The Valley of the Shadow of the Mundane (Italian Sonnet)

Alas, the weary week upon us grates,
Quotidian tasks never completed.
The dusty dirt to which our life is meted
Clings to the just-cleaned and never abates.
The thorns and thistles grow in the mundane,
In the smallest, simplest task are seated.
Oh, to be with welcome sabbath greeted,
Is a joy desired and contemplated!
But are the Savior’s hands not calloused, scarred?
Did toilsome labor not bend His back low?
Did He not care for growling bellies, too?
The times and places, the wheres and whens, are
Set by Him in love; so will He not go
Down weary, mundane, daily paths with you?

1-26-2019

What is a Petrarchan (or Italian) Sonnet?

Siege (Petrarchan Sonnet)

What good is it to siege a city round,
And conquer it entire, both serf and king?
Is this the kind of glory you should seek?
Is this ambition’s goal to which you’re bound?
The city falls; it’s won. What then is found?
The captives, the loot—the gold and the rings—
Even if every skald and minstrel sings,
And fame and glory to your name redound?
No trebuchet or siege machine compares
With patience and with self-control and grace.
Anger fouls a word or deed with such ease
As no well-planned strategem ever fared.
Forget cities; rather your anger face
And be led instead by the Prince of Peace.

1-21-2019

What is a Petrarchan (or Italian) Sonnet?

Cognitive Dissonance (Petrarchan Sonnet)

The placard serving as a nametag read
Correctly, but it still seemed somehow wrong––
Like when a face and voice just don’t belong
Or when a word looks wrong inside your head
Though dictionary’s proof before you spread.
How do you fight a dissonance so strong?
How do you prove the label does belong?
How to endure the heavy lies, like lead––
Not only drag you down but pull aside,
Turn you away from who you really are
Toward the dark despair and loneliness?
Hope lifts your drooping, weeping, heavy eyes
To see the faintest light, a dim, small star
Whose shining heralds something glorious.

1-10-2019

What is a Petrarchan Sonnet?

Stones Into Bread (Petrarchan Sonnet)

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The sun-baked wilderness was hot and dry
For royalty to wander in and thirst;
Both lips and heart were parched, about to burst—
But the oasis was no trick of mind.
The shimmering mirage of stone-ground rye
Could not compete when heart was sated first
By wealth unstained by fallen nature’s curse:
The stomach had, by faith, good food and wine.
Death-dealer dealt the measure of his craft
His lies are overcome by word of truth,
The stomach’s growls drowned out by royal song.
His kingly strength and glory unsurpassed
Came to him every morn like manna dew:
In weakness his believing was made strong.

12-12-2017

Do Not Be Afraid (Petrarchan Sonnet)

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The herald militant appeared in light
In Wesley’s erstwhile welkin o’er the fold;
The herders’ drowsy darkness now like gold
Shone with the glory of the Lord of Might.
They made to scatter in their dreadful fright,
But lo, the Heav’nly Gospel, long foretold
Was on the angel lips that blessèd night.
The Burning Ones who, blushing, ever fly
Before Him Who Is and Was and Will Be
Now march, their banner-glories are unfurled:
For Him, who viewed, must make the viewer die
Has come as chubby babe both held and seen;
The Virgin holds the Word who made the world.

12-7-2017

Something Borrowed (Petrarchan Sonnet)

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“I washed you with water, rinsed off your blood, and anointed you with oil. I clothed you in embroidered cloth and provided you with fine leather sandals. I also wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with jewelry, putting bracelets on your wrists and a necklace around your neck. I put a ring in your nose, earrings on your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was made of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey, and oil. You became extremely beautiful and attained royalty. Your fame spread among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor, which I had bestowed on you.” This is the declaration of the Lord GOD (Ezekiel 16:9-14 CSB).

The wedding preparations underway:
The ugly wretch has found herself a groom,
Who, not repulsed by wretchedness assumed
Her ugliness for beauty in its place.
He bathed, anointed, dressed her fine and fair;
In her there was for wretchedness no room.
His kitchens fed her plates of finest food,
And she became a queen beyond compare.
Her beauty, not innate, imputed was;
Her royalty was not from kin or kith:
She had no heritage, no claim to throne.
Her groom told her His love was just because,
Perfection’s splendor was for her His gift.
“Forever, My beloved, you’re My own.”

12-6-2017