Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Worth Fighting For...







Nobody said it would be easy…
…these things worth having and living for,
Worth crying and dying and praying for
And we can never fully know
What lies in store
Beyond the silent war
…the heart-wrenching,
Fist-clenching,
Face-drenching fight
But God knows
so everything will be
All right

© Janet Martin




Dream-stealer...





He used to stand up straight and tall
The hills, why he could scale them all
He believed that dreams come true
And life was hope's grand avenue

But now his shoulders slump a bit
The dream-gleam is no longer lit
 For Criticism will destroy
And steal both dreamer and the boy

© Janet Martin


Monday, December 30, 2013

A Wish for Us...



…that we learn to savor life’s dissonance
As well as harmonies not quite so brusque
Joy is much more than a school-girl’s romance
Or summer sunlight splayed soft 'gainst blue dusk
I pray we learn in life’s keening caress
Of sorrow and winter-tried happiness
How to reverence more deeply the dance
…not to rebel in the teaching of trust

I wish for courage, not answers to things
Un-clarified on earth’s four-season swell
…that we learn to accept what God’s mercy brings
To tend our wee Garden and do it well
I wish to be thankful; not bound to The Past
For Time is a river; its current so fast
How swiftly again dear Auld Lang Syne rings
Its joy is not found in yesterday’s shell

© Janet Martin

Happy New Year and may God bless and keep!

I am undecided as to whether I will keep blogging in 2014. If I do then this comment will soon slip to the archives and if it remains here, it simply means I'm taking a break!

Year



video


Folded together
In a four-letter word
Hours of laughter
Or longing and hurt
Time, ever stealing
Like five p.m. blue
Over December’s
Dusk-drenched avenue
Then, every so often
We mark with a cheer
The end and beginning
Of something called
Year.

Into this four-letter
Eager embrace
Hellos and good-byes
Softly take their place
Life’s centuries
Of battle and romance
Recorded in unassuming
Four-digit stance
As heart-rending
Life changing
Days disappear
Into a cup that we simply call
Year.

The pier where summer
Slipped into fall
The tear that composed
Heart-madrigal
Climactic capsules
Of triumph, despair
Holding, letting go
Ephemeral square
Of learning and living
And faith versus fear
Folded into four letters
We simply call
Year.

© Janet Martin



It Is One A.M.



It is one a.m.
Pale moon reclines
A crescent-gem
Pinned to
Navy lapel
Of a minstrel
Unhindered
By hours
Or silver-soft dazzle
Of snow-flake showers
He plays his tune
On a phantom flute
Soloist serenading
Dark wood
Or poet or lover
We wait until
His song is over
Then
All is still
Save for the clock
That cannot choose
But must tick and tock
To mark time’s dues
But for a brief minute
We lie on the hem
Of silver-soft nothing
It is one a.m.

© Janet Martin

I was about to turn off all the lights but stood a moment to admire the night...there is something rare and brooding about one a.m.

...on that note, good-night!
oops, good morning;)

Beginnings



 

It does not stop
Yet
Endings are merely beginnings
Of what is next
Parting begins the waiting
Until we meet
Waiting begins the trusting
Of life’s bitter-sweet
Trusting begins the shaping
Of our faith
Faith begins the Hoping
After death
And death begins
The hereafter
The hereafter
Has no end
Time does not stop
Yet
But it will,
My friend
And we should give earnest heed
To where we will be
When this life’s end
Begins
Eternity

© Janet Martin


From Me to You...A New Year's Wish


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Incomprehensible

 

Greater than failure
Is God’s forgiveness
Greater than doubting
Is God’s hope
Greater than burden
Is His power
Greater than darkness
The Light; this we know
Greater than sorrow
Mercy’s assurance
Greater than loss
His gifts from above
Greater than anything
We can imagine
Is the faithful Promise
Of God’s love

© Janet Martin

Our Care-taker




Sometimes, even before I open my eyes
To see if morning has wakened the skies
They assault me; life’s fears and burden and such
So I keep my eyes closed until I feel God’s touch

We cannot see to the far end of the day
Or beyond a moment; it is wise to pray
To the One who can, then trust to His care
Those things we lift up as we touch Him in prayer

© Janet Martin


Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isa. 26:3

Sometimes these promises are all we have and it is enough! because these promises are not a fairy-tale; they are from God.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Of Artist and Athiest








I saw Him draw the night aloft
And fill day’s dawn with hope
The Light reveals what dark can not
Of winter-gilded slope
Where Heaven spills its authorship
In masterpiece array
As every somber stem is dipped
In silver-dazzled spray
And Wonder manifests Himself
In tiny little flake
In dam’s of light that rends the veil
Where midnight’s legions wait

His earth is clad in bridal-white
The Groom bedecks each limb
With proclamations of delight
No one can transcend Him
Surpasses mortal thought
His whisper fills the universe
Time is a vapor jot
Held in the palm of He who breathes
Each glorious frame of art
Sunrise, sunset, each masterpiece
Faint glimpses of His heart

…and all the atheist can see
is sky or snow, or field or tree

© Janet Martin

Friday, December 27, 2013

Wonder, Worship and White Worlds





Where dusk spilled gold and corn stood green and lean
Earth’s halls are cold, ensconced in silver sheen
The quiver from whence sultry dog days fell
Has stripped the fence of all but winter’s knell
As lanes where bare feet stirred its silky dust
Persuade a bitter-sweeter wanderlust

The harbinger of spring is gruff and brusque
He rushes through dawning to early dusk
His austere stance is grim, tormenting tress
He graces laud-less limb in glass caress
His kiss upon our cheeks is keen and harsh
Yet as he speaks his whisper stuns staid marsh

The zephyr-lilt of August afternoon
Must don a quilt to suffer winter’s tune
Surreal, the frozen field and aftermath
Of icy seal on daisy-dappled path
And we are awed anew within its hush
By what our God can do with His paint brush…

© Janet Martin

I felt as if I was crashing through a glass temple, wondering anew at winter’s wonderland and worshiping without word the Wonderful One who whispers white worlds into being!







Intangible Touch
















Within your two-tone sweep
You brush and crush and kiss
A double-sided bliss
From deep to ether deep

Across the air you splay
The colors of your sigh
Your hello and good-bye
Disguised as night and day

You hide in youth-romance
Or in the half-breath glow
Of innocence before they know
The power of your dance

Your cadence rises, falls
In hemlock hymn or gale
You laugh and weep and wail
In midnight madrigals

We cannot glimpse or grasp
Beyond your present breath
Or resurrect from death
Spent moments from your clasp

And from your phantom grail
Of future, present, past
A lifetime fills your glass
And spills on living’s trail

© Janet Martin


Limbo-Tossed





Have you laughed her silver laughter?
Have you wept her scarlet tears?
See? The hungry ever-after
Fills its reaching void with years

Have you spoken soft your longing?
Have you whispered your farewell?
Listen; can your hear the tolling
Of Time’s tireless evening bell?

Here upon her tattered hemline
Lies our scattered, shattered dream
Look; ah, look out to the skyline
See Time’s sweet resilience stream

Have you written your love-letter?
Laid it tender on her brow
Hark; is this her keen begetter
Drifting in on wings of snow?

Have your held her to your bosom
Have you kissed her half-shut eye?
Hush; methinks I hear her wind-song
Caught twixt hello and good-bye

© Janet Martin

To the Old Year...





We have wept your laughter-tears
And slept on tears of woe
And now, like all the other years
Away, away you flow

Into your tide we shed our dream
And bled our aching pen
The silence of your subtle stream
Is mightier than men

Yet still we wish upon your star
And pray the Lord to keep
Our loved ones whether near or far
As to yon brink you sweep

Then, as you fall away, away
To Past’s eternal home
A New Year fills its gold and gray
With what is yet to come
 
© Janet Martin

Thursday, December 26, 2013

After-Christmas Thursday Thoughts





The packages are gone beneath the tree
Their paper torn, the o-o-o-h’s and a-a-a-h’s depart
But hope, love, joy; these precious gifts are free
If we carry True Christmas in the heart

***

Tuck to the heart those tender things
Of Christmas joy and peace
But sad regret and broken strings
Lift Up and then release

***

Calendar Christmas is just one day
But True Christmas never fades away

***

We cannot keep moments, they slip
And drip like snow from trees
But in the cradle of the heart
We keep their memories

Therefore we ought to tend with care
Each tick that time imparts
So we may ever gladly bear
Its treasure in our hearts

***
Silent night, holy night
Half-moon lounging on blue deep
All across earth’s black and white
Many tired children sleep

***

Sing a song of gladness,
Sing a song of joy
Christmas-best is worship
Of wee girl and boy
(Inspired by the wee, little girl who sang her heart out on the pew behind me at the Christmas Eve service; so, so precious)

***

I love the lights, the songs, the laughter
Of the Christmas celebration
But now it is the first ‘day after’
How I miss Anticipation

***

Darling, another year is spent
It’s wisp of waning thread
Is dangling on time’s needle, bent
With next year’s hope and dread
But one thing is not more or less
Or past or future, God’s goodness! Hallelujah!

***

Trial and Error, grievous twain
Of wisdom’s testing, vexing pain
They’ve taught us through another year
We lift a cup of cheer, hear, hear,
… ‘until we meet again’

© Janet Martin

Of Brokenness, Beauty and Bethlehem



We gather from all walks of life and struggle
The beautiful broken, rejoicing, redeemed
We are not perfect without spot or blemish
But Jesus is; and by His grace we are clean

Guilty by nature, yet pardoned and purchased
By He who became sin without sin
Wonderful wonder; the Babe in the manger
Knew His full mission before Bethlehem

Peace, only God’s peace transcends this world’s trouble
Love, only God’s love can comfort our woe
Hope, only God’s hope offers full assurance
And thus, by the grace of this goodness we go

And so we gather to exalt and worship
Jesus, the author and anchor of faith
We bow before Him in meek adoration
Broken made beautiful in His embrace

Redemption; not of our own works and boasting
Redemption; not by what our hands have done
Redemption; fully and only forever
Through Jesus Christ, God’s Own Beloved Son

© Janet Martin

There is so much broken beauty around us; in nature, in people. As we worshiped on Christmas Eve I was struck once again by the awesomeness of it all.

I hope to post some broken beauty of the storm eventually. (long story; camera troubles etc:)





Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas; Why We Celebrate!

From our Family to you and yours, Merry Christmas!



Why do we celebrate
This joyous Christmas Morn?
What is this thing that cheers our thought
With hope renewed, reborn?
What is this song we sing
Of wonderment unfurled?
Why, it is Jesus Christ our King
Born; Savior of the world!

The hope of nations lives
The Light of love has come
And in Compassion he forgives
Each wrong that we have down
So gather 'round the knee
Of Bethlehem's delight
For Jesus came for you and me
On that first Christmas night

The hope of sinners came
Death is not our reward
Oh, blessed joy that fills the name
Of Jesus Christ the Lord
So now we celebrate
Not one day of the year
But from this day forever on
Until He will appear

Janet Martin~

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas Season.

Come, let us go now to Bethlehem and see this that has happened which the Lord has made known to us. Luke 2:15

We were blessed with Eduard's Music and testimony last night at our church. He encourages us all to SHINE ON!

Christmas Lullaby



Slumber in heavenly peace
Oh, do not cry or fear
The hope which filled that first Christmas
Is ever new and near
Then close your eyes and sleep
In dreamless paradise
Jesus His tender watch will keep
He never shuts His eyes

Sleep, let the vesper-choir
Strum night’s arabesque strings
The wonder of That Long Ago
Is not of ancient kings
But of that one great King
Who fills our hearts with Light
Deliverance and hope and Babe
Filled Bethlehem that night

Goodnight, my lovely child
And sleep in heaven-peace
Jesus of whom The Angels sang
His love will never cease
To poor shepherds of old
To you, my little one
Jesus, our Shepherd came to earth
So we may know God’s Son

…so go to sleep, wee lamb
Oh, precious little one
This Shepherd watches over you
Until the night is gone

© Janet Martin

I wrote this on Saturday night shortly before our power went out due to an ice-storm. It came on last night while we were at the Christmas Eve service at our church. We are enjoying with fresh appreciation things we never think about; running water, hot water, warm rooms, lights at the flick of a switch!

Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you you and God bless your celebration.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hath Winter Then a Heart of Tenderness? (A Re-post from one year ago today)

 
Hath winter then a heart of tenderness
For landscapes clad in humble brown and gray?
Where farewell and arrival coalesce
Winter spills forth as autumn slips away
She touches with redemption-tinted garb
The stricken aftermath of summer cheer
Her sugar-coated kisses fill the yard
Where yesterday it suffered autumn’s tear
And where the wanton field lies naked, bare
She covers grass and furrow with the gleam
Of diamonds fit to garnish angel’s hair
Tucking to earth the farmer’s latent dream
Granting a gentle respite to his care
Filling the sky with snowflake-choir requiem
***
Tis right to entertain both joy and grief
This season; the portent of hope or fear
Where we embark anew, beyond the sheaf
Of garnered days that shape the bygone year
Like gathered harvest, this year’s deeds are wrought
Preserved beyond the elements of time
Its echoes tuning pastures of our thought
Where longing and fulfillment toll their chime
And now a gracious sheath of purity
Embellishes the dull and stricken plain
A mother with compassion’s sympathy
Blankets the grim reminders of our pain
Drawing our eyes to present mystery
History sleeps; to linger there is vain
***
Hath winter then a heart of tenderness?
White snow covers a year of scarlet tears
The naked bough reaches for her caress
The heart reaches beyond past hurt and fears
To offerings of hope and happiness
Unblemished; yet again a gift of grace
Ignores our monuments of selfishness
Where we have scarred her perfect virgin face
With sordid sins of foolish fantasies
Time’s vault will not exhume our leaps of woe
But gently leads us from these agonies
Across a threshold unmarred as fresh snow
Granting to us but this; our memories
To keep the good then let the remnant go  
Janet Martin~ 

Winter wanders in
wearing a white bridal gown
earth carries her glass slippers

I was hoping to write a new poem for first day of winter but my day is slipping away so here is a re-run. 
Last year earth carried her veil, this year we are in freezing rain or snow depending on the temps!


Intangible Fire...



Invisible
Monumental
Heart-breaker,
Healer
Foot-hold,
Avalanche,
Honey,
Dream-stealer
Hell on earth,
Heaven,
Blessing
And curse
Invisible
Powerful;
Thought
Shaped
In
Word

© Janet Martin

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Isn't It Just Beautiful?





Isn’t it just beautiful; this thing that living weaves
Of ordinary dinner-hour, rain slipping from green leaves
Of moments melting summertime into a pot of gold
Before the winter gathers one more year into its hold

Isn’t it just beautiful; the rising, falling swell
Of morning-tide and vesper-sigh, of greeting and farewell
Of seasons painting pictures that we spread upon the air
Where no one else can see those master-pieces hanging there

Isn’t it just beautiful; the bitter and the sweet
As Auld Lang Syne and nursery rhyme and harvest-time compete
Of baby-kiss and child-hood bliss, of sorrow’s tender strife
Isn’t it just beautiful; these threads that weave a life

© Janet Martin

The slide-show of the deceased showed a young bride to mother to grandmother to great-grandmother. Now she rests in peace.


Pondering the Inevitable





Parting; inevitable severing
Of hand and lip-soft touch
We cannot tell when death will claim
Those that we love so much
And so, before we lay our head
Upon some cold grave stone
To weep for laughter that is dead
And music that is gone
We ought to hold them closely
Tell them, tell them again
How much we love and cherish them
Before grief's parting pain

© Janet Martin

He (my friend’s dad) trembled as the woman held him; loving husband of many, many years murmured, ‘parting is hard’ and his friend replied, ‘yes. You had a long life together and even though we all know its coming, when it does it is still so very hard’.

I just returned from a wake for my friend’s mom.