Monday, March 31, 2014

Come, Dear Child and Let Me Tell You

 Part I

Come, dear child and let me tell you
As we stroll across the day
About One who made the morning
And the night that fades away
How He spoke into the blackness
Commanding, ‘let there be Light’
And how Time from that day forward
Became morning, noon and night

Come, dear child, the whole world surges
With the beauty God has made
See the dappled sun and shadow
Where the willow spreads its shade
See the grass, the tree, the song-bird
As it flits from limb to limb
Butterfly and lovely flower
All designed and shaped by Him

See the fish that fill the ocean
And the puddles after rain
Cow and sheep out in the meadow
Sweeping fields of corn and grain
Come dear, child and look around you
Every stem that sprouts from sod
Is a glimpse of the Creator
For it is the work of God

Part II

Come dear child and let me show you
The most wondrous thing of all
See this picture of a cross
Covered in red where blood-drops fall
See the One who hangs there dying
Nails pierced though precious Jesus
High above the earth His crying
Pleads that God would forgive us

Jesus loves the little children
And He longs for you to know
How He made the earth and heavens
Oh, so very long ago
And the One who made the flowers
Every bird and every tree
Is the God whose own Son, Jesus
Died for us on Calvary

Come dear child and let me tell you
As we stroll across the day
How the precious blood of Jesus
Washes all our guilt away
Yes, He made winter and summer
Everything in spring and fall
But dear child, then God made people
And He loves us best of all

© Janet Martin


The far-off cry of gull drifts on the lowering of day
Another bit of living scrawls its mark on life’s highway
Across Time’s slipping season its successive hours roll
Of dawn to dusk that leads to the unveiling of the soul

What is this Thing harbored within our tents of flesh and blood?
And why did Jesus come to wash it in redemption’s flood?
We cannot touch its bearing or define our inner Whole
Yet, by the Lord's declaring ‘man became a living soul’

Ah, we may sever from ourselves hand, foot or even heart
The soul no one can find though he tears every limb apart
Still, none denies the Hunger reaching beyond our control
For man may feed the body; only God can feed the soul

Desire feasts upon Touch, Taste and what we Hear and See
But it can never quench that place I think the soul must be
Though we may pause in awe to drink from laughter’s little bowl
‘Tis but the quaff that leads to the unveiling of the soul

© Janet Martin


This summons comes
Once, and for all
No repeat in its
Curtain call

Young or old
Or in between
Or summer-green

Across Time's field
Of yield it wends
Undeterred by
Knolls or bends

Who is next?
No one can tell
When will ring
Its somber knell

We should live
Each day as though
We will be
The next to go

This summons comes
With clarity
And thus begins

 © Janet Martin

Of Time's Tick-tock

My cup of youth has long been drained
No spigot fills its begging bowl
Time trickles free, unrestrained
In tick-tocking clock-cajole

Oh, I have held up to the air
 Selfish hope for miracles
Time favors not, neither compares
In tick-tocking canticles

Adoration of an hour
Or reflection in its glass
Falls prey to the tick-tock power
Where tidings of summer pass

Common courtesy of clocks
Flings us far and brings us home
Subtle is that sea of locks
In its tick-tock metronome

No one can escape its splurge
We must all its free-fall brave
Ever forward ‘neath the surge
Of time’s tick-tock to the grave

Yet this ever-chanting rote
Mantled in tick-tock facade
Spills and fills each moment-note
With breath-gift from loving God

© Janet Martin

(unexpected day off) The boys I baby-sit are sick…it is so quiet, the only sound (between noisy traffic) is the drip of a tap and the tick of the clock…

March Farewell Song

 Those birds are robins! That can only mean one thing:) 

The homage of the robin stirs nuances where our lips
Pressed long against the song of frozen-field apocalypse
Arabesque alms of wonderful are wafting on bronze breeze
Inspiring the dormant limb with subtle melodies

The welcome mat for old man winter has been snatched away
And no one smiles to see his sense of humor spill its fray
Yet, he is not deterred but grins to watch his legions seethe
We try to play along; our smiles are more like baring teeth

The fellowship of fireside and hearth is bittersweet
We crave a stroll where waves cajole and chortle at our feet
For we are hungry eyes of winter-weary infantry
This madrigal of March good-byes ignites utopian glee

Farewell, ye brutes that battle with the maidens of the south
Farewell, ye gales of gall; of rebels reveling, uncouth
Welcome, ye jaunty jongleurs and ye blue-eyed balladeers
Your poetry of greenery will dry these icy tears

The intermingled echoing of spring and summer cast
Have garnered Time’s perfection in the idyll of the past
Ah March, you tease and test and vex with smile and scowl and sigh
Come, we will show you to the door; ah, cheerio, good-bye

© Janet Martin

This song makes me feel like spring...


(who is gonna fill George's shoes???;(

Masterpiece in the Making...

We crawl, sprawl, fall; thought’s ether hall
Compels us to inspire touch
And thus we dare to care, bear; share a prayer
For all its broken shards and such
We hope; grope faith’s impalpable rope. The slope
Of future rising where
Only thought, fraught with want’s intangible lot
Climbs its phantom stair

We breathe, bequeath to heaven’s unseen Hand beneath
Our stumbling steps and pleas
He holds, scolds, molds our folds of grays and golds
Into His masterpiece

© Janet Martin

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Of Service and Sabbaths

A silent circuit of midnight to morning trolls the deep
This interview of dark to light is far above our reach
Yet in the discourse of its offering we work and sleep
Shaping within its aftermath those echoes we beseech

A pen cannot descry the whole of it; twixt sod and sky
Duty deploys its legions in a tireless regime
And we, of soul-skin service are its bumbling infantry
If would eat then we cannot sit idle by Time’s stream

Shalom, good morning, Buenos dias, howdy, how are you
We greet our fellow-comrades where the day unveils its strife
Adios, au revoir, good-bye, farewell, and see you soon
Arabesque affidavit as touch-homage shapes a life

Come now, we must be going for this semi-circle sweep
Of gold upon the grass will soon be swaddled in dark blue
As precious pitter-patter of an hour drains its deep
And all that we have left of it is what we yet must do

© Janet Martin

I cherish this one day of the week for rest from moiling toil!
May our worship be sincere and our rest sweet.

Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. Exodus 20:8

Saturday, March 29, 2014

This Bit of Ordinary

This Saturday's muffins were a bit like today's weather...a little heavy;) but...

Now Saturday slips to the archives like wood-smoke curls to the sky
How motionlessly moments gather daylight into lullaby
I long to carve on time's lintel, something to help me recall
This 'bit of ordinary' tiptoeing down twilight's hall

Surely the table of midnight is spread with a star-sumptuous feast
I am reluctant to go there; ah, Time is a hungry beast
For as I reach to touch the fulcrum from whence it seems moments splay
This 'bit of ordinary' becomes one more yesterday

Yet, I would not trade one tomorrow to return to yesterday's hold
Lest as some past place I borrow I forfeit this brief moment-gold
Saturday slips to the archives; domestic and nondescript art
Still, this 'bit of ordinary' carves a wee place in my heart


This is one of those sort of hectic Saturdays where I just quit...a quick day-end mop over the floor and I'll call it clean enough.

...oops! better move it before Melissa gets home or she will be greeted with mop-in-the-face:)

Of Touching Unknowns

 Optimism dives prayer-first into another day
Dawn unveils the virgin trail of gifted gold or gray
And the Lord invites us with His utmost love and care
To take a flying leap into Unknown, for He is there
We cannot trace with touch the outline of His form or face
But in our heart of hearts we feel His tender touch of grace
Thus, buoyed by His mercy and the Bulwark of His Word
We step into The Unknown where no one has been before

The laugh-lines of the past are nothing now but remembrance
The sorrow of the future cannot weight our present-tense
So, step by trusting step into a new day we embark
For our God of Light is greater than the darkest dark

The sun stood still o’er Gibeon, the moon in Ajalon
This self-same God of Joshua still bids us journey on
For if this God is for us we can do what must be done
Thus bolstered by His faithfulness we touch time’s great Unknown

Optimism dives prayer-first into another day
The Lord God goes before us into come-what-ever-may

© Janet Martin

Friday, March 28, 2014

Of What I've Known...

I have known the taste of you in my mouth
The hurt of you in my heart
The weight of you in my want
And the touch of you in my tear

I have known the sweet of you in my smile
The stone of you in my shoe
The warmth of you in my arms
The blood of you on my knees

I have known the joy of your jargon
The lilt of your laughter
The groan of your grief
And the pulse of pure pain

The pleasure of your treasure
Is worth every measure
Of second mile crawling
And drinking your gall

Yes, I’ve known the taste of you in my mouth
Your hurt in my heart
And your touch in my tear
And I’ve known the pleasure of
Falling upward
For I’ve known the beauty
Of Love, my dear

© Janet Martin


My sweet, 
if on some far-off tonight
you think of me 
where the shade of moonlight
pools on a sea 
of intangible deep
and then, 
if thought keeps 
your body from sleep
as trembling touch lingers 
on over-and-gone
begging with fingers
clenched; empty at dawn
and should want and longing 
of whispers grown cold
interrupt oceans 
in your cup of gold
and if in the quiet 
of past middle-night
you grieve this thing 
that has slipped from your sight
then darling remember, 
that beyond midnight’s sea
tomorrow is waiting 
with what yet will be

© Janet Martin

Showdown with Temptation


Surely that right thing we think hard to do
Is worth every effort of valor
Think of those others depending on you
…one foot, then the other will conquer

Think of the price, little one
Action soon falls to the passage of moments
Consequence is not so soon gone

One hand an angel, the other the devil
Smooth are the laws of attraction
We all are soldiers thrown into battle
With every act comes reaction

Surely the right thing will yield in due season
Fruit that is worthy of joy
Cling to the faith that defies mortal reason
To do what is right, my dear boy

© Janet Martin

Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. Gen. 25:34

I am a Country-dweller

I am a country-dweller
Child of her wide-open fell
Raised on wind-song in the willow
Nurtured by garden and dell

Home is a country-side cottage
Hedged by her laughter of trees
Lavished with dusk-violet vesper
Kissed by a lilac breeze

Time is a four-season fellow
Barren to blossom to green
Ere scarlet-bronze-russet-yellow
Starts it all over again

I am a country-dweller
Meadow-lands rush to the sky
Foreign to soaring sky-scrapers
Save for the shadows that lie…

…blue on the burnished fallow
Before darkness lowers its vest
Over the swoop of barn-swallow
Feeding the young in her nest

I am a country-dweller
Dawn is a door to its berth
Where nature’s orchestra trembles
Strumming the harp-chords of earth

© Janet Martin  

The country-dwellers in this neck of the woods are so happy to hear rain-song in place of snow-storm today!

Holy Interlude

Ah life, and what a Thing thou art
Momentous stepping-stone
As breath by breath thou dost impart
Thy crucial metronome

Ah life, and were it not for Grace
Then we know none could bear to face
The prospect of thy grave

Ah life, dost thou impress enough
Thy gravity of breath
This inhale, exhale journey of
Deliverance or Death?

Thy suffering were cruelly vain
Without love’s Higher Hope
Thy utter-best the lords of pain
Where fearsome demons grope

Ah life, compendious prelude
Of choice-dexterity
A holy, vapor interlude
Before eternity

© Janet Martin

'Choices, choices, choices !' repeats the workout instructor, 'and what are you going to do with those choices?'

Ah life, thy pinnacles are dust
and we must choose
Whom we will trust
Earth's lesser gods
Can never save
The soul of man
From Hades grave...

Did you know the God who created heaven and earth loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus as a sacrifice for man's sin, delivering us from Death? Will we choose The Greatest Love Story of All?

Tell Me The Story of Jesus

Tell me the story of Jesus
Borne on glad lips through the ages
Lest it dies sadly away

Tell me the story of Jesus
How when he was but a lad
Knowing the mission He had

Tell me the story of Jesus
Healing the sick, mute, deaf, blind
Thirsting for Truth, good and kind

Tell me the story of Jesus
Suffering uttermost pain
As sword and thorny crown pierces
Tell me the story again

Goodness and Mercy was led
How, as nails impaled His body

Tell me of cross-hope, redemption
Tell me of Jesus, God’s Son
How at the words ‘it is finished’
Death and hell were overcome

This Sacrifice for man’s sin
How from the throne of God’s Heaven

Tell me the story of Jesus
Until Death’s victor releases


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Waiting for Pass (re-vamped re-post)

Ah, winsome willow of July
Where once we laid upon the grass
To listen to your tendrils sigh
Are naked now with claws of brass
In mellow August breeze you swayed
Your arches warmed with golden glee
And oft you lured us to its shade
To bask within your melody
But now your branches ache and groan
Stripped of the song you once had known

Ah, chit-chatter of winding creek
Where our bare feet browsed and splashed
Is silent; laughter waits beneath
Your sleek and polished marble path
Earth's world is petrified and still
Crystal-coated in stilly shroud
Though each breath argues with its will
Winter replies in frosty cloud
The only marring of its dark
Are footsteps creaking through the park

Where is the kiss of summer’s sun?
Where is the bliss of buoyant breeze?
They wait somewhere with bridled tongue
Biding their time before they tease
This blustered candor from the lips
Stone-cold in winter’s pantomime
And soon they’ll melt those fingertips
Clutching the earth in frozen time
Ah winter too, comes but to pass
Jack Frost embellishes his glass

Janet Martin~

Of Birthdays, Ballads and Bittersweet

 Tea-party treat leftovers; a few friends and I celebrated my sister's birthday this morning...and we are all middle-age, bitter-sweetly blessed!

I grew up in a family of ten kids so we generally did not receive birthday presents.  The puppy with pink flowers (in above pic) I did receive on one birthday, an unexpected surprise and cherished completely. The boy and goose ornament was another such surprise from my mother for 'being a good helper'
Nostalgic bits of childhood and parenthood lace tea-time conversation and remind us to be grateful for life's beautiful, ephemeral Now.

Happy Birthday, sis!...and all the rest of you out there celebrating today. J~

We do not always have the time or chance to dance too long
This sport of happy birthdays is a bittersweet love song
Its ballroom decorated with Her echoing of years
How soon another stanza spills its tune, then disappears

In Time we all must face the prospects mouthed by middle-age
Although within us youth objects Time turns Her steady page
And sets the stage for life-lessons which hours will enforce
While we thank God for blessings plucked from its common discourse

Our rooms cannot be guarded ‘gainst Time’s monochromic tock
Where flesh and blood are ever at the mercy of its clock
This little Now we hold soon molds Her heart-string souvenir
Hung soft upon a lintel of something that we call Year

Ah, flattery of fantasy fades as all flowers do
This heritage of middle-age will soon be over too
Time is a troubadour of Bittersweet and brave romance
So wrap your heart and soul around Her ballad Now…and dance

© Janet Martin

Thursday Thoughts on Submission

 Submission is yielding
So we can become
Who God created us to be


Cannot be forced
Or demanded


Submission is not a
Sign of weakness
But proof of strength


There are lots of words to make us tout
And puff our chests a bit
But oh, the rebel stirs in us
When we hear this; submit


Submission is permission
To be used for God’s mission


Submission is not outer conformation
But inner reformation


Submission is hard for the proud,
For you see,
Submission requires


Bend, reach, push, thrust
Exercise each outer part
Bow, yield, pray, trust
Submission; workout for the heart


Rebellion is defiance
And a stubborn self-reliance
In submission we resign
Our will to God divine


Submission is not back-breaking
But it is heart-bending


Easy to utter words pretty with praise
Harder to stutter through God’s Higher Ways


Happy is the man
Who, in spite of life’s ill
Knows that perfect peace lies in
Submission to God’s will


Submission is not slave-labor
But a servant-love


If we would love the Lord our God
With heart, soul, strength and mind
Then we must learn to obey Him
Where faith leaves reason blind

Happy Thursday all!

© Janet Martin

Sometimes We Write...

Sometimes we write just to relive the night
Where it fell freely to snuff out the day
We trace with ink, echoes drifting away
Swift, soon forgotten but for the delight
Of touch so tender where thought drips from pen
Remnants of splendor to relive again

Fountain of Time spills its own sort of rhyme
Tug-of-war treasure in hold and let go
Sometimes we write just to cradle the flow
Of moment-measure in penned paradigm
Lest as the tolling of dusk-shadows fade
We lose forever fond memory made

Silence can swell with the ache of farewell
How can we hope to remember it all?
Is there safe-keeping for pictures that fall
Ere they are swept to past’s unyielding fell?
We siphon pieces to poetry, then
Sometimes we write to relive them again

© Janet Martin

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

From the Corner of my Eye

I cannot stare straightly ahead
To pluck the air for daily bread
Barricades cannot thwart a thought
 Ah, this must be a dreamer’s lot

From out the corner of my eye
Tid-bits of poetry drift by
And who can work where gold is strung
Throughout a cloud from heaven hung

What if, while I transfixed my gaze
Upon Duty’s relentless maze
I would then miss that giddy twist
Of blue-eyed sky and spiraled mist

If I would close my eyes perhaps
Then I could concentrate; but traps
Of zephyr-sigh and tick-tock vie
From out the corner of my eye

And  I cannot like cold stone cede
Those palms outstretched where poems plead
For what then would thought’s merit be
Shuttered and barred to poetry?

God's touch suffuses nature's tray
With free and beauteous buffet
So I cannot stare straight ahead
Past where His poetry is spread

If then, I cannot thus persuade
Thought to remain stark-stiffly staid
I will set its discourses free
To eat, laugh, drink, love poetry

© Janet Martin

On rare occasion the house is quiet and empty so I’m trying to get housework done but then from the corner of my eye a little poem goes drifting by…


Sometimes I brush by you
Just to feel the purposed pain
Of you and yesterday
And all

And sometimes I crush laughter
For the reverence of rain
Because laughter bleeds summer
Tears fall

Sometimes the tortured tango
Of hope’s whispers faded thin
Becomes a tight-rope
Where I flirt

…with being braver, younger
And to dream a dream again
But sometimes I brush by you
Just to hurt

© Janet Martin

Braving Her Beauty

We brave the bitter sweet of grief
For love; and do not count Her cost
For darling, it is my belief
Within its counting, love is lost

…and did the Door from here to there
Fling far too wide too soon, my dear
I would return simply to bear
The beauty of Her farewell tear

But we are forward-facing race
Unable to repeat one breath
Philanthropists of gifted grace
 Craving Her from birth to death

Thus, we forge to the Great Unknown
Not for bland boast of stuff and things
But just to feel the gorgeous groan
Of Her farewell on heart harp-strings

© Janet Martin