I am this season’s child
though I am dressed as spring:
The burning gold of fall is hid
beneath the flow’rs I bring.
While storms of thought are whirling,
and swirl within my mind,
All you see’s the cloudless blue
of clear sky in my eyes.
Dreams and nightmares flutter
like vibrant, falling leaves,
But I doubt you’d ever know
for the roses in my cheeks.
Though my hair’s bright as sunlit May
and my lips brim with laughter,
My birth was a November day
and I am Autumn’s Daughter.
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!
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.
Once again, a graveyard has inspired poetry. This time, it was the historic Greyfriar’s Kirkyard. It was once the post of a loyal dog (Greyfriar’s Bobby) and now is rumored to be haunted by a malevolent poltergeist. It also features several tombstones with names that JK Rowling used as Harry Potter characters! Needless to say, it is a place overflowing with creative inspiration…and wildflowers. Enjoy!
Tombstones sprout among
and tower over you
But you care only for
the shady homes they strew.
And though graves lie beneath
the crumbling, grassy ground,
You care not for the chill
but joy in fertile found.
That ghostly wind that blows
can’t scare with screaming howls;
You care not for wuth’ring,
though larger stems it bows.
Though sun but rarely shines-
even he hides his gaze-
What you care for are clouds,
which white, reflect your face.
Toil not, nor spin in strife
for that’s a desert path.
You care for torrent rain
that to you is a bath.
Though haunts may rumor’d be
and others leave at night.
You care for quiet gloom
that leaves you to bloom bright.
The daisies short still stand,
a clan that does not care
For dark decay and death
that withers others there.
Which lends to us the glow we know as pow’r.
And yet when seasons change and months are done,
We wax and wane with ev’ry passing hour.
Beneath the pale and ever-shifting face,
The darkened side is ever on the lurk.
Pretending this is truly not the case
Becomes the end of all our earthly work.
For yet we make an idol of the moon,
Exalting her and self as the true light.
When we, lunatics, fade upon the noon
And only shine amidst the blackest night.
The moon and we, are mere reflections dim
Of all truth, beauty, goodness bright in Him.”
-Ryanne J. McLaren
I just finished reading St. Athanasius’ On the Incarnation and my heart is full as I ponder the awesomeness of its subject: the Word of God made flesh. I especially am captivated by the beauty of the Son of God as the Image of God and the restorer of humans created “in the image of God.”
Athanasius uses an analogy of a painter restoring his image on corrupted wood. The passage resonated with my soul and I recommend you all read it in Section 14 of On the Incarnation.
For now, though, perhaps you might catch a glimpse of this wonderful idea in this little poem I scribbled during class:
I am an image of myself
Yet formerly One greater.
Soiled, smudged, and shadowy,
An icon turned to traitor.
Ruined of mine own accord,
In need of Perfect Painter,
Who shall restore with loving skill
The art of the Creator.
Just a little reflection through rhyme. I’d love to hear any thoughts you might have. 🙂