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Evening Song

Faintly the voices are flying to me;
Fragments and snatches fall here and fall there.
Shall I draw nearer, or will the song flee?

Pines of the forest are dark, yet I see
The light of a fire, all blazing and fair鈥
Faintly the voices are flying to me.

Strange is the melody, wild, and free,
Chanting of happiness, love, and despair.
Shall I draw nearer, or will the song flee?

Softly I steal through the dim-lighted lea,
Earnestly seeking that uncanny air.
Faintly the voices are flying to me.

Almost I catch it; again it breaks free.
What is this song, so familiar, so rare?
Shall I draw nearer, or will the song flee?

Finally I break through, the brightness I see!
Then blackness, and silence, and nothing is there.
Faintly the voices are flying to me:
Shall I draw nearer, or will the song flee?

A Night in the Forest

The Day Breaks

Apparently all the recent rainfall has saturated the ground, leaving the forest floor still damp.聽 Even the trusty pine needles won鈥檛 catch, and I am left to fend without fire.聽 Not that fire is necessary.聽 The evening is fine, and my meagre meal does not require heating.

The light fades, and the sun falls below the horizon, although I myself cannot see it for all the trees.聽 With no electric light and no burning light, I have no reason to sit in darkness, so I might as well prepare for slumber.

Settled in my sleeping bag, I gaze up at the small patch of sky beyond the highest branches.聽 The ever-present stars have not yet made their appearance, and the birds have ceased their merry music, content to let the insects begin their songs.聽 You see, the forest is never without music.聽 And what music!聽 It is almost a racket to our refined ears, but it contains meaning for the insects.聽 None seems to have any consideration for any other; each one chirps and buzzes with all its arthropodal heart, never imagining that it should hush and let the song of another be heard. Read More

P忙an of Joy

Last semester I submitted a few of my poems for a poetry contest here at the university, and recently I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of them had won third place. I posted it here shortly after it was written in 2007, but here I will repost it in case you didn’t read it then or if you would like to read it again.

What a wonderful day!
As I walked through the woods,
As I noticed where deer had late lain.
And I whistled a tune that nobody鈥檚 heard
And that no one will hear again.

On grass and on stone
Did my light footsteps tread,
As I marched through the rugged terrain.
And I whistled a tune that nobody鈥檚 heard
And that no one will hear again.

The mockingbird sang
(Oh that plagiarist bird!),
Sang the notes of my new-found refrain,
As I whistled a tune that nobody鈥檚 heard
And that no one will hear again.

With the gay sunshine bright
And the flower鈥檚 fair face,
My joy I could hardly contain,
As I whistled the tune that nobody鈥檚 heard
And that no one will hear again.

Then the southern wind blew,
And with fingers so light
Deftly caught up the notes of my strain,
While I whistled the tune that nobody鈥檚 heard
And that no one will hear again.

Though that tune is now gone,
And the notes in my head
Have since flown and no longer remain,
I was whistling for joy, and so therefore, I think
That my music was not made in vain.

First Impressions

In my Bible study this morning I came across a memory verse from my early childhood, I Samuel 16:7, in which Samuel is to anoint the next king of Israel after Saul’s disappointing failure. Looking at David’s older brothers (Eliab in this case) Samuel was certain that one of them would be the one.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”聽 (NASB)

Our first impressions of people, whether positive or negative, can often be deceitful. I have found this out repeatedly when meeting new people on the college campus here, since often after hastily forming an opinion of a person, I have come to know them better and appreciate them for who they really are.

Here is a short poem that I wrote not long ago that deals with this very topic:

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain;
Loveliness blooms for a day.
Don’t ever judge any book by its cover,
Examine its pages one after another:
Know it by what it may say.

“By their fruit you will know them,” the holy book says,
Don’t look at the form, but the heart.
Befriend and discover, love and reveal,
Don’t be afraid to find out what is real.
Appearance is but a small part.

Verses Upon the Immersion of a Penitent Sinner

Praise to the Father, and praise to the Son!
What wonderful things we behold!
A wandering soul has returned to its God,
Deciding to leave that great path which is broad:
See the new life that鈥檚 begun!

No longer to wander in darkness and sin,
You know that this Jesus is Christ.
Your physical body is buried and raised,
The spiritual body is left in the grave,
A new one is now lifted up.

Joy now pervades me; it seems I can hear
The rejoicing of heavenly ones.
What wondrous salvation our Jesus provides!
He鈥檒l keep you in safety from terrible tides;
He鈥檚 faithful if you will stay near.

I鈥檓 praying for you as you live this new life;
I know you will struggle and fight.
The race is not easy, but Christ helps us through,
As long as you seek Him, He always is new.
Stay close through the trouble and strife!

In happy times, too, you must always keep guard,
Give God all the glory for bliss.
It鈥檚 He who has given you strength for the day,
Give Him all the credit, don鈥檛 throw it away.
The easy can prove to be hard.

Whatever you do as you walk this new road,
I hope you remember one thing:
Don鈥檛 keep to yourself the wonderful news,
Take every chance to tell others these truths!
The Lord will increase what you sowed.

God only knows if I鈥檒l see you again;
Most likely I won鈥檛 in this life.
But I know for a fact that I鈥檒l see you at home,
In that place where our weary feet never will roam:
Be faithful and true until then!