Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 34

Mom gave the husband a book of poetry for his birthday. Written by her friend Barbara Henry Taylor, I have been enjoying the book also. The husband keeps a stack of books on his dresser that he is endlessly in the midst of. Tolstoy, random poetry, Flannery O’Connor, Steinbeck, obscure christian mystics. He has recently added Salinger to the growing pile. He reads and re-reads books until he has gleaned as much as he can for that year, setting them aside to read yet again next year.

Me? I read books Once. Memoirs, vampire novels, crazy science fiction, the occasional good for me book, and food books. We keep each other balanced this way. At least that’s how I reason it…

This poem spoke directly to how my heart has been leaning lately. I want to be satisfied and content. I want to be happy, I want to stop longing for what I don’t have. Instead I want to focus on the wonders that are my life right now. No reason to yearn for more, I have Christ. But sometimes it is difficult, isn’t it, to make your heart want what you know it should.

In Light of the 23rd
Barbara Henry Taylor

O, Lord, I want not
to want for anything,
Because You are my Shepherd.
I want to lie down
in green pastures —
not casting wistful glances
across the fence.

I want to drink
from still waters —
not desiring
rushing streams.
I want my soul to be restored —
and not languish
in emotional quagmire.

I want to walk in
paths of righteousness —
because I bear Your Name.

I am willing to walk
through the valley
of the shadow —
because You never
leave me nor forsake me.
The comfort of
Your rod and staff endures.

My enemies…
who are they?
Loneliness.
Self-pity.
Longing for affection
not assigned to me.
I will feast on the banquet
You have prepared for me
in their midst.
And glory in Your
faithful, steadfast provision.

Your anointing with
the oil of gladness
shall be my portion.
From the overflow of my cup
others shall receive
refreshment.

I shall be well aware of
Your Goodness and Mercy
as they follow me
all the way Home.

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