Spring Stage Observed

Breezes of fairy wings flutter ash, willow oak

and bamboo leaves,

Chase final days of March off stage.

A large willow branch, fallen by a storm,

dominates left garden area

Daffodils, as full of tears as I, hang

heavy heads along the garden walk.

Hyacinth and crocus have faded and

Candytuft is on stage.

A robin, contemplates bird affairs –

Planning a nest and worm stalking.

Far right, deep-pink blooms of the red bud

peek through a dogwood tree curtain.

Tree shadows appear and disappear, like

dancers cued by the sun, which is

Intent on dispelling storm-clouds and warming

and drying the damp earth.

Watching this drama, after last night’s

violent storm, I know

My tears will dry, my hope return and joy

will fill my spirit once again.

Beauty, like spring flowers will replenish

My life’s stage once more

I pray for gentle rains and for safety –

when other storms arrive.

~ Sybil Austin Skakle

Contemplating a Leaf

Sybil Austin Skakle

Green and slender

Graceful and small

What good are you

Plucked from a bush?

My instructions are

To be present with God

As I observe you.

Thicker than a rose leaf

Not shiny, not dull

Longer than the rose leaf

You’ve a subtle aroma

Designed by God

for some purpose

leaf and I are alike

Before I am harvested

I hope to add beauty

and provide oxygen

for the lives of others

“Yes, I love you Lord!”

Where are the sheep

Hebrews 12:18-24 (RSV)
     For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.”  Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel.
 
 
 
ARRIVAL
 
I found myself upon a mountain, quaking –
  was it I, was it the earth beneath my tired feet?
 
I heard a roaring – was it lions? Yes, it must be.
  Long had lions prowled my heart’s den,
  breathing accusations through every pacing day.
 
Nearly blind was I in muffling shadow of the Law,
  the ceaseless overcast condition of my soul.
 
A fire, too – I had known the scorch of wilderness,
  the wildfire of temptation, the searing welts of sin,
  and shrank from such a burning as I knew would
  have to come
     if God were just.
 
A trumpet, tuning up, shrill with holiness, announced
   my arrival at the Mount of Judgment.
 
 
I raised my eyes…Oh Jesus, can it be?  Zion?
   the Everest of mercy?
 
The quaking – now I see: even throne rooms shake
   when saintly feet get dancing to a trumpet jubilee!
 
The roaring?  Angel party-goers shouting holy thank-yous
   to our Host.
 
The fire – a hearth to warm my coming,
 
The shadow? The shade of your right hand, oh Precious Christ,
   whose blood has bought
   and brought me home……
I turned to see a Lion
 
   and behold, the Lamb.
 
Copyright: Betsey Mulloy
1992