Thursday, March 15, 2007

NZ wildlife

yep, all my own photos! Seals at Akaroa, a weka, a silver gull (they call them red-legged gulls in NZ!) and seals at Milford Sound

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I Shall Not Want ..

And to add something more positive after what has been a very heavy series of posts ..
I shall not want. My every want You fill
With Your own self, o Bounty from above!
All of my dark is but the wait for dawn -
Then You shall shine in fullness of Your love.

Then You shall shine on me, and warm the cold,
Moon-blighted barrens of my frozen heart,
And I shall thaw into fecundity,
As Your dear grace pervades my every part

Then shall my frozen spring be living stream
Watering fruit where only thistles grew.
I shall become creation's living proof:
Showing forth that You will make all things new!

The defeated one

Each day she dies a little more
Leans harder on the doorway, and her face grows tired.
Her hair sighs limply.
Her heart has sagged below common usage,
Not dead yet, but deferred
Until the spring shall come –
A spring too long in coming.

Pain has turned to numbness, and the thresh of words
Pricks the old wounds to little drops of blood:
One more thing she must wipe up of the floor
Lest any see her shame.

Her smile has been long-practiced, but the edges leak
The corroding bitterness of silence
Burning slow holes in her children’s hearts
While she tries to give a love she has not known.

Flowers in New Zealand

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The abused One

Within the silent walls she cries
The little tears of all she dares
The dreadful woe of little cares
While, deep below, her real self dies.

The awful things she cannot speak
Too terrible for mind to know
But cold despair must overflow
Some utterable object seek.

Confused by pains that seem too strong
She calls her misery her shame
Because she does not know the name
Of where her agonies belong.

Her frailty thus is the disguise
Of the great strength with which she bears
The load of horror which she wears
The very while herself denies.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Emotional abuse -- the wife

Spoken in the voice of the woman who has endured years of subtle emotional abuse, overwhelmed in confusion and pain. And the saddest part is that most churches would simply tell her to submit!!

What do I do when faith is broken
When dearest dreams are turned to ash?
I gave you me, now, disregarded,
I see my soul shrugged off as trash.

I dreamed a feast of all love’s riches
Year after year to feed and grow
Now, as I gnaw on crusts of coldness,
I wonder what it is I owe.

You held a mirror, cruel, distorted,
Up to my heart, and bade me see
My basic needs as scrabbling, ugly.
I learned the loathsomeness of me.

Where do I count? What scale of measure
Weighs all these crushing pricks of pain?
Kindness withheld, more cruel than cruelty,
Weaves empty patterns in my brain.

Held by that vow that pins me surely
Tight unto you through grinding years
I seek God’s pity in my frailty,
I seek release for silent tears.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Emotional Abuse in six acts

Still on the theme of abuse of women, this is an experiment to try and express the possible life journey of a woman who grows through "normal" childhood into adolescent vulnerability and becomes the victim of an emotionally abusive marriage.

In the beginning, the child:
Delighting in each dawn
Star-eyed to embrace the light
And laughter just a little bug away.
Still with her new-made shine
Irrepressibly certain
That the beauty of life lies close to her gurgling reach.

Next: the teen:
Sharp-edged with wistful longing in the evening light
Starry with hope that’s made of one part fear
Wondering who she is, and if that smile
On one man’s face is just the jerk of flesh
Or sign that he has seen her hidden beauty
The loveliness becoming makes her own?

Then, the bride:
Heart fast in aching wonder, softened by desire
Liquid to spill herself; holding her happiness
Awkwardly out before her like her large bouquet.
Gentle-eyed, ready
She comes to him, delight has made her shine
This crystal moment, delicate as glass

Now, the wife:
Uncertain how she ebbed, confused and strained,
Struggling for love that was so recently
Hesitant to affirm since unaffirmed
Ghosts of her dreams lie scattered on the floor
Another chore to sweep and put away,
and who has time or strength to be a self?

Next the mother:
Protective of her own, with eyes afraid
Unspoken fear that they will be as she
A plastic bridge of competence fixed fast
Across the tumbling chasm of her pain
Afraid afraid afraid that if she speaks
Tis she who’ll break the last unuttered dream.

At last, the woman:
Has looked within the mirror of her heart
And found another image waiting there
Golden with glory standing on the truth
Of Love’s word spoken surely into her
The passioned word which none can take away
Entire, complete, she need not fear his rage.