Imprinting

When I was born

I looked up into her eyes

and I dwelt in love.

 

She held me

in her arms and close

to her breast.

 

Her skin was cool,

my thoughts were warm;

at peace and in comfort.

 

Soothed by the maternal

hum and thrum

of her heart.

 

Through water the Lord

led me in

from my wandering.

 

He led me

into my heart,

where peace blossoms.

 

I see His beauty

and understand;

I am cradled in mercy.

 

My thoughts are stilled;

I can hear, and feel, and know,

the birthplace of Love.

 

~FS

A Call To Arms

Lord God disturb the peace

that my complacency enjoys.

 

Bring war and unrest

to my world-weariness.

 

Mercilessly stab the heart

of my selfish complaints.

 

Bring death to the nest

where anger sleeps within me.

 

Cut off the head of my pride

and cast me to my knees.

 

Do all of this I pray

that I may find freedom,

and see clearly,

Your Kingdom.

 

~FS

Keith (A Man of Silent Sacrifice)

At just nineteen he took possession of a mighty B-17,

The Army Air Corp’s durable workhorse

Continental Europe’s liberating air force

The bomber known as The Flying Fortress,

He signed his name on the dotted line, to pilot this war-machine.

 

No longer a boy in Forty-three, he took to the skies in battle,

On December 5 to Paris and back

Then Kiel, Ludwigshafen and Osnabruck

Ringing in the New Year over Cognac,

Five missions into a long campaign, he’s a man not easily rattled.

 

A man of silent sacrifice

Of the special ones who fly

Young men who defend us

War eagles of the sky.

 

A modest spiral notebook logs the record of his tour,

In columns, names and dates and years

No embellishments or fanfare

Thirty missions in European air,

A marathon of horror that most men could not endure.

 

The logbook doesn’t tell the tale of the courage, fear and loss,

Friends like brothers gone too soon

Flak and Messerschmitts at noon

In dense fog the barrage balloons,

Nor does it mention his receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

A man of silent sacrifice

Of the special ones who fly

Humble warriors who protect us

Liberators of the skies.

 

His was the lead position, throughout life as in the war,

Husband, father, grandpapa

Honor, duty, fidelity

Service was his earthly call,

Giving all on every mission, and leaving nothing more.

 

Upon his final flight from earth, the stars bright in the sky,

The moon casting the fields aglow

Cultivated row upon row

Stars above and stripes below,

Our nation’s banner, as God’s creation, enfolds him in its glory.

 

A man of silent sacrifice

Of the special ones who die

Our fathers who watch over us

The sentinels of the sky.

 

~FS

War

I witnessed two altercations;

a theme with variations.

 

Men fighting o’er a patch of pavement;

Dogs fighting o’er a piece of excrement.

 

The stakes seemed about equal;

The contestants pitched in battle.

 

With fury they attacked;

Each on the others back.

 

Autos jockeying for the pole position;

Canines chewing on an old emission.

 

Skirmishes with a tragicomic ending;

Car crashes and a lot of foul digesting.

 

As I mentioned I saw two battles;

and the stakes were nearly equal.

 

~FS

The Well-Dressed Man

Today I saw a well-dressed man,

in all the proper brands.

 

His backpack made by Arcteryx,

his shirt and coat made of Spandex.

 

A water bottle in one hand,

a coffee mug the other.

 

His feet adorned by Adidas,

his eyes RayBan made sunglasses.

 

His hair was clipped and cropped just right,

his skin the proper hue.

 

His pants were neither loose nor tight;

all done, no more to do.

 

A modern symbol of perfection,

with just a hint of intimidation.

 

An image of success.

Designing to impress.

 

Awed I was it must be admitted,

but also very irritated.

 

The effort I admired,

but it also made me tired.

 

While in my angst he took a call,

and clearly it was trouble.

 

His entire demeanor took a fall,

he’s simply not a god at all.

 

In his disgrace I felt my shame,

my judgement and my blame.

 

This man who so well dresses,

betrayed my prejudices.

 

Repenting of my first condemning,

vowing for a life amending.

 

No matter whether prince or pauper,

All men deserve my love and honor.

Her Name

Her name

meant stability,

solidity,

to me.

 

Like something granite;

Mt Rushmore.

Or something tectonic;

Australia.

 

Now I see

her name.

I remember she has gone:

my mind stops.

 

If minds

could lose their breath,

mine would gasp,

and struggle to restart.

 

Conceive the inconceivable;

Australia sinking,

Mt Rushmore dissolving.

Has she truly left this earth?

 

Her name

engraved in granite,

her soul,

amongst the stars?

 

Woman

as grass and shadows,

is timed to wilt and fade,

by the measure of the sun.

 

Earth

abiding still,

yet timed as well,

awaits a similar fate.

 

Granite melts

in fervent heat.

Her name

eternal memory.

 

And both will be

remade,

as Christ

returns again.

 

~FS

Shedding

Death

like a python,

slithers upon us.

All teeth;

piercing our flesh,

making us cry out

in anguish.

Then a long, slow constriction-

suffocating and

smothering.

 

Hope

like a beacon,

shines upon us.

All glorious;

warming our flesh,

causing us to sing

for joy.

Then a peace

enfolding-

invigorating and

inspiring.

 

Teetering between

death and hope;

oscillating and

careening.

 

Life

like a promise,

of death postponed.

All dewy;

charming our senses,

helping us to forget

our end.

Then an unwelcome

intruding-

unraveling and

awakening.

 

Christ

like a thief,

takes everything.

All dreams;

removing our illusions,

leaving us with Him

alone.

Then a time of

suffering-

ennobling and

deifying.

 

~FS

Seeking

Sometimes I sit

thinking only of you.

My heart grows calm

as tears fall from my eyes.

 

Sometimes I walk

watching my steps.

But my mind and my heart

are only with you.

 

If only my arms

could find you to hold.

If only my eyes

could see you again.

 

All that I hear

is only clatter,

that which isn’t

Your voice.

 

I shake my head

to clear the noise.

I call Your name,

and I call Your name.

 

I call Your name

in my lonely heart.

How long

must we be apart?

 

As I sit

tears are falling from my eyes.

What I’ve been and what I am,

and what I may become.

 

These tears

are of sorrow and of joy.

For what was and is,

and what is to come.

 

~FS

Three Names

When you were born you were so small.

And you had blue eyes shaped like almonds.

Your mom thought you looked like her mother.

Your dad thought you looked tough.

That’s why they named you Kirk, after Kirk Douglas.

But Kirk is also the church, the house of the spirit.

Your house had potential.

 

Twenty-three years later you left home,

seeking adventure and true life.

And you were named Francis.

Childhood ended. Duty began.

Potential became kinetic.

But you still lived for yourself.

Every movement to satisfy your belly,

and to win love from others.

 

Twenty-three years later you died in water,

and your new life began.

And you were named John.

God is good.

The Spirit dwells within His church now.

Kinesis turning toward stillness and peace.

Unfocused motion resolving into hesychasm.

 

Then your mother died.

And again you died.

Not in spirit or in body,

but in some strange, intangible way.

Shaking the stillness,

and making the future uncertain.

 

I see you now and I wonder,

“what will you make of this third act?”

Will you seek the Lord,

and let him heal you?

Losing yourself,

and giving yourself in love?

 

Perhaps your next name,

who knows what that will be,

could it be one written on a white stone?

 

~FS

Enough

“I want to do what will make you proud of me,” I say to her.
“Of course I’m proud of you” she says.
“I know, you have to say that” I say
You are my mother.
I am proud.

“But I mean to do the things that you love and care about, to really let you know how I love you.”
I do love you. And I love you.
But you don’t need to prove it.
“To seal it then. And prove it to myself.”
“You just are, and you are enough.”
But I am alone. With nothing to prove now what am I?
I don’t know what you are.  But you are enough.

 

~FS