While much of last year left me artistically dumbstruck, I managed to write a few things. They are quite raw. My hope is that in sharing these, I can encourage you through empathy, where our experiences align. For many people, the doldrums or storms persist, and what is deeply needed is a reprieve. To move, or to rest. To just be normal again, or to remember a greater hope.
I won’t forget 2020 quickly, for all the battles it brought. The scars may remain for a long while. Nevertheless, once again I raise an “Ebenezer” because God has brought me and my family safe thus far.
Please read these as glimpses into moments of the year, most of them lamentations from the wintry middle.
Time on social media
The bitterest scroll is sweet lament
in truth with weeps and warning.
The sweetest scrolling, bitterly rends
my eyes from rightful mourning.
The COVID-19 year
I started the Autumn unable to move.
In May I could not see.
The numbness took over and sleep hid away,
And Christmas had no scent.
The weary world rejoices
you shall walk
and not grow weary
you shall run
and not grow faint.
Locked Down / Falling Leaves
Is anyone else living in middle distance?
My eyes and ears have that furrowed look
confused by what is near and far
and every offer of assistance is through a screen
the screens from which I would break.
Rest, offered through a wearisome avenue.
Pushing my son in the swing, slow,
even he did not want to go high today,
slow rhythms of Autumn and barely a breeze
but the leaves, with nothing else to do
make small comments as they settle one by one
on their neighbours or the ground.
Some mornings I must needs address a sadness
that noun which teachers claimed was drab and lazy
and ought by stronger words to be supplanted
for sharper prose, precise instead of hazy
But all such rich expression fails the stillness.
For surely there are days of saddened weather
when I can spend three letters and you'd hear me
without demanding payments past my tether
For I am sad and have no more to offer.
My heart is middle-distant, heavy plodding,
embracing low ineloquent lamenting.
I need to sit in simple prayer to God.
Busyness. Not success.
Where would I go?
It's not the same out there anymore.
All plans derailed.
Eternity looms the same.
Where will I invest?
How can I rest?
Into the unknown / supply run
Greeted by the distant cheer of cobwebs
as I open my front door
I feel weak and fearful, bright and warm
to go lonely into the crowds.
I heard many attempts at Hope, and found them all lacking. They all began with empathy, which is commendable. In a sense, sharing these poems is not an exercise of Hope but Empathy. But the heart demands the next step, which is Hope. And here’s the truth: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
One thought on “The silence between”
Joe, thank you for your poems. The words describe places where I have been. This last year has resulted in much deprivation of human contact. I long for our eternal home. Thus, we will forever be with the Lord!