Tag Archives: Poetry

The Modern Necromancers

zombies2

Consume and be filled
That is the purpose, for that you were summoned
Up from the depths to view the treasures of heaven
Paraded before your eyes by the modern necromancers
Marketing the latest cure for the emptiness
The emptiness that is an unfilled void within the breast
Calling out to be filled, yet never satisfied for more than an instant
Once they were men and women with hopes and dreams
But through some devilry they were warped into mindless thralls
Enslaved by commerce rather than some dark magic
Yearning for the next item that promises to satisfy the unending hunger
For they are consumers, that is the only drive they know
Consume and be filled

Composed Neil White 2013

The inspiration for this was an article linking George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, the forefather of most modern zombie movies, games and shows, with a critique of the capitalistic drive for consumption. To follow through on the imagery it gave rise to some dark words.

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

Remembering Bonhoeffer: The Powers of Good

Four of the ten 20th Century Martyrs above the west door of Westminster Abby, installed in 2000. From left to right: Grand Archduchess Elizabeth of Russia, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Romero, Pastor Bonhoeffer

Four of the ten 20th Century Martyrs above the west door of Westminster Abby, installed in 2000. From left to right: Grand Archduchess Elizabeth of Russia, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Romero, Pastor Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed at Flossenberg Concentration Camp on April 9, 1945, and at some other point I am sure I will share more reflections since his writings have definitely shaped me in many ways, but today I am just going to share one of his lesser known poems. Many people will share his famous “Who Am I” poem, but this is one of my favorites (and if you look back at Golgatha you will probably see some resonance):

Powers of Good (December 28, 1944)

 

With every power for good to stay and guide me,

comforted and inspired beyond all fear,

I’ll live these days with you in thought beside me,

and pass, with you, into the coming year.

 

The old year still torments our hearts, unhastening;

the long days of our sorrow still endure;

Father, grant to the souls thou hast been chastening

that thou has promised, the healing and the cure

 

Should it be ours to drain the cup of grieving

even to the dregs of pain, at thy command,

we will not falter, thankfully receiving

all that is given by thy loving hand.

 

But should it be thy will once more to release us

to life’s enjoyment and its good sunshine,

that which we’ve learned from sorrow shall increase us,

and all our life be dedicate as thine.

 

Today, let candles shed their radiant greeting;

lo, on our darkness are they not thy light

leading us, haply, to our longed-for meeting?

Thou canst illumine even our darkest night.

 

When now the silence deepens for our harkening,

grant we may hear thy children’s voices raise

for all the unseen world around us darkening

their universal paean, in thy praise.

 

While all the powers of good aid and attend us,

boldly we’ll face the future, come what may.

At even and at morn God will befriend us,

and oh, most surely on each newborn day!

(Bonhoeffer 1953, 400f)

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Empty Wells: A Poem

scarcity

When the wells of the soul run dry
From watering and nourishing the fruit of the vine
In the middle of the wilderness
Do we accept that drought is a part of life
That every day, every season, every year cannot produce a bumper crop
Do we migrate to new watering holes, abandoning the old vines
Seeking fertile pastures with abundant water
Do we drill deeper into the will and the spirit trying to wrest from the barren ground
Some new spiritual spring hidden deep within, some reserve that may or may not be there
Digging deeper so that we may truly exhaust the waters of life
Or do we pray for rain?

Neil White 2013

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Golgotha

White Crucifixion, Marc Chagall

White Crucifixion, Marc Chagall

Alone, life is over,
Those whom I ask to wait for me enter into sleep
A sleep deeper than death itself
Seconds creep by, minutes last for years
As I wait for my Father to answer me
Yet no answer comes.

Life, truly lived in God blessed abundance
Good friends, those who love me and whom I love
Those who would drink my cup, those who would share my bread
And yet for them I am alone waiting on the Father
Yet no answer comes.

Love, freely given and rarely returned
The religious mock me and the educated despise me
A few closer than brothers and sisters I have drawn near
Yet the same God brings love and separation
So still I sit alone and await an answer from the Father
Yet no answer comes.

Torment, yet it is the cup I choose
I could allow this cup to pass; yet I drink it to the dregs
I take on the curse so others might have a blessing
For those who curse me and those I have drawn near
I sit alone, the answer from the Father
I am the answer.

Betrayal, a brother draws near
With a kiss comes a wound deeper than any sword or spear
One who shared my bread rends my heart in two
I stand surrounded, forsaken by the Father
I am the answer for Judas.

Abandoned, every brother and sister scattered
For the fear of death my name forgotten and denied
All whom I opened myself to now flee as I sit on the altar
Accused, Spat upon, Beaten, a lamb for slaughter
I am the answer for the scattered.

Hated, I bear the weight of Jerusalem
An earthly kingdom I would not claim, so a thief’s death they select
Nothing did I take, only love did I give
Yet in my love I uncovered hatred so dark that hell could not contain it
Marked, Broken, Despised, a Scapegoat
I am the answer for a conquered people.

Disregarded, shown contempt as a peasant
I do not even merit the time of the procurator, only the fervor of the city’s hatred
Places me as King of the Jews before the vassal of Caesar
The power to judge I could wield, yet instead to earthly power I yield
I become the crucified one for the Romans
I am the answer for the empire.

Hung on the mountain, exposed to the world
I bear witness to a kingdom present given my form
I stake my claim as I gasp for air in the God forsakenness of Golgotha
I bear the rebellion of humanity waging war against the Creator
I am love hung on a cross for the world, the embrace of the Father
I am the answer for all creation.

I hang on the cross today bearing the sins of a world come of age
Aging but still turned inward on itself, consuming its own flesh
A world that may know my name, but has forgotten who I am
A world who no longer needs me, but is intent on saving itself at the cost of its own life
Creation is smothered and the oppressed are crushed
The powerful are caught in their paranoia and fathers disown their children
Wives seek other lovers and leaders devour their followers
The blood of the earth cries out for vindication, the desecrated heavens shout for judgement
Yet here I hang, the lamb, the scapegoat, the crucified one, love it self
Forsaken for the world’s sake, and yet I am
I am the answer for the world
Does anyone question anymore?

Composed Neil White, 2013

Updated from a poem originally written in 2002

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

Betrayal- A Poem

Apophysis-Betrayal (1footonthedawn at deviantart.com)

Apophysis-Betrayal (1footonthedawn at deviantart.com)

A friend, a lover, a confidant, the one who I let down my armor to
I accepted the blame for another’s actions
And I slowly let the blade of betrayal slide between my ribs and into my heart
How could someone who once brought such joy cause such pain
And not shed a tear over the ruins of a relationship that took years to build

Were you ever what I saw in you? Or was it all just an illusion
Some spell conjured to confound and confuse
Or did someone remove the heart that once beat within your breast
Did some earlier wound fill your heart and soul with scar tissue
How else can you stand there unmoved as my life essence pools on the ground
Drowning the dreams of the future and the joy of the present
How could I be so blind?

As I journey through the wasteland of broken dreams, a shadow of my former self
To the world I stood strong, withstanding every challenge and melee
Little did I know where the true danger lay, where the sword that would pierce my soul resided
Yet it is not anger I feel, maybe somewhere down the road, but rather I still find myself unable to believe
The wound and the wounder, the blade and its wielder
And within it all my own trust lying shattered on the floor

Composed Neil White 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

The Return of the Robins

robins02172007

The winter winds scream against the walls of the house
Blowing frozen crystals from the sky
But the sentinels of spring have arrived
Their orange breasts foreshadowing the warmer times to come
A time of new life, a season of new colors and sounds

The winter has muted the pallet that the world was painted in
For three months the world has born its coat of white and grey
But the days are coming when new life will emerge from the compost of the preceding year
When greens and yellows, blues and reds emerge in the earth and the sky
Flowers will burst forth, leaves will again cover the naked branches of the trees
The earth will yield the bounty of its life in the fruit of the field

The skies will fill with birds and insects, chirping and buzzing over the lake
The squirrels and rabbits will chase each other around my backyard
And black soil stands ready for the bounty to come
The robins have returned, the advance guard of the army of life that will invade our slumbering land
Spring is coming, life begins anew

Composed Neil White, 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

Esther’s Crown: A Poem

A young flower freshly bloomed

Is harvested with all the other blooms in the garden

To set before the king for his pleasure

Most will be cast aside, forgotten and neglected

Destined to wilt in the vastness of his harem

Their beauty enjoyed, their perfume stolen

One of the many pieces of a bouquet whose beauty will never be enjoyed

Who will never be adored by another after being sampled and discarded by the monarch

Except the Hebrew Rose Hadassah, the orphan flower Esther

Delicate in a world of men, lifted up as the queen of the flowers

The crowning beauty of the garden of Susa

The rose that delighted the king is crowned with gold and adorned with jewels

Preserved to be displayed before an empire

And a nation celebrates in her triumph

And yet are all the other flowers mourned, the loss of their beauty missed

Or does life go on in the world of men scarcely noticing the flowers

Yet Esther is the bud the king could not set aside

Enthroned to be admired, adored and desired

Her path was never hers to choose, and yet she is the queen of flowers

Plucked from her roots and placed on display for the world to see her beauty

Composed Neil White, 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

The Gryphon: A Poem

May_The_Gryphon_Be_With_You_by_rage1986

May the Gryphon Be With You, by rage1986@deviantart.com

Once I was viewed as an image of nobility and power itself

The king of the sky and the king of the jungle brought together into something far deadlier

Strong enough to rule the skies and deadly enough to stalk the beasts of the ground

Kings and armies emblazoned my image on their shield and castles for safe keeping

In a world where imagination and magic still existed

And children dreamed of magical beasts that prowled the dark places

Heroes and wizards came to seek my aid in their impossible quests

In a time before the modern world cast its own spell of certainty

And the wilderness of dreamland became tamed by roads of asphalt and concrete

And the dictatorial iconoclasts of plutocracy stripped the artistic from the halls of the world

When the gryphons, dragons and unicorns went the way of the dinosaur

Once I was the master of the earth and sky in another world, in another place and time

Now I don’t belong in the heavens or on the earth

For neither the eagles or the lions would have me

To them I am neither beast nor bird and my presence makes a mockery of both

So what am I?

Am I merely some projection of some alchemist’s desire

Am I the joining of two creatures noble in their own right

Into an unstable and unholy creature banished to live between worlds

On the edge of imagination in the whispers of dreams not yet quashed by the mechanistic drive of progress

Will there come a time when the magic returns and heroes come back to the world

When gryphons and dragons and unicorns can again dwell in the dreams of young and old

Or will they too be thrown into the furnaces of the disillusioned dreams and broken hearts

Of children grown too soon and adults who no longer sing songs

Composed Neil White, 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

Not the end…A Poem

cemetary and snow

Standing at the graveside of a man I never met

In a garden of stone blanketed by snow

Growing only silken flowers coated in frost

Surrounded by the family and friends of the one lying in wait

As I stand, stationed between the gravestone and the coffin

My hands on the prow of the oaken ship

That will carry his body on its journey back into the earth

Standing between the living and the dead

Honoring the dead as I mock death

I christen the casket with the mark of the cross

Trusting a new journey has begun

Soon flowers plucked in the prime of their life

Will be the only escorts on the descent into a rose petal lined vault

Soon the body of the beloved of his family will no longer rest in repose in the cold

Instead it will be covered with a warm blanket of earth and snow

Warm in the womb of the earth

Awaiting the time when once again the breath of the creator enters his nostrils

And the touch of the spirit quickens his heart

For though you are a stranger to me, you are known

This is not the end

Composed Neil White, 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

Three Small Poems from a Snowy Day

Snow day

Earth and Sky

The sky reaches out to embrace its beloved which lies locked in a deep slumber

The earth continues its hibernation cooled by the long winter

So the firmament sheds its winter robe

And crystal falls from the sky

Frozen tears from the heavy laden clouds

Fall to cover the soil in a cooling blanket

The beloved tucked in for their beauty sleep

As the ground rests peacefully dreaming of spring

When it sheds the blanket lovingly rested on its slumbering form

And from the bounty of the earth green shoots reach out

Bearing flowers, fruits and perfumes for the air to delight in.

snow-birds_00386155

Snow Birds

Feathers puffed up as small parkas while they congregate at the feeder

Singing joyful songs in the cold winter air

Flitting along the ground leaving no footsteps in their wake

Too light to disturb the covering of snow

Songs echoing as they share in the banquet of food and friends

Shimar in snow 5

Joy of the Pomeranian

Lustily leaping across a blanket of snow half as deep as he is tall

Yipping with joy as he crosses the expanse of the yard

Greeting his comrades behind the opposing fence

Bounding along the expanse of the border that separates them

Barking and chasing at the shadows and scents of his challengers

No greater joy than the thrill of the chase

And returning home, his long hair coated in the crystals of day old snow

Resting on the vent with his mouth open in an expression of fulfillment

Composed Neil White, 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com