Posts Tagged With: poetry

Finding God’s Grace in an Aspen Grove

 

Above me aspens climb the sky

Knobbly fingers intertwine

Creating a lattice of quivering lace

Painting yellow hue on cobalt face

Cobalt Blue

Heart-shaped leaves collect the sun

Phosphorescence of the One

Throwing sparks of gentle light

Scattering dreams, kites in flight

Aspen Canopy

Phosphorescence Photo by Eugene C. Scott

Golden coins dance the swirling wind

Carefree, despite facing certain end

Laughing, landing done with toil

Surrendering to fertile soil

Leaves on the ground

Never Death Photo by Eugene C. Scott

Leafless trunks now sway together

Dark eyes watchful of foul weather

Raising branches in hope bare

Regenerating for another year

Trunks

Bare Trees Photo by Eugene C. Scott

Round me boles slant pale and stark

Picturesque, powdered bark

Touching their smooth, tender skin

Gaining God’s grace once again

Surrounded by Friends

The author in an aspen grove Photo by Dee Dee Scott

 

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Categories: Art, Eugene C. Scott, God, God Sightings, Living Spiritually, Nature photography, photography, poetry, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Imago Dei in Her Soul

Poem Eugene C. Scott, Art Michelangelo’s Creation of Eve

Poem Eugene C. Scott, Art Michelangelo’s Creation of Eve

Categories: Eugene C. Scott, God Sightings, Living Spiritually, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Grey Saturday: Waiting for Communion

Good Friday in downtown Littleton by Eugene C. Scott

Waiting for Communion

The house is silent

Like the hearts of those

Who saw Him hung

And the stone rolled over

In gray morning light

 I remember the last night

We gathered round

A table piled high

With bread and wine

And hope

I sit and wait

For life to stir

His voice to fill the room

And touch my fearful heart

By Eugene C. Scott

A Celtic Prayer of Waiting

Though I am poor…
though I am weak…
though anxious of heart…
tried as I am…
though [the way] may be hidden…
though the night is here…
though you be silent now…

Categories: Art, Christianity, Community, Eugene C. Scott, God Sightings, Living Spiritually, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What I Heard in Silence

Snow fall out my front window

A muffler of heavy snow shrouds my world.  Only a few inches, but enough.  Fallen snow can create a cavernous silence.  Sound catches in it and rolls up like a huge snow ball to sit and wait for a thaw.  Then it breaks loose again, noisy, intrusive, grating.  Until then, a snowy night is a perfect night for contemplation.

A Feast of Silence.

In silence time passes less swift and mechanical for you cannot hear its deadly tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock.

In silence ideas fly free as chickadees, flitting from one bare branch to another leaving imagination in their wake.

In silence loneliness lurks, waffle soled boots, mud covered, leaving indentations and scuffs on my heart.

In silence words and stories climb out of their caves and sit in front of me like blinking children woken from fabulous dreams.

In silence I hunger for the sweet voice, familiar, resonant, of the one I love.

In silence questions pry up the rocky places in my soul and leave them bare, tender, trembling for answers.

In silence memories wander back up the trail, slapping me on the back, bidding me good day, treating or troubling me according to their given names.

In silence dreams roll over white and billowy and laden, so dragging dark bottoms.

In silence fear scrabbles up my legs.

In silence freedom like a wind drives impossibilities before it, leaving only windswept possibilities.

In silence I hear my own beating heart, the rushing of my own breath, the ticking of my own clock asking, “Is . . . There . . . Someone . . . Out . . . There?”

In silence I feel His voice fill the empty space.  Yes, I am.

Categories: adventure, Art, Eugene C. Scott, God Sightings, Living Spiritually, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Advent: What Are You Waiting For?

Advent Reflection

Christmas Lights Reflected in Water and Moss by Eugene C. Scott

Advent is the word that describes an attitude of anticipation and waiting, recognizing two seemingly competing truths.

Advent is the beginning of a period of time: the four weeks and Sundays before the Christ Mass.  Christians have celebrated Advent for multiply centuries to celebrate that Jesus, a baby born in a manger, brought salvation and heaven down to earth.  The Kingdom is here now.

Advent is also a recognition that, just as we wait to open presents and feast on Christmas Day, we also still wait for the reality of Jesus’ salvation and Kingdom to come fully.

My friend Chloe Hawker wrote a poem, more like a modern prayer, expressing this idea.  Enjoy!

Late December Morning

“Portrait of a late December morning
etched in glass and ice
the air so still that your breath hangs in a frozen fog
suspended until the ringing of the cathedral bells shatter it
and it falls to the ground tinkling like crystals
a December morning so cold
that your nose loses feeling before you even have a chance to cross your threshold
the wind glitters in the trees
collecting crushed leaves like forgotten memories and swirling them around in the
still freeze that wraps itself around the old churches
time stops here
waiting
breath suspended
for the next moment that the world starts to turn again
and breaks itself out of this
December eternity
this December moment
in the late morning
when frost covers the earth in a thin layer of incredulity
and reality forgets itself
as it watches the stars spin about
and the impossible become slowly possible
in the thinning of the veil between worlds that December always brings
you never know what you’ll see this time of year
what you’ll hear
nothing is certain
December whispers that it’s the month of death
but it lies
December is month of waiting
hanging
suspended
outstretched millimeters from touching flesh
mouth open
breathing into what could be a kiss
in one interminable moment
of silence
as the world refuses to turn
refuses to advance to that next moment when
eternity will break into this dimension
shattering all our illusions so instead
the world
waits”

Photo by John Moyer

Photo by John Moyer

Categories: Art, authenticity, Christianity, Eugene C. Scott, God Sightings, Living Spiritually, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

People and Words Leaving their Mark

Chloe Hawker wrote the stirring poem below about her mother’s, Lisa Hawker, influence on her.  The imagery is surprising and ties death to life in a way that gave me hope.  Living spiritually is about leaving a mark.  “Inheritance” gives a word picture of how that happens.  Eugene

Inheritance

My mother gave me her love of cemeteries
And words—those carved into stone monoliths
As well as those scrawled across the back of
Receipt paper and notepads stained with old
Coffee drippings. She gave me skinned knees

Two writers

From kneeling in front of gravestones taking
Rubbings of the names and strange symbols,
Of the stories clawing out of the stale, dead
Earth or bursting through the broken door of the
Old mausoleum. She gave me lips
Stained with letters and ears eager to
Eavesdrop on the melodic conversations of
Eccentric strangers. She showed me the mist that only
Gathers at 4:07 in the morning in late October
When the leaves crisscross the tops of graves
Yet to be dug. She taught me to hear the
Murmurs in the ground around coffee shops
And subway stations and dark clearings when the
Moon hits just right. We are words, stone, mist,
And eyes, with dirt on our knees and callouses
On our fingers from gripping the pen so
Tight we felt we might break right through
The thin veil that covers the
Graves and syllables, ghosts and symbols.
In my open palms lies my inheritance:
Death, shrouded dreams, and creation.

Categories: Art, authenticity, belonging, care, Community, Living Spiritually, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

In our Hearts Grief and Grace often Ride Side by Side

Not the James Taylor Show

“Red Rocks is one of the finest places on the planet to perform,” James Taylor said near the end of his show last night.*

He’s right.

Towering above us ancient and unmovable were Ship Rock on the left and Creation Rock on the right. Taylor’s smooth, ageless voice filling the space between. Rock and wind and sky surrounded us while song and poetry and story filled us. The lights of Denver danced in the night sky above the back wall of the amphitheater. It was remarkable.

“There is a young cowboy, he lives on the range,” Taylor sang his famous lullaby. I closed my eyes and imagined that cowboy and sang along to myself, “deep greens and blues are the colors I choose, won’t you let me go down in my dreams?” I breathed deep.

But Taylor was painting a different picture of life than the one many Coloradans had lived out in the last four days. I opened my eyes and saw Alameda Boulevard stretched out west to east in a straight line of lights from the foothills to Aurora. There on the far horizon I imagined one of the lights was the theater. There still lurking was the pain and heart ache of twelve innocent people dying and many more being wounded physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The light of JT and the lights of Denver

Guilt buffeted against my peace. Should I be enjoying myself? How can this beauty, my sense of well-being, co-exist with that?

Still they seemed to. Drawing my eyes and heart back to the stage–to the here and now, to what I can be and do–Taylor sang, “Shower the people you love with love.”

And I could see, on the screen, in his now creased 64 year-old face, his alive but tired eyes, that he too has known pain. Yet he still believed what he was singing.

Maybe JT, right there on stage, without knowing it, was living out a truth: that in our hearts grief and grace often ride side by side.

As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in his famous poem “Christmas Bells:”

“And in despair I bowed my head

‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;

‘For hate is strong

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth good-will to men!’

“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

    The Wrong shall fail,

    The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Maybe that’s the thing. Song, poetry–art in general–remind us of this dichotomy of life. In the midst of horrific pain and evil, beauty is undiminished. Grace prevails. Maybe it’s even made more beautiful. James Taylor put on one of the best shows I’ve seen in years. In a stunning setting. The clarity and sweetness of his voice matched the clarity and power of the message I heard God whisper in my heart. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

*July 23, 2012. This may be a slight paraphrase since I did not write his quote down word for word.

Categories: Art, dreams, Eugene C. Scott, God Sightings, healing, Living Spiritually, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ancient Art

The cross is one of the most studied subjects in the art world. I have long been fascinated by how a device once used to torture and subjugate people is now often considered art. This photograph is of only one of many pieces of art featuring the cross I saw at a restaurant in Antigua, Guatemala.

It seems that either we are very strange, cruel, morbid creatures or something beyond our ability to logically comprehend took place on that Black Friday two thousand years ago. Or both.  Thus we need art to express it and grasp at it. My art is not sculpture or color, but words. Years ago, in college, I penned this poem to grasp at what took place on the cross.

Sculpture seen in Antigua, Guatemala. Photo by Eugene C. Scott

Ancient Art

Two hammers rang out

with dull metallic thuds,

first one, then another,

then both.

Sweat dripped, running into the holes,

soiling their work,

wetting rough spikes,

making their journey smooth.

Raising It into place, Its beauty struck

with the brutal impact used to form It.

Its grotesqueness ran red over the hill;

It’s shadow stretched out–beyond belief.

His body jumped,

fingers scratching at bloody spikes,

blood stained eyes

creeping open on a now pure white world,

He died.

by Eugene C. Scott

circa 1984

Eugene C. Scott thinks poetry is really hard to write. He hopes it’s not hard to read. You can join the Living Spiritually community by following this blog and clicking here and liking the page. He is also co-pastor of The Neighborhood Church. If you live in or around Denver, join us at The Neighborhood church for Good Friday and Easter worship experiences this week. Click here to find out more.


Categories: Art, bible conversation, Christianity, Eugene C. Scott, God Sightings, Jesus, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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