Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Heard You

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Perpetual Song



The song, the song,
the perpetual song
in my soul
is stilled--
so gone!


I long, I long
for the swelling of song
in my soul
again--
awake!


Oh song, my song,
oh what can be wrong?
Are you dead? 
I mourn
so long.


And then, oh song,
when I thought you were gone,
I perceived
a flutter--
not strong,


But real! My song!
You're alive, oh, my song!
Oh, I wish I could
speed you
along!


 I'll cradle you, song!
Oh, perpetual song
in my soul--
on you
I wait. 


Poem and photograph by Karen Gladys Henry.  Copyright 2010, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Healer, Hold My Heart


Healer, Hold My Heart

Healer, hold my heart,
For I have such an ache!
Wounded is my heart–
Burning at the stake.

Healer, hold my heart!
Yes, it will heal in time,
But now is when I need
The oil and the wine.
What has been my crime?
Did I deserve this ache?
Or is it love divine,
My sacrifice to make?

Healer, hold my heart,
For I have such an ache;
Wounded is my heart
For someone else’s sake.

Poem and artwork by Karen Gladys Henry © 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Myrrh on the Mountains: 33 Haiku


Myrrh on the Mountains:
33 Haiku

*

1
Plunge swiftly, pure sword,
straight into my stony heart,
and claim your kingdom.

*

2
Rainbow of promise:
judgment is hope, viewed through the
prism of God’s love.

*

3
Twelve foundation stones,
eternally set in place,
vibrating with love.

*

4
You fit me: white gloves
touching another’s teardrops;
I feel with your heart.

*

5
Alabaster box~
translucent heart broken, love
spilled out in worship.

*

6
Purple tears falling:
incense of wisteria
praying for the rain.

*

7
Monarch butterfly
worships the Creator with
wings: spirit and truth.

*

8
Pearls– priceless beauty,
one by one bought and given–
necklace of wisdom.

*

9
Seven eyes see my
seven kinds of emptiness:
fill me with your light!

*

10
Messenger of fire–
the angel touched me, and my
strength burst into flames.

*

11
Eagle soars and sees,
nests in the heights, breathes the free
fresh air of heaven.

*

12
Dove and voice sealed it:
You bowed under the water;
My filth went with you.

*

13
"Lazarus, come out!
I desire to laugh with you,
and share some supper!"

*

14
Covenant in blood,
the almond branch that budded,
ark’s hidden manna.

*

15
"You overcame me–
with your eyes and with your fierce
commitment to love."

*

16
Zeal for your house burns,
consumes all death and darkness;
fears go up in smoke.

*

17
Single candle burns,
radiant with fragrant light
of two lives exchanged.

*

18
The trees of the Lord
run with sap, giving sweetness
to the one who wounds.

*

19
Blue eyes gaze, wonder
full of love, expounding on
the meaning of blue.

*

20
Overcome by love–
the weight of glory given
in a little kiss!

*

21
O, for ears to hear
the pulse of the Morning Star,
the heart of my God!

*

22
No one but the child
has hands empty enough to
receive the Kingdom.

*

23
Maple leaf floating
down the river rapids won’t
fret about the falls.

*

24
Prophets, priests and kings
wanted the Pearl of Pearls, but
You gave it to babes.

*

25
Christ in us, dawning,
growing brighter and brighter--
the hope of full Day.

*

26
"How can I bless You?"
"Your music, not the angels’,
is My heart’s delight."

*

27
Straight the snow geese fly,
their lifeline encircled by
the sky’s soft embrace.

*

28
Forever begins
with You; I touch the light that
makes time obsolete.

*

29
Father’s love guards, with
flaming sword, the Tree of Life
until it saves us.

*

30
With every command
comes the faith to obey it.
Doors come with a key.

*

31
Cast down the darkness
From the seven high mountains–
restore the glory.

*

32
Lily in the thorns–
I cannot have your passion
without sacrifice.

*

33
The last enemy,
death– trampled by His Body,
put under His feet.

*

Haiku by Karen Gladys Henry ©2009

"Indebted Only to Love" is a photomontage by Karen Gladys Henry ©2008

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Signs


Signs

Bloody moon
Ancient rune
Sunspots’ shadow spreading
Talking sky
Telling why
Breakneck speed’s so dreading

Starfall spite
Sting and bite
Bitter wormwood’s cancer
Blackened waves
Sunken graves
Curses for an answer

Earth’s blood cries
Altar sighs
Virgins heavy-laden
Bushes burn
Green and stern
Desert blooms, a maiden

Meat and bread
Raven-fed
Rivers in the quarry
Fire and snow
Him they know
Translucent wombs of glory

Trumpets blast
Seals unfast
Poured the bowls seven
Tumbles she
Mystery
Mountain falls
From heaven

Karen Gladys Henry ©2005
"Signs" is a photo montage/collage by

Karen Gladys Henry ©2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dark Night, The Millstone, Valley of Dry Bones


Dark Night

You were despised, rejected.
So was I.
You know the deep and desolate
pain of unworthiness and shame.
Bitter and hollow.
You bore it for me.
Why would you do that,
glorious and beloved Son of God?
You had never felt rejection from the Father;
You were always Worthy and Beloved.
Adored and Blessed.

And yet You chose to taste my death,
my bitter herbs, my stale bread,
my polluted water.
You cried the tears and felt the lash
of tongues and punishment
for crimes untold.
You chose to identify with me.
Who am I?
A nothing no one wanted, try as they might.
And You, the holy Son of God,
rejected for being who You are–
You know what it’s like.


rose noir 3


Son of God.
Such a coveted place,
such a place I desire and dream of,
and do not experience!
As soon as the dog barks,
I am seen as broken and deficient,
as I have always been.
You came to this place of your own accord.
Why? I know in this grown up head of mine.
But what of me here? Here I am small,
in this dark and lonely bedroom of existence–
A place of punishment for being child.

The Crying Trees B&W

I am child.

But whose child?
Unwanted and a mystery undisclosed.
I desire to remain unseen.
To keep the sanctity of my being in a safe,
locked and inviolate;
but I am not unviolated.
I have been soiled, discarded, scarred,
And left to bleed unheard in the dark–
A bleating lamb.

Lamb of God–
You too were soiled, discarded, scarred
And left to bleed unheard in the dark–
A bleating lamb
on a cross of shame.

Gethsemane

My cross.
Naked and spit upon.
Unusable, ruined.
I go down to the grave with you.
Rejected.

Hide me in You, Jesus.
I am afraid of the dark,
even though I choose to remain here in this death.
Am I hidden in You?
I’m hidden with You in the belly of the earth.
Where is the comfort?
Is there any comfort in the bowels of death?

Every time I try to come back to life,
I feel the pain of arrows again!
Every word, every look
A lance through the heart, a blow to the belly.
And I go back down to the darkness of hiding.
And yet Your visitation here
Eternally stands as a memorial
to Your embrace of humanity,
to Your embrace of me.

Mountaintop


The Millstone

Woe to them through whom the offense comes!
Woe to them who destroy my little ones.
Woe, woe, woe.

The vulture circles over the carrion.
The stench of death rises from the broken,
The litter of the aborted ones.
Woe, woe, woe cries the eagle of God
Whose eyes see into the distance and the dark.

Who can hide from my Seeing eyes?
Who can hide from the Great Judgment?
Who can bear the weight of the millstone?
Their necks will break,
And they will drown in the tears of the ones they have slain.

When I Am Overwhelmed. . .

Who will be My Intercessor?
Who will be the City of Refuge
For the murderers to run to–
Those who have committed crimes of passion?

I will be the Intercessor, cries the Son of God!
I will be the City of Refuge.
Run to me, you who are crushed
Under the weight of Woe–
Whose necks are broken by the millstone,
Who drown in the tears of the slain.

Guiding Light

How long, cry the aborted ones, how long
Until our blood is avenged?
How long until we are salvaged from the wrecks of humanity
And delivered from the carrion birds?
How long until the stench is changed
To the perfume of life?
Hope is deferred, hope is deferred
And our hearts are sick.
How long? How much longer?

I have sent my Word to avenge you,
My little ones.
My two-edged Sword, with Death and Life,
Is in the tongue of my Son.
His vengence is pure.

Golden Aerie (square crop detail to get attention!)

How, oh Lord, can the Holy One who takes vengence
Be the one who is the City of Refuge?
When will we understand?

Anyone who enters the City of Refuge
Enters by the Sword of the Word.
Evil must die.
It must die now or later.
My sword is Death, and it is also Life
To them that run to Me.

The Sword came forth on the Tree of Disgrace.
Father forgive them, for they know not!
Woe to those who do not Live by the Sword,
for they will Die by it.
Woe to you aborted ones if you do not accept
My vengence–
For it is holy.
Woe, woe, woe to those
Who do not forgive much,
For they have been much loved.

We repent oh, Lord.
We invite the carrions birds to finish off our dead flesh.

In My Daddy's Arms


The Valley of Dry Bones

Here we lie in the hot sun.
No life in us.
No death.
Nothing.
We have been picked clean.

The Son beats down on us,
Purifying fire.
We can do nothing.
We are not even branches.
We bear no fruit.
No evil,
No good.
We await the Prophet’s word.

A hot wind arises,
A thunderous fury
As the Rider of the White Horse
Advances.
The Kingdom of God
Is at hand

Time Slips By And Leaves Its Indelible Mark


Let there BE LIFE!
DRY BONES ARISE!
You will live My Life,
You will speak My Words,
There is nothing left of you
But the foundation I have built.
You will do My bidding.
You will walk in My Glory.
You are My Army.
You are bone of My bone,
Flesh of My flesh.
You are My great Body,
Formed from the skeleton of suffering–
All that is left from the death of self.




poems and artwork by Karen Gladys Henry
©2001/2009 All Rights Reserved.

You Are The Treasure


You Are The Treasure

You are a jewel more precious than any
Magnificent splendor. Your facets are many.
You sparkle with wisdom, virtue and glory–
Life irreproachable, flooded with light.
Lord, make us holy so we may approach You
And worship within your unbreachable might.
You are the treasure, Love beyond measure,
Worth inexpressible, Father of Light.

You have been kind and beckoned us come–
(Though we’ve been blind, deaf, crippled and dumb–
Powerless just like the idols we served)
Through the Door in the heavenlies, grant undeserved.
There is no darkness in You at all.
Your presence consumes each occlusion and flaw.
We are your jewels prepared for the Lord:
Cut, polished and set by the two-edged Sword.
You are the treasure, Love beyond measure,
Worth inexpressible, Father of Light.

You are a gemstone: rainbows of fire
Fill us with fearsome awe and desire.
Pure in perfection, your sevenfold light
Transforms us with visions of heavenly sight.
We are enthralled by your radiant ruth,
Forever absorbed in the love of the Truth.
You are a jewel more precious than any
Magnificent splendor. Your facets are many.
You are the treasure, Love beyond measure,
Worth inexpressible, Father of Light.



by Karen Gladys Henry © 2004

Artwork "The Emerald Throne" is a photo composite
by Karen Gladys Henry © 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bird of Joy


Bird of Joy

Oh, joy, why do you fly so far from me?
Like a tiny bird in a giant tree,
That my bloodshot eyes strain gravelblind to see,
But only catch a glimpse.
Your gypsy twitterings seem so distant
As you flit from branch to breezy branch;
And you never land for very long
On any twig that’s close enough to reach.

Oh, joy, will you not be my friend?
Oh, fly down here and join my heart!
I cannot fly way up to you; I am earthbound–
Downed by this loathsome gravity.
Lend me some lightness, little bird,
So I might sing a rapturous song of praise–
A song to flutter me aloft with wings
Much stronger than their flighty feathers seem.

Chirp me a ballad, at least, little bird–
Of opal air and topaz clouds now drifting,
So I can treasure something of the sun,
And view a scene of higher, nobler hues.
Do not leave me, lithesome creature,
Until a blessing you’ve bestowed–
Whether smile or tear, I do not care,
But that my breast be light and clear as yours.

Oh, bird of joy, your gentle singing,
And your careless winging tree to tree,
Have brought a bit of springy nurture to my heart,
And lessened the self-pity in my breath.
What do you know of tears or worry,
Fretful visions, hard and harried?
They are in a realm you cannot touch or see–
Yet with all your soft and simple being,
You have helped me loose their brambly bonds from me.

Oh, joy, why do you fly so far from me?
So I might seek the One who keeps you hidden
Underneath His wings.


Karen Gladys Henry ©2003

"Dawn" is a photopainting by Karen Gladys Henry ©2008
All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wintering


Wintering

This cannot be all!
After a life of moving and changing,
Traveling and venturing,
Hurting and growing,
How can I stay now?
In one place, never going,
Only waiting for something new.
This must be winter–
With dead-looking sticks for trees,
And days of being snowed in,
Buried in books–
Not dead, anticipating.

Everyone says:
"The winter of your life"
As if it were the end.
It’s only a rest stop,
A cocoon of waiting–
Coziness in front of a fire,
Warming toes
After long treks in the snow,
Boots melting in the mudroom.
No, this cannot be all:
Crocuses poke up in spring!
Robins bob about for worms
After Florida vacationing.
Forsythia sticks pop again with yellow fireworks.

When I’m cocoa-warm all through,
Mind and heart nourished with truth,
I will poke up
With my head in the sun, Easter-ready to
Rise again,
Stretch and run,
Strong and fresh
For a new phase of life–
Moving and changing,
Traveling and venturing,
Hurting and growing–
Youth restored (with wisdom)
Like an eagle’s.


by Karen Gladys Henry ©2003

"Powerful Life" is a photo by Karen Gladys Henry © 2009, with added texture:
All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Inside The Box


Inside the Box

From the outside
It looked like dowdy
Not at all unusual
Gray cardboard
But you said it was
Special, just for me
Not impressed, I
Puzzled about
Your strangeness
Yet, intrigued
I finally got in
Trusting you just
Not wanting restrictions
Or lack of oxygen
Enough to risk it

What a surprise
That was even more
Mind-bending
Than expected or
Imagined
Even from you
Inside bigger
Than outside
Vistas of grandeur
Breathtaking beauty
You must have tried
Really hard to make
It just what I wanted
No cramping at all
Yes, what a surprise

I keep finding, though
Another smaller box
Just as plain and normal
Looking as boxy as I
Would expect a box to
Be, but knowing you,
I’ll go in to even huger
Territory. How do You
Do this, anyway?
Dumb question, I guess
Considering who
I’m asking. This one
Looks too small
To even cram my big
Toe into. But here goes–

by Karen Gladys Henry © 2006

"Inside The Box" illustration by Karen Gladys Henry © 2009
my photos of the Blue Ridge Mountains and crotchet lace, plus:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rapt and Unwrapped


Rapt and Unwrapped–

Heart-created, variegated meaning
Cushioned in delicate tissues of feeling;
Protected in sturdy, relatable con-
Text; wrapped in kaleidoscopic patterns; topped
With the sparkling bow of anticipation–
The poet offers her gift.




Karen Gladys Henry, ©2004

"For You With Love" is a composite artwork with digital painting by Karen Gladys Henry, ©2009. All Rights Reserved. It includes some licensed images as well as my own photos. For credits, click the blog entry title. Please do not use without permission.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Waiting For Wind


Waiting for Wind

The moon was full
Up last night
As I
But no wind blew


The sun was full
Hot and persistent
As I
But no wind blew


The river was full
Of silver satin
Drenched in sequins
Sparkling like a diva
Waiting for applause







Karen Gladys Henry
© 2006

"Etude" is a photomontage by Karen Gladys Henry ©2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Steinway


The Steinway


It felt so auspicious,
sitting there at Gladys' baby grand,
in her fern green living room
filled with the gleanings of an exotic
world’s treasures.
Long ago, in another epoch, I heard
her brown velvet voice entone
her own little ballad, and received
the gift she gave me: "You can
do this too," she said.
I was little more than a baby, but
a grand dream planted itself
in my fertile, extravagant heart,
and grew and grew and grew. . .


How I ached to hear my own not-so-nimble fingers
make the elephant-tusk keys
express the music that played in the inner chamber
of my heart; to recreate the enchantment
she created so effortlessly–
"Claire de Lune" echoing the yearning
I felt as she played.
How I dared to hope that someday I could. . .
She called me "willowy", and I was–
tall, thin and always bending moodily
downwards, seeking. . . endlessly
seeking the living waters.

Now she thrives where the living waters
flow endlessly, and the music is fern green,
lush and everlasting.
And somehow, miraculously,
in my very own room,
my grandmother’s Steinway stands,
grand and glorious, a once euphonious tree,
with its lustrous wood gleaming,
and its ivory keys glowing with patina,
smiling benevolently
like the teeth of an ancient wise woman–
waiting for the resurrection of its voice:
the resonance of heartwood
as rich and rare as the queenly lady
to whom it first belonged.

It feels so auspicious,
sitting here at what is now
my baby grand.
The dream that Gladys planted
in the heartchambers of her baby
granddaughter blossomed and fruited,
and now I, too, am a composer–
not accomplished like she was,
but growing, still growing. . .
hope uncurling like a fern frond
on the banks of the living river,
where the willow tree drinks freely,
living in two realms at once.

Our destinies were entwined–
the Steinway’s and mine, like Celtic-knotted roots.
The preponderance of the vision’s unfolded, now:
the remainder must follow, as note follows note
until the symphony is through.
Heaven has regaled us– regale us still!

Oh, for a king’s ransom to restore the great piano’s soul!
My soul, lavishly restored
by the King’s ransom, expands into faith,
fern green and everlasting–
The Steinway and I will play
"Claire de Lune" in Gladys’ honor,
and then. . . ever-new music,
life-giving, lush and everlasting,
will flow from those keys,

and flow and flow and flow...

Karen Gladys Henry July 13, 2004

The poem The Steinway" and the composite artwork, "Creative Sanctuary", are by Karen Gladys Henry © 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Click the title of this blog entry for credits of images used in above.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Converseven


Click the image to read the poem larger.

Monday, March 2, 2009

To A Lost Friend


Where are you, friend?
There's a hole in my heart that you once curled up in.
The unspared laughter,
the tears shared, the dreary distances
when life got too hard.
Still, I miss even those, knowing you would
eventually come back strong.

Where are you, friend?
It's not just longing for tiramisu and talk,
or "chick flicks" and teasing about crying at movies,
or the little gifts, deep wounds aired,
daydreams examined (are they now pursued without me?),
warts and wrinkles overlooked--
but the scuttering worry
that you have abandoned us.

And where am I now?
Temptation dares me to turn away
from years of piled up love, in order to pad
my heart from the possibility of permanent rejection.
I don't want to turn over that stone;
I abhor those scuttering bugs, but then. . .
I risk a little more wax on my heart,
as it turns slightly colder in the wind--
slightly deader,
if I choose to snuff it out.

I know where you're going,
and you know my disaffection, too.
You know I don't want to go there with you--
where dead leaves hiss along a dark road in
an icy wind, like memories of a ghost long eluded.
No, I don't want to go there with you!
I don't want to relive the pain
of a gothic novella almost forgotten.
I love life! I refuse to let go of it now--
warm and green and vibrant,
spicy and herbaceous-- love
that never dies.

*******

Ah! That answers it, then. . .
Light scares away darkness,
showing it up to be just an apparition
of a murky mind digging around in the trash can.
Life takes a torch to death, not the other way around.
As long as my candle burns, you might see
the way out of that backlot alley.
How could I be so heartless,
thinking I could preserve my green leaves
between wax pages and keep them green?
No, I will let love win to my own hurt,
if that's what it comes to.
Treachery is the bread of fools,
and I will not taste a crumb!

Where are you, my friend?
Where are you?
I will bite the tongue of pride,
take my candle, drippy as it has become,
and search for your face.

copyright 2004 by Karen Gladys Henry

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Floridian Sketchbook: 50 Haiku

Haiku
by Karen Gladys Henry
*

1
She sets out flowers–
gracious southern belle welcomes
with a sunny face.



*


2
Blushing rose princess–
Diana, in her glory,
did not outdress you.


*


3
Exotic namesakes,
a crazy quilt of saris–
Uncle Dave’s lilies.



*


4
Flaming azaleas,
robin’s egg sky– you and I
under the dogwood.


*


5
Sunrise in your arms–
honeymoon at ocean’s edge,
sandpipers jogging.


*


6
Tidal lullaby,
rocking me like a hammock,
sea oats whispering.


*


7
Love has found you here–
full moon rise in black and white,
ocean laughing clear.



*


8
Two birds on the beach,
shivering in fur coats, watch
the Leonids fall.


*


9
Bird’s-eye view of legs
dangling down from the surfboards,
sharks swim all around.


*


10
Anastasia wins:
two pairs of sunglasses now,
taken by the waves!


*


11
Up and down the beach–
where are all the sanddollars?
Must have gone shopping.



*


12
Beachcombers flying
back and forth-- five pelicans
searching for supper.



*


13
Flashy flamingos’
fickle feathered finery
favors fuchsia feasts.



*


14
Blue heron fishing–
silver spear head turns slowly,
disappears like mist.


*




15
Mourning dove wakes us;
mockingbird keeps company–
soothe us, whippoorwill!



*


16
Martha Hummingbird,
busier than Butterfly–
stay a little while!


*


17
Mimosa party:
six designer butterflies
sip pink lemonade.


*


18
Crimson cardinal
in a lacy white dogwood–
Valentine from God.


*


19
Growing side by side,
palm fronds and cherry blossoms–
artistic license.


*


20
Graceful gray branches,
blooms like Japanese teacups–
pink kimono tree.


*


21
Southern magnolia:
fashion queen in green leather,
corsage of cream silk.


*


22
At the Live Oak Club,
the wrinkled old gad-abouts
all wear the same hair.


*


23
Like giant bonsai,
coastal live oaks are shaped by
patient, unseen hands.

*

24
White shower curtains
soggy feet of cypress trees
bathing in the swamp.


*


25
Opalescent cloud
strolling on the waterway–
a ghost or the Sun?


*


26
Sailboat with the wind,
pushes away the water;
the water follows.


*


27
Boats on the river,
at leisure: here comes a squall–
watch them all race home!


*


28
Savage tornado–
what black thought would turn your head
to do such damage?


*


29
Lightning bolt zagging,
zapping down electric lines.
Who’s got the power?


*


30
A cool day at school!
Lightning ball rolls down the hall,
pop quiz forgotten.


*


31
Luminous rainbow
dips its feet in the water
on such a hot day.


*


32
Double rainbows bridge
the busy, sun-bathed Buckman–
a smile, three miles long.


*


33
Coral red blaze, ruched
canopy with gilded seams–
why does no one gaze?


*


34
He paints with feathers–
salmon, gold, aquamarine–
then signs with a sigh. . .



*


35
Little brown bunny,
hopping across the asphalt–
look out for the hawk!


*


36
Armadillo, sir–
please, help yourself to insects,
just not my daisies!


*

37
Unison chorus–
crickets in the Zoysia
laughing at the frogs.


*


38
Litterbug squirrel!
He drops his finished pinecones
like picnic corncobs.


*


39
"Walk the plank!" hiss the
racoon pirates: "Yo-ho-ho,
or give us dinner!"


*


40
On the garden path,
baby alligators sun.
Where is your mother?


*


41
Cold Ichetucknee,
I can swim faster than the
water moccasin!


*


42
Timucuan natives
dipped into the moon– their boats
on Black Creek, silent.


*


43
Fourth, on the St. John’s–
quiet manatees swim in
reflections of fire.


*


44
Still men in still boats,
on a morning still and gray,
make fish go in seine.



*


45
She built a birdhouse,
and got a sunflower patch!
(The birds were pleased, too.)


*


46
Detest the mildew–
how it spreads like the black plague;
love the fairy rings!


*


47
These are strange gardens–
undulating surfaces,
sand, and eighteen holes!


*


48
Daily the workers
empty the cat’s water bowl–
thirsty honey bees.


*


49
Disney’s dream gardens:
the only parks on Earth where
magic grows on trees.


*


50
Sapphire, sun-swept day!
You take me to Narnia,
land where children reign.



*******


by Karen Gladys Henry ©2004/ 2009
image: Surreal Reflections (montage with watercolour effect)

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm My Beloved's



I’m my beloved’s, my beloved is mine.
His kisses are heady as vintage wine.
His eyes are the blue of a changeable sea,
But his love never changes in his heart towards me.

I’m always content in my lover’s arms–
His calm strength supports me so nothing alarms.
When thunderclouds threaten, no storm can quell
The love that abides through the fires of hell.

Call me, beloved, to the mountains of mist,
To the silence that speaks of an intimate tryst
On a moss-felted floor. Oh, wander with me
‘Til the green sun sinks in the babbling sea!

The voice of the waterfall calling the wren
Sings of forever, beloved of men.
Love is a torrent– the water of Life,
Quenching the flames of dissonant strife.

I’m my beloved’s; my beloved is mine.
The fires of love melt and refine.
No waters can quench the flame of love.
We belong to each other and the Lord above.



Karen Gladys Henry
January 27, 2003
reworked, February 6, 2009
***
"Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised."
Song of Songs 8:7

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The White Stone


There You stand, majestic and mercy-minded,
in the ferocious white radiance of Your judgment hall.
Eyes of the Lion, fierce, yet love-gentled,
beckon me;
I proceed until the peace of Your
fearsome
proximity
washes over me in hushed powerful rivers of wind.

I hold out my hand in response to Your thought~
~In my palm You place an oval white stone,
opaline, yet priceless in its stability.
I gaze upon it in wonder,
as it begins to carve upon itself,
in eloquent soft fire, the noble new name
You had promised me long ago.
The jewel offers me its perpetual memorial
of light.

My heart beats triumphantly
for the many trials and struggles
that have won this name for me, humbly~
~for without Your constant aid
I would still have failed.
You close your strong, graceful,
scarred hands slowly around mine~
~the stone pulsing with a living warmth.
You look deeply into me~
my heart, my entire life~
~and in Your sonorous, joy-ringing voice
You say, "Well done."
Your smile wraps around me
in a king-brotherly embrace.

As this vision of hope solidifies
within me,
I advance towards You,
tension-fighting with yes and no.
"I know", Your eyes say~"Come."

Presently, You place a hot, rough stone
in my hand~
a huge raw garnet that glows
carmine and heavy~
like Your blood.
And the stone says,
with Your blissful-sad-lovely voice,
"I forgive you. Do not give up."
*******
Karen Gladys Henry ©2004
*******
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it." Revelation 2:17

Call of the Bride


Call of the Bride
*******
Beneath the white silk damask sky
She waits, breathlessly–
Her heart pounding as she gazes
Through an open door in heaven,
Her foot upon the silver sea with mirrored clouds amounding.
Hidden fish graze, silent, as a rose blush
Gently spreads upon His fragrant breath,
Deepening the red glow within the thunderheads.
Horns of light break through from the
Blinding brilliance of His anteroom,
Carrying warmth into the chilly spring.
She dips her satin slipper in, making ripples
That urge out into the vastness with a ever-increasing plea:
"Come quickly for me, my Love".
Wisteria vine shakes free its husky scent,
And the veil that hides the woman’s face blows back,
Revealing tears that flow in rivulets
Along the contours of her cheeks,
Blanched at His thunder.
Her breastbone resonates with fear and trembling
That take her, echo through her, shake her.

She leans against the gnarled oak, guard of the shore,
For generations unspeaking;
And as her reddening ear presses hard against the bark,
She hears its wizened voice–
Deep and groaning like ancient branches in a tempest:
"I am waiting for you."
And in it she hears the cry of the Groom,
The cry of creation, the cry of the unborn,
The cry of the seers, the cry of the martyrs,
The cry of heaven to make all things new.
Then a wail, long and terrible,
Called out from the depths of her being by the cries of the ages,
Swirls with crimson and gold and cobalt and emerald
To stir the four winds of heaven,
As the curtain of her heart is rent in twain
With a sound like the rending of the sky.

The woman falls to the ground weeping into the moss.
The angels watch hushed, awestruck,
Wondering, pondering the cross that the Bride and Groom share.
Fog rolls in from the silver sea,
Luminous, voluminous, redolent with frankincense and myrrh;
Hope rolls in, billows in, envelopes her.
Silence looms for half an hour until flecks of fire
Begin to sparkle down her spine,
Down the tendrils of her hair, down the long length of her legs,
Down her fingers in the moss.
And little streams of fire trickle into the deep green moss,
Across the garden paths, out into the silver sea,
Until the world glitters with the fire
Of her passionate love for her Groom.

Then she rises, slowly at first,
Gracefully stretching up onto toetips,
And commences a winsome dance
In her white linen gown~ fine as gossamer,
Embroidered by unseen wisdoms~
Spinning faster and faster,
Like a whirlwind from Eden,
Until all the winds of the earth and sky
Are pulled into her dance.
A golden glory grows ever brighter
And more magnificent around her,
Her adoration beautifying her
Beyond all the treasures of the world of man.
Transported by pure joy into the very Throneroom of heaven,
She falls at His feet in wonderment and wordless worship.

Then the Bridegroom smiles,
And the smile lingers like a summer sunset.
Ripe figs drop to the earth.
Calves drop, and foals drop,
And fawns drop and lambs drop
As the earth replies in fruitfulness of joy.
The earth yields up all its crops, glorying in the sunshine
Of the Groom’s smile. And the reapers come,
Wielding their mighty sickles,
Gathering up the golden, sun-ripened grain
Into the storehouses of heaven.

Then He takes up His sword,
His magnificent two-edged sword~
Sharper than sharpness~ and splits the sky.
He splits the mountains, and He splits the sea,
And He sunders the heavens in twain.
Stars fall like an autumn rain.
He splits the atoms in rock and air,
Fire consuming all the visible realm.

And His voice– like an orchestra of trumpets,
Like unfathomable waters
Crashing on immeasurable shores,
Like the rumblings of the seven holy thunders,
Like the applause of all the universe–
Cries out to the Bride:
Arise!
*
Karen Gladys Henry, circa 2006
*******

Inspiration (Write Painterly)




Inspiration (Write Painterly )

Wander placidly
Under graceful, glowing trees.
Walk poetically
In the silky breeze.
Watch patiently
The flitting amber patterns.
Wish prolifically
For limpid scenes of truth.
Woo persistently
The verdure’s gold reflections.
Wake prayerfully
And follow His design.
Worship purely
The Master of expression.
Widen prismatically
When christened by the sun.

Work playfully
To hear the meaning in the melody.
Waltz prophetically
To the concert of His voice.
Wait pensively
For chromatic consecration.
Welcome perceptively
The chords of pearly light.
Wonder poignantly
At the merging of creators.
Write painterly
The revelation of His choice.

Karen Gladys Henry ©2003

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rinnah


Rinnah


Thunderheads
Moving mountains
Ominous
Saturated
With woe

Tiniest tips
Catch it first
Whirling winds
Tempest heralds
My woe

Trembling leaves
Agonized tossing
Premonitions
Pages of a tree
Torn out

Drops of heaven
Bolt of anguish
Light can be darkness
Splitting of a tree
And heart

One clear moment
Shriek of grief
Creaking woe
Seizure of a soul
Torn out

Smell of ozone
Earth and moss
Tenuous mist
Kissed by a sunray
My loss

Aching ashes
Measureless fog
Mouldering branches
Rotting in the damp
My heart

Snowfall
Frozen ashes
Birdfolk abandon
Merciful deadness
To pain

Slow silence
Sodden ashes
Greenly smiling
Earth sighs a prayer
For me

Dawn testing
Blackened branches
Titmice nesting
Weave in a thread
Like hope

Hope perches
On deadened limbs
Tingling sap
Woodpecker chips
My heart

First leaf
Tentative venture
Roseate buddings
Winter rejected
My grief

Virile sun
Breaks out in song
Edenimity
Woos me again
To joy

Shout of love
Shoots out in triumph
Verdance remembered
New branches born
Rinnah*

Karen Gladys Henry
February 24, 2007
*******
"Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy* comes in the morning."
Psalm 30:5

Visitation


Visitation


A voice, mysterious in the night,
Beckoned my spirit to come partake
And soul to curious wonder wake
As the wholesome moon shone silvery white.



To sylvan porches bedecked with dew,
Majestically swooped two guests to perch
On the outstretched arms of River Birch.
My humble bench was a reverent pew.



Enthralled, I gazed on the visionly pair:
Great snowy owls with haunting grace
Who shared my flowery secret space
As they hooted husky whisperings there.



Lord Gr’Owl and Gwendolyn Owl reported
The groaning travail of Mother Earth
For Aslan’s rapturous reign to birth.
They timelessly tarried with truth. . .and courted.



"The love of Humankind waxes cold,
For daunted, the Serpent his thirst would slake.
Now, Owls shall hungrily hunt for snake!
Spread winsome wings and talons unfold!"



So sat I breathlessly in the spell
And revelled in musical birch perfume,
My heart a timpani’s tearful boom
To the mystical moontide’s comforting swell.



A voice, mysterious in the night,
Bade my spirit the World neglect
And soul be owlly circumspect
As the moon-faced orb shone magically bright.

Karen Gladys Henry
July 26, 2002

listen



***


symphony on rooftops, cloudburst’s sweet finale
sun-dripped walks together to melodic fountains
baby brooklet banters free with tumbling otters
impassioned cry of water’s leap, headlong off the mountains
crooning of the river to the swooning valley
whistling whales through whitecaps strum
voice of many waters

whirring green of dragonfly; lilting laugh of child
whispers of the marches in the berry leaves
whoosh and creak of swinging–childhood’s dreamy wonders
pant of labor, gasp of joy–the breath of love conceives
gusts of orange grandeur; wailing whirlwinds wild
angels blast triumphant trumps
God of glory thunders

planet oratorios, thrumming orbs of space
clashing of the ethnos; howling demon hordes
heaving groans of earth’s crust; cracking sky’s fascade
man’s loud machinations; singing of the swords
tick and hum and murmur of the daily race
heartbeat’s thrill to Spirit’s drum
still, small voice of God

Karen Gladys Henry
July 6, 2004