Listening and Silent

It seems …
I am always talking to You,
That I am always with You,
And have no doubt
You are with me.
Listening and silent.

I am an endless monologue.
You, hovering Spirit,
Wordlessly eloquent abide.
You are Presence and Truth,
Listening and silent,
Thunderously silent,
Save for the stirring of my heart,
And the sometime rush of thought,
Coming, as it were,
From the bowels of my being
With frightening conviction,
And challenging my reticence
To speak aloud
The thoughts of solitude.

Reluctant always  to go about,
And leave the cloister of my heart,
Where in Your chambers I find,
And hold dear,
Private audience with the King,

The world without is a noisy charade.
It woos the pride of me take center stage.
Where suddenly I realize
I have been talking much too much
To my regret.
I, naggingly, suspect
I have diminished
That which was my treasure
And ceased to learn.
Cacophony of me,
I cease to learn and simply rearrange
That with which I am familiar.

Where do prophets, poets and a would-be recluse,
Find a voice if not in You,
Rejecting even audience
To find You in my silence, Your silence.

Copyright Joann Nelander 2011

All rights reserved

God on the Horizon

Lord, I rejoice to hear Your Voice
Echoing in my soul.
Through Your Word,
I have come to recognize that Voice
Even amidst the chaos of the world.

“Come to Me”
“Do not be afraid”
“Stand firm”
“Your God is in your midst. ”

Heaven sings “My Lord” on the horizon.
Spanning the day with Your herald,
Coming forth with the
dawn,
His notes color the firmament
In a symphony of splendor.
Playing with hues
As with a pipe organ,
He pulls out the stops in promise,
Until he captures the morn and subdued it.

Making it His own
In the mystery of You, O Lord.
He whispers to listening hearts,
“You are the Light of the world”

With eventide He strides
As Day’s work done.
Then God calls home the Sun.
But not without a closing hoorah.
As over hill and dale,
He paints for fun,
And angelic artists
Shout His blazing Glory.

All is put to bed
‘Neathe a cloak of many colors,
Finally, dimming their voices
In lullabys of peace
To sleep in childlike slumber,
Save for He, Who slumbers not.

God on the horizon,
Sun to sun,
Labor swallowed up in trust,
To await His Coming
In both darkness and the dawn,
All my life long.
©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Abiding All the While

We await Your Second Coming, O, Lord,
But, in reality, You have never left us.
Your Body and Blood,
Upon the altar of Your Presence,
Witness to Your People, Your constancy.

Before Your dying upon the Cross,
You prepared a Body for Yourself in the Church,
Embracing those who would soon desert You,
Feeding the Apostles the very Flesh,
That would so soon be scourged.
Giving them as drink,
The very blood to be poured upon the ground,
Staining pillar and the coarse streets of the city,
Whose people had welcome and acclaimed You,
In Your wonders and power,
Only to decry your claim upon their hearts,
And flee to the side of worldly power and might.

Though You never left us,
How soon we forgot You,
You, Who cannot forget
Those You chose to be Your Body on Earth,
And were called to remember You
Upon at the Table of Your Presence
Transforming bread and wine,
To mend and enable a broken people,
To experience Salvation,
In the Divine Intimacy as friends.

Holy Presence,
Remain always in my heart,
That looking inward,
My stained garment may be purified in penitence,
Bleached white in Your Light,
And my eyes behold Your image as Promise,
Wooing me from world and worry.

May Your Second Coming find me with You
In this world or in the next,
As bride with her Bridegroom,
Your beloved beholding Her Love.

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Newly Revised – Into the Stillness

Work of Love

Make of every heart a tabernacle,
A holy space,
Home to Thee,
An ark,
A Mercy seat,
Where Cherubim
Spread their wings
And constantly adore.

May heaven alight
On one who prays,
And rest on that blessed soul,
As Pentecost anew.

Across the face of the earth
Find hallowed home,
Ciborium for Thy Blood,
Chalice to cup Thy loveliness,
And priestly hands to hold Thee aloft,
To smile upon Your world in dire need.

Be,  O, Bread of angels,
Ever present on Your altar,
Closer than my breath,
Friend and companion
Light and Bridegroom,
All in all,
Everywhere and everyone
Transforming,
Sinner to saint,
And temple of Your Holy Spirit.

©2012 Joann Nelander

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Courts of Praise

This poem was written to express celebration at Easter.  Everyday ordinary day is so full of God’s choice blessings, that praise should flow from every corner of the earth. In the deepest darkness, may hope arise through praise of God.

I invite you to linger a while and add a stanza.

Courts of Praise

Thank you, my Lord, for my life long,
For beloved family and friends,
And all dear hearts touching mine.

My treasure trove of souls
Spills far beyond my time
To number as my own
Those who have gone before,
Your saints of ages past,
The cloud of witnesses on high
And pure angelic beings
In realms veiled from the eye.

There never was a day
In which I was alone,
Nor forgotten
Before Your throne.

There, at Your feet,
All heaven sweet anthems raise,
To set celestial hearts ablaze.
My heart, in chorus,
Swells, dilating in love,
Grown great in gratitude.

Beside Your All Love,
I make small return.
You count my debt as paid,
And bid me enter courts of praise.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Come Forth

Call to me, loudly command,
When you call me forth
From the grave of my sin,
I rejoice.

When, on the Last Day,
You call me forth from the tomb,
From my burial rest,
I shall jubilantly rejoice.

With the saints,
And angels to cheer me,
Invite and speak my name,
Command, “Come forth!”
Death shall cower and fall away,
And the perfume of sanctity
Attend me.

My cloud of witnesses
Testify to Your many mercies
Showered and shown me.

Then shall my heart sing
And the feet of my testimony dance
To the music of Your Kingdom
And the song of Mary,
Who sang lullabies in my rest
Upon Your breast.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Jesus, Haven of My Soul

Jesus, I place myself
In the holy confines
Of Your Sacred Heart.
Heart of my heart,
Draw heaven to me.

Surround me with friends
Of Your choosing,
That my mind might be full
Of the conversation of saints.

The world is so much with me.
It is temptress and shallow.
I long for the deep
Of Your thoughts,
To speak peace and refuge
In my wilderness.

You are the haven of my soul,
The Paradise once lost,
But now given
With My daily Bread.

Exile holds no fear
For You surround me.
You are my consolation
And marrow of my bones,
Strength of my strength.

Your Holy Spirit comes to me
And turns my tears to laughter.
In a valley of vanity and pride,
Your Humanity and Humility
Take me by the hand and heart
To lead me home.

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

Free to Love

I choose to love You, Lord.
My free will is Your gift.
I can decide Your Way too narrow,
And banish You
From my mind, my home, my life,
And the world about me.

I am free to celebrate gods,
I fashion as my own,
To revel in idolatry,
To exult with the mocking crowds
Making fun and sport of You,
You, Who are “so out of touch.”

You have fallen from fashion.
Your Cross, an embarrassment.
This world demands signs,
And leeks, and onions,
And grande cappacinos.

No, You will not stop me.
Without Your grace,
I can not stop myself.
I seem at times to prefer
The company of men,
All who purport to know.

Truth, though, gives witness
To a milieu
Of blatant braggadocio
With holes,
Through which their errors flow
To seed a field with tares.
For a prideful people
Seeking a rose garden,
Yet only thistles grow.

I choose to love You, Lord.
Be Sun to my darkness,
Be my Light
That I might see.
Protect and command me,
That I might obey.
Love demands freedom.
Freely, I turn to Thee.

©2012 Joann Nelander

Who Is the Poorest of the Poor

Who is the poorest of the Poor?
Is it not the one deprived of womb?
Is it not the one gone unnamed?
Given a frame
But denied rightful claim,
Stripped bare of place,
No space to grow,
Deprived of a proper birth?
Is it not the one evicted,
Before drawing it’s first breath,
Whose beating heart is silenced,
With the sanction of the Court!?
With privacy,
Lest the whole world hear it’s cry?

Though a mother forget her child,
The Father of all fathers
Will not, no never, forget.
He has a place,
And a name,
For all the poor,
For the poorest
Of the poor,
Called "Beloved"
And "Poor No More".

©2012 Joann Nelander

All rights reserved

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