Unconditional

quill

Not enough can be said about the the amazing things God accomplishes through our pain.  (Anyone not yet seen Pixar’s Inside Out??)  In light of that, here’s another beautiful offering of grace from Nico at Ancient Skies.  

UNCONDITIONAL

When our trauma has been washed, and we are in one piece again,

our blood shot eyes will begin to see the good

in each of us, and our shattering

will teach us the courage

to love

unconditionally.

       

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2016, ancient skies

The Kraken (conclusion)

The final installment of the The Kraken, by Robert L. Jones, III.  To start from the beginning, click HERE!

kraken9
From The Kraken, by Robert L. Jones, III and illustrated by James P. Wood

 

XVI. Benediction

With Kraken gone, the fearful folk returned to ply the sea,

And safety made the legend pass, though inadvertently.

A town was founded near the place where Galen’s cottage stood.

Where once a barren coast had been, there grew a neighborhood.

 

So Galen’s fame was scarcely known, but heroes must be paid.

He used his bellows and his forge to work the blacksmith’s trade.

At times, he fashioned stranger things, though most did not know why,

And, with his arm around Celeste, would stare into the sky.

 

Their union prospered in its way for those who cared to see

That Galen and his winsome bride were blessed with progeny

Of fairest skin on stoutest limb and fire behind their eyes.

They raised them well and lovingly and taught them to be wise.

 

They taught them work and taught them play, made sure that they were fed,

And told them stories in the night, then tucked them into bed.

As seasons changed, they watched them grow till they were straight and tall,

By young desire distracted from the saddles on the wall.

 

And, one by one, they saw them leave, when they were fully grown,

To found new homes with spouses fair and children of their own.

There is a way, mad by design, a way that wisdom makes,

To set the young at liberty to make their own mistakes.

 

And, one by one or all at once, the children would return,

The cottage glowing in the night with candle wax to burn.

They laughed and ate. Some went outside to play or walk around,

No longer knowing what they paced had once been sacred ground.

 

Their father told his history repeatedly, and yet,

Through unfamiliarity, descendants will forget.

And so he hammered weaponry and saved it for the days

Another generation would embrace heroic ways.

 

Some undergo the humble change from ridicule to fear

As those once sheltered made aware of danger drawing near,

But some remember righteous thoughts, discovered in their youth,

Of better dreams and simpler ways that turn them to the truth.

 

In times of pride and apathy, depending on the year,

There well might come a moment when a Kraken will appear.

As some are lost or made aware, the cycle starts again

To test the motivations that direct the hearts of men.

 

Still, man and wife would spend their days in faith and blessedness,

Commend themselves to higher things, and frequently confess

That tribulation comes to teach the lessons all must learn

In preparation for the day the griffins will return.

To order The Kraken, by Robert L. Jones, III and illustrated by James P. Wood, click HERE.

The Kraken (#14)

b8c14c0de55a3a61b83929cde26aaaf0
From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XIV. A Faithful Flight

Observing her in silence but for sound of griffin breath,

They recognized her dignity, still beautiful in death.

Then Galen looked up pleadingly, cheeks marked by frozen tears.

His mentor looked much younger now, despite his many years.

 

He spoke with sensitivity. “Somehow, your faith is weak.

In giving you some time to grieve, I’ve taken time to speak.

Compared to what should really be, our efforts are but jest.

Now you must meet the One who can perform beyond your best,

 

“One who appears in many forms, a king without a crown.”

As he expounded on the ice, more griffins circled down.

With that, the prophet used his robe to wrap the corpse in white.

“This struggle is not over yet. If you have will to fight,

 

“You’ll take this precious bundle to complete what you’ve begun.

Now get you to the South and East to meet the rising sun.

Take no time to deliberate or question what I say.

So off with you. Be on your flight. Your griffin knows the way.”

 

Through twilight’s gloam, in haste they flew, but Galen was confused.

He held the dead weight to his chest as silently he mused.

He felt no hope or sorrow then or anything between.

This errand seemed to be in vain. What could the prophet mean?

 

Obedience was dearly learned. He would not stray again.

Had he not conquered in a fight no mortal man should win?

The glory of the day before had faded into night.

The goal of present faithfulness was hidden from his sight.

 

They came to rest upon a ridge beneath a graying sky,

And, standing by his escort, he heard flutterings nearby.

Like blades of grass that stand in such profusion on a lawn,

Were countless griffins seen to swarm the hill by light of dawn.

 

As if on cue or high command, by instinct or by choice,

They raised their eagle heads and screamed together with one voice,

And to this cry responding, as if not to be outdone,

A griffin larger than them all flew outward from the sun,

 

Its brightly colored plumage set on wings of awesome span.

As fine a sight as ever was beheld by eyes of man,

The Griffin King flew closer. Galen nearly lost control

But held his ground before the eyes that stared into his soul.

 

Then silently it landed with its wings completely spread

But never moved its gaze from Galen’s face, it must be said.

The monarch screeched with lifted head, its brow in regal frown,

And Galen trembled as he kneeled and laid his burden down.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The old-fashioned, hand-held, page-turning and fully illustrated version can be ordered at Amazon.com, by Robert L Jones, III and illustrated by James P. Wood.

The Kraken (#12)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE)

b8c14c0de55a3a61b83929cde26aaaf0
From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XII. Departure

The morning came when all was done. No task the prophet gave,

Save breakfast, which he barely touched. His countenance was grave.

And Galen’s pulse was quickened then.. His chest began to heave.

He knew just by his master’s look that it was time to leave.

 

“The time has come, “the prophet said and took him by the arm.

“Be carefully attentive lest we come to major harm.

There is more than one aspect to this problem to be solved.

Tomorrow, when the sun is set, this part will be resolved.

 

“Of course,” he paused, “wear proper dress, and don this garment here.

Despite our plan, the Kraken’s speed might best you, and I fear

You’d meet your end within its coils if not for this disguise.

One dressed in white upon the ice stays hidden from its eyes.”

 

Then quickly Galen slipped the robe on top of what he wore

But asked, “However shall we go with no boat on the shore?”

His elder went to fetch the saddles hanging on the wall

And gathered spears. Then, with a rope, he tied and bundled all.

 

He said, “I know your heart is set on striking out by sea,

Yet, nonetheless, we shall proceed as safely as can be.

No vessel born of human hands can breach the Kraken’s lair.

No ship that plies the sea is safe, but these will take us there.”

 

And as he stepped outside the door and pointed overhead,

A flock of griffins landed, calling shrieks to raise the dead.

With eagle’s front and lion’s haunch, and terrible in shape,

Each one arrested Galen’s eyes and held his mouth agape.

 

The wise man held the saddles out in effort to explain.

“Be calm. You should be thankful for the speed that we will gain.

There are no reins. You use your arms to balance as you sit.

The saddles only they allow. Their beaks refuse the bit.”

 

Amid the whir and flutter of appendages, they sailed

In feathered flight. A mighty squad, through azure skies they trailed.

All through the night and into dawn, the expedition flew

To find a world of gray and white had entered into view,

 

A frozen sea encrusted with the ice of broken flows,

Pale, jagged blossoms grown from seeds the deadly tempest sows.

Calm water in an open space was ringed by icy crags,

Bare, lofty, snow blown pinnacles on which the north wind snags.

 

The griffins banked and steered their course to land near water’s edge

And skidded on the hoary frost to stop along a ledge.

“Unpack your spears,” the prophet said, “before it grows too late.”

He added with severity, “It’s here that we must wait.”

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY…dot…dot…dot!!

The Kraken #9

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

b8c14c0de55a3a61b83929cde26aaaf0
From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

IX. The Prodigal

In horror, Galen climbed the mast as high as he could go.

It quickly slipped beneath the waves. He fought the undertow.

Then as the deadened ship went down, a living orca came

In black and white with fearsome maw. Somehow it seemed quite tame

 

Though wild and unpredictable, in nature so complete.

As it approached, it lowered first and nudged at Galen’s feet.

By faith, he clambered on its back and held its dorsal fin.

They swam out of the undertow that tried to pull him in.

 

His deadly ride with power coursed across the northern sea

And bore him toward a place of undisclosed identity.

They travelled on for many days and then for some days more

Until the orca shook him off and pushed him to the shore.

 

He recognized the rocky coast, the cottage walls in white,

The person gazing back at him with look of stern delight.

He had not seen that wizened face for seven years, at least.

From obligation to return he had not been released.

 

His misadventures of the past careened within his brain.

He’d seen enough of tragedy to drive some men insane,

And as he kneeled and fought the surf, now sadder, not yet wise,

An undetermined stare betrayed the fire behind his eyes.

 

The prophet eyed him carefully. “I know where you have been,

To take your vengeance on a beast with help of doubtful men.

There was no time to do this right the first time that you tried,

But you have failed. The Kraken lives, and you have nearly died.

 

“Despite your humble circumstance and passion long denied,

I see some future benefit. Now here you will abide

To grow in strength and courage and to train your faculties

To trust in unseen help and learn to calm these troubled seas.

 

“An unclean vessel drew you forth. A better drew you back,

Authentic in its name, supplied to give you what you lack.

I see you have sufficiently been baptized by the sea.

Instead of striking forth alone, you should have come to me.”

 

The wayward man unsteadily arose to gain his feet,

Reluctantly, respectfully, his former friend to greet.

He stood and wavered, scarce could walk, not knowing what to say,

But there was peace between them both in fading light of day.

 

He staggered forward as a child, his elder within reach,

And longed to hear the principles that wiser men might teach.

Collapsing in the prophet’s arms, his vision now in doubt,

He managed but the faintest smile then groaned while passing out.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY!!

T-i-m-b-e-r!!!!

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Before writing this, I just mowed and trimmed the yard.  Instead of a “rider” we have a push mower, (well, alright, gas powered, not the kind your great-grandfather used, which was the REAL push mower).  And I was having issues with my trimmer, (okay, it’s also gas powered, not the hand clippers I used as a kid…)  And it was Missouri-summer HOT and HUMID! 

Whine, whine, whine.

That’s kind of what a couple of the Hebrew tribes sounded like when they came to Joshua as the nation of Israel was settling into the long-awaited Promised Land—

“The descendants of Joseph came to Joshua and asked, ‘Why have you given us only one portion of land as our homeland when the LORD has blessed us with so many people?’  Joshua replied, ‘If there are so many of you, and if the hill country of Ephraim is not large enough for you, clear out land for yourselves in the forest…’   The descendants of Joseph responded, ‘It’s true that the hill country is not large enough for us. But all the Canaanites in the lowlands have iron chariots,…They are too strong for us.’”

At first, it does sound a little like whining, but to their credit, these leaders had made a proper assessment of their current situation and resources; they were being honest. 

“Then Joshua said to…the descendants of Joseph, ‘Since you are so large and strong, you will be given more than one portion.  The forests of the hill country will be yours as well. Clear as much of the land as you wish, and take possession of its farthest corners.’”

Bringing that honesty to the Lord (via Joshua, since we’re talking Old Testament), the people were initially given the direction they needed…

 …but they were going to have to work hard for it. Then check out what Joshua says next (this is so cool)—

“And you will drive out the Canaanites from the valleys, too, even though they are strong and have iron chariots.”

Bringing that honesty to the Lord, they were then given the needed encouragement to make it happen.

God has allotted certain things to us, which includes our deliverance from the clutches of sin.  He wants that abundant life to flow from us to others (as I have to remind myself, it’s not just about “me”).  Because of Christ, I have too much in me to be penned in by my puny circumstances, not when God has forested hills and open valleys for me to expand into. 

…but I’m going to have to work hard for it.

I’m expected and designed to work hard.  Spiritual battle is not fun.  Clearing out the wood from the hills (past experiences, regrets, and my own “personal demons”) and the iron chariots from the valleys (Satan’s demons, since they like to hang around my warning-sign-304370_1280garbage), can be a daunting business.  Messy, too.  Definitely not a one-man job, but neither was it for the tribe of Israelites who needed to expand. 

So I should sharpen my axe and stop whining.

Joshua 17: 14  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Paradogs

 

cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-img_20131027_1552561.jpg
Buckley and his human

I have a smart dog.  Sometimes too smart for his own good.  That is, he thinks he knows what he wants even when he knows it is the opposite of what I want even though he doesn’t understand why I want it, so he decides to go after his want, after which he may realize that wanting it was, well, not worth the want.  

Nevertheless, he’s still a pretty smart dog.  Right now he is not-so-contentedly lying at my feet despite the fact that he would rather be chasing the frisbee outside.  I, however, would Continue reading “Paradogs”

In other words….

orig_13000
photo at: https://mitchteemley.com/2016/04/10/throw-it-away/

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

 

Romans 5:6-8  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Fool d’ya!

quill

I interrupt this normally scheduled “Not-My-Poetry” day for a poem of my ow-em.  All you true poets (consult list below), go easy on me. 

What is real life without struggle,

   And is courage true without fear?

There is no movement without friction.

   It is loss that reveals what is dear.

And PS—Doubt makes really good fuel for faith, but I ran out of rhymes….

For some honest poets, check out these sites:

https://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/

https://joyindestrucible.com

http://enthusiasticallydawn.com/

https://nicodemasplusthree.wordpress.com/about/

https://atimetoshare.me/

https://jacobemet.wordpress.com/

http://seekingyoufirst.com/

http://www.drbigpond.com/

And for today’s REAL poem, it’s Mitch Teemley! (It’ll be posted later this evening!)

THANKS to the ones who

COLOR 

our lives with their words!

 

 

Bend in the road

IMG_20150622_102144174 (1)

‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

%d bloggers like this: