Poetry

Chancing the Pilgrim Sandals

A second “stream poem” inspired by Nude Truths. The project is the product of sisters Mary Ylvisaker Nilsen and Kristi Ylvisaker. Their artwork in this installation turns on the poetry of Denise Levertov. I was particularly taken by #6. The confluence of viewing this installation, reading N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope, and thinking about the Lectionary Texts for this past Sunday form the nexus of this attempt.

Chancing the Pilgrim Sandas

My feet have often been the focus of attention
Attention drawn to a lack of uniform perspective
Perspective fixed by standards of “normal”
“Normal” leading to conformity
Conformity to substance and style determined by others
Others’ measure of and fixed forms intended for preservation

Preservation of a way, not “the” way, a way
A way that for many stands as “the way”
Way of a system once inspired to transform
Transform not so much
Much posturing, much politicking, much pandering
Pandering to others, away from The One

The One who subverts everything
Everything is in range, not just some things but all things
Things considered shielded by present infirmity
Infirmity reaching to a core allegedly untouchable
Untouchable by The One until “That Day”

“That Day” reserved for the climactic
Climactic act as though the life, death, and resurrection of The One is somehow anti-climactic
Anti-climactic due to the depth of damage to the image
Image bearing now shielded until That Day – Some Day

Some day we will find our feet
Feet no longer fixed, and flat
Flat as in unprepared, unresponsive, unmoved

Unmoved by the plight of “the other”
“The Other” who “is us”, who is “not us”
“Not us” but part of us – interrelated
Interrelated by the bearing of The Image

Image obscured by decisions – ours and others
Others’ images to be seen as those bearing the image of The One
The One who first donned the Pilgrim Sandas
Sandals holding infleshed divinity – the Son of Man
Man yet God – incarnated

Incarnated, journeying in and out, down and back
Back – where we hope to go to a future yet unknown
Unknown in its specificity, known in its purpose
Purpose bound in the Pilgrim’s Story
Story giving power to life, giving hope

Hope inspiring the feet, feet now moving
Moving in ways bringing life “the other” – poor and rich
Rich in gentleness and respect
Respect for the image buried
Buried beneath
Beneath our ruined journeys

Journeys now shared
Shared by chancing the Pilgrim’s Sandals
Sandals of hope and peace
Peace from the Giver of Peace and His Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage chancing the Pilgrim’s Sandals

Without Reservation

One of the exercises we were invited to engage at Brian’s Everything Must Change Tour came when Linnea charged us with writing a “stream poem.” I enjoy poetry. I could not be confused with a poet. Here is my first attempt.
Without Reservation

Endless come the images provoking reform
Reform kept at bay by uncertainty
Uncertainty mounts as the wind carries
Carries us swiftly and unskilled as we look to land
Land where?
Where conviction intersects action
Action evidencing conviction
Conviction to finally take a step without reservation
Reservations as identity is often confined to labels
Labels intended to stymie, constrict and de-personalize
De-personalize denying the image bearing nature of we humans
Humans made in the image of God to reflect not themselves but the God in whose image made
Made for loving God and loving others
Others without reservation giving illustration of a reservation-less love for God