Poetry Corner: May 2018
While I’m sure some of you know Randy’s poetry already, others now have an opportunity to encounter a mystic poet here in our midst at Hope Church. Taking familiar words, Randy combines them in unusual ways, to draw our attention, with his, to the world in which we live, the people with whom we share it, and the things we so often miss, like the sky above us. As both these pieces show us, poetry doesn’t have to be obscure or overly complicated, to convey profound truths.
I wrote this poem during a time in my life when I did not know at all what to say. What I did know was that silence was carrying me, the soundless house so full of God. Withstanding the mad frenzy of our culture can be painful; so little listening amidst more messages than humans have ever thought possible, so little relating. Shall I whisper into a wind storm? Why? Within the soul can mirror the madness without if we’re not careful. Things get said, can poke, twist and hurt. Nevertheless the heart can still fall silent sometimes and rediscover the grace upon which any announcement must truly rely.
by Randy Smit
What you are hearing right
now is the sound of someone
listening deeply. What is now shaped
with lips and tongue and teeth, the
tones you turn, inside yourself, to what is
worded as words typically, is in fact the
silence in between them, giving them their shape, carrying
the burden of what they can never express, laying
bare their true message.
My most faithful care attendant is creation. “It” tells the truth, stays the course and steadies the troubled heart, no matter what. Nature remains and remains. I feel what William Stafford means, somehow the Sky can “look for me” when I get distracted, disgusted or am too lonely to stay at the window. I am grateful for this prayer of sorts from Stafford. Each time I read it I am reassured, as he was it seems, that what surrounds us is not only very alive, but quite loving and dependable and genuinely needed. It makes me smile to think right now, even right now at this very moment, the sky is up there or out there, keeping watch; speckled with diamonds through deep night, dressed with clouds of silk or clear blue.
by William Stafford
I like you with nothing. Are you
what I was? What I will be?
I look out there by the hour,
so clear, so sure. I could
smile, or frown – still nothing.
Be my father, be my mother,
great sleep of blue; reach
far within me; open doors,
find whatever is hiding; invite it
for many clear days in the sun.
When I turn away I know
you are there. We won’t forget
each other: every look is a promise.
Others can’t tell what you say
when it’s the blue voice, when
you come to the window and look for me.
Your word arches over
the roof all day. I know it
within my bowed head, where
the other sky listens.
You will bring me
everything when the time comes.
~hosted by Randy Smit and Rhonda Edgington