Names we never knew

When we turn on the radio or the TV, we see the wake of human wars. This is a haiku poem that calls for peace in the many battles around the world.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Names we never knew”
 
Names we never knew
spilled on smoky battlefields.
A cry from the cross.
 
 
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Names we never knew by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Grief prayer

For the many people I know who have recently lost loved ones and for the many in mourning who I do not know.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Grief prayer”
 
Today, for you who grieve a passing
       or a passing soon to come,
I pray that the comfort of God
    be with you, nestled around your aching heart:
        an embrace and a whisper that beckons memory
     of joys, lessons, wisdom,
         bright eyes, loud laughter, and precious time.
 
May these final moments be richly filled with 
      hands held, tears shed,
         and songs sung.
  May there be arms around
      your shaking shoulders.
 
I pray you will speak, hear, and cherish
   both the vulnerable words and the brave words,
        trembling and true: 
        heart-spoken.
 
At this passing of life, stand still. Feel
      the wings of a beloved soul
           brush you on its way by.

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

the yellow light

Hello everyone,
 
I found and updated another old poem to share for this week – a call to slow down and give the busyness to God when it is too much for us.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“the yellow light”
 
jangled jostled jarring
i am riding on this
busy road of a day
until the red light
at the end
when my fuel runs out
and i 
            stop
the horns are blaring bleating blinding
from every which way
and there are too many
ways to go
signs to read
and all i want is my
                     destination
reaching over i
turn down the radio
with its voices of sad stories
angry people and advertisements,
turn it down so i can
                                   think.
thinking turns to praying
because my list 
of places to go and 
errands to run
has gotten too long.
i hand it over
                            now.
peace-bringing prayer
echoes in my mind like
soft songs in a cathedral.
the busy road becomes
straight and narrow
and i see now only 
                             by headlights.
softly singing simple songs
from sunday school days 
of simplicity,
i slow down to wait in
the golden light
                at the crossroads.

 
 
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the yellow light 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.

Pondering

Hi everyone,
 
This is a poem for after Christmas, when the holiday is suddenly over, everyone is exhausted, but there is always more to do ahead. I’m sure Mary and Joseph felt just as tired after their eventful day: a difficult travel into town, no comfortable place to sleep, Mary giving birth to Jesus in a stable, shepherds appearing and talking about angels and wanting to visit the new king… I find that the verse that follows the busy events of the first Christmas very important to remember: Luke 2:19 (NIV) says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” This verse about reflection inspired my poem. We, too, can pause and reflect to help us get ready for whatever comes next.
 
God bless!
–Morgan
 
“Pondering”
Inspired by Luke 2:19

I.
the babe is sleeping,
the shepherds have left,
the animals are silent,
the stable is still.

in these few hours when quiet comes
Mary stays awake, too tired for rest.
each busy moment settles into memory,
and each memory she ponders,
each memory, she treasures.

II.
the season is over,
the presents given,
the children are sleeping,
the house is still.

in these few hours when quiet comes,
when you are too tired for rest:
ponder. remember. pray.

the Prince of Peace waits in the silence
to speak to you,
to center you once again,
strengthen you in your weariness.
He knows what these days are like
for you. He lived them, too.
like His mother, He knew to take time
to ponder and pray,
no matter the events
behind or ahead.

III.
Ahead is a new year.
the uncertainty is waiting,
anticipation growing,
questions stirring.

Mary, too, faced new days
of questions.
that night in the stable
she closed her eyes and
pondered. prepared
to face new days of questions
as a woman rooted in faith.

IV.
Morning breaks.
The pondering silence is gone,
the busyness comes,
and the faith holds on, deep
like an anchor in the quiet
below the waves.
 
 
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Pondering by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported 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.

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