The Banquet

You who eat to gladden your gut,
You who indulge to comfort the flesh,
Come to a true banquet!

Rejoice your spirit,
Give joy to your soul.
Fatten your prayer on faith.

Let words ravish the Heart of God.
Even words unspoken, but burning in your heart,
Call angels to your side.

Quiet the world, by stepping apart,
Still your flesh in earnest fast,
Widen the breath of your praise.

The majesty of God inclines to your lips.
For it is He, Who has promised.
Whisper and He smiles.

© 2011 Joann Nelander All rights reserved.

I Was Irish Once

I was Irish once:

I was Irish for brief moments,
As they danced on makeshift stage.
Three sisters donned in green and white,
With ribbons in curled hair.

I was Irish for brief moments,
As locks bounced to rhythms tapped,
By jigging, flying feet,
Flitting blithely through the air.

I was Irish for brief moments,
Of merriment sublime,
Happy, joyful leaping,
Knees high, and lifted, kicking.

I was Irish for brief moments
Minstrels played their magic tunes,
And young girls moved in rocking fashion
Erin’s reveries impassioned.

I was Irish for brief moments.
Sweetly skirted colleens,
Poised on pointed toes.
Sent hearts a-skipping, happy legs a-lifting,

I was Irish for brief moments,
As fairies with green ribbons
In coiffed and flaming hair,
Spun a golden space in memory’s place.

I was Irish for brief moments,
And see again in dreaming,
Gladsome spinning, hopping, prancing,
Three sisters on stage dancing.

Yes, I was Irish once.

©2013 Joann Nelander
all rights reserved

I Was Irish Once

I was Irish once:

I was Irish for brief moments,
As they danced on makeshift stage.
Three sisters donned in green and white,
With ribbons in curled hair.

I was Irish for brief moments,
As locks bounced to rhythms tapped,
By jigging, flying feet,
Flitting blithely through the air.

I was Irish for brief moments,
Of merriment sublime,
Happy, joyful leaping,
Knees high, and lifted, kicking.

I was Irish for brief moments
Minstrels played their magic tunes,
And young girls moved in rocking fashion
Erin’s reveries impassioned.

I was Irish for brief moments.
Sweetly skirted colleens,
Poised on pointed toes.
Sent hearts a-skipping, happy legs a-lifting,

I was Irish for brief moments,
As fairies with green ribbons
In coiffed and flaming hair,
Spun a golden space in memory’s place.

I was Irish for brief moments,
And see again in dreaming,
Gladsome spinning, hopping, prancing,
Three sisters on stage dancing.

Yes, I was Irish once.

©2013 Joann Nelander
all rights reserved

My Will and Testament – a Prayer

O my Lord, God Almighty,
Rule on the throne of my life.
Set right.
Set straight.
Set at peace.
Subjugate all within my sphere.
All that I have,
All that I desire,
All that I am,
I will to You.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Portal to Eternity

If the past has a portal,
I take up the Gift,
The blood of the Lamb,
And apply it to the door-posts,
And lintels,
That it may cry out for this sinner,
And my heritage,
That the Angel of Death
May pass me by.

Cry for me, My Beloved,
In my night,
That the past,
Now cleansed,
Open in Your Heart
A door to heavenly Eternity.

Cry, my Beloved,
Plead mercy on my history,
And newness of Life,
In this cleansed space of being,
New Creation,
A heart and soul after Your Own.
Henceforth and forever one.

© 2014 Joann Nelander

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Angel Story

Here is one of my personal angel stories:

Years ago my husband and I were in a movie theater engrossed in the movie, when suddenly I was inspired to pray, so I did. The feeling was so unexpected and strong, I stopped watching the screen, closed my eyes and turned my attention to prayer as I felt directed to do. Then I had peace and wondered what that was all about. 

When we returned home, my, then teenaged, daughter couldn’t wait to tell us what had happened. She said she was comfortably seated in an easy chair in the family room, reading a book. Then phone rang, so she reluctantly got out of the chair to answer it. As soon as she was out of the chair, a large and heavy sound unit that had been on the highest shelf in a built in bookcase, fell onto the every spot she had occupied just seconds before.

The light came on for me and I immediately understood why I was prodded to pray. My daughter and I remember this incident with thanksgiving to the angels to this day!

©2013 Joann Nelander

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By Your Presence

You, by Your Presence, O Lord,
Are Light to my darkness.
You are the kiss upon my brow,
The oil upon my head,
The arms of sweet embrace,
The banner over my heart.

You, All Love,
Bless this child of Your magnificent
And magnanimous Mercy.
Day by day.
I find You all about me.

Flowers and fields,
Spread before me
As a welcoming blanket.
Come rest awhile, You invite.
I come and I delight.

©2011 Joann Nelander

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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,
And 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
What was my treasure
And ceased to learn.
Cacophany of me,
I cease to learn,
And simply rearrange,
That with which I am familiar.

Where do prophet, poet and a would be recluse
Find voice if not in You,
Rejecting even audience
To find You in my silence,
Your silence?

©2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

The Breech

How great is the distance between us?

Some would say
The span from East to West,
Or measure in miles the chasm
Stretching from Heaven to Hell.
Others count the centuries
Since Your earthly Presence
In hallowed flesh.

There is no numbering
Eternity or Divinity.
You are closer than my breath.
Your Heart beats within my breast.
Day by day,
Nay, moment by moment,
I pick up Your rhythm.

Traversing the breech,
You make me Your own.
Small, but beloved,
I repose in willful abandonment.
Grace-filled faith,
A movement,
Not a measure,
Soars to the heavens,
In flights of trust in You.

Cry of One Forgiven

How can I thank You
For Your forgiveness,
For that moment,
In which You scattered
My accusers,
And took my part?

As I looked up
From the mud of my despair,
Your majestic countenance
Was all.
You loomed before me,
Brighter than the Sun.

Who could have imagined
Such grandeur?
You wore holiness like a crown
That more than circled Your brow.
Rather, it emanated,
As light from Your Being,
Announcing Who You are?

Only humility can receive You,
And dare Your gaze.
For Your Eyes
Pierce the soul,
Revealing all.

Only those crying for a Savior
Dare look up,
To confess with that glance
Their fault and nakedness,
Helpless and all pleading.

Only the thirsty
Can drink in the majesty
Of Your knowing.
For pride is the travesty,
That hides,
For fear of revelation.

That moment shattered my fear
And rent the clouds of all my life.
Taking proffered Hand,
I rise to my feet
Then, as now, again,

Light embraces me
As my rags fall to my feet.
In their place
Love has woven a mantle,
A robe of Being,
That more than clothes me.

It is a signal grace,
That names me,
With it, You announce
To all Creation
Who I am in You.

My "Yes" reverberates
Throughout the Universe.
I am new,
Like a star at its birth,
Bursting forth
With Your Holiness;
Baptized in Your Redemption.

How can I thank You
For Your forgiveness,
O, You, Who took my part?
Go now,
In search of my accusers.

Copyright 2011 Joann Nelander

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