The Thorn Bush and the Lamb


There once was a little red squirrel,

Adam was his name.

He stole an acorn

From the Oak

And ate it without shame.

‘Twas the dead of night, the story goes,

Black as a raven’s wing.

Lightning flashed!

Thunder crashed

From storm clouds gathering.

 

The wind began to howl.

Sharp rain pelted the ground.

Scared and alone,

Adam fled,

No shelter to be found.

He climbed a hill, bare and bleak,

But halted in dismay.

Glistening fangs.

Sharp claws.

A great Wolf blocked the way.

 

Adam ran–O, horror!

The Wolf pursued behind.

Hot breath steamed

On Adam’s tail.

“Help!” he squeaked in fright.

No answer met his cry.

To the crest he rushed.

The Wolf snapped,

But Adam leapt

Into an old thorn bush.

 

Sharp fingers cut him,

Their victim to ensnare.

With glowing eyes,

The Wolf peered

Into the thorny lair.

Through a gap in the clouds,

A single star shone bright.

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

It whispered to the night.

 

Shivering and bleeding,

Adam looked to the skies–

Behind the clouds

A host of stars

Blinked their sleepy eyes.

What seemed to Adam first to be

One voice from one star,

He now perceived

Not one, but many–

Chanting from afar.

 

Their voices slowly rose

From whispers to a song:

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!

It will not now be long.”

“The Law is plain,” said the Wolf,

“Inscribed on the old Oak tree:

‘The guilty shall

Not go unpunished;’

The thief belongs to me.”

 

Out of the waning darkness,

A small, white Lamb emerged.

Amidst the storm,

Its feeble bleat

Scarcely could be heard.

“Run!” warned Adam, but the Lamb

Bowed its downy head.

Teeth snapped,

Claws slashed.

And then the Lamb fell dead.

 

Lustily, the great Wolf

Licked his red-stained maw.

With wicked grin

He prowled nigh,

Blood dripping from his jaw.

“A tasty treat,” declared the Wolf,

“But my appetite

Demands a morsel

More, or two.

You’ll make a fair bite.”

 

As Adam shivered in his cage,

Beneath the Wolf’s cold gaze,

The rain stopped,

The wind calmed,

The thunder rolled away.

Adam wept; what hope had he

To see the break of day?

Long claws

Reached inside

And slowly crept his way.

 

Suddenly, a beam of light

Streaked across the sky.

Shining through

Stem and thorn,

It filled the bush with light.

Squinting through the brambles,

Adam spied the Moon’s bright face.

Grinning wide,

The Moon looked down

Upon his hiding place.

 

“Hush, small one,” whispered the Moon,

“Fear not night’s dark sway;

The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!

And soon ’twill be the day.”

“How can you speak thus,” said Adam,

“And what does it mean?

‘The Sun is coming!’

What good is that

To a wretched squirrel like me?”

 

With a warm smile, the Moon replied,

“Why, do you not yet know?

My face but

Reflects the light

From the Sun’s bright glow!

“We wait for him,” said the Moon,

“And ever through the night,

We bring the hope

Of one far greater,

With the promise of his light.”

 

E’en as the Moon thus spoke,

The Wolf began to howl,

For the light

Singed his fur

And burned him where he prowled.

The Moon joined the stars,

Together singing out:

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

It turned into a shout.

 

“Quiet!” cried the Wolf

As he shook his shaggy head.

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

The call began to spread.

The waking birds joined the chorus,

Across the sky it rang:

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

Every creature sang.

 

Enraged, the great Wolf charged

Into the bush of thorns.

He snapped and snarled,

But far away

Rang out the sound of horns.

Knowing that his time had come,

Adam closed his eyes.

“Too late

It is for me

To see the Sun arise.”

 

But ere the Wolf could reach him,

A loud roar rent the air.

Upon the hill,

Majestic and strong,

Stood a golden Lion fair.

“What can this be?” declared the Wolf,

Scarcely believing his sight.

Behind the Lion,

Low in the sky,

There glowed a distant light.

 

The Lion laughed and answered,

“Your power is undone.

I am the Lamb.

I am the King.

I am the risen Sun.”

The Lion leapt across the hill

His prey to devour,

With mighty roar,

He slew the Wolf

Therein the dawn’s first hour.

 

Frightened and unsure,

In hiding Adam lay.

For surely he,

Lawbreaker,

The King would also slay.

“Fear not, child,” urged the Lion,

“You need not hide from me.

For ’twas your debt

I paid in full,

That you may be set free.”

 

“Come and ride with me,”

The Lion gently said.

“The night has passed,

The day has come,

And home lies just ahead.”

Adam climbed the Lion’s back.

A strange thing met his sight–

A little bud

Amidst the thorns,

Bathed in golden light.

 

Even as he watched,

A sweet scent reached his nose;

The bud opened,

Red petals bloomed

Into a fragrant rose.

Together, squirrel and Lion departed

‘Midst birdsong and bee’s hum.

The rose smiled

And softly said,

“Behold, the Sun has come.”

Grandpa’s House


My grandfather passed away several years ago to cancer. Recently, my family spent some time down at his house visiting an old friend who lives there. All of my grandfather’s things were still there–dishes, furniture, books, decorations, you name it–in the same places they have been for basically my whole life. There is a familiar, comfortable feeling that always takes over when I walk into that place. It still has that welcoming atmosphere that beckons me to explore and to relive my childhood.

The house is literally in the middle of nowhere, secluded by the wonderfully wild surrounding woods. It’s like entering a fairy tale, and is still one of my favorite places in the whole world. Continue reading

Nothing (An Easter Poem)


image

What is faith without the cross?
What’s hope with no empty tomb?
All other paths lead only to loss;
Lies that mask the doom.
But there is a Door, the cost is paid
By one who gave His all.
My soul is claimed, at His feet it is laid.
     Give me Christ or nothing at all!

What is freedom without a Savior?
What’s peace without the Lamb?
Empty words that ne’er can deliver
From the justice of “I Am.”
Works of a dead and rotten heart
Before His purity fall.
Lord, let me not rely on my part.
     Give me Christ or nothing at all!

What is joy without the Son?
What’s love with no sacrifice?
Atoned by the blood of the Holy One
Whose merit alone will suffice,
Boundless grace replaced my chains
With a crown. In Thy glory enthralled,
I’ll lift my voice in loudest praise:
     Give me Christ or nothing at all!

What is life without His death?
What’s my heart apart from Him?
Refuse, filth and foulest breath,
Decayed and ravaged by sin.
Give me not the world and its pleasures
In the end to dust they will fall.
Thy eternal love I’ll gladly treasure.
     Without Christ, I’m nothing at all.

Happy Thanksgiving (and a special gift)!


Happy Thanksgiving to all my dear readers! I am truly thankful for your encouragement this past year. As a special treat, you can watch a video on my Facebook page of my brand new composition, based on the poem I shared earlier this week.

Thanks again, and have a blessed holiday!

Luí na Gréine music video

Luí na Gréine (Sunset), a poem


I was on my way home when I saw it. As I drove through the evening traffic, decompressing from a long day of teaching, a bright light caught my eye. Just ahead, the sun was sinking down towards the horizon. The sky was pale blue and perfectly clear–not a single cloud broke the blue dome.

And where the sun touched the horizon, its light leapt out in every direction, turning the bottom of the sky bright orange.

It was as if the sun was struggling to stay in the sky, fighting against the inevitable with all its might. In one last effort, it threw its flames as high as it could reach and set the horizon on fire so its light could shine on ever after.

Finally, the sun was gone. Its head dipped below the horizon, and in a matter of minutes the orange fire in the sky faded back into blue. As the first stars began to wink through the dusk, it struck me that, even though the sun was gone, its light still remained. For it had kindled the stars, who faithfully keep its flames burning through the night. And in the morning when the sun awakes, the stars will pass that fire back to light the sun again and bring back the day.

This was the scene I witnessed. It was a little sad, yet incredibly beautiful at the same time. And it reminded me of one of my favorite words: hope.

True hope that burns bright, no matter how dark the night gets, because its source comes from Another.

So, naturally, I wrote a poem about it, which in turn inspired a song. I decided to give it an Irish Gaelic title, because a) I love the language, so everything sounds better in Irish to me and b) somehow an Irish title just felt most suitable in this case. Plus, I like the way the phrase looks and sounds (in other words, I’m a word nerd in any language).

I’m still working on the song, but here is the poem for your Monday morning reading pleasure:


Luí na Gréine (Sunset)

Palest blue

Whispers of summer;

Long days gone–their time has come.

With heavy heart

I go to my slumber;

Slipping away, I cling to the day.

 

A tender voice,

Horizon is calling:

“Come to me! O come to me!”

My light shines on,

O keep me from falling.

Let me stay! Bring back the day!

 

No clouds to comfort me,

No place to rest my head…

 

To the sky

My last flames I give.

Take the light, and fear not the night!

And may the fire

Hope and courage give

To burn e’er long; remember my song!

 

Twilight pushes me away,

O why is time so cruel?

 

Flames of gold

Leap out of the blue,

Fade away with the day;

Then spark the stars,

Who wink at the moon.

Echoes of light shine in the night.

 

Silver embers fill the sky,

To light the sun once more…


sunset

 

Blue


A little something for your weekend reading pleasure, inspired by real events. It’s all to easy to get caught up in daily tasks and forget to appreciate the beautiful world we live in. A couple days ago, while absorbed in my own tasks, my eyes were drawn inexplicably to the sky and I just couldn’t get over how blue it was. It seemed to be the brightest sky I ever saw and it captivated me.

Cheers!


Work.

Errands.

Don’t forget the list.

Clean the house, drive the car.

What will I fix for supper?

More errands, for what I forgot.

Oh, to be still again,

To breathe.

Relax.

Continue reading

Fog


Fog

fog

Evening.

The world ascends into the clouds.

Dewy curtains hang upon the air,

Blurring lines and muting sound.

Water.

In the air, above and below,

Misting the earth with feather kisses,

Whispers of rain.

Ghosts.

Hazy images melt into white.

Spectral figures of a dream half remembered,

Fading from view.

White.

Colors and shapes smudged, mingled.

A watercolor world viewed behind a veil

That will rise with the sun.

Erinspell: A Poem for Ireland


Greetings, all!

I have returned to normal life–far sooner than I would have liked, but alas, all good things must come to an end. It was a fantastic trip, and I loved every minute of it! I am excited to share my experiences in Ireland with you all. In the meantime, here’s a poem I wrote during the trip as a sort of “introduction,” to give you a taste of what is to come.

FYI, the name of the poem is just something I made up. I took the first half from the Irish (Gaelic) word for Ireland, Éireann.

Continue reading

Hands


Hands

Tiny hands, soft and new,

Curled ’round a mother’s fingers.

From heavenly voices, a joyful tune

In the night air lingers.

Shepherds and wise, on bended knees

To worship God the Son;

Light of the World, King of Kings,

Son of Man, Holy One.

Born that God’s will be done.

  Continue reading

The Hourglass Trilogy: III. The Lark and the Rowan Tree


Here is the final poem to the set: “The Hourglass Trilogy.” You can read Parts I and II here: Spinning Wheel, Winter Dreams. Enjoy!


The Lark and the Rowan Tree

forest trees

 

The maiden opens the window

And smiles into the warmth of the sun.

She hums softly as she sweeps the floor,

Guiding the broom with her hands in time.

To and fro,

Back and forth.

  Continue reading