To Seek Bliss

Seek grace before bliss.
To seek bliss,
Is to seek the gift
May be to shun the Giver.

Who conjures dreams matters.
My pleasure may  spring
From forbidden springs.

Before I entrust
Myself to gods,
Should I not seek
To discern truth
From Truth.

Come, come,
O, kind Spirit of Truth,
Though You contradict my way,
I promise to obey,
Clad in Your grace,
Day by day.

©2012  Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

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Listen to individual poems  here.

To Seek Bliss

Seek grace before bliss.
To seek  bliss,
Is to seek the gift
May be to shun the Giver.

Who conjures dreams matters.
My pleasure may  spring
From forbidden springs.

Before I entrust
Myself to gods,
Should I not seek
To discern truth
From Truth.

Come, come,
O, kind Spirit of Truth,
Though You contradict my way,
I promise to obey,
Clad in Your grace,
Day by day.

©2012  Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Now

Long Now,

Time unending,

Enduring immediacy,

Poorly perceived.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Poetry Picnic  Week 19

Divine Office

The Hound of Heaven – Francis Thompson

The Hound of Heaven

I fled Him down the nights and down the days
I fled Him down the arches of the years
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind, and in the midst of tears
I hid from him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped and shot precipitated
Adown titanic glooms of chasme d hears
From those strong feet that followed, followed after
But with unhurrying chase and unperturbe d pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat, and a Voice beat,
More instant than the feet:
All things betray thee who betrayest me.

I pleaded, outlaw–wise by many a hearted casement,
curtained red, trellised with inter-twining charities,
For though I knew His love who followe d,
Yet was I sore adread, lest having Him,
I should have nought beside.
But if one little casement parted wide,
The gust of his approach would clash it to.
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clange d bars,
Fretted to dulcet jars and silvern chatter
The pale ports of the moon.

I said to Dawn — be sudden, to Eve — be soon,
With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over
From this tremendous Lover.
Float thy vague veil about me lest He see.
I tempted all His servitors but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him, their fickleness to me,
Their traitorous trueness and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue,
Clung to the whistling mane of every wind,
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
The long savannahs of the blue,
Or whether, thunder-driven,
They clanged His chariot thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn of their feet,
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Still with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following feet, and a Voice above their beat:
Nought shelters thee who wilt not shelter Me.

I sought no more that after which I strayed
In face of Man or Maid.
But still within the little childrens’ eyes
Seems something, something that replies,
They at least are for me, surely for me.
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair,
With dawning answers there,
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
Come then, ye other children, Nature’s
Share with me, said I, your delicate fellowship.
Let me greet you lip to lip,
Let me twine with you caresses,
Wantoning with our Lady Mother’s vagrant tresses,
Banqueting with her in her wind walled palace,
Underneath her azured dai:s,
Quaffing, as your taintless way is,
From a chalice, lucent weeping out of the dayspring.

So it was done.
I in their delicate fellowship was one.
Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies,
I knew all the swift importings on the wilful face of skies,
I knew how the clouds arise,
Spume d of the wild sea-snortings.
All that’s born or dies,
Rose and drooped with,
Made them shapers of mine own moods, or wailful, or Divine.
With them joyed and was bereaven.
I was heavy with the Even,
when she lit her glimmering tapers round the day’s dead sanctities.
I laughed in the morning’s eyes.
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,
Heaven and I wept together,
and its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine.
Against the red throb of its sunset heart,
I laid my own to beat
And share commingling heat.

But not by that, by that was eased my human smart.
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.
For ah! we know what each other says,
these things and I; In sound I speak,
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor step-dame, cannot slake my drouth.
Let her, if she would owe me
Drop yon blue-bosomed veil of sky
And show me the breasts o’ her tenderness.
Never did any milk of hers once bless my thirsting mouth.
Nigh and nigh draws the chase, with unperturbe d pace
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
And past those noise d feet, a Voice comes yet more fleet:
Lo, nought contentst thee who content’st nought Me.

Naked, I wait thy Love’s uplifted stroke. My harness, piece by piece,
thou’st hewn from me
And smitten me to my knee,
I am defenceless, utterly.
I slept methinks, and awoke.
And slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers,
I shook the pillaring hours,
and pulled my life upon me.
Grimed with smears,
I stand amidst the dust o’ the mounded years–
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst like sunstarts on a stream.
Yeah, faileth now even dream the dreamer
and the lute, the lutanist.
Even the linked fantasies in whose blossomy twist,
I swung the Earth, a trinket at my wrist,
Have yielded, cords of all too weak account,
For Earth, with heavy grief so overplussed.
Ah! is thy Love indeed a weed,
albeit an Amaranthine weed,
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?
Ah! must, Designer Infinite,
Ah! must thou char the wood ‘ere thou canst limn with it ?
My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust.
And now my heart is as a broken fount,
Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever
From the dank thoughts that shiver upon the sighful branches of my
mind.

Such is. What is to be ?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind ?
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds,
Yet ever and anon, a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity.
Those shaken mists a space unsettle,
Then round the half-glimpse d turrets, slowly wash again.
But not ‘ere Him who summoneth
I first have seen, enwound
With glooming robes purpureal; Cypress crowned.
His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.
Whether Man’s Heart or Life it be that yield thee harvest,
Must thy harvest fields be dunged with rotten death ?

Now of that long pursuit,
Comes at hand the bruit.
That Voice is round me like a bursting Sea:
And is thy Earth so marred,
Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest me.
Strange, piteous, futile thing;
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of Naught (He said).
And human love needs human meriting —
How hast thou merited,
Of all Man’s clotted clay, the dingiest clot.
Alack! Thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art.
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save me, save only me?
All which I took from thee, I did’st but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in my arms.
All which thy childs mistake fancies as lost,
I have stored for thee at Home.
Rise, clasp my hand, and come.
Halts by me that Footfall.
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
Ah, Fondest, Blindest, Weakest,
I am He whom thou seekest.
Thou dravest Love from thee who dravest Me.

By Francis Thompson

One Shot Wednesday – Week 50

Poetry- time once again, so here’s  One Shot Wednesday!

My one shot:

Shout for Happy

O holy saints of God,
Help Us to celebrate this day.
Bedeck our house in pure white lilies,
Picked by the hand of Love.
Such were the souls of Mary and Joseph,
As they journeyed forth to live the Father’s Will,
As they kept faith,

Bless the years that pass.
Bless the days that be.
Our youth God entwined,
Weaving gold out of straw,
Fashioning a cord that bound us
Ever so close in dreams of love.

O, Holy Love,
Your fiber of Being,
Imperceptible, yet alive,
Knit the garment of our marriage.
As we gifted each other
With our very lives
And lived the Promise.

Taking pleasure in each other,
And the mystery You impart,
Mutual donation and happy hopes
Gave substance to our youthful reveries.
Soon, You delighted Your children with children
To sweeten the wine we sipped.

You never waited on our understanding or perfection .
You built rather on duty and faith,
Married unto eternity.
Your sacrament enfleshed in our lives as grace,
Filled our days with laughter amid challenge,
Befriended us in friends ,
As a corsage of heart and healing.

You opened the door of opportunity,
And we feared not to enter in.
Receiving in the womb, Your joy and plenteous reward,
Covenant love lived despite our weakness.
Hope hanging like numberless leaves,
On trees the formed an arbor for our love.

Yes, dear saints, sing songs with us,
To welcome home the Promised Groom,
Who never left our side.
Make of this day a joyful shout,
A happy anniversary!

Copyright Joann Nelander © 2011   All rights reserved.

Standing invitation to visit One Stop Poetry- Where Poets, Writers and Artists Meet.

It will cheer you, lift your spirits, brighten your mood. It goes a long way in stealing you away from the ho-hum humdrum. There is so much talent on display.

One Shot Wednesday – week 48

 One Shot Wednesday– All hands on deck!

If All the World Turn Away

If all the world turn away from Christ
I pray I will still be there at His feet
Washing them with my tears,
Drying them with my hair.

Copyright Joann Nelander © 2011   All rights reserved.

Standing invitation to visit One Stop Poetry- Where Poets, Writers and Artists Meet.

It will cheer you, lift your spirits, brighten your mood. It goes a long way in stealing you away from the ho-hum humdrum. There is so much talent on display

One Shot Wednesday – Week 45

 One Shot Wednesday – All hands on deck!

Gifts for the Giver

Open every gift like a child.
Squeal with delight.
Look into the eyes of the Giver
Long enough to see His Heart.

Remember- share.
Share your joy.
Share your sorrow.
Share God’s Joy.
Share God’s Sorrow.

When God aches
In the Poor and Suffering,
Give Him a hug.
Kiss away His Tears.
Share your blanket,

Give God great gifts.
Offer Him the air you breathe.
Offer Him the Sun and Moon.
Offer him the color of the sky.

Hold nothing back.
Let God see you cry.
Give Him your heart.
When it breaks,
Save all the pieces for Him

God treasures
The smallest of thank you’s,
Salvaged in moments of confusion.
Knowing how hard won the battle,
He cherishes them
To wear as His necklace.

Yes, bring God your flowers.
He doesn’t mind
A weed or two.
Your God delights in grooming you.

Copyright Joann Nelander © 2011   All rights reserved.

Standing invitation to visit One Stop Poetry- Where Poets, Writers and Artists Meet.

It will cheer you, lift your spirits, brighten your mood. It goes a long way in stealing you away from the ho-hum humdrum. There is so much talent on display.

One Shot Wednesday – Week 44

Poetry- time once again! O happy One Shot Wednesday!

Here’s my one shot:

Sweetly Count the Hours

Lord, I’ m offering You a new day.
Already, You know,
This isn’t going to be pretty.
I count on You to do
What You have always done.
Take the morsels
Which Your hand has touched,
As for the rest,
With one mighty
Exhalation of Holy Breath
Spirit the chaff away.
At days’ end,
As with all my yesterdays,
I will lay my head
Upon Your Breast,
And sweetly count
Our hours

Copyright Joann Nelander © 2011   All rights reserved.

Standing invitation to visit One Stop Poetry- Where Poets, Writers and Artists Meet.

It will cheer you, lift your spirits, brighten your mood. It goes a long way in stealing you away from the ho-hum humdrum. There is so much talent on display.

Poetry Potluck – Week 26

Check out Jingle Poetry for Week #26 of Poetry Potluck, and without much ado, here’s what becomes of indulgence:

The Fall

Chains ethereal bind my soul
Confusion clouds the pathways of my reason
Who could have guessed the menace
It was over in a moment with hasty but firm decision.
Subtle flirtation turned a dance of dalliance.
Trojan welcomed without caution.
Grace dismissed with contemporary flair.

Reality now comes in many colors
Shades of gray,
A balancing act to fit the season.
Nothing’s black or white,
Anymore.

Who could have known the cost?
Who would have called it betrayal?
Yet, I had chosen.
I ignored the Voice,
All appetite,
And caressing desire.

Somehow I knew
There would be a price to pay,
But how it would feel,
And what it would be,
Floated in some mist,
Too easily brushed aside
With the feeling of shackles,
Weary old taboos;
So, Adam devoured the apple.

Handle it, I could and would,
Just later…
Now, was for me.
Later, for regret.
A logical scheme.
It worked for me!

The deed
And the darkness descended,
One following the other.
Night fell like a mantle on my shoulders.
Where the joy?
Where promised pleasure?
Where my once bright countenance.

I lifted myself to myself,
Sad at the pillage
Visited upon my soul,
I am alone,
Alone, but for my thoughts,
Thoughts, that, too, accuse you.

The world feels different today,
A bit more cloaked,
As with a secret,
But, I assure myself,
All’s well, the same.

Waking in another Kingdom
I pull the curtain back:
Without, a sky stripped of it’s stars,
Within, only black,
No sun of clarity
No heart of love.

I can no longer trust
That dawn and morning light
Will follow in sure order.
Yet, somehow, I fear they might.
It must be me who changed?

I lingered in this abyss,
Fearing the permanence of my loss.
No stigmatizing letter branded,
For the absence of shame,
But my wax had melted,
and molecules rearranged,
Hardening, misshapen.

Drinking in the Truth,
I could not swallow
The gall of repentance.
Pride, like a master craftsmen,
Fashioned my demise,
Tightening his chain about my heart.

My life, my life,
It’s my life!
I raged at unseen angels.
‘Til falling back upon myself,
I licked my wounds.
I donned a mask of merriment.

Then, one foot after the other,
I dressed for the world.
No one, I assured,
No one would notice
My fall from grace.

Copyright © 2011 Joann Nelander    All rights reserved.

More poetry and enjoyment visit Poetry Potluck at Jingle Poetry.