Staking—I think of tomatoes, fat fruit needing help in the form of ties or bracing. Call it outside strength and protection during critical periods of weakness. What about staking your life on something and later having regrets? How does one stake internal regrets flapping in the winds of the soul, anguish that snaps and frays in gales of condemnation for a lifetime? Is there staking for this, reliable staking, when there is no going back? Is there staking a way out of the ether of the past? Righteousness alone can overpower and revive a life dead in past weakness and failure. Not our righteousness. Think of the nails in Jesus’ perfect hands and feet, staking our ruined lives with forgiveness.
“What power has love but forgiveness?” — William Carlos Williams
Shhhhhh he’s almost gone old Hans so deaf
hollering is pointless I watch the cushion of his lawn chair
more each passing day Call it refusal to die
or a hell of a story
Redemption’s unpronounced for now not lost or undelivered
like a package or a bullet badly aimed More like a secret
protracted mission orders given standing firm
a lifetime Resigned obedience
to the charge Join this Great War or die
still imprisons him as the downturn of
years buffet his spine now bent nearly in two like a storm-stretched
sycamore roots resorting to deeper taps
I imagine him in Germany accepting the privilege of rank
Like a stout wooden pole strapped with their transmitter
steady compliant Hans ever the unflinching soldier
through his body The wires have come down now droop
All that remains is giving up
that first forced surrender Blue sparks
snap & pop Dangling lines seek the ground
like a viperous snake Power
The featured image is courtesy of Lancia E. Smith and is used with her glad permission for Cultivating.
Poet and visual artist, Susan attends to image: water, sky, faces, flowers, and birds, oh the birds, where the language of beauty heals and anoints. Beauty ever provides when life feels bereft.
Susan’s traveled to marvelous places worldwide and worked in Kenya with Spring of Hope International. Now Susan and husband Dana live in Spokane WA. Married 47 years, they have four children and 22 grandchildren (and yes, she finds that number rather shocking too).
Publications include Slender Warble (2020); In A Strange Land: Introducing Ten Kingdom Poets (2019); and a chapbook Scarab Hiding (2006). Susan is founder and past editor of the journal Rock & Sling.
Rarely disappointed and almost always happy, Susan’s not afraid to look at the dark side. She frequently cries in the goodness of worship. Susan has cancer—multiple myeloma. And for the bounty of this life she gives thanks.
A Field Guide to Cultivating ~ Essentials to Cultivating a Whole Life, Rooted in Christ, and Flourishing in Fellowship
Enjoy our gift to you as our Welcome to Cultivating! Discover the purpose of The Cultivating Project, and how you might find a "What, you too?" experience here with this fellowship of makers!