no fear in love

There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear… I John 4:18

 

I’m not afraid of people who live with a mental illness. I feel empathy and compassion for them in their struggle. Most are not dangerous but very gentle, if overly sensitive souls. Instead of lashing out, they often desperately turn inward. They need to be listened to and comforted. Fears, both real and irrational, plague them. I know friends and relatives who’ve suffered mental illness. My father experienced a psychotic break at age 74 when his life circumstances produced the perfect storm. His disturbed mind, suddenly snapped into suicidal mode, which scared us all. A police officer saved him, family rallied around him, and he responded to treatment for bi-polar disorder. Thanks be to God, he is doing well in recovery with medication and a balanced lifestyle. No, I’m not afraid of a person with a mental illness…but I do fear suffering a serious mental illness myself.

 

secret storm swells dread

losing control of mind’s eye

uninvited guests

 


Participating in dVerse Poets haibun Monday on topic of fear…

can i pray for you?

 

Prayer is practicing the quiet presence of God.  It is crawling up into the lap of our abba – daddy and crying to hear him whisper comfort in our ear as he wraps us in his strong, everlasting arms.  Prayer is communion, connection, conversation; our privilege as children since Jesus opened door.  It may be a mighty wrestling, his will bending ours to grant a greater blessing than we can imagine.  In amazing love and grace, God invites us to pray and he initiates our prayers.  He wants us to come to him. In his presence, our brokenness begins to heal, our emptiness to fill. Prayer is relationship, not religion;  desire, not duty.  It is our lifeline; vital as breathing, inhale – exhale.  If we cannot pray?  Jesus intercedes, the Spirit groans and the family of God lifts us up, before his throne.

 

listen in silence

dew refreshes, green renews

spring rain for the soul

foreboding

 

How are we wandering Americans to know it’s Canada’s provincial parks camping weekend?  Of course, all campgrounds from Jasper to Banff are overflowing so we drive on. Sun is setting low over the pass when we find a lonely parking lot near trailhead where we can park our pickup camper for the night. Tired of riding, we decide to check out the trail as dusk settles on forest.

Light fades fast in the high country, exaggerating shapes and shadows.  Full skirts of fir trees appear as dark illustrations straight from the Brothers Grimm.  My apprehension only serves to amplify the crunch of pine needles and sounds of skittering.  We meet last pair of hikers coming back down trail and I note they have walking sticks equipped with bear bells.

 

night envelops trees

alpine woods bathed in shadow

autumn falls early

 


Poets at dVerse are writing haibuns and “forest bathing” this week!

sterling elocution

 

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 

Like Solomon, who wrote these words, I find soul satisfaction in beautiful speech.  As a writer, I search for delicious words to be framed in serendipitous syntax.  I hope to pick ripe thoughts, artfully arrange them in woven-word baskets and serve a taste of lingual delights.  I admire skilled poets and appreciate how different poetic brushstrokes reveal textured perspectives; unique angles on life’s truth.  Flighty images of the mind settle to roost in solid words. Sentinel ideas on signposts outline silent spaces for contemplation.  Hand-in-hand, we meander world with senses alert to the wild call of hurricane winds or the fresh whisper of gentle breezes, then collectively record richly scripted delicacies for our hungry souls to feast on.

*Proverbs 25:11, BRG
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photo by lynn – Galveston beach

the peanuts club

The crawl space of childhood’s basement offered an obvious place for our secret club. We climbed red-bench invitation to reach spool knob and swing open a wide (but very short) plywood door; then clambered up, one-by-one, into our hide-out. Sliding over corrugated cardboard flooring, the first brave soul would pull the string to a single lightbulb. Neighborhood kids formed collaborative huddle amid boxes of empty canning jars and old books. Dark, cobwebbed corners added aura of mystery (not to mention arachnid fear) to our clandestine meetings. With conspiratorial whispers, we’d conduct official club business and ritual passing of candy before breaking out the “Peanuts” board game. Hanging out with Charlie Brown’s gang, we rolled the dice, collected comic character tiles, and took our turns in the “Booby Hatch”.

childhood memories

password protected clubhouse

friendship’s secret code

harvesting the moon

Linking with dVerse Poets for Haibun Monday…

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November 2016 “super moon” 


 

I remember the harvest moon when we still picked corn. My husband’s father hunkered inside the tractor-mounted picker on a clear October night. He throttled ahead, pushing the machine’s snouts into the rows of dry corn, stripping off ears, spitting them into the trailing wagon and leaving bent stalks in its wake. At the end of the field, the satisfied farmer unhitched his full wagon by pulling a rope and riding ahead to wait.

Raised as city girl and college-educated, I learned to drive tractor and maneuver an empty wagon behind the picker, unhitch, then turn to back tractor in front of full wagon. It was like a mechanical dance when performed smoothly. I’d hop down and run to lift tongue of empty wagon in line as picker slowly backed to it until holes lined up and I could drop hitch pin into place. Dad turned machine back into standing corn for next pass across field where my husband met him with another empty wagon.

After hitching up full wagon, I’d climb back on tractor, and haul my load to a corn crib; one of our round wire cribs or a wooden-slat shed. I drove straight past the folded elevator; dismounted to lower heavy hopper to ground. Climbed on tractor again to back the wagon against hopper and raise wagon box with hydraulic hoist, tipping it back.  A utility tractor ran the elevator as I reached over to open/close the wagon’s small back door to allow rolling corn ears to fall into the hopper at my feet. A moving chain with metal flights carried the corn up, up, up to top of roof where it dumped ears into open crib.

I wore earplugs to deaden the noise, my skin chafed in the cold wind, my eyes protested the dust and my body fought fatigue after an already long day of harvest (switching wagon, hauling load, emptying wagon, repeat).  But to witness an abundant crop under a beautiful moon felt like God smiling his blessing on us.
 

shadow hides raccoon

full moon rises on cornfields

kernels of plenty

 

city-escape

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National conference downtown allows brief time for exploring familiar noisy streets. Walking with a friend to art museum through civic park reveals underbelly of city. A few paces on hot concrete in summer sun induces sweat. Try not to notice drug deal under shade of fountain colonnade or homeless lounging against marbled wall near bronzed statue. Pigeons investigate remnants of fast food, old newspapers and cigarette butts. Step across colorful chalk-lettered sidewalk declaring “Black Lives Matter” while handful of protestors camp under tree. Police car cruises by, another has stopped a car of rowdy boys. Keep focused on destination while avoiding curbside drunks.  Hastily cross boulevard ahead of traffic bearing down. The beautiful main entrance of memories is under construction and visitors are directed past dirt piles to alley door. Once inside, relax in climate-controlled air and stroll past paintings and exhibits, admiring the polished side of human culture.
 

pillowed hotel room

sirens howl in the night

dazed lights of city

 

Linking with dVerse Poets where Bjorn hosts modified haibun Monday.

starry nights

photo credit: Stephen Bockhold,  rebedvrlists.com

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Torches shine along forest trail that leads to clearing.  Youth campers in Rocky Mountains gather around bright bonfire; jostle each other to find seats on long pine logs. Click off flashlights with excited whispers. Flames lick upward as sparks rise higher.  Guitar music wafts through smoke and singing begins.  A chorus of “kum ba yah” fades as heads quietly tip up toward heaven.  Eyes blink in wonder, above and beyond, to where floating sparks extinguish and a million twinkling stars ignite!

 

clear night on mountain

milky way spills across sky

deep infinity

 


I’m joining dVerse Poets for haibun Monday’s theme: twinkle, twinkle

evening glow

Joining dVerse Poetics prompt:  moon muse personified…

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photo by lynn

 

One beautiful summer’s eve, Moon hosted a gala dinner party on Earth’s patio but did not invite Sun (understandably, as he always seems to outshine her best efforts and makes a point of it).  The Stars, however, like to imitate Sun’s braggadocio and would have enjoyed bringing his ego down a notch.  Miss Moon animated the night, elegant (as always) in her pale dress with feathery cloud shawl caressing her white shoulders.  The Stars regaled their gracious host with tales of the Hunter and Great Bear.  They all joined in the ancient songs, illuminating the night sky.  A misty-eyed Moon finally bid farewell to the fading planets and slipped into bed just before the jilted Sun blazed hot on the horizon.

 

moon reflects sun’s face

heavenly bodies sing praise

shine created light

 

 

 

 

 

romancing the cook

 
The recipe for romance begins in the kitchen, it’s true. Wink while pouring a hot cup of coffee, stir in a little sugar ‘n cream. Share secret stash of smooth dark chocolate and a lingering kiss. Place in love’s grasp a wildflower bouquet, picked fresh in anticipation. Cook breakfast omelet (for supper) together; nibble an earlobe while bacon sizzles. Slip arm around waist as artisan bread toasts to crusty perfection. Turn lights low, sit side by side, hold hands to pray a blessing. Pass the seasonings and sprinkle meal lightly with laughter.
 

hungry for dessert

oh my sweet potato pie

recipe for love

 


Joining dVerse poets for haibun Monday with a romantic theme!

Can you spare a sparrow?

"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." Matt. 10:29-31

 

Sparrows are ordinary little birds, the original “twitters that tweet”.  Plain brown-feathered avians with a bit of white highlights and black detailing on wings and tail.  A stout body and strong beak complete the miniature musical package.  Even the sparrow’s song is rather ordinary. Though they may be common, they are cheery creatures and accustomed to people, making them pleasant companions. Watching sparrow couples mate on clothesline (a frantic series of quick flits) and later tend nestlings in birdhouse or seeing a small flock splash in garden birdbath provides cheap (cheep) window entertainment.  Sparrows are equally at home in the big city, hopping along sidewalks and chirping in bushes.

 

fresh oatmeal cookie

nibbled at sidewalk cafe

sparrow eyeballs crumbs

 


This haibun is my writing for Day 2: Exploring the Ordinary as part of  “21 Days of Journaling in July” at www.enthusiasticallydawn.com  

 

yokoburi at risefest

The Japanese, who invented haiku, are so “tuned in” to weather and seasonal changes that they actually have 50 different words for rain!  Yokoburi means “driving rain”, as Toni explains at dVerse Poets while serving up haibuns.

 

The northern sky looks dark but we clutch our tickets and lawn chairs, scanning the crowd for an open spot of grass. Undiminished by wringer of day’s work in humidity, we feel pumped for loud, driving beats of drums and bass guitar. A preliminary speaker takes the stage; her enthusiasm covers as a squall stall. Restless for concert to begin, we leave our chairs to search for supper among the vendor stands: pizza by the slice, walking tacos, churro bites, BBQ beef or bratz on bun, cookie on a stick, warm funnel cakes and cold lemonade. We chat with a mom and her stepsons at our picnic table; sharing napkins, talking about noisy boys. Then we wander back to our seats as band takes the stage, under threatening clouds. Let the music begin! Two songs in, clapping crowd is hushed by announcement to go to our cars as a storm is rolling in. A controlled chaos ensues as a thousand people simultaneously fold up camp and head for the parking lot. A strong gust of wind pushes us over tangled net fences to the relative shelter of our cars. A wild prairie storm steals show as headliner tonight.

outdoor concert rips

rain blows across tattered stage

hail drums staccato

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