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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Love Played Out


 

Love Played Out


God gets a bad rap
From those who know His mind
And yet have never met Him
Nor studied the psychology of the infinity.

With impossible arrogance
We confidently accuse infinite love
Of being responsible for every evil thing
That we ourselves have done to one another.

We demand freedom
From God’s meddling ways
And then we turn around and blame Him
For not making us behave ourselves.

Love is the only thing
That awakens love in creatures
With the free will and self-awareness
That enables us to create as He does.

Infinite Love weeps while we discover
To our dismay that the gifts of choice
That make us what we are can be misused
And God won’t interfere until we’ve learned.

Love cannot be forced
Creation without free will and choice does not exist.
Infinite power must be restrained while classes
Are still in session and so long as we still are learning.

Love requires a demonstration
We learn by experience hard-earned.
We must see love played out before our eyes or we cannot
Allow Him to deliver us even from ourselves.

© 2016 by Tom King

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Rain on the Skylight




Rain on the Skylight

It’s weird, lying here, looking up
Rain dropping from thousands of feet above me;
Pelting down, reaching terminal velocity
Splattering against the plexiglass a few feet from my face.

I wish all roofs were clear and you could see
Through and straight on up into the sky.
Skylights are stingy and even on a clear day or night
They only grant your eyes a narrow view of heaven.

By day the shafts of sunlight in neat rectangles
Track across the carpet, reminding me,
That time is passing and I should be
Out the kitchen door to join the open spaces.

At night, I have to shift myself about the darkened room
To keep my eye upon the scarred moon’s face as it sails by overhead,
Peering down through the plastic as it passes, yet,
Ignoring me altogether, accompanied by the stars.

Because I cannot live outside these days,
I must content myself with my little windows
And the narrow piece of sky it grants to me for comfort
And the wider peace of heart it nurtures in my soul.

© 2016 by Tom King

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Overloaded

An Idyll on the Front Porch

I am not drunk, but sometimes I stumble.
I am not blotto, but sometimes I slur my words.
I am not hammered, but sometimes I get confused.
I am not smashed, wasted, or three sheets to the wind,
But I am in the mood to sing something tragic,
And sad and slightly off-key and out on the porch
With my trusty Squared Eel* and a flagon
Of Diet A&W Root beer and a cheese sandwich.
I should not watch the presidential debates
It's like watching Hitler and Stalin slug it out
And wondering who to root for.
And it only serves to remind me that finally,
The devil has come to claim his due.
I wonder do you have to play the banjo
To see it all for what it is - a rotten Hobson's choice?
And either way we're screwed,
            ......and no one's going to buy us dinner first.

© 2016 by Tom King
* A type of homemade banjo

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

With Tattered Sails

Homeward bound


With Tattered Sails

When we embarked upon this voyage of ours
With just a compass, charts, a sextant, and orders
From the owner of our tiny little ship,
We did not set sail for profit,
Nor for what glory we might achieve,
Nor for notoriety, fame or even admiration.
We hoisted sails and steered our vessel
In the direction where the chart says, “Home.”

There are places on that chart marked,
“Here be dragons” and sometimes our course
Lies right across those uncharted wastes,
But still we have our instruments and our orders.
So, o’er the years we have sailed close-hauled,
Before an errant wind, gentle one day,
A roaring gale the next, hauling on the braces,
Tying down the lines, repairing frayed cordage.

On before the wind we’ve sailed, the two of us,
Splintered spars repaired, replaced, cast overboard,
Doing the best we can to repair the damage,
Making do when we cannot fix what’s broken.
Each year our tattered vessel creeps on,
Looking rather the worse for wear all things considered,
But we on deck, bump along together, stitching parted seams,
Swabbing decks and taking sightings every day.

And sure enough there be dragons as the chart foretold;
Warned us there would be along the course we’d chosen.
And we have fought them as best we could.
Taken wounds along the way - some self-inflicted.
But I have seen the seagulls and the home-bound birds,
And we know that landfall lies just beyond the horizon.
And though she may be tattered He will bring,
Our tired old ship tomorrow certain home to shore.

© 2016 by Tom King

Monday, October 3, 2016

April 30 - Something Welcome This Way Comes


© Public Domain


Something Welcome This Way Comes

In the sodden morning, autumn’s musty breath
Whistles down the lane, rattling the cottonwoods,
Generating expectant whispers high up among
And all along their loosely ordered ranks.

Expectancy hangs like the Spanish moss
Back home in Texas and Louisiana.
Here in the North Country the seasons wear
The passing of time like a pampered fashion plate.

Each season’s turning sends a new and bitter wind
Rattling across the treetops, each year a little colder
Than the last; more fraught with gray, less brightly colored
Less welcoming than in seasons gone before.

And on the porch we sit and note the subtle changes,
Catch the scent that’s carried on the breezes,
Mark the signs engraved against the dismal Earth and sky
That speak of something welcome this way coming.

© 2016 by Tom King


Monday, September 26, 2016

April 29 - Bridge Builder





Bridge-Builder


I remember how that bridges
Always held an utter fascination
When I was just a bootless boy
With ample time and much imagination.
When I would with building blocks, Erector sets,
Hunks of stone, woodpile scraps and slivers,
Litter the house with rickety bridges
That spanned imaginary rivers.

It was the barriers I suppose
That I never really liked,
Always in the way of where I wished to go,
Barring every quiet trail I hiked.
Rivers invited me to build canoes.
Gullies, ravines defied me to try
To traverse intricacies of knots and rope,
Some book had taught me how to tie.

In the intervening years I’ve built
More bridges than I care to say
Some well used. Others, not so much.
It does not matter anyway.
You are not required to always cross
Every bridge encountered everywhere.
Bridge-builders do not mind, just so.
If a bridge is wanted, it is there.

That’s all I really wanted all along.
To leave behind me crossings that abide
A string of bridges, spanning barriers
Paths by which to reach the other side.
I hope that God will leave some rivers
When he makes the Earth anew.  
Chasms I can throw a span across;
And places I can build a bridge or two.

© 2016 by Tom King

Sunday, September 25, 2016

April 28 - A Refuge



 

A Refuge


When I build a place of refuge,
I compass myself about
With walls, but I always leave
A door and window facing out.
I cannot block away the sky
Nor the mountains or the sea.
I will not place a wall between
The warm brave sun and me.

                                                                © 2016 by Tom King