Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Of Being a Mother

It's the unendingness of it all that is staggering
Burden and beauty tenderly entwine
Soon little hands tug away from our reaching
Tendrils of new bloom twisting from the vine
And often we wander within the heart's pondering
Over the years that flow seamless and brief
Learning that labor-pain is but the dawning
Of love's keen travail in its tender-sweet grief
Vigilant caring and joy like no other
This is the labor of being a mother

First motherhood; virgin unawareness
Eager and ignorant; hope undefiled
Wails, now dependent on this girl-child woman
Laughing and weeping, she cradles her child
And we are forever in our bosom severed
We will never be who we were before
As fear and faith rival where innocence trembles
And motherhood places its wreath on our door
High, holy calling unlike any other
This is the charge of being a mother

Ecstasy, agony, holding, releasing
Heaven's allotment placed into our care
Tenderly teaching within our reaching
And earnest beseeching from hands clasped in prayer
For in the magnitude of love's great vocation
God  will not leave us like sheep in the wild
The Shepherd of mortal is faithful and patient
He holds the mother as she holds her child
Granting His mercy unlike any other
This is the comfort of being a mother

Janet Martin

I could never forgive myself for some of my mothering mistakes, but for the knowing that God forgives.

Of Renewed Aspiration

We touch our feet once more
To Time’s familiar way
Of ticking clocks and charted walks
And living’s scattered fray

The mist of life’s unknowns
May veil the hour’s will
But God beholds its ether folds
The pleasant and the ill

We touch our feet upon
Hope’s path of trampled dirt
For God abides where fear resides
In living’s lonesome hurt

Before the purple dusk
Enshrouds this little day
I pray that we live thankfully
And trust God for its way

© Janet Martin

Unnamed Elements

In onyx oceans of night you impress
Soft on my pillow and deep in my heart
Whispers of something I cannot caress
Murmur of yearning’s intangible art
Spring rends the air with desire and dreaming
Summer exhales to the garden its bloom
Autumn dons tresses of bronze-gilded gleaming
Darling, is winter heaven’s waiting room?
I cannot name this unspoken design
Where having and holding and hoping align

Time is a troubadour, ruthless and keen
Ageless, yet in its allotment of years
It unravels hours from gossamer skein
Kissing our faces with laughter and tears
We cannot see its outstretched fingers clasp
The delicate thread of mortality
Fading to naught; an ephemeral gasp
Before we step into eternity
But deeper than utterance in the heart’s crypt
Love pens its longing in thought’s shadow-script

Darkness cannot veil haunting heart-hunger
Arms cannot hold midnight moments of mist
We chased the wind too, when we were younger
For unnamed tidings that do not exist
Now, though our will in finest apparel
Touts golden wisdom, humbly we concede
Having and holding is the shallow temporal
Before heaven satisfies our last need
Darling, I love you and there is no shame
In bearing love’s longings that we cannot name

© Janet Martin

I am unable to upload photos right now due to technical problems.

Unrivaled Element

Love gives in gentle grace
What things cannot possess
For things are cold and commonplace
Against love’s kind caress

Its armistice endures
Unrivaled element
Of motive, perfect, patient, pure
And self-irrelevant

Love does not lose its nerve
Nor clings to greedy gain
Love gives and shares without reserve
From selfless founts within

Oh Lord, how great You are
Lord, there is none like you
You see the intent of our hearts
Yet love us through and through

© Janet Martin

Life's Bittersweet

So it goes, the river flows
In ripples to the sea
And moments course in half-breath force
Into eternity

Spring’s darling sheen of virgin green
Is nothing but the bud
Of autumn-rust to dormant dust
And leaf-song to the mud

…so it goes; Time will compose
And tenderly descry
With soundless beat Life’s Bittersweet
Of hello and good-bye

© Janet Martin

Monday, April 29, 2013

Perplexing Parallels


New and Old align
The ‘perhaps’ with the done
And all things new are but the vine
With which the old is spun

The Old precedes the New
The new for its fine boast
Cannot replace the tried and true
Of things that matter most

From fancy’s faceless air
Deception weaves its trance
The newness of its untried fare
Entices us to dance

The staidness of the Old
Though lack-luster and bent
Has borne the test where New unfolds
Its shimmering content

Perplexing parallel
Experience and Youth
Yet New with footloose unfledged will
Cannot mutate Old Truth

© Janet Martin

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Eccl. 1:9

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Harbinger of May

April rushes in with her mop and broom
Splashing the landscape of starched umber-gray
Washing the bleak world of winter’s foray
Smiling then scolding, she sweeps through each room

Billowy breezes, refurbishing rain
Rinsing and fluffing, industrious mirth
Flinging wide sashes and shutters of earth
Troubadour armed with May’s flower-refrain

April, oh maiden of moody melee
Vexing the tulip with winter’s recoil
Testing, perplexing the planter of soil
Singing and laughing and weeping with glee

April, fair maiden of dexterous touch
Harbinger of lilacs, daisies and such

© Janet Martin

Today we are finally getting a taste of April's warmer side!

The Pleasantness of You Against my Thought


The pleasantness of you against my thought
Makes sweet the hours that otherwise are not
Winter’s despair is gentled by the show’r
Bathing the bud and nudging it to flow’r

We could collect life’s failure and its woe
But darling, tell me, what good would it do?
I choose the pleasure of the touch of you
The past is done; none can its threads undo

The future, with its muted mystery
Does not adhere to the heart’s fantasy
The pleasantness of you against my thought
Redeems the sullen void of what is not

Worry and woe align their hopeless schemes
Attempting to dismantle the heart’s dreams
The raw and useless curse of sad regret
Employs its demons, ah, lest I forget

But then, like mercy’s misty morning dew
I reach to touch the gentle thought of you
The imminence of all that yet is not
Cannot compete with you against my thought

© Janet Martin

Friday, April 26, 2013

Everyone Needs to do their Part

  Responsibility is not inherited, it is a choice that everyone needs to make at some point in their life.  - Byron Pulsifer

Image Source

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Everyone (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “Everyone Thinks I’m Crazy,” “Everyone Knows the World Is Round,” “Everyone Needs to Leave Me Alone,” or whatever it is that everyone is doing (or not doing).

We should not leave for others to do
What can be done by me and you
What a lovely world this world would be
If we all did our part willingly

If we all gave a little more
Instead of stiffly keeping score
If love was our motive freely unfurled
Oh, this would be a wonderful world

Everyone needs to do their part
We are the painters; love is the art
If each of us would do our best
This world would laugh with loveliness

Janet Martin

The Cast of Consonants and Vowels...


April PAD Challenge: For today’s prompt, write a casting poem. Casting can take on several meanings, including casting a spell, casting a line (such as in fishing), casting the actors in a play, and I suppose even the act of creating a cast.

How mute they seem
Unadorned, still
Of ink until
They are cajoled
Teased, twirled and then
What pictures fill
A poet's pen

Janet Martin

Giddy with Joy

How grand t’would be to taste again
That simple giddiness of joy
Beaming in anticipation
Like that of carefree girl or boy

How fair and perfect is the glee
Of childish laughter’s innocence
How I covet the purity
Of youth’s unclouded ambiance

The thrill of being young again
Fearless; dancing on dream’s ahoy
Brimming with buoyant rainbow bliss
Of childhood’s sweet, unblemished joy

© Janet Martin

Victoria was absolutely BRIMMING with anticipation this morning. Her class is surprising a student teacher with a farewell party on her last day.

Our Haste or Hour-haste

Come, said the green meadow, all giddy with gold, 
Wage feeds the body but I feed the soul.

Ah, emerald rush beneath the sky
Coaxing, inviting us to lie
Beneath the sweep of aural blue
But we have too much work to do

The pattern of an hour’s haste
Forbids us to be still and taste
Ambrosia of rain-washed breeze
Or spring’s sun-swaddled fantasies

The blue hills taunt from skyline shores
The green field beckons and implores
That we should come, wander awhile
Where gentler things of living smile

Ah, emerald rush of spring’s glad green
Here Mother Nature is a queen
Inviting pilgrim’s, one and all
To feast in her grand banquet hall

We ought to heed her pleasant plea
Climb to her lap of luxury
We ought to take the time to kneel
Beneath the grace of Bezaleel

The head, though it may be so smart
Should heed the whisper of the heart
How pitiful to sadly waste
A lifetime, bound by hour-haste

© Janet Martin

The Way of a Poem


…that’s just the way it is
The bending of a wayward breeze
Tugging at spring’s first emptiness
Or where the rains beat down all day
Tonight, a sudden quietness
…and somewhere there within the air
An earnest, umbral undertone
Murmurs against the solitude
Unwilling to be left alone
It dangles, spirals, somersaults
And even when I close my eyes
It reaches deep within the heart
Pulling its strings with tender sighs
Until I follow hungrily
To place my thought within its will
Where it hovers perplexingly
One breath beyond my readied quill
Then, as I turn to walk away
Words spill, like school-children at three
Pushing, rushing, a fevered fray
Of passion and timidity
All in a hurry to get home
You silly, thrilling little Poem

© Janet Martin

...or that's the way it was just now...I turned to go to bed and this silly little thing insisted, 'write me!'

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hallelujah, Amen

Our Journey of Unknowns...a sonnet

The unknown murmurs on the burnished brink
Slipping its gossamer from east to west
We cannot know what shapes its ether-pink
Though to-do lists and duty may suggest
The Weaver of each moment intercedes
Cupping His gracious will beneath our own
We spout our wants while He supplies our needs
Melding in moment-thread, unknown to known
And while the shaft of new day rends the deeps
And skylines re-appear, a circle-scope
Of east, south, west and north; His visage keeps
Vast eons anchored in His steadfast hope
We place our fears within His faithful hand
Trusting the God of sky and sea and land

Gladness, sadness, flow'r and shower merge
The darlings of His never-changing grace
Embark on tides of morning’s mercy-surge
Ignorant of the breadth of His embrace
For we will not escape His tender gaze
The sky, the land and sea are but the shell
Where shadows of His potent wonder splays
In whispered fringes of Heaven and hell
And though the unknown spreads its light-less veil
Across our tarnished visage; Faithful God
Releases this day’s moments from Love’s grail
His fount of Goodness nurtures soul and sod
We stuff out mouths; Hunger is not destroyed
The infant and the aged bear its void

The earth is lathered green in Spring’s caress
Before the sheen of winter binds its girth
Last year's unknowns are known; grief, happiness
Unfold and fold again, four-season's worth
Before another year falls to the crypt
Where Time; the fulcrum twixt unknown and known
Establishes in present; yet has slipped
The filament of centuries to stone
We bow beneath the Hand of Eden’s seal
The constellations also bow to Him
For none transcends the One who moves Time's wheel
The God of ages cups our wish and whim
Where known and unknown subsist, juxtaposed
The rose exists within the bud, still closed

© Janet Martin

Like Phantom Poetry

Tonight the darkness rolls across the day
A wave of cobalt over dismal gray
The twilight keens with tardy April snow
A memory of someone long ago
And from the deep like phantom poetry
Almost I touch its soulful melody

Up, up, into the frosty moonless dark
The echo drifts, love-song upon a spark
And soon its ballad fades into the air
Where April runs its fingers through my hair
And midnight folds the hour to its embrace
Expanding history’s ethereal space

How large the night of moonless minuet
Strange and remote, the ghostly silhouette
Of ravaged pine, where winter’s tireless gale
Returns in confused, mumbled madrigal
And naked willows weep, hungering for
Night-song to sweep the silver garden-floor

Tonight the quietude of April snow
Muffles the tread of stragglers as they go
Searching, as I for that elusive star
Where past resides and summer wishes are
And from the deep like phantom poetry
Almost, almost I feel you close to me


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On Autopilot

April PAD Challenge: For today’s prompt, write an auto poem. Auto could mean automobile, automatic, automaton, or any number of possibilities.

She turns her hands to auto-pilot
Wipes the counters, sweeps the floor
Folds the laundry while she travels
To the bliss of sun-swept shores
Her hands remain upon their chores

She turns her feet to auto-pilot
Sink to fridge to stove; repeat
While she treads the path of duty
Venice and Brazil compete
The greens in Ireland are sweet

When she is in auto-pilot
She has prayed her children home
Designed gardens and surprises
Traversed Austria and Rome
...or perhaps, written a poem

I wave to those on auto-pilot
Shaking mats, watering plants
They smile with envy as I wander
To the pier where sunbeams dance


The Constanza Form...Rain-refrain and Seventeen

The Constanza; Poetic Bloomings invites us to try this form. (The error in this poem is my first lines are not an independent poem....the second stanza is the glitch)) The Constanza, created by Connie Marcum Wong, consists of five or more 3-line stanzas. Each line has a set meter of eight syllables. The first lines of all the stanzas can be read successively as an independent poem, with the rest of the poem weaved in to express a deeper meaning. The first lines convey a theme written in monorhyme, while the second and third lines of each stanza rhyme together.


She falls, silver; a sweeping sigh
From founts of low-flung pewter cloud
Drenching the winter-weary shroud

She sings; a melody where I
Am seized with a sweet-surging hurt
To bathe my hands in garden dirt

She sparkles; sequin-studded sky
Embellishing each blade of grass
With nature’s froth of liquid glass

She murmurs, ‘farmer, do not cry
God holds spring’s phial in His will
Un-clenching frost-bound ridge and rill’

She laughs; a sassy, splashy high
For in euphoric aftermath
Wild blooms ensconce the muddy path

She croons; a soulful lullaby
Beyond the porch her passion streams
As rain-song rivers kiss our dreams

© Janet Martin

Let's Try Again...


My love; will you still love me true?
When youth and middle-age fall prey
To ticking clocks and locks of gray?

And will you murmur 'I love you'
As if we were still seventeen
Without a clue what 'love' will mean

When I am old, bent by love's due
Will you still kindly take my hand
And whisper oh, babe, ain't love grand?

Will we gaze down past's avenue
With hearts humble and meekly awed
That we remain, by grace of God?

When we are old, will love imbue
Each day with sweet and sacred truth
Renewing vows made in our youth?

Each step; will we be one or two
When we are old and frail and weak?
Will you still kiss my wrinkled cheek?

And will we whisper 'I love you'
When we are old; will we be mean
Or will we still be seventeen?


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Now-factor

 (how can it be? It is always 'now' yet now is a constant transformation!)

You are always in the moment
Yet you probe the pedicle
Breathing buds into full beauty
Tuning autumn’s canticle

You are always in the moment
Not a flicker or a sigh
In the ethereal cohesion
Of a decade passing by

You abide, instant, eternal
Gentle, ruthless half-breath clone
Nudging daughters into women
In your moment-monotone

You are always ever-present
Past and future, what are they
But the gossamery essence
Turning raven locks to gray

You are always in the moment
Tell me then, how can it be
That a moment takes the future
Sealing it in history

What is your secret; century-weaver
Mouthed in muted moment-chime
For I cannot feel you passing
Metamorphosis of Time

© Janet Martin

I Love You, I Hate You (two-for-two-Tues.)

I seem to love you so
And easily fall prey
To fickle wishes, wants and whims
That you cajole my way

Yes, I must love you so
These second miles I run
To satisfy your restless eye
Declares my devotion

Though your attention span
Is pathetic at best
I hunger for the nuances
Of pleasures you suggest

But oh, I hate you so
The flesh is hard to please
And never fully satisfied
With my best loyalties

Oh, yes I hate you so
The way I bow to serve
Your flighty notions and desires
Disgust my burst of nerve

Oh, how I hate you so
You war against the One
Who whispers peace, and loves me so
In spite of what I’ve done

© Janet Martin

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation:
the spirit indeed is willing,
but the flesh is weak. Matt. 26:41


Our 'Oughts'


He gave His Best for us
Then how much more ought we
To offer Him our utter-best
In meek humility

He gave His life for us
Then how much more ought we
To return our lives to Him
In service, thankfully

He gives His best to us
Love's grace; ought we not give
The best we have to Him who gave
His best so we may live?

© Janet Martin

This Could Be the Day

This could be the day
We cannot fully know
Who will remain to witness
Twilight’s tranquil binding glow
Or who will pass its gleam
Into forevermore
Where none can see the mystery
Beyond time’s transient door

This could be the day
There are no guarantees
No ranks or hierarchies immune
To this life’s tragedies
And no one can foretell
The unknowns that abide
Or be without uncertain doubt
When life and death divide

See how the morning sun
Spills kindly to the grass
Blushing in whispers on the brink
Of what will come to pass
This gift is from God’s hand
So live, laugh, love and pray
Someday death’s claim will call our name
And this could be the day

© Janet Martin

 For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor. 6:2

Monday, April 22, 2013

For my Daughter who Likes to Debate


Image Source

Poetic Bloomings Prompt; Time flies when you’re having fun! We’ve heard that throughout our lives. In the movies, time passing is depicted as a clock or sundial in time-lapse photography in rapid motion. We see hair gray up and other parts sag down. So for this poem, we want you to write a poem that shows the passing of time. The first part will center upon something you enjoyed or did as a child. The second part will focus on your perspective on that activity and how age has changed/enhanced your vision.

Once I was a girl
Young, carefree, like you
Constrained by parents
With a straight, narrow view

Now I am the parent
And I love you
In spite of your scoffing
At my straight, narrow view

Someday I pray
You will have girls too
Loved and constrained
By your straight, narrow view

© Janet Martin

I read this prompt after a  long and heated ‘debate’ with my teen-age daughter, thus, this is what my first thought was.

Complexities of Enemies


My greatest enemy
Is quite average in appearance
But what a nuisance she can be
Always pushing to the forefront
In one little word
Me! Me! Me!

© Janet Martin

The Complexities of the Heart

The greatest complexity I know
Is the convenience of your eloquence
Pleasing, tormenting me so

You woo in whispers laced with death
Deception shapes such pleasantness
While disassembling bastions breath by breath 


The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jer. 17:9

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Prov. 4:23

The Complexities of Love

For love we suffer to find its comfort
Its beauty runs deepest in rivers of blood
Love is a word best-spoken with action
We cannot love and yet deny God

© Janet Martin

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, 
God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12

The Complexity of Word


April's PAD Challenge: Write a Complex poem.  Complex is a complex word that can refer to mental state, apartments, difficulty of a situation, and so many other complex situations.

Words are fickle, winsome things
With which to build our boasts of sand
Unless their guise is augmented
With upright action of the hand

The logic of the human heart
Is quick to defend and to blame
We ought to ponder carefully
These rudiments of hope and shame

How smooth these syllables ally
What credence fills their guild with voice
Yet, we do well to recognize
The silence thunders with our choice

© Janet Martin

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Beyond the Sparkle of These Eyes...

Beyond the sparkle of these eyes
Beneath the dust-breathed veil of skin
Exists a soul that never dies
That God alone has woven in

Man cannot reach to purge from him
This mystery saved by Love’s grace
And only God beholds its face


And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
 Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 
Matt. 10:28

The Great Beyond


Image Source

April PAD Challenge:For today’s prompt, write a beyond poem. The poem could be beyond human comprehension. It could be from the great beyond. It could be from beyond–another city, country, planet, solar system, dimension, etc. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond with it.

This world is full of vengeance and hate
and all manner of evil
We reel 'neath the impact of its reach
And love seems the weaker vessel
But this gasp of mortality
Comes with an ultimatum
Beyond this lies eternity
In breadths we cannot fathom
And though we groan beneath the pain
Of hate and its un-reason
Love will not fail, but is the Way
To heaven's glorious kingdom

This life is but the stepping-stone
leading to hell or Heaven's throne
We ought to pay more earnest heed
to the Beyond where these stones lead.


Where Streets are Stained With Blood...


We live where streets are stained with blood
And even where the grass is green
A soldier’s body paid for us
To breathe the air of freedom’s sheen
Look down, look down; behold your feet
One in the cradle, one the grave
Look up; look up, for only He
Is God and mighty yet to save

The gutters swell with evil’s flood
Where hatred, hurt and hunger wail
A brother spills his brother’s blood
It seems the gates of hell prevail
We stagger low beneath the grief
Of Ramah; here our children die
Before they breathe; their right to live
Decided by a 'mercy-lie'

The roar of guns deploys its noise
The river runs dark and blood-red
Daughter or son is everyone
And love will mourn her precious dead
For love, this universal thread
Will bind and heal hate’s wretched wounds
Look down, look down, there lies our dread
Look up, look up, His love abounds

We live where streets are stained with blood
And gutters surge with filth and fear
We live where our forefathers stood
To face the Foe; love brought us here
And hate can never slay the One
For God is Love; He will prevail
Look up; someday hate will be done
But Love will never, ever fail

© Janet Martin


Friday, April 19, 2013

When the Earth is A-wash...

 This was my view from the kitchen window while making supper last night. We kept our eye on that cloud but it dissipated shortly after I took this photo into this...

When the earth is a-wash with blue rivers of spring
And the yard is a splash of verdant rendering
When each ditch is a brook and each stem bronze with bud
When young lads find heaven in meadows of mud
Then our dreams burgeon and hope is renewed
For surely the winter’s last blast is subdued

When robins are saucy in breast-coats of rust
When nooks wooded, mossy stir our wanderlust
When the breeze is imbibed with blush-pink apple-bloom
And trees are like brides all be-decked for the groom
Then we feel the joy of our care-freer hours
As spring comes a-dancing with arms full of flowers

When dark-days of winter expand then grow pale
Twixt autumnal splendor and spring-time’s regale
When we drink the nectar of sunshine and rain
And join in the laughter of violet-fringed lane
When daffodil-radiance beams from umber sod   
Then we sing for Spring and the mercy of God

© Janet Martin

As Long as Long You Can...to Victoria

I will not ask too much from you,
But I must ask enough
 This is the duty kind and true
Of a mother’s love,
So I have one small wish, my dear
Time waits for no man
Then will you just stay twelve, my dear
As long, as long you can?

Your other sisters seemed to rush
The hours through a year
And soon the days when they were twelve
Dissolved, a bubble-sphere
So, if you could, my dearest dear
Elongate this brief span
And just stay twelve in spite of years
As long, as long you can

© Mom aka Janet~

12 year olds are SO carefree!

Lest Evil Wins...

visualization tools 
Image Source

I'm listening to the news; the man-hunt in Boston
I don't want to write but...

If artists forsake canvases
Put down their brushes
If poets dissuade muses
And the sea that rushes
To be spilled on page
While evils rage
And man destroys
While hate employs
Its lethal grief
While disbelief
Rocks to the core
And our tears pour
For those who suffer
First-hand its horror
And as we contemplate
The repercussions of hate
We weep
For its ripples run deep
And yet, if we still brush and pen
Until the evil of evil men
Is over and done
Then, I fear, evil has won.

© Janet Martin

Oh the layers of grief…
Of those who love the one who commits heinous acts of violence and those who suffer because of it…

Mighty Fire

April PAD Challenge: For today’s prompt, write a burn poem. I actually wrote a poem titled “burn” earlier in this month’s challenge, so I’m going to have to think a little on this to avoid repeating what I’ve already written. However, burn can represent many things–from getting burned by a bad deal (or a friend) to feeling the burn when working out to physically burning from fires.

They burn with mocking ruthlessness
Somewhere inside my head
Those hasty words of selfishness
I never should have said

What mighty fire the the tongue ignites
How long the sad regret
Of brief and thoughtless moment-spite
I now cannot forget

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:6