Help Us to See

Father of Heavenly Lights,
Have mercy on our finite sight
And mincing understanding.
We are such small creatures
And you are so incomprehensible,
Give us a glimpse of yourself
In our flash-forward world,
Your economy is so wild–
Show us some fleeting vision
Of what you value,
That we don’t grow
Discouraged,
That we see you,
In your infinite mercy,
Are using us when we
Are least aware of it,
And that itself is grace.
Amen.

Root Stock

For those unfamiliar with gardening, root stock refers to a plant that is grown sheerly for its vigorous root system and then its roots alone are grafted to other more desirable plants with paltry root systems. Ideally, they fuse and become one plant, but sometimes the stronger, unruly rootstock tries to take over.

Root Stock
by Julie Sumner

Bred for its spreading roots,
The peculiarities of the soil,
Its ability to toil underground
Superseding its misshapen flowers
And absence of scent–
No matter–root stock
Is easily grafted
Onto the fussy, engineered hybrids
Of giant yellow roses
Smelling of lemons and licorice
But impoverished of roots.
But is it right to deny
Root stock the blessing
Of blooming,
For it too,
Is a living thing,
And doesn’t every living thing
Long to unfold itself
Underneath the sun’s wings?

The Golden Room

The Golden Room
by Julie Sumner

Could you turn your head a little more to the left
For the profile shot?
Could you hold your leg up a little more straightly
And keep the muscles taut?
Could you stretch your spine a little taller?
You’ll look thinner that way–
Could you straighten your hair if it’s curly,
Or curl it if it’s straight?
Could you bend over backwards
While dancing the tango,
And forbid any negative thoughts
From disturbing your ego?

Such are the demands of narcissism’s
Golden room–
Its gilded concrete walls make such
A pretty prison.

Prayer for Forgetful People

Holy Spirit,
We confess
That we prefer to find
Any possible way
To meet our needs
Other than seeking you.
We forget your presence,
We forget your past faithfulness,
We forget your intercession for us.
Help us to remember
That nothing can separate us
From the love of God in Jesus,
Nothing that we can do or say or think,
Will prevent this love
From embracing our neediness.
Help us to remember to pray
For your presence in our lives,
And especially in the lives
Of those suffering
Throughout the world.
Amen.

Necessary

Necessary
by Julie Sumner

Pie is as necessary
As a poem:
That wide, guileless face,
Staring openly up
To yours,
Encircled by its crust,
A vessel of gold
Constructed sheerly
For the purpose
Of holding every ounce
Of coconut sweetness,
Necessary for nothing
But your delight.

The Dewsweepers

According to Heather Eure over at Tweetspeak Poetry, “dewsweepers” is a golfing term that refers to the first golfers to tee off in the morning, and hence, sweep the dew off of the course for those following behind them. Many thanks to TweetspeakPoetry.com for providing that term for a poetry prompt.

The Dewsweepers
by Julie Sumner

The damp of June darkness distills into a river,
Poured out drop by singular drop
Into the needful and bisected hands
Of the quietly expectant blades of grass,
Whose papery bodies will bow
Under the weight of water’s curve.

The rabbits and squirrels play through
The dew–
Heedlessly,
But the dog, with her proper white paws,
Hesitates then solemnly surveys
That wild river of a summer night,
Caught like schooling fish in a net,
In the inescapably wide embrace
Of a million blades of grass.