Jim Loomis

Experiences, Observations, Opinions

Archive for the category “Poems”

WHERE HAVE YOU COME, AMERICA

Where have you come, America
Conceived in rebellion
Birthed in liberty
Raised in amorality

Once upon a time
Recipient of immigrants
Of those seeking freedom
And economic opportunity

Yet
Keeper of slaves
Denier of humanity
Breaker of covenants

Exploiter
Of the sacred land
Of its inhabitants
Of our only home

Witness to civil unrest
To protest
To violence
By those seeking justice

Liberator of the oppressed
Shining beacon to the world
Squandered thoughtlessly
In hubris and ignorance

Killer of our own
Still today
By our protectors
By our outcasts

Our children
Speak truth to adults
Entrenched
In their special interests

Out of the mouths of babes
Old before their time
Our children
Speak truth to adults

O, where have you come, America
Pray tell
Where are you going

 

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IT WAS HERE, maybe, AND THEN IT WAS GONE

Preparation time,
four weeks,
plenty of time so it seemed,

decorating, greeting cards,
school programs, concerts,
worship services,

shopping, wrapping,
charges racing through the web,
thoughtlessly entered,
numbers to be reckoned with later,
department stores no longer do layaways — how archaic.

And then. in the blink of an eye
four weeks were gone.

Suddenly it was upon us,
the elf, the deer, cookies and milk,
a flurry of wrapping paper — too much,

meaningless stuff soon to be forgotten,
one special, longed-for gift a thing of the past,

family dinners, parties,
traditions played out each year,
who knows where they came from,
taboos avoided — don’t spoil the fun.

Then it too was gone in a flash,

leaving nothing behind
and nothing to look forward to
but the auld lang syne hangover
and football widows, and…

Exhaustation,
an empty feeling,
only the bills, a reminder of what was supposed to be,
consequences to be dealt with later.

Was there any meaning to it all,
or was it just a ritual to be endured yet again?

It all happened so fast, was it really here,
was there greater significance,
something lost to us through the ages?

Quiet time,
I need some quiet time,
a lot of quiet time
— to sit and to ponder!

ADVENT 2017

In the beginning I spoke,
…the universe, galaxies, solar systems,
…they think that they are the center of it all.

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 9.56.49 AM

Finally, a few understand the heavenly twirl,
…they excommunicate them,
…they are blind to my inexplicable power.

Souls, emotions, relationships,
…they abuse them,
…they explain them by philosophy, psychology.

Wisdom, discoveries,
…a glimpse of my wondrous creation,
…they reduce it all to physics, mathematics.

Religions,
…means to understand deep mysteries,
…they fight over them.

Freedom from bondage,
…they continue to bind,
…to remain captive.

How do I get through to them?

…A baby!

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 10.02.48 AM

 

 

 

 

Yes, that’s it…Babies are awe-some,
…they love babies, they worship babies,
…surely they will understand a baby!

Then again….

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT LENT ANYWAY?

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent

Lent….the time of year before Easter for personal reflection, prayer, and repentance.
Although, I’m not sure that I really have anything that I need to repent of.

Well….truth be told, I was not the most pleasant person to be around in 2015.
But last year I was really very congenial.

BINGO

Still…..there were those few times when I disciplined my 10 year-old son pretty harshly.
But he deserved it. He had it coming to him.

BINGO

Okay.…so I got really upset with my boss for acting like a jerk, and making us all look like fools in front of the CEO.
But I bit my tongue and never showed my anger.

BINGO

And those Presidential candidates….what a lousy choice we were given!
But I didn’t “TWEET” any derogatory comments about them, and I didn’t “LIKE” or “SHARE” or “COMMENT” on any Facebook posts that portrayed them as idiots, which they really were. I was very restrained, and I refused to fall into the mud being slung around.

BINGO

You know….I thought that Easter was all about forgiveness being freely given by God, especially for those of us who try to act like Christians.

So, what’s the point of all this repentance stuff?

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT LENT ANYWAY?

BINGO

WOW….Five in a row.  BINGO!  What did I win?

Oh shoot….another trip to the confessional booth.

POMP and CIRCUMSTANCE

Enthusiasm despair
                disillusionment
                                   hope

Torch passed lucid
                torches perhaps torches
                                  snuffed wrong premises

Promises broken
                pledges reality
                                  blame

Truth rigged
                retaliation
                                   lies

Self-esteem porous
                epidermis doubt reaction
                                  formation fabrication

Hubris humility power
                pompous politics
                                  populist posturing
                                                who

Possibilities chances limited
                imagining hiatus never
                                  in my lifetime convictions
                                               who

Opportunity
                obstinance
                                 consequences
                                               who

Torch passed vision
                potential torches
                                 macular degeneration
                                                who

Position crystallizes future but
                 conviction my
                                  conviction my
                                                position guilty
                                                              as charged.

GOD IN A BOX

This weekend Christians around the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus, which they hold to be the ultimate manifestation of God.

I imagine that at the moment of his birth, Jesus’s mother Mary must have felt what I experienced in the delivery room when my children were born — a profound, indescribable change in my very being.

A newborn child breaking into my life, fragile, helpless, totally dependent,
yet powerful beyond imagination,
powerful enough to change my life, my dreams, my purpose….forever!

A glimpse at the mystery of the divine.

And yet…

“It is not over,
this birthing.
There are always newer skies
into which God can throw stars.

When we begin to think
that we can predict the Advent of God,
that we can box the Christ
in a stable in Bethlehem,

that’s just the time
that God will be born
in a place we can’t imagine
and won’t believe.

Those who wait for God
watch with their hearts and not their eyes,
listening, always listening
for angel words.” (1)

The words of this poem don’t exactly square with the doctrinal view of the birth of Jesus being the preeminent coming of God.  So then, what are we to make of Christmas Eve?

This Christmas let’s not do what so many of us do, what so many religions do, each in their own way.  Let’s not put God in a box and leave no room for the mystery of the divine.  Let’s not deceive ourselves, believing that this is the final “birth” of God.  The creator, sustainer, and redeemer of all that we know, and that which we can never know, is certainly much larger than a baby born some 2000 years ago in a barn in a backwater town, sleeping in a box meant to feed cattle.  Let’s watch and listen with our hearts, not only with our eyes and our Scriptures.

You see, Divinity, however little of it that we can comprehend, is powerful beyond our wildest imagination!

(1) This poem, written by Ann Weems and copied from a booklet of Advent devotionals compiled in 2103 by Portage (MI) Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, is from “Alive Now,” a publication of The Upper Room®, Inc., P.O. Box 340004, Nashville, TN 37203-0004, and is used with permission.

Letting Go

Slowly first,
barely there,
dismissed with ease,
no need to care.

Again it comes,
from time to time,
nothing really,
…yet, one more time.

Again, again,
it causes pause,
unwelcome here,
there is no cause.

Persistent now,
it dims the light,
anxiety,
and restless nights.

Go away!
Enough of pain.
What must be done,
my life to gain?

Near the end,
do I care?
Near the end,
so much to bear!

So tired now,
the fight seems o’re,
       …and yet I sense,
there could be more.

Soft voices say,
…they seem to know…
“To fight on
is to let go.”

“To fight on
is to let go.”
What does that mean,
how is it so?

Again they say,
“It is okay,
for you must know,
you must let go.”

Fighting on,
and letting go,
they are but one,
how could I know?

Letting go,
relinquishing,
let peace come now,
I’m hungering.

Letting go,
surprised by ease,
in the east
daybreak I see.

In letting go
my burdens fall,
unshackled now
from death’s dark pall.

Letting go,
it comes with ease,
in letting go
I am released.

In letting go
   we are released.

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