Consider

The Writer’s Digest is hosting its annual Poem a Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge. Day Twenty-two’s prompt is “a bird poem.” 

When I think of birds, I think of Luke 12:24 which reads, “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” This verse served as inspiration.

You may listen to me read the poem via the player below.

I worry for what the future will bring:
The clothes that I’ll wear, the food I’ll eat,
Whether there’ll be vict’ry or defeat,
Or hunger in longing, death, then nothing.

At night in my bed I toss and turn,
Wrestle with rest and contentment,
Burdened by hurt, replaying resentment
And reddened by shame, regret’s flushing burn.

‘Consider the ravens,’ Jesus said.
‘They neither sow nor strain to reap
They don’t build barns to store and keep
Grain, nor do they fret for their bread.’

Yet they are busy to get what they eat;
They spend their day looking on the ground;
They scratch for their food, dine on what’s found,
Then roost in a tree, tuck heads, and sleep

So, work hard as they to find what He gives
Be the bird who considers, feeds, and lives.
 
© Randall Edwards 2020

Meaning

The Writer’s Digest is hosting its annual Poem a Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge. Day Fifteen’s prompt is “a meaning poem.”

You may listen to me read the poem via the player below.

What could he mean, 
What’s the purpose of saying
“He who has no money,
Come, buy and eat”?

What hope is there for those who
Have no money — are poor?
And what of those who are lame
And who cannot come
But must lie on a mat, can’t 
Get off the floor?
Or even if carried by friends,
What if they can’t get in the door?
What hope of coming
Let alone running
For Salvation?

Its meaning breaks in me.
I, who have no capacity
To respond or come.
It shows and reveals,
The Mercy which comes to me
Becomes the All by which I see
Every-Thing.
 
The feast he offers he gives.
Its cost, though priceless, is
Paid by Him.
And feeding upon
The bread of his life,
The wine of his blood and sacrifice
Is the meaning I need
That he gave himself
And with himself feeds
Me.
 
© Randall Edwards 2020

Numbers that Count

The Writer’s Digest is hosting its annual Poem a Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge. Day Twelve’s prompt is “a number poem.” Saturday is World Diabetes Day. A child’s T1D diagnosis is punch of reality into solar plexus of parenting. T1D begins a ubiquitous counting into one’s life.

This is an adaptation of a homily I gave on Christmas Eve which is found in my book of Christmas stories titled, The Night is O’er.

3,
 the number of days it takes for what I believe
 To be true, to be confirmed.
 45 
 minutes from when my wife
 picked our daughter up at school till
 she called from the doctor’s office with the results of 
 2
 tests which confirmed the diagnosis that our youngest,
 1 of 3 
 lovely children had what 
 39 
 other children in the U.S. would be diagnosed with on that day.
 

 11 
 miles or 
 20 
 minutes from our house to the Baptist Hospital's 
 Emergency Room. It is
 9 
 floors up Ardmore Tower to room 
 810 
 at Brenner Children's Hospital where we will stay for the next
 3 
 days.
 

 On the evening of the 
 2nd 
 day I am nervous, as I prepare to administer my daughter's
 4th 
 injection -- her 
 1st 
 full day of injections for the rest of her days, 
 and she is nervous.
 She is nervous because in her mind 
 it still counts as a shot. 
 I am nervous because I count it the same, 
 and this is my 
 1st 
 time giving 
 1.

A Color Poem

The Writer’s Digest is hosting its annual Poem a Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge. Day Ten’s prompt is “a color poem.” Since today is Veteran’s Day, I wrote a war poem, a subject about which I have no experience, but for those who do, I have the utmost respect and owe a great debt of honor.

You may listen to me read the poem via the player below.

Red, for poppies which in the fields bloom
Midst the death and blood of bodies strewn
Across no mans land.

Brown, for the dirt, the trenches which flood
And fill with muck and mud and blood
Which clings and cakes on me.

Orange-yellow breaks and bursts in flash,
Pounds the earth, showers dirt, shells smash,
My friends who die with me.

White, the star shells flared floating light,
Hangs with hope, aids the sniper's sight
Who fixes in crosshairs.

Black, on me descends at last in death
Light fades, night falls as does my fleeting breath
In the fields of France.

© Randall Edwards 2020

Below are a collection of postcards which my great-uncle Harry brought back from France where he served on General Pershing’s staff in the Haute-Marne.

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Medias Res

The prompt for day six’s PAD Chapbook Challenge is “medias res” which is a story that begins in the middle. Sometimes you’re inspired. Sometimes just tired. And as the man says? Well, I don’t really know. I’m just waiting for it to be over.

In medias res
Of this election for Pres,
When will this counting be over?

I lie in the bed
Overwhelmed with a dread
To get up I throw off the cover.

When I check the news:
Only pundits and their views
I lie back, pull the sheet, roll over.

It’s gone on all year,
So turn off the lights, Dear,
And wake me up when this is over.