Saturday, March 31, 2018

Dark for Three Days A Poem for Easter

Dark for Three Days

The light flickered for a
moment in time
only to be extinguished
with the words,
“Why have you forsaken me?”

And then how dark it was
and a cave of death
sealed up the now
gone light
But the absent light
traveled far and deep
into the darkness
of a cavern
that would be Hell

For a time it seemed
the darkness claimed
But this was no ordinary
light that lost
its radiance
This was the light that
caused suns to blaze
and gave stars their
reason to shine

And so on a day after
a tomorrow that some
thought would never be
the light overcame the darkness
and resurrection illuminated
the shadow of

O indeed it was dark for three days
but never again
will it be
The light of the world
took in the darkness
and sheer love

Easter was born in the
very womb of darkness
Still confused disciples
finally saw the
light for
who he was
It took three days
but now
forever has arrived.

Jody Seymour
Easter 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

On His Knees A poem for Holy Week

On His Knees
(The thoughts of Simon Peter as Jesus washes his feet)

We left nets hanging
and a father alone
Not for this did we
leave so much

On his knees he looks
up at me- those eyes
Not my feet…never
rise up from such
a posture

We thought you a deliverer
not a slave to
wash dirt from feet
What kind of kingdom
is this where
towels are given
rather than chains

I shall walk away from
such servitude
But your stare captures
me yet again
My words are dry in
my mouth as
as you say that
this is the way

What can change down there
on your knees?
Then you say that from there
you will be lifted up
But such lifting will
only bring you down

You hand me the wet towel
and bid me to kneel
“As I likewise,”
and your soft smile
bathes my soiled

So now…on my knees
I will again follow you
what kind of love
must this be?

Jody Seymour
Lent 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Poem about "the still small voice"

Sheer Silence
(a poem based on I Kings 19)

You come to me hiding in
your cave
What message do you expect-
A shaking of the earth
A fire that consumes
A wind that blows
away all fears?

O Elijah, you expect too much
and too little
You must learn to wait
on me
in a time of

And now you wonder about
this silence
And you think it is nothing
compared to
wind, flame, and thunder
But listen, O seeker
of truth

I am found in the silence
This stillness that
seems to be nothing
is full of the
something of my

You must learn to wait
at the edge of
your cave of knowing
I will speak not in words
but in moments
of a faith that
trusts in  the
whisper of a
truth that is
below and beyond sound

It is the sound of silence
(Jody Seymour-Lent 2018)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

My Rights and Your Soul

The Gun Issue Again:  My Rights and Your Soul

            So here we are again with flags at half staff and crying crowds holding yet another candlelight vigil.  In the midst of the violence that is woven into our culture we now have a subtotal of seventeen school shootings in the last year.  Since the shootings at Sandy Hook school there have been 239 school shootings resulting in 438 people being shot and 138 killed.
            I do not even want to go into another list that would include other shootings like the one in Las Vegas that killed 58 people.  So now there will be more fireworks of words from broken hearted people and some politicians who will try to scream our way forward.  If history repeats itself after the fireworks we will get back to business as usual and nothing will change.
            We will hear the familiar debate about the “right” to bear arms.  It seems sown into the very fabric of our national DNA as well as our Constitution.  I know that, but what about our “need” to heal our soul?  We are told that guns are not the problem and new guidelines are not what are needed.  Well, something is needed if we are to be a people who care what is happening, especially to our children.
            The word compromise is lost in our contentious culture.  We need some compromise if for no other reason than to respond in some way to our collective soul, if we still have one.  I once read that when it comes taking faith into the real world, there would often need to be compromise but that in order to remain faithful one must strive to compromise up and not down.
            How about using that as a doorway to respond to the carnage at schools and elsewhere? Banning assault weapons, doing comprehensive background checks, and closing loopholes at gun shows does mean a kind of “giving up” of rights but it would be for the sake of our collective soul.  Would it make a difference?  Some say no and others say yes. 
            What I know is that hopefully it would impact the real situation, but if it did not make a difference at least it would make a statement that we as a people care enough about our children to speak from our soul to our soul.  The statement would be something like, “I give up some of my rights for the sake of the common good.”
            Most type of guns would still be available for the sake of sport and protection.  The fear offered that to give up some rights means to give them all up is simply that; fear.  Lowering the flag does not help.  Lowering the fear ratio and offering a peace offering at least helps us say who we are.
            In our culture we have allowed fear to rule too often.  Fear breeds a “don’t tread on me attitude.”  Because we have the right to do something does not mean that we should do it.  To offer a compromise on some rights would be in this case a compromise up and not down.
            The argument that people kill people not guns and that the issue is mental illness and violence is often voiced.  The truth is that both are true.  Violence and mentally ill people use guns to kill people.
            The gun issue has become a heated political debate.  In light of what has happened in our nation over the past years it is really a soul issue that portrays what we believe about community.  Am I as an individual willing to give up something that I have the right to have for the good of the community?
            At least it is doing something rather than doing nothing, which is what we have done in the face of the horror we have witnessed.  It is time to say something about our character not just about our rights.