How painful in cruel irony…
That you, though sighted, cannot see:
Deafness- not pride- is Beethoven’s malady.
This “unlicked bearcub” of a child
Was born spirited and wild,
Yet yearned to love, kind and mild.
But those called to the highest aims
Are ne’er allowed to stay the same:
Both blessing and curse shall raise a name.
Torn ‘tween the two he yet did know
That despite the silent, awful blow,
The call of Art he was destined to follow.
The Muse and Virtue spurred him on;
This lifesong born and bred in Bonn
Would never, though softened, fade as gone.
Tired eyes shall ruin writers
And fear mute the tongues of singers.
But these who quit are amateurs
For trials train the masters.
Art’s best servants are the ones
Who fight to finish work begun.
These faithful press onward through life
To create art out of their strife.
Three in the morning,
an hour of woe,
Breathes heartache and mourning
and deepest sorrow.
Its minutes are counted
with seconds and sighs
As in blanket-mound bed
fears dance ‘fore sore eyes.
The moments just lumber-
a funeral dirge-
While we, seeking slumber,
turn, toss on its verge.
The stillness is silence
as cold as a tomb
Yet burns so intense
it crowds th’empty room.
No pillow can soften,
nor lullaby light,
The three o’clock coffin
of a restless night.
The Solar Eclipse 2017 was the *literal* highlight of today; all anyone seems to be able to talk about are eclipse glasses, viewing parties, live streams, testimonials of why not to stare directly into the sun, apocalyptic premonitions, the stupidity of needing to be told not to stare into the sun, pinhole box tutorials, etc.
Although I did get in the spirit of the eclipse by making a rather shoddy pinhole box and baking “eclipse cookies,” it became, for me, an opportunity for theological and allegorical contemplation. As with most moments of intense thought, poetry happened. Please read (aloud if possible!) the following and share either this post or your thoughts.
In the beginning were made two lights:
The Greater gleam to rule the day,
The Lesser govern vassal night.
The First burns of his own pure pow’r,
The Second purposed to reflect,
Yet greedy, grabs a sunlit hour
And, doing so, her rule rejects.
She vain ascends from queenly throne
To tame and topple truer King,
Like we who take more than our own
But conquer only creeping things.
We watch below to cheer her course
For hers is our selfsame desire;
We both image a brighter source
Yet wish to usurp fueling fire.
The Lesser light in pride covers
The shine of right ruler at last.
But lunatic, our governor,
Can only fleeting shadows cast.
Yet we determine just as she
To place self ‘fore the Greater one
And forget in sad irony
That we glow solely by the sun!
Pure gold cannot be dimmed by her
Except to those on lowly earth.
She blots naught but her own silver
And rules as we but dark and dearth.
Though hidden to our sight below
The King yet unabated burns.
The moon cannot his rule o’erthrow
And to permitted path returns.
For when she did achieve her aim
False queen could barely extend night.
Just so, we find ourselves the same;
When seeking more, losing all light.
Soon scheming moon shall fall away
And eclipse turn coronation;
To crown the sun’s most radiant rays
That lumine ‘cross all creation.
When night falls yet I cannot sleep, words crowd my brain. The following two poems, one serious and the other silly, are the products of last night’s writing:
I lay still in my bed
yet hover ‘tween the sheets
propelled by the heart
which wakefully beats.
A’whirl my mind spirals
through darkening, deep
space starry with fears,
that burn bright without sleep.
Insomnia is poet’s ale-
no ailment once in words!
And worry is a hearty pie
that fuels the pen to verse.
Heartache makes a decent draught
to nourish sonnet’s rhymes.
And sorrow’s meal, though bittersweet,
scribes songs of better times.
No writer ever sleeps with ease;
prose lends him no blanket.
‘Tis poetry for nights like these
to make the best of it!
Please read the following poem. Then, please click the link and listen to me read it; I have of late found great value in reading poetry aloud. Once you do those two things (it should take but two minutes of your time), you are welcome to read my explanation of the poem or to interpret it for yourself. I’d imagine both will lead to similar conclusions. Finally, if you are so inclined, I would love to hear from you! Thank you in advance!
First, the written word:
Sing, Muse, of rage-
or rather- Desire.
Drive with twin rhyming whips –
Name and Fame-
up mountains toppling, rising peak,
ever crying, out of reach,
“On, on, onward!”
Harpy howl to clamoring poets’ ears
as siren song does fall.
Dazzling, drawing, drowning:
divine-seeming, it pulls
still higher, higher
up Tow’r where language
began and begins
“On, onward, pilgrims!”
So scaling e’er, traipsing eager,
worshippers seeking sanctuary
not for rest
but to exalt,
that which in climbing, we sculpt:
New relic, sainted self.
Oh! To be one of the many few,
who, pious, always “onward”
and yet- when time trickles low-
Wherefore place an icon made
(like us only in its fade)
of substance age-old, ever-new:
Ambition dressed as Holy Muse?
Second, the spoken word:
Finally, a brief word of explanation:
I found myself forcing creativity today, working to compose a piece of music without passion. I was inspired only by the thought that if I finish this, it will be another successful accomplishment to my credit.
But as I realized that selfish ambition was my main motivation (at the moment), I was deeply convicted. Why create at all if what compels me is untempered ambition? What profits it to climb what a favorite author of mine calls “the Alpine Path” if I seek only to plant my lonely, temporal banner at its peak?
And, as in most moments of intense emotion, poetry happened. In scribbling and speaking this poem, I was able to recall why I write and compose: not to glorify myself but, as in the parable, to be a faithful steward of my talents. To do this, I must write to the best of my ability to reflect the true Author and pray that my words will direct minds toward the living Word.
I often refer to my novel as “my baby” and I know this is a tiny bit weird. But, being a writer, I really could not care less if I’m weird.
Still, I think I have a valid point when I call my novel a baby, as…
“Writing a Child”
It changes each chapter
and brings me to tears,
Especially now as it
becomes a two-year
old- it calls and it cries
for it’s always in need
to stuff it’s word-count
with research as feed.
Such tender affection
to nurture its plot;
for I joy when I’m writing
and guilt when I’m not.
It’s silly and moody
and can’t make up its mind
if it wants to be three books
or five of a kind.
I yearn for a day when
it’s finally grown
and publishing rights
are all of it I’ll own-
but then will I miss it?
A mother no more?
Or is being an author
much, much better for
My sleep-schedule, diet,
Or will I be pacing
awaiting the critics
and readers reviews…
Oh! Poor baby novel,
how can I leave you?
I must make you stronger
to stand on the shelves
amidst the great classics
who fend for themselves.
My troublesome infant,
mind-born and ink-bred
please, please obey me,
as when sprung from my head-
for then you were simple
and naked and pure
and how to raise you
I felt so very sure…
Yet still I am patient
and faithful to thee
and will guide you until
in covers neatly,
we’ll bind up and copy-
swaddle and send you
to share your small story
with those we pray who
will adopt, read, and love
‘midst this wide-worded world
the novel in labor,
I’ve finally unfurled.
I had the joy of visiting Tyndale House yesterday and meander through its enchanting library. I could feel the words of the ages trickling down from its shelves as rain pattered outside. It was like walking into a poem! So, naturally, this happened:
No clock ticks
for time has ceased
and yet means everything;
It’s flowers faded
now pressed, relics-
of logos labyrinth.
Beyond, the rain
lost moments counts,
but here the very air
holds its breath,
and slow, exhales,
dead ages still alive.