“But Thanks Be to God”: A Ninth Reflection

Today is the day the United States government designated for public thanksgiving to God, and so it is fitting for me to, as I have done for the past eight years on this day, reflect on the various ways God has blessed me over the course of my life, and in particular in the past year.

The failure of time in which to write and of memory, and my instinct to prefer brevity over repeating myself, ensure that my first reflection on this theme, in 2009, remains the most extensive and detailed; in subsequent years I have mostly more-briefly listed blessings I had forgotten and those I saw as new. Continue reading


“Psalm 16”

Protect me, God, my chosen hiding place!
As I have said, you are my only good,
And all my joy is in your holy ones
Whose lives show forth your glory in the land—
But those who leave the truth for other gods
Shall surely always see their sorrows grow,
So I will make no offerings to them,
Nor shall I even speak their names aloud.

Lord, you in grace have given me a share
Within your kingdom and among your folk,
And even welcomed me within your house;
Your will and law securely hold my cause,
And you assigned a pleasant place to me.
I praise you, Lord, for showing me your way;
Even at night my heart repeats your words,
And while you always stand at my right hand,
Nothing can move me or shall make me fall.

Even my flesh is safe within your care;
You will not let me slip out from your hand
To fall into the silence of the grave,
Nor suffer rot to touch your Righteous One,
And so my heart and tongue rejoice with praise.
For you will show the road of life to me,
The path to meet you, where is utmost joy,
And grant me pleasure for uncounted days.

A Summer Day (Eduardo Leon Garrido)

This poem is the sixteenth in my series of verse paraphrases of the Psalms. I began this project in 2012, starting with the first Psalm, and have worked on one Psalm at a time; I began this poem soon after finishing my setting of Psalm 15, back in February, but didn’t finish it until earlier this month.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments), follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things), or get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

“Ephemera”: Two Fragments

I’ve long lamented how a moving dream
Will vanish from my morning memory
Before my mind can think to write it down.
But what in life is *not* ephemeral?

With autumn come, the leaves and needles fall;
To keep our gardens clear, we rake them up,
Only to find more than when we began.
And not long now before the winter’s snows,
Which we will have to move, for safety’s sake,
At great expense of precious time and labor,
Then watch it dwindle down beneath the sun.

The first bit above came to me some weeks ago after I again awoke with the emotional charge of a dream lingering but the content fading too quickly, a phenomenon I have written about before. I wrote the latter this week, after an evening’s work raking needles was erased by an even greater quantity falling from the trees. This morning I had the thought that the two fragments might be combined into a single thread of thought, but after reflecting I decided that would take more time than I was willing to spend on it, so they still merely stand separately.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (starting with those linked from one of the “archive” installments, since the full archive is by now, at over two hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know, as part of my preparations for a collection, which poems you think are my best. You may also share it with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This is also archived on my wiki.

Matters of Definition: Issues of Society and Politics

There are several issues, currently “hot-buttons,” on which the Left has managed to convince the media and a substantial segment of the population that theirs is the only reasonable position by assuming and arguing from false definitions. I’d like to take a look at some of these issues, beginning with better, proper, definitions, today. Continue reading

“Behold, our lives”

Each Friday I post a poem, until I run out.

Behold, our lives are like flurrying snow:
Whirled about yet peaceful in childhood’s clouds;
Once dropped in youth, falling ever faster
Yet tossed and carried by the dizzying winds
Until, at a late stage of life, we land.
Some melt–expire–then on the warmer ground,
While some endure, packed beneath the others
Or set atop them to reflect the light
And glory shining down from heaven above
Once clouds and windy snowstorms all have passed.

I wrote this several months ago; I don’t know what, if anything, prompted it, but I decided to save it until the image had a more immediate referent. In any case, as always I welcome your comments, critique, suggestions (perhaps of a real title?), or any other feedback on this poem or any other part of my work. You can also read other poems I’ve written on my blog.

This poem is also posted on my wiki.