meandering
Over Time’s fringes it slips

There is a key change in the late afternoon
It trickles from lintels of musk
Pooling in mouths of day-lily blooms
Then disappearing into the dusk…

Solemn, the orchestra of cricket-song
Ushers her over a floor
Of stubble and clover; while we are asleep
July suddenly is no more…

© Janet Martin






Un-spilled




Unscripted oceans
Ebb and flow
Somewhere inside of me
A surging, swelling
Undertow
Of un-spilled poetry

Where is the key
To set it free?
What seals this aching flood?
The rising, falling
Agony
Of poet’s un-spilled blood

How do I trace
A formless face
Or spell what yet is not?
And how do I
Escape the cry
Of a poet’s un-spilled thought?

© Janet Martin


 It's true; we can run but we cannot hide...

Waking...




Soft morning’s lavish profusion of grace
Creeps though the window and kisses my face

From pink misty meadow against thinning dark
A minuet ripples of cricket and lark

Out on the skyline the woodlot is blue
The color of wishing and missing you

Triumph and heartache in mystic shades splay
Nobody knows which it will be today

Yesterday’s wheat field is nothing but stubble
Such is the yield of this life and its trouble

© Janet Martin


Monday, July 30, 2012

The Barred Gate




We can’t return to the ‘before’
There is no back-to-history door
We cannot retrace one hour
Nor force to bud again, the flower

We cannot undo the ‘done’
Or retrieve a moment gone
Onward, upward is this climb
We cannot go back in time

Swift these transient morsels slip
Fleeting vapor on the lip
Over ramparts we have built
Pleasure, victory, shame or guilt

We can’t return to the ‘before’
Yesterday has sealed its door
Live well the moment you are in
For it will not pass again

© Janet Martin



Where the Crater's of the Heart Run Deep




Where the craters of the heart run jagged and deep
I tuck a leaf, a petal to keep
A head of wheat, a ray of sun
July, why do you leave when you’ve scarcely begun?

Queen Ann’s Lace, midnight-cricket’s song
I know it will not be very long
Until they are swallowed by the hour’s hungry lips
Or plucked by Time’s scrupulous fingertips

Where the craters of the heart run blood-deep
I seal the echo of the willow-sweep
Or the soft brush of your warmth on my ear
As you whisper good-bye and disappear

Take me to the ball-room of wide open sky
Hold me for one final dance, sweet July
Then I will release you forever to keep
Fragments of you where the heart’s craters run deep

J~

I stared at the date this morning…mildly shocked. I have not been paying much attention to the numbers on the calendar! July…where did you go and how? Oh yes, now I know, you slipped away on the breeze that blows over golden oceans of rippling wheat, over sun-sparkled waters and clover-sweet. You slithered through shaded willow-bower and dangled from the sultry high-noon hour…You faded a little with every petal that fell…Oh beautiful, beautiful July,  farewell!


Rock of Ages




What pierces the darkness?
What banishes doubt?
What leaves the soul deeply stirred?
What feeds our hunger
And soothes our grief?
Only one thing; God’s Word

What reassures us
As hope slips away?
What keeps our will undeterred?
What heals our sorrow
And quenches our thirst?
Only one thing: God’s Word

What is sure; changeless
In this world of change
Where the lines of virtue are blurred?
What remains steadfast
In spite of the age
Only one thing: God’s Word

What comforts the lonely
What strengthens the weak?
What never grows old, though oft heard?
What can we trust in
Without dismay?
Only one thing; God’s Word

© Janet Martin

Yesterday morning an elderly man shared how is SO thankful that God’s Word is a sure, steadfast, changeless Rock of Ages in every season of life…His wife recently suffered a stroke changing their lives immensely, and this man’s faith shone in the conviction and humility of his words.

Please pray for Mel and Irene if you read this. I’m sure they would appreciate it.


Beautiful Bittersweet




Life leaps and seeps in synchronized pulses
Graciously giving as it tenderly wanes
Someone’s first sunrise is another’s last sunset
Summer is winter on far yonder plains
Live fully each moment, but keep your clasp light
Farewell is torment if we hold too tight

See how the dawning in blue-gold atonement
Banishes yester’s dismay from our brow
Great is His faithfulness, new every morning
Hope and forgiveness in even tides flow
As forward we tumble and backward we slip
And onward we stumble in His tender grip

Life breaks and takes in its living and giving
Patiently enduring our sorrows and schemes
Youth cannot claim its white crown of wisdom
Wisdom does not return fair, youthful dreams
Life, oh thou beautiful bitterest-sweet

© Janet Martin

Dawn rends the scrim
of another day
What will it give
or take away?
Before dusk settles
on borders far west
Will we have given
this day our best?

Have a wonderful day! Go with God.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are, Janet Ruth Martin? ...an accrostic poem


Poetic Bloomings Prompt; Who Do You Think You Are?

PART I – WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

This week Marie and I ask you to write the poem as an acrostic, using your full name as the subject. The title of your poem should be “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, (Your Name Here)?”
Your poem should touch on your life, or some aspect of it until now. Remember, the focus is you! Tell us. Who do you think you are?



Just a simple girl, daughter, sister, mother, wife
Amazed every day at God’s gifts in my life
Night-owl when seduced by a word or a thought
Educated? By the world’s standards I’m not
That’s me

Rolling pin collector, lover of rhyme
Under the tutelage of a teacher called Time
Thinker, often quiet with sudden bits of crazy
Homebody; my favorite wild-bloom is a daisy

Mother and wife; I’m humbled and awed
And I would run scared, but for the patience of God
Rover of woodland and nature’s perfection
Thankful for moments of tender reflection
Incredibly blessed; undeservedly so
Normal? Nerd?  Nut?  Maybe, but by the grace of God I go…

© Janet Martin


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Of Seasons and Purpose...a Sonnet


Seasons; the filament of mortal year
Four-season worth and never more or less
The palm on which we lay our toil and tear
A cradle for our grief and happiness
Four quarters make a whole, thus nature’s course
Of seasons flow, not by human design
Beneath this universe a Mighty force
With naught but thought, these galaxies align
As we submit; for none dissuades the tide
Of Time’s incessant ever-forward stride

What lies beyond this cosmic altitude?
…off-spring of Adam’s marred and sullied bliss
Why is the spirit shaken and subdued
As we behold life’s dust-fraught wantonness?
The beauty poured against earth’s frigid sod
As spring imbues its budded tendril; hope
And hope yields harvest if imbued by God
Returns at last to fill this earthen scope
Seed to the soil; proprietor and slave
Sleep side by side within a common grave

What is the purpose of the boasts of men?
What is the point of life when it is spent?
Is it the hope of three-score-years and ten?
Is this the pinnacle of our content?
And when we lay aside our gathered worth
To fold our hands upon a lifeless breast
Is this the sum of it; as cold, hard earth
Reclaims our empty shells of nothingness?
Simply a forward tumble to our death?

Four season’s worth; these are the fronds of dust
The purpose of life’s gift we cannot grasp
Within the greedy fingers of our lust
But with the eyes of faith its truth we clasp
Creator bore the robe of servant-hood
Securing hope for sinners through His blood
We are not victims of four-season sod
Bought with a price; we are the heirs of God

© Janet Martin

...and this is the Living Hope which imbues duty with beauty, pain with gain, daily strife with Life .

Amazing Grace



Friday, July 27, 2012

Moody and Vexed




Twilight descends in layered blue
Quite befitting, I suppose
For it arouses thoughts of you
So far away and yet so close
In remnant wisps and twists perplexed
Tonight the sky is moody; vexed

Time is not tangible to grip
And yet I feel it amplify
That space beyond my fingertips
Broadening twixt you and I
In remnant wisps and twists perplexed
Tonight my heart is moody; vexed

The evening sky is sullen; still
In solemn robes of cobalt hue
It draws you close against my will
And I succumb to missing you
In remnant wisps and twists perplexed
The evening air is moody; vexed

© Janet Martin

The heavy quiet tonight feels like the evening is mourning
the swift passage of summer...
...and life

J~

I Won't Forget You  Jim Reeves


Collections...


Some collections we store on shelves
And some we place in bins
Or baskets or crocks or wine-racks
If the collection is rolling pins
(for those who’ve wondered how to display them:)

…I have a rare collection
Portraits of priceless art
I preserve their perfection
Safely in my heart

 Picture perfect memories
Collected lovingly
Placed on walls within my heart
To keep me company

God, let me make each moment
A priceless work of art
And one that would be fitting
To store within my heart

© Janet Martin

Simple Pleasures




There are many pleasures
This world would suggest
But I love the measure
Of simple things best

I love the reprieve
Of a garden nook
With a cup of tea
And a poetry book

I love to yield
To guilt-free temptation
Strolling a field
On a mini-vacation

…beneath blue-sky canvas
Of cotton-tuft art
While sun-flower glances
Soften my heart

I love the music
Of walnut tree sighs
Etched in perfection
Against summer skies

Of all the fine pleasures
This world would suggest
I love the measure
Of its simple things best

© Janet Martin




A Country-summer Morn


 This morning from the deck...

Blissful threshold
Brink of dawn
Sea of diamonds
Grace the lawn
Soft breeze strums
The misty morn
Of honey-wheat
And tasseled-corn
Green-gold patchwork
Quilt expands
From the Giver’s
Gracious hands
Tender salutations
Pour
Lavishly
From heaven’s door
As croon of
Dove and meadow-lark
Tune with joy
The thinning dark
While farmer’s rise
To face the test
Of faith and toil
Before harvest
And in the stall
The cattle lows
And in the field
The clover blows
While in the air
Its heady scent
Culminates with hay
Pungent
Aroma, pure
And nature-drenched
...the thirsty summer-soul
is quenched
Blissful threshold
Lily-clad
Rejoice, rejoice this day
Be glad

© Janet Martin





Park Street in July

 
‘Granny-patches’ Grandma says
‘Going to be a cushion for you…
To remember me by when I am gone’


Every July the maple-trees
Transformed the sunny street
Into an enchanting corridor
As overhead verdant arms would meet
In a summer-long embrace
Every year I returned
A little older than the year before
But never too old to play with the antique bell
On the wooden front-door  
Or to politely sip Grandma’s tart lemonade
From the painted blue porch-step
In late-day shade
Hating and waiting for the snob next door
To walk by and stick out her tongue
A ritual since we were very young
Across the street Holly’s mother yells ‘supper’
The screen door slaps…twice
Once for *Holly, once for *Jack, her little brother
Who got spanked an hour earlier
For spilling his Dad’s ice-cold beer
And poor Jack’s wails
Split the sultry atmosphere
Of sun-dappled sidewalk
And *fried chicken
Grandma's rocker just kept on creakin’
While her fingers and crochet needle flew to its rhythm…
‘Must be going to rain,’ was all she said
‘I can feel it in my rheumatism ’
And I twirl a honey-colored braid
Wishing the yarn was any other shade but
Gold, dark brown and beige
‘Granny-patches’ Grandma says
‘Going to be a cushion for you…
To remember me by when I am gone’
Once more I politely say ‘thank-you’ and turn
To count fifteen
…that’s how often Crash has cruised
The main street
Showing off his new-used Comaro
With a modified muffler
And keeping a sharp look-out for
Girls
Crash, with his big afro-curls
His name isn’t really Crash
It’s Hank, but everyone calls him Crash
‘Cause he’s had a few
Girls, that is
Tomorrow we’re going to walk to the market
Slowly, up the shady street
The girl with the honey-blonde braids
Beside the grandma with her nylon kerchief
In July, and her shiny satchel
Swinging lightly from her dimpled elbows
…off to get the usual
Cheese curds and sugar-rosettes

© Janet Martin

Writer's Unite homework Assignment:  Homework = Small town living - write a poem, story, song...describing some aspect of life in a small town. 

Every summer I had a wee taste of small-town life when I visited my 'town-grandma'.
This 'poem' could have been a mile long; so many memories to choose from.
Thanks Glynis, for this assignment. It was so much fun. I have not recalled some of these memories for a long time!


*names have been changed out of respect for each one's privacy.
* there was a Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant at the end of the street. 



Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Good Place to Be...



Tomorrow’s forecast is doleful
The future-predictions bleak
I don’t really like to think about
The tomorrow of which they speak
They say darker days are coming
I’m tired of ‘they say, they say’
And oh, I’m so very thankful
That I live in Today

'Do not worry about tomorrow'
Its fears are as ancient as dust
Greater than all our tomorrows
Is the God in whom we trust
The unknown lies before us
Who knows its 'what if's' or 'what mays'?
Only One; He watches o'er us
In all of our 'Todays'



© Janet Martin

 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, 
for tomorrow will worry about itself. 
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matt. 6:34

Of Bubbles and Troubles




Soon this bubble
Of toil and trouble
Will meet a bubble’s fate
We ought to say
What we wish we would say
Before it is too late

Don’t let the trouble
On this earth-bubble
Rob you from love’s precious smile
Life is a glance
Of fleeting chance
So let’s make its moment worthwhile

© Janet Martin

Common Destinies




Image Source:  breeze-software.com

We may travel sundry, far-scattered roads
Across this scope of sod
But there waits a common meeting-place
For every road leads to God

Left or right or up or down
The narrow road or broad
Both are but the stepping-stone
To eternity and God

© Janet Martin


Drought-stricken




They died without ever
Coming into full bloom
No rain to nurture their root
What could have been
Simply shriveled away
Too starved to bear any fruit

I look at my children
Tender buds on a vine
Hungry; needing to be fed
Oh God may they never
Shrivel up and die
Because all I gave them was bread

© Janet Martin

I was cutting away flowers the other day that did not survive the drought. Beauty gone to waste…

Beauty Secret



The secret to beauty
That never grows old
Is to love beyond duty
Without being told

Man sees the outward
Oh, may it be
Our most beautiful part

© Janet Martin

The Empty Night is Full...




The empty night is full of thoughts
They spill from shadow-lands
The ‘what-have-beens’ and what-are-nots’
Each vie for sole command
Of this great ship upon a sea
Without limit or form
As future-fear and memory
Clash in a silent storm

The empty night is full of naught
But moments as they flow
Not through our hands but through our thought
…the little that we know
And in its gaping quietness
How keen our thoughts recall
The hastening tide we curse and bless
Within its rise and fall

© Janet Martin


What We Are...




We will not be judged by the job we hold
Nor the price tag of clothes or car
Our worth is not measured by silver or gold
But simply by what we are

Wealth is not found in the things we possess
Fortune is no lucky star
We will be judged not by our success
But simply by what we are

Much is required to whom much is given
The road to God is not far
We bring nothing to the gates of Heaven
But this alone…what we are

© Janet Martin

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Song of Praise




Oh my soul, be still and spill
With free unhindered praise
The Lord adorns the dust-wrought hill
His mercy cloaks our days
From dawn to dusk to dawn, His love
And faithfulness employs
The sun, the moon and stars above
The circle of our joys

How awesome is Your handiwork
Our hungry eyes behold
Your glory splayed across the earth
In wonders manifold
With goodness unreserved You weave
Your breath into each bloom
As reverent hearts humbly perceive
The Master of the Loom

The blind of mind cannot discern
The Hand beneath it all
The One who guides winter to spring
And summer into fall
...oh, may our hearts and hands become
The instruments we raise
Exalting the eternal One
In gladdened songs of praise

© Janet Martin

Inspired by Psalms 92

Just the Bend of the Wind...


It was just a little thing
…not much
But somehow in the bend of the wind
I felt your touch
And in the little sigh
That slipped
From the crescent slice
Of moon
I felt the brush of fingertips
It was nice
I hope
You’ll be home
Soon

J~

Thinking~




I'd like to think if our paths should cross
Sometime,
again, or not
That no matter where
Tomorrow’s road leads
I add pleasure
to your thought

I'd hate to think
If our paths never meet
again
as we leave these moments behind
It would make no difference
To you because
I never cross your mind

© J~

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thought's While Lying Beneath Summer's Tree



Too soon your fronds of gold will drift
To far-flung hinterlands
No dirge responds; tides rotate, shift
And strip your out-stretched hands
Sad, farewell words my mouth would form
Are solvent in the air
As July’s fingers, bronze, sun-warm
Seduce my idle tear

The passion of my former thought
Grows pensive now, and still
As parched strands of for-get-me-not
Adorn our favorite hill
Where long we lay beneath the spell
Of heaven-tenured June
The carpet leading to farewell
…a honey-suckle swoon

Beyond the sweep of azure deep
Unfathomed eons ‘mass
Ah, this must be where heaven keeps
Life’s moments as they pass
The bud that forged through wood-clenched limb
With verdant tendril-breath
Will soon adorn the somber scrim
Of life’s four-season hearth

The shadow lengthens on the field
Where harvest hangs its fruit
There is no detour; all must yield
To Nature’s absolute
And soon these fronds of gold will drip
Into that vaulted sphere
I feel the brush of July’s lip
Caress my errant tear

© Janet Martin


Heart-dance


I always liked the way you fit into that special part
of me; curved just for you somewhere deep inside my heart
I never need to wonder if you’re there because I know
I can feel you trembling where love’s tender moments glow

I like the way you never leave, although the past expands
Never us; our symmetry is not the touch of hands
but a dance; as two are one in pure and perfect art
Of un-penned compositions in the dances of the heart

© Janet Martin~

Here in the Little Now




We under-estimate it somehow
For it seems nondescript; alone
But all we have is 'the little now'
In which to get anything done

The filament of centuries
Is not woven by the flow
Of quantum leaps; but history
Is the abyss of ‘little nows’

Here in 'the little now' we shape
A monumental cast
An unalterable landscape
We simply call the past

© Janet Martin


 If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven't done much today. 
 ~Author Unknown

 With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future.  I live now.  
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, July 23, 2012

Watching the Rain




It settles more than dust as we watch it fall
It soothes farmer's thoughts  for a little while
It stills anxious hearts in its tumbled descent
Soothing the restless gardener’s lament
…as it spills over eaves
Rolls from cupped leaves
Trickles and tickles sparse drought-stricken sheaves

See how it pools in each hollow and shallow
See how it cools eager sparrow and swallow
Mystical mirrors scattered on the terrain
Of sidewalk and pasture and long country lane
…as it splatters and spills
As it chatters and thrills
Earth’s stricken meadows; its woodland and hills

Life-giving free-fall from mercy’s embrace
Silver-stringed sonnet of goodness and grace
Nectar of heaven, as God wills and when
Filling parched throats of both fallow and men
…as it waters the corn
And washes the morn
Hope's wilted bloom is revived or reborn

© Janet Martin

This was inspired as I watched two birds refresh themselves in a puddle on the driveway.
It is still extremely dry but we are getting sudden brief showers and we are thankful for them.



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Empty and Cold


Poetic Bloomings Prompt: Betrayed!

Tonight you are a cantankerous rapscallion
Elusively haunting the fringe of my thought
You seem to delight in playing the villain
Antagonizing me by your formless naught

Last night a soul-mate, tonight you betray me
Vexing, perplexing aloofness of thine
Come darling, come and lay down against me
Feed me the choicest delights from your vine

I must learn not to trust you; but I am your victim
Ever returning to gobble your crumbs
Always forgiving your mindless betrayal
I’ll drink the wine from your vine till I’m numb

Muse, oh Muse,  crass tormentor of poets
What is this lure, this endowment you hold?
Last night we danced, making beautiful poems
Tonight the dance-floor is empty and cold

© Janet Martin

Only the Temporal Betrays...



Poetic Bloomings  Prompt; betrayal



We may be betrayed by our strongest desires
Our wants may lure us to hellish heartaches
So-called friends may gather like vultures
To feast on the carcass of our mistakes
Oh, tis a wretched and raw, ruthless scalpel
As we moan ‘neath the knife of bitter betrayal

We may be betrayed by the words we have spoken
Or by the vows of a trusted friend
I’ve stood at both points of a promise broken
There is no honor at either end
Betrayal is galling spittle in our face
But oh, we are never betrayed by grace

We are not creatures of casual coincidence
Though faith-leaps may mock us from ash-heaps of trust
We are not bound by cold, calloused consequence
Pain, horror, grief are the torments of dust
Oh, blessed truth we reach to embrace
For we will never be betrayed by grace

By grace we are saved; betrayal’s damnation
Can never reach into the arms of the One
Who gave His Only for our salvation
His One and Only belov-ed Son
Betrayal tests faith as it points to a place
Where we grasp the assurance of His steadfast grace

© Janet Martin

My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the Colorado shootings (which hopefully is all of us on some level)…as they struggle to cope with the shock of massive betrayal.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Universal Want




Some say they simply cannot tell
The words to spell their wants
From voids within they claw the air
While desperate yearning taunts
And while they scan the mindless sea
Or search the stars above
The hunger in their bosom weeps
For this; we all want love

A hand to hold at eventide
Whilst sunset splendor bleeds
A soul-mate in which to confide
Our tender ‘wants, and needs
There is no man too rich or poor
Or unworthy enough
To be fulfilled without its pow’r
…oh, we all need love

The new-born babe, the little child
The adolescent; youth
Young woman, man, we all desire
The essence of this truth
In middle age or silver-crowned
To ‘be’ is not enough
We are not soulless reeds windblown
Therefore, we all need love

Oh love, essential mystery
Its well-spring not of men
Intangible, this entity
A spurring to the end
Of gold and blood-stained filament
Creator-breathed to us
An innate ‘want’ with which we’re born
Oh, we all need love


© Janet Martin


Friday, July 20, 2012

But For This...





The rushing, pushing moments
Roaring, pouring soundlessly
Plunging over a precipice
Toward eternity

If I should find the fulcrum
Balance on Time’s middle swell
To view the sea from Eden forth
That lies twixt Heav’n and hell

…ah, surely I would tremble
To see these fathoms vast
And know tis but a vapor
In the future of the past

Yes, I know I would tremble
To behold Time’s sweeping space
To realize the microscopic
Breadth of human race

But then, oh blessed assurance
Wondrous hope that I embrace
We all would be eternally
Doomed; but for saving grace

© Janet Martin