Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It Feels Like Fall...

What began as a glorious rhapsody surrendered by noon to rain-song.

It feels like fall; a somber shawl is sprawled across the earth today
And on the lane the song of rain ripples in rivulets blue-gray
The sassy bloom like jilted groom bows her flamboyance to the dirge
Where melody of memory entwines in longing’s silver surge

It feels like fall; the madrigal of moments slips like rain from leaf
The tango of sweet summer’s love sighs languidly in golden sheaf
And where the sheen of virgin green flaunted its verdant opulence
I see of a hint of amber glint jading its fearless confidence

It feels like fall, the garden wall is laced with morning-glory vine
And on the dusk silk-misty musk sparkles like effervescent wine
We trace the place of walnut-lace acknowledging its numbered days
The crickets call; it feels like fall before its full autumnal blaze

© Janet Martin

It did feel like a premature fall day; first sunny then cool and rainy with the scent of late summer dripping from the trees.

Earth's Treasure-trove

Pearl, amethyst and ruby
Emerald and garnet gems
The colors of the rainbow
In July-diadems
How pretty is the treasure
That dazzles summer’s girth
We pluck its priceless measure
From troves beneath the earth
A little rain and sunshine
A little scuff of hoe
A little bit of patience
To watch these treasures grow
And then, oh gladsome morning
When labor yields its worth
As we glean from the garden
Grace-treasures of the earth

© Janet Martin

We had a fresh-from-the-garden lunch today!

Our 'Shouting Voice'

For all the words we tout and spout
In sleek and polished token
The only words we ever shout
Are those in action spoken

© Janet Martin

Let’s make our actions count today!
Happy Last day of July 2013.

Life's Minuet...of Hope and Morning-song

The Keeper of our groans and moans and tears we never share
Softly and patiently intones its sorrow to the air
Then, in kind, wordless empathy He places on our tongue
A sweet and tender melody of hope and morning-song

The dew evaporates at noon; the sun rises to set
And summer slips away too soon; this is life’s minuet
We dance within its moody arms; there is no other choice
Bearing the climax of lost charms in tears that have no voice

 The law of longing rends and ravages the mortal soul
We weep our secret tears, though friends and fellowships console
They cannot place within our clasp those things that cannot be
And only grace succors this gasp of thought’s futility

Life’s moment’s waft; sweet bubble-bliss of half-breath innocence
Before love’s sleek, soft parting kiss bestows deliverance
The revelation spun in youth unveils with bleeding awe
Its increment of stunning truth; the voice of longing’s law

For Love will ever be both longing and contentment met
It spills in silent symmetry of triumph and regret
Yet, we are not victims of hurt; Love bids us to be strong
The realm of heaven tunes this dirt with hope and morning-song

© Janet Martin

Fitness Test

How does life shape you?
In its hurdles and hurt
Do we get back up
Or languish in the dirt?

How do we respond
To its keening drill?
Do we carry on
Letting love mold our will?

Grace is deliverance
And Mercy is free
Lean on its Giver
With humility

The teacher of Time
Wields a winnowing knife
Ever the shaper
Of this little life

Then, count its kind blessing
And oh, never cease
For beyond the testing
Is love’s masterpiece

© Janet Martin

...or cookies!:) 

 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Heb. 10:23

Of Preludes and Parting

Morning, you murmur on midnight’s mute hem
Threading the skyline in whispers red-gold
Soon you will crown noon’s azure diadem
Ere, dusk surrenders its swoon to your hold
Giver and taker of summer’s high note
Maestro of anthems that tongue cannot sing
You place you music in nature’s glad throat
While we loiter long in its rhythm and swing
For beneath our laughter we know full well
This is the prelude to summer’s farewell

Wild with extravagance you preen the rill
Sketching the etching of pristine tree-top
Softly you spill silhouettes to the hill
Muting earth’s palette in heaven’s backdrop
Tempest of greeting and parting unite
Up from the east, down from north, west and south
Darkness dissolves in your tremor of light
Polestar of summer melting in your mouth
We cannot keep you; your distraction swells
In passionate prelude to fondest farewells

Summer; God’s love-song to soften the miles
Leading to autumn and winter’s duress
Kindly the visage of Providence smiles
There are no seasons to His tenderness
Over the valley in shimmers of mist
He strikes the timbrel of this first-last day
We cannot leave it crumpled and half-kissed
Thus we toss our silent sorrow away
This is the hour of living full well
Tasting the prelude to summer’s farewell

© Janet Martin

This morning parting is on my mind...parting of a favorite month and parting of friends that fly back to Africa tomorrow.

Every page of middle-age
is turning way too fast
Live, laugh, love, we know the truth
Summer will soon be past!

On Coveting and Contentment

It does not do us any good
To covet someone else’s lot
So each of us should give God thanks
And do the best with what we’ve got

To covet someone else lot
Is but to waste our gifted hours
If we look on another’s plot
We sadly miss our own sweet flowers

So each of us should give God thanks
For what we have; lest we despair
And thus neglect to humbly give
The glory to His loving care

…and do the best with what we’ve got
It is our duty, is it not?
How sad to miss life’s joy because
We covet someone else’s lot

© Janet Martin

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Between the Plume of Dogwood Bloom

Recently someone waited in our driveway for help to change a flat tire...she admired the view of rolling countryside. Me too! I never tire of it and am 'wowed' constantly by God's handiwork in every season.

Between the plume of dogwood bloom
And autumn’s laden bower
We linger in the candid grin
Of summer’s precious hour

Betwixt the scrim of blushing limb
In springtime’s glad awaking
And orchard bent; heaven has sent
Summer, free for its taking

She does not charge the world at large
For sun-beam dappled grasses
Nor asks a price for blue-sky slice
Or wind-song as it passes

Freely she flings her offerings
Of roses, sunset, showers
Where green and gold on hills unfold
To roadsides filled with flowers

Her melody is fair and free
How soft those sweet caresses
Between the plume of dogwood bloom
And autumn’s flaming tresses

© Janet Martin

Sweet, sweet July
Oh, tell me why
You slip so swiftly
To the sky...

Lovely Love

Love is not a recreational pastime
It stands, faithfully through life’s thick and its thin
Love is a mercy much deeper than laughter
Or beauty that grazes our bindings of skin

Love is relinquishment of self-desire
Bending of knee and re-bowing of will
Love is the traveler of second-mile journeys
Honing our meekness with its keening drill

Love plants its blossoms in suffering’s dark windows
It does not covet lime-light or applause
Knowing that God is its ultimate witness
Love does not grumble or kick at life’s flaws

Love is a splendor of infinite wonder
It does not seek adulation or boast
Yet in the end it is Love; Gift and Giver
That never ceases to astonish us most

© Janet Martin

For my neighbor Laurene who simply spreads love wherever she goes. God bless you, Laurene.

These Seemingly Nothings

It is good, these seemingly nothings
Talking of weather or what yet might be
Chatting of recipes, gardens and children
Painting a picture in thought’s memory

It is precious, life seemingly nothings
Oh what a blessing, beneath summer’s tree
To linger a moment where the sun in shining
And talk of these ‘nothings’ while stirring our tea

God bless the hours of ‘seemingly nothings’
These are the neutrals in life’s tapestry
Camouflaged colors we take for-granted
Until greater sorrows jolt their memory

It is love, these seemingly nothings
…Time’s gentle stitches binding joy and strife
‘Seemingly nothings’ of chuckle and chatter
Helping us bear bigger burdens of life

Treasure the measure of ‘seemingly nothings’
…modest imbuement of mercy’s caress
Nibble of muffin and vase of wild daisies
‘Seemingly nothings’ of God’s tenderness

© Janet Martin

It feels so good to feel good! Victoria and I spent 24 hrs sharing blankets and
 pepto-bismal. Today a neighbor popped by within minutes after she heard we were a little ‘under the weather’ She brought muffins, a cheery smile and we chatted for a while. I realized that I am way too guilty of taking one of life’s greatest blessings too for granted! There really are no ‘nothings’ in life…and I told my neighbor that I thought of her mother, an invalid, when I was sick. My heart goes out to those who suffer every day!  

Of July's Fading Fringes

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

Cradle me where we will seal our last kiss
Gather me in farewell’s hunger
Torture me tenderly in parting’s 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
Mingle in bittersweet grieving

I beg you to hold me, sweet, sanguine July
But moments do not pause or linger
Caught in a vortex of wide-open sky
You vanish on my outstretched fingers…

© Janet Martin

There’s a key change in the winds that play
Falling from lilt to sigh
Dripping from tendrils of mid-day
In preeminence of good-bye

Tomorrow it may croon and swell
Over summer’s high-noon
Today it lingers in farewell
Of July; leaving way too soon

Long we a-wait its broad, blue-sky candor
Mid-summer’s easy kin-ship
Somewhere within Time’s wild-flower splendor
Over bronze 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
Disappearing into the dusk…

Solemn, the orchestra of cricket-cheeping
Ushers her over a floor
Of stubble and clover; while we are sleeping
July will be no more…

© Janet Martin

Sharing a few from a year ago...just getting over a bout of flu;(

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Gift of Grace

Between the paths that lie behind
And every path untrodden
Exists the present; here we find
A thing sacred, important

The path behind can’t be retraced
The future is thought-vision
The present is a gift of grace
Worthy of our ambition

We cannot travel yesterday
Or tread tomorrow’s nothing
The worth of life is in Today
A gracious gift of loving

Between the paths of ‘Hope’ and ‘Had’
We bear an exhortation
The present pleads on our behalf
With purposed expectation

And soon the moments it has wrought
Will be life-lesson’s story
Embrace this mercy-gift from God
And use it to His glory

© Janet Martin

Sabbath Song

 "Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest. Ex. 34:21

…and now upon this little earth
The Lord bestowed for mankind’s best
A day of Sabbath from his work
A day of worship, respite, rest

In spirit and in truth, oh God
Accept our offering of praise
’Tis humble thanks; we know You know
The intent of our fumbling ways

…and yet you love us; right and wrong
In spite of our fears and faults
You yearn to hear our grateful song
As tongue Your majesty exalts

And when the morrow fills the lea
Upon Time’s troubled avenue
May our labor ever be
A worship-offering back to You

© Janet Martin

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Of Ranklings and Rendezvous

Tonight the night won’t yield to me
The outline of fence-post or tree
Tonight the dark is dark as ink
And all that I can do is think…

The rendezvous of page and pen
Can torment even stronger men
I reach but cannot touch the brink
To spell these wordless thoughts I think

The rankling of the mind and heart
Are ever near, yet far apart
Can Prudence coalesce with She
Who dares to dream in poetry?

Silence seduces sorrow’s sigh?
Tonight the earth is full of sky
Longing could fill its void of naught
But for your whisper in my thought

You are here and I am there
Together in the dark night air
Nay, I am here; are you with She
Who rends the night with poetry?

© Janet Martin

Like Never Before...

So much the same yet like never before
Light rends night’s shadows to brighten our door
Gleaming on meadows of dew-laden lock
Kissing the sun-flow’r and prim holly-hock

Tender assurances spill from yon main
Compassion’s faithfulness, new once again
Hope for life’s journey spills from onyx hull
Yet, only believers can taste it in full

Soft glide life’s moments, from heaven they pour
So much the same yet like never before
Up from the edge of the earth, see His love
Bathing the morning with Light from above

Lord, fill our wishes with love’s simple song
Guide our footsteps and make courage strong
Let our returning of humble thanks pour
So much the same yet like never before

© Janet Martin

Friday, July 26, 2013

This Thing...Part Three

Shall we drown in pathetic ignorance
Where vast oceans of information swell?
For what will be man’s great deliverance
If we shun He who stands twixt heav’n and hell?
The rudiments of Knowledge are not based
On mortal entertainment of the mind
Within humanity His will has placed
Ability and its power to find
What He reveals; we are not gods but men
Created by the One who knows all things
If we renounce what He instills, what then?
Will blind lead on the blind in feigned teachings?
Knowledge does not transcend Invisible
Though generations pass This Thing abides
The truth of it Knowledge cannot annul
Base knowledge builds on what the eye ascribes
Only Belief unveils the Law we brave
Belief reveals accountability
Yet, Belief has no power to save
Until we realize our Utter Need
Thus, faith becomes that sacred stepping-stone
For what we see can never be enough
Our vile and guilty penance to atone
Or justify our sacraments of love
So, love provided once for all, a Lamb
His shed blood offers hope, though ages roll
Alpha, Omega, Love’s Supreme I Am
Cries ‘it is finished’; man cannot control
His destiny beyond this leap of Time
Only the blood of Jesus saves the soul
And if we turn away from Love Sublime
Then we reject This Thing that makes us whole
This Thing that breathed into darkness and space
The workings of His gifted universe
This Thing, compassion’s blood-stained thread of grace
Whereby we bless or ignorantly curse
For who would dare to take Love’s name in vain
If with our eyes we saw what His Words tell?
And who would ever turn his back again
If we were shown a glimpse of Heav'n or Hell?
And who would hate the Hands that bore the nails
To seal our recompense; Knowledge is mute
Without love’s faith; its clamoring exhales
Verbose confusion for mouths to dispute
For Love is our lone, Ultimate Hope;
The poverty that plagues the human heart
From new-born cry until that solemn slope
Where life and death are ever sheered apart
Cannot be satisfied with bread and wine
Or things we touch with hungry hands and eyes
A branch will die when severed from the Vine
This truth even Knowledge can recognize
Was not the Tree of Good and Evil named
After Knowledge; and when they both did eat
Their eyes were opened and they were ashamed
As Need became their quest for bread and meat
Yet Fulfillment and Need align within
Thus juxtaposed; ah, tender paradox
God did not leave us hopeless, dead in sin
But gave His Son to die upon the cross
To fulfill Need; and all that we must do
Is ‘Come’; for there are none He will cast out
But those who find Him are too far and few
Many approach but turn away in doubt
Choosing instead the things which eye can see
For Need deceives; unmitigated, stark
Yet, when we put on Immortality
There are but two terminals; Light and Dark
And then what good is knowledge without Love?
But, if we have known Love we have seen God
Some speak of love but deny God above
What good is seed if we refuse the sod?
This Thing confounds meek poets, scholars, scribes
Philosophers and cleric, rich and poor
This Thing we give to get and cannot buy
Or live without; or selfishly procure
What is This Thing for which the whole world cries
While evil wars against its Deity?
Knowledge and ignorance argues, denies
What faith believes, in Love’s humility
God signed its proof, but not of ink on scroll
He poured it, blood-red Passion suffering
From head and hands, from side and feet, His Whole
Wept love; atonement’s last sin-offering
The age of information fills Time’s glass
But it cannot fulfill God’s words of old
Love is the ageless Hope we cling to as
We see God’s ancient prophesies unfold
For what He said will surely come to be
Heaven and Hell could not His wrath withstand
If not for Love; the Love that sets us free
This Thing is more than we can understand…

© Janet Martin

 In the book, A Step of Faith by Richard Paul Evans( book #4 in The Walk series), one line got caught in my thought today...'What a culture we live in. We are swimming in an ocean of information and drowning in ignorance'

This is why I love every single one of Richard Paul Evans books....profound bits tucked into the storyline!

The Ineptness and Forgiveness of Mortal Love

I will never be to you
Everything you want me to
And if I disappoint today
Darling, love me anyway

You will never be to me
Every single thing I need
So let’s just love and give God thanks
Then let His love fill in the blanks

© Janet Martin

Of Loving and Living...

Dawn softly tiptoes from Time’ mysteries
Kissing the dark with slow intricacies
Hope, like a lover undresses the deep
Undoing strings that have held us in sleep

Shall we leave its coaxing love unrequited?
Crushing its dream before it is cited?
Day sprawls before us with reckoning chance
Urging us closer to touch, taste and dance

Darling, the silver of moonlight and mist
Pools cool in the dell, gold on amethyst
Who can resist? Living’s fingertips ache
With weight of desire and love it must make

Unfetter vain fear; let it fly past the sun
Morning is here but soon it too is done
We cannot live on the past and its charms
For then we die lonely in each-other’s arms

Dawn trickles softly from Time’s metronome
Soon it will gather its offering home
It cannot refund or replay its chance
Darling, let’s make love as we touch, taste and dance

© Janet Martin

Making love is a constant laying down of self... Ann Voskamp

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Through the Wood

If you should like to hear a song
Unrivaled by mere mortal tongue
And if you should like to recline
Beneath wild morning-glory vine
Or feel time pause within the walls
Of poplar-hemlock-elm-birch halls
If you should like to rest awhile
Where gentle zephyrs tease and smile
And all is peaceful, pure and good
Then you should wander through a wood

If you should like to chase a dream
Where bracken lines the lazy stream
And the whole world is brown and green
With bits of blue tucked high between
Where suddenly life’s little care
Drifts like a leaf upon the air
As you recall your inner child
Before Time drew you to the wild
And hurried pace of adulthood
…then take a detour through the wood

Life does not wait for anyone
And soon another day is done
How sad to by-pass freedom’s hour
And never wander ‘neath the bower
Of nature’s sacred citadel
Out past the sweep of gold-grain swell
Or where the back-road curves beyond
The road well-traveled, past the pond
Where once upon a time we could
Spend hours wandering through the wood

© Janet Martin

 Okay, well maybe not on a July evening unless you enjoy being a mosquito buffet;)

Of Gardens and Good-bye

Although, in Time we are nothing now
But love’s kind memory
I’m glad to know, someway, somehow
This binds us agelessly
And though our paths have parted, love
Know we will never part
Because there are no sad farewells
In gardens of the heart


Of Gates and God

The sun climbs high into the sky
The Unknown does not offer
A greater glimpse to he who trusts
Than to the brazen scoffer
Our fingers rest upon a staff
All we can do is follow
And trust the One who forms and fills
The Unknown's hidden hollow

© Janet Martin

This morning I had a sensation of lifting a latch to open a gate
I cannot predict the twists and turns of life that lie in wait
But all I know is He who goes before me knows the way
I bow my head and beg for trust before I touch this day.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Vesper

 The sunset was, u-u-u-m-m...grand. Actually, there are no words for what the sunset was...

The shadow climbs the gilded gate
Beneath dusk’s grand pavilion
Until blue depths obliterate
Its silhouette horizon
Against the quiet aftermath
Of mid-day’s bustling duty
The Painter of life’s little path
Unfurls night’s somber beauty

And now the sweet familiar dons
A strange and mystic splendor
The moonlight pools on silver lawns
In midnight’s mellow candor
The charcoal hush dims gold and red
Brushing garden and meadow
As all the world is tucked to bed
Beneath night’s velvet shadow

The lithesome step of eager child
Dashes through dream-land pasture
The brook that threads the begging wild
Murmurs in muted laughter
The tangled tress of raven limb
Strums softly with silk fingers
The air is drenched with midnight’s hymn
Where hope and heartache lingers

© Janet Martin

Sweet Summer

Sweet summer sweeps in green-leaf leaps
And gold exhilaration
From mystery to history
And quiet contemplation

Sweet summer swirls, where time unfurls
A swift and subtle stealing
Of sun-flow’r splash and flip-flop flash
Beneath cerulean ceiling

Sweet summer sways in heat-wave haze
And weeping willow-tresses
A serenade of dappled shade
Of iced tea and sun-dresses

Sweet summer sings in offerings
Of petal-perfumed pleasure
In honey-bees and bonny breeze
And muted moment-measure

Sweet summer sighs in veiled good-byes
Where aspen silver shimmers
Against the blue-sky avenue
And in the tear that glimmers

Sweet summer sinks beneath the pinks
Of rhododendron and roses
We touch and taste its gifted haste
Before its shutter closes

© Janet Martin

This summer is sweeping along far too quickly.

Of Kind Places...

The laughter of the summer-sky
The beauty of the morning
The lily and the butterfly
In nature’s fair adorning,
The sweep of seasons as they flow
Would grieve without atoning
If we did not have, here below
Love’s kind place of belonging

Where is your sweet home of the heart?
What soothes your silent longing?
For we all need love’s dearest part
That kind place of belonging
And then, though life may treat us wrong
In conquest raw, demanding
What joy to haste where we belong
To quiet understanding

We ought not squander energy
On things cold, hard and graven
Where greed and gain, love’s enemy
Destroys its tender haven
But as we struggle on life’s road
Of loneliness and longing
I pray we each find here below
Love’s kind place of belonging

© Janet Martin

My brother Dave is not a man of man wasted words, but I find what he does say is worth a listen, and today, a sharing....
 "A home is not a house and things we own  -  but a sense of being where we belong  -  a place of safety , security , comfort , LOVE , -    and everyone wants to belong - desires to belong  - and needs to belong." 

Thank-you Dave, for this morning's inspiration.

I'm reading the 4th book in The Walk Series by Richard Paul Evans. It is a story about a man whose loses his wife, home and belongings so he begins walking and a journey to discovery...a great read!