Saturday, June 29, 2013

Of Sorrows, Scrimmages and Precious Peace

The silent sorrows of the heart
No ink of pen can dare to spell
Nor brush release its anguished art
Groaning beneath this dust-wrought shell

The panting prayer of pleading thought
No page or stage could bear to flaunt
Or scrawl in humble scripted jot
The hollow holding hidden want

The scrimmages of faith and fear
Rival where only God can see
It is enough; He bends His ear
Bestowing precious peace to me

© Janet Martin

Of Love and Souls

To skim lightly
Over your skin
With my eyes,
To glance passively
In your direction
Yet not recognize
In full the import
Of precious you
Is like touching
Without feeling
Or sight
Without view

Can I say
‘I love you’
Yet treat nonchalantly
The invisible
That lives for
What are the laws
That you write
On your heart
Or bind ‘round
Your neck
Its wisdom
To impart?

To kiss you and
Hold you and
Never full tell
Of soul-truth
Of Heaven and hell
Is like skimming
Over love
Or smiting
The face
Of He who
Goodness and

© Janet Martin

What are our children writing on their hearts?

And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the posts of your house, and on your gates. …Duet. 6:7-9

My son,  keep your father's commandment, and forsake not the law of your mother: Bind them continually on your heart, and tie them about your neck. When you go, it shall lead you; when you sleep, it shall keep you; and when you wake, it shall talk with you. …Prov. 6:21

My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you: bind them about your neck; write them on the table of your heart: …Prov 3:1-3

My son,  keep my words, and lay up my commandments with you. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers, write them on the table of your heart. …Prov.7:3

Of Farewells and Recompense

Upon the buxom breeze we sense
In rising, falling swell
A subtle sigh of imminence
Skimming the open fell
It hovers low above the lake
In plumes of purple mist
As it bestows the keening ache
Of being almost kissed

Is loneliness perpetual want
Of what can never be
Perplexed by beauty’s moment-taunt
And heart’s inanity?
Or is it the flip-side of love
A tender winnowing
Intangible as skies above
Yet all-encompassing

Across the wild-bloom ravishing
Of precious Time’s expanse
We bear the raw relinquishing
Of have-and-holding’s dance
From passion-pores our longing pleads
Yet in synchronous mete  
We press its echo to our needs
In comfort bitter-sweet

Upon the dew-belle dawn we sense
The tug of letting go
We hunger for the recompense
Of Time’s incumbent woe
To have and hold is love’s brief bliss
How lingering the knell
Of tender-sweetest loneliness
Where love bleeds its farewell

© Janet Martin

June; where did you go? 
Oh,fairest maiden of them all
And why your eager hastening
Toward the scrim of fall?

With glad anticipation
You rushed into our reach
Melting in meek subjection
Like a wave upon the beach

Friday, June 28, 2013


Many a month may boast its fare
And flaunt their robes of splendor
But I have yet to wander where
There is a robe more tender
Than June with coat of evergreen
In vivid shade or lazy
From woodland haunts of emerald sheen
To fields of dew and daisy

The rolling hills in splendor reign
Above lush dell and hollow
I hear their whispers soft and green
They taunt with trails to follow
Into the crooning underbrush
Of cool green shadows sighing
Beneath the sweeping, languid hush
Of willow-branches crying

Winter, oh take your dazzling white
Autumn, regale your glory
Those crimson hillsides flaming bright
Today, do nothing for me
Today I’ll rest in summer’s arms
Of June’s resplendent treasure
Of glorious green in countless forms
 Expanding without measure


Megan reminded me of a poem I wrote a few years ago. Thank-you Megan, for your interest and for sharing it:) We can revel in June for 2 more days!This years it looks like a lush,green July as well, due to an abundance of rain!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stolen Flowers

These are some of the flower-stands that we passed when we were out and about today.

Keeping from God what is not ours
Is like gazing with pride at stolen flowers

(Right now the roadside stands are brimming with blooms; drop your money in container provided and pick a bouquet. I wondered if they have trouble with people simply taking the flowers, then I thought; how could anyone enjoy stolen flowers? This thought was followed by immediate conviction)

Summer Madrigal

When streams in silver ribbon tease
The meadows flush with clover bloom
As winter’s fireside fantasies
Embellish nature’s living-room
When dawn melts gold into each rill
And dusk leans long against earth’s loam
Cajoled by lark and whippoorwill
And mother’s calling children home
Then we are all princes and lords
As summer spills its sanguine hoards

When sea-song rolls across bare feet
Where gulls waft high on hazy blues
And winds grow lazy in the heat
Rippling on milkweed avenues
When golden-rod sprouts plumes of green
And earth is giddy 'neath its crown
Then surely summer is a queen
And we the stragglers on her gown
As daisy rivers drift awry
Where ditches lure the roving eye

When lovers stroll exotic lanes
Behind the barn beneath the moon
Or pictures pulse within our veins
Begging to spill in ink-fraught swoon
On easels formed of sun-swept hill
Where palettes pour their rainbow yield
In petal-poem madrigal
Of flowers flowing through a field
As summer flings ajar her door
There are no beggars on her shore

© Janet Martin

Since this is the last day of school before summer-break I treated myself to a long bike ride this morning...well sort-of treated because it ended up being a ride in the rain;) Still, summer swelled in top-notch form!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Words and/or Action


Words ease our conscience
And make us feel good
But a living example
Needs no substitute

Wise words are golden
And essential
But only when spoken
In action as well

Words spell instruction
But its message is clearer
If our action
Reflects in its mirror

© Janet Martin

Of Beacons and Dreamers


Oh, let me never hinder
Or snuff the giddy gleam
Lighting your lithesome laughter
And the power to your dream

Oh, let me never crumple
Your footloose fantasy
Or make you fearful to embrace
More than the eye can see

But let me gently urge you
With kindly words or wise
For no one ever conquers, dear
What no one ever tries

And let me never tarnish
Or trample on the hope
That keeps you gazing yonder
To that fair and phantom slope

Let me never extinguish
That dear and darling spark
For to a dreamer it will be
Your beacon in the dark 

© Janet Martin

This may seem like it is not very hard to do, but sometimes it is! my fifteen year-old son

Contemplating the end of a school year re-ignited the words I wrote for my son a year ago when he graduated from Grade 8.
It is not a swift wrenching from my grasp
Or my chest
As you steal my heart
It is a patient sort of tender anguish
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
© Janet Martin


I found myself breathing these words this morning...

Dear Lord, help me to trust in You
And not to live in hopeless need
But with the peace of sweet release
Allowing You to intercede

Dear Lord, help me to trust in You
To place the weight of faithless fear
Within the grace of Your embrace
Remembering that You are near

Dear Lord, help me to trust in You
Relinquishing each care-worn part
Dear Lord, I need faith’s mustard seed
Help me to trust with all my heart

© Janet Martin

Sometimes it feels like there's an added weight to life's loads of care, Lord, help me pray then leave it there.

 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones. Prov. 3:3-8

Of Breath-bindings

They drift away
Gossamer shells
Without a flicker
Of farewell
And though they hold
Within their clutch
The staggering
Softness of touch
Where love and loss
And longing bleed
Where hope and faith
And honor plead
Where blood and sweat
And tears caress
The footfalls
Of our humanness
And monumental
Bound in half-breath
They slip into the
Languid hour
Plucking the
Glory from the flower
And children from
A mother’s reach
They rend, they croon
Tender and teach
Then slip into
Impassive air
Buoyed by whispered
Wings of prayer
Or perhaps
Just a little sigh
As we murmur
Good-bye, good-by
But they do not turn
To reply
Or brush the teardrop
From our eye
Though they have stolen
Part by part
The utmost linings
Of the heart
They spin into
The atmosphere
Beneath a guise
That we call


So many year endings and beginnings in a year. This heat-wave has finished off this year's peonies abruptly, the school-year ends, another year of summer-vacation begins, Moments molding Milestones melting into moments making memories.

Of Pendulums and Purpose

The pendulum that draws the sun
From east to west to east
And lights the wick to virgin hope
As old dreams are released
It spurs us ever forward
In a tick-tock melody
‘Til flesh and soul are parted
At life’s final destiny

The misty morning gilds the dell
And spills into the deep
We fill our mouths with daily bread
And pray the Lord to keep
Our feet in paths of righteousness
Lest in errant folly
We see too late the horror of
Our heedless apathy

The pendulum that marks the hour
The hour that marks a day
The days that number weeks and years
Are not mere feckless fray
They are our gifted steppingstones
Leading, not to the sod
But from this earth to Heaven’s throne
And to the arms of God

© Janet Martin

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy Summer Vacation to all Teachers and Students

It seems that we have come upon an island in the sea
Two months of sweet vacation-time already; can it be?
The gangplank lowers to the cries of farewell and ahoy
For it’s summer-vacation time for every girl and boy

Was it not just a mile ago that we embarked upon
A voyage charted, page by page to gossamer unknown?
Where autumn lit its match and leaf-song faded to the earth
The limb has been refurbished with summer’s green-gilded mirth

Beneath the watchful eye of Captain, crew, deckhands and such
We see a generation rise beneath love's patient touch
The bashful dreamer dances now and leaps into the sky
The fearful fledgling spreads its wings, eager to soar and fly

The fathers and the mothers try to find the words to say
Thank-you to those who teach them who they want to be someday
But all that we can muster as we search for words to speak
Is ‘thank-you dearest teachers, for the things you do each week’

The halls that ring with shouts and greeting soon will bear the pall
Of footsteps faint and fleeting where a thousand echoes fall
And though we disembark; though miles may draw us far apart
We keep our precious memories forever in the heart

(last verse optional)
Was it not just a mile ago that we embarked upon
A voyage where each lesson was a little stepping-stone?
And now its seems that we have reached their darling destiny
All eyes are on the clock for soon its tick-tock sets them free

© Janet Martin


We wash the dishes, polish sinks
Making living-quarters neat
We add the touch of blooms and such
But still, something is not complete

We do the laundry, fill the fridge
With healthy and good things to eat
And yet we sense a keen absence
Of something just not quite complete

We scrub the floors and fuss about
The mess left by way-faring feet
And almost there, we touch the air
Of something keen and incomplete

The front-door slams, someone calls ‘Mom’?
Ah yes, they say silence is sweet
I like the noise of girls and boys
Shaping what makes a home complete

Thank-you Lord, the daily war
Of cleaning-cooking-cares repeat
Yet, in the end they bind and blend
The joys that make a home complete

© Janet Martin

Last night at supper I tried recording the family in ‘lively conversation’ to put it mildly. I sort of missed the moment but it struck me how the completeness of living is not in its tidiness or quietness but in its noise and messes. I like being the listener to their debates/arguments; usually Matt versus sisters, something like-Why People Who Belch are Happier Than Those Who Don’t, etc…
Matt Versus Sisters (of course, at fifteen he enjoys few things more than driving his sisters CRAZY!)

Often, if hubby calls during the day and asks what I’m doing my answer will be something like, ‘oh, laundry, or cleaning or dishes’. ‘Again?’ he asks, ‘Is that all you do?’ No it’s not, but I do it a lot!

Of Happiness and Success...oh! and canned sausage

Success, for all its promises
Of comfort, luxury and bliss
Cannot, when all is said and done
Favor the heart with happiness

But happiness is that fair thing
Elusive to the hand of greed   
Its joy leaps from an obscure spring
Where love extends itself to need

The triumph of a life well-lived
And its rendition of success
Lies not in fortune’s vanity
But in the key to happiness

This key opens a precious vault
Filled, not with gold or silver boast
But with endowments visible
To those who’ve found what matters most

© Janet Martin

Sometimes happiness is a simple as sausage-on-a-bun with mustard!

...and sometimes God blesses us with the acquaintance of those who we know have found it and they seem to share it without realizing it; happiness.

We had a great day together. While I taught her of canning sausage she taught me of happiness; trust, joy, peace in spite of great unknowns as we chatted about families, marriage, love and souls; the everlasting-ness of souls bound to one of two destinies...and of how much God loves us and His desire is that not one soul should be lost.

Canned pork-sausage may not look so appealing but it is so great for a quick meal! Simply order your sausage in bulk. Spiral or place cut pieces in sterilized canning jar until full to the neck of the jar. Wipe jar-rim before placing sterilized lids on each one. Place in *Canner-pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a rolling boil. reduce heat to med. and steam for 3 hrs. Remove from not move jars while they are cooling. After they are sealed wash them and store jars in a cool, dry place.Meat will keep for months! Simply brown and serve. 

* Canner 

Summer and Poets

On canvasses of rolling green summer employs its will
On parchment unmarred and pristine a poet’s passions spill
Into the dell, on hill and field summer flings floral font
Against the knell of thought’s appeal a poet bleeds his vaunt

On moss and bracken tapestry summer releases rain
Across midnight serenity a poet frees his pain
As summer’s dawn breaks through the deep and day is new again
The poet rouses from his sleep to feed his hungry pen
On filament of sky and sod summer unfurls its mien
The poet sees the hand of God within earth’s mezzanine
And in the aftermath of summer all that will remain to see
Are the paths where poets wander searching for His poetry

© Janet Martin

Monday, June 24, 2013

Of Footprints, Fantasies and Forgetting

And so I went back there to stand
Where we had walked and talked that day
But the shadows in the sands
Of Time were strange, misshapen gray

The songs we listened to and danced
Like children on sweet summer’s shore
Seemed to have rendered their romance
To seasons and the ocean’s roar

And when I went back there tonight
In search of what we had that day
All I could find in the moonlight
Were footprints that had washed away

© Janet Martin


Our paths cross
We never meet
Save for a dance
On cyber-street

Our eyes touch
A common place
Of poetry
In cyber-space

Our thoughts entwine
World’s apart
There’s no such thing
As a cyber-heart


Thank-you for dropping by on this cyber-porch wherever and whoever in the world you are. I hope you are blessed and encouraged for we are in this life together.

Of Sea-songs and Life-shores or Life-songs and Sea-shores

Oh, tender place where we embrace
And trace the face of lithesome years
Oh, paradox of ticks and tocks
Pleasing, teasing thought’s atmospheres

Oh vesper-lay, soft you replay
The memories of home sweet home
Mind-madrigals as season’s pulse
A steady, silent metronome

Oh, chanting rhyme of rifting time
Of still-life eons you employ
Good-bye, hello, hold on, let go
An ebb and flow of grief and joy

Oh summer dusk of mist and musk
Rousing a phantom pantomime
Of clocks and locks, of ticks and tocks
Shaping a little thing called Time

Oh, subtle tide, how brief Time’s stride
How permanent its destiny
We touch the sand upon a strand
Leading to vast eternity

© Janet Martin

Why are we so reluctant to speak of the inevitable; eternity?

Sunday, June 23, 2013


June; hearth of summer’s opulence
Of greenest greens and purest blues
Where daisy-gardens gild the fence
And garnish hillside avenues

June; luxury of summer’s glades
Before parched landscapes gasp and groan
Relenting to the warmer shades
Of gold and russet undertone

June; canopy of summer's mirth
Of butterfly and bloom-brushed slope
As from the pulsing vaults of earth
Nature exalts its Author's hope

June; rhapsody of wren and rose
In manuscripts written by God
For no mortal can quite compose
The poetry of sky and sod

© Janet Martin

Saturday, June 22, 2013


The pink orb drops away, away
A killdeer trills its farewell lay
From meadow swathed in purple mist
Where wafts the scent of hay, dew-kissed
Softly the bluer ramparts lower
Closing the lids of child and flower
Folding to fast, eternal rest
Each moment cradled and caressed
As willow tree and zephyr sigh
A slow and sultry lullaby

Now thought grows long, tender and deep
Soon weariness will yield to sleep
As pliant hours pour their mien
In raven draught across the green
Over the crag and trampled grass
Night tips the darkness from its glass
And we borrow from wiser men
Words to sustain midnight’s mute pen
Straining to hear the words they speak
In whispered tears upon the cheek

© Janet Martin

Friday, June 21, 2013

What We Do

We know they have caught
More than we can ever say
But we try to give them
A little advice anyway

We know for all the words
Expressed in concern
It’s what we do
Whereby they learn

We know now
Childhood is soon gone
Shaped in essence
By what we, their parents, have done

© Janet Martin

A child is taught by what is caught.
Yes, that proverb is true!
May we be inspired
 To work with them, play with them;
Laugh with them and pray with them!
                                                                         and listen too.

It's easy to beat ourselves up with the 'coulda-shoulda-stuff' when looking back, but today is a gift to do! Let's do what we ought to today!

Of Realizations and Routines

 Emily (middle) with her sisters, Victoria (left) and Melissa (right) on the evening we celebrated Emily's last birthday as Miss Emily. Next year she is hoping to be Mrs.

It slams, like a wave on my back
Unexpectedly; its pain
A Realization of what will never
Come to pass

Surely love should don calluses
But its pain is raw and keen
I've learned by heart its ache
In give-and-take

And suddenly, unexpectedly
Like a wave’s stinging smack
I feel the grief of disbelief
In what I can never have

© Janet Martin

I am constantly being hit with the realization that life as I knew it is over soon. The, 'this is the last first day of summer with our whole family living at home... this is the last time the peonies will bloom before the wedding... this is the last goes on and on, But, love adapts with change!(and most of our 'lasts' we do not recognize; most of our 'lasts' we do not know)

Another realization I am admitting to, is that no matter how often I say ‘Use the closet!’ they will never use the closet. While I was writing this poem I tripped on some shoes on my way to the laundry room...

Summer Invitation

The dew-drenched dawn ignites the lawn
In dazzling invitation
The charcoal crypt of night has slipped
To our imagination

Now feathered choir and blossomed spire
In blameless exaltation
Urge us to come and join the song
Of morning celebration

Past falls away, we do not stay
To till again its garden
But hope’s embrace in dew-drenched grace
Extends its gentle pardon

So you and I should fully try
Not to squander its hours
Yet, we should sit a little bit
And listen to the flowers

For soon their bloom will fill the tomb
Where summer’s solstice lingers
We cannot feel Time’s ether reel
Slipping through our fingers

© Janet Martin

Victoria was reading this as I wrote and she offered her bit of advice;
‘But if ya’ stop to smell the roses do it quick or a bumble-bee’s liable to nail ya’
Quoted from Si; Duck Dynasty

Happy First Day of Summer, y'all!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It Is Not Easy to Love

 Read about the image and its source  here

It is not easy to love with utter abandon
Of self
To say ‘God, I believe You, I love You’
Then lie on the altar of sacrifice
It is not easy to profess His love
In full awareness of He
Who beholds the heart
...and we cannot open our hearts to love
while clenching fists
It is not easy to love
Until it hurts
And yet
That is the only Love
There is

© Janet Martin

The next time we say ‘I love you’ we should consider the cost
For love is not a feeling, but a laying down of our uttermost