Archive for the ‘North’ Category

Feeling that some of you may have felt a bit let down on yesterday, today, I share a poem (below) that more directly bares my thoughts and feelings as a man caught up in the romance of life.  As my readers now know, my first choice was not to share a traditional “love poem” on Valentine’s Day.  Instead, I shared my annual Black History Month poem for 2014.  Love poems are some of the most difficult to write, because they easily become dull expressions of immaturity, lust, and someone else’s private affairs (fit only for voyeurs).  Often love poems lack meaningful and memorable images; and tend to rely heavily upon childish and singsong rhymes, or over-familiar language that is dry, offensive, trite, and unbalanced.

What I prefer to speak of, then, is love that is an aspect of divinity, appearing first as a lifetime commitment and continuing as everlasting life.  (The truth being told, many of us can only confess to having been caught up in the storm of emotions we too quickly labeled “love”, and we only ever embraced ashes and smoke—the residue from fantasies of love.)  Even so, recent weather events, here, have made me more aware of my love for the sphere of our living.  We have now seen blizzard and earthquake in the Nation’s Capital.  In addition, not long ago, I saw a rare sight where, to the East, yet not to the West, one layer of clouds was being blown by the wind, all rushing in a straight line to the South, while a layer of clouds rushing just above it were all being blown on a straight course to the North.  I asked myself, how can that be—having never seen clouds layered that way—and knowing the answer, that nothing is impossible with GOD.  (Almost immediately a stranger came to me who said, “…it’s the Polar Vortex.”)  I thought to myself, then why aren’t the clouds whirling in a circle?  I have completed many studies of the Arctic and Antarctic as well as meteorology, and I never came across any mention of a polar vortex.  Surely, this is another one of those pseudo-scientific explanations that do not come from GOD, and are not intended to build upon, encourage, or reinforce faith—or a genuine love of the earth as our home, and our inheritance.

 

A Blazing Heart:  Valentine’s Day, 2014 

I saw the hawk in flight before the snow
That elephant fat and ivory white
Invaded neighborhoods and water holes
The cold of winter savannah grass a graveyard
And had I fled the beauty that we suffer
Would have melted away in an instant

My tears instead were for a love I lost
The missing her the smothering of frost
The breath I needed to make my wings lift high
When warm air streams made impotent and dry
The land locked jumbo jets again too slow
Made me see again that none are free to fly

Should doubt or fear be master lion fierce
The tenderness of kisses do not pierce
Or penetrate the wall’s defense
And wisdom gone there is no penitence
That shovels away the cuts when we are gored
That comes by seeing others in their joy

Not envious and yet not warmed as when
We easy join and soar our hips in rhythm
Our hearts ablaze by the fire of our need
For one another fed at first with kindling
then with logs of truth not sad for him
I know that he has flown to where his love is

Signature Mark

©Michael Andrew Williams, 2014.  All rights reserved worldwide.

 

As for every poem I write, readers must now engage the piece, and come to know it.  The poem must rise or fall, speak for itself, and stand in its own merit.  As author, my final words must be (at the risk of sounding like Pontius Pilate), What is written is what is written.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  (John 13:  34-35, KJV)

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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      Truth be told, I am not sure I am strong enough to return to writing a daily blog. I’ve recently spent considerable time investigating retirement overseas. (Those who account heaven as their home eventually feel that they are misfits in America, in Washington, DC, and in the earth. It becomes increasingly unclear whether those places are still part of the kingdom of GOD. Believers are not condemned as Satan to wander to and fro in the earth. Even so, we know that given the extremes of dishonesty, envy, hate, indifference, isolation and violence, mature believers can never have a true place of rest and safety—a home—on any battlefield. Here, I have been assailed by cold to the point I began to seek shelter in Kingston, Jamaica, then broadened my search to include Aqaba, Jordan, Belize, Panama, the U. S. Virgin Islands, Reno, and Las Vegas.) On the one hand, I’ve not been officially relieved or replaced. On the other hand, I have received no orders sending me to a new post elsewhere, and I have no commandment to abandon my post, here. It is impossible to “give in” or to quit knowing it implies the condemnation and loss of many who are in need and unassisted. Perhaps, the best way to find out what I may do is for me to return to writing with a positive attitude and firm determination, trusting GOD, as always, to oversee all things.

      Today, I have chosen to share a poem written for Black History Month 2013 titled COMPASS (below). Preparing to view the recent annual program awarding Oscars, I saw a trailer to the motion picture Lincoln by Director Stephen Spielberg; and I was deeply impressed by lines delivered from actor Daniel Day Lewis that were attributed to the 16th President of the United States of America. Mr. Lincoln’s words seemed incredibly suited as an introduction to my piece: 
 

“A compass, I learned when I was surveying, it’ll… It’ll point you True North from where you’re standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps and deserts and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp… What’s the use of knowing True North?”

Copied from the IMDb Internet site, “Memorable quotes for Lincoln (2012)” 02/25/2013 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443272/quotes?qt=qt1872291)


THE GOLDEN ARROW: Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2nd Corinthians 4: 1-7, King James Version)

COMPASS
[A Poem for Black History Month 2013]

So great a journey lies behind, ahead
a savage twisting road, a steep ascent
with sudden dips and drops, a dark decline
that swoops up into high above the soaring sun

the sweet expanse of light
it is no wonder we are bent, inclined
to seek great strangers, a special one
one sent, and recognized by turning point

events, great victory, great glory
or great loss, that we long for
known by absence more than deed
because challenge continues, as does need

where we would have an answer speak
and step, before, beside, along with
surely, what we want is called a friend
and our history, together, is called we

the fragments of our struggles rise and fall
and friends determine what we will recall
great strangers are yet strange, and so we fail
to stay upon their path, we blaze a trail

that costs us dear, and dear are only those
who remain near, and trusted, touched
or gently held, we are ourselves the stars
that must shine forth a way to life and truth

the empty hall of heroes must be filled
with a transformed past displaying what should be
so that all the truly great
stand with us now in seeking our today


©Michael Andrew Williams, 2013. All rights reserved.