Sun, shine on me—come and stay!
Dry my tears, send gloom away.
Warm my soul, chilled to the bone
By the freezing wind that’s blown.
With your reassuring light
Put my griefs and fears to flight.

Don’t be shy; no longer hide,
Cloaked by rain clouds dark and wide.
Stand forth boldly,  show your face–
In the heavens, take your place!
Reassure me with your rays
You’ve returned to burn and blaze.

Plant a kiss upon my brow,
Melt the lines cut by time’s plough.
Come, embrace me with your beams,
Send them forth in flowing streams.
Kindle fire within me—burn!
Make me feel my youth return.

Help me never to despair
When I must descend the stair
From those youthful heights sublime
That I scaled once, in my prime.
Through the changes life must bring,
May your presence make me sing.

For each radiant flower must fade,
Yielding space in life’s green glade
To another that will bloom,
For a season, in its room.
Let each in its turn spring up,
Drinking dew from morning’s cup.

For the same Sun shining here,
Shines still in another sphere
Past this present mortal life,
Full of toil and pain and strife,
With bright beams that flood the sky,
Bathing blooms that never die.

There, in pastures lush and green,
Flowers will keep their brilliant sheen,
Gleaming with celestial glow,
Bobbing in the winds that blow,
Never wilting, always fresh—
Unlike fading mortal flesh.

In those fields I hope to rise
After I have closed my eyes
And this frame of flesh and bone
In the earth like seed is sown;
For no heavenly flower can grow
Till its birth seed dies below.

Therefore, let me always praise—
Even as my youth decays—
Him whose sweet, transforming light
Shines still in the darkest night,
Lighting up each passing page
From the cradle to old age.

He whose strength makes all things new
To His promise will prove true,
Saving from time’s rot and rust
All who cling to Him in trust.
In His sunshine, let me be
Basking for eternity!



A Kiss Across Time

To all those born in future days when I’ll have crossed the span
Of years I had to learn God’s ways and love both God and man,
To you across the sea of time who rise to greet life’s dawn,
I blow a kiss and pen this rhyme to read when I am gone:

“Upon my life, the sun has set; upon yours, it is rising.
My days are spent, but yours are yet unborn and crystallizing.
My earthly works are all behind, I wait the great assize,
Buy your life’s end, still undefined, lies yet before your eyes.

I toast our shared humanity, and urge you not to sell
The truth that fosters sanity and shapes a life lived well.
For this sad world is full of fools, who know not why they’re here,
Who’ll seek to lead you by their rules, devoid of godly fear.

Avoid them as you would the plague, lest by them you are snared
In ways of thinking, vain and vague, that leave you unprepared
To face afflictions none evade– old age, disease, and death–,
That leave men lost, confused, afraid to draw their final breath.

Recall that each bad choice you make exacts a price to pay;
So shun the wild, impious rake, and seek the noble way
In company with all who love the path of faith and truth
Who humbly bow to God above and seek Him from their youth.

Remember there is only one foundation that is sure,
On which to build a house well done, established and secure–
The work and words of Him who came in flesh our souls to save
To bear our guilt, our curse, our shame, and raise us from the grave.

That’s why, with words born out of tears, I write you to implore
A wise investment of your years, which flown, will nevermore
Return to bring that lovely bloom which blessed a former day,
Whose fragrance fills our living room but once, then fades away.

The time is short, the time is now all wrong ways to amend;
Come, take His yoke, that you may plough a straight line to the end,
And reach that place of which we’re told, revealed by God’s envoy,
That city filled with streets of gold and everlasting joy!



Martin Rizley grew up in Oklahoma and in Texas, and has served in pastoral ministry both in the United States and in Europe. He is currently serving as the pastor of a small evangelical church in the city of Málaga on the southern coast of Spain, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Martin has enjoyed writing and reading poetry as a hobby since his early youth.

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19 Responses

  1. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Those are two great poems centered around mortal life and immortality. I really loved the perfect flow of both of them and wish I could have sent my grandson who graduated from highs school this past year the second poem. I wrote him a letter with some similar features, but dearly would have loved to include your poem in my message on life to him. I will save it for my next two grandsons! Your poem on sunshine is superb and illuminating. You have reminded me that even subjects often covered in writings of the past can have a fantastic rebirth with the right words and poetic thoughts. Bless you for sharing them with us!

    • Martin Rizley

      Roy, Thank you so much for your encouraging words. It is an honor to know that you would pass on my poem as words of counsel to your grandsons! Blessings to you.

  2. Norma Pain

    These two poems feed my love of perfect rhyme and meter and their messages are wonderfully uplifting. Thank you Martin.

    • Martin Rizley

      Thank you, Norma, for expressing your appreciation of the poems. I share your love for meter and rhyme! Language is such a beautiful gift of God that is so musical in its flow when its potentialities are exploited through devices like rhyme, meter, assonance, alliteration, etc. That’s why it is so encouraging to see a revival of classical poetry in our day.

  3. Allegra Silberstein

    Your poems flow like music…and are filled with piety…all the best and thank you.

  4. Shamik Banerjee

    Such wonderful poems! In addition to their perfect metre and songly quality, the messages warmed my heart. I admire your style, Mr. Rizley. Thank you for these.

  5. Jeff Eardley

    Martin, as musical and meaningful as ever. I love your poetry and these are two of your best. Thanks for a much needed reflective interlude in a mad world.

    • Martin Rizley

      Jeff, This is a belated reply to your comment. Thanks so much for the encouraging words. If my poems help to combat some of the “madness” in the world, as you put it, well then I am greatly motivated, not only to write, but also to keep sharing, my poems.

  6. Daniel Kemper

    This is the kind of poetry that academia despises. Where’s the angst? The darkness? The calling bad things good and good things bad? What is this strange *good* feeling that the reader experiences at the culmination of each read?


    Very pleasing to get a double-shot of heart-warming poetry.

    [Available only here: Thank you, Evan!]

    • Martin Rizley

      Thanks for your feedback, Daniel. It is a good reminder that, while we should always strive for excellence in writing, pursuing excellence and pleasing academia are not the same thing! It is certainly legitimate to express feelings of”angst” and “darkness” in poetry– especially when overtaken by trials, tragedies, fears, disappointments, losses, etc. I have written a number of melancholy poems in difficult periods of my life. Nevertheless, it is true that, generally speaking, I find it hard to end a poem on a note of total despair; for it seems inherent to a Christian outlook to .look beyond present darkness to the hope of a brighter future, founded upon God´s promises.

  7. Martin Rizley

    Thank you, Shamik, for your kind feedback. It is so rewarding to me to know that you enjoyed the poems and felt your heart “warmed” by their messages.

  8. Yael

    Yes, what she said. Both these poems are a pleasure to read because they are honest and uplifting at the same time. Sunshine reminds me of a hymn or a gospel song.

  9. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Martin, these are two beautiful and heartwarming poems that shine in our dark age of melancholy. Like Yael, when I read ‘Sunshine’ it reminded me of an uplifting hymn. I can imagine it being sung as rays of gold pour through stained glass. It’s rhyme, rhythm, and message are wonderful.

    ‘A Kiss Across Time’ is my favorite. They’re words I’d like to give to my little granddaughter… words of wisdom that will keep the truth shining in harsh times to come. I fear for our future generations. This poem focuses on the reason not to fearful. Thank you very much indeed.

    • Martin Rizley

      As always, I so value your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to express your appreciation for my poems. Greetings to Mike, and blessings to both of you there in my home state of Texas, where I spent most of my growing years.

  10. Margaret Coats

    Clear and bright, Martin, in theme and meter and logic. The sustained but different approaches in the two poems suggest the inexhaustibility of sunlight, and though the star above may fail eons from now, the ultimate One you invoke will not. That too is stated with simple clarity. Brightening to read!

    • Martin Rizley

      Your comments are always so perceptive and thoughtful. They show you are an observant reader who sees to the heart of a poem, and this is so appreciated and reassuring. Thanks for your remarks.


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