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

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Quest

Since my parents moved across the country, I have been coming to new understandings of what home is to me. God has come with me in this journey, carrying me through with His love, and in doing so, showing me to my answers. In your quests for home, may He do the same.

God bless
(If you are interested in other reflections on how God has worked in my life during the journey of my family’s move last year, see my 15-poem collection starting here: Wings Will Come: Journey)

“Quest”

home is a question mark
I am chasing with new wings,
seeking to know what it cradles
within its comfort and what hand I have in
shaping it. peace is its quiet sister
in flight beside it, elusive as a gray moth
in morning mist, alighting with a secret
but fading into motion again before I
can scoop it into my palm. a current moves
beneath all of us in the journey, and I know
it is the answer to the question mark and
the resting place for the moth. For me,
it is the push and pull from one understanding
into the next, the beat of my wings
in flight.

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

Reminders

This is a poem for my mom, who taught me so much about what love is. This was written for Mother’s Day the year she moved to Arizona.
God bless
 
“Reminders”
 
as you step onto the desert way,
you leave lessons
like painted handmade beads
I string into deepest memory.
 
They are reminders:
to love all the people around me,
no matter what they look like
or who they are,
to keep an open home,
dig deep roots of faith,
fear no doubts,
always ask questions
and know where
to look up the answers,
to ask forgiveness
and to give it,
find good stories
and live them,
be myself,
strive for my dreams,
seek adventure,
keep learning, and
to stand up,
stand strong.
 
The spun threads through each
reminder gleam timeless silver:
your pride in me
your welcoming arms
your overflowing love
 
 
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Reminders by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 14 “The house will fill again”

This poem is about the first day my brother and I were alone in the family house, which we would be renting from our parents as they moved to Arizona. It was a surreal day, but we promised ourselves that however empty the house felt now, we would work to fill it with the same love and hospitality that our parents had in their many years there. Sometimes God asks us to stay behind to be the new light.
 
Next week, I conclude the story of my family’s move and God’s goodness in the change in the fifteenth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless
 
“The house will fill again”
The first day
 
hello, empty house.
we do not want to face you yet
but here we are.
 
we come back from the airport
confused, just waiting
to see Dad at his office desk
working too early already
or Mom bent over her sewing machine.
every hour is another rain shower,
but we push through.
 
we build and move,
and pray and learn.
 
the house will fill again.
 
together, brother to sister,
we promise that we will
keep the invisible spirit of the house
alive: open doors and safe haven,
a legacy of hospitality our family
embedded into the foundation
of our house and our hearts.
 
Come to the nest
where we keep safe
as we learn our wings.
 
 
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The house will fill again by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 5 “Typeset”

When my parents moved to Arizona, my grandfather went to move in with them as well, unseating one of the steadfast people in my life. This change shook out both memories and new stories from him, reminding me of the long years he has been there for me and sharing in words his deep, but quiet love for me and my family. It reminds me, too, of how God’s love worked for my family during this time: often quiet, but always steady and always strong.
 
Next week, I continue the story of my family’s move and God’s goodness in the change in the sixth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless
 

“Typeset”
To PopPop
 
you’re going, too.
for some reason this
     feels the most surreal 
so far.
 
you are a
      solid, stoic rock I remember
      from my tiniest days as I 
soaked in the world
      and every story from the old days.
you’d tell them letter by letter
to us like type set into a printing press.
     roll on the ink and another tale
falls into curious hands.
     but your stories are going
away now.
 
in the months to come I’ll hear
so many stories from you: 
      some I know well and
      some I never did.
as you step outside your pale green
home on the hill and look westward
       toward unknowns,
you speak your once-upon-a-times,
your questions, your joys, and your worries.
 
your love has long been quiet and thick as
snowfall, tucked in around the landscape
     in a generous quilt.
unexpectedly around the kitchen table
your love makes it into print like your
old family stories,
              and perhaps this is your greatest family story
                yet.
I will remember these pages,
      read aloud in your deep, rich voice,
when you said we are precious,
      you are proud of us,
      we’re your world. 
 
I put my inked type beside yours in reply:
       you have been our world, too
and though our worlds are stretching now
     to make room for change,
we share the same skies and
the same stories, in new chapters.

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

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 3 “Origami wings”

When my dad accepted a new job offer across the country last year, I learned to celebrate the journey even though I wasn’t the one embarking on it. It isn’t easy to do, but whether you are watching a loved one move, a child go to college, or parting ways for the final journey of all, I believe that in the Spirit’s grace and wisdom, we can find the strength to say our farewells with hope and love.
 
In this third poem from my collection “Wings Will Come: Journey,” I reflected on the day that my dad took his leap of faith, starting a whirlwind of events that I’ll continue to share next week with the fourth poem in the collection.
 
God bless
 
 

“Origami wings”
To Dad
 
the job offer is an origami crane
that can’t move,
a shelf ornament made in dreaming.
then, echoing through cool spring
air, I hear 
the wings move.
      you move.
 
I sit still, suddenly 
the shelf-sitter,
fragile as rice paper while you
take to the air and shake off
the dust.
shock flattens me.
I am a paper leaf, 
blank and white.
 
I want to fly with you,
I want to stay, want you
to stay,
but your wings are finally
moving and right now life
is what matters.
so I muster a breath of air
to lift you off:
Dad, that’s great!  
but weighing me down is
Daddy, I will miss you.

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

Faith

Hi everyone,
 
A few years ago I had the privilege to meet Bishop Peggy Johnson of the United Methodist Church. While visiting my college bible study group, she shared the following wise words with the students: “Faith needs to be an adventure. Enjoy it. Have fun with it.”
 
These words have helped change the way I view my faith and were part of the inspiration behind this poem. May we all have adventurous faith—like the disciples who followed Christ at a single call, I pray we can be open and willing to get up and move wherever He leads us.
 
God bless
 
P.s. This poem is also an answer to a request for a “faith-based” poem
 

“Faith”
 
I had a conversation with Faith today.
      She stood on the step down to the road,
         refusing my invitation to sit on the porch.
She told me that
       she didn’t like staying put. 
I was confused.  Isn’t Faith about being solid?
        She laughed.  Touch me—I’m solid, I’m real, she said,
  because I am anchored in my heart,
and I move
     because I need to go places, follow people,
          strengthen them and assure them on their many
                     different roads.
I am a growing thing, she said. A living, breathing,
           walking Faith. 
                                    I do not stay put.  
I ask you to come with me, she said.
          I’m in the world, tough enough
                for the hard spots 
           and strong enough for hurricanes.
The road will change you, but I
          will stay with you.  
 
                 Faith and I stepped onto the road
                                  and our conversation went on.

 
 
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Faith by Briana Batty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.