Chastisement

Sorrow – painful sorrow –
fills my long and gloomy days.
Life’s a mixture of deep sadness
and unexpected grace.

The Lord is good and has to me
brought blessing from my pain.
But tears are my sad portion still;
they wash not sin’s deep stain.

Because I chose to disobey
and rebel in my youth,
to my life’s end I’ll always bear
the burden of this truth:

“Man reapeth what he soweth,
forgiven tho’ he be;
God loveth and chastiseth
that we may be holy!”

(Photo by Aliyah Jamous on Unsplash)

Brownout

Brownout.
Black actually.
It is hot and sleep cannot
descend on me,
not when the heat drives it away.

I hear the thunder rumble
far away,
and the clanking of the chain
around the old dog’s neck.

Far away too
is the music of a party
that won’t accept
its cause is lost.

Oh well,
the night is deep
and sleep is miles away.
Let it come when it so desires
and bring with it cool breeze.

(Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash)

Sushi and the Sun

Just one thing:
like sushi
in Jiro’s life.

Reminds me of the Sun.

The Sun at the center,
outshining everything.
No stars, no moon, no planets
are visible to the eye.
They are hidden from sight
by the one supreme light.

Whether this is a life worth living,
I am not sure.
Hyper-focused on one thing
to the exclusion of all else –
Is that not an idolatrous waste
of energy and time?

To look at the sun
straight in the eye,
never averting one’s gaze,
is to be blinded by light.

(Photo by Luigi Pozzoli on Unsplash)

Save maybe …

God’s mercies fall like heavy rain
from morning clouds above;
the earth awakes alive and sane,
responding to His love.

I wake to wonders all around,
a world that smiles at me.
But though these miracles abound,
deep sadness covers me.

I long for love and joy and peace,
but find these difficult to grasp,
save maybe in a father’s wish:
an infant’s hand to clasp.

(Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash)

After hearing a sermon on Pride

Pride is the sermon for today,
a serious malfunction of the soul.
The preacher presented the consequences
and pointed the way to be made whole.

To be proud and to be arrogant
is to follow in the devil’s steps;
‘Tis the humble and the penitent
whom the Holy Spirit helps.

I surrender, Lord, this vicious heart
for you to cleanse and cure.
Tho’ powerless from you apart,
in you the victory’s sure.

(11 August 2019; Robinson’s Bacolod)

(Photo by Annette Batista Day on Unsplash)

The Son and the Vineyard

At first he said, “I will not go;
The vineyard I won’t tend.
There are better things that I could do.
A hand I will not lend.”

He wrote a lot of poetry
and played the piano too;
and his career was doing well-
this was what he loved to do.

But his father loved the vineyard;
he could not fathom why.
He cared for every inch of it;
for it he’d gladly die.

And the son felt guilt stirring
in some deep neglected place.
He sensed his father’s sadness
when he looked into his face.

He raised his eyes and saw the need
and thought the matter through:
“The vineyard that he loves so much,
could I not love it too?”

“I’ll go to work today,” he said,
“in the vineyard by the lake.
In spite of my misgivings,
I’ll do it for his sake!”

(Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash)