Awaken the Promise

In hope for the year ahead.
 
God bless.
 
 
“Awaken the Promise”
 
Electric candles in golden chandeliers
coat the ceiling in yellow greetings while evergreens
dance down the edges of the stained glass windows to settle around
soft, looped red bows. Cozy in the crowded pews,
the congregation is audience to song and sermon.
 
Lights above and around them dim
for the last hymn. Sanctuary is invaded by darkness.
 
The people pass one light to each other,
wick to wick, candle to candle, flame to flame.
Arms lift the light high as one, a hundred different
sleeves, skins, and strengths caught in the rise
of the candlelight. In rumbling chorus
they call on the peace of silent night’s song and shake the shadows.
Among them wakens the Christmas promise of change.
 
 
 
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Awaken the Promise by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Listen

Hello all,
 
Here is an end of the year poem inspired by the Longwood Gardens Christmas Lights event. They decorate the entire, huge garden with Christmas lights, and thousands of people come to see them. It reminds me of how creativity and beauty can bring us all together. I want to think of that as a new year comes.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Listen”
 
We came to see the lights together.
They dance light-footed on branches of winter trees.
They wrap and spiral and bind our eyes to their beauty.
 
Excitement grips us. Each couple, family, and lone walker
jostles, pushes, squeezes, shouts, laughs, cries, stops, and stares
in the tour in the dark.
It seems we are as many in this crowd
as there are lights in the garden.
We walk beside a thousand faces
but do not know their names.
They are the kind of family you know only for a brief, shared moment of wonder.
 
Now we walk the night road home.
We make no sound: awe is our shared language.
Listen:
 
 
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Listen by Morgan Prettyman Waad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Advent #3, Cradle Me

A poem to remind us to not only welcome the gift of grace and love we celebrate in Jesus’s birth, but also to keep celebrating it and taking strength from it year-round.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Cradle me”
 
cradle me
new and hopeful I come
fragile and willing I come
cradle me
 
embrace me
tiny and loving I come
brave and graceful I come
embrace me
 
carry me
however old I become
however old you become
carry me
 
 
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Cradle Me by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Advent #2, Winter Whispers

Holidays do not always bring comfort and joy, especially when the past year has held a loss in the family. To those who feel that pain this year, I pray peace for you and that you will be surrounded in love.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Winter Whispers”
 
Winter blows in without sound.
Color has dropped into a brown carpet
on the wet roads as we gather, one less,
around meals and traditions and decorations.
Your voice was so much a part
of them that without it I’ve been tossed
into a black and white film where I
read the script on a title card. Tell me
what to say now that I am the voice
to fill mealtimes and give directions.
 
Snowfall buries the world with gray and quiet.
Staring out dark windows I take the time to
remember. Faint but true, you speak into
the moments I feared would stay empty and
raw. Snowfall brushes glass with white,
catches Christmas tree lights, whirls into prisms.
Perhaps in echoes and memory God
brings us closer to the great beyond
you crossed ahead of me.
 
 
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Winter Whispers by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Advent #1, Brush of Winter

The Advent season reminds us of preparations for the birth of Jesus millennia ago and is also a time in which we reflect on welcoming him in the present. Those preparations also can remind us to open our hearts and lives to all God’s children, no matter our divisions and differences. In Jesus, I see hope for this outreach and healing.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
 

“Brush of Winter”
 
I painted my eyes with winter to
      learn to see the song in swirling snow 
    and the heartbeat in the sleeping world 
beneath crystal stars. Anticipation
    places brushes of hope in our fingers and invites
    us to create a home of belonging.
Paint widely, my hand. See far, my eyes.
Here again is the reminder to 
     begin again in grace.

 
 
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Brush of Winter by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

And then I see

This poem is about a beautiful sunset I saw while out visiting the Southwest this holiday season.
God bless,
Morgan
*P.S. I have updated the last stanza per my grandparents’ feedback.

“And then I see”
 
Stepping outside, I frown at the overcast 
lying across the clear blue heavens
I’d seen mere hours ago.
I climb in the car to drive away. My heart 
sinks sadly down, and
my eyes trail regretfully over
patches of blue still left
between streaks of charcoal.
 
And then I see the sunset:
molten yellow opens bright as a child’s eyes on
Christmas, peering into the darkness to find 
all the gifts of the world. I am 
dazzled and silenced by 
rose reds blooming over mountaintops.
Rippling orange and violet tapestries drape
over the horizon. Every ray of light is a
brushstroke to pull out the cool shadows of the
desert, tracing every mountain ridge. Like soft gray canvas, 
the dreary clouds now hold color in every fiber. 
 
I hear my grandmother, one seat ahead of 
me, tell a story about her brother when 
he was little: “Not long after my father died,
my brother was out on the porch, and he
pointed to the sunset and said: 
God made the sky so pretty so that Daddy 
wouldn’t want to come home.”
 
I gaze in speechless wonder and agree. 
How can anyone come back
from this?

 

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And then I see by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Christmas Hurry

Hi everyone,
 
This poem reflects on how we can learn from Mary and the first Christmas when the holidays overwhelm us. Mary and Joseph must have had a stressful time traveling all the way to Bethlehem with the ticking clock of a baby on the way (Luke 2:1-7). Our crazy Christmas season has anxiety as well—but maybe that means we can share the same exhausted and fulfilling joy Mary and Joseph had when they held their son Jesus that night in the stable for the first time.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
 

“Christmas Hurry”
 
rushed and breathless,
    running but coming up
        short as hectic schedules
   chase you around the clock.
when you collapse into its
        ticking hands, they throw you forward 
           again, launching you into another 
                      restless Christmas.
 
she, too, knows the jostling rushed
    ride of the season: a long, hurried
      journey but still arriving too late
             to get a bed to sleep in, and birth pains
                 won’t wait and there isn’t enough time
                         to look any longer, so she guesses
                   this will just have to be Christmas—
 
—but the rush of time stops
when he opens his new eyes to see her.
the draining hourglasses of the world
        mean nothing now:
she holds eternity in her arms.

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

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