Tag Archives: poetry

A Sabbath Thought

Identity

(Exodus 31:12-18, Rom 11:16-17, Eph 1:20 & 2:6)


I sought for an identity,

I had no sense of worth,

Until Yeshua drew me and cleansed me,

And placed me on His throne. 

At the right hand of Father
I heard that ancient truth,

The one He spoke on Sinai’s mount:

”I, the Lord, do sanctify you and give to you as sign—

My Sabbath—keep it forever, evidence you are mine.”

Lacking identity no longer, I walk with inner strength,

Child of God forever, His  day I faithfully keep. 

Kennedy Brown
February 28, 2018

The Voices in the Wilderness

The Voices in the Wilderness

Pain, suffering, disappointment,
“I’m going through the wilderness,” he said.

Heartbreak, sorrow, disillusionment,
“I’m going through the desert,” he said.

The wilderness, the desert—empty places of ultimate solitude.
Can God be there?

When the wind blows it brings no comfort—
only so many varied voices pulling at the hearing. 

Where are the ravens that fed Elijah?
Or, the angels who baked him bread?
Where is the burning bush that Moses saw? 

When do rocks start gushing water?
When does mana from heaven fall?

What ears hear the cry of prayer that leaves the lips?
What eyes see the knees bruised by rock and sand?
Has God forgotten those in the barren places?

The wilderness, the desert when will this journey end?
Can any comfort possibly be found?
What joy can replenish the parched spirit, the thirsting soul?

Has he misjudged his plight?
Did he not perceive there could be purpose beyond his need?
Can those wind-born voices be discerned as two?

Listen: one voice, plaintive, piteous would caress with defeat and
abandonment—the futility of life itself. 

Listen: there is another voice. Though also small, it assures, comforts and
understands—offering hope, promise, even more than mortal life. 

If he tunes in that latter voice, and concentrates on it alone . . .
the desert starts to bloom,
the wilderness reveals its beauty,
bareness vanishes. 

Words that bring healing gush forth,
now washed, cleansed and restored
the pain, the sorrow and isolation give way. 

The voice of promise grows stronger,
and the voice of defeat grows weaker.
The desert wilderness, no longer anguish, becomes provision. 

The voices in the wilderness give choice.
To which will he listen?
To which will he bend his will?
And which voice have you chosen?

Kennedy Brown
Gerizim
January 10, 2018

Day 3–Surprise Ending

Day 3—Surprise Ending 
Rub my eyes, rub them again. It’s still there the veiled view from my camo hide. 
Last night’s rain gives rise to a misty morn. The watched area where the quest of my daily vigil is to appear, while still lush and green, seems a farther reach.

Will this haze-shrouded pasture now give less concern to the wary, antlered buck?
Will he send some innocent doe to precede him for safety’s verification?
I wait to see. 

While waiting I cast my gaze about:
the rain has accelerated that leafy descent—a golden-hued carpet spreads out before me.
Now appear nearly bare limbs of those soon expected barked skeletons. Winter’s cold, grey skies are drawing ever closer.
 
How long will I still be sitting here and watching?
Am I some Rip Van Winkle who may awake to find a dramatically changed world?
Will my trusty muzzleloader have yielded to creation’s relentless decay?

An imagination gone wild, you say, yet the silent ticking of my digital timepiece slowly records the passage of time, and I cannot conjure up even one cloven hooved quadruped to challenge my sights. 

An hour has somehow escaped since Day Three’s vigil began—time to turn again to tea and cashew, a comforting reprieve from the morning’s diligence. 

That done, I‘ll give thought to more spiritual ponderings.
“Patience is a virtue” the scripture doesn’t say, but implies from the lives of so many of the saints. Apostle Peter in his second letter mentions virtue as a foundation to build on. It is linked to diligence. But he fails to define “virtue.” Webster says it is from the Greek and has to do with a basic morality. Since it is taken from idol-worshiping Greek it should be modified to indicate a foundation of Ten Commandments and Torah—which I’m sure Peter and his followers understood. 

“I thought you were hunting,” you say. 
Okay, let’s apply virtue to hunting. 
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. So if I exercise patience while hunting I am exhibiting virtue. 
And now another hour has slid by—the meadow remains peaceful and empty of quarry.
Patience my virtuous friend. 

And so Day Three comes to an end. How many more days will my virtue remain victorious? Is there some other spiritual principle I’m missing?
Don’t tell me—let it be a surprise.

Kennedy Brown
November 6. 2017

Day Two–Impatient Hunter or Patient Poet

Day Two: Impatient Hunter or Patient Poet
Now I sit, just before first light, in my camo hide, as South Africans call a game viewing enclosure. 
Gravity’s relentless call is still at work littering the forest floor with a myriad of fall-hued, leafy pixels. 

Where did my quarry spend the night? Was it in this very place, protected by darkness’ cover? 
The game camera says “Yes, at 1:15 this morning a manly rack munched with abandon the succulent forage.” 
“O camera, will that antlered one return to test his bravery against the day’s light?” The mute reply lets my question hang unanswered. 

So, I sit. A sip of tea, a cashew—could these diversions bring a speedier approach of the queried one? 
A watch check: 45 minutes has gone by. 
Wait—now I see it—a herd of cloven hooved, massive-racked deer are in my field of view. 
A quick shake of the head, and reality returns.
The peaceful, empty meadow has only grown brighter with the rising sun. 

And now I count: 10,001, 10,002… and after days and countless counting each tree still looks fully clothed in the hues of fall’s leafy splendor. How long before those dark, skeletal limbs stand stark against winter’s grey sky? It will happen—
it always does, yet surprise seems to greet each new repetition. 

Are the falling leaves not like warnings of sin?
There are clearly recognizable signs,
like falling leaves,
inexorably ignoring these obvious signals eventually finds one standing like the barren tree—his sin ever so starkly revealed. 
Unlike sin, the annual leaf event is creation’s plan,
but the falling leaves of sin’s warning are a silent call to halt—
a notice of the approach of exposure.
The winter’s cold, grey light offers no succor to what will be revealed. 

More tea, two hours have passed and my vision of a venison roast surrounded by carrots, onions and sweet potatoes now dims.
My thoughts of the comfy bed I left in the dark grow stronger—
but a true hunter soldiers on. 

Hmmm, am I a true hunter?
Were it not for the lavish encouragement of my friend, Robert, I would still be considering only the possibility of a hunt.
Perhaps there is a gravity pulling me from my bed to this forest vigil. Perhaps a “magic” will imbue me with “hunter.”
Perhaps….

What will Day Three produce?
Can I become a hunter by perseverance?
Or, is it the pleasure of a morning’s forest reverie that draws this poet and his pen?

Kennedy Brown
November 5, 2017

True North

34322062 - old compass on vintage map
34322062 – old compass on vintage map

True North

There lies somewhere in the polar north
An enormous mother lode—
With unerring accuracy It draws the compass needle
To its hidden depths.

How much like sin this deception speaks
Luring each who relies on an off-course life
Till at the end, when destination reached,
No time for correction remains.

For most of life, magnetic north will get you by—
But the wise traveler will stay on course,
Always making correction to head true north
Even if life’s storms would blow you off course.

Come around to that North Star’s unerring path—
Make correction against that subtle deception—
Resist its magnetic attraction.
Let no other choice alter your path from True North.

Kennedy Brown
January 8, 2017

Motivation for poem—
I so appreciated a recent, thought-provoking post. Many valid points were made, along with the reference to true north being reflected by the compass. The metaphor was used to show that being one degree off wouldn’t get you to your destination—true. However, in my old Boy Scout days, some 70 years ago, I learned about “magnetic declination.” This was the correction that had to be made from magnetic north to true north. So, for me, the metaphor didn’t ring true. As I continued to think about the compass deception—the metaphor of magnetic north being like sin came to me. The subtly of sin can lead you throughout life just slightly off course, even if you know the truth. How sad to end life’s journey, only to find you were following the wrong guidance. There are many subtle adjustments that we must be aware of and make, once we know life’s destination: to arrive at True North. How special to think Yeshua is that infallible, guiding North Star.