Psalm Sunday – Psalm 8

Psalm 8 is probably my favourite of all of the Psalms. I love the night sky (especially on those rare occasions when I can get far enough away from light pollution to truly see it! This psalm always brings to mind the countless stars, and other astronomical wonders such as the Northern Lights.

However, as I meditated on this psalm in preparation to write this poem, verse 2 really caught my attention. The NIV (1985 edition) reads this way,

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger

This verse caused me to think about the wonder that children have in the world. Things that I take for granted, a child sees with wonder. I think it is probably easier for a child to praise God, because they can so clearly see the beauty in all that God as made!

The following poem is a Rondeau, and it is my thoughts on how children see the world

~~

A child’s eyes are eyes that see
the world in all it’s majesty
a puddle’s worthy of the news
and life’s a mystr’y filled with clues
those eyes are awed so easily!

most adults, though, aren’t half so free
to see things as they’re meant to be
what is it, then, that makes us lose
a child’s eyes?

Lord, I confess, I’ve lost that glee
It faded from me by degree
from children, let me take my cues
so that my sight I’ll truly use!
Lord, once again, please grant to me
a child’s eyes




Psalm Sunday – Psalm 3

As I read through and meditated on Psalm 3, I kept being drawn back to verses 4-6,

“I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.” (NIVUK)

My poetic response, therefore, is based on these 3 verses. I tried to write a poem that has the feel of a children’s poem.

A little child in his bed
Had scary dreams go through his head
That had him wake up in a fright
How horrifying seemed that night!

But Daddy soon was by his side
“My son I heard you when you cried,
So tell me now what visions keep
You from enjoying restful sleep?”

A warm hug made fear’s tremors cease
And soon the child was at peace
He knew his Daddy’s love was sure
And so he fell asleep secure

The child could be you or me
The nightmare: trials that we see
Daddy is our God above
Let’s rest – secure in His love.

Parables of Earth – Part III

Soil quality will affect the yield
that a farmer can expect from his land.
for untamed land to be turned into field,
he will have to do much hard work by hand
such as clearing rocks and trees, or burning
brambles and weeds before he will ever
plant any seeds. The process of turning
land from rugged to fruitful is never
easy. Likewise hard work is needed to
make a wise adult out of a child.
Discipline and counsel are needed through
childhood or the youth may remain wild

To give his future crops the greatest worth
The Farmer knows He must prepare the earth.

Parable of the Snowflake

I studied a snowflake until I knew its every nook and cranny, every bump and divot, every point and every void until I could see that snowflake with eyes closed tight. I examined the trace elements held within the water molecules that composed it. I weighed it, measured it, took its temperature and even photographed it.

I became an expert on the snowflake, writing essays and theses, and even books. I traveled the globe presenting lectures to packed houses.

I was world-renowned for my wisdom and insight into my snowflake until I came to the conclusion that no-one could know more about the snowflake than I.

Until one day, a child presented me with another snowflake and told me, “Look!”

I scoffed at the child and said, “I have studied my snowflake for more years than you have been alive. Of what benefit could there be for me to look at your snowflake?”

The child simply held out his snowflake and again said, “Look!”

With haughty superiority, I took his flake, knowing exactly what I would see, but to my surprise, I looked at a structure that held almost no resemblance to what I thought a snowflake should be.

Then, with the child by my side, I looked around where we stood and beheld a million billion flakes of snow covering the countryside, and I wept, because I finally realized how little I know.

~~

On March 2nd, at dVerse, we were invited by host Frank Hubeny to write prose poetry.  Alas, at the time, inspiration did not come to me.  Therefore, I will be sharing this at dVerse for Open Link Night instead…and thanks, Frank, for the prompt (even if I am responding a bit late!)

Bring Your Child To Work Day

NaBloPoMo-Day 2

today I brought my son to work
to show him what I do
and as my co-workers came in
I let him meet the crew
I shuffled papers round my desk
and sent a fax or three
I ate some chocolate java beans
and gave him one for free!
and as he sat beside my desk
to watch me work away
his eyes glazed o’er in boredom but
I made that poor boy stay
he asked me questions ’bout my job
and I tried to explain
but answers that he’d understand
would not form in my brain
but still he asked me questions…
at least a hundred two
I know one thing, now, ’bout my job:
I’ve no idea what I do!

~~

today was in fact, “bring your child to work day”, and I think that it was significantly more productive than my poem made it appear.  I’m not sure that my son really has a clue what I do…but he did have a fairly good time for the most part…I think…

Lunch

his face and hands
besmeared with spaghetti sauce
spoke of a child’s innocence
and the joy
of a good meal

~~

today at dVerse, Brian is challenging us to write poetry of 40 words or less. I managed 20. I wanted to capture a bit of a “picture” with this one.

Theological Discussions With a Three Year Old

The following is based on an actual conversation I had with one of my boys a few years back (he was about 3 years old at the time)

“Daddy, are you God?” he asked
with all the innocent sincerity
of a three year old.

We were standing just outside
the upstairs bathroom
next to the linen closet

“No,” I said “I’m not God.”
And I tried to explain in a way
that a three year old would understand
the difference between me and God

And then he said something
that still has me chuckling
five years later…

“Well, you’re kind of shaped like him,
because you’re BIG!”

But as much of a laugh
as he gave me that day
the sobering thought
that accompanied my laughter
is this:

If my children can’t see God through me
How will they ever learn
to see him at all?

~~

Written for dVerse where, today, Claudia has us writing poems that include conversation.

Instructions

Instructions From One Three Year Old To Another

On How To Get What You Want

Scream

Demand that Mommy and Daddy

Give you what you want

Stomp your feet and

Cry

Shout

Throw a tantrum

Throw a fit

Throw some blocks

Hold your breath ’til you

Turn quite blue

Pound your fists on the floor

…if this doesn’t work…

Do it again – just louder

Now

Wonder why you still don’t

Get your way

Calm down

Say “Sorry”

Wrap your arms around their necks and

SQUEEZE TIGHT

Feel them squeeze you back

Realize…a hug is what you wanted all along

Walking With a Three Year Old

Gay invited me to re-link this post to dVerse, as she felt that (even before I read her article) that it would fit with the “Beat Poetry” theme, so if you have already read this post, you don’t have to read it again  🙂

I’ll try to write something else later, so I hope you don’t mind too much if I link up 2 poems to the same prompt…

 

Sorry, before I get to the poem, I need to give a few notes of explanation:

One of the songs that the Dave Brubeck Quartet was known for was Blue Rondo a la Turk.  A good portion of this piece is written in 9/8 time.   Basically, this means that there are 9 beats in each measure, and the 8th note receives one beat.  Usually, when a piece is written in 9/8 time, it is played with a rhythm of Strong weak weak Strong weak weak Strong weak weak.  Brubeck, however, put the “emPHAsis on different syllables.”  Instead of 3+3+3, he wrote the piece to have 3 measures of 2+2+2+3, and then a fourth measure of 3+3+3, and then that 4 measure rhythm would repeat.  To translate that into poetic terms, you could say that the poem was written in quatrain stanzas with 3 lines of trochee, trochee, trochee dactyl, and then a 4th line of 3 dactyls.  This irregular rhythm seems, to me, to give a rushing/impatient feel.  I wanted to write a poem to this rhythm, and immediately thought of my youngest son, Kai, who is a VERY busy boy.

If you listen to the above link, you can hear how Brubeck and his friends made this work.  Of course, Brubeck’s song has a lot more complexity than just the rhythm I’ve listed above, but the 9/8 feel of his piece is what I wanted to capture in my poem.  You may also notice that the last stanza of my poem has 13 syllables in the final line instead of 9.  If you listen to the end of the Brubeck composition, you will see that I have modeled this after his tune.  I found that sticking to the same rhythm throughout didn’t allow for a metrical resolution, but when I followed Brubeck’s example, the poem felt like it could end.

One other point:  I have capitalized the first letter of stressed syllables to help the reader/reciter get the feel.

And now, if you have been patient enough to wade through all the technical details, here is the poem:

~~

Walking Down the Street with My young son
Discov’Ring the World is So much fun
See him Skip and Play and Jump and run
Look at this Look at that Here’s a stick

Ev’ry Canine We hapPen to see
Gets a ‘ThusiAstic “Hi puppy!”
Life is Simply Grand when You are three
Look at this On the ground See the worm!

Things that I might See and Just pass by
Are uNique to Him and Catch his eye
Things i Take for Granted: He’ll ask why
Why did that Leaf fall down From that tree?

This world I guess Might someTimes seem bland
Unless Our horIzons We expand
So walk With a Child Hand-in-hand
And maybe You will see Something new

Don’t be Afraid To look Through their eyes
I susPect that You’ll have A surprise
That a Kid so Young can Be so wise
Seeing things That we miss Everyday

That’s beCause the World to Them’s still new
And they Haven’t “Learned” to Cloud their view
An adVantage Over Me and you
So why don’t We let them Take the lead And be our Guides

~~

Posted for dVerse Open Link Night.  Come on out and share your own poetry, or read the works of some other great poets!