Only the Novice Never Misses

The novice archer takes and shoots his bow
without a care for where his arrows land
no target was in mind, so he can’t know
if there is any skill within his hand

a more experienced archer aims her shot
and sees her arrow overshoot the mark
she takes her aim and with a little thought
she tries to use a less aggressive arc

the expert bowman hits the target’s eye
and then he goes to analyze his score
“I missed the very center!” is his cry
and so he goes to practice more and more

without a goal each arrow finds its place
but practice shows no archer is an ace


this poem is my attempt to express some thoughts that I’ve had…that it is only when we strive to accomplish something that we realize how far from the mark we actually are…and even if we dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of that goal…we might get better and better, but there is always room to become better.


Wind and Rock

a promise holds no value without trust
that he who made the oath will keep his word
for if the wind told me it would not gust
I’d know that such a promise was absurd

for by its nature, winds a fickle friend
it comes from west to east then east to west
it blows in gales that seem to have no end
until we have a need, then takes its rest

it holds aloft the kite high in the air
then shifts to make the toy dash to the earth
it utters oaths as easily as prayer
then breaks them all and laughs at us with mirth

so trust the Rock that does not move nor shake
the One whose covenants will never break


the people could not bear to see his face
when Moses came away from God’s bright presence
and so he kept a covering in place
to shield them from God’s Holy Spirit’s essence

Elijah rode a chariot of flame
when he, undying, rose up to the sky
his radiance made Elisha exclaim,
“My Father!” when the brilliance caught his eye

with Peter, James, and John upon a hill
Christ’s glory as the Son of God was shown
Moses and Elijah came, but still
The greatest radiance was Christ’s alone

one day his children might outshine the sun
but brighter still will shine the Holy One

Simeon’s Song

Feb.2, according to the church calendar, is the day when we remember the Presentation of the Lord at the temple.  On that day, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple, and while they were there, they met a man named Simeon

Very little is known about Simeon. What we do know is that he was informed by God’s Holy Spirit that he would not die until he saw the Messiah. I do not know what Simeon expected to see when he met the Messiah. Perhaps he knew that he would meet an infant, but perhaps he had a different idea and was surprised by the reality. The following poem is my speculation of what might have occurred on the day that Jesus was presented at the temple

Simeon’s Song of Praise – Aert de Gelder ( 1645-1727)

How dark, O Lord, this world without your light
in ritual we’ve vainly sought your grace
and yet your Spirit said You’d grant this sight:
before I die, I’d see my Savior’s face!

I thought that he’d arrive with show of power
to heal our land and set this people free
That when he came, within that very hour
O Lord, on Earth he’d place Your Monarchy

But now, against my chest I hold a Child
and from my eyes flow freely tears of joy
O Lord: your Son!  So small, so meek, so mild
To think: the Savior is an infant boy!

for many years, I’ve lived in expecation
release me now: for I have held Salvation!


but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30, ESV)

can you imagine Eagle Wingèd flight?
flying high without ever tiring out
can you picture joy all day and all night?
except: No Night! for Heaven is without!

and better yet, think of this if you please:
can you fathom life without any pain?
not just severe wounds or pain of disease
but bumps and bruises won’t be felt again!

but as grand your imaginings are
as fantastic as your mind’s eye might see
it won’t match the reality by far
so much greater than that Heaven will be

The very best thing, though, about that place
is that we’ll see our Savior’s lovely face

Logos (Prayer for a Friend)

you spoke the earth and sky in place
you spoke in place the creatures too
you spoke the fiery stars in space
you speak and you make all things new

you whisper and the mountains shake
just speak and ev’ry knee will bow
a shout from you: the earth would break
one word is all I’m asking now

at a word from you the lame can walk
at a word from you the sightless see
at a word from you the mute can talk
at a word from you the demons flee

oh Lord why don’t you hear my plea
oh Lord would you speak a word for me?


sharing with dVerse

Note: Logos is the Greek word for “Word”.  In the New Testament book of John, the “Word of God” was made flesh in Jesus Christ, and thus Jesus is Logos personified.


“Your doom’s declared! You have just forty days!”
the prophet spits his words with wrathful glee
with vitriolic hate in ev’ry phrase
he calls down curses on the enemy

But then the King of Ninevah decrees:
“Come! All my people weep and fast and pray
for maybe if the God of Jonah sees
He’ll grant us grace and turn his wrath away.”

“Too Late!” the prophet shrieks, “your fate is sealed!”
but God in Heaven has a different plan:
While there is breath, it’s not too late to yield
So Jonah sulks that God’s withheld his hand

The love of God he helped that city find
how was it then, he was, himself, so blind?


almost everyone knows the story of Jonah in the belly of the fish…but that was not the end of the story. My sonnet speaks of what happened a little while later. (Based on Jonah Chapter 3 and the first part of Chapter 4)

Jonah 3:1-5 and 10 is one of the readings for this coming week in the Revised Common Lectionary…and at my church this past Sunday, we discussed the phrase “speak the truth in love”. These influences made me think about how Jonah might have spoken the truth…but love was the last thing on his mind. How much better for Jonah this story might have been different if he had spoken with compassion, grace, and love!