Today at d’Verse, Merril introduced us to Puente, bridge building in our poetry. We are to take the first verse and connect it to the third verse by a single bridge line that completed the first verse and leads into the third. This is a first for me, so I am sharing some thoughts running through my head today.
I hear of people who go off by themselves for days at a time to look inward and outward experiencing self-awareness and spiritual renewal! I never understood that at all. For me life is full of interaction and connection that stimulates my mind and soul. Some may think I am shallow as a result, but for me introspection comes through connection.
Climbing down into the darkness of being alone;
Feeling lost and disconnected with others all around.
It’s like making my way through mind mazes with no exit…
Finding more than I bargained for in this cavern of the soul.
No // I must stay connected to thrive feeding off others.
I never found myself a good enough friend to myself
to make me want to become a recluse.
Short stints of contemplation are fine;
An evening of writing poetry stimulates my mind;
But // I would never ever want to be alone
over any lengthy period of time
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Bjorn at d’Verse asked us to think about how we handle solitude. Many folks have had to deal with being disconnected and alone during this time of pandemic! There is a sense of loss that come with that, but it is a time that can be used for creative purposes as well.
Today we were asked to write poetry from our book shelf. Bjorn, at d’Verse, called it found poetry. The challenge is to arrange and make a poem using book titles from our shelf, without changing any titles. I thought these were a very fitting group for the times we are experiencing. See what you think?
What is spiritual rejuvenation, but a distillation?
Rising above the fray // Soul and spirit refreshed
Letting go the earthly // heart drawn to God
A soul cleansing bringing purity and wholeness
Occurs over and over again throughout life
Lifted by the sunlight of God’s Love
Wrapped in the warmth of God’s Grace.
Restoration always comes with distillation
When we come to the end our journey
Our final distillation complete…
Our spirit rises unencumbered
Pure and refreshed into the presence of God
The older I get the simpler life becomes
I feel sort of like a tree shedding it bark
End of life // is not too far in the future;
makes me stop and think…
“What is really important and true?”
The older I get
the more focused faith becomes;
Moving beyond religious trappings
guilt, fear, and control;
were nailed to the cross for me.)
Understanding God’s grace in my life
brings me peace;
Knowing I am blessed
to have lived this long
in good health.
I let go of all those things
I once felt obligated to do;
Understanding that the metaphors,
taken so literally by some,
Are there to guide me along the way…
not to prove right or wrong.
I let go of “streets paved with gold”
and “mansions over the hilltop…”
knowing God is Spirit;
No need there
of physical things
we hold so dear.
I believe the image of God
is not flesh and blood
nor what I put on or take off,
but rather an attitude of spirit
that is loving and compassionate.
I came to the realization
that all those prayers I prayed
never got past the ceiling.
I realize prayer is meant
to change me // not them
Prayer brings me closer to God,
as I focus on my needs
and the needs of others.
Infomercial religion has no appeal to me
…nor or to God…
There is no place for peddling the gospel
for personal gain…
nor to exert control over the faithful.
Hamster cage religion
leaves me frustrated
and going in circles;
Faith and action bring a feeling
of authenticity and connection.
Church should be uplifting…
an encouraging fellowship
full of good news
connecting us with God
showing us how to love as Jesus loved.
To me the Bible is my guide …
not my God…
words of truth to live by.
Somewhere amid the rules and regulations
The desire for correctness
The literal interpretation…. Underneath it all we hope to find God
Buried in the guilt and shame
Of imperfection // fallenness
Controlled by our fears
Manipulated by our insecurities Underneath it all we hope to find God
In creeds and sacraments of blood and wine
In stories of suffering // blessing // and chosenness `
We struggle to make right our wrongs
Knowing that… Underneath it all we hope to find God
Our prayers ascend on wings of faith
Hoping to find an opiate for our pain
A clearing and focused mind
That can see and feel that… Underneath it all we hope to find God
We open our heart to redeeming grace
Finally realizing // it’s not what we do
Not what we say verbosely to others
It is in forgiving others // and ourselves
That we find love and acceptance And underneath it all we find God
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Stain glass window from the WUM Church in Weddington, NC
We were asked by Amaya, at d”Verse, to think about Holy Places that are sacred to people. They might be shrines, locations, or buildings that people go to and find a connection to the the divine. We are to write a poem of our choosing. I chose to write a quadrille.
Although I have great respect and high regard for what most people consider Holy Places, I find that it is not a place or a thing that brings me connection to God. It is rather the Spirit connection that has occurred in me at various times over the years. It may be through hearing the spoken word, the words of a song, an event, seeing a butterfly or bird, the birth of a baby or the ecstasy of love. It could be in church or out in the mountains. God to me is Spirit, and the place the I find our spirits connecting is a Holy Place.