DNA Alterations

Held in a bark lined trunk,  

Acorn confusion scattered,  changed with time

held captive in an “enraged” maple mind

 

Locked within

So much color to behold

A young cotyledon forced to grow old

 

Repeat the pattern

Across a treeline, so as to imprint

into a cell, message sent

 

A preconceived plan altered when

recognition occurs

interruptions in growth, vividly stirs

 

Messy and scattered

against a blue sky

Answers needed, unexplained, no reasons why

 

Creator  feeling loss

of life out of control

needing to escape, burning whole

 

“Strength grown out of weakness”

providing new roots as needed

Growing through life, new beginnings greeted. 

Time Found Us

Tracing the  length of my arm to the tips of my fingers,

invisible strands reach for the laughter and dance 

that is found 

in the vastness of the stars filled

with you.

 

No corners to get hung up in.

No room filled darknesses.

 

Boundless breaths of air fill me 

to a point of expansion 

where radiant beams of  light 

warm and surround me

with you.

 

No boundaries where lines are drawn.

No hearts held motionless.

 

Yesterdays bring us to a place where tetherball dreams

and race car schemes collide 

Hand printed words carried into laughter induced moments 

where the desk in front of me is occupied 

with you. 

 

No rulers to  confine thoughts.

No splintered reflections.

 

Only a connection and a plan 

where there are no walls to run into

or red flags to slow it down.

Only measureless possibilities 

with you.

 

No obstacles to cause stumbling.

No doubts to bring retreat.

 

Unlimited movement finds truth 

as it reaches for the laughter and dance

found in  the vastness of the star filled strands 

leading to the tips of your fingers

as you trace the length of your arms

to me.  

 

Without Words

Cans

 

Presumptions were made on my part 

as you approached me, I noticed

your gold colored t-shirt that was worn backwards;

dirt stains splattered across your pants and the back side of your shirt

led me to think that your daily walk was street-held.

 

I stood at the cash register, 

as you came in the wooden double doors

Your approach towards the counter brought a look of hesitation, 

a reluctance encompassed your walk filled pace.

“Do you have a black marker I can borrow?

I have some words to write on a box.” 

 

It is not unusual to see one, maybe two, maybe three

pairs of hands on nearby street corners with a cardboard sign

each pleading for coins to get through the day, the week, the month, 

marker-ed scribbling

voice the words that the hands and heart need.

 

I hadn’t seen you on the corners before

Your dirt stained hand stretched out to mine

A black marker was left, help you did find.

“Please make sure you bring it back.”

 

Through a pane of glass I watched…a world away,

as you decided what words you needed to say. 

Your hand moved from corner to corner 

leaving lettering that I couldn’t read.

 

Back through the doors you came, 

A different walk, not the same. 

A smile and assurance written on your face

A young man on a mission, a young man knowing his place.

 

Handing me the marker, with an outstretched hand,

You voiced a “Thank you.”  and turned and continued 

to attend to what your heart did demand 

 

Hours passed, my shift ended

The marker request, not forgotten, but put aside 

until I saw that gold t-shirt across the way,

in the middle of a lot where cars park 

in the middle of the day.

No window pane, no worlds distant and far away.

 

I drove closer,  to see where your box might be,

it wasn’t there. 

Did you change your mind about what others should hear and see?

As I inched closer, you bent down 

picking discarded candy wrappers and plastic cellophane  up off the ground.

White plastic bag, in your hand, the contents was clear to see

As the weight of your bag showed your work, your mission, 

Your heart called that day …your current destiny

 

I started to go and wondered if you were hungry

or why it might be that you chose to clean  a parking lot of its debris.

Was someone paying you?

Wouldn’t standing at the corner with your scribbled words

be easier on such a hot day?

I rolled down my window and asked

“Where’s your box, the one where you needed to write upon,

did it not work, is it gone?”

 

With that reassured smile you stated,

 “Oh yes, it works just fine, 

it’s over there on the corner

where those who feel the need,

 can drop cans in it and keep the streets litter free.

Isn’t it sad, how careless people can be? 

I put some rocks inside the box, so it wouldn’t blow away…please know I’ll take the rocks out, 

when I pick the box up at the end of the day. ”

 

A lump in my throat, tears welled up inside

As I listened to you, while you stood there in those dirt stained clothes

with only your heart to display and confide.

 

I asked, “Are you hungry, are you doing ok?”

You hesitated with reluctance and a smile, 

“I’m ok for now, for a little while.”

 

I reached into my change holder and and pulled the few dollars that were there

I took them out and handed them to you, 

wanted you to know that someone noticed and cared. 

“Well, thank you for cleaning up the parking lot, when others are careless and don’t think about what they do.

Here’s a little something to perhaps take a break and get a drink for you.”

 

You stretched out your hand,

A little dirtier than before

Your face lit up and your words took me by surprise,

“If it’s ok, I’d like to go buy another box

to put on this other side. 

People need  a place to put their trash so they don’t 

clutter up the outside.”

 

We talked for a few minutes more, 

I left you to your work,

I realized…you were fed with God’s heart given chore. 

I drove away, feeling somewhat ashamed

Of presumptions made,  and not doing enough

asking myself, what I could do, 

what more?

 

The wheels of my car turned as I crossed the parking lot, 

past a man who stood at the corner with cardboard in his hand,

tears fell, 

as I knew what my heart did command.

 

I pulled over and looked for my wallet

did I have any more cash that I could give,

Do I give it to the man with cardboard in his hand 

Or the young man with a heart command. 

 

It was then, I saw the gold colored t-shirt, 

walking up to Walmart with his debris filled sack.

Depositing his bag into the can left outside the doors, 

He disappeared….went inside…perhaps a box…a drink  to buy.

I will  wait until he comes back to finish his chores. 

 

While I waited, I drove over to the  place where a cardboard box had been placed,

I read the words scribbled from corner to corner. “Cans”

I  got out and looked inside and there were rocks strewn about and a few crushed cans that didn’t hide.

What more could I do, my heart prayed…fill his box on this day.

 

I went back to the place where I work,

to the blue recycle bin  that held aluminium cans 

Tied the bag together and 

left with what God’s heart called and did demand. 

 

Not really knowing if this was the right thing to do

but I took the bag and placed it in your box.

I smiled through tear filled eyes…oh what a surprise. 

No more words to say, 

the “more” was done on this given moment, this given day.

 

You taught me to do more than I set out to do that day

You followed a command and scribbled some words on a box

and on a woman’s heart in your own special way. 

Purpose-filled Restoration

Isaiah

Of all the books in the Bible, I find myself in Isaiah, more times than not,  rereading and studying the words written long ago about individuals and groups of people who followed God’s law and those who didn’t.   I reflect on and study God’s part in individuals lives;  I reflect on and study God’s part in groups of people;  I reflect on and study in order to perhaps find answers for myself. 

A long time ago, I started writing in my Bible…notes, dates, comments, questions.  Some people disagree with writing in a Bible, but I find the study of “myself” in my notes….I find the growth of myself in my notes.  There are times when I can read a verse and it will be just words on a page and other times,  I will be taken to tears when the words are exactly what I needed to hear.

Isaiah 49:16

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;   your walls are ever before me.

The verse Isaiah 49:16 is one that brings me comfort in times of need.  Knowing that there is a “higher power” who is at the wall before I even get there is comforting.  I have at times come to this verse and thought, “Who am I, that You would want me “on the palm of Your hands?”  I have come to express gratitude and thanksgiving for placing me on the palm of His hands.

Isaiah 50:4 

The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned…..

The verse 50:4 has given definition to “my purpose” throughout life.  Close to thirty years ago, I chose to become a school teacher.  One of my goals was to ensure that every child in the classroom had a voice.  There are students who stand out in class, they speak up, they act out, they make their presence known.  It’s the quiet ones, the struggling ones that I wanted to make sure they knew someone saw them.  As I near my last week of teaching in a public school setting, I can look back and know that I reached that goal many times over.  Names and faces appear in a flash and tears form as I realize how many children and parents God brought to me over the years.

Leaving the classroom doesn’t take away my purpose, it will just be in other places, still with faces that need to hear the words that will be sent them.

Isaiah 51:16

And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

Isaiah 51:16 isn’t one I have marked as many times as some, but today touches me in a realization of knowing that there have been those whose paths I’ve crossed that are laying their own foundations and plants because of the interaction arranged by God between me and them.  I simply carried a message.

Isaiah 51:9

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.

While there are days that I am tired, I am so grateful for the strength and purpose given for each day.  There is so much more to be done.

Tide Release

 

Leave your sandals at the pier

footsteps only, peace is near.

 

Sifting sand beneath your feet

between your toes, troubles meet.

 

Uncertain footing from places within

beach front walking, answer-filled steps begin.

 

With each pebble and rushing tide

woes and worries, nowhere to hide.

 

Breathe the ocean air in deep

secrets released; only mermaids and ship captains keep.

 

Pick your sandals up at the pier

Facing life, once again,  without old fear.

 

Moments that Mattered

To walk once again in the moonlight

or swim passionately among the beams reflections

To capture laughter filled vacancies

that recognize and hold a self captured glimpse of yesterday

To go unnoticed, unfelt, or acknowledged would be easier

than immersing heart swelled holdings

To erase the words that created a stone, a marker upon which

Randomness skipped across the water into unknown places

To accept the infinite void left

once darkness approached and engulfed it all.