Pride and Prudence

Pride and Prudence

By Jaime Fulton (2015)

When my life, ministry, and work become too much for me to bear

And I cry out in desperation for respite—

My flesh, weak and sullied, says this is too much;

I can’t keep going.

I complain that I have sacrificed so much

For “the cause,”

I turn to my Father and ask, “where’s my party?”

“Where’s my ‘welcome home’ celebration

That my wayward, prodigal siblings receive.”

Expecting rebuke, expecting silence.

He does neither.

He simply says, “my child,”

And I melt.

My stony heart softens, and I reach up

And take His hand.

This poem was inspired by George Herbert’s poem “The Collar.” I have taught this poem countless times to my seniors in  AP English, but something about this poem struck a chord with me this year. I have been serving in different youth ministries since 2000, and I absolutely LOVE it! I enjoy working with teens and teaching them about literature and about what it means to live a life worthy of the Calling. But, there are those moments of fatigue. In those moments, I can go one of two ways: throw myself a giant pity party or simply cry out to God…or a little of both. As long as I can cry out to God, I know I can be renewed.  Here is the poem that offers me comfort that I am not alone in my struggle. Sometimes that’s all we need. Just some reassurance that we are not the only ones who feel this or have felt this.

The Collar

By George Herbert (1633)

I struck the board, and cried, “No more;

I will abroad!

What? shall I ever sigh and pine?

My lines and life are free, free as the road,

Loose as the wind, as large as store.

Shall I be still in suit?

Have I no harvest but a thorn

To let me blood, and not restore

What I have lost with cordial fruit?

Sure there was wine

Before my sighs did dry it; there was corn

Before my tears did drown it.

Is the year only lost to me?

Have I no bays to crown it,

No flowers, no garlands gay? All blasted?

All wasted?

Not so, my heart; but there is fruit,

And thou hast hands.

Recover all thy sigh-blown age

On double pleasures: leave thy cold dispute

Of what is fit and not. Forsake thy cage,

Thy rope of sands,

Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee

Good cable, to enforce and draw,

And be thy law,

While thou didst wink and wouldst not see.

Away! take heed;

I will abroad.

Call in thy death’s-head there; tie up thy fears;

He that forbears

To suit and serve his need

Deserves his load.”

But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild

At every word,

Methought I heard one calling, Child!

And I replied My Lord.

Plant This

Plant this love like a seed

Deep within, swallow your feelings

Then my turnip love I will feed

And Sprout up past the ceilings.

 

Leave your heart in this empty jar

Collecting dust in my indifference

I’ll keep it near the top to cover my scar

Yawning and gasping at the entrance—

 

Slap a smile on your pretty face

Or I’ll put one there for you.

Water the weeds in the yellow vase

Your violet love turns me black and blue.

Flop Like a Fish

Living in that pineapple down below
He smiles and giggles and acts a fool
With his goofy goober pal we all know

A starfish friend who likes to drool
Grab a Krabby Patty, dig in like a slob
At the Krusty Krab, the deep sea jewel

With squid, snail, squirrel and a blob
With Plankton and Karen and Pearl
And a squarepants-sponge named Bob

You

Your lips are my salvation:
My breath of life.
Your eyes are the ocean
I am swimming in.
Your arms are my solace:
My protection from the storm.
Your heart is the window to my soul.
Your love is my intoxication:
I drink you in and am lost in your flood.

Untitled

Your love is a rose,

Gentle and pristine

Drip drop drip, my heart

Dangl’ng from a string.

 

You will get better

Just let me console

Let help me love you

And make you feel whole

 

Icarus’ wax melts

Into the green sea

Small restless feathers

floating aimlessly.

 

You can’t get better

With all that control

Your pushing me out

Your love has grown cold.

 

Not sure what to title this one…This one like most of my poems doesn’t quite feel done. What are some suggestions for titles? Thanks for reading!

Bird Bath

Little broken bird with your little broken wing

Please stop your tears, the salt will only sting

And cause you more pain. Take a deep breath,

Come here sweet dove, let me give you everything.

 

To be continued…

Parenting 101

Because your face will stay that way forever

Yes, Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk!

Because you will catch your death of a cold

Yes, he stops time so he can make it down all the chimneys.

Because it will stunt your growth if you drink it

Yes, the Easter bunny hid all those eggs.

Because you will get a stomach ache if you swim now

Yes, she found your tooth and left you this money.

Because the gum will stay in your stomach for years and years

Yes, that is the real Mickey Mouse…

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