Candle

Don’t look away. Do something.

“Candle”

Faith is a choice made staring out a bleak window at
       rampant hate, cascading disease, 
       and selfish speeches on TV cameras
and saying
       I will hold the Flame.
Courage is the scabbed hand steadying the Faith Candle
and the Flame is the One we said we’d follow on a deserted road
       to serve the neighbor who the powers have been choking
       while we were taught to look the other way.
Change is a choice made staring out a bleak window
	to step outside and hold the candle high
        and fuel tomorrow’s dawn over a better nation.

 
 
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While

While

While you were fretting, I’ve been working.

You cannot see me, but I am moving mountains.

They are not the mountains you’ve been despairing,

they are the unseen problems I know best.

For while you’ve been crying, I have held you,

while you’ve been hurting, I’ve been healing.

I am solid and secure while you are wondering where to go:

So stay beneath my cradling wings for a while.

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World

World

 
A room full of the world

is learning the same language.

The melodies of success are laughter

and the gratitude for a shared meal from many tables.

I know what God’s kingdom sounds like.
 
 
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Force

Force

 
See me standing here
all colors of the earth and the sky after a storm? Take note:
I am a force.
 
Force is movement.
What you saw standing is now marching.
I surge forward, dragging my protests and uncertainty along for the ride
because I’m not waiting to figure it all out.
I’ve got now and I’m taking it.
 
See me.
 
See each color, see each culture, see each human dancing beneath my skin.
If you have to be scared, be scared,
but then get past it.
I was scared too at first, but now courage is my language. Speak it with me.
 
I am woman.
 
 
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Truly I tell you

Truly I tell you

I’ve been hearing what you
	haven’t been saying.
You’ve been silenced by the distance,
	strangled by the change.
I’ve been speaking softly in your midnights,
	facing down your fears.
You are bound to me by spirit,
	tucked deep into my heart,
	though you picture yourself 
	as the wandering ship off course in the waves.
Your hurt is my hurt for
	you rest in my soul.
I have been holding you 
	while speech is numb in your throat,
and I have been healing you
	even though you fear wholeness.
Weary mustard seed, you are growing into 
	what you can’t see yet,
but truly I tell you this: 
	The shadows you haven’t been saying 
	will not rule you,
	Child of the Light.

 
 
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With Seeking

With Seeking

 
The angel on the shelf looks upon the white open squares
of my calendar. My pen scurries to pour ink into each crevice
but falters in the parade of days looping back and forth
in strings of identical weeks.
 
The angel on the shelf holds a glitter-covered star on a green thread.
She is one of the last decorations destined for bubble-wrapped hibernation
but she is yet a voice of her holiday, singing silent over that guiding star
of ancient wise ones.
 
Begin the year with seeking, and do not
stop. The truth awaits among the outcast.
 
I put down my pen
and go east.
 
 
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Worship

Worship

It is a crystal prism of song found golden in victory
dull ash in neglect, ruby in desperation.
Words that do not change form still shift in the spinning wheel
from blue grief to deep green hope to flaming orange doubt
crying out new purpose to each hour hand.
Our moments reteach us old songs:
hold the prism to the dawn and see.
 
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Wild

“Wild”

 
I stand beneath the parents of the wild.
Rustling overhead are leaves that took millions of years
to learn their trade and perfect it.
Pure green lit like dappled paper lanterns edged in lime,
fluttering when they rise with the wind.
Veins flow through them like creeks running through time:
tiny and strong, they build futures.
When the light turns red on the highway
I can hear the leaves and who they shelter.
Chirping songs break up
that whisper of assurance: it is the young speaking to the old.
Mine is a tiny melody too, for my human veins are new,
my perfection still far away.
Perched on ancient branches,
I will learn my way to sunlight.
 
 
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Threshold

This poem was written while flying over cities at night on my way home, thinking about how prayer can calm an unquiet mind.

“Threshold”

In the night-cloak of the globe
Cities buzz, aglow.
So little sleeps tonight.
Restless minds drift across screens
or half-formed dreams to arrive
empty at the door to peace.
I can unlock that vault with a whisper to the sky
over hands clasped in the chain of ancient lessons.
I can enter with a slow breath over
the threshold and hide here for the night.
 
 
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Threshold by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Let the women speak

“Let the women speak”

Read between these bold and flashing headlines
for the message to my sisters that we belong
standing silent in kitchens with bowed heads and backs,
that our testimony is an annoying fly to be swatted.

I’m shredding that message.

I am woman, no longer a bone from your body. God made me whole.
Cite me your old laws of how I am lesser, unclean, but I
am busy watching the Lord pick an adulteress off the ground and I
hear him telling a bleeding woman that her faith made her well.
Tell me all about my weakness but I
stand by the Lord who stopped everything to raise a dead son
for a weeping mother whose agony touched his soul.
He loved our complete selves, from tears to faith.

They killed Christ for his rebellion. You are still doing it.

Let the women speak. Listen to the wounded lives
struggling unseen in tearing bramble.
Hold up the girls, mothers, sisters, and grandmothers. It is time
for us to unlock our souls.

Call me heretic. I am watching the Lord lift a girl from her deathbed
and say she was only sleeping.

 

 

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