I Don’t Know Your Face

I don’t know your face.
I know the shape of it. The curves, the lines, the beautiful contours.
I know the idea of it.
But I don’t know your face.
It is hidden to me.
Not always.
Not forever.
Just today. Right now. In this moment of strife.

 

I said words that were beneath me. Words that made less of you. Painful words.
Words ill-fitting and ugly. Unworthy words.
I said them. I meant them. I hate them. I hate myself for saying them.

 

You are no angel.
Your imperfections are beautiful and heartbreaking.
You are mine. I am yours. We take turns hurting, biting, maiming.
That is not who you are. It is not who I am.
It is who we are together.
Not always.
Not forever.
Just today. Right now. In this moment of rancor.

 

You said injurious words. You raged and quaked and yelled.
Your words have broken my heart. They made me feel small. Insignificant. Impotent.
You said them. You meant them. You hate them. You hate yourself for saying them.

 

I love the all of you that I know.
Some parts are hidden. I have kept things hidden as well.
We share those hesitantly. With fear and trembling.
We hold back. It protects us from shame. From rejection. From loneliness.
Together, we reject that shame. We know this.
Always.
Forever.
Today. Right now. In this moment of healing.

 

We made promises before. Promises for then and forever.
We are one. Bodies, spirit, hearts. Knitted together by holy words. A holy vow.
We said them. We meant them. We love them. We love each other for saying them.

 

 




The Progression

The Progression

 

I.

I took my icy water in white cups
when we sipped the evening’s streams
beside the round lava rocks
freezing our forest with dreams.

 

II.

I take tiny cups
with icy water from the evening’s wells
when we dip them with deep
dips in dreaming wells

beside my tick tocking clock
on my mantle of bells.

 

III.

I dip them pell-mell,
the white cups
in the dipping well
of my deep dipping dreams

and
I think thoughts,
and thoughts and droughts,
beside the lithe, long legs of the thinking tree

when I dip my pen
in deep letters
that aren’t the words I mean to say.

 

IV.

And at last we
forgive our human language,
you and me,

in deep wells beside the round, rocking tree

where I
dreamt of the deep deeps

and the deep,
rocking hum of the earth
dreamt and dreams.

 

V.

And there were round founts
where I froze my deeps with dreams
around round river mounts
in the light of day,

and there were uncovered founts
by the long legs of the tree

when we dipped our pens
in deep letters
that weren’t the words we meant to say,
when nostalgia transpired,

and there was heaven
gesturing toward
its gates all along;

that is all
we really needed after all,
that is all.

 

 




He Lies Laying

The v-like manger-cradle
balanced the babe in a bed
so cold but comfortable
    He lay

in the midst of the struggle
the manger-cradle king
with star-found worship
    He lay

when they saw heaven on earth
in the clouds greater than the sun
between the branches of David’s line
    He lay.

Our winter stars shine in adorned
worship when heaven on earth
    lies laying

grace in the midst of our struggle, the
v-like manger-cradle
balances the babe
    lies laying

love in our cold but comfortable
battle worn defense of the fire
    He lies laying

joy when He lay laying
the venom’s lies left
when we left our sins

and truly
the babe lies laying still.




The Lines of Our Joy

Undoubtedly, no amount of writing
describes the unmeasured happy, leaping joy,
the loudly whooping folks and toys,

the happy days,
the mellow ways
the lays, the lines
streaming the tree of time,

doting time,
times of dreams
and dreams in dreams.

I’ll watch them laugh
all splayed with wishes and
ways of yuletide joy

in the measured time,
doting time,
dreams in tracks of time,

the happy days,
doting ways,
dipped in lays and lines
streaming the tree with times,

And no word or measure
defines our happy times and toys
nor the whistling tracks of our timeless joys.




This is the Church

This is the Church

 

It is the beautiful and broken body of Christ.

It is stumbling, faltering, and flawed. Pray for it.

It is vibrant, triumphant, and redeemed. Rejoice in it.

This is the Church

 

It is sacred and marred. Righteous and erring. The blood of the Lamb covers it all; redemption soaking the ground beneath its feet.

It is filled with sinners, hypocrites, blasphemers, and liars saved and transformed by the grace and love of the Giver of all good things.

Coarse and ugly, it is a priceless treasure. Loud and inconstant, it is the apple of Jehovah’s eye. Timid and afraid, it is the army of the omnipotent LORD of creation.

It is God’s reflected light to the world. The hands and feet of the Great I AM. The voice crying out in the wilderness, calling all creation to renewal. It is the bearer of the greatest mandate ever given. It is the prophets, preachers, and teachers proclaiming truth in a world of lies. It is the lovers, nurturers, and healers extending grace and justice to a world of brokenness. It is the missionaries, Gospel-bringers, and martyrs humbly offering the Bread of Life to the starving.

This is the Church

 

Christ is its cornerstone. It is loved and cherished, sustained and protected. It is the bride of the Lamb, adorned and exalted. The gates of hell cannot stand against it. It is chosen and set apart. It is buffeted from every side, yet it will never fail. It is eternal and victorious, not by the strength of its hands but by the power of the LORD of hosts.

Reject it at your peril. Mock it at your risk. No weapon formed against it will prosper. All those who rise against it will fall. It is God’s holy and established institution on earth, His ambassador to the nations. It is the imperfect representation of the Kingdom of God. It is the hopeful expectation of the perfected union of Heaven and earth. It is to be loved, nurtured, protected, purified, and embraced. It is the bride that is loved with a love so fierce and so overwhelming. A love that did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. A love that emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant. A love that humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. A love so amazing, so divine it transcends all human understanding.

That love has called the Church His body.

His love.

His bride.

Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.

This is the Church

 

Redeemed

Forgiven

Eternal

Triumphant

Loved

This is the Church

 

 

 




Approaching Autumn

REO proudly presents Ben Plunkett’s newest poem – Approaching Autumn. We decided to present this one in a different format than usual, hoping that it would capture more people’s attention. It deserves that. One suggestion, please watch it in Full Screen mode for best viewing. Otherwise, the text might be hard to read for those with less-than-perfect vision.

 

 




The Five Hours of World Conquest




The Tick Tock

A little away
the clock tick tocks
the time where
we know He knows
it tick tocks
the clock rocks

away
when all was lost
He left the stars
where love is lush to
touch our hands,
our heads, our souls,

standing
in His thunder
underneath in
the nothingness
of our ticking,
in the sea of our tocking,
in the ticking, the tocking,

away
when life was lost
and deliverance
crossed into our
land where love is losing,
where He touches our hands, our heads, our souls,
where He views this sphere so

away
ticking, tocking,
our sides
plumped with bumps
and clumps and thorny lumps
far away
from His sigh
of mercy,
of death, His death,
of life, His life,
of the tick tock
the clock rocks
today.




Speckled Spring

There is resolve
in
the green
armies of the textured lawn
yawning
its chasms of dawn,

in
leaves wandering
to and fro,
to and fro,
in boughs
that grew years ago,

in
the sun in the cloud’s
burning light
on dandelions running
with yellow swords to a yellow fight,

in
our speckled spring,
the light shining
to and fro,
to and fro,
in beams that
grew years ago.

And life is in
the hanging ferns so
to and fro,
to and fro;
the ferns swing
and breezes blow.




Phases of Grace

I. Death

After He sighed His last,
the dead came out
to bat their eyes and survived,
the earth revived.

The light
of God passed into
the fields,
the whitewashed fields.

The land survived,
the land revived.

II. Resurrection

There were burrs and
bellyaching
and holy outrage
in our dying race
in need of grace.

And grace is in
a tomb and a tree,
my brothers and sisters,
in a time that is free.

Death was on the earth,
it did not realize,
it did not recognize,
it will not survive.

III. Everlasting Life

There are still burrs and
bellyaching
and holy outrage

as men and women gallivant
from here to there all nonchalant,

and
cities coil with selfish boys
and girls.

But He sighed and
we came out
to bat our eyes,
we revive,
we will survive.