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


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
“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.
Creative Commons License
You are Hiding by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Hello everyone,
Continuing my theme of previously shared poems, this poem is one that was written on request from Rev. David Palmer at Newark United Methodist Church. His sermon on John 6:16-21 inspired the words.
God bless
John 6:16-21
I ride choppy water
long into the night
to fish for a truth,
to seek out the light.
The storm finds me first;
I’ve got nowhere to go.
Doubts toss me aside
from all that I know.
My boat floats away,
my fears crowd and call.
I’m alone on the sea
gripped in a squall.
The shore is far gone,
I’m not sure what to do,
but in these dark moments
that’s when I see You.
Across choppy waters
You walk into the night,
fishing me out
and bringing Your light.
I call out to You
and You answer my cry.
Though I’m here in dark waters
I know that You’re nigh.
Creative Commons License
Nigh by Briana Batty 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!

“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.
Creative Commons License
The Little Candles by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.