Tag Archives: poetry

On Writing Emergencies

Heinlein said it is a sickness. L’Amour said it had to be pursued. I’m inclined to agree with both. Heinlein also said that a poet who reads his work in public likely has other bad habits. So I haven’t read in public but maybe once in my life. I certainly think he’s right on that count.

So there are three basic times in which writing becomes an emergency. Emergency here is defined as a moment when all else must stop and words must be recorded. So the first two are fairly easy to identify – bad times and good times. The third is difficult and usually quite inconvenient. Any time between one and two.

Contrary to legend, one needs not be in a moment of reverie to have the bug hit. I get the call to write with little warning and at any time. Granted, many of my most prolific moments have been in the throes of depression or elation.

But this past week has seen a bender not tied to either. Life has been meh. Yet I have been compelled to produce a half-dozen pieces almost right on top of each other and not all of the same theme.

The Lost Chalks Sessions has most of the new work. And I’m enjoying it immensely. But there are some others floating in there as well.

What does all this mean? Hardly a thing, really. But I have always loved writing. And that’s about it for me.

The Lost Chalks Sessions

Over at Paperscreams, I’ve begun an exploration of some different themes in poetry. The title of this set is partly in tribute to Terry Pratchett, an author who has had a profound impact in the way I see the world. It is also, however, a journey into scenery and thinking about scenery.

Though I hadn’t intentionally devised this theme, I noticed something unusual. In all the poems I’ve written, only three fit what I am now writing. So I’ve kind of doubled down and begun writing in earnest to capture these images of places where I’ve been. Not limited to physical visits, they consist of things from my reading journeys and imagination.

That’s all. Just wanted to provide some insight on the new development.

Sweet rendition of “Your Song”

Jonathan and Charlotte – Vero Amore (Your Song)

Sweet sounds. These two are neato. And their story is pretty cool too. Britain’s Got Talent grads.

Take a look at what’s going on while they’re singing. It ain’t just whistlin.

Wait For Him

Micah 7

Woe is me! For I have become
As when the summer fruit has been gathered
As when the grapes have been gleaned
There is no cluster to eat
No first-ripe fig that my soul desires

I have begun to see
The depths of me
They have trickled through
My sight and to
The fragile bowl
Of my desolate soul

There is so little right
In all that I pretend of light
And that which has a holy glow
Is nothing in me to know
Though I deny my hand
Nothing helps me to stand

And so in death I pour
My last breath out on the floor
Pinned by gravity
By the horror of me
And beg with a whispered word
That no-one near could have heard

But as for me, I will look to the Lord
I will wait for the God of my salvation
My God will hear me.

When this finally
This song sweet as spring breeze
Flies into my soul
Twill finally render me whole
And perhaps strongly
That even I can hear me

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
And passing over transgression
For the remnant of his inheritance
He does not retain his anger forever
Because he delights in steadfast love
He will again have compassion on us
He will tread our iniquities underfoot
You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea

How wonderful a name my nephew has. He has such a lot to learn from the prophet Micah. Powerful to save his soul. Powerful to save my soul.

Micah 5

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.

And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace.

I have known in my head for a long time that my sin, not that of others against me is the target of my warfare. I must delve within me and know that sin, know it clearly and honestly. I have to realize that, though all around me is corrupt, what God is looking at in my life is my sin and That is what I am about in pursuit of holiness. It is and should be a daunting, exhausting and ultimately a profoundly miserable task.

If one can gaze at the cross with anything less than amazement, grief and maybe even shock at the depth of his own sin, where can he find hope? I had to know my destitute condition before I could realize my redemption. In Christ, I find my hope, for in me there is nothing but darkness and misery. His Spirit brings light to what would otherwise be a murky, lurking soul.

See Gollum in the Lord of the Rings story. There’s not much better graphic example in literature today.


And the dancer spins
The time is passing

Soon there will be nothing
His arms flow lithe

He springs into the air
And though the time is no longer there
He moves slower than falling snow

For a long, drawn moment
His wavering shadow lingers
He dances on despite time’s fingers

Then it is gone.

Originally Published on: May 27, 2005


O, what is this?
O, what have you done?
O, what you have done

Like the fellow who hung
There just beside you
Lived his whole life
Perishing, perishing

Who, in a moment
Heard your Spirit
His foot in a grave
And you snatched him from it
Alive, alive

We want this paradise
Like you promised him
Didn’t thank you
For making him good
You made him live

He cried to you
like the poor wretch there
There by the priest
He knew only you
Dead and Risen

You died and rose
You are the root
You are our fount
The one who died
The one who rose

Raise our cups
In Christ, you
For you alone
Are our redemption
And our perfection
Your glory


But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Winds On Our Anniversary

It has been so long
since the wind has blown
across our path
as we stood side by side
in the fields
Five long years
of laughter and tears
in our house
sitting side by side
and apart
Have not rendered us
from living as us
in heart and soul
May you remember well
as I do
these dreams of light
that may yet in our time
come true
Keep hope in you
keep faith in me
keep well its symbol
that is our fair ones
the part that is already true
I will touch you
once again, Love
as winds blow
across our path
dream of me.
For our anniversary on 23 December, 2001.