Palimpsest

…written in their hearts… Romans 2.15

We try, but cannot fully scrape away
those ancient words engraved upon the soul.
We would instead compose upon the scroll
of our morality that which today
appeals, although we understand that too
will overwritten be at some point soon
enough. Whatever pleasing, wooing tune
is in the air, whatever views are new
and chic, we write upon our soul, and think
we are at least not out of step with what
the world defines as true and normal. But
we write such codes with disappearing ink.
__Meanwhile, those ancient words of love for men
__and God persist, and will bleed through again.

 

 

Prime Time

I look around our home at Christmas time –
the lighted, decorated trees, displays
of the Nativity, and all the ways
we mark this special time of year – and I’m
filled with contentment. Christmas is the prime
of every year, and how we keep it says
a lot about our faith, and how we praise
our God. Our decorations are a rhyme
of lights, folk culture, and creation’s glory,
while music of all kinds invokes the joy
of seasons past and precious truths that give
us hope and fill our days with peace: The story
of the eternal King, Who came, a Boy
in swaddling clothes, that we might ever live.

 

 

Let Not My Words

a villanelle after 1 Samuel 3.19

Let not my words fall to the ground, O Lord,
like Onan’s wasted, self-indulgent seed.
Let my words sound Your ever-fruitful Word,

and let them be far-flung, and gladly heard
or read according to each person’s need.
Let not my words fall to the ground, O Lord,

like some old, splintered, poorly-fastened board.
Let many take them up, and as they read,
let my words sound your ever-fruitful Word;

and in the chambers of men’s souls, deep bored,
let them embed and germinate with speed.
Let not my words fall to the ground, O Lord,

but draw them from Your scabbard with Your Sword,
and let them truth advance and lies impede,
that they may sound Your ever-fruitful Word.

Let my vocation with Your will accord,
in diligence and faithfulness, I plead.
Let not my words fall to the ground, O Lord;
let my words sound Your ever-fruitful Word.

 

Lift Me

Psalm 141

He parks his front paws on the hassock right
in front of me, looks up, and barks – just so
I know he’s there. He seems as if he might

jump up, but doesn’t. For, as we both know,
he can’t. And anyway, that’s not the drill.
He gazes plaintively, his black eyes so

intent on gaining mine. I know he will
persist there, shifting on his hind legs, to
and fro, a whimper now and then, until

he captures my attention and I do
what he desires. He makes me smile, and when
I do, his ears droop and his eyes look through

my eyes, and we connect. And once again,
as always, he secures the outcome he
intends: I lift him to my lap, and then

he curls up, settles in, and rests on me.
And that’s the way I want my prayers to be.

 

 

T.M. Moore’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals, and he has published five volumes of verse through his ministry’s imprint, Waxed Tablet Publications. He is Principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, he and his wife, Susie, reside in Essex Junction, VT.


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8 Responses

  1. Amy Foreman

    “Palimpsest” goes on my list of favorite sonnets, T.M. Chock-full of truth and meaning and perfectly adhering to the palimpsest metaphor throughout. Well done!

    I thought, also, as I read “Lift Me,” of Psalm 123:2: “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.”

    Thank you for sharing your well-executed, masterful interactions with the eternal Word. Your poems are a treasure.

    Reply
  2. Mark F. Stone

    T.M., The dog in the final poem sounds just like my dog. That’s what makes me like this poem so much. Mark

    Reply
  3. C.B. Anderson

    T.M.,

    You have mastered the fixed forms, you have mastered the meter and the rhyme, so what is left for you to master is the deft touch of past masters who produced quotable lines. God knows, I am very sympathetic with the content of your messages, but I would like to read some lines now and then that are a bit more edgy. I can’t explain my preference, except to say that blandness can sometimes kill the most incisive buzz. Overall, you should keep on doing what you’re doing, disregard anything I have to say about it, and follow your own star.

    Reply
  4. Christina

    T.M. These poems are beautiful, and so peaceful and prayerful a contrast to the recent frenetic commercialism that is, sadly, all that this holy season has come to mean for so many people. I love the picture of your dog joining you as you pray. Although I may be reclining in an armchair (dodgy joints) when I pray, my dog infallibly senses the change in me, nuzzles my knee to secure eye contact followed by gentle stroking that is a mutual comfort and no distraction for me. Thank you for these poems.

    Reply
  5. Monty

    Strong, immaculate poetry, TM . . you’re back to your best. I particularly like the way you describe your dog’s routine ritual to gain your lap.

    Reply
  6. Amy

    T.M.- your poem ‘Palimpsest’ brought me to good tears, as I cannot recall when last I read or heard a poem that lyrically pleasant and meaningful. As a writer, I am grateful to have stumbled across your poetry and look forward to reading more works from you. There is a certain beauty and poetic stillness in your poems which I very much admire.

    Reply

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