Category Archives: Poetry

Waiting God

Waiting God

Pregnant silence, so full of expectancy,
Empty of sound
Full of You,
Waiting,
Waiting,
Waiting to be received.
Glistening dew, delicately transparent,
Quivering gentleness,
Your Grace,
Waiting,
Waiting,
Waiting to be absorbed.
Exquisite fragrance, suspended presence,
Unseen,
Your Beauty,
Waiting,
Waiting,
Waiting to be breathed.
Caressing sun, warming depth,
Displacing cold,
Your Love,
Waiting,
Waiting,
Waiting to restore.
Vibrant stillness, restoring fragmentation,
Bringing poise,
God,
Waiting,
Waiting,
Waiting to love

 

by Margaret Dunn

Margaret Dunn lives at Oasis Retreat Centre, Albany, and enjoys this lovely patch of
bush, and is passionate about designing and making quilts now that she has retired.

Source: Refresh Journal of Contemplative Spirituality Winter 2013
Photo Credit: ** RCB ** via Compfight cc

Lover. I wriggle under the implication of that word.


A Prayer

Jesus,
an old hymn tells me that you are
lover of my soul.
Lover.
I wriggle under the implication of
that word.
For if you are lover of my soul
you long for a response
to show you
that I have seen you for who you truly are
– gentlest Love
– warming my heart
– stirring my desire
for more of you …
and more of you …
and more of you …
until I am lost in the mystery
of being with you
in you, of you,
totally,
utterly,
One.
Help me to risk drawing closer to you today.
AMEN


Photo Credit: kt.beyondperception via Compfight cc

from ‘On Holiday with God’ Sue Pickering 2012 Canterbury Press, Norwich

Refresh – Journal of Contemplative SpiritualityVolume 12, Number 1. Summer 2013. I

Sue Pickering wonders often about retreating to a bach at Kinloch and being a granny,
but in the meantime is engaged in a stimulating mix of aged care chaplaincy; writing;
SGM Workgroup; spiritual direction, retreats and supervision; Cathedral governance;
learning the piano and occasional quilting. Helping others recognise the sacred Presence
in the midst of life is a continuing passion.

 

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Dear God,why do I keep fighting you off-

A Prayer of One Who Feels Lost

Dear God,
why do I keep fighting you off?
One part of me wants you desperately,
another part of me unknowingly
pushes you back and runs away.
What is there in me that
so contradicts my desire for you?

These transition days, these passageways,
are calling me to let go of old securities,
to give myself over into your hands.
Like Jesus who struggled with the pain
I, too, fight the “let it all be done.”
Loneliness, lostness, non-belonging,
all these hurts strike out at me,
leaving me pained with this present goodbye.

I want to be more, but I fight the growing.
I want to be new, but I hang onto the old.
I want to live, but I won’t face the dying.
I want to be whole, but I cannot bear
to gather up the pieces into one.

Is it that I refuse to be out of control,
to let the tears take their humbling journey,
to allow my spirit to feel its depression,
to stay with the insecurity of “no home”?

Now is the time. You call to me,
begging me to let you have my life,
inviting me to taste the darkness
so I can be filled with the light,
allowing me to lose my direction
so that I will find my way home to you.

Amen.

Photo Credit: Sam Burriss

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God has not promised

God hath not promised skies always blue

 

God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.

Annie Johnson Flint

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Beginning Again

Beginning Again

Beginning Again


I had thought ‘growing up’ meant
Gaining independence.
Taking my first reckless steps
As I stumbled across the living room floor,
Then, later on, into
Adult life.
Creating a ‘me’ shaped by
My visions, my goals,
My desires –
Accompanied by some
Steepcliffs of learning and a
Painful chastening at times
As I looked back on earlier
Behaviours and their consequences with
Disbelief and regret.
___________
I realise now that I have had the
Map upside down and been
Reading from back to front.
The landscape has changed;
Familiar landmarks are gone.
And I discover that
All I tried so hard to avoid is really
The pathway to what I most desire;
I am exchanging the freedom that confines for
The discipline of love;
Finding my freedom ‘in’ You.
Finding, in this unfamiliar place, that
I feel strangely at home;
A growing sense of belonging despite
My aloneness at time, as
Walls tumble, lines blur and
Resistance evaporates –
Until there is no longer
Thee and Thine or
Me and mine.
Until I am Yours,
Yours alone, and
You are mine, and we are just us

by Jane Hansen


Jane Hansen is married to Jim, and is also a mum and grandma. Jane enjoys country life
close to the Wairere Falls beneath the Kaimai Ranges, visits from family and friends and

writing in response to God’s grace in the blessings and challenges of everyday life.

Refresh – Journal of Contemplative Spirituality Volume 12, Number 1. Summer 2013. I

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Fire and Wildfire


Fire and Wildfire

Fire…
Warming
Enlightening
Protecting
Bringing safety

You are the fire I seek, the fire I yearn for,
the fire I invite…

But sometimes the fire is wild…
Purging
Destroying
Martyring
Consuming

You are the fire I avoid, the fire I dread,
the fire I run from….
Until trapped, I turn to discover

The fire that consumes anger with solace
The fire that consumes bitterness with sweetness
The fire that consumes injustice with peace
The fire that consumes resentment with love.

And standing before the bush that burns yet is not consumed
The holy ground
The sacred space
I cover my eyes,
I throw away my shoes,
And pray that the flame that never dies
Will make its home in me.

by Margaret Tooley
Margaret Tooley lives in Auckland New Zealand where she works as a spiritual director and church musician. She believes her most vital calling is to encourage others to discover and use their gifts for the glory of God.
Refresh – Journal of Contemplative Spirituality Volume 12, Number 1. Summer 2013. I

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Contemplation is not trance or ecstasy

There is “no such thing” as God Because God is neither a “what” or a “thing” But a pure “Who,”

Contemplation is not trance or ecstasy
not emotional fire and sweetness that come with religious exaltation
not enthusiasm, not the sense of being “seized”
by an elemental force
and swept into liberation by mystical frenzy.


Contemplation is no pain-killer


In the end the contemplative suffers the anguish of realizing
that he no longer knows what God is;


This is a great gain,


Because “God is not a what,”
Not a “thing.”


There is “no such thing” as God
Because God is neither a “what” or a “thing”
But a pure “Who,”
The “Thou” before whom our inmost “I”
springs
into awareness.


A Book of Hours

Refresh – Journal of Contemplative Spirituality Volume 12, Number 1. Summer 2013. I
Photo Credit: Rising Damp via Compfight cc

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Flow Motion

Flow Motion   You know those moments? I think we've all had them   Those moments When you are caught unaware Those moments When you least expect it

Flow Motion


You know those moments?
I think we’ve all had them


Those moments
When you are caught unaware
Those moments
When you least expect it
Those moments
Of inexplicable lucidity
When you slice off a sliver of time
And hold it gently
In the palm of your hand
Mesmerized
For a single, solitary
Flow-motion second


You know those moments?
Those bullet-time moments?
I think we’ve all had them


Where you catch your breath
And swallow your heart
Those moments
That reverberate
Through every hollow and strand of DNA
Those fundamental moments
That resonate
In sympathetic vibration
Resound
In harmonic excitation
Through every fibre of your very being
With the ebb and flow
The hum and thrum
The suprarational rise and fall
Of the divine Song


You know those moments
Those sweet, afterglow moments
I think we’ve all had them


That awaken the senses
And linger on the tongue
Like the tremulous thrill of your first kiss
Those transcendent, translucent moments
When you feel so alive
So uninhibitedly free
Those glorious manifest moments
That venture
Beyond the borders
Of intellectual propriety
With childlike curiosity
And dauntless, clarion faith
Moments where you expand up, up, up
On your tiptoes
Stretch your soul to the Sun
Arms outstretched to the fringes of the horizon
And plunge headlong down the rabbit hole
In the most exhilarating, electrifying free fall
Animatedly suspended
Upon billows of bliss
Frozen
Within a sliver of Immortality


For a single


Solitary


Flow


Motion


Second


***


— Mac, 2013

Mac Mackenzie


Mac Mackenzie is a folk singer, musician, poet, essayist, penny philosopher, slow life advocate & emerging minimalist. He speak’s English & Gaelic. He likes to dream and tell big fish stories. He like’s God & God likes him. You can read more of Mac’s work at his Blog Diary of an Arts Farmer and follow him onTwitter and Google+.


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Barry Pearman
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God of the Storm is Living in Me…

God in Me

God of the storm

is living in me…

The infinite power,
all consuming, overwhelming.
A furnace of energy where the
thunder is stored,
and where the lightening is born.

Resides in me?


Creator

Who makes moons that draw oceans;
stars to navigate by;
Whose vastness who can comprehend,
Whose footstool is the sky

Is contained by me?


Father

Who gave his only Son
Love that can only be measured by His suffering
Hanging on the cross
The cross ‘between the trees’

Dying for me…..

So that he might be resurrected, so that I might be redeemed

That he would dwell in me?


Oh Great God

Who encloses and indwells me
With the heartbeat of the blessed Trinity.
Whose river of living water
arises from eternity.

Never let me the forget the truth of your presence.
For he who seeks you only without
Fails to know the rivers of delight
Which flow from our innermost selves.

Oh Great God

Consume me, fill and transform me
Not only with head knowledge
But with a heart forever bonded
In relationship, in union with

You – Father, Holy Spirit

Son of God.


Ana Lisa de Jong
Ana blogs at Joy in a New Way  and you can follow her on Google+ 

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Poetry as a Safety Valve for Mental Health

Safety valves


We all need someone to confide in. A listening ear. Sympathetic company. Though some things are too close for comfortable sharing. Too painful to pass on to another.


They can remain hidden deep inside. Buried, to all intents and purposes. Or we choose to release in a different way. We vent. Rage. Cry. Or maybe express the inexpressible in a different form.


When adult life crowded in demandingly for me as a child, invading my mind and body with things it was far from ready to receive, I poured out my heart in words. Diaries locked with a key only I possessed. Journals. Notepads. Imaginary tales to escape into as I scribbled out stories with happier outcomes than mine.


Books became my safety valve. As I retreated into other worlds in my head, the one I inhabited in the flesh lost some of its power to cause me pain.


Poetry spoke to my soul. A balm to soothe a fretful heart. Here was understanding. Empathy. Every human emotion laid bare. An unleashing of feelings from another that brought a degree of healing to my own.


For many years, my personal poetry and prose remained hidden from prying eyes. Private. No entry. Until God began a deep work unearthing all the dark material to bring about emotional healing from childhood emotional and sexual abuse and the mental health breakdowns they contributed to.


An unfolding was precursor to my soul unfurling toward the warmth of God’s Light again and a grateful return of this prodigal daughter to her heavenly Father’s loving embrace.


Now, I read for pleasure and interest rather than escapism. And I write out my heart in poetry and prose in a way that helps release the pain of challenging circumstances in order to bring a light of recognition in another’s eyes.


Those “You too?” moments and sharing of woundedness are a comfort to others and a huge blessing to me too.


I have a great desire to support those who may be hurting emotionally from a painful past pervading the present or challenging circumstances.


My goal is to help set others free by sharing my story and how God is still in the process of deliverance and restoration.


We don’t have to live chained lives.


We can break free.


We can come alongside and support each other in our journey toward healing and wholeness


Poetry helps me so much. It blends the prosaic with the profound as a poet draws from observation of their own external and internal reality to present a deeper, universal truth hidden within.


As I write, spilling words on a page, it is undeniably cathartic for me, as well as a means to pave the way for those who read it to find release too.
I hope and pray that you will find some “Me too” moments as you read the poem below.


Safety valve

Sometimes our pain
gets buried
deep inside
locked up
inaccessible
in a safe place
where we hide
our true selves
from prying eyes
yet wounds will
fester when left
unattended over years
and seep their poison
through our systems
releasing more
anxiety and fears


We need an outlet
safety valve to
vent within constraints
a catching-place
for leaking holes
where what is
heard is veiled
yet has intent
I express myself
through poetic lament
to pour forth
words as water
releasing mercy drops
that may hit
the spot for other
thirsty souls
©JoyLenton2013


This is a guest post from Joy Lenton. Joy is a wife, mother, M.E. sufferer, avid reader, poet, blogger, communicator and full-time follower of Jesus and lives in Norfolk, United Kingdom. Discover more about Joy at her about.me page


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Consider sharing it with others by using the Social Networking sharing options below. Thanks

Barry Pearman

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