Category Archives: Poetry

Samaritan

Outstretched fingers beg for what I can spare.

Hurting eyes beg for someone to sit and listen for a while.

Stranded feet beg for assistance on their journey.

A neglected child’s heart begs for attention.

The tired widow’s back begs for support.

Lost souls beg for the truth that would set them free.

 

But…

What if I someday need what I spare?

What if I lack the time to finish my tasks?

What if I feel like a fool?

What if I get used?

Get irritated?

Get embarrassed?

Get lost?

Get rejected?

Get hurt?

What will happen to me if my hand reaches out?

 

Oh, selfish wretch that I am.

My questions – so distorted, so wicked.

“What will happen to me?”

This pondering – so trivial.

The full weight of the decision – fully unbalanced.

My heart needs a shift – a major realignment,

to see the true issue at hand.

 

The crux of the matter is not,

What will happen to me if I do?

But

What will happen to them if I don’t?

‘Twas the night before Christmas

ornament1

‘Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
except for one mouse.

The stockings were hungLiv rm drawing
by the chimney with care,
in hopes that in the morning,
lots of toys would be there.

We children weren’t nestled,
all snug in our beds,
we were downstairs awaiting,
for that big man in red.

And I in my p.j.’s,
and Steph in Mom’s lap,
had just settled down
for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn,
there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch,
to see what was the matter.

Away to the window,
I flew like a flash,
tore open the curtains,
and threw up the sash.

The street light out on the breast
of the new-fallen snow,
gave a luster of mid day
to objects below.trees and field2

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but some family and friends,
come to visit this year.

With a clunk and a honk,
they pulled up the drive,
and I knew our company
had arrived.

With packages and gifts,
and goodies they came,
and I waved to them,
not remembering all names.

Hello uncle, hi aunt,
hey cousin, and friend,
hi neighbor, hello,
hey Grammie, come in!

To the top of the porch,
and into the hall,
“Hello everybody!,
nice to see you all!”

As eskimos out in the
cold and white snow,
they gathered ’round the fireplace,
to warm up their toe.

We sat there and talked,
as their bodies warmed,
and around that hot fire,
those people did swarm.

And through all the laughing,
I still could hear,
the crackling of the fire,
that I was sitting near.

leslie ornaments fire

As I twisted my head,
and was turning around,
I saw my dad standing there,
not making a sound.

He was dressed in his robe,
from his neck to his knees,
and below his old robe,
you could see his footsies.

A bundle of presents
he had in a sack.
He gave one to all of us,
and received some back.

He eyes – how they twinkled!
His dimples – how merry!
His cheeks were like roses,
his nose like a cherry!

His mouth was spread out,
in a great big smile,
and he laughed, and laughed,
all the while.

A partial cigarette,
he held tight in his hand,
and the smoke, it encircled
his head like a band.

He had a broad face,
and a small round belly,
that shook when he laughed,
like a bowl fully of jelly.

He was funny and tall,
a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him,
in spite of myself.

A stretch of his arms,
and a yawn from his head,
soon gave me to know
he was ready for bed.

He sat down on the couch, though,
and joined in on the talk,
and we sat there until
one or two o’clock.

And then it was time
for folks to go home,
so out the door,
they all did roam.

Into their cars,
they all took a seat,
and pulled out of the drive,
and into the street.

But I heard them exclaim,
as they drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas, y’all,
and to you a good night!”

 

Kerry Nenn (Jones)
December 1989

table cloth

‘Twas the night before Christmas

ornament1

‘Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
except for one mouse.

The stockings were hungLiv rm drawing
by the chimney with care,
in hopes that in the morning,
lots of toys would be there.

We children weren’t nestled,
all snug in our beds,
we were downstairs awaiting,
for that big man in red.

And I in my p.j.’s,
and Steph in Mom’s lap,
had just settled down
for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn,
there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch,
to see what was the matter.

Away to the window,
I flew like a flash,
tore open the curtains,
and threw up the sash.

The street light out on the breast
of the new-fallen snow,
gave a luster of mid day
to objects below.trees and field2

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but some family and friends,
come to visit this year.

With a clunk and a honk,
they pulled up the drive,
and I knew our company
had arrived.

With packages and gifts,
and goodies they came,
and I waved to them,
not remembering all names.

Hello uncle, hi aunt,
hey cousin, and friend,
hi neighbor, hello,
hey Grammie, come in!

To the top of the porch,
and into the hall,
“Hello everybody!,
nice to see you all!”

As eskimos out in the
cold and white snow,
they gathered ’round the fireplace,
to warm up their toe.

We sat there and talked,
as their bodies warmed,
and around that hot fire,
those people did swarm.

And through all the laughing,
I still could hear,
the crackling of the fire,
that I was sitting near.

leslie ornaments fire

As I twisted my head,
and was turning around,
I saw my dad standing there,
not making a sound.

He was dressed in his robe,
from his neck to his knees,
and below his old robe,
you could see his footsies.

A bundle of presents
he had in a sack.
He gave one to all of us,
and received some back.

He eyes – how they twinkled!
His dimples – how merry!
His cheeks were like roses,
his nose like a cherry!

His mouth was spread out,
in a great big smile,
and he laughed, and laughed,
all the while.

A partial cigarette,
he held tight in his hand,
and the smoke, it encircled
his head like a band.

He had a broad face,
and a small round belly,
that shook when he laughed,
like a bowl fully of jelly.

He was funny and tall,
a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him,
in spite of myself.

A stretch of his arms,
and a yawn from his head,
soon gave me to know
he was ready for bed.

He sat down on the couch, though,
and joined in on the talk,
and we sat there until
one or two o’clock.

And then it was time
for folks to go home,
so out the door,
they all did roam.

Into their cars,
they all took a seat,
and pulled out of the drive,
and into the street.

But I heard them exclaim,
as they drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas, y’all,
and to you a good night!”

 

Kerry Nenn (Jones)
December 1989

table cloth

Eternal Spring

Didn’t make it to the well today.
Too much to do.
Busy, busy. Later, yes, later.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Feeling thirsty,
but don’t have the time.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Supplies running low.
Maybe tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Don’t think I need to.
Probably I don’t need to.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Throat is dry, but I’m ok.
Don’t want to make the time.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
But I’m well supplied
With other things.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Unsatisfied, feeling dry.
Dehydration taking hold.
Did you make it to the well today?
Loved ones start to ask.
No. Not needed. I am fine.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Now I’m wondering why.
Body aching with longing.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Feeling parched and empty.
Oh but for a sip, but no.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
The drought in me goes on.
My heart a desert land.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
I am afraid I’ll never go.
Do I remember the way?
Didn’t make it to the well today.
But how I long for just a drink.
Brittle bones, cracked skin.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Not sure I could make the journey.
Too far. I’m too far.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
Is there hope left for me?
So dried out and weak.
Didn’t make it to the well today.
But I now know I must go
To satisfy this thirst.
Trying to make it to the well today.
But, too feeble. Too frail.
Faint,
fragile,
falling.
Can’t make it to the well today.
Through cracked, parched lips, I cry
Lord, have mercy on this dry and weary soul!
And it begins to rain.

 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.
Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water
welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14

Thirst

To see your light so bright that it outshines everything else

To hear your voice so loud it drowns out all my other thoughts

To feel your love so immensely that it erases every black emotion

To have your glory flood over my soul so fully that it washes away all else

That your presence would rain down on everything in me, drenching every inch

That no part of me could escape your loving embrace

That no shadow on my heart could exist in the amazing radiance of your grace

That I see you, all of you, so clearly, that my gaze strays nowhere else

Holly or Holy?

This season, will I…

be surrounded by presents
or be surrounded by His presence?

have childlike wonder at the magic of Christmas
or wonder at the child – the meaning of Christmas?

watch a Christmas movie
or watch Christmas move me?

see snow fall
or His kingdom reign?

take my wishes to Father Christmas
or my prayers to the Heavenly Father?

sit by the crackling fire
or have a Holy Fire within me?

shop ’til I drop
or drop everything for Him?

enjoy a sleigh ride
or remember Jesus slain?

sing Christmas carols at people
or actually be caring for people?

have a piece of pie, good desserts
or know peace on earth, good will to men?

sit in awe of the Christmas tree
or stand in awe of Calvary’s tree?

wish all a Merry Christmas
or think of Mary’s Christmas?

hang beautiful lights,
or see the light of the world?

manage my time
or spend time at the manger?

attach a bow
or bow my knee?

Such an amazing gift,
this season, this reason.

This Christmas, Lord,
may I be wrapped up in you.

Fractured

It broke.
Again.
Shattered in a million pieces on the floor.
Seems like I had just put it back together.
I stood over it, weeping.
I wasn’t sure I had the energy for another repair.
It was so hard to get all those pieces to fit together.
Was it even worth it?
I wasn’t sure.
I stood there,
overwhelmed,
crying.
I was so tired,
and scared.
Trying to fix it again seemed like too much.
I wrung my hands.
I wept.
I wished someone else would do this for me.
Just then a man approached.
He stood next to me.
He looked from the broken pieces to my tear-stained face.
“Do you want me to fix it?” was all he asked.
“Yes.” I managed to choke out,
surrendering to the offer.
He picked up the pieces,
cutting himself in the process,
but he did not complain.
With gentle yet sturdy hands, and much care,
he began restoring it.
The white adhesive I had used in the past
always left an ugly residue.
I noticed his red one dried clean.
After a few minutes,
he held out his completed work to me.
I realized there was a hole in it.
I wondered how he could have missed it.
He seemed so thorough and capable.
I asked about the missing piece.
“You don’t need that part any more,” was his reply.
My response was not that of the reassured.
“What do you mean? There’s a big gap –
right there in the middle,” I argued,
“an emptiness.”
“Do you want me to fill it?” he asked.
I glanced around.
What about the other piece?
How was he sure I didn’t need it?
Could I trust him with this repair?
My searching eyes fell on his face.
His eyes provided the answer as he asked again, softly,
“Do you want me to fill it?”
“Yes…please.”
He reached out and,
covering the hole with a hand,
he filled it with his own peace.
The transformation was miraculous.
Not only was it repaired,
it no longer showed cracks from previous breaks.
In fact, it looked completely new.
I was amazed.
But then I noticed
something else.
The shape did not seem
quite right.
There were bumps where I thought it should be smooth.
A curve here and there did not arc as I expected.
With confusion,
near dismay,
I asked why this was.
It had seemed to be remade,
but I still saw imperfections.
“Yes,” he explained.
“This new creation is now as it should be…
not perfect, but whole.”

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