What would I want to take with me when I leave this world?
My spirit rises
unencumbered by this life’s
winter shroud of pain
I leave earthly behind me
shedding the ephemeral
Photo; Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’Verse, Frank Tassone asked us to write a Jiesi death poem. Jisei were often written in waka (tanka) or haiku, but death poems are not restricted to those forms. What is essential is the expression of both imminent death and the significance of life in the face of it. In this sense, Jisei is the poetry of both memorial and celebration.
I decided to write my own death poem as a reflection of the struggles of this earth and the joy of setting my spirit free in death as I leave it all behind! This poem evolved out of a longer poem I did a couple of year ago called When My Spirit Rises. This is written in the Tanka format.
After seventy-two years of observing the way Faith and Expectation works, I have come to the conclusion that we put way more expectations on our faith than the writers of our scriptures ever intended. The following is something I have been mulling around in my mind for a couple of years. This is the best way I can express what I personally have experienced. You may see it differently and that is OK. To me faith is simple and easy to understand. Many have made it complicated and demanding, filled with unrealistic expectations.
I’ve prayed but had no answers;
Believed in miracles // still waited my turn;
Had faith to move mountains
but the mountains remained;
Read the promises of comfort in times of trouble…
Believed I would find peace in the storm;
Yet saw only blackness and overwhelming sorrow.
Believed Jesus would carry me when I could not go on;
Instead, fell flat on my face crying to God for help.
Discovered there is a time for everything under heaven;
Everything in due season // sometimes sooner // sometimes later.
So, when you pray don’t expect expected answers;
You will usually wait for things to take their course.
Don’t lay on God expectations beyond what might happen;
Leave the miracles for the unexpected occasion.
Don’t let your faith become a denial of reality;
Most illnesses take their course // healing may or may not come;
Most troubles will blow over in due time with scars to show;
And yes, you will feel scared to death through it all.
So, hang on for a wild ride on this roller coaster we call life;
And, if in the end we are blessed with a loving caring family
and friends //consider them a blessing from God.
They will sustain us and walk with us
through the valley of the shadow of death.
If not, we will endure to the end…
When our spirit rises to rejoin our creator.
It is interesting to me how different most prayers are from this example Jesus gave his disciples!
Matthew 6:9 –
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one…
I learned recently, while watching an episode of Moonshiners, that the blue flame that is the hottest when using propane. When they distil the alcohol from the mash, they like to have the propane burner giving off a blue flame. This means the mixture of air and gas is at optimum performance.
Let me burn with a blue flame
Not orange or yellow;
Let me be intense
with the heat of inspiration.
Let the blue flame rise up
when abuse and injustice reigns
feeling the heat rising within
ready to speak to the issues that matter.
Let me burn with a blue flame
Hot as a moonshine still;
distilling the truth and letting it run
through my fingers and into my poems.
Let my mind bubble and churn
as the purity of my words become clear;
coming through one hundred and sixty proof.
And when my time is done
let it be a blue flame that returns me to dust;
as my spirit rises with that eternal blue flame.
When it’s my time // let it be a celebration
Not down and sorrowful;
A reminder of all the good things life offered
And the things I chose to accept.
Let it be filled with music and guitars
Singing the old songs that stirred my soul.
Make it a time to remember the good times;
Stories shared that warm the heart.
Celebrate my passing with joy and happiness;
Friends and family coming together as one
Finding strength, joy, and hope.
Let tears mingle with laughter and song;
Knowing that I had a great life
Filled with great family and friends.
As my spirit rises to join the Spirit of God, my creator,
Know that life goes on // both here and there.
When my spirit rises
Unencumbered and free
No weight or worry accompanies me
Interesting that I value things
When in the end the spirit flies
Leaving them all behind
How much I worry and fret
But this too shall pass when I am gone
My spirit rises out of this shell
A virtual butterfly reborn
From caterpillar to chrysalis
Reborn in the image of God
Spirit Creator Redeemer Savior
Knowing there is no place for the earthly
In the spirit world beyond
I can’t take it with me
But then again… Why would I want to?
When my spirit rises
Leaving it all behind
Today I attended the funeral of a friend’s wife who died after an extended struggle with cancer. It was a heartfelt service with words and music well suited for the occasion. The celebration of her life and her love for her family, her church family, and God was evident through out the service. Sometimes freedom is the release from all that weighs us down in this life
Frank Tassone Haikai challenge for this Saturday is to look at what Independence Day means. Some think of it only in relation to our country and the 4th of July. But independence day for others might include relief from abuse, as Martina McBride sang about. For others death is independence day. Those suffering from cancer or Alzheimer’s or other debilitating diseases find death as a release from physical constraints. Freedom and Independence has many meanings. Come join us:https://frankjtassone.com/2018/06/30/haikai-challenge-40-6-30-18-independence-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/
Paul at d’Verse asked us to write a soulful poem (soul gazing) for our Tuesday prompt. This poem expresses what I believe happens when we leave this world and our spirit rises and returns to our creator.
What happens when you die? There are lots of ideas regarding heaven or hell, or perhaps you believe that’s it and nothing happens. Some believe we are reincarnated and come back to live life again on the earth. I believe my spirit will return to God who gave it life. The body is only a temporary shell that our spirit lives in during our time on the earth. The Bible is full of metaphors that describes heaven as a magnificent place with golden streets, rivers, trees, and precious stones set into the walls. It talks of the throne of God and Jesus at His right hand. But if God is Spirit then I believe we return to the spirit world of God and whatever else that entails. The thing that amazes me is how attached we have become to this earth , knowing all along that we can’t take it with us.