A ROSE BY THE LIVING WATERS

"By a voice he saith: Hear me, ye divine offspring, and bud forth as the rose planted by the brooks of waters. [18] Give ye a sweet odour as frankincense. [19] Send forth flowers, as the lily, and yield a smell, and bring forth leaves in grace, and praise with canticles, and bless the Lord in his works." (Ecclesiaticus, a.k.a. Sirach, 39:17-18)
  

I am a rose by the living waters
My roots reach deep into the river’s bed
My thorny arms reach out to the heavens

Angelic choirs descend from the heavens
their arms full of graces poured like waters
upon the earth. I quicken in my bed

Glorious is the sunrise warming my bed
Blessed are the rains sent by the heavens
This humble flower, my own Lord waters

Pure waters  cleanse my bed to yield roses for the heavens.

EERIE CEMETERY

poor-mans-cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor, ME
I used to be very scared of cemeteries. When I was much younger, I would shut my eyes tight whenever I passed by the cemetery in our village. Unlike American cemeteries where coffins are lowered about 6 feet under the ground, in traditional Philippine cemeteries like the one we had in our barrio, coffins are sealed inside whitewashed tombs that have been built aboveground. Depending on the availability of land, tombs would be stacked one on top of another (like the one in this photo) as they were in our barrio.   For most of the year until All Saints' Day, our local cemetery was not maintained.  Grass would grow tall, the whitewash would peel off, lichen would grow over the cement tombs, and the place would, to a child, look utterly scary.  It did not help that when I was younger, the cemetery was located  in a rather secluded place that was surrounded by trees and wild growth.
poor-mans-grave
Mount HOpe Cemetery, Bangor, ME
During the rare times I  passed by that place, I was afraid that something, a monster or a ghost, would come out of the open tombs or float over them.  I was wondering how people could live near it.   Would there be dogs howling inside the cemetery at night or the smell of candle wafting in the air, perhaps?  Would the cool breeze make their  hair stand while nightbirds hoot?

To this day, I still get the just a  tad  nervous when I step inside a graveyard. I imagine that the  ground opens and a hand grabs me on my ankle and drags me down to the pit.  But I have come to terms living close by a graveyard.  From our bedroom window, I can see the city's cemetery.  In our neighborhood, there is no better place to see autumn than the cemetery with its  tall maple trees lining the graveyard paths and hills.  There is no quieter place either.  What a lovely contrast it provides to the busy roads that run along our neighborhood.   Its gates used to be open to the public but untoward nocturnal activities of some people compelled the parks keeper to restrict access to the place.

 

old-farm-road-cemetery
A tiny cemetery in a small town in ME

 

All Souls' Day is coming. To us Catholics, it is a day set aside by the Church to remember, as one whole family, those who have gone before us. It is a time to pray especially for the departed souls who are still in purgatory to obtain their eternal reward. In the Philippines, we observe the day by visiting the cemetery to pay our respects to the deceased. Hopefully, my family and I can visit the graveyard across the street to observe the holy day.
cemetery-neighbor
A photo of the cemetery in our neighborhood
If not, we will have to honor the day and the faithful departed from our bedroom window where everyday, I am reminded about the transience of life and of the permanence of the life that awaits beyond the grave. The thought certainly make me more than a bit nervous.

 

Daily Post:  Eerie

THE FALLEN SEED

fallen-applesThis fallen seed is the hope of winter
carrier of life in its death
breath secreted in the frozen womb
tomb concealing its rebirth.
Mirth bides its time to spring
Ringing bells peal the resurrection hymn
Poems immortalize the glorious dawn
when mourning veils are lifted.
Afflicted hearts soar to the heavens
Incense perfume the air once more
Store in the hearts this promise:
This fallen seed is the hope of winter.

august_windfalls_-_geograph-org-uk_-_533902
The photo, by Pauline Eccles,  is the inspiration for this poetry prompt by Jane DOugherty - Circles and Cycles.  I wrote a second one after the first piece that I made for this prompt turned out to be not a circular poem.  Somehow, I missed some important part of the instructions on how to write a proper circular poem.  I am glad for the mistake though because I got another chance to write another piece.  :-)

BY THE LIVING WATERS

“Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree planted in the waters, that spreadeth out his roots towards moisture; and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at anytime to bring forth fruit.”

~Jer. 17:7-8

showers

There was a time in my life when water was the motif of my dreams.  Dirty, smelly waters meant things were not alright within me.  Clean water meant things would be okey.  Mornings would often find me wondering the nature of water in my dreams.  The latter, of course, brought me consolation while the former kept me thinking about what could be wrong with my life at the moment.

There was one water motif that I really really liked:  a sprinkling of rain.   I think I was praying for a particular favor – passing the bar exam, perhaps?  Anyway, it was one of those life-changing things for me.  That night, I had a dream that I walked up a set of steps and a light drizzle was on me.  Needless to say, I felt calm when I woke up.  Somehow, I knew that whether I got what I prayed for or not, I would be just fine.

wet rosesI did not know why water would play such a role in my subconscious.  I was not a water-lover after all.  I was not the one to hanker for the beach or a swimming pool, and such.  I did like water views though – rivers, falls, the like.  Now, thinking about it, the significance of water in my faith may have a lot to do with my water dreams.  In the Catholic Church, water is used in Baptism.  It is the physical manifestation of the cleansing of the soul that was brought about by the Sacrament of Baptism.  Holy Water is a sacramental that is often used in ordinary blessing and in more extreme cases, exorcism.   In the Bible, the Lord Jesus identifies Himself as the Living Water.  A person who is friends with God can be said to be planted by the living waters.  When I was younger and single, I had more time to think about the state of my soul and such.  So, I guess the image of water, as a spiritual matter, was, whether consciously or not, foremost in my mind.

goldencelebration

These days, water rarely plays a role in my dreams.  Perhaps, a different state of life has led me away from more spiritual to more mundane concerns.  Even so,  it is ever my fervent desire to be like a tree planted by living waters.  However, since I have a special fondness for roses,  I may have to express my prayer in these terms:

"By a voice he saith: Hear me, ye divine offspring, and bud forth as the rose planted by the brooks of waters. [18] Give ye a sweet odour as frankincense. [19] Send forth flowers, as the lily, and yield a smell, and bring forth leaves in grace, and praise with canticles, and bless the Lord in his works." (Ecclesiaticus, a.k.a. Sirach, 39:17-18)


Daily Prompt:  Water

MARY OF MAY

crabapples-maine

A garland of cherry blossoms crown her hair
birds serenade her with their lilting air
the scent of hyacinth perfumes her steps
while the wind and the rain bow at her feet
who is she that the stars sigh at her glance
in whose heart wells eternal romance
O Virgin, O Queen, you gave birth to Spring
O Mother, O Blessed, cause of joy everlasting.

INTO THE LIGHT

The mercies of the Lord that we are not consumed:
because his commiserations have not failed.
They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.

~Lamentations 3: 22-23, Douay-Rheims

Fern

Mornings find my hands fold in prayer
of gratitude for the night that was over;
of hope for the coming day
uncertain in its dawning
while the night held its sway.
Tucked in the shadows of a blessed sleep
my body laid still,
my soul walked the valleys
between life and death.
Oh how fragile,
this, our human breath
that is sustained or snuffed
at the Giver’s behest.
Therefore my eyes soak in
the wonders of a new morn
ever renewed with the mercies
of the Maker, the Good Lord
and my feet seek the joyful path
that leads back to His bosom.

WILD TRIP (for DVerse Poets Pub)

My disembodied head spins
a whirlwind going nowhere
upwards here and there
cackling greets my arms
pulling it down
the harder I try
the faster it spirals
towards the sky
beyond the clouds
exalting at the shroud
lifting from Eden’s gate
Angelic songs serenade its wake
A cry rose and peeled my eyes
off heaven’s scented air
hurtled me down
a shooting star
into an abyss
pregnant with terror
screaming claws pulled at my hair
cobwebs suspended
my limbs in the dark
should I fall
should I fly
I am terrified of heights
guilt weighs me down
I cling to the shaft
of light piercing through
the valleys I bathed
in living waters
bloody red from the cross
my body fell
my head reeled
from the trip
to heaven from hell.

~~~~

For Dverse’s Poetics (on DMT), Anthony Desmond wants us to write under the inspiration of  Jay Electronica’s Dimethyltryptamine.  I understand it to be a hallucination-like poem.  I do not care for rap music (I wonder if I even named the genre correctly), but when I looked up the lyrics, the words are actually mesmerizing.  So here is my take, a combination of anesthesia-induced  fact, meditations, nightmares,   and fiction.

Thank you for coming by.  🙂  I hope you get to check out DVERSE for more ‘surreal’  responses.