Category Archives: Poetry

The Call on Our Lives

The Call on Our Lives

 

We stand on any mountaintop, binoculars pressed to our eyes,

Ears to the ground,

Seeing, hearing the groans of creation,

No longer able to fully avert disaster’s course.

Do you see the next generation? The next seven?

Who will be a voice for the Earth and the galaxies?

 

We stand in the gap between ignorance and relationship,

Between fear and bold love.

Who is willing to climb into another’s skin

And stay long enough

To be moved by empathy to action?

Who will be an advocate for justice?

 

We stand on the enormous tower of privilege:

Education, race, gender, and more.

Our task, our calling is to be watchful

Of our motives and posturing,

Of those with no privilege

And those who have toiled and clawed

For a place at the table and in the work force.

Who will release their grip on power for the sake of others?

 

We stand on one side of the great chasm of disparity:

The have or the have-nots,

We the people versus me the individual.

Who will cut past rhetoric and fallout?

Who will do more than shine a light on atrocities?

Who will lay their life down as a bridge over the divide?

 

Each moment we stand on the brink of choice,

Ruah’s breath hot on our necks,

Holy One’s mandate touching our hearts:

“Watch and listen;

Then be moved to Love”.

 

©June 28, 2016 Cynthia Langston Kirk

To use this or any writing by Cynthia Langston Kirk, please include the copyright and Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk’s full name in your bulletin and/or screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one-time worship or one-time retreat/small group, please contact Cynthia at calkirk@aol.com.

 

Love’s Journey

Love’s Journey

 

  • Watermarked and named beloved

Ancient touchstone raining grace

Sacred worth each person’s birthright

Wellspring blessing joy-filled days

 

Chorus

Stirred by hope to work for justice

Mercy’s care God’s constant call

Fueled by feast of rich communion

Larger tables, no more walls

 

  • Bring deep longing to the desert

Open hearts hear Holy voice

Let sweet silence be the teacher

Time for awe, time to rejoice

 

  • Spirit serenades the summons

Hospitality’s embrace

Loving all as Christ still loves us

Ev’ry gender, ev’ry race

 

 

©January 18, 2016 Cynthia Langston Kirk,

Poem can be sung to the tune of “Joyful, Joyful”

Poem written and banner created by Cynthia Langston Kirk (Piecing Stories) for Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata

To use this or any writing by Cynthia Langston Kirk, please include the copyright and Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk’s full name in your bulletin and/or screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one-time worship or one-time retreat/small group, please contact Cynthia at calkirk@aol.com.

IMG_7915 (3)

Who is Really Losing?

Who is Really Losing?

How easy it is to sit around the Christmas tree

Counting gifts and eyeballing whose boxes are largest.

How simple it is to look from a distance

Believing another person’s life is without bumps and bruises.

How effortlessly we convince ourselves that our gifts

Are not enough or, perhaps, are too much for us to handle.

We are afraid of trying, failing, losing –

Losing a nest egg, loosing face, losing it all

So we conceal the gifts that are our blessing.

Dig a hole, erect a wall, bury our heads and hearts

While the world is deprived of the difference we can make.

©November 5, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

To use this or any liturgy written by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: calkirk@aol.com 

 

In the Midst of It All – Joy

In the Midst of It All – Joy

 

Sometimes you move with saffron steps to the tune of the sunrise,

Dew-blessed beginnings, fresh starts

Like sharpened pencils in the Fall,

Uttering “I do” with your soul mate,

Unpacking in a new home.

Joy is within and around you

Like electricity

Energizing your gifts,

Arousing your gratitude.

 

You leap through lush fields,

Your verdant heart singing.

Exploring forests and fern,

Praying … with the rhythm … of the ocean,

Stunned repeatedly by stark deserts

Adorned with sunsets which captivate your soul;

Giving thanks for every piece of nature

That bathes you in joy.

 

Raging red of boiling emotions

Spews forth when you are

Dismissed, oppressed, cursed,

Or when such is done to loved ones.

Joy seems nowhere to be found.

Molten anger within your heart

Appears to have covered her for good.

Suddenly Joy’s ember emerges unscathed.

Even amidst the fury,

She is there.

 

Somber grey, subdued, dismal,

Suppressing all energy to be engaged,

Seeking to rob you of wisdom

Even as you claw toward the Light.

Whispering “you don’t matter”,

“All is hopeless”,

“You are forever lost”.

Joy sits with you,

Whispering Hope.

 

Grief knocks down the door

Filling every pore with indigo darkness.

Spilling over with endless tears

Until your eyes dry-heave agony.

If you had the energy to pull the covers over your head,

You would.

But loss brings paralysis

Depleting you of inspiration and drive.

Joy is there

In precious memories,

A friend’s silent presence,

Deep within you

Bidding you forward.

 

In the midst of life’s beauty and gore

Move with joy, move to joy,

Not just the shallow waters of happiness –

Things accumulated, positions gained,

But the core deep,

Hope-propelled, grace-filled

Foundation of Living Love.

Befriend joy,

Celebrating the fact that she dwells within each of us,

Inviting us to dance.

 

©October 8, 2014  Cynthia Langston Kirk

To use this or any liturgy written by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: calkirk@aol.com 

 

Come Closer

Come Closer

 

Do you smell the delicious fragrance of forgiveness

Emanating from my pores?

 

A thousand moons or more ago I awakened to the stench of bitterness,

No longer willing for another person’s actions

To imprison my soul.

I departed from that place called Poison

Where I feasted on anger, plotted revenge.

I prayed for the brokenness … both yours and mine.

I prayed for release and reconciliation.

 

Come closer – where nothing can stand between us.

Come closer – taste my tears of joy.

Discover Freedom.

 

©August 11, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

Based, in part, on Genesis 45:1 -15

 

To use this or any liturgy written by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: cynthia@piecingstories.com.

Miraculous Engagement

Miraculous Engagement

 

Open your heart to miracles.

Not rabbits in hats,

Scarves up a practiced sleeve,

Or a quarter from your ear,

But God’s transforming touch,

Amazing grace that surprises lives

Connecting people because of who they are

And in spite of who they are.

Spirit whose breath stirs us

Into beauty and compassion.

Open your heart to miracles

That manifest in 100,000 ways:

A memory-filled, fractured relationship – mended,

Unexpected smiling face at an open door,

Sharing that offers food enough for everyone.

No competition this.

No my miracle is better than yours

Or my encounter of the Holy outshines yours.

It is in the sharing of our daily lives

And the sharing of our experiences with the Divine

That love is multiplied,

Our lives enriched beyond price.

Take care, remembering that extravagant, often sacrificial sharing

Is nothing shy of miraculous.

 

©July 29, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

To use this or any liturgy written by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: cynthia@piecingstories.com

Kin_dom of God

Kin_dom of God

 

 

Leave your zigzag frenzy

Ransacking the gift of time in search of a quick fix,

Striving to decipher all that bombards our senses.

Yearning for monumental answers

That are permanent and impermeable,

Set aside naysaying dispatches

That play in continuous loop.

 

Be still.

Be quiet.

Hear the Holy One’s song,

Marvel at creation.

Listen to your heart.

Look deep within.

Discover the transforming speck of yeast

That expands an idea into loving action.

See of your soul, the pearl that is precious.

Behold that same yeast within our community and world.

Behold that same precious pearl within all.

Witness compassion no larger than a mustard seed

That becomes canopied grace.

©July 22, 2014   Cynthia Langston Kirk

Teach Us to Pray

Teach Us to Pray

 

Sometimes people believe they must teach children about all manners of the Holy –

Names for God, when to dance divine praise, how to pray and the likes.

Yes, there are concepts to teach and opportunities in which to invite,

But there is much to learn about spiritual matters from the young,

Even those we do not completely understand.

 

His language not completely his own invention

Hatful of words are as clear as a pane untouched by his adventurous hands:

Mama, Daddy, no, yah – verbal skills in process.

We wait … and listen,

Eager to understand this mono dimple-cheeked boy.

Phrases repeated oft in chant-like fashion

Sounding like a foreign, incomprehensible tongue,

But he knows, yet remains somehow unperturbed by us

And our slow-to-understand ears.

Vocabulary sprouts daily

Words linked for phrases, expanded to stories.

His joys are simple:

Strawberries, being chased, filling every room with laughter, his sister,

Family gathered ‘round the table to eat,

Loved ones holding hands before table grace,

Praying…. and praying …. and praying again.

Before-the-meal prayer offered by an older person,

But when the Spirit moves him

He cues diners to clasp hands again.

His face morphs to instant serene; his non-stop body holds still;

Only his lips move with hardly an audible sound projected.

He prays and those gathered are caught up, taught, inspired.

He prays for God-only-knows what –

Berries? World peace? People who love him? The child who bit him?

When he is finished – for the moment –

He concludes with his version of Amen and a delighted-with-the-world smile.

He prays and with less than two years on his life calendar

Does what many with theological degrees long to do

He leads people to God.

 

©Father’s Day (June 14) 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

 

 

Awaken Your Heart

Awaken Your Heart

 

What if your heart had eyes?

Would they live in a permanent squint

Seeking to block out every ray of hope and illumination?

Would you don sunglasses at all times

Intent on keeping the world dark

And yourself hidden?

Would they be scale-shackled

Viewing the world through distant hurts

Or through zeal bent on life your way?

Or would you walk this journey

Praying for eyes wide open

To see the pain of the world

And offer relief,

Witness the miracle of creation

And rejoice?

Awaken your heart to sure-footed Grace

Pulsing its rhythm throughout the universe.

Marvel that Radiance cannot be extinguished

No matter how bleak your soul’s song.

 

Oh, awaken your heart to sure-footed Grace

Be swept up in Love’s tender arms.

Know the comfort that only Hope brings

Come, dance to God’s sacred song.

 

©April 24, 2014 Refrains Cynthia Langston Kirk

©April 29, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

To use this or any liturgy written by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at: cynthia@piecingstories.com.

Including Cynthia’s (or any liturgist’s) name is giving appropriate credit just as a composer is named in a bulletin or any quoted author in a research paper. It also allows worshippers to read more of someone’s writing just as they might if a quote and author are mentioned during a sermon.

 

For the Door Through Which You Leave Your House

For the Door Through Which You Leave Your House ….. or a Worship Benediction

 

Go into the world in peace.

Be of bold courage.

Hold fast to hope.

Honor all creation.

Pray without ceasing

Return no one evil for evil or pain for pain.

Strengthen the weak, care for the sick

and set the oppressed free.

Speak the truth in love, even to yourself.

Listen deeply; live compassionately and joyfully.

Exude generosity and a welcoming heart.

Love and serve God, rejoicing in the movement of the Spirit.

©September 10, 2013 Cynthia Langston Kirk