You are Hiding

I dedicate this poem to my fellow women, with hope. Never forget that the light of the world dwells in us and we can use it to challenge the darkness.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“You are Hiding”
 
You are hiding.
I know this because when you were a girl
you were a blossom of creativity, a lively brook of dreams.
You spun worlds out of color and endless ideas.
 
Your path to your full potential
did not last.
You listened to fear’s senseless whisper, you dropped your flame.
Though your talent bleeds like sunrise through your skin
you covered yourself in cloaks and learned to shuffle in gray shoes.
 
You are hiding.
I watch you at arm’s length, unsure what I could say
to help you throw off the muted world you wear.
The best I come to is this:
Do not fear what you could be.
Fight for it. Love it. Love yourself.
Loving yourself is a risk, for all love is dangerous,
but all love comes from God and therefore it can look deeper,
touch our tender bones, and bring out the joy that birthed creation.
We are bearers of future.
Do not hide.
 
I am waiting.
You know this because I stand nearby
never ready to give up my hope,
sister, mother, daughter, woman.
 
 
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You are Hiding by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Rooms

With God’s grace and strength, we do not have to be frozen in fear, hurt, and anger for ourselves and our brothers and sisters. Let us take action in our broken world.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Rooms”
 
Fire is blowing and here
I am knowing I must move.
Before me there is a house
where crimson chews on the walls
until they fall in, their gaping wounds glowing
in a furnace of war.
 
I must move.
 
the fire has been set—it can’t be rewound
like an old VHS. This film only rolls forward.
But while the drama unfolds,
I am caught staring. So many windows cracking,
so many rooms burning, so many cries rising.
The answer is rescue, but I cannot choose a room.
There are too many, this is too much.
 
I must move.
 
Will I say years from now that my master was
indecision and my chains were indifference?
Apathy floods these onlookers
like poison gas. I could breathe it
in and float, aimless, in my own mind as darkness
takes us, as I wonder: which room?
 
I move.
 
I will pick one room, you pick another, and you
still another. We will pull hope out
of the flames.
 
We must move.
 
 
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Rooms by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Below the Cross

I wrote this while reflecting on Christ’s sacrifice on Good Friday and His incredible strength and courage in the face of such pain and evil. By His grace, that strength is in us as well.

God bless,
Morgan

“Below the Cross”
 
for a mere moment
my eyes fall shut on the crowds below.
shouts and jeers rush into the darkness,
a surge of oily hatred.
I rally and force my bruised eyelids
back open and see a sea of enemies
that I love,
for whom I hang by
bloody wrists pinned to wood
by long, black nails.
 
they shove sponges of vinegar into
my parched mouth and bid me
save myself.
but oh, my little lost ones, I did not come
to save myself.
I cannot come down.
My mission looks bleak in the face of
hundreds of sharp eyes glaring from
the ground of the Skull.
i have walked among these people, healed
their sick, held their children, taught
their hearts truth,
but darkness stands tall and gruesome in this
late hour.
 
sagging, choking on my own weight and
the burdens one by one mounting on top
of my whipped shoulders with every call of
Crucify him I
keep my eyes open and
I tell you, children, though you cannot see
in the black hell you have summoned here,
I tell you I am stronger
than your malice and your fear.
for in losing all I have, I gain your freedom
by the name of grace abundant.
 
as you hear my dying cries, listen,
for I am crying that I love you.
Though in darkness you see me leave today
I will be back for you,
my little ones
at the foot of my cross.
 
 
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Below the Cross 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.

Still

Hi everyone,
 
This poem was inspired by the different connotations of the word “still.” When exploring those meanings, I focused on the stillness I think of in Psalm 23 (“He leads me beside still waters”) and the enduring hope I saw in cancer survivors and affected families of those lost to cancer during my experience at Relay for Life (a fundraiser walk for cancer research). One of the laps we walked was after dark, during which we walked in silence “toward a cure” next to luminarias for survivors and the people who have died because of this disease. In this poem, stillness is strength and peace, which we find in the One who told us, “Be still, and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
 
Thanks to Rev. Mary Haggard, who gave me the idea for this poem.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Still”
 
dawn hovers, tiptoeing on the edge
of cool waters, its one eye
watching dreamers hang onto sleep.
the world hovers, not breathing,
caught in the gray light like
an old photograph.
still.
 
candles glow by the dark path,
burning onward while quiet feet
step beside their light: feet
moving toward a new future, heedless of
midnight’s clutches, carrying each candle flame
forward,
still hoping.
 
in dawn’s soft air,
you can touch the peace that calms,
the peace that carries.
no matter how much time passes,
if you lift your eyes
it is there, strong.
 
 
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Still by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The Little Candles

Hi everyone,

This poem is for those grieving during this Christmas season. Pain and loss cause darkness in our lives. They make it hard to get through cheerful holidays or even face an ordinary day. Christmas, though, is a promise of a new day—and a new life in the newborn Christ. Our loved ones are promised this life, and so are we. Some days the hope and healing He offers us may feel like they are coming slowly, but like rays of sunlight coming one by one over the horizon, they will bring a new dawn and better days.

God bless!
–Morgan

“The Little Candles”
For the grieving this Christmas season, for peace deep inside them

All the lights just went out.
You could still hear everyone breathing or
coughing here and there, like bursts of static
on a silent radio station.
I sat still, imagining the darkness was nothing more
than a chilly blanket wrapped around the congregation
in the sanctuary that Christmas Eve.
But after a long moment, the darkness got colder,
the sounds grew distant, and my mind made
the black air empty and eternal.
It reminded me of the first night I went to bed
knowing I couldn’t wake up and call you anymore
when I wanted to talk,
the first night I knew I couldn’t run to you
when I needed you,
the first night I knew you wouldn’t be there
for the next Christmas, the next New Year,
the next day.

In the front of the sanctuary the pastor lit
the Christ Candle.
The little flame jumped awake in the nest of wax,
turning the cold white candle a buttery yellow.
The pastor held it up, and we began to sing Silent Night.
We each held our own little unlit candles, waiting for the light
to be passed to each of us, a symbol of Christ’s hope spreading
among us.
I sat perfectly still, watching. I felt that I’d been waiting a long time
for this light.

When the flame reached me, I lit my candlewick
from my neighbor’s and passed on the flame.
My tiny fire danced in my shaking sigh
as I cradled the candle in my frigid fingers.
I wished you were here, whispered that wish quietly
and swallowed the growing impulse
to cry.

The song rose, and we lifted our voices and our candles.
Holding up that little flame, I pictured you in it:
fresh and bright and warm again.
The darkness faded in all the candlelight
and I imagined each flame was a person we’d lost
now shining and whole again, a reminder in the darkness
that dawn comes one ray at a time.

When the sun rises tomorrow on Christmas
I’ll see you winking from the clouds:
a bright soul lighting up the heavens
and living out a promise of eternity.
 
 
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The Little Candles by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.