Boy Mother Muse

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Commentary

When I first posted this on social media, I could barely contain my excitement:

I can hardly wait to write this up and post it on my blog. I haven’t fully figured out my own poem(!), but it has something to do with gratitude for having been cradled in metaphor. It rocks me still, many years after Mother’s passing.

Like the title, the poem is admittedly confusing. I appear to be talking about three entities: a boy, my mother, and my muse. Let me try to sort it out….

MUSE
When I set out to write this poem, I was simply thinking about how to explain those dry times when there’s no inspiration for poetry. Basically, my “muse” (my inspiration) is recharging, often by reading and resting. I think my reader can see that in the poem. And of course it is actually I who am recharging, not some external, mythical influence.

MOTHER
For some reason (Freud would have theories), my thinking shifted from an impersonal inspiration—my “muse”—to the most personal inspiration of all: my mother.

Once my focus shifted from an imaginary, impersonal “muse” to my mother, the first stanza came to me full-formed and finished, with one exception…. Once I had found a suitable background photograph, I substituted “ran” for what I had there originally: “wandered.” By the way, I do actually, literally remember my mother starting a story with these curious words.

BOY
That brings me to the most confusing part…. My mother was never a little boy. But in an effort to connect with me in my boyhood, she told me about her early life AS THOUGH she too had once been a little boy. That may have been easy and natural for her, since she was an only child, a self-proclaimed tomboy, and she lived out in the country. In any case, my kind, creative mother employed a giant metaphor to communicate her solidarity with me. As I wrote above, I am grateful for having been cradled in metaphor. Elements of poetry–metaphor, creativity, beauty–surrounded me in my youth.

“DANCING THE NEWS”
The fourth line of the second stanza changed repeatedly. Instead of “the news,” I tried various adverbs to describe how my muse acts when she’s not off recharging. I had her “dancing playfully,” “…energetically,” and “…gracefully.” None of those satisfied me. Finally, I decided that I should bypass all those adverbs and point instead to the reason behind her dancing: “good news.” (By the way, this is a line I’m borrowing from one of my own favorite poems: “Dancing The News.”) Although much of my poetry is complaint, or lament, I think it is all written in the context of hope for eventual resolution and restoration. Ultimately, I am inspired to write poetry by the “Good News” of the Gospel. My mother–more than anyone else–enabled me to see that good news.

(background image by Kev on Pixabay)

Before And After Avarice

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Commentary

For some time now, greed and selfishness have held morbid interest for me. So, so much of life looks different once you recognize these sins in yourself. So, my eyes are wide open this evening as I read a chapter on “Greed vs. Generosity” in Brant Pitre’s helpful “Introduction to the Spiritual Life.”

The poem’s last line is a double-entendre. I have made enemies with double-entendres. But in my poetry I mean them for good.

Am I Ever Cain?

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Commentary

I’ve often hit the story of Cain and Abel and thought, “I’m not thinking deeply enough about this!” So here’s a prayer. I hope it isn’t merely “fruit of the ground.”

POSSIBLE HOGWASH
About that “fruit of the ground….” I doubt this, and I honestly haven’t done any study of the matter, but what if it “fruit of the ground” refers to windfall? Have you ever walked by a peach tree or an apple tree and been tempted to pick up a fruit that has fallen to the ground and then chomp into it? No? Me either. That fruit probably isn’t worth much. In any case, SOMETHING about Cain’s offering fell short of “doing what is right.”

As we read the account, notice something astounding: Cain murders his brother even after God has tried to reason with him.

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Genesis 4:3-8 (NIV)

Between Worlds

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Commentary

One of the things I value about social media is that it has put me in touch with kindred spirits in far-flung places. I had a couple of them in mind as I wrote this poem. Both of them are ex-pastors who are rethinking aspects of Christianity–as am I. We don’t know each other personally and we seem to have different parameters for our respective examinations of faith. But we do share faith in a Savior who guarantees eternity and the expectation of satisfying friendships forever.

Knowing Good and Evil

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Commentary

The poem above is not an endorsement of evil. Rather, it is a pondering of what it must have been like to be Adam, to not have known anything but good. But then the serpent suggests that God is withholding something…. This is our daily experience: Satan whispering that God cannot be trusted to give us all that’s good, that our current circumstances indicate that we can’t really trust Him.

More about that…. For some time now, I have been testing this definition of faith: grateful reliance on God. It is depending on God to provide what is good for us. Conversely, a failure of faith resents that God is withholding something good from us.

(background image by Aline Ponce on Pixabay)

Pain and Joy

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Commentary

This poem expresses my confidence that there is no shortage of things to inspire poetry. If a few days pass when I don’t feel any urgency to write, I don’t panic. My muse will return.

(background image by Gaurav on Pixabay)

#inspiration #muse #thenwelcomeeachrebuff #thatturnsearthssmoothnessrough

Supper Thought

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Commentary

This poem was inspired by one of the accounts of Jesus’ interaction with his disciples after the Resurrection. Let me quote that at length:

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

Luke 24:36-43 (NIV)

I’m not going to write the book that could be written about this passage. For that, let me refer you to an excellent book I was reading when I wrote the little poem:

Reductionist

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Commentary

OOF. I took a long walk with a wise friend yesterday. I tried out my interpretations of the world on him. Some of them he found wanting. For his intelligent honesty and other reasons he remains a VERY GOOD FRIEND.

On the other hand…. It is sometimes essential for me to strip away the excuses and alternate explanations for what strikes me as evil. I’m a poet, after all, not an apologist or diplomat.

(background image by Ylanite Koppens on Pixabay)

#perspective #correction #friendship

Matter’s Obedience

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Commentary

A friend pointed out to me that in this poem, as in another recent poem (“Joyful Chagrin“), I may be going beyond anthropomorphizing or personifying nature, and am now flirting with a philosophical view called panpsychism. I had to look up the term, and sure enough, I do flirt with that view. It’s hard to escape when, for your entire life you have read about trees “clapping their hands,” and how “even the wind and waves obey him.”

The Title, “Matter’s Obedience”
I tried a couple of inversions in coming up with the title. The first attempt was “Matter Loves God,” which is an inversion of the recognition that “God loves matter.” Then, I inverted “Obedience Matters” to the current title: “Matter’s Obedience.” Those two attempts are related. Obedience is an evidence of love.

Can the physical universe really respond to God in loving obedience? I’ll keep saying it can, until God tells me “No, silly Brad. But I love you nonetheless.”

(background image adapted from one by “wal_172619” on Pixabay)

godlovesmatter #matterlovesgod #burningbush #windandwaves #obedience #exodus3 #mark4

Joyful Chagrin

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Commentary

This poem springboards from reading an argument that Jesus’ divinity is present in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), not just in John. In the actual argument, Brant Pitre shows that Jesus did things that his first century Jewish observers would have interpreted as implying his divinity (see the comparison below, taken from p124 of Pitre’s The Case for Jesus). So the Synoptics implied what John stated.

Face of the Deep
In using the phrase “face of the deep,” I am playing with the King James Version rendering of Genesis 1, verse 2:

And the earth was without form, and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:2 (KJV)

(background image by “4311868” on Pixabay)

#genesis1v2 #psalm98v8 #mark 4 #mark6 #revelation21v1

Nothingness

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Commentary

I often think of Stephen Crane’s poem that goes like this:

A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”

A Man Said to the Universe by Stephen Crane

I have read this about Stephen Crane:

influenced by the Darwinism of the times, Crane viewed individuals as victims of purposeless forces and believed that they encountered only hostility in their relationships with other individuals, with society, with nature, and with God.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/stephen-crane

You can see that sense of hostility in Crane’s poem about a man addressing the universe. Perhaps you see it in my poem as well.

I’ll admit: I’m expressing a sense of isolation or alienation–perhaps even hostility–that I feel all too often these days. It’s akin to what Stephen Crane expressed. My sweet Christian friends will be quick to remind me of our shared faith in a loving, embracing God. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t express my occasional dark thoughts in poetry. Otherwise, how many Psalms would we have in the Old Testament?

(background image by John Paul Edge on Pixabay)

Follow Me

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Commentary

This poem was inspired by a passage in Brant Pitre’s excellent “The Case for Jesus.”

Being a student in the ancient world was radically different from what it is like today, when it simply means you may (or may not) listen to a fifty-minute lecture three times a week for a semester. Being one of Jesus’ students meant following him everywhere, and listening to him all the time, for anywhere between one and three years.

p86 “The Case For Jesus” by Brant Pitre

(background image by SplitShire on Pixabay)

Eutychus’ Advice

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Commentary

In my crawl through the book of Acts, I’m to chapter 20, and I hit this passage:

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

Acts 20:7-12 (NIV)

What’s the point of Luke’s account? Don’t sleep in church? God’s power was displayed through the Apostle Paul? It’s probably something along those lines, not the supposed “moral of the story” I suggested in the last stanza of my poem. But I couldn’t resist. I sent the poem off to three of my preacher friends. So far, they haven’t responded. They’re probably busy crafting succinct sermons. Good luck, I say!

(background image by Peter H on Pixabay)

#acts20 #eutychus #homiletics #longsermons #workingbackward #keepitshortstupid

The Poet’s Version

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Commentary

This poem is my sour grapes version of the philosophical thought experiment “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Why sour grapes? Somewhere in this big world, there’s an audience for my poetry. But aside from a handful of kind family and friends, I haven’t found that audience. Moreover, my potential audience keeps getting smaller and smaller as my thinking about this world gets more and more idiosyncratic.

(background image by Andrea Music on Pixabay)

#recognition #isolation

Dear Deluded Doctor

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Commentary

For now, I’ll just copy what I wrote on Facebook:

Susan tells me she’s glad I find comfort in writing. I think it’s called lament.

I don’t know about that last line. How can death be a disease? I tossed down this whole poem almost intuitively, not thinking deeply about my word choice. When that happens, I tend to trust my subconscious. There may be more there than meets the eye.

#changeordie #resistingchange #preferringdeath

(background image by Fernando Zhiminaicela on Pixabay)

Sweet Harpist

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Commentary

There’s a Price to Passion

I respond powerfully when music is performed well. God bless good musicians!

Unfortunately, my response is equally powerful when music is performed poorly.

If you don’t share this powerful response to music, you may not understand or sympathize with the following….

Sometimes when I’m at church, I find it hard to worship. My body wants to move with the music, but doesn’t feel a groove. It may be a drummer who’s drumming to the beat of a different march. Or it may be guitarists and pianists who are stepping on each other rhythmically. My voice wants to harmonize, but harmony’s made practically impossible by off-pitch musicians or bad accompaniment. It’s a real struggle then to maintain my equanimity, much less worship.

You know who I really pity? Those with perfect pitch. How miserable is their journey through life?

(background image is Rembrandt’s “Saul and David”)

#rembrandt #saulanddavid #1samuel16

American Artemis

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Commentary

This poem comes out of reading Acts 19 (the riot in Ephesus), and contemplating what 21st-century white evangelical Christians could glean from the story.

Wouldn’t it be something if the Way actually threatened OUR comforts and privilege as it did the pagans in first-century Ephesus!

Consider this last paragraph from a 2019 piece by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson:

Many white evangelical Christians hold a faith that appeals to the comfortable rather than siding with the afflicted. They have allied themselves with bigots and nativists, risking the reputation of the gospel itself. And, in some very public ways, they are difficult to recognize as Christians at all.

Michael Gerson

(background image by “12019” on Pixabay)

#ephesians19 #ephesusriot #artemis #idols #idolatry #comfort #privilege #whiteevangelicals #americanchristians #philippians2vv3-8 #seekyefirst

Moving Maundy

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Commentary

When you’re not an Anglican, but serving them in the soundbooth, and the priest comes up and says, “Just let the slides go black; come down and let me wash your feet.” Maybe next time I’ll be less duty-bound, and accept. It would have been a blessing, all around.

#john13 #maundythursday #anglicans #stbarts #footwashing #soulcleansing

(background image by BennoOosterom on Pixabay)

Roget’s Prayer

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Commentary

On two or three recent occasions, I have needed the word “extrapolate,” but couldn’t think of it. So, I had to resort to “compensate.” This morning, the word I was seeking popped into my mind, and I was so happy I wrote a poem.

It is said that Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869) made lists of related words partly to combat his persistent depression. Which of us hasn’t benefited from the resulting Roget’s Thesaurus? As you can probably guess, he was a brilliant and accomplished man. He also lived a long life. He was deaf by the time he died at age 90. I didn’t know that yet when I attributed my own prayer to him in the title of this poem.

Read more about Roget: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Mark_Roget

#roget #thesaurus #hayakawa #usetherightword #synonyms #extrapolate #compensate

Representative!

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Commentary

The only comfort I feel when it comes to automated phone support is knowing that I’m not alone in despising it. Maybe I need a new perspective.

Maybe next time I make one of those calls, I’ll remember who God says I am, and why I’m here.

#representative #customersupport #human #human #human #humanbeing #forgodssakehuman

(background image by Alexa on Pixabay)

Stubborn Sinner

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Commentary

One of the things I have been gnawing on lately is an observation that Christians sometimes refuse to acknowledge that we are sinners. When some intrepid preacher points out one of our common everyday sins,* some of us go out of our way to marginalize that preacher. It’s ridiculous. My theory is that we wish to hang on to certain sins.

I know some will read this poem and immediately think “Unwholesome!” a la Ephesians 4:29. We need to work on our understanding of that verse. It must surely have to do with the speaker’s (or writer’s) INTENT, be it to build up, correct, benefit… or be it merely to shock, and give the speaker/writer some undeserved attention.

My intent in writing this is for the reader to recognize himself or herself in their unspoken(?) complaint, and then to REFLECT: “Do I ever do what this poem speaks of?”

*Like racism. This is something we all struggle with. But I have seen and heard people claim that’s all in the past. Bologna!

#hypocrisy #sinners #savedbygrace #whenwewereyetsinners #chiefofsinners

Finishing Touchés

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Commentary

Yesterday I read an article exploring why lay people often insist that we should not end sentences with prepositions. Linguists say we CAN do so in English, and that the rule came from a wrong-headed attempt to conform English to Latin.

I like French and other Romance languages. But I don’t like silly rules, such as the one that says you can’t end a sentence with a preposition, or that you can’t start a sentence with “but.”

#grammarnazis #sillyrules #romancelanguages #linguistics

(background image by Denis Doukhan on Pixabay)

Pray, Dear Potter

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Commentary

This is a poem in search of a theodicy. It asks, “How is God good if only a small percentage of the men and women he created are to be saved from destruction?”

Let me put that more personally…
This poem is an actual prayer. I want God, the Potter, to answer. I trust his goodness, but I wish for him to verify that his goodness is displayed even in pots being made for destruction.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND
The word “throw” is used in two senses in the first stanza. In line two, “throw” is used in a way that is unique to pottery; to “throw” pottery is the historical equivalent of “turning” pottery. Here’s a site that explains the etymology (https://www.lakesidepottery.com/HTML%20Text/Tips/why_is_it_calles_throwing.htm).

The second sense of “throw” (line three) is captured by its synonym in the last stanza: to toss, meaning to discard.

(background image by Satchuset Raungdessuwon on Pixabay)

Diagnosis

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Commentary

My blood pressure was elevated this morning after the fitful sleep of a poet interpreting his world through metaphor. How fitting that I landed on a medical diagnosis.

THE IDEAL THAT IS SHORTCHANGED BY AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE:

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV‬

#autoimmune #thechurch #unappreciative #sappers #badbereans #heresyhunters

My Father’s Kingdom

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Commentary

My father was a theologian who spent his entire adult life thinking and writing about the Kingdom of God. Was he right or wrong about the Kingdom’s current status? I don’t know.

Maybe it’s like the Queen in “Through The Looking Glass” would put it: “You think this is the Kingdom? I could show you a Kingdom compared with which you’d call this a pile of manure.”

(background image by “Openclay” on Pixabay)

#kingdomofgod #johnhepp #kingdominbible #diamonds #carbon

The Rusty Pail (a lament)

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Commentary

This poem may sound playful, but it really is a lament.

I listen to the podcasts of an Evangelical pastor who is working through his former allegiance to Evangelical beliefs and practice. He, like many of us, is distressed by the behavior of Evangelicals–make that White Evangelicals–in the past few years. Since our behavior has been so horrible, we’re forced to question our beliefs. One of his recent podcasts examined a belief that I still hold somewhat dear. Somewhat. Frankly, I am conflicted. The image of a leaky bucket came to mind as I considered my loss of confidence in this cherished belief.

I’m not going to go into details about the particular belief. Nor am I going to argue with anyone about what I perceive as horrible behavior by White Evangelicals. I’ll leave arguing for people who are good at it. The Holy Spirit is probably more convincing than I am. Right?

(background image is a mashup of the pail, by omnigrapher2016, and the stream, by lalami78, both on Pixabay)

Hey!

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Commentary

On my way to church this morning, I was listening to “A Way With Words” on the car radio. One caller was asking about the interjections “Say!” and “Hey!” It dawned on me that my imagination has always shut down when someone says “Hay is for horses.” In my mind’s eye, I spelled out the homonyms: “hay” and “hey.” That’s when this poem was born.

(background image based on one by “12019” on Pixabay… with a little generative fill behind the horse)

Song of the God-Danglers

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Commentary

This morning, after I awoke, and long before I got out of bed, I began imagining a travel guide for people visiting my island. In this guide, I would introduce travelers to three groups of people they’re likely to encounter: God-deniers, God-fearers, and God-danglers.

You’ve probably never heard of God-danglers. These people may or may not utter the curse “God dangle it!” In fact, many of them would be far too proper for something so close to profanity. The term “God-dangler” originally* referred to people who wear a chain with some form of religious pendant. And—this is important—they wear it AS a talisman. In other words, they think of God as their magic charm.

But a pendant is close to the heart, and it’s important to understand that God isn’t really close to the heart of God-danglers. That’s when it occurred to me that God-danglers sometimes dangle swords at their sides. Swords, like talismans, are something people rely on to get their way.

So there you have the complete history of the term “God-danglers.” These are people who don’t technically DENY God. They also don’t really FEAR God. Rather, they see God as someone they’d better dangle along to insure they get their way while getting’s to be got.

_____________

*meaning five minutes into my flight of fancy

Dear Sloth

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Commentary

Slow music, even slow dance
Are sometimes great
But I’m sure you can relate:
They’re not for me
When I get up early
And the night before,
I stayed up late.

(background image by Eddy Camejo on Pixabay)

#slowmusic #sloth #dance #worship

Ding Dong Lunatics

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Commentary

Once, long ago a hospital chaplain told me that the hospital is extra busy when there’s a full moon. I believe it. That’s why I looked up the moon phase when I wrote this poem. I was seriously thinking that maybe there was a full moon out there. But there wasn’t. So that’s not it!

Here’s a confession. That first line–My brain’s on patrol–is a clue that the real problem is in my mind. I went to work today dreading the return of a difficult patron. I’ll spare you the details so as to keep my job. Don’t worry…. I maintained my professionalism… on the outside.

It’s a good thing that Monday is a federal holiday, and that I work at a place that observes all holidays….

#learningpatience #dingdongs #lunacy #waxingcrescent #waxingpoetic

(background image by Robert Karkowski on Pixabay)

Rescue

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Commentary

I am exploring the idea that man was created for God’s approval, and nothing short of that will satisfy.

Approval seems like a low bar… until you contemplate the alternative. Now imagine an eternal “Yes!” when all you’ve heard is “No.”

#glory #approval #esteem #maslow #hierarchy

(background image based on a painting by Martina Bulková on Pixabay)

To Be Published

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To Be Published

I could become inscrutable,
I suppose…
Disclose despair
By ripping off 
The clothes of grammar
I have warmly worn
Since I could dress myself.

A fugitive in Philistines’
Protection,
I could let the spittle
Punctuate my unkempt beard,
’Til readers feel
They’re not alone
As long they may have feared.

But what’s the point
In publishing
Some other poets’ lives?
Better just to be
My properly appointed,
Boring self,
A prude in others’ eyes.

— Brad Hepp, 12/29/2023

Commentary

I force myself to read poems that I don’t understand. It seems I’d need a decoding key to cipher why poets sometimes mangle grammar, and why they choose really odd line breaks.

I read these poems and don’t understand them at all, despite having been an English major, and despite having done almost seven years of graduate work after college. The poems make me feel stupid, and inadequate.

Maybe I should stop worrying about it, and concentrate on what God means for ME to do!

UPDATE
What I’m grumbling about here is my sense that poetry seems to be honored in some circles only insofar as it obfuscates or even DENIES meaning. If you read the following short article about “Postmodernism Poetry,” you’ll recognize what bothers me. You may also be comforted—as I am—that it’s not that *WE* aren’t smart enough to understand those bizarre so-called poems, but that the POETS have abandoned reason. They really don’t think there’s anything TO be understood.

https://libguides.ferrum.edu/nationalpoetry…/postmodernism

God’s Love Reaches Lystra

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Commentary

In my crawl through Acts, I’m still camping in Chapter 14. As always, I’m looking for how God works and how he thinks of things.

In this chapter, Paul and Barnabas get to Lystra. Right off the bat, Paul demonstrates God’s powerful kindness by healing a man who was lame from birth. The people of Lystra think that the apostles must be gods, come down in human form. They set out to worship them. But Paul and Barnabas set them straight.

WHAT’S THE CONTRAST?
I’ve learned to look for contrasts in Luke’s story-telling. What’s he contrasting in this story? Most of us probably see him contrasting the fake gods of Olympus with the real God who created everything. That’s definitely there. But I think there’s something else.

A note in the NET Bible alerted me to a contrast between how fake gods leverage FEAR and how the living God operates out of KINDNESS.

Here’s the note: “In this region there was a story of Zeus and Hermes visiting the area (Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.611-725). The locals failed to acknowledge them, so judgment followed. The present crowd was determined not to make the mistake a second time.”

This business of the Lystrans trying to worship Paul and Barnabas as though they were Hermes and Zeus…. It’s out of FEAR. In contrast, everything that Paul does and says in this passage points to God’s KINDNESS.

REFLECT AND APPLY
Read the passage with God’s kindness in mind. Then think about where God’s kindness is highlighted elsewhere in Scripture. Also think about where men oppose God’s kindness. Sometimes it’s people on “our side.” I think of Jonah, who should have known better. He didn’t want to go to Nineveh because he just knew God would be kind to Israel’s mortal enemies in Assyria (see Jonah, Chapter 4).

Now look at your life with God’s kindness in mind. What does that change? Can you see God’s kindness in your own circumstances? Are there opportunities to reflect God’s kindness in how you interact with others?

#acts14 #acts14v33 #netbible #fakegods #fear #livinggod #kindness #goodnews #jonah4

(background image based on one by “eommina” on Pixabay)

Whose Acts?

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Commentary

This is one of those poems that seemed pretty good in the morning, but not so good later in the day. Oh well. I think its goodness–if any–is felt most keenly when you’re seriously contemplating the long wait for Jesus’ return. Below is what I wrote when I had just penned the poem:

In my crawl through Acts, I got to chapter 14. Here, Luke surprised me with one of his occasional references to Jesus’ direct participation in the “Acts of the Apostles.” The fact that I registered surprise got me thinking about this long period now where we’re waiting for Jesus’ return. How are we to think of his seeming absence? I know the usual answer; is there more?

Please notice something…. I don’t usually capitalize “divine pronouns.” In this poem, it seemed useful for exploring relationships.