THESE DIRE CIRCUMSTANCES
a giraffe falls off the edge of the earth,
into abyss, somersaulting head first,
his legs running with no effect through the atmosphere.
o! how he curses himself for ever leaving his homeland!
like many animals near the end, he feels more like sand,
a handful of golden sand let into the wind,
released, separating further and furthermore,
abandoning that childish desire to elope.
but even the hopeless hope.
so he postpones himself with an oversized umbrella,
a multicolored phenomenon that he purchased a few hours earlier
at a dime store on the corner of fifth and fisk.
at the end of it all, he imagines his mother would tsk
for although he planned ahead, he hadn’t planned for this.
FROM A ROOM
i have held photos and heard rumors
of the mud hills of montana,
the fire falls of yellowstone,
and the patient rain of seattle.
a decade has passed by now, and i am here,
waiting in a room, writing poems
about far away places.
with time, the room changes from a living room
to a coffee shop to a doctor’s vestibule,
but my hand remains constant on the pen.
my pen digging deeper into pulp,
into paper harvested from the wild,
i wait for nature to claim its own,
for life to lead me to new life.
What makes “Christian” art? This debate has gone on for many years, but at least in my circles, the discussion has not progressed very far. In some ways, this question can be misleading because there is not necessarily a single answer. There are at least 3 ways to define Christian art:
1. In terms of source: art made by a Christian individual or a group of Christians.
2. In terms of motive: art intended to minister to others or to glorify God in a general way.
3. In terms of message: art that communicates a message about the Christian God or is somehow influenced by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Considering the Oxford dictionary as an example, there are various alternatives when defining a word. A single definition is not more “correct” than another, so we would be better off describing what kind of Christian art we are talking about. As a result, the conversation can advance further when we avoid semantics and focus our discussion on a specific kind of Christian art.
Tornadoes are worse at night,
when no one gives them credit –
this one a thief inscribing his name on the ground.
We know that dawn will be honest with us,
revealing judgments that heaven had planned,
but until then, the radio speculates into darkness
with words that shake against my ribcage.
For now, no one knows for sure.
A hundred flashes have hidden the stars,
and I feel the sorrow of a window that wants to break.
It seems that thunder has invited itself, pounding on doors
and waking even old men and atheists from their sleep.
Fear is an apologist, but it is silence that scares us the most,
the seconds after the paper is torn, and we are alone.
Nearly two years later, it is still difficult to write about our son, Jeremiah. For months, I could not write about his death. Then, after it became possible for me to write, I felt like anything that I wrote was far too trivial.
About a year ago, I wrote my first song about our experience and memories. Now, about two years later, I am writing my first poem. (I had tried to write one earlier, but again, it seemed too trivial.) I woke up today, a very snowy day, and was frightened by how easily I forget those lives that are so meaningful to me. I decided to write so that I could remember. I suppose it didn’t feel trivial because I was not writing for the purpose of writing a poem, but for the purpose of remembering.
This poem may evolve with time, or I may write another. In the meantime, you are welcome to read my first attempt: joeljupp.com/poetry.html