11 April 2012

lord, thou art fulness {a poem, not by me}

I seem to be titling a lot of posts like that: a poem, not by me.

But just the other day, I was talking to a very good friend I haven't talked to in a very long time, and she said, "Kamiah, I've been writing so much poetry."

I got a little jealous.

Where are my poems? Why can't I hear the beginnings of poems in my head, as I can at other times when I'm feeling very poetical?

{It's much like hearing the beginning of a song you used to know well. That's how I describe it when a poem starts to form.}

I didn't say that, though; instead, I was mature, or the semblance of maturity, and said, "Oh, how lovely! What do you think is bringing about all this poetry now?"

Because we all know—all us writers know—that writing can come and go, and poetry especially seems to be tied to circumstances of season or what you're reading or how tuned in you are to the small, quiet moments of your day.

If you're in a rushing-rushing-pushing season, it can be harder to see the possibility of poetry in your life, and aha! Maybe that's where my poetry has gone: to the threshing floor of increased productivity and having Too Much to Do.

But that's not where my friend is right now. She told me, "I think all this poetry is coming from how overwhelmed I am with God's unconditional love right now."

This friend of mine has this way of saying things like that that bring me to a halt. Quickly. She says these things not in an overly religious or spiritualized way—not in a way that makes you think she's saying it just because it sounds like a pretty good evangelical thing to say.

She's saying it because she's tuned in to the small, quiet voice of God in her day, and since it'd been so long since I'd talked to her, I'd forgotten how much I love that about her—this way she has of reminding me of the beauty of God's character and his love, all with a few little words.

She's overwhelmed with God's unconditional love right now, and that's coming out in poetry.

To fill my mind and heart with more poetry and more God, I turned to Christina Rossetti right after I hung up the phone. I opened my little book of her poems to a page with this on it:

Lord, Thou Art Fulness

Lord, Thou art fulness, I am emptiness:
Yet hear my heart speak in its speechlessness
Extolling Thine unuttered loveliness.

And it had this on the same page:

I Cannot Plead

O Lord, I cannot plead my love of Thee:
I plead Thy love of me;—
The shallow conduit hails the unfathomed sea.

With those two little poems and that one long conversation, I was overwhelmed by the possibilities the Lord gives us in a day. Maybe eventually that will become a poem, but for right now, all I can say is: O Lord, thank you.

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