Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fall Poetry:Rylant

In November, the earth is growing quiet.
It is making its bed,
a winter bed for flowers and small creatures.
The bed is brown* and silent,
and much life can hide beneath its blankets.

In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones.
Without their leaves,
how lovely they are,
spreading their arms like dancers.
They know it is time to be still.

In November, some birds move away and some birds stay.
The air is full of good-byes and well-wishes.
The birds who are leaving look very serious.
No silly spring chirping now.
They have long journeys
and must watch where they are going.
The staying birds are serious, too,
for cold times lie ahead.
Hard times.
All berries will be treasures.

In November, animals sleep more.
The air is chilly and they shiver.
Cats pile up in the corners of barns
Mice pile up under logs.
Bees pile up in deep, earthy holes.
And dogs lie before the fire.

In November, the smell of food is different.
It is an orange smell.
A squash and a pumpkin smell.
It tastes like cinnamon
and can fill up a house in the morning,
can pull everyone from bed in a fog.
Food is better in November
than any other time of the year.

In November, people are good to each other.
They carry pies to each other's homes
and talk by crackling wood stoves,
sipping mellow cider.
They travel very far on a
special November day just to
share a meal with one another
and to give thanks for their
many blessings -
for the food on their tables
and the babies in their arms.
And then they travel back home.

In November, at winter's gate,
the stars are brittle.
The sun is a sometimes friend.
And the world has tucked her children in,
with a kiss on their heads,
till spring.

Cynthia Rylant

*I changed this word from white to brown because where I live there is never any snow in November ~

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fall Poetry:McEntyre

See how she turns to greet what comes,
surprised but untroubled, not quite
welcoming.  She looks askance
at one who has, unmasking, disturbed her
solitude.  Her greeting concedes what it must,
but she remains turned to purpose of her own.

This, too, she will turn to her purposes,
an encounter she expected, not knowing
just when, or what she should expect.
She has kept her own counsel;
It will serve her now.

Breeding has taught her that all-bearing look.
Poised to take what comes, she receives
with grace, gives back what befits
her modesty and station.

Cordelia would have done no more.

Richly presentable in linen and pearls,
wrapped in a light that fits her like her scarves,
she rises to the occasion, self-possessed,
accustomed to possession,
relinquishing solitude with dignity,
who will not be forced,
neither eager not reluctant,
not defensive, not submissive,
willing to speak her "Fiat mihi"
In her own time.

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall Poetry:Paine

THESE are the times that try men's souls.

The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

Thomas Paine
The American Crisis

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fall Poetry:Bonar

Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So I shall walk aright.

Take Thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem;
Choose Thou my good and ill.

Choose Thou for me my friends,
My sickness or my health;
Choose Thou my cares for me
My poverty or wealth.

The kingdom that I seek
Is Thine: so let the way
That leads to it be Thine,
Else I must surely stray.

Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my Guide, my Strength
My Wisdom, and my All.

Horatius Bonar
Scottish churchman/poet
Tune: Invitation by Maker

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Fall Poetry:Hood

No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--
No road--no street--no "t'other side this way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--
No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!
No traveling at all--no locomotion--
No inkling of the way--no notion--
"No go" by land or ocean--
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds--

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Fall Poetry:Lowell

They brought me a quilled, yellow dahlia,
Opulent, flaunting.

Round gold
Flung out of a pale green stalk.

Round, ripe gold
Of maturity,
Meticulously frilled and flaming,
A fire-ball of proclamation:

Fecundity decked in staring yellow
For all the world to see.
They brought a quilled, yellow dahlia,
To me who am barren
Shall I send it to you,
You who have taken with you
All I once possessed? 

by Amy Lowell

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Fall Poetry:Morris

November wears a Paisley shawl
To keep her sagging shoulders warm.
Her bonnet's deck with rusty flower,
An apple basket's on her arm,
And with a dusty, rustly sound
Her wide skirts sweep along the ground.

She trudges up the sunset hills,
In spite of winds a-blowing,
To seek a shelter on beyond -
She must know where she's going -
For, wrapped in Paisley red and brown,
She rustles, rustles through the town.

Hilda Morris

Monday, November 04, 2013

Fall Poetry: Dickinson

Besides the Autumn poets sing
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the Haze—
A few incisive Mornings—
A few Ascetic Eves—
Gone—Mr. Bryant’s “Golden Rod”—
And Mr. Thomson’s “sheaves.”
Still, is the bustle in the Brook—
Sealed are the spicy valves—
Mesmeric fingers softly touch
The Eyes of many Elves—

Perhaps a squirrel may remain—
My sentiments to share—
Grant me, Oh Lord, a
 sunny mind—
Thy windy will to bear!

Emily Dickinson
American Poet
1830 – 1886

Photo Credit:  Mine -
Taken from the kitchen window looking out onto  the deck where squirrels not only enjoy the birdseed but also the pansy blossoms.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Fall Poetry:Psalter

With grateful heart my thanks I bring,
Before the great Thy praise I sing;
I worship in Thy holy place
And praise Thee for Thy truth and grace;
For truth and grace together shine
In Thy most holy Word divine.

I cried to Thee and Thou didst save,
Thy Word of grace new courage gave;
The kings of earth shall thank Thee, Lord,
For they have heard Thy wondrous Word;
Yea, they shall come with songs of praise,
For great and glorious are Thy ways.

O Lord, enthroned in glory bright,
Thou reignest in the heavenly height;
The proud in vain Thy favor seek,
But Thou hast mercy for the meek;
Through trouble though my pathway be,
Thou wilt retrieve and strengthen me.

Thou wilt stretch forth Thy mighty arm
To save me when my foes alarm;
The work Thou hast for me begun
Shall by Thy grace be fully done;
Forever mercy dwells with Thee;
O Lord, my Maker, think on me.

Based on a line from Psalm 138, this poem establishes a theme of thankfulness (gratefulness) as I endeavor to highlight a poem each day for the month of November.

As our opening hymn at church this morning, we sang all four verses to Dimitri Bortniansky's tune St Petersburg.

JCMIII preached on Acts 17:16-34 and Romans 1:18-25. 

The exposition is the fourth in a series focused on the Apostle Paul.  Having just returned from a trip to Greece, Pastor is expanding his travel lectures from various locations of Paul's ministry into full-fledged sermons.

The preached Word is powerful.  I listened to this message twice.  

Here's the SermonAudio link, if you'd like to listen too.

Several  years ago another RCPUS minister preached about the Mars Hill address.  Here's what I thought about Bob Lester's sermon.  Here's the SermonAudio link.

The "take-away" from both messages ~

Acts 17:30-31

30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Fall Poetry:Bryant

Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!

One mellow smile through the soft vapory air,

Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds run,

Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare.

One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,

And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
And the blue gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air. 

by William Cullen Bryant

Photo Credit:  Margaret Jago McCarthy

Friday, November 01, 2013

Fall Poetry:Willson

I like the fall
The mist and all
I like the night owl’s lonely call
And wailing sound
Of wind around

I like the gray
November day
And dead, bare boughs that coldly sway
Against my pane
I like the rain

I like to sit
And laugh at it
And tend my cozy fire a bit
I like the fall
The mist and all

Dixie Willson, poet

Instagram photo borrowed from friend Tamara Koperda who captured the moment driving early one October morning to a meeting in north Georgia (Hall County)