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Grain

If the future were a famine
And tomorrow were a blight,
Would we close our eyes today in
Light of Future’s tragic sight?

If the future were a famine
And eternity, disease,
Would we leave our fields and flocks to
Wither, living lives of ease?

If the future were a famine
And the rest of life were Hell,
And the church began to cease to
Draw from Scripture’s moss-rimmed well,

If the sower ceased to sow and
Every gatherer resigned,
Then the future would be famine,
Though one of a different kind.

If the future is a famine,
Let us sow, pray God for rain,
Clutch Today while in her presence,
And with gladness reap our grain.

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Minds are Isles

Our minds are isolated isles, the cosmos is the sea,
Whose tides run blithely from the endless sphere of Deity,
And through untold arrays of cryptic passages descend,
Determining all that we do and do not comprehend.

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Stephen Ramsek is a 12th grade student at God’s Grace Academy, in Kentucky.


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25 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    What a joy!
    Stephen is the hope for the future in this, our long, dark winter.

    Reply
  2. Paul Freeman

    Loved the image of ‘Scripture’s moss-rimmed well’.

    I read this as an allegorical piece urging us to act now to avert irreversible climate change, though it’s open to interpretation.

    Thanks for this excellently composed, thought-provoking piece, Stephen.

    Reply
    • Joe Tessitore

      I read it to be an embrace of the Truth and a rejection of the Litany of Leftist Lies, climate change running a close second to Nancy Pelosi’s sacrament of abortion.

      Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      Right you are , Joe. I would only add that Freeman (a misnomer if there ever was one) does not seem to understand that climate change has been a natural feature of the natural world forever. And I agree completely that Master Ramsek has a bright future in this business if he decides to keep up with it. Just a tweak here and there is all his poems need in order to ascend to perfection. God bless Kentucky!

      Reply
      • Stephen Ramsek

        Thank you, C.B.! It’s my plan to keep writing and never stop!

    • Stephen Ramsek

      Thank you so much, Paul! I didn’t have climate change in mind when I wrote it, but I think I see how you came to that conclusion. ‘Grain’ is about not letting our idea of what the future may be interfere with our “redemption” of the present (Ephesians 5:16).

      Reply
    • Stephen Ramsek

      Thank you, Tonia! I’m glad you found the poems edifying!

      Reply
  3. Gail

    So . . . some with ears cannot hear, and some with eyes cannot see. Keep clinging to the truth; it’s the only thing worth telling. These were done heartily as unto the Lord. So encouraging.

    On a (much!) less spiritual note . . . may I introduce you to my daughters? (Ha!)

    Reply
    • Stephen Ramsek

      Thank you so much, Gail! I agree, and I’m glad you found the poems encouraging!

      Sure!

      Reply
  4. Margaret Coats

    “Grain” is a poem where images, ideas, and sounds work out beautifully. By referring to famine, fields, flocks, sower and gatherer, it effectively recalls a number of passages from “Scripture’s moss-rimmed well.” The logic is complex but the poet is in control and achieves a worthy resolution to all he says.

    I don’t find that to be the case with “Minds are Isles.” The main problem is that the subject of the verb “descend” must be “tides.” These tides of the cosmos therefore travel through cryptic passages, determining what we comprehend, but what are they in relation to the cosmos, the Deity, the passages, and indeed to our minds? The title image is just not enough to give real substance of thought to the poem. Please take this as the constructive criticism it’s meant to be. You did a fine job of keeping those long lines flowing; when I try that, they tend to break up unsatisfactorily. But these lines need to provide more clues as to where thought is flowing.

    Reply
    • Stephen Ramsek

      Thank you so much, Dr. Coats!

      Thank you for your critique of “Minds are Isles”; I completely agree. I’ll work on revising it accordingly.

      Reply
  5. Paul Freeman

    A note on the amazing picture Evan has used to illustrate the poems.

    When I worked at a country museum in the UK, I transcribed a number of 18th and 19th century documents. Some of these documents listed the remuneration of farm labourers, which twice a day included ale, bread and cheese, brought to them in the fields so as not to interrupt their toil.

    Reply
  6. Sally Cook

    I am so happy to see what a student can do when let loose on the world. Yours is a fine raw talent, and with cultivation will bloom in wondrous ways. Now don’t get a big head; be sure you have a way to sustain yourself. But don’t stop writing! Please submit again, and know that the people on this site are all rooting for you.
    Great work; good job.

    Reply
    • Stephen Ramsek

      Thank you so much, Sally! And thank you for the encouragement to keep writing and submit again; I definitely will (Lord willing!)

      Reply
  7. Mo

    Stephen,
    I love your “cryptic passages” image. Mighty fine work, young man…

    Reply
  8. Cynthia Erlandson

    I think that both your creative ideas, and your artistic expression of them, are very impressive. You are gifted; you must keep writing!

    Reply
    • Stephen Ramsek

      Thank you so much, Cynthia! Soli Deo Gloria, and I’ll definitely keep at it!

      Reply

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