Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Today I present an acknowledgement of Nelson Mandela that I have been sharing with U. S. President Obama, the Ambassador of South Africa Rasool (Washington, DC), U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and others, a poem, ALL AFRICA REJOICING.  Just as the power of a single word, so the power of a single association or a single image.  The poem appearing upon the page is always only a fragment of the writers mind, while the other pieces are to be found within the reader.  At best, a poem is a fragment of thought, a phrase, and a small abstract of a great whole in place as the writer’s mind.  Specially for this reason, there should be some order, some direction, some integrity.  I look forward to your comments.  Be encouraged!

ALL AFRICA REJOICING
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela  (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013)

All Africa crying
Tears of joy
The cataracts of Tugela cascading
Thunders rainbow laden
Licking her chops as a lioness over prey

Surely, it is an act of GOD
When Methodist schoolboys
Escape Bantu education
To fill their hands with King Protea blooms
Broad fields of destiny and law

The sudden prison bars of island waves
Treacherous currents that torture you
To tell all your truth
Your tribal secrets
Your names, your hearts committed

There will be a future, the defense of peace
We must hide until then by silence
Stone face, arrested smiles
Or weeping gasps and snatches of
Breath in the cosmic egg, infinity

The splendid USA, a shining revolution
A heritage of reconciliation
From a common ground of shame
Nguni and the troublemaker’s rest
Amandla

The soil of the escarpment opens to embrace
Collusion, victory
The covert ancestral home
The rich earth of sky children
And the offspring of the trek, for all are welcome

From Joburg to Harlem
From Niagara to Soweto
Hands should now clap rhythms for dancing feet
Drums should now sound for freedom dreams
Made real

A hero of the Boer Wars released
Home again from Cape Town and Pretoria
The pantheon of ancestors
The power of our believing is now increased
The vision we all bled for still alive: 

Two elephant tusks and ears of wheat
A knobkierie and a spear
The secretary bird with wings expanding
Banded warriors beneath their rising sun
All Africa rejoicing

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2013.  All rights reserved.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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Rooftop
THE ROOFTOP AERIE photo taken with Blackberry Curve 8330 Smartphone, Silver 2.0 Mega pixel digital camera.  I hesitated, at first, because of the blinds, candlesticks, and obstacles.  Remembering Josef Albers and Piet Mondrian, I decided this could be a good capture.  (Michael Andrew Williams, February 16, 2013)

I am startled by life on the Sabbath day
The Cooper’s keep alive
Himself exposed on rooftop
The breeze browning and spotting the wing
While the finch was pursued only by sunlight

Unafraid, the black and gray curious drew near
Poking about the aerie
As if it were their home
And the unseen roost is totally unoccupied

Even the casual viewer finds movement
Among branches that were dead
Before winter fell
And the remaining evergreen that opposes
Proclaims there is yet a Creator.

Wait for it.  For the jay has visited this very spot
Seeming to be alone, also.  Invisible by stillness
She will move.  He will move.  One will move
And the other will continue sight unseen

One will leave.  One will return.  Two will disappear.
Two will examine all things slowly.
The talon unstained and glorious
The day of rest in peace

The power of the hawk in husbandry
Bespeaking the lives that are to come
Making bold those who otherwise are prey
and humble those who otherwise are faithless

The discovered entanglement
A wild and natural provision
Building and nesting suspended
A city of acknowledgment and praise.

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2013.  All rights reserved.

      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.

The reign of Solomon is the topic, today, and there is more on understanding the doctrines and teachings on hell. A “Yahoo! Answers” writer using the ID “Sleeping Beauty” (Level 1 with 11 points, a member since November 25, 2012) posted the following:

Why did Solomon bring the golden age of Israel instead of King David?

greatest king

THE BATTLE AXE: Understanding Hell (01/09/2013)—Hell is no place in divine order that compares to earth or heaven. As an aspect of what happens to the dead (from dust thou art, unto dust thou shalt return), we may think of hell as beneath the surface of the ground, and as being the earth itself. However, that does not begin to fully explain what becomes of ones spirit. There are no created beings, living creatures, or living spirits in hell. Even for clergy and mature believers it is very difficult to harmonize the many details and subtle truths that are the full doctrine of hell provided by the holy scriptures. It requires growth to higher levels of faith, and may take years of prayer and careful study. The difficulty is increased by the errors of those who do not believe in Christ as their savior, error from those who are practicing deliberate deception as servants to the Devil, and error from those who mean well and are misinformed, superstitious, or spiritually undereducated. Many promote the belief that hell is the place where Satan rules over sinners. However, that and similar ideas derive from powerful impressions made by amusements, entertainments and popular culture. Examples include folk tales, opera, and poetry such as “Paradise Lost,” Dante’s “Inferno” and Goethe’s “Faust.” In the same way the things recorded in the holy writings are not intended as a detailed biography of any person’s life, or a comprehensive history of human events, the Scriptures are not intended to explain the full details of birth, death, life, or damnation. The Scriptures provide peculiar frameworks and outlines that allow men to apprehend revelation and reassurances from GOD. GOD is not the author of confusion; and the goal of understanding is achieved only through diligence, endurance, love, and truth, never through bullying, deception, fear, or presumption.

THE GOLDEN ARROW: Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. (John 18: 36-37, KJV)

THE DOUBLE DAGGER: The Root of Jesse (01/03/2013); Newness of Spirit? (01/04/2013); Son of Man (11/28/2012); Given the Cloud of Witnesses (11/29/2012); The Priesthood of Kings (10/17/2012); Childlike Faith (10/18/2012); Lion of Judah (01/10/2011); Rich Yet Saved (11/11/2010)

May I share some Thoughts:

Many speak of King Solomon as having brought the “Golden Age” because during his reign the Temple at Jerusalem was begun and completed to serve as a permanent house of GOD that would replace the mobile, temporary shelter that was the Tabernacle fashioned under Moses. The Ark of the Testimony acknowledged as the judgment seat of GOD was separated from the Tabernacle during the reign of Saul; and the priesthood for the descendants of Aaron came under a curse through Eli and his sons. The anointing granted to David, and the inheritance to his heir, was therefore that of judge, king, priest and prophet.

Solomon is lauded as having completed many domestic projects to improve life within the nation. Included were the building of cities and stables, the establishment of trade and labor agreements with other nations, and a reputation for wisdom among other monarchs and rulers. During the reign of Solomon there was peace with most of the surrounding nations that repeatedly had waged war against Israel, including Egypt, the Moabites, and the Philistines. At least in part, this peace was the result of treaties for marriage: Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

There is far more to be said, correctly applied, and spiritually apprehended. (For example, under Solomon taxation was held to be extreme. When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, came to the throne, Rehoboam refused to make any gesture or promise of relief. The Unified Kingdom was immediately dissolved, with 10 tribes electing to follow Jeroboam, a fugitive from Egypt, and only 2 remaining to the House of David.) Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful. Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX Washington, DC