Grief

Death smears our race with pain, clogs our media, and follows us home. It seems to be around every corner. We face it unprepared.
 
In the story of Jesus and his friend Lazarus, we read about the pain Jesus felt from his loss of a close friend. What struck me this time as I remember this story is that the short verse, “Jesus wept,” is in isolation. He is alone with his grief in this moment, much as his name and this verb are alone. Nothing distracts or diminishes the hurt described here. Yet, this small sentence is part of a larger context, a story of resurrection. We must keep reading to see it.
 
This small sentence, though, is mourning. It is God’s pain and humanity’s pain, unfiltered. Jesus wept. We weep. That is what I capture in this poem.
 
To the grieving, God bless, and keep reading.
 
 
“Grief”
 
it is gut-wrenching, time-stopping phone calls.
it is not enough time, a last goodbye, or no goodbye at all.
it is numbness and it is yelling at the sky every question clawing up our throats.
it is photographs in shaking fingers and tears hidden in pillows.
it is a circle of hands and a lone, wavering voice saying prayers.
it is a long, heavy box carried on our shoulders.
at the end of the day it is the sound of a melancholy song loud on the stereo
while we sing along to the tune playing from our heart.
 
 
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Grief by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Empty Walls

Parting hurts. Whether it is parting from the ones we love because they’re moving to a new place or moving to the next life, we look for hope. I believe one of the greatest things the Holy Spirit does is unify us. It can pull us together in community, empower us in prayer, and connect us to people who’ve passed. As I go through partings in my own life, I take comfort in God’s Spirit and great gift to us.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Empty Walls”
For Gram and Duncan
 
The walls are empty again,
pictures gone like glass in broken windows.
I stand in the bare hallway and ask what we are both wondering:
How did we get here, where these journeys take us so far apart,
where we say farewell
and think of what pictures are missing on our walls?
 
We count the days left between us.
Despite the ache of loss with each passing moment,
we wear brave faces and speak strong words
because we believe in a core we share beyond miles
and lifetimes. That core is Spirit.
Whether we feel it the same,
it holds us when we cannot see each other
with a firm but tender grip.
 
I am in an empty hallway.
You will collect your stories in golden-sand frames
and I will capture mine in rainy silver.
When the days apart have been counted,
we will talk over new pictures together in reunion’s radiant joy.
 
 
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Empty Walls by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Without words

This is a poem for when we don’t know what to pray, when the hurt is too much or we feel helpless.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Without words”
 
I am without words for this moment.
They say the Spirit speaks for us at times like these,
and I wonder what it would say.
Maybe it is a poet: God, the terror confines him,
blinds him, binds him. Slip peace
onto the blisters of the unknown tomorrows
and soothe the heart that grieves for the easy days past
.
Maybe it is a chanting priest: Holy God, give peace. Holy God, give peace.
Holy God, give peace.

Maybe the Spirit sings, and maybe it clamors.
Maybe it shouts, maybe it whispers.
Maybe all it says is my name,
and God listens.
 
 
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Without words by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Hammer blow

A poem for those facing troubles with health for yourself or a family member.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

Hammer Blow
 
Hello, hammer blow, 
  visiting again, iron to my
      glued-together glass. I scoop together
my pieces and look up weakly. It hangs
            overhead in shadow, its cold metal
a brewing storm. My eyes fix 
       on the invisible weight that might fall
       from the doctor’s lips. 
Then I 
     stand up. 
Fall what may, grace 
       shields my glittering soul and
           arms of the Spirit hold my fragility.
I wait in trust.

 
 
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Hammer blow by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings of the Spirit

When we can’t be with the ones we love, in good times and bad, I believe God connects us with His Spirit in powerful ways.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Wings of the Spirit”
 
despite the years I could run down the street
    to find you, turn a corner and embrace you, now,
when it seems to matter most,
my feet can’t cross
     the miles and my hands can’t 
reach your face. 
Ground and water lie between, and we are
       connected by fragile 
               phone lines like threads of tinsel
       laying over dark evergreen. 
Bridging the wound of
            distance now is heaven’s gift of spirit. I swear to you
                that my soul knows wind and sky by name and has flown 
      your way to watch over you, wrap around you,
and whisper peace to you. Turn the corner in your heart
        and I am there.

 
 
Creative Commons License
Wings of the Spirit by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Violinist

This poem was inspired by my cousin and her beautiful musical talent when I saw her perform in concert. She reminded me that the hard times should not steal our voices.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Violinist”
For Julie
 
With what intensity, calm
sway, and sudden motion is
this blend of songful souls!
I remember the early strings you
ran over, young and bright, your excitement
a bursting fountain. Now here you sit with strong eyes
and practiced arms, part
of the motion of rhythm and note.
In all the gray days you have walked, still
your moment of music comes. You draw it out, playing
color into the rain. Yours is the melody that calls
to release and her cousin, peace.
 
 
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Violinist by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Lighthouse Path

This is a poem to those who are grieving, and the many who surround and support them. Together, we will walk our way to God’s peace.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Lighthouse Path”
 
You tuck your pain behind brave smiles
      like a shattered window behind a curtain.
I’ve been looking, but I haven’t found words for you.
      I stand nearby feeling like a lighthouse
with a broken lamp. Meanwhile, you’re
         out in the black bay where I can’t reach.
You will make it to shore in time, and I will
         meet you on the sand. I still won’t have words,
but I saw the path through the wilderness from up
          in the lighthouse, and I can walk
beside you on the way home.

 
 
Creative Commons License
Lighthouse Path by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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