Spring

Spring

The wind blows, and
The trees wave their arms,
Winking their leaves
And smile, shimmering spring green.

The wind whisps and roars
With a thousand voices
Hailing the bright, blithe sun
Who slings earthward warmth and light.

The clouds above roll
And boil over and through
And yellow clouds
Catch the wind and swarm on wings.

I too am moved,
My watery eyes swell,
Waving my arms, a flush,
I breathe deep, catch, pause,
And sneeze.

© Randall Edwards 2018.
Photograph Attribution: By Dartmouth College Electron Microscope Facility [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
photograph: Pollen from a variety of common plants: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), morning glory Ipomoea purpurea, hollyhock (Sildalcea malviflora), lily (Lilium auratum), primrose (Oenothera fruticosa) and castor bean (Ricinus communis). The image is magnified some x500, so the bean shaped grain in the bottom left corner is about 50 μm long.

With His Life’s Wage

With His Life’s Wage

The passages of John 6:1-14 and 21:1-14 mirror each other. In both instances a crowd is gathered, full of expectancy but hungry and weary. In one a meager meal of some fish and five barley loaves is more than enough in Jesus’ hands, and in the other, Jesus’ presence with a small amount gives the disciples as much as they can handle. In one you have Philip’s comment that a years wage wouldn’t be enough to give all even a little. In the second, one man’s wage is more than enough to fill all.

‘Look at this crowd, where’s food enough to feed?’
The Rabbi questioned Philip as a test,
Who says, “A years wage wouldn’t meet the need
Feed some a little, leave nothing for the rest.”
A boy shares what he has (bread and some fish);
Andrew brings to Jesus, filing through the ranks,
And Jesus blesses more than one could wish
Feeding famished thousands, filling them with thanks.

By that sea after the Son in full measure
Had poured out his wealth for our wage of woe
And having turned His weakness into treasure
He breaks their night’s fast shares himself to show
That with his life’s wage he buys fish and bread
Gives life, fills full, unto rising from the dead.

© Randall Edwards 2018.
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). Thanks.

artwork: James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (La multiplicité des pains), 1886-1896. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Brooklyn Museum. No known copyright restrictions.

Unless I See

Unless I See

This sonnet is based on John 20:25 which reads, “So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.'”

‘Unless I see the marks the nails left,
The scars of his hands, place my fingers in
Those iron wounds, place my hand in the cleft
Of his side where the spear went in?
I’ll not believe. I’ll not be taken in.

I was ready to lose my life in off’ring,
Gladly die with him, give everything.’

‘Thomas, I know you would’ve gladly given
Your life with me if you could. Nor do I
Doubt that you would’ve resisted, striven,
Remained true, not run away, nor in fear fly,
You’d have stayed by my side, lent a hand, died.

Embrace my death, but more, my life receive
Take my hands, touch my side, see, live, believe.

© Randall Edwards 2018.
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). Thanks.
Artwork: Béla Iványi-Grünwald [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. (PD-1923).

Easter Collect

Easter Collect

This is sonnet is a repost for Easter Sunday. It is based upon The Book of Common Prayer‘s Collect for Easter Sunday. The Collect reads,

“Lord of all life and power,
who through the mighty resurrection of your Son
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin
and alive to you in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise and honour, glory and might,
now and in all eternity.”

Sin and death is overcome
The old order vanquished, ruin undone
By the mighty resurrection of the Son.

Victorious King, by your resurrection
You silenced the Accuser’s every objection
To renew and remake us in your perfection.

Lord of all life, who is life and power
Whose glory fades not, unlike grass or flower
Shine through us unveiled, from this very hour.

May we to sin through Your dying, die
Through Your death live, be made alive.
Buried with You, in Your rising, rise—
To reign with You in humility
In love, light, and life for all eternity.

© Randy Edwards 2017
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). Thanks.
graceart_lowres-25
Artwork: Abstract weaving by Jennifer Edwards (jenniferedwards.com) titled, Resurrection, from the series, Ashes to Eternity, © Jennifer Edwards 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Be Thou My Light

Be Thou My Light

A villanelle repost for Easter Sunday. This poem is inspired by Valley of Vision, “Need of Jesus” which I have reimagined from the viewpoint of Mary Magdalene.

I am blind, be Thou my light.
Speak, call me into New Creation’s Day,
And seeing Thee, I shall love aright.

My heart bedeviled with the night
Is faithless, wanders, loves to stray
I am blind, be Thou my light.

Rescue me; employ Thy might;
Leave no unclean spirits to remain
And seeing Thee, I shall love aright.

Raised upon Golgotha’s height,
God’s Lovingkindness, the world did slay;
I am blind, be Thou my light.

Now this morn, the end of night–
With spice to dress at dawn’s first ray,
And seeing Thee, I shall love aright.

My called name turns dark to sight;
Fear and sadness gives way to say,
“I was blind, Thou art my light!”
And seeing Thee, I love aright.

© Randy Edwards 2016
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). Thanks.
Artwork: James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene (Apparition de Jésus à Madeleine), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 8 15/16 x 6 1/16 in. (22.7 x 15.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.334 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.334_PS2.jpg)

Love II

Love II

A sonnet for Good Friday.

The lengths to which Love goes, none will prevent;
It spans and stretches out to such a reach
That it tears itself, pulls apart, is rent
By passion and yearning to bridge the breach.

To mountain tops rising, Love’s light as air
It mounts with eagle’s wings, climbs to the heights;
Brazenly bold, it blushes not when men stare,
A hopeful morning star shining in night.

Love declares, kneels down, asks for thy hand;
Humbles himself, takes the lowest place;
Pleads for his friends, makes no demand,
Pays out their debt, shares their disgrace.

Love paid the rent, climbed the mount, bore the shame.
Took his love as a bride gives her a new name.

© Randall Edwards 2018.
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). Thanks.

graceart_lowres-13
Artwork: “Love” abstract weaving by © Jennifer Edwards 2017, (jenniferedwards.com) Photo by Hazel Kuehn. Used with permission.

Love

Love

A sonnet for Maundy Thursday.

Love waited patiently, persevered long
Sleepless nights while I wandered far in sin
Chasing the promise of some Siren’s song,
Took me back as a son not some has been.

When I (for once) received the sought blessing,
Love envied not, did not poison or pout,
Did not upstage, divert through finessing
To make their own things what it was about.

And when weary with worry, Love still stays,
Keeps no record of wrongs or resentments,
But rejoices with the truth bears always
Faithful, hopeful, enduring contentment.

That I may be clean, free, in rightness stand,
Love kneeled down took my dirty sole in hand.

© Randall Edwards 2018.
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). Thanks.

graceart_lowres-10
Artwork: “Love” abstract weaving © Jennifer Edwards 2017, (jenniferedwards.com) Photo by Hazel Kuehn. Used with permission.