Together we’ve rushed Here to space six feet apart In a waiting room. Masked faces cannot Hide the blank expression of Our hospital daze. Bewildered here, we Stare at screens or out windows — To the world outside. The daze lasts for days As we surrender to the Hospital’s rhythm. The weight of boredom Breaks open with urgent cries And desperation. © Randall Edwards 2021
Here are three haikus which draw from Psalm 30:5 and Matthew 5:4.
It’s waking this way That’s the hardest part of sad— Mourning by morning. “Blessed are those who Mourn, for they," the Teacher said, "Shall be comforted.” Weeping lasts a night; His anger, just a moment; With mourning comes joy. © Randall Edwards 2021
A poem in honor of my wife who has endured so much.
You may listen to me read the poem via the player below.
Last January scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Detected that a neutron star One and a half times the mass of our sun Had crashed into a black hole. Sixteen days later And some billion light years away It happened again Sending gravity ripples Along the warp and weft of space-time Till it found us. On June 9, you passed Beyond the ER’s event horizon Into another universe behind closed doors Where COVID protocols would not let me enter. You were charted and mapped, Broken open by quantum complications Which seemed to leave The teams of physicists Who tended you Curious but Unsurprised. But I was stunned As I came to orbit The surgical waiting room Where I circled with relative disbelief The grave matters Of life and death, Children and parents, Fear and the unknown. You became a portal To the cosmic reality that life Which can seem to run so well Is imperceptibly good And fragile. Sixteen days later, we emerged from Your room’s capsule On our Thirty-third Anniversary Warped tight by trial And weft arm in arm To weave our way Through the hospital hall. And as we moved through that universe No instruments detected the gratitude Emitted in waves of thanksgiving Nor perceived the prayer and praise. © Randall Edwards 2021.
This poem is based on 1 Corinthians 13 and in honor and memory of a friend and friends.
You may listen to me read the poem via the player below.
Love is not strength Though it is patient and kind. Not that it doesn’t desire Or burn hot as fire, Yet it does not quit. It takes a seat to the side, and there it will sit Through time’s tides and troubles. It Does what it can And with you stands Ready to help, paying no mind To impatient demands. Love does not shine. It does not put me first or over other’s climb Or grab with greed, yelling, Mine. Mine. Mine! Love cannot keep you from grief But only makes sadness more certain Only makes the inevitable hurting Of goodbye sure. Love cannot keep others from leaving. It cannot make them stay. Love is not enough To keep any from going away. It cannot keep. But of those wrongs, the slights, The thoughtless words said in jest, The deeds that were nothing near the best One could be? Love keeps no record of the wrong Whether they happened today or time long Since gone. Love cannot heal. It cannot make anyone well. If they are sick and dying, It’s not like some spell That can magically make them right. Though if you love, love just may keep you awake Night after night, After night. Love makes no demand. It does not have to have its say Which means that things may not go your way. And so love oftentimes weeps Or grieves what it may not keep. Love takes no delight in the cruel Or wicked things which others say or do, But love rejoices in the true. And when seeing the truth Love bears all things, And in so doing Carries the weight of waiting For the other to come ‘round Or for the time when what was lost Is at last found. Love cannot keep, make, or do, Yet it believes all things which means He still believes in you. Yes, love may be blind. It cannot see the hope. (Who hopes in what they can see?) But with hope in faith Love looks down the drive, Expecting any moment to see you. You, who were thought to be dead, alive Walking up to the house. Love is not strength Though it endures all things: Whether fearing the grave Or the pain of death’s sting. Love never fails, Is on time, never late. For it always hopes, always trusts, And waits and waits And waits… © Randall Edwards 2021. This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com).
A morning’s reflection. You may listen to me read the poem via the player below.
In the morning stillness
While the family sleeps,
Twilight finds its way in
As does an unseasonable coolness
Which blows through the opened windows.
The morning walkers make their way
Up the street telling yesterday’s stories
And sharing the day’s tasks which
Animate with an energy of excitement or anxiety.
But louder than they, and more constant,
Are the birds.
From each corner of the yard,
A mockingbird shows off his repertoire.
A pair of cardinals at the bird feeder
Take turns and chirp: “Eat. Eat.”
The song sparrows and finches patiently wait
But then push in at their turn.
And there from a birch limb,
A chickadee flies in and back
With his takings.
On the deck floor below,
A squirrel waits and works
The tactics and trigonometry of theft.
While beside me, our cat, Milo,
Watches from the window sill,
Loaded with longing.
The earnest, present zeal
Of creation and creature
Calls me to the care
© Randall Edwards 2021.This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and this blog (backwardmutters.com). Thank you.