High upon the highest heights
I see the most tremulous sight
A small girl, fair and tranquil
Smiling strangely, sitting still
Beneath a sobbing willow tree
She recites a verse upon her knee
She sings a rhythmic hymn
Not of death, nothing grim
But prays that life will return
Even for those who are doomed to burn
The girl is a woman now
Beneath the tree and upon the cloud
She whispers, “I am watching you”
Why then are you so blue?
A single tear of sadness and joy
Rejuvenate the quirky earthly boy
Who sits down beneath the blooming tree
Listening to her silent voice attentively
She reminds him she was once young too
That she also was a misty shade of blue
But when the boy grows into man
He has come to ignore the fair woman
Who watches him still from above
Burning and swelling with disdainful love
The ways of the world have sweltered his heart
And time has torn his soul apart
Thus he has lost all innocence and light
Battling his sinful lust—an endless plight!
I watch as he feeds on others’ pains and fears
Reducing the vigilant woman to tears
The prayer of the innocent has been ignored
Life has died and hellfire stored
Into the hearts of the impotent
In blue, fires of haze their heart is sent
Toiling in misery and lament
Savaged and severed by our regret
The heavenly woman grows old and frail
And the man still treads the sinful trail
As the rotting tree withers into dust
Can I revive it? –I must!
Low as low can possibly be
I watch myself condescendingly
A tombstone, gray and hell-bent
Frowning knowingly in bewilderment
Above the dust that once was a tree
She cries out a verse anxiously
Faintly she whispers the undying hymn
Not of happiness, nothing of whim
And prays that life will come to end
For those that break instead of bend
Copyright © Laura Breidenthal
I kneel to pray beneath an oak tree’s leaves,
where my journey began.
Broken limbs straggle over a patchy lawn,
a neglected place full of holes never gone,
shoveled from childhood memories.
I bow at the altar of the tall oak.
Days come and go, but yesterdays
are no longer my foundation.
The oak’s trunk encompasses
a sturdiness and truth
I desire. Its roots are my roots.
Its branches are my faith, my full embrace.
I am left vulnerable in this season.
Blackbirds, falling from dark skies
perch on barest branches, cawing
in a famished frenzy. Like unheard
prayers, I hear desperation in the chilled air.
A prayer is only muffled thoughts cried
until lived out, until answered.
I am more than a sound unheard.
I’ll wait to mouth a winter prayer,
for I feel dull and bare under
autumn’s bright coat.
Lord, will you find me lying still,
silent below the flight of swirling leaves?
Am I drowned out by the blackbirds’ caws?
With the birth of a child, hope is reborn.
Every step leads me back home.
So, I carry my babes to the oak.
Through the seasons, it cradles
their innocence. The bough rises
higher than the pine trees donned
in deceitful evergreen. Nothing lasts
except a child’s dreams.
The tall oak feels like
a new beginning tonight;
I peel off my layer of
once needed fright.
With my eldest son knelt at my side,
prayers are lifted within the song
of autumn (Lord, grant me peace
and broad wings for my flight)
then after the glow of evening
sun has fallen, I hope our prayers
are an offering of love, two voices heard.
I feel illuminated under night skies,
as starlight sprinkles wonder.
I pray to remain vulnerable
so I can accept the gift of love.
I pray God chisels away the bitterness
of days gone by. I want to forgive,
fill in the holes before I die.
When my son and I pray,
we pray for peace, for family,
for the acorns that grow
into mighty oak trees.
Sometimes I forget to notice
subtle differences between
the weeping and whispering
of whirling leaves.
Sometimes I forget the difference
between a want and a need.
My child sincerely prays for his dad, brother and me;
he prays for his friend to sleep with sweet dreams,
and for the blackbirds at our feet
scavenging through autumn’s dead weeds;
then, with twinkling eyes,
he asks me for a loaf of bread.
*my first new poem in 3 months.
Copyright © Rhonda Johnson-Saunders
The tree stood stark and lonely,
All naked in the cold.
Her branches bare, her lovely leaves,
The breath of Winter stole.
In spite of all she stood yet proud,
Her branches raised to Heaven,
A silent prayer in her heart,
For Winter's sleep to lessen,
The pain she felt amid the cold,
The biting wind so cruel,
And please let not some human come,
And use her wood for fuel.
Then the winter queen looked down,
On Tree with sympathy,
And gave to her a lovely gown,
Of snow in symmetry.
Now the tree stands all adorned,
In glowing winter grandeur,
And all who see her stand in awe,
Of Tree in Winter's splendor.
Thanks to Phyllis Babcock for her poem "TREE" which inspired this one.
Copyright © Judy Ball
Poignant yet picturesque
Pointed little leaves
So comely and lush
makes them dance
Quivering and shiver
Intricately entwined tree stalk
Robust and rugged is its center
makes it sway
As if it hears music
Distanced far away
To stay and pray.
Copyright © Christina Holmes
God does not always respond the way one expects.
Its branches dressed in luscious green leaves
From the young look of the spring season
The cherry blossom tree had lost its sheen,
The petals of its flowers faded spread around its feet.
Of its pink blossoms, it had been so proud
Spreading their sweet fragrance thereabout
Attracting couples young and old to sprawl
Expressing their love, such joy all about.
Now fewer people came by and when they did
Walked on by without even looking at it
It felt so alive in the presence of love, what a gift!
Had wanted this feeling never to end, but it did.
Said a little prayer to its Maker
Asked Him if he could bring back the flowers
It seemed to make people so happy
But nothing happened, and the tree felt lonely.
One day a young woman came by
She sat at its feet and began to cry
The tree felt in her the same sadness of loss
And wished it could comfort her somehow.
Said a little prayer again to its Maker
Asked Him how he could bring joy to her
A little wind began to blow suddenly
As if the Maker acknowledged its plea.
Its current detached one of its leaves
That fell on her right cheek upon a tear
With her fingers, she caught the leaf
Palm open, she looked at it without a speech.
A smile spread on her pink lips
For she saw in it a special gift
She wiped her face with the leaf
And turned her face up to the tree.
With a sparkle in her eyes, she said sweetly,
“Thank you. You lost all your flowers recently
Yet you gave me a gift of hope with this leaf
I know now I can take the lead.”
By CarolineCécile, April 24, 2009.
Copyright © Caroline Cécile Delacroix
haiku 8: fire and mud
fires burned down our trees;
so we prayed for rain to come:
mud stole our homes.
Copyright © millard lowe
I want to tell you of my second Love,
Of a churchs' impact from heaven above!
I'd grown up in such a small church.
Yet small groups can make for gossip, and worse.
Not so with Shiloh; it was heaven on earth...!
This icon of community flair was "golden mirth."
'Cause for too many years I'd been handicapped;
Unfortunately, having wed a controlling rat.
Unworthy, I felt as if in a deep-dark pit.
Hardly would I look one in the eyes-, as I'd sit.
Though Shiloh's heart and doors were always open,
With all people-types whose hearts were broken.
Never had I been in a hospital that was a church.
Pure-love poured forth from this people's search.
Out of 2,000 members, one hundred "I fondly knew,"
Many of us would sit, visit, and have coffee too!
You could hear the sounds of prayer down the hall...
Sometimes there was dancing, and we had a ball...!
There, an amphitheatre of seats "led to the front."
When Pastor preached, some thought her too blunt.
You could see Shiloh believers all around town,
Wisdom's principles were of a prototype laid down.
It was great just to see them in the market places,
Healing light-&-love poured-forth from their faces!
Such longing I still have, to see my Pastoral mom,
Indubitably, her prayers were "to keep me strong."
Though, before any churches, she married Mr. Right.
Later her David was born before tragedy's night.
A car accident took her beloved husband home...
For the year she was motionless, she felt so alone.
Her baby was spared, leaving her totally paralysed.
She was only-17, for that year she'd much to realize.
Miraculously, God healed her and gave her a church.
Maybe she's the 1st. pastor to do so after a birth!
With 25-revival churches, in all; she was going strong.
Father God has truly "blessed and kept her from wrong."
The Lord God, strong, almighty is in the midst of them.
Training victorious warriors "waging war against sin!"
So believers went in with peace- and come out with joy!
This place was "so serene" there was no-need to be coy.
Restoration is the message- for God restores all things.
I was once like a cripple, now I can stand and sing!
God's Dunamis power for wounded Pigeons, now like Doves,
Creates longing in me still, for such fellowship of love.
Such fond memories linger- as "I miss her still..."
Bless you, dear Violet, for caring; when I had no will.
Copyright © Milly Hunter
Exploring the branches of the family tree can be rather dicey.
Some ancestry could be famous, humdrum or downright spicy!
A feller I know decided to take the risk and check around.
I'm not so sure that he was all that pleased with what he found!
Seems that in the distant past a member of his family strain,
Was a notorious pirate marauding the bounding Spanish Main!
Another was a nefarious cattle rustler ever on the vamoose.
Til a posse tracked him down, and stretched his neck with a noose!
One forebear, a scoundrel who specialized in robbing trains,
Was ensconced for life in a cozy cell, detained in heavy chains!
A rowdy ancestor caused a ruckus in a Cripple Creek saloon.
The local sheriff done him in one fateful afternoon!
His lineage included a "business lady", of whom he proudly spoke.
Til I revealed what a "soiled dove" was, dismaying the poor bloke!
His great-grandpa was caught dispensing jugs of potent 'shine.
Revenooers busted him, resulting in jail and a hefty fine!
His uncle was a goon in a notorious Chicago gangster mob.
He met his Maker heisting a bank they were trying to rob!
He proffered a prayer as he examined that tragic family tree:
"Lord! May a sturdy twig adorn this tree and let it begin with me!"
Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired (© All Rights Reserved)
Copyright © Robert L. Hinshaw
I long for silence
a day in the sun
when all these harsh whispers
are quiet and undone
I hear an angel somewhere
softly in his rage of flight
burning out in the twilight
A prayer in silence is a blessing
a life lived hard through the testing
what can the blind be missing
when god is in the art of kissing
A portrait of a saint
a face in the mirror
my heart in hand
my love inferrior
A tree comes down
a tree now dead on ground
i heard it cry yesterday
now no sound or anything to say
Is this the earth i wanted to save
full of broken hearts and unmarked graves
I bled so long, i've done such wrong
every broken life was a job well done
Soldiers in handbags
sally forth sally forth
a cross in a fist
to show you god's worth
I guess it makes some sense
for some to show some recompense
for all the things they had done
oh god the things they had done
For just one day of silence
a day in the sun
where I didn't hear a gunshot
when we weren't killing someone
Copyright © John Allen
Cracks of corral emerged between the Earth’s proud crown of evergreen
Gleaming down on grateful Father whose arms in bloom embraced his Daughter
Moon upon Moon in prayer he spent that God would grant his heart’s content
Now all his dreams no longer dreams but infant in his arms serene
They traveled on til trails converged and River’s roar ahead was heard
Then there upon the shore was laid, a bless’ed barge of birchbark made.
From the River’s roots they rowed, embarking on a fate unknown
Wide-eyed Child soothed by Father’s song amidst echoes of the Wild’s call
Sweetly metered by sweeping oar he told her tales of life before
The great divide of Earth and Sky, of Land and Sea, of Day and Night
How God by grace named each creature each fish and fowl each fir and fur
Then in His hands mixed clay and sand, the gift of life breathed into Man.
Between each bend dear Daughter grew and saw the world from worn canoe
Floating onward until the day she traded hums and howls to say
Father, Father, I understand! With lamb and wolf we share this land!
How scattered seed grew into tree and tree we carved for pole to feed
Father you’ve grown and given me your faith and love so I might be
Someday just like you a Giver on the road of life, the River!
Copyright © Wade Souza
Sitting by the creek one day, watching as two little ducks swam by.
They were in such a rush it seemed, to catch a floating dragon fly.
I started to erect myself, when I slipped and fell.
I must have hurt my leg somehow, for it began to swell.
The current was mighty swift as it pulled me on my way.
I knew I was getting in too deep and I began to pray.
It seems the only time we talk is when I’m in a bind.
A feeling just came over me, what if He should pay me no mind.
He wouldn’t do that to me, I thought, that would be unfair.
Maybe He’s trying to show to me, what it’s like when no one’s there.
Lord I’m getting in too deep, and I’m getting mighty scared.
I never learned to swim at all, this secret I’ve never shared.
All of a sudden a log came by, and I caught hold of a branch or two.
I thought how, did this log happen by, was it a gift from you.
As the water began to shallow some, I made it to dry ground.
My leg was really sore I guess, but it seemed to be quite sound.
He answers our prayers in many ways, often though we do not see.
For me, my prayer was answered, by Him floating me a tree.
Copyright © Ronald Bingham