Poemseeds for Lent

40 Days — 40 Questions

1. Where are you? (Genesis 3:9)
2. What is this you have done? (Genesis 3:13)
3. Why are you angry? (Genesis 4:6)
4. Where is your brother? (Genesis 4:9)
5. Where have you come from, and where are you going? (Genesis 16:8)
6. Is anything too hard for The Lord? (Genesis 18:14)
7. What is the matter? (Genesis 21:17)
8. What is your name? (Genesis 32:27)
9. What is that in your hand? (Exodus 4:2)
10. What are you doing down on your face? (Joshua 7:10)
11. Why have you done this? (Judges 2:2)
12. What are you doing here? (1 Kings 19:9)
13. Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? (Job:38:2)
14. Why spend money on what is not bread? (Isaiah 55:2)
15. What do you see? (Jeremiah 1:11)
16. Would you now return to me? (Jeremiah 3:1)
17. But what will you do in the end? (Jeremiah 5:31)
18. Who will listen to me? (Jeremiah 6:10)
19. How long will you wander? (Jeremiah 31:22)
20. Do you know why I have come to you? (Daniel 10:20)
21. How can I give you up? (Hosea 11:8)
22. Will not the land tremble for this? (Amos 8:8)
23. How long must this go on? (Habakkuk 2:6)
24. What did you go out to see? (Matthew 11:8)
25. What can you give in exchange for your soul? (Matthew 16:26)
26. Why are you so afraid? (Mark 4:40)
27. Do you still not understand? (Mark 8:21)
28. Who do you say I am? (Mark 8:29)
29. Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? (Luke 5:22)
30. Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)
31. Which of them will love him more? (Luke 7:42)
32. Who touched me? (Luke 8:45)
33. How do you read it? (Luke 10:26)
34. What do you want? (John 1:38)
35. Do you want to get well? (John 5:6)
36. Why is my language not clear to you? (John 8:43)
37. Why don’t you believe me? (John 8:46)
38. Could you not keep watch for one hour? (Mark 14:37)
39. Why look for the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5)
40. What are you discussing together as you walk along? (Luke 24:17)


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New Maryland State Song

marylandstateflag1  The old Maryland state song dates back to the Civil War, glorifies bloodshed, and takes the side of the confederacy. Before that, our state nickname was The Old Line State, in honor of those who fought in the Revolutionary War.  What an improvement is Maryland’s new nickname, The Free State, as printed on our license plates. Inspired recently by reading The Missing Peace and hearing a climate activist propose changing our nickname to The Fossil Free State, I wrote the following lyrics (to the tune of O Tannenbaum as was the original song):

Maryland, Dear Maryland
Dedicated to two famous Marylanders, Harriet Tubman and Rachel Carson

For free religion, settlers came–Maryland, dear Maryland!
On ships of Ark and Dove by name–Maryland, dear Maryland!
By natives taught, colonists gained; but slaves soon toiled; land barons reigned
Till freedom’s railway broke the chains–Maryland, dear Maryland!

From Chesapeake to Baltimore–Maryland, dear Maryland!
From Deep Creek Lake to Cove Point Shore–Maryland, dear Maryland!
Your peaceful streams spawn life galore, in spite of greed and waste and war.
Let wisdom flourish evermore–Maryland, dear Maryland!

Diverse your people, green your land–Maryland, dear Maryland!
Your time to shine is now at hand–Maryland, dear Maryland!
Let fossil fuels soon be banned; against all fracking take your stand;
Unite and lead with clean air plans–Maryland, dear Maryland!

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Nth Degree Revelation

In island exile solitude, Jesus’
clear voice summons John: Visions are coming!
Write everything down. Tell all the churches:
I am foremost and final, ruling and
over-ruling all the past and future
in fear-erasing, ever-present Love.

Attention now, each local assembly:
I commend your faithful labors: stay true;
always return to me; all who remain
will supervise by my wondrous wisdom.

John sees four flying beings, full of eyes
inside and out; hears their all day, all night
songs worshiping Holy Creator God;
sees twenty-four elders doff crowns around
the throne, kneel in child’s pose, then join the choir.

Seeing God’s royal scroll bound with seven
seals; hearing no reply to the angel’s
booming question, Is anyone worthy
to open the scroll? John mourns. But Look! one
elder shouts, Judah’s Lion, King’s Taproot,
Death’s Victor deserves to open the scroll.

Sacrificed Lamb stands; sees all, commands all.
Lamb takes the scroll: ceaseless waves of new song
praise pour from the four beings and twenty-
four elders, all playing harps, bringing all
believers’ prayers in golden incense bowls.

One by one Lamb opens all the scrolls’ seals,
releasing white, red, black, green horse power;
John foresees war, famine, disease and death.
As Seal Five opens martyrs cry, God when 
will You avenge our blood? Seal Six reveals
everyone fleeing a worldwide earthquake.

Angels hold winds back; God commands land, sea
and trees preserved while angels mark faithful
ones from all tribes as God’s noble servants.
John sees countless crowds from all earth’s cultures
waving green fronds, singing praise with one voice.
An elder says they came through the ordeal;
their robes turned brilliant white in Lamb’s pure blood.
Lamb will shepherd them always: no more tears,
no dire heat, plenty good food and water.

After Lamb opens Seal Seven, heaven
falls silent for half an hour. Then angel-
trumpeted disasters strike earth: fire, blood,
foul water, darkness; with the last three blasts
eagle in flight screams woes coming on all.

Trumpet Five releases bottomless pit’s
destroyer king with scorpion locust
hordes for five months to torture but not kill
anyone, though victims will beg to die,
and not to harm trees, plants or even grass.
Trumpet Six sends forth four angels with two
hundred million troops on lion-headed
horses spewing fire and sulphur to kill
one-third of humankind. Yet not even
one remaining evil person repents.

Rainbow-crowned, sun-faced, fire-legged angel roars;
seven thunder messages sound, but God
stops John: Do not record these mysteries;
instead eat the small scroll. Taste is sweet, but
digestion bitter. John must prophesy.
Two fiery witnesses will speak freely
three-plus years, be killed by deepest pit’s beast,
breathed alive in three-plus days, borne to God’s
presence, safe from earthquake’s huge urban toll.

Trumpet Seven heralds King of All Kings:
time now to destroy all earth-destroyers!
Red dragon waits to devour newborn prince
but he’s whisked to God. His sun-clothed, star-crowned
mother rests three-plus years in God-designed
wilderness plenitude, while God’s angels
battle dragon and minions, thrusting them
from heaven to earth where dragon serpent
attacks all woman’s God-loving children.

Dragon empowers seven-headed beast.
All nations worship beast who blasphemes God,
ten-horned beast who dominates three-plus years.
Two-horned dragon-speaking beast permits no
trade for those without his 666 mark.

John sees the royal lamb, hears twelve-times-twelve
thousand God-marked followers sing unknown tune.
Three angels warn all nations of judgment.
John sees Jesus with sharp scythe reaping earth’s
harvest and God’s winepress brimming with blood.

Then seven angels with signs of seven
last divine anger plagues: oozing skin sores;
toxic oceans full of dead creatures’ blood;
every wellspring poisoned; scorching sunshine;
total darkness throughout beast’s power sphere.

Dragon, beast, fake prophet demons summon
all kings to war in vast dry riverbed;
Angel Seven unleashes hundred pound
hailstones; most violent earthquake ever;
cities split, flattened; islands, mountains gone.
Blood-drunk king temptress, queen of wealth and fame
rides beast who was and is not and will be.
Divine judgment plagues harlot Babylon;
she burns and falls and all earth’s merchants wail.

Countless voices boom heaven’s ovation.
Awesome invite: Lamb will wed holy bride.
John sees heaven’s royal white horse rider,
flame-eyed, sword-tongued, with secret name God’s Word,
All Kings’ King. Captain garbed in blood-dipped robe
leads heaven’s white-robed riders; captures, burns
beast and fake prophet. Angel banishes
Satan to black hole while holy martyrs
rise to rule with High Priest a thousand years.

Devil gets one last chance for attack, but
heaven’s fire licks that liar clean off earth’s
battlefield, burns him up with beast and fake prophet.
John foresees all record books opened: God
judges all deeds of all who ever lived.
All not enrolled in Life-Book must suffer;
second death for liars and fake god fans.

Finally the unending beginning:
all new, all beautiful, heaven arrives.
John glimpses God’s holy hometown planted
glorious, expansive on planet earth,
adorned with jeweled murals, gates open,
streaming with artists from every nation.
Ultimate completion! Come, King Jesus!

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Grace Note

Dear now and forever Godfolk:
Revel in pure mercy, grace, peace;
claim Jesus’ once-for-all freedom;
stand tall in thief-proof faith, lust free.
We all dance in royal passion!

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Love Power

Scary mongrels nip our heels
as we stride through this week:
worry barks; panic yelps; dread growls.
But these letters from John the Beloved
blind every dog. True Love’s brilliance
bursts over our heart horizons.
Jesus’ divine life-light dispels
all liars, haters, antichrists.
We are free to be simply God’s
beloved children: overjoyed; bold;
ever channeling Holy Spirit truth
as God’s huge love matures in us;
caring for sisters, brothers, strangers
and all whose needs move us.

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Counsel for Action

Jesus’ brother by mother Mary, James
just names himself God’s and Jesus’ servant.
Writes advice to scattered siblings in faith:
Face every test with pure joy for growing
patience that will yield mature contentment.
Need wisdom? Ask the all-giving, never
jabbing One. Discover mercy’s holy
peace motives. Speak less, never in anger.
Be all ears, single-minded, ego-free.
Caring actions validate true faith prayers.

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Peace Offering

Unknown author’s epistle quotes
Torah, Psalms and prophets, all fore-
telling Jesus whose voice sustains
the universe; Jesus, perfect,
radiant, glorious Peace King;
highest priest, sole God-human bond.

Response to this God-breathed letter?
Make every effort, the writer urges:
make every effort to enter God’s peace;
every effort toward peace with all.

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