Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thinking About Writing a Wedding Speech

How does one write
One’s heart in a speech
To you, who has lived our real laughter and tears?
How does one spill
On patient page
Love’s element of vapor years

Our home was no
Glossy center-fold
Of picture-perfect rooms and such
But somehow between
Life's clutter and muddle
It was perfect beneath love’s gracious touch

Memories grow
More beautiful with time
Etched on Bygone’s winnowing heart-beat
And dear daughter, in spite
Of love’s fumbles and stumbles
I pray your memories of home will be sweet

How does one write
Heart-tugs in ink
As we try to reconcile Time’s subtle flow
See? Already
Dusk’s eager brink
Inhales the morning’s after-glow

How does one shape
In word the thought
Aching where countless echoes spill
It seems the essence
Of my love
Is something that evades my quill

© Janet Martin

My folder is always close by, catching those 1:00 a.m. or middle of canning revelations:) It has been a 'fruitful', exhausting week.

Wise and Worthy

Let's bloom where we're planted! These sunflowers volunteered their presence in my pea-patch. I'm glad I decided to leave them be instead of weeding them out.

We ought not to berate ourselves
For all we’ve never done
Or gaze with doleful self-reproach
At moments dead and gone

It does no good to wish and want
What long has slipped away
We cannot wear the rose or thorn
Of bygone yesterday

So if we would be wise and worthy
Of Time’s tender test
We ought to take this day at hand
And give it our best

© Janet Martin

I suppose we could all go there, to that ‘beat-myself-up-for-what-I-shouda/coulda-done’ place, but that is simply to waste the grace of a new day!

This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Ps. 118:24

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vexation of Moments

Ah Time, moonlight sighs through curtains of mist
And I miss you; this day died as dusk
Wiped its slate; and what was no longer exists
Filling night-shadows with echoes soft-brusque

Your holy game of day to night to day
Slips through our filament in mute disguise
While we adorn your moments with our clay
The fool receives the same rain as the wise

…and I must be a sentimental fool
To wish for you; secured within the keep
Of memory in past’s immortal pool
You vex and comfort me when I should sleep

© Janet Martin~

Ever feel like its all slipping by way too fast??

Gossamer Whispers

Above raven rubric of this day’s unknowns
Light tints the tresses of Time
Moments, like gossamer-gold stepping stones
Implore us to dance and climb

Here, in the garden of life’s little place
We learn its lessons of sod
Moments, like gossamer whispers of grace
Draw us to twilight and God

© Janet Martin

 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Rom.12:1

Sojourners of Time

 (a rather shaky recording of golden moments falling;)

We gather, God, beneath Thy gaze
To tread life’s oft perplexing maze
Of highs and lows, of joys and woes
A mystical design
in hand-me-downs and wedding gowns
and flowers gilding summer’s crown
before the burnished laying down
of beauty from the vine

Yet, in this deft deliverance
from circumstance to circumstance
we will endure; we are secure
within a Master’s keep
as we behold the green and gold
and wonderment as seasons fold
from dust to dust, a transient hold
where garnered eons sleep

The Hand from which mute moments flow
like leaf-wrought flakes of golden snow
on summer’s lake, will not forsake
sojourners of Time’s charms
where soon we learn, its no return
as we live, labor, love and yearn
toward His outstretched arms

© Janet Martin

...let men consider the steadfast love of the Lord. Ps. 107:43

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Of Filament and Free-fall

Brooding breeze like melodies
of distant stream flows through the trees
as marigold in bold festoon
embellishes the afternoon
where wistful tone of willow moans
shedding its first free-fall of tears
and moments run beneath the sun
shaping the filament of years

Sumac wild-fire obscures cricket choir
collaborating; indolent quagmire  
of patient prelude to summer subdued
and innocence lost in its tune
as magenta dusk and dewy musk
mingle, a dissonant duet
of poplar tress and tear-caress
in twilight’s bluesy silhouette

 where you and I beneath a sky
of timeless Time ponder the why  
and wherefore of a wide-flung door
leading into forevermore
from this kaleidoscope of hope
and moment joy and sorrow
caught in between what once has been
and mystery of the morrow

© Janet Martin

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sing a Song of August

Sing a song of August
Peaches in a pie
Chicory-lined ditches
Monarch butterfly

Harvest to the silo
Bare-feet by the brook
Wild-bloom laden nook

Sweet corn for our supper
Blue-sky opulence
Growing ever softer
In autumn’s advance

Ballad of bronze pastures
Sunflower festoon
Summer's spiraled laughter
Like honey from a spoon

Leaf-song in the woodland
Sea-song on the beach
Love-song keenly pulsing
As they slip from our reach

Sing a song of August
Cloying melody
Of summer softly slipping
Into our memory

© Janet Martin

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Of Farewells and Kisses

No rustling of garments, no prints in the grass
No slamming of doors, yet how surely you pass
Hiding in daydreams, in midnight’s still dark
Brushing the morning and tuning the lark

You take our hand while we, quite unaware
Allow you to run rampant years through our hair
As we clutch the reins of duty and desire
You touch hills and plains with your autumnal fire

Ah, where do you come from and where do you go?
Where is the spigot from which moments flow?
Down from the heavens and out to a sea
Empires of soundless supremacy

No one can subdue your arabesque clout
Travail and triumph pour from the same spout
Yet in the mute, mystic, maddening sweep
Of constant departure, we find things to keep

Time; you leave tender trophies in your path
Echo of dances in your aftermath
Locket where laughter, love, learning and grace
Softens your stubble as you kiss our face

© Janet Martin

Friday, August 23, 2013

Mute Melody

Milkweed is mantled in mauve-silver mist
Summer is tucked like a child softly kissed
Hazy, the noon sighs and slips to a page
Of chapters forgotten in blue-strife and sage
Darling, to clench our fists and rebel
Will not refund seasons or deter farewell

Crimson and bronze escort green by the arm
Autumn steals summer in ravishing charm
Hope finds new wings; we bow and Believe
For we are all children of Adam and Eve
Dusk spills its vesper onto musky breeze
Darling, how quickly Time weaves memories

I sense Time’s touch re-arranging the air
Running red ribbons through summer’s gold hair
The dissonant murmur of autumn-pretext
Tangles within me; a summer-heart vexed
With whispers, my darling, and mute melodies
Shaping the hour into memories

© Janet Martin

Of Mulled Moments

Just one more week until the next school-year begins, we say
Yet, who can guarantee that we have even one more day
To dance in dusty gardens or to pause on cricket-stage
And who can say for certain we will turn tomorrow’s page?

We drink life’s little moments but we oft forget to taste
We dash through darling summer in an absent-minded haste
The cup of duty over-flows; the green is turning gold
God, teach us how to make the most of moments in our hold

Work, worry, want and wander-lust; perplexing doggerel
With summer mulling dreams and dust into winsome farewell
The orchard bends with harvest and the hour brims with hope
Lord, teach us how to taste this little moment in our cup

© Janet Martin

Before We Dream or Dance

Before the sun has sped the girth
Of day, and sinks beneath the earth
‘Ere yester’s future fades to past
As dusk lowers its gleaming mast
Before we place our wantonness
Against the grace of morning tress
To taste the essence of an hour
Before we bend to pluck its flow’r
Or touch our feet to unknown’s path
Before midnight’s mute aftermath
Reclaims life's roses and romance
Before we dare to dream or dance 
Before slumber seals to the air
The pictures we have painted where
No brush or force can wipe the slate
Before we rush to heap our plate 
Before we even try to stand
Lord, let us reach to take your hand

© Janet Martin

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” Numbers 6: 24-26

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Birthday Poem for Daughter

A daughter like you
Is a blessing from God
Beautiful, gentle
Patient and kind
We wish His goodness
Wherever you trod
And dear, precious daughter
We pray you will find
Hopes to inspire
And dreams to come true
Courage to climb higher
In whatever you do
And always remember
Wherever you go
We love you, dear daughter
Much more than you know

Mom and Dad~

Happy 19th Birthday, Melissa

Thursday Thoughts~

To take responsibility
For health of our whole
Begins, not with the bodily
But with our soul


What is the language of love, my God?
What gives my words credence?
Soft comes His answer to my thought
‘But this; obedience’


Ah, vale of wasted sorrow
What treasure tossed away
If I don’t act tomorrow
On what I learn today


Face to the future
Back to the past
Hand to the moment
Soon its mold is cast


Dusk draws its shadow
Over the day
Over the meadow
In whispers blue-gray
You draw your murmuring
Where thought is bold
Blue-gray, my darling
With flickers of gold


Do not begrudge life’s trouble
This is the curse of sod
And Time is but the bubble
That carries us to God


Your flesh is pleasant to my touch
And oh, parting is pain
But thought will hold you close, my love
Until we meet again


Lord, show me how to walk today
Slow down these steps that hasten
And teach me, Lord what not to say
When I should simply listen

© Janet Martin

Of Arists and Wanderers and Warriors

Artists and wanderers and warriors we go
Drawn to the turf of impending unknowns
Winding our way through life’s flowers and thorns
Reaching for Something within its mute flow

Faith is the substance of things we hope for
Hallowed evidence of the unseen
We cannot tarry in what once had been
From the horizon new mercies implore

…and onto the stepping-stone of gracious sod
Forward and upward and onward we climb
Artists and wanderers and warriors of Time
Reaching for something; ah, reaching for God

© Janet Martin

Of Days That Were...

We were looking at old photo albums. I've said it before; my kid's birthdays make me a little sentimental. Melissa turns 19 today! She laughed when she saw these photos and recalled how she was somersaulting all over the back yard.

The days that were will never be
Ever they rest in still repose
Where eye of thought alone can see
The garden of its trampled rose

The night-wind bears the beckoning
Of days gone by; we reminisce
How is it that Time’s reckoning
Employs love’s bitter-sweetest kiss?

The vibrato of cricket-song
Is but the back-drop on a stage
Where quietly we stroll among
The markers of a by-gone age

The days that were will never be
And though we touch its ether strand
To dwell within their memory
Is but to miss the day at hand

© Janet Martin

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Of Seasons and Doorways

Season-kaleidoscopes turn transient tides
Where we compose retrospect’s raw refrain
Rubric of laughter abruptly collides
With the appointments of sorrow and pain
Living and loving and learning we go
Over Time’s foot-hills, mountains, vales and plains
Sunshine and shadow in multi-shades flow
As seasons spiral One Constant remains
Mercy and grace in unfathomed purport
Gently embrace and succor and support

We bear witness with baffled acumen
Life’s whys and wherefores our intellect mutes
Gently the summertime is gathered again
Hallowed harvest as choice yields its fruits
We cannot pause or dissuade Death’s advent
Futile the babble of faithless disputes
Soft breath by half-breath our dust-mottled tent
Suffers the training of heaven’s recruits
As we gaze up to faith’s covenant-goal
Our flesh the brief cup of Immortal Soul

Can we efface winter, spring, summer, fall?
Who can refute Time’s encompassing will?
Then, who can hide when the Father will call?
Who dares refuse what Love came to fulfill?
Earth wears the colors of each season-shawl
We tread its heaven-cradled countenance
This is the stairway to Love’s All-in-all
And time, but the road to deliverance
Where now seasons veil what we cannot see
A doorway leading to eternity


Ending and cutting many beans is an opportunity to think:)

What Are We Living For?


A baby cries; somebody dies
Somewhere a son goes off to war
Time ebbs and flows in highs and lows
Tell me, what are we living for?

Snow angels, roses, butterflies
Sickness and sorrow, anguish, pain
A son for which a mother cries
Because he won’t come home again

Laughter and song fade in mid-air
Love, loss and longing mingle wild
We see a young girl with no hair
And innocence torn from a child

The brush falls from a painter’s hand
Oh Lord, our God, we weep and call
By faith we press against the wind
Toward the One who sees it all

As babies die and loved ones cry
The clay turns in the Potter's love
Shaping us to the Reason why
As we press to His arms above

© Janet Martin

 So much pain and sorrow in this world; all would be hopeless without Jesus.

 John 16:33 - These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Of History and Footprints~

 By dusk the day's traces were washed from the beach...

They come and then they go
Like footprints in the sand or snow
But still they guide us faithfully
By what we learn through history

To stop our eyes and ears
Against life’s past or future fears
Is to repeat oft, hopelessly
Those lessons taught in history

Soon Time will wash away
The visible steps of today
Yet, we are wise to pause and see
Their lessons sealed in history

© Janet Martin

“Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.”
Edmund Burke

Just read Heb. 11. Feeling discouraged? What great testimonies of faith and endurance we are reminded of in this chapter!

 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Heb. 12:1

Blessed Assurance 
 words by Fanny J. Crosby

Monday, August 19, 2013


The days of wheat and corn adorn
The haze of early August morn
In praises, ere its sheaf is shorn
By Time’s swift, willing hands
The farmer gleans its harvest-gold
And summer leans to autumn’s hold
While moment-skeins unfold, unfold
A subtle, steady strand

The sun and moon their courses tread
The azure noon succumbs to red
As gentle vesper-tunes embed
This day into the past
The flower grins then falls away
The sinner sins but then we pray
And grace begins another day
Toward our ever-last

The scroll on which our past is writ
A toll of living’s wit and grit
Cannot contain the whole of it
A greater Day a-waits
Man’s life is like a field of grass
This strife is but the darkened glass
Through which the scythe of grief must pass
Leading to Heaven’s gates

© Janet Martin

Of Waves and Second Chances

No spent waves tune morning’s gladness
From the Hand of all things new
Comes a morning drenched with mercy
Sweet with kiss of heaven’s dew

Hope expands beneath the tresses
Where, since Eden’s paradise
Light, with ever-faithful graces
Rends the dark with morning skies

Here we laugh and weep and wonder
Dare to dream the dreaming dream
While the bloom falls from the poppy
Scarlet whispers on life’s stream

Still, we press toward a portal
Past the lintel of the sky
Where mortal becomes immortal
In the twinkling of an eye

We are not adrift on oceans
Of spent waves and happenstance
Morning rends the dark with dawning
And the gift of second chance

© Janet Martin

The other day I read a quote that has stayed stuck in my mind…It is not too late to become who you dreamed you would be.

Press on, my friends. God’s grace is new every morning.

Also, please let us pray for those suffering in Egypt. Prayer changes things!

  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph. 2: 4-10

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Of Memories

Tomorrow, today will be a memory. Let's make it a good one!

We cherish our own, each precious and dear
Be they ever so humble how we hold them near
Echoes of living where only thought sees
This is the treasure of memories

Pictures of spring where carefree children dance
Pictures of summer, roses and romance
Pictures of autumn; stunning middle-age
Before winter’s silver-swift turning of page

Softly the sifting of sands coalesce
Brimming with love’s bittersweet tenderness
Oh, how the moment at hand quickly flees
Joining our collage of memories

Nothing on earth can their measure replace
These are love’s offerings of trial and grace
Picture by picture fills thought’s galleries
Time-tempered walk-way of life-memories

© Janet Martin

Mother of the Bride

Oh, do not look too closely
How her filament of youth
Has drifted to the pastures
Where its prey denies that truth
And do not look too closely
Lest her smile of brave disguise
Tells of sorrow in her gladness
As you look into her eyes

Oh, do not look too deeply
She is strong but not too much
You would be her sure undoing
Troubadour of tender touch
Oh, and do not whisper softly
Joy and grief align, you know
As she recalls another bride
A few swift years ago

Oh, do not look too closely
Joy and mourning coalesce
But she wears its meek adorning
With a smile of happiness
For she too was once a dreamer
Now an ocean breaks inside
As they turn to see her daughter
To the tune ‘here comes the bride’

© Janet Martin

Beginning that mental preparation:) 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

August Poem

Heaven on earth is Augusts’ afternoon
Of cricket seraphim; sun-flower swoon
Of parched meadows primed for the draught of dusk-dew
Of harvest sprawled gold beneath dust-denim blue

August is heaven spilled gently to earth
Where hollows are brimming with wild-flower mirth
Where drifts our care; silver flecks in the sun
We count summer’s blessing slowly, one by one

August is heaven in rippling sweet-heat
Cajoling the highways and tickling bare feet
It graces the garden where mother and child
Gather the harvest as memories grow wild

August requiem, you murmur in the stream
You sigh in the willow and cry in my dream
I could not measure your peach-pungent worth
Beautiful pleasure of heaven on earth

© Janet Martin

Of Forevermore

Oh mystery, no one can see
Beyond earth’s threshold or Time’s door
Nor where this brief mortality
Will fade into forevermore
No one can tell how near or far
The road extends before That Call
But this we know; this little life
Leads to the Meaning of it all

Beyond earth’s threshold and its end
Begins this thing that we strive for
Mere mind can never comprehend
Infinity’s forevermore
Oh mystery; Eternity
No one can tell its depth or height
Its span of immortality
Perplexes our mortal sight

No straining of thought’s fantasy
Can form an image to portray
The rise and fall of timelessness
When flesh and blood will fall away
But this we know; none can return
When they have passed through that last door
To tell what joy or grief a-waits
In that timeless forevermore

© Janet Martin

It began with a box of empty baby-food jars, this conversation with Matt, our 15 yr. old son. ‘Where did they come from?’ he wondered. 'I think they were an add-on at a yard sale purchase and they ended up in our garage', I said. 
'Wouldn’t it have been easier to re-cycle?' he asked. 
 Then we began discussing the religious fervency with which some people recycle and why. We agreed that we want to take care of God’s earth, to be faithful stewards and we should do all we can, but we know this earth is destined to end. It will end and we thought, wouldn’t it be great if everyone were as zealous in preparation for Jesus and  forevermore. This life is but a Door to what existence is all about! and my heart burned with desire that everyone may know of The Way, the Truth and the Life before it is forever too late.

Then I thought of this parable;

The Rich Man and Lazarus

 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.  At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.  In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ Luke 16: 19-31