Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It is National Poetry Month

Journaling and scribbling down a few rhymed verse is how this...THIS whole thing with me blossomed. After working many years at a retail job, totally switching my career and working for the school district, my brain once again "turned on" to the playfulness of words and the fun with language. Penned with rhymes and silliness, most of my earlier notebooks contain a combination of  these random observations as well as the more serious studies of devotion, rewriting scripture passages  in verse. So, with that said,  for this special month, a few of my favorites I am posting here for your enjoyment.

These first two, I wrote while living in a cramped apartment, one step up from the motel we stayed in for 2 months. After my family suffered a bad fire in November of 2003, we became displaced temporarily from our home. In these days, God taught me so much and like the children of Israel in the book of Hosea, God moved in my heart literally taking the ashes and  rebuilding and restoring a dormant faith. Days of frustration, uncertainty and loneliness numbered more on the calendar than not. What better way to deal with things than to write. A Starbucks frappachino and my journal kept me company. Selelcting two poems from that time really gives insight into how far my "world" spins in a forward progression. Although Tim would go to be with the Lord in 2007, 2004 through mid 2006 my life was on the threshing floor and God's purpose was to sift out the grain and replant me into a strong, productive field, able to stand firm against the storms clouds to come.This first poem is an observation of my surroundings; the second, a genuine request-prayer to God. (For some of us though, the Promised Land still lay ahead).
Roach Rent.

If I could charge the roaches rent, 
A nickel, a dime, a shiny red cent,
I'd have a coin jar full to the top,
With money to spare, maybe to shop.

I'd charge the bumble bee that lives in my fence
A dollar fifty, a fair rate I sense.
And the black widow out for the kill;
A two-dollar tab to add to the bill.

 But most of the dough would come from those bugs 
 Who like to crawl out from under my mugs.
 Behind my toaster and in my coffee pot;
 They scurry and hurry, not to be caught.

There are small ones, many who don't have a clue.
Which way to go or what next to do.
Then there's the brown ones, faster they are.
Disgusting, annoying, and gross by far.

If I could charge the roaches rent,
Perhaps one day the money spent,
Could take care of the problem once and for all,
And living here would not make my skin crawl.

END  Coleene VanTilburg

Like I mentioned earlier, this next poem is actually a prayer.  We were finally moving on, out of the apartment. Deciding to sell the house, for all of us a pivotal, exhausting but humbling move; a chance to start over.  God brought us to another place of learning and seeking, another place where my tears forever softened the hard ground that existed there. For some of us though, the Promised Land still laid ahead...


On the move again, think I want to stop
Never really settled in, never bought a mop.
No family pictures hang on the wall.
Does not feel like home, as I recall.

No splash of color or decorator’s flare
Just a few candles to freshen the air.
Boxes from Christmas stacked up high
Boxes of bills from hospitals he’s tried.

The family room doubled as a bedroom too

With pillows and blankets and soda to spew.
The carpet is gross, I try to remove
The spots of not caring and busyness prove.

But changes were made here, both life and heart
I know God’s plans are for another new start.
Somewhere He’ll plant us and continue to grow us
Closer to you Lord, a spirit most joyous.

My prayer is for a garden to work with my hands,
A hearth and a fireplace with pictures on stands.
My dining room table, china and hutch;
I just need some space Lord, to breathe and such.

A place to study and have friends over;
For my dog to live his last days in clover.
Lord, may you always be served in our home
Praised as our Savior where ever we roam.

Coleene VanTilburg 6.15.2006

More poetry to follow in next few days. Stayed tuned!

Matthew 6:31-34 (NIV)   May I add to verse 31...where we should live?... God provided every place and in every place I learned something and continue to do so. 

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you've captured the "bad" apartment experience in poem 1--reminds me of Dr. Seuss in rhythm and rhyme. We both loved it. The second more serious, but the point is driven home at the end and with the Scripture. Wonderful post!