Wildfire

His sorrows spread like wildfire
Through land that’s lush with trees;
An angry conflagration
Consumes the boundaries.

Whereas before the music flowed
Through vibrant life of green,
Now scorchéd earth is what remains
Of dreams that might have been.

Oh, guard your heart and let not grief
Destroy the future too!
The present flames that purge the soul
Are not the end of you.

Copyright 2020. Dennis M. Cortes

(Photo by Joanne Francis on Unsplash)

Arson

“How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness . . . set on fire by hell.” (James 3:5-6)

The wicked tongue of a stranger
pierces my unprotected heart.
His senseless vain remarks
are set aflame by hell.

Today the world can see and hear
what used to be so private.
Bold and brash they are because
they are anonymous.

They’re like the arsonist who sets
the sleepy town ablaze.
The fire is there for all to see,
but not the enemy.

And that’s the state our world is in;
the very air’s unsafe.
The fires are burning all around
while demons run amok.

Copyright 2020 | Dennis M. Cortes | All rights reserved.

Photo by Dawn Armfield on Unsplash

Songwriter

I force myself to write a song;
I find it hard to write.
What will it take to make it strong?
I strive with all my might.

And even if there’s no one else
To listen to my song,
I’d never give up on my gift.
To do so would be wrong.

Success is not the only goal
That one can have in life.
At least, I’ve made the effort;
At least, at least, I’ve tried.

And when my days have quickly passed,
And I have no more voice,
I’ll still feel gladness at the last,
Although my eyes are moist.

Copyright 2020 Dennis Cortes

Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

Rain

Believe the raindrops from above;
There is a Providence that cares.
Lovingkindness watches o’er us,
Watering plants and trees and grass.

The earth drinks in the pouring rain;
The skies are happy to oblige.
The gifts of heaven, daily given,
Are free. Receive – and more besides!

2020 Copyright Dennis Cortes

Photo by Geetanjal Khanna on Unsplash

Temptation

I totter on the steep cliff’s edge.
The roaring waves like music
Beckon to me: “Hurl thyself
Onto the waiting rocks!”

Ne’er have Jaws been so alluring;
Flames leap up the watery pit.
Devils’ heartbeats are expecting:
”Come on down! Come, lift thy feet!”

(I think it’s a good idea to write a poem every time I write a devotional. That way I get to hit two birds with one stone. I also think it would be a good idea to sometimes explain what I’ve written. For example, the poem above is not an encouragement to end one’s life. It’s a picture of temptation. I wanted to capture horrific aspects of temptation: seduction, destruction, enticement, hellishness, etc. It’s serious and demonic and not something to treat lightly. And yes, giving in to temptation is akin to suicide.)

Photo by Lane Smith on Unsplash

Copyright Dennis Cortes 2020

Something in my hand

I carry something in my hand
as heavy as this big round world:
A book so full of heavenly wisdom,
more precious than perishable gold.

An explanation is in order: I’m now applying Atomic Habits to my blogging. Since it’s so difficult for me to get started writing a poem nowadays, I decided to write just one stanza a week. At least I get to write something. Better than nothing.

Copyright Dennis Cortes 2020

Choosing My Life’s Passion

Choosing my life’s passion
is a top priority:
Shall I climb a mountain?
Shall I climb a tree?

Shall I write a poem?
Shall I write a song?
Practice my profession
or play piano all day long?

Shall I preach the gospel
and lead people to the Lord?
or become a judge
and hear cases till I’m bored!

This is paralyzing,
having to decide.
Why not just surrender
to the current or the tide?

Copyright 2020 Dennis M. Cortes

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

A Road to Somewhere

A road that leads somewhere
is what I’m searching for;
not some endless maze
that nowhere goes
save in circles and deadends.

I’ve no desire to walk
a road that leads nowhere;
for what difference does it make
if I trudge on or lie down
never to rise again?

But if my steps are ordered right
by powers higher than my own,
towards a destination set and sure,
then I will strive with all my might
to reach my pre-ordainéd end.

Copyright 2020 Dennis M. Cortes

Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

Nothing to Fear

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear . . .” (Psalm 46:1, 2a)

Fear has no sway over minds fixed on heaven.
Death has no say o’er the Children of Light.
The plague may reap souls by the hundreds or millions,
Still in his love we will safely abide.

The Author of Life who has given us breath
Will preserve the great gift he has graciously given.
His goodness and love are beyond any doubt
Even if the events are beyond comprehension.

So trust in the Lord and commit all to him.
His own children we are – we are precious to him.
And when this storm has passed and the sky once more clear,
We will see in the end there was nothing to fear.

Copyright 2020 Dennis M. Cortes

Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash