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Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"

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courage

Theme Week: Bravery – 3

Faith and Fear

Faith is the crisp, clean water
That soothes your thirsting heart.
Fear is the potent poison
That pulls the soul apart.
One cannot stand the other,
They cannot live combined,
Toxins in cleansing water,
Or fear with faith in mind.
One drop of bitter poison
Will spoil all you drink,
Just as one fear you hold to
Can ruin how you think.
And just as cleansing water
Will wash a venom out,
So too can trust through hardship
Rush through, and cleanse your doubt.
You must choose one or other,
You cannot hold to both,
You’ll find you’re drinking poison
And cutting off your growth.
So drink your cleansing water
Completely on its own.
Faith is not true faith, until
You let it stand alone.

– s. Clark

Theme Week: Bravery – 2

Truly Brave

He has fought fear.
He has charged unknown dangers,
cast himself full-tilt upon the task
and been broken, dashed,
and pieced himself together.
He has stood eye to angry eye
with gritted teeth, flexed muscles,
and faced down larger foes.
He has hung at heights,
staring down at speckled earth
miles from his curling toes
and tilted forward into open air.
He has born the weight of pain,
shouldered agony until it was his
and carried it until it conceded.
He has faced every challenge,
and met every dread with a grin.
Ah, but if he can love her— then
he will be truly brave.

– s. Clark

Theme Week: Bravery – 1

The Courage to Live

He walks through empty pews,
feet crunching on the shards
of stained glass dreams. The news
has reached him: the abyss
gapes and consumes, unmoved
by what one man would miss.
He raises up his head,
though wearied and weighed down,
the smoking dark has bled
beneath the door, but he
looks up to find the light,
though he can barely see
it anymore. The cold
has crept into his hearth.
He feels so very old,
but he is still alive,
sometimes that is the most
that we can do. Survive.
Praying that God will give
the courage that we need
to wake up, and to live.

– s. Clark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theme Week: Nature Personified – 3

The Loss of a Rose

The flower raised its little head
And grew up from the flower bed
To squint into the clouded sky
“How beautiful, Oh Lord, am I?”

“Sweet little rose bud that you are
You shall be lovelier by far.”

The rose then shook its pretty head
And tried to stretch its petals red,
But feared the wind and heat of day,
“No Lord, I shall remain this way.”

“Sweet little flower, do you see
How much more you can surely be?”

“I do not wish to take the chance!
Do I not, as I am, entrance?
I fear the pain my life could hold
If I should break out from this mold.”

“My rose, to bloom is why you live.
Why would you scorn the life I give?”

“I am afraid…” the flower cried,
“I will be safer if I hide.”
The flower then began to wilt…
Beneath the weight of fear and guilt.

“My beauty, every flower dies.
But not each lives… open your eyes.”

But ah, it closed itself within,
Enfolded by its silken skin,
And never its true beauty found
But ever gazed toward the ground

And the Creator, far above,
Mourned for the loss of life and love.

– s. Clark

Molon Labe

The sun has beaten on my back
This load has bowed my head
But, even weary, in attack
These forces must be led

The bog is thick, the mountain high
My body weak and shaken
But even under blackest sky
This foe must still be taken

The road is long, the work is hard,
And praises are so few
My broken body may be scarred
But I must still be true

And to the bitter end I fight
For never will we yield
And I will die, by soldier’s right,
Upon a blood-soaked field

So even if our foe should find
A way to break us down
Until the end, we hold the line
And we will stand our ground

I cannot keep them from all harm
But I will not forsake them
And at the call, “Lay down your arms”
I’ll answer, “Come and take them!”

– s. Clark

Conviction

Someone tell me that there is hope
Still left to wake the world,
That in the voices lost to scope
Remains a victor’s chance.
And tell me, have they sounded yet
The woeful call, “Retreat”?
To pull back hands that have been set
Upon the tired task?

I have not heard them cry the call,
Yet look how fast we flee!
And leave the stoic few to fall
Abandoned at our heels.
How can our moral ears abide
A people’s dying gasps,
While we, disgracing all our pride,
Give up before we’ve lost?

Now let us rip the curtain back,
The wizard bear his face!
That we surrender, in our lack,
Before we face the charge.
I cannot bear the hollow chest
That marks a craven soul
Of one who broke the line when pressed
To let conviction die.

– s. Clark

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