dispersing & reflecting light through poetry

Posts tagged ‘Christ’

Christmas Inspiration

I find inspiration in many places. My grandchildren and the things they say; people around me, their lives and deaths; nature; my own life, thoughts and feelings and circumstances; ideas and philosophies.

This past Sunday at Pointe North Community Church our pastor, Tim Dorn, spoke about “the Presence” as part of his Advent series The Gift. I must confess that my attention was briefly divided between the sermon and another poem that came upon me. (Sometimes I can remember the bits of inspiration for later; but I know I’ve lost a lot of lines to short term memory, so most times I try to write it down immediately. Such was this case.) But a single phrase stood out. Something I had not heard put quite that way before: “…the stable became the Holy of Holies.”

Now I have never viewed the birth of Christ as a sanitized event as depicted in most manger scenes. The earthiness of the first advent is something I have wanted to capture in a poem for some time. This short statement put it in a fresh light and gave me the inspiration needed to write the poem.

The Presence
“…the stable became the Holy of Holies…”
–Pastor Tim Dorn, 12/13/15

The bearer of the covenant appears
through the door of this urban shed,
imperfect in its dimensions,
from the dark veil of night.

Dirt and dung covers the floor
of this ungilded Holy of Holies;
beasts of burden and field mice
bed in its sanctuary.

Layers of dust and chaff shrouds
this open Ark of Testimony
cradling the true bread of life,
the living staff, and the law fulfilled.

Starlight scatters shadows
through the slatted roof
illuminating the glory of God
in the face of a blood-covered newborn.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

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Simply Divine

This originally appears in Featured for a Night:

Simply Divine

Wiping his ass with his left hand,
leaving the predetermined area
away from the community;
wandering among the throngs who had come
for God knows what;
inhaling the tangy salt of sweat,
his own and that of the multitude,
mingled with sea air;
exhaling three decades of breath coated with
wine and fish, milk and honey,
devoid of Listerine;
scratching an itch in an encrusted right nostril;
ignoring the gnawings of his own belly;
lifting dusty heels and dirty toenails up a hill
to offer thanks and break bread and fish
with both hands.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

InspiRED Again

Inspiration struck again. This time from a different source and in a different way.

Kevin Rockwell, an old friend that I bunked with many years ago, showed up in town recently. We haven’t been in contact for 25 years or so, until recently on facebook. We got together for lunch this Saturday to catch up a bit. Kevin is an artist and has been doing pet portraits for individuals and pet organizations. We talked art and poetry longer than we planned. At one point, Kevin asked if I ever got writer’s block and how I dealt with it. I told him that I generally have to just sit down and write, write anything that comes to mind, regardless of whether I think it’s quality or not, to get past it.

When I got home I had some things to get done around the house. My wife was at work, so I might even have some time to write if all went well. And so it did. I thought I should take my own advice and try to throw together something on “The Sonnet”. Time to put in some perspiration.

And it paid off! I now have a completed draft.

Solomon, St. Valentine, and the Coming of Christ

In the Holy City with faith’s fresh start,
on a park bench—alone. With blushing shame
I read Wisdom’s Song sung from sickened heart
plagued with fever of most vehement flame:

banned by edict of darkened ruler’s claim
that young soldiers be more stout if not wed;
yet embraced by stouter priest whose sole aim,
the union of man and wife, cost his head.

This flowered crown’s among many behead
by those who deem to quench the fire of Christ,
unending flame whose strength shall raise the dead
all together whole, eternally spliced.

And I, one crumb this bread, one drop this wine,
shall ever consummate the feast divine.

This may get tweeked before final publication, but right now I’m fairly pleased with it. I constantly edit (perspire) as I write, which may or may not be the best way to get something on the page, but I can’t seem to help myself. The inspiration for this came from connecting (one of the themes of this poem is about connections). I don’t know how many times I’ve come back from a writer group session or a night of open mic poetry and want to sit down and write; write because I have thoughts and ideas to write about. Maybe not connected with the topics of discussion or the poems I heard read, but something creative gets joustled and nudged loose that needs expression.

Writing can be a lonely process, but human beings are not meant to be alone. I mentioned in a previous post that I like to reference bread and wine in some of my poems. The final couplet comes from 1 Corinthians 10:17. This is telling us that we are not alone in this. As many individuals connected together we make up that one bread, the body of Christ.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

At the Center of RED 3

There’s an old seafaring saying,

“Red sky at night,
sailor’s delight;
red sky in morning,
sailor’s take warning.”

Crimson hues in the evening and there will be smooth sailing the next day. Red shades at dawn meant a storm may be brewing.

This poem takes a different look at the resurrection. How does it impact those who don’t believe. Or shall I say those who will not believe. The Pharisees (the religious community) of Jesus’ day had all the information. They knew the scriptures (so they thought), they were intimately aware of Jesus’ teaching (they knew exactly who he claimed to be), and they had the first hand facts of his resurrection. And yet, they tried to stop it, to cover it up, to pretend it wasn’t real. So, how do you think God will deal with those who intentionally will not believe…

Red Sky in Morning

You remembered better than His own disciples
His promise to rise,
to return.
Command to secure the tomb against theft–
     as if this band of scattered and frightened
     fishermen, tax collectors, and women
     would dare to move against Rome,
     against the established church,
     against their own doubts,
     to steal a bloody corpse
     and perpetuate a lie–
aids authentication.
For your troops had first-hand facts;
they were there when the ground shook
and the stone rolled away
to a dawning revelation.
You paid them off with leftover silver
and promised protection—
from what?
A governor whose days were numbered?
From you who really had more to gain
from the fulfillment of prophecy?
From eleven men who eventually get it?
It’s incredible that the first to believe—
not believe, know—
the truth of resurrection reject it out right.
Your problem did not go away.
Slaying the Lamb did not stop
the awakening of the Lion.

Take warning.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

At the Center of RED 2

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant,
and to the blood of sprinkling,
that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Hebrews 12:24 KJV

I believe sometimes the poem just needs to speak for itself.

Blood Shed

My Father collected all of the legitimate
splinters of wood from the cross,
each individual artifact stained
with the authentic blood of Christ.

And my Father took those splinters
and built a shed in the backyard;
a place for me to run for cover and hide
from the seasonal torrential storms.

And the pounding waters caused the blood
from my Father’s splinters to drip on me, drop on me,
covering me like a fresh coat of paint,
soaking me to the flesh, filling my pores

until they could be filled no further;
until the blood-rain flooded my veins
and deluged the pumping muscle
at the center of my being.

And when the clouds stopped
dispensing and dispersed,
I stepped from the shelter of the shed
gleaming in the warmth of the Sun.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

At the Center of RED

“Red is the color of the blood that flowed…”
from “The Coloring Song” by Petra

At the center of human history stands One.
Lived One.
Died One.
Resurrected One.

Today I give you the first of the three centerpiece poems depicting Christ.

Seeds of Faith

Great drops of blood
planted in the dust
of a lonely garden,
transplanted on a hill
to bloom and bring forth fruit
from a crack
in a rock.

Copyright © 2015 Scott Daniel Massey

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