Prayer Looks Like

sometimes,

prayer looks like

a black hole,

a wide maw open

inhaling all of our

fuck this and what the hells

into nothingness.

our words drown

in the bottomless weight

of darkness.

 

sometimes,

prayer looks like

an open field

grass bending over

listening to  windtalkers,

our words filling in

the empty spaces

between gusts and stills.

but….

where is god?

he is the still voice

urging us to speak.

 

My Better Self

my better self lives

at the bottom of the potato chip bag.

salt covered and rippled,

she waits for me

to reach down deep,

uncover her from the saline mess,

pull her out like new clothes.

slip her on over my skin

until we two become one.

 

i’m too late—she’s dead.

maybe,  the next bag will be different.

Purging the Old Away

Purging the Old Away 

I.

watch the smoke billow higher,

toward cloud and moon.

the wood cracks and hisses

out its last words

then–silent. more to come.

II.

sweep the confetti floors

till carpet is blue again.

new year purges the tattered memory

even when it tries to hang on

by a dusty cobweb thread.

III.

 look around and ask–what’s left?

nothing but newness;

waiting to become

old.

Waiting for Advent

Every December, Christians mark their new year through the celebration of advent. Advent, a new beginning for both the church and ourselves. May we consider this time of waiting, a time of peace and renewal, a time of reflection upon the past year. This month, I’m focusing my poetry on beginnings, this season of Advent, and quiet.

waiting for advent

morning  smells

smoke-warm.

earth sighs in fog

rising from grass to sky.

nothing like the christmas cards

snow drifting across paths

meant for sleighs

(that no one drives anymore).

sweat beads up under hair

sun sweats us raw

for this christmas parade.

plastic manager and mary

ride next to a boombox.

 

Beyond All This: Guest Post

Today, I am honored to welcome another guest post, Veronica Ibarra. 

I first met Veronica whilst working with at risk youth, and we became friends over our mutual love of Jane Austen, fine literature, and zombies. She and I co-founded The Dark Jane Austen Book Club, and she writes for her own blog Veronica Monique: Word Warrior. I am pleased to present her poetic contribution here today.

 

 

Beyond All This

 

It isn’t a room in which I sit,

Where still silence echoes,

And darkness mirrors.

It’s a calm place where the storm rages,

Where acid tears scar my heart

As cherished voices slash deepest,

And sympathy is twisted into disgust.

Reality falls away

Leaving madness in its wake.

Foolishly I believe the lie,

Begging for its obliteration.

Please, help me see.

Give me strength to believe

I am as You made me.

With bleeding fingers I will climb from the abyss.

I will breathe in the light

To hear love and feel bliss

Because You did not leave me.

You live inside,

Deeper than the darkness

Beyond all this.

 

 

Heed: Guest Post

Today, I am honored to have one of my new internet friends as guest poet. Meet Mary C. M. Phillips! She is a lovely writer, deep thinker, and fellow dog lover(all poets should have dogs). Without further eloquence, I present her poem: Heed.

 

HEED

Of course it snows in winter

I expect it to be cold

with menacing clouds

and a dull pain

behind my eyes that tells me

a storm is coming.

My Lord says to walk in humility;

“Consider others better than yourself.”

I vow to surrender my pride

promising obedience, I say

“I will not mess things up.”

He then reminds me to

take my gloves and

wear a warm hat.

 

Mary C. M. Phillips is a writer of narrative essays and short stories.  

Her work can be read in several national bestselling anthologies such as A Cup of ComfortChicken Soup for the Soul, and Bad Austen-The Worst Stories Jane Never Wrote from Adams Media.  Her story, Jumper Cables, can be read in the new anthology, Finding Churchavailable next week from Civitas Press.


Mary blogs at Caffeine Epiphanies, a blog primarily devoted to literary heroines and contributes regularly to The Dark Jane Austen Book Club
As a musician, she has recorded and toured nationally for various alternative rock groups (Matthew Sweet, Marti Jones, Chris Stamey, and Don Dixon) and most recently with Red Wordsa New York based rock-and-worship band.

My essays are based on real life experiences, both humorous and inspirational.  The most satisfying task for me as a writer is to communicate that “A-ha” moment.  Whether in the discipline of short stories, songs, or poems, creative expression is (not only the truest art form) but also a vehicle for God’s love.  

The Rape of Humanity: Guest Post

Today, I am so very pleased to present our FIRST EVER guest poster, Grace Biskie! 
Grace is a passionate, big-dreaming extroverted communicator.  Wifey to Dave & Mama of 2 little boys therefore working hard to memorize Thomas the Tank Engine’s vast friendship base.  Grace likes to think she’s Joyce Meyer meets Halle Berry meets Anne Lammott…but she also knows she shouldn’t think more highly of herself than she ought.  She is a writer, a speaker and a program coordinator for a Foundation serving high school students in NYC & Kalamazoo, MI.  Grace is an essayist in the upcoming anthology, I Speak for Myself: 40 American Christian Women Under 40 addressing the topic of taboo.  (Published by White Cloud Press, 2013).  Also, she’s working on her first book, Detroit’s Daughter, a memoir about surviving her father, her brother, abuse, racism, Christians, boys, and poverty, while growing up in inner-city Detroit.   She loves social networking, photography, fashion & swiss cake rolls. She hates horcruxes and human trafficking. You can follow her adventures in trying to lead a purposeful, grace-filled, beautiful life on her blog, Gabbing With Grace, or on Twitter.

The Rape of Humanity: A Sestina for an Escaped Sex Slave 

By: Grace Biskie

 

The room was filthy and cockroach infested. 

Locked in a cage.   Shocked with electrical wire.  Whipped with metal cables until raw,

it all culminated in gang rape.

My mother sold me at 7. Twenty times a day my legs were pried open.

Burned with hot pokers forced to lie under the cover of biting insects was the torture

for a failed escape. I took my chances: fate would give me death or freedom.

There are 12 million of us, voiceless, desperate to be free.

But 32 billion reasons why selling our womanhood remains a global infestation.

Under 5, over 5, newborns, too.  Over 20 is “too old” for this form of torture.

Our hearts our raw,

our bodies are sewn up, ripped apart, sewn up and again torn open

yet it’s our humanity that’s at stake; it too is subject to rape.

Soul ravaged but not raped,

I choose forgiveness to set me free.

Conserve my energy to prying freedom’s doors open

for those still caged, my desire for rescuing them upholding my heart from infestation.

Nightmares threaten to keep me raw,

but it’s my will that refuses to be subjected to a self imposed torture.

I look in her eyes and I see her torture

for the 5th time today, she’s been raped.

Every inch of her skin is raw.

She’s never been free.

She’s only 5.  Her entire life has been infested.

It’s all she knows: “lay down. Shut up. Legs open.”

It’s all he knows: “lay down. Shut up. Legs open,”

Since he was 18 he’s been in the business of torture.

He doesn’t know his heart is hell bent on infestation.

He cares little for the 12 million who –today- will be raped.

He wants the control.  Wallet open, he wants the power.  He believes a good orgasm isn’t free.

He wants her young.  He wants her raw.

Yet, they want to be “young”.  They want to hope, but it’s too scary, much too raw.

They want to shut it down with a deafening shout: “NO! Business is NOT open!”

What they want is simple: set the captive free.

…a respite from torture.

…to heal from rape.

…hope to permeate humanity’s infestation.

Gently clasp the face of the young, raw woman to declare her freedom!

Open up your mind, your heart and your wallet too lest you unknowingly slip down the slippery slope of the indifference infestation…

…or you can power up the Macbook, watch your porn and ignore the torture of our dear sisters while our humanity is at stake.  It’s nothing less than all of humanity being raped.

 

On Silence and Sadness

i’ve been quiet–

too quiet, too lost

in the pallid wash

of sadness.

everything hurts–

heart, hands, head,

i want to stop feeling a for bit

so i’ve been quiet–

too quiet.

This past week, I celebrated my 31st birthday and mourned the passing of my beloved Springer Spaniel, Ginger. Right now, I don’t know what to say or feel or do, but each day, I see a bit more hope. I thank you for your patience.

31 Days of Poetry{day 31} Endings

Welcome to the final day of 31 Days of Poetry.

I hope that you have enjoyed our meandering journey–not that a month can fully discuss everything that there is to KNOW about poetry. It just won’t happen since poetry is a lifelong study, adventure, and for some of us, a calling.


Starting tomorrow, I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month so my posts will not be everyday(if you subscribe to the blog you may be grateful or disappointed. If you don’t subscribe, why not? Enter your email address—-> and you too can have poetry in your inbox). I will be having guest poets for the first time EVER on the blog. If you would like to guest post, leave me an email address  in the comments or shoot at email to: sarahjaskins[at]gmail[dot]com .

Where do we go from here?

About halfway through this journey, I had an idea for 2013. I thought it would be too big, too hard, and too much work. I’m doing it anyway.

I’m calling 2013:

The Year of the Poet

Starting January and going until December, I will be focusing my poetry on specific themes each month. At the end of the month, I will have an e-book for sale of 30-40 poems for sale. Half of the poems will be on the website, but half will only be available in the e-book. Excited? Me too!

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