Reflections on poems from the recently published collection Forged in the Heart.

Days

In a haste of days,
we are apt
to travel,
beset
by all manner
of snapping worries
and
beastly needs.

In soft days
slowly passing,
we have no pursuer
no enemy
that follows
on our heels.

We are free.

Smell that fragrance,
observe those pathways,
listen to the stillness
of soft grasses
caressing one another.

Our lives have been transformed now, in a very short time, from a haste of days to days of stillness. What an appropriate time for us to be.

These are days of stillness. In the wake of Novel COVID-19, observe the changes to our earthly planet.

In Australia it is autumn, here at my home it is Spring. Daffodils push up their bright green leaves in the courtyard through fallen leaves of the year before. Birds rush here and beyond, flying back to the place they call home with sticks in their beaks.

Rather than worry over toilet tissue or some other hard to find object, how important to just be.

A lock down is coming for our state in the next day or so. What does that mean to us?

Who would think that the Internet, which has felt like a foe, dragging at our heels, can instead be a place of community. Not for yelling, nor anger, but for reaching out to our neighbor in love…caressing one another.

Mary, Full of Grace

In the icon of the Theotokos,
I see in an awareness
of Christ,
only Christ!

What amazement to
have chosen such a
sweet
innocent girl
to usher in
His human form.

She must have been
surprised
with His outlook
and perception
of the world,
and its purpose.

How could He, by dying
carve a crossroad in
Life?

What a Feast she saw
Before her
when
she KNEW what it meant.

My thoughts at the writing of the poem…

I was so aware this morning when spending time in front of the icon of the Theotokos, that Christ chose to come into usfallen manto change our very life and material through His Death and Resurrection.

He picked a unique, sweet and innocent girl, with a strongly focused Jewish faith, who had been reared in the Temple, and who must have been awestruck to have a Son who continually surprised her with clear perceptions of the world and its workings. He was a Son who surprised her in His dying, thereby carving a fork into the road of life.

Before us, the choice is Eden or the world. Which road do we choose? With the Heavenly Eden, all energy, every grain of sand, every cell and every molecule participates in all ways through HosannaGod With Usif the mind and energy and Grace of God are so directed. How can one bear to go in the other direction?

Thoughts

Fear scatters our minds
and calls up talking voices of temptations,
things done and undone.

Go into the breath…
that life-giving force
which encompasses silence.

Like waves rolling to shore,
our breath is the breath of
the earth itself.
It stills the mind and becomes a
living prayer.

Jesus Christ Son of God
have mercy on me a sinner!

How often I have found myself on one end or the other of this poem? Finally, I begin to see in myself the seed of thoughts which feel scratchy to my soul.

As I have become more aware of that feeling, the Jesus Prayer comes more readily to my lips, snapping the cord of those thoughts, and instead, comes Peace. Glory to God!


All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2019-2020 by Claire Brandenburg. All rights reserved.

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