Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Whimsical Skies

Ok, my blog title promises fairy tales so I'm finally getting down to it and posting a little vignette. Enjoy!

The Whimsical Skies

I my hand I am holding the moon, and its face is smiling benignly back up at me. I had thought it would take up rather more space in my hand, but there it is- a silvery grape no wider than a dime.

Its brilliance remains unabated, no matter how disappointing the size, and makes the coarse sand of the beach appear covered in snow. In fact I am amazed at how much light shines from it and that it doesn't hurt my eyes to look at it so close. I wonder how I, standing on the edge of an island near midnight, could have caught this beauty in my hand.

I am afraid. I remember the fragile balance by which things are held together, and I fear I have destroyed the balance of earth and sun, so I glance sharply back up at the sky. All the stars are silent, and Orion gazes heedlessly past. None of the heavenly bodies care that this moon is now mine, glowing just as happily in my hand as it did in the sky.

I am happy but jealous of my moon, which does nothing but smile and shine. I decide I will keep her, hide her, make a setting in a necklace for her. No one else has a moon- this moon is mine.

The tide has been slowly climbing the beach. It has reached my bare, cool toes, and is beginning to eat away at the sand beneath my feet. I turn and scramble over the logs at the high tide line, watching as the waves slowly grow larger and higher, breaking against weathered logs and pulling them out to sea.

They cannot have my moon! She is mine! I jump to the road only moments before another wave crashes upon the very place I sat. So I run and run as fast as I can into the forest and up the hill.

"YOU CANNOT HAVE HER!" I scream as the waves begin to flood the forest, splashing through the ferns and blackberry thickets with a salty spray. But the tide advances, intent on the glow in my hand. I clench my fist tight around it, but the moon shines just as brightly through my fingers. And now the waves are lapping at my heels again, so I sprint away, pushing my path between giant cedars and pines.

I am beginning to discover how treacherous a guide moonlight is- I have stumbled into a dozen brambles, fallen into gopher holes, and into countless stumps and rocks. But she is mine! No one will take her- by force or persuasion.

The waves do not persuade; they advance.

Now I have reached High Point, and I can climb no higher. To my dismay, I see the waves rising through the bushes, pulling towards me from every side. I gaze back at the sky. The stars, no longer impersonal, watch my every move.

The tide has reached me. The moon is heavy in my hand. No choice is left. I fling the silver orb back up into the sky, and she smiles, nods, and finds her place. The tide slowly recedes and I sit upon the last dry rock on the island. The stars fade a little, resuming a disinterested stance.

They knew it couldn't be done.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Day and Night

This spring thousands and thousands of painted lady butterflies migrated through Calgary...

Day and Night

when butterflies migrate
do they doubt?
crossing continents of the unknown
frail wings are made for such a journey
trembling in the driving rain
primal desperation rises as
countless comrades fall
what is the heart of my quest?

the moon is the lighthouse of the moth
it dances a tango with the sun
the moth circles in a straight line
as the moon roams across the sky
false beacons dazzle all around
drawing the moth into dazed spirals

Lead me onwards;
fix my eyes on the moving signal
across the masses of doubt
and the lure of an earthbound guide; shiny
so I can cross into angelsong
and rest.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


This poem is an attempt to describe the struggle of my heart to accept God's love and discipline; a beauty and pain so intense that I sometimes want to escape this path I have chosen. But I also find that the power of His grace is sufficient to make me a "bush that burns and is not consumed".


Like a stringed instrument
you play me
The confused, hollow spaces in my heart
resonate you best
And the song pours from
deep within your heart
Ringing in my mouth
like a forgotten word

The music troubles me
reveals me
Tears spring forth
I cannot restrain the arm that pulls the bow
Or smash myself to stop the song
I only ask to survive the fire
of your passion.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Shuva Soul Searching

I just wanted to share a small thing, since it's almost Yom Kippur, something God's been dealing with me on lately.  This January God led me to Isaiah 58 (about fasting), to be my "theme" for the year.  After much prayer and soul-searching, I have to confess that I have failed, mainly, in doing anything outlined in this passage.  He has, in fact, been on my case for about a year to spend some time volunteering among those less fortunate and wounded.  To my shame, I haven't done it.  I have been too busy pursuing my own desires and my own activities and not listened to His voice.  In fact, He has been pressing me to give up other activities and take this up instead (since I used the excuse that I have no time for other volunteering).

The crisis came this fall due to a few factors.  One of them was reading an article in the paper recently about the crime rates and abortion rates in various first-world countries and the percentage of the population which claims to believe in God and go to church on a regular basis.  The unfortunate fact which the study unearthed is that the US has by far the greatest percentage of people who believe in God and attend services, but yet has the greatest percentage of social ills- by a huge margin.  I was in disbelief but I went and investigated the original study (which didn't pretend to be conclusive, but did point out this glaring inconsistency) and found out that it was indeed true.  (The study did not include third world countries due to a lack of data, but it is my belief that one would discovera different story there.)

I have also been reading a book by Philip Yancey called "Soul Survivor" which outlines biographies of different men of faith who have deeply influenced his faith.  The book is not a social comment, but I cannot read it without comparing the lives of these people with mine, and discover mine is lacking in crucial ways.

And, most of all, I began to think of Yeshua and the verse, "Though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor so that you through His poverty might become rich."  Yeshua would have impoverished Himself by just becominghuman, even if He had chosen to be the son of an emperor or king.  But He not only chose to belong to the most despised race of all times, but to be the illegitimate child of a teenage nobody.  All his life he chose to associate with prostitutes, winos, crooks, and 'trade' workers.  I usually run the other way when I see such people coming.  We talk about going back to the roots of our faith and maybe even we are missing the point.  

The crux of the matter for me was when I asked myself:
When was the last time I gave anyone a cup of water in His name?
When was the last time I gave someone a meal?
Or visited anyone in the hospital or prison?  
I have to confess I have never been in a prison at all.  So I rely on His
grace but my behavior is that of a goat.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Growing Up...

I'm not sure what I thought adulthood would be like but somehow I have landed in it and I don't recognize this at all.

I had thought "growing" would mean
more of the same
only better
But the surging tides bring
new floatsam to the shore
-still alive with similarity-
It has explored new beaches,
releasing relics yet unseen:
from the shipwrecked,
the lonely
the adventurous and bereft
Un-looked-for differences
And I weep under the archway
of an unforseen world.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


I came across this poem which I wrote when I was studying German. Now I am learning Hebrew, and it still describes my thoughts, and the mystery of it all (a little obscurely, yes, but it is poetry after all...)


The names are not so
easily familiar
of those thing which mean the most
Your eyes meet mine
Frozen, I forget the words
to say who you are
Who I am is all I know

The mind- the fog, unbearable glare
The symbol- disbelief, insight
Impossible to wear
So it fades into twilight

A slow fading
The brilliant January afternoon
sun steaming off the road
becomes cold

Numb ears awakening, picking
sounds to understand
Dumb lips are shaking, trying
sounds to mumble
The rhythm, the smooth flow
becomes familiar
Jumbled letters strewn in
haphazard patterns
Realign to show strengths
I never knew existed

but the meat of understanding
fills other senses

Dark eyes strengthening, finding
words to recognize
Old limbs are quivering, stretching
words to excercise

Monday, May 30, 2005

Flower Verses

For all you gardeners out there: over the last few years I've been adding to these "Flower Verses"... enjoy.

The morning glory is
a trumpet of sweetness
A whole blooming orchestra
is growing on my trellis.

The cyclamen is
a falling star
Captured by a lonely plant
and suspended just inches
from the earth.

The peony is
a porcelain bowl
Full of summer joy.
It is the scent of pink.

The lilac is
a wedding of white lace
and lavender gowns.

A growing tree is
A newly-budded vine,
The rolling of the day,
This is love.

The dandelion is
All jolly and bright;
a toddler's beaming face.

The prairie crocus is

The tulip is
a cup of promise
brimful of daybreak.

The wind is
a billowing white sheet
An early summer morning
cool and tangy

Birdsong is
an unborn flower
Droplets of music splash down
pink, yellow and white.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

star gazing

"He wraps himself with light as with a garment" Psalm 104:2
"Clouds and thick darkness surround him" Psalm 97:2
"But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you will receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment." Isaiah 50:11

When I sit in my house at night and turn on my lamp, I cannot see out of my own windows.
When the sun shines brightest, its light hides the stars and the "clear blue sky" is really a windowless canopy, and we are like children, hiding under the blankets of daytime and afraid of the dark.
The glare from the billions of stars makes space look black- but its color is really a creamy white.
The bright immediacy of my busy life invariably shadows the glorious reality of the kingdom of God.
And when I shine with my own self-life, that small torch I carry amazingly blocks from my eyes the glaring brightness of God's glory. How can it be that my little self can create a shadow so big?

When the sun shines through my diamond, it splatters a zillion little rainbows around me. If God is light, then this universe is only a prism and all the things in it are really just rainbows and shadows... I heard a talk show, I think it was the Bible Answer Man or something, and this woman was asking the scholar if we will SEE God, in a physical sense, after we die. She was implying that's the "real" seeing. But neither she nor the Scholar seemed to realize that the physical world is a refraction, a shadow... and seeing is not restricted to this reality. Nor even fully experienced in this world.

(Don't get me wrong, I don't hold to the notion that because this world is the shadow, that things done here don't matter- they matter very much. We greatly affect the spiritual world, and in this thing my analogy breaks down... sigh, it was such a beautiful one, too. However I find myself getting hot and bothered about things that won't even matter tomorrow in this world, let alone the other. So whenever I look at the blue sky and remember the stars hidden behind it, I also remember that these awful, glaring, difficult or happy things which sweep me up and away also hide a huge, huge, amazing reality which is not affected by the other driver cutting me off or whatever comes my way. The only thing that really matters is whether I am growing in my character to be more like God, and allowing Him to guide me through.)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Another River Poem

After I drop my son off at preschool I have a precious hour all by myself before I have to drive the afternoon school bus run, and I usually spend it walking around Carburn Park. I walk there and sit by the Bow River for a while, and look for deer, which I always see there, and never when I'm looking for them. In fact on Wednesday I nearly walked straight into one, which looked a little less startled than I was myself. (They are quite used to clumsy, senseless people stomping around and not looking where they're going.) Anyway I have to acknowledge these walks are inspiring lots of rivery poems.


The watery voice of the river
It speaks in a pebbly tongue
Murmuring the secrets of hidden stones
Just beside blank grey civilization.

It quietly gurgles in treasures of silence
Point and counterpoint with a
songbird's melodies.

Water and sun embrace as lovers
I cannot look for long at the joy
of their encounters, for
it marks my face with a lasting blush.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Where I Walk

Here's an old poem that warrants a re-read... the deceptions of perceptions.

Where I Walk

Sing a thought. Rub your
fingers raw on the
Theologize until you
go insane

Clouds and thick darkness
surround him
There is a space
That only His form can fill
But I cannot find Him in it

Work until you're weary and
find you can
complete nothing

What I want Him to be
what He is
I see His shape
His features are a mystery

Find me in my

If He came would
He answer
would I understand
would we see each other

path of fire
path of consummation

Friday, April 01, 2005

Thursday, March 31, 2005

I Remember You

We reached-
arms outstretched
complacent and satisfied
loosened our grip
forgot, rested

But who can remember
the melody of a brook?
-keep a butterfly or a flower
in a jar?

We would remember.
Today is misplaced
Distance and time continue
I lost you
Our friendship is the victim.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I am a River

I am a river
rushing unquietly among the rocks
pounding the edges away from myself
Seeking smoothness, restful curves, easy slopes

You see me
a roaring torrent, free falling
looking for a gentle place to warm myself in deep pools

or a gentle valley stream
the passion of the mountain hidden in blue-green silt

The treasures of the rocks through which I flow
glitter for hungry eyes to see
They follow my path backwards to find gold
But I'll never go there again

Too much darkness and pressure and pain
brought those glimmering sparks from the rocks
And yet my heart flows there

For I am a river, always running
Daily refreshed by tiny drops, melted from ice
Aquifers, hidden but bubbling forth
living water daily wearing down sharp stones
Always seeking the ocean

Light is a river
A rushing, invisible stream,
pouring all over beauty, form,
texture, faith
Swimming with my eyes open
I can't see above the surface of the running water
Where can I find a quiet pool
To see what lies above this stream?