Beneath the flames

“Again he said, ‘What shall we say the kingdom of God is like […]? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground.  Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.” – Mark 4:31-32

“Beneath the flames”

Despair is the flames parading over our
streets with crackling fanfare
and only silence to answer it

An old woman is watching this with
red, weary eyes.  She holds a golden locket
with a seed.

Confusion is the hammer madly pounding.
Denial is the darkness past the flame,
where it is getting hard to see.

An old woman on the sidewalk takes the seed
from the locket and gives the locket to a boy
at her knee.  It fills his hands with gold.

Terror is the dryness in the air
and the wind that carries the spectacle
Pain is the thousand, thousand hands ready
with water but no leader for the brigade.

An old woman kneels in an overgrown lot
and plants the seed into the earth. It is small
like the boy with the locket.

Love is the seeds deeper than fire
and smaller than notice.
Hope is planting mustard beside a boy
with a golden reminder.

Courage is an old woman who knows her odds
and never stops acting.

Listen in the streets. There is a boy singing golden hymns.

 

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Beneath the flames by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Pillars

In this poem I reflect on Exodus 13:21, which is about how God guided the Israelites to their promised land: “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” Thousands of years later, God still guides us, showing us the way to life abundant for ourselves and the many people of the world.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Pillars”

This Fire in the desert night 
     Calls me,
        Stays me,
             Shows me.

The Clouds in the desert day 
      Lead me,
          Stop me,
              Guide me.

They are a ballet of flame and smoke.
       The more I watch them, the less form they have.
Just like when you stare at a painting until the colors blur,
          I see the fire spread and glow in places I had never looked before 
                and I see the clouds resting their shade over the people
         I have forgotten.

The form is a mystery, the call is clear.

 
 
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Pillars by Morgan Waad 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.

Breathe

Changes are always rolling our way. Some we know about, some we don’t. After Jesus had gone, the disciples waited for the promised coming of the Holy Spirit, God’s presence and power with them for all the times to come. They had gone through a lot of changes, and more were to come, but rather than ignoring or hiding from these changes, I noticed that they spent time praying (see Acts 1:12 – 2). This poem is about following the disciples’ example to pray about change and seek ways we can be transformed positively by it, as they were by the Holy Spirit when it arrived in wind and fire.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Breathe”
 
we wait in the shadow
of the upper room.
We have been told that change
is coming again. I duck my head
and hold my breath.
 
pages from the past tell of
men who waited for change
in the upper room, but they
did not neglect the air they
needed. They
breathed
prayer.
 
I hear it coming now, a bellow
to rattle the fragile and the new
stones I assembled in the wake
of the last blow. At last I look up and
breathe
prayer.
 
It is here, a crash into my heart—
a shifting, a whirling, a pain.
I am not ready, but I am open now
to God’s Spirit, for when I learned to
breathe prayer in the waiting, I also learned
to speak in the wind. Standing in the blowing change,
I become a tongue of fire
and voice.
 
 
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Breathe by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Up on the Shelf

Hi everyone,

A message of courage for anyone who needs it right now. Philippians 4:13: I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength.

God bless,
Morgan

“Up on the Shelf”
 
my courage sits quiet
   up on a shelf out of
                                           reach.
it crouches inside a
    glass jar like a miniature red tiger
    on display, baring teeth
 it can’t use.
 
my arms aren’t long enough
      to reach that courage.
my hands shake too much
      to open the lid.
I sit on the floor and stare
     up at the restless
                                tiger.
 
now more than ever 
    I need the dusty bravery
put away with too many 
old forgotten treasures,
                     so I turn to You.
 
You lift me up so I can reach
         that gleaming prize You gave me
       years and years ago,
                  that I lost on the top shelf.
I pick up the jar, cradle it.
You put Your big hands over mine:
            Let’s open it.
 
With Your strength
I lay new claim
       to the fire 
You lit inside my soul. 

Creative Commons License
Up on the Shelf by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.