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Tag Archives: Women of the Bible

SJT – Doubt (Captivated)

Apple in a tree

Photo © 2015 by V. Nesdoly

Captivated

Puffy white lambs
in the sky.
Iridescent dragonflies. Furry bees.
Jewel birds flitting and fluting the forest
with warbles and calls.
A plush rabbit’s coat.
Moist velvet tickle of a horse’s nose.
He, smooth, agile, muscular
climbing a palm.

These globes just above me
hanging from this tree God has forbidden
their glossy roundness inviting
a caress, a pluck, a savor…
The intelligent eyes
of the beautiful chartreuse
creature suddenly beside me
taking my measure, his liquid tones
smooth, oily, almost fragrant
“Has God indeed said…?”

© 2015 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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In this little piece, I was trying to get at the wonders of the created world as Eve experienced them through her fresh-wax senses. Ah, but there was trouble ahead.

Every brand and iteration of doubt is, I believe, in some way begun by revisiting the words spoken by the serpent to Eve in Genesis 3:1.

spiritual-journey-framedThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning. The theme this week is DOUBT.

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Tabitha

Dorcas (Tabitha) - Artist Unknown

Dorcas (Tabitha) – Artist Unknown

TABITHA

While others haggled over meat and fish
I caressed bolts of nubby linen
examined weave of wool
marveled at the rich lightness of silk.

When I became disciple
love of finery and fabric
was all I had to give
the Risen Wearer of the unseamed cloak.
Then I forsook my search
for that embroidered purple robe
which would proclaim “Gazelle.”
Instead stitched love for Him
into the tunics of orphaned lambs,
pieced sad raw sackcloth mantles
for widowed wives,
decorated girdles to flatteringly fit
more hopeful garments.

This day I find myself
(my needle stilled—
I couldn’t move it steady for the chills)
floating above them all
(strange how the drape of fabric
changes with perspective).

What is this place I enter
all so white (the fuller* here
must be exceptional)?
Beings of dazzle walk me arm-in-arm
to where He stands
and then I see what He is holding
in His hands
garment so gleaming white
I cannot look to tell
if it is silk, linen or purest wool.
“Gazelle!” He cries,
and I am held
by warm and welcoming eyes…

“Tabitha! Arise!”

I stare surprised
into amazed and tear-smudged faces
feel the sturdy weight of covers
hear the squeals of children
remember—it seems years ago—the tunic
I put down yesterday,
and know that I again
take up the shuttle
to weave the warp and woof of life
as ever—but not
for I have seen my robe
and looked into His eyes.

© 2007 by Violet Nesdoly

(Based on Acts 9:36-42)

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This week Adele Kenny’s poetry prompt was to write about heaven. After reading it I thought of this poem I wrote some years ago. It was inspired by the story of Tabitha from Acts 9:36-42 in the Bible. Tabitha (who is also known as Dorcas and whose name means gazelle) was an early Christian woman who got sick, died, and was then raised to life by Peter.

I’ve read many accounts of near-death experiences, and I’m sure my imaginings were influenced by those stories in my flight of fancy about how Tabitha spent the time between dying and coming back to life.

(Though written years ago, this poem fits into my current project—poems about women of the Bible.)

poetry+friday+button+-+fulllThis post is part of Poetry Friday, hosted today by Julie Larios at The Drift Record / Julie Larios

“Tabitha” was previously published in my book Family Reunion – 2007, Utmost Christian Writers

* fuller:  The word “full” is from the Anglo-Saxon fullian, meaning “to whiten.” (See complete definition, bottom, under Bible Dictionary definition.)

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in People, Poetry Friday, Religious

 

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Leah

Rachel & Leah - James Tissot

“Rachel and Leah” by James Tissot

Leah

“…bury me with my fathers…. There they buried Abraham and Sarah…Isaac and Rebekah…and there I buried Leah” – Jacob in Genesis 49:29-31

The morning after Jacob lay with me
even my weak eyes saw his anger.
When I give him a son
he will love me.

Even my weak eyes saw his joy
at the births of Reuben and Simeon
will he finally love me
after Levi, Judah?

At the births of Reuben and Simeon.
Rachel brooded.
After Levi, Judah
she fumed and schemed.

Rachel brooded
bargained for my son’s mandrakes.*
She fumed and schemed
at Zebulun—my sixth!

The bargained-for mandrakes
have produced a son at last.
Zebulun, my sixth
followed by Joseph, Rachel’s first.

Have produced a second son—her last.
She died birthing Benjamin
who followed Joseph, Rachel’s first.
Still Jacob doesn’t love me.

Though she died birthing Benjamin
and I gave him six sons
still Jacob doesn’t love me
though forever now Jacob lies with me.

– Violet Nesdoly – January 2013

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This bittersweet love poem is from a new project I’ve begun: writing poems about the women in the Bible.

You may know the story of Leah. She was the oldest daughter of Laban and sister of Rachel. Rachel was beautiful and Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah, fell in love with her, then  worked seven years to earn the right to marry her. But on the wedding night, the girls’ father (Laban) switched Leah (who is described as having “weak eyes”) for Rachel, telling his disappointed son-in-law the next morning that it wasn’t customary to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one was married. A week later Laban gave Rachel to Jacob as a second wife on the condition Jacob would serve him another seven years. The jealousy and friction in that home are well documented in Genesis.

The voice in the poem is Leah’s from beyond the grave. And maybe she’s wrong. Maybe Jacob did come to love her, seeing that he chose to be buried near to her and not Rachel.

This poem is based loosely on Adele Kenny’s prompt about the old becoming new again. I chose the pantoum form because it literally circles back to the beginning.

(*Mandrakes were thought to be an aphrodisiac. In the story, Leah’s oldest son brought them to his mother, but Rachel persuaded Leah to give them to her in exchange for a night with Jacob.)

poetry+friday+button+-+fulllThis poem is part of Poetry Friday, hosted today by the wonderful Linda at Teacherdance.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2013 in History, Pantoum, People, Poetry Friday

 

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