pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Tag: Strength

SHE CALLS HERSELF AN ADDICT

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I suppose when cravings for poison
introduced in past moments of pain
threaten to pull you to ocean’s floor
and you remember the relief of
oxygen to your lungs,
you might find it irresistible, this temptation to
breathe –

even if it is one breath.
Even if it threatens
to fill your lungs with death.

But she –
she would rather not breathe

than return to the venom her body craves.
She would rather hold her breath,
while waiting for her Redeemer
to meet her in the depths.
To lift her face.
To breathe life to her very soul.

She calls herself an addict.

I call her a child of the God who Saves.
I call her brave.
I call her inspiring.

I call her friend.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

UNSPOKEN

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PHOTO BY KEITH R. GOOD

She fights to connect.
Even her thoughts are wordless,
she says.  And I nod

as if I can grasp
telepathically , and
put music to it –

noting nuances
in tune with fluent fretting –
non-verbal vetting

of elusive words
she only needs for we who
don’t speak her spirit.

 

© Marie Elena Good

THE VALUE OF FAMILY AND THIRTY FIVE DAYS

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One year ago, today,
we unexpectedly secured
a one-bedroom apartment for Dad,
and moved him into it.
It was just down the hall from Mom and Dad’s place,
where Mom had passed in the wee hours prior.

A back-and-forth blur
of family
furniture
clothes
drums
wood carvings and wood-carving tools
kitchen supplies
medications
wheelchairs
walkers
jazz,
and love,

until one space was empty,
and the other, full
of sunlight and life
that dared each other
shine.

Food followed.
A feast, really,
provided by cousins.
All of us squeezed
‘round a long table
with Dad at one end,
and Mom’s brother and her identical twin
at the other,
between which
more conversation and laughter managed to flow
than tears.

Who could have known
a mere thirty five days later,
the one-bedroom’s sunlight would be called to shine
alone.

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

MY STRENGTH AND MY SONG

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“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him —  my father’s God, and I will exalt him!”  (Exodus 15:2)

My Strength and My Song

When weakness takes me to my knees,
My Father’s arms will lift me.
When terror causes me to freeze,
His truths set all my fears free.

My Father’s Son became my Lord
When I was just a child.
To Trinity’s melodious chord,
My soul was reconciled.

I feel His might.  I hear His voice –
Astounding grace extended
From One whose love compelled His choice:
From Heav’n above, descended.

He is my strength.  He is my song.
I hear His vict’ry ringing!
He’s held my heart my whole life long –
How can I keep from singing?

© Marie Elena Good, 2019

Cadence and final line are both from the Christian hymn “My Life Flows On,” often attributed to Robert Lowry (1826-1899)

ROCKS, STREAMS, AND STORYTELLERS

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Photo by Keith R. Good

End-of-life
for those with whom we are particularly close,
seems to bring out who we are at our core.

Some of us are rocks.
Unbreakable.
Pillars.
Feeling the need to hold up all around us.
Or,
perhaps,
we just can’t let our surface crack,
lest we fall to pieces.

Some of us are streams.
We go with the flow,
while staying our course.
Occasionally we pick up others in need,
and carry them along.
But sometimes a stream’s flow
is fashioned from tears
that even a dam can’t contain.

Then some of us are storytellers.
We talk.
We laugh.
We reminisce.
We play familiarity like a piano concerto –
every part by heart.
We connect to those who are listening,
and telling stories of their own.
But can it be that we need to get lost in a story,
because the reality at hand
is too painful to fully embrace?

Let the rocks be strong.
But if they crack,
help them pick up the pieces.

Let the streams flow.
And if the tears run,
let them –
even as God collects
and records each one.

Let the storytellers recount,
and their experiences, count.
And if the present moment breaks them,
hold their pain
as a book in your embrace,
and help them tenderly
turn another page.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

GIFT OF FAITH

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Photo by Keith R. Good

 

My faith is not unshakable, nor grand.
But God is not reduced by human flaws.
For when my need is great and faith is dim,
His unrestricted love renews my hope.

While apprehension plots to halt my steps,
His ever-present guidance leads me on.
See, any strength you see in me is His.
Without His faith to feed on, I am numb.

Before I even recognized my need,
He sacrificed His Son to pay my debt.
It’s not my faith that led me to my Lord,
But Jesus’ love that led me to my faith.

It’s not my faith that led me to my Lord,
But Jesus’ love that led me to my faith.

Trust in Jehovah, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on his faithfulness. ~ Psalm 37:3

 

© 2016, Marie Elena Good