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Intent (do not spare)

... sing with gusto (Photo © 2012 by V. Nesdoly)

“… sing with gusto”  (Photo © 2012 by V. Nesdoly)

do not spare

– After Isaiah 54:2

rise with optimism
shower with sweet-scented soap
dress in fine denim
eat with appetite
drink from a large mug

serve with a smile
teach with imagination
parent with compassion
heal with mercy and gentle hands
buy with foresight
sell with honesty
drive with caution

sing with gusto
play with a light heart
laugh heartily
relax without guilt

befriend with loyalty
face injustice with courage
cruelty with kindness
poverty with generosity
a stranger with hospitality

pray with faith
love with passion
worship always

sleep in peace

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Intent, Leigh Anne Eck’s one-little-word choice for 2016, is another of those words with several meanings. As a noun it means something that is intended—a purpose or design. It can also be an adjective that describes what is firm, steadfast, having attention, sharply focused, determined, a resolve, earnest (and a slew of other synonyms).

I have binders of poems, many of which have never seen the light of day. The one I’m posting today was written back in 2008, but it expresses what living with intention means for me. It came out of thinking about Isaiah 54:2 — a verse I love for its challenge to grow, risk, and think big.

“Enlarge the place of your tent,
And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords,
And strengthen your stakes.”

– Isaiah 54:2.

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

Join us this week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at  Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 
 

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I Read Nothing

Ebook collections on iPad

The collections on the Kindle App of my iPad (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

I Read Nothing

On my snazzy e-book reader
I load volumes by the score
fantasy and tomes of how-to
poems, fiction and memoir
books of travel and adventure
wondrous places to explore!

Have collected them for years now
by the hundreds three or four.
But what’s starting to amaze me
despite all these books galore
is my reader isn’t getting fat
and weighs not one ounce more!

Is my reader full of nothing
is it real—my large book store
this that occupies for hours
with best sellers and encore,
where I’ve always one more book to read
not bookless as before?

You can have your softback novels
over heavy hardbacks pore
sniff the ink, caress the vellum
hound of paperback hardcore.
Of my weightless nothing e-books
I’m a fan forevermore!

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Oh dear do I hear a collective groan on seeing another NOTHING poem? Sorry about that. But all the nothing poems read in the past few weeks hatched ideas for more. This one I couldn’t resist.

And please know that I am not trying to provoke a dust-up between paper and e-book loyalists. This is written tongue-in-cheek.

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Tricia at Miss Rumphius Effect where the welcome mat is out. Drop by for links to all kinds of delectable poetic fare.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Light, Objects, Poetry Friday

 

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Faith (Rough Ride)

Faith is hard to define and, I think, becomes evident not by what we say but how we live. Our life demonstrates what we really believe in.

I see that Justin (who has chosen FAITH as his one-little-word for 2016) has added the modifier “blind” to it. For me, faith is rarely completely “blind” in that buried somewhere in my history is an experience or conviction that what I put my trust in is trustworthy. And yet another way to look at it is that faith is always blind to a degree. That’s what makes it faith.

I have found that my spiritual faith in a God who is all good and all powerful is tested when bad things happen to me and those I love. A TV speaker I enjoy (Dr. Charles Price) talked about this very thing last Sunday. He pointed out that in  the story of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, Jesus delayed coming to their home until Lazarus, his friend, had died. How uncaring—how bad—that looked. Yet this apparently callus response worked all kinds of good in the lives of Mary, Martha, and the onlookers. God was in the temporarily bad situation working something good.

As Dr. Price put it, “There are the physical visible events that we see, and there are the spiritual events that we do not see, that are running parallel. We live in the first of these two but need eyes for the second, the realities that we cannot see that God is working out. There was more going on in this story than the health and life of Lazarus.” (Read the story in John 11:1-44; listen to Dr. Price’s talk: “I Am the Resurrection of the Life”.)

And, I would submit, there is also more going on in our lives than just the physical realities we experience each day. I believe that God is in all of them and works out all of these things for our eventual good.

This is the bottom line of my faith, expressed in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

However, in my human state, and from my earthly vantage point, I still feel stretched when circumstances aren’t going well. My faith is challenged. At such times I often discover that what I say I trust in I don’t really, at least not to the extent that I thought I did. Otherwise, why would I be so anxious?

Image: Skeeze / pixabay.com

Image: Skeeze / pixabay.com

Rough Ride

“You have covered yourself with a cloud
That prayer should not pass through” – Lamentations 3:44.

My need is the rodeo’s
pitching bull.
With one hand I clutch
the saddle horn of Your word
while the other is raised
in pleading.

My faith is the 747
on automatic pilot
buffeted by circumstances
whiplashed and tossed
by the turbulence.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday hosted each week by Holly Mueller at her blog Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 

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A Creation Tale

At her blog Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle’s January guest was children’s poet Douglas Florian. He posted the January Ditty of the Month challenge to write a poem about NOTHING. (Read Mr. Florian’s interview and challenge HERE.)

I’ve enjoyed these poems a lot during January as they debuted on Michelle’s blog and others. I wrote one a couple of weeks ago and decided to get brave and post it today  which is the last day of the challenge. (Michelle I know I’m too late to make into the draw and appear on your site & that’s just fine.) It’s a children’s poem.

Image: Johnhain / Pixabay.com

Image: johnhain / Pixabay.com

A Creation Tale

Before there ever was anything
Creator had the thought
of replacing nothing with something
to make things where there now were not.

The home for his creation could be
land or sky, ice or sea.

He could fill it with creatures feathered or scaled
furry or smooth, hided or hard.

They could move on feet, hoofs or wings
hop on claws or swim with fins.

Call to each other with honk or bray
laugh, nicker, warble or say.

And there could be things that would only stand
spreading green across the land

with hats of red, yellow or blue
and luscious fruit of every hue…

His mind was so full of these wonderful thoughts
he was getting nothing done.
But how to choose among so many
nothing to something begun?

So he decided to make them all
use all these ideas and more.
And that was the end of nothing.
Now there’s something forevermore.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Catherine at Reading to the Core.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2016 in Kids, Light, Religious

 

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Selah

I was intrigued by the word “Selah” when I first saw it on our list of one-little-words a few weeks ago. This will be interesting, I thought. When I started working on Michelle‘s one little word this week my initial intuition was confirmed. Selah doesn’t have a sure meaning.

“Selah” by the dictionary is: “An expression occurring frequently in the Psalms thought to be a liturgical or musical direction, probably a direction by the leader to raise the voice or indication of pause.” In the Amplified Bible, it’s transliterated “Pause and think of that.”

Despite or maybe because of this uncertain etymology it turns out to be a lovely word to take liberties with. I interpreted it as I would if it were my word and what it would say to me.

My real-life poet friend Laurel and I met yesterday and when I mentioned the subject of “Selah” she recalled she’d written about it too. She has given me permission to share her Selah poem with you. I love how we approached this differently—one as a seeker of Selah, the other as a serendipitous discoverer of it.

Picnic tables in the park

Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly

Selah (I)

Period. Don’t move
from this place till you’ve chewed
and swallowed the thought.
Delay. Mute the music.
Take a breathing space
a rest, lull, time out
maybe not as long as a coffee break
but at very least
a poet’s line break
or comma’s worth
of time.
Some lacuna in your life
will give it wholeness.
Take a hiatus
from your hurry.
Stop and listen.
Halt.
Hush.
Pause and think of that…
and then carry on.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

Selah (II)

Where is it,
this place of rest I seek?
I never find it, but sometimes it finds me.
There I can hear my breath
and I know I am alive, still.
There, I am me, still,
with needs of my own.

I wait for the quiet to catch me

Surprise me with stillness,
sustain me with solitude,
only moments long but endless
in memory, cooling
the singed edges of my soul.

© 2005 by Laurel Archer (Used by Permission. All rights reserved)

(You can read more of Laurel’s wonderful poetry at her blog Four Parts Hope and her annual advent project Toward Christmas.)

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday hosted each week by Holly at Reading, Teaching, Learning. We are currently writing about the one-little-word each of us has chosen as our “banner” for the year.

 
 

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Green Pot

Last week I poemed about our retired garburator. This week another kitchen poem. It’s about the contraption that has taken garburator’s place. I wrote the poem last fall at the height of fruit fly season, and took some photos to prove it.  Meet our green pot…

Our new Organics Bucket

Our new Organics Bucket

 

Green Pot

Our new organics bucket
has holes for ventilation
too small to be a fruit fly’s
in-and-out location.

But these tiny critters
will not be denied
the ripe bouquet of peels and pits
and stuff that has been fried.

They lounge on holey cover
congregate on our green pot.
It’s better than the fruit bowl
but I keep wondering, what

they get from just those fumes
of shells and grounds and pie.
Are they finding some nutrition,
or are they just getting high?

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, where you’ll find real poetry of many kinds. Tara Smith at A Teaching Life is hosting today. You can also go straight to this week’s InLinkz link-up page HERE.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2016 in Light, Poetry Friday

 

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Present

Margaret Simon‘s one little word PRESENT was fun to explore because of its many meanings. I think I know the meaning of “present” that is giving her inspiration, but maybe not…

In writing about it, I chose as my subject a Bible character who demonstrates what being present means to me, even as I used the word in several ways. (In case you’re not familiar with the story – you can read it HERE.) Though poetry says it slant, I hope you can pick up why I think it’s a powerful word to focus on for a year.

Martha, Mary, Jesus

Martha and Mary of Bethany, with Jesus (Artist unknown)

Present

Mary’s rapt attention
is her present to Jesus.
Though kitchen’s clatter
bang, scrape and pour
together with multi-tasking Martha’s
deep and pointed sighs
make the present tense
Mary chooses to stay
present, focused, listening
to Jesus present life—
unwrap past, present
and future.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)

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Join us each week fpr Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at her blog Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 
 

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