April 30 Poem: Apologia of the Poet

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

If words have power, and more the better arranged,
When chosen well, that men and women be changed,
Than this no better motive can we cite,
For precious hours and toil engaged to write.

To each a gift has God in wisdom given,
That we by grace might feel ourselves driven
To put to use for him, as best we can,
For greater glory of God and life of man.

‘Tis not a choice, divine constraint we feel —
To bury his gracious gift, would be to steal;
Our greatest need, to hear his warm applause,
For using this single talent for his cause.

Leave us our modest art, not five or ten;
The Master comes, and we have lines to pen.

April 29 Poem: Another Royal Pair Have Wed

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Another royal pair have wed,
We wish them happiness;
For every test and trial ahead,
May God give strength and bless.

The rules apply, to high and low,
For daily married bliss,
Let love be true, not pomp and show,
Forgive the word amiss.

Every jewel has its worth,
And every joy its price,
For love at home, the wealth of earth,
The whole would not suffice.

April 28 Poem: Between Two Pillars

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Between two pillars, shamed and shorn,
In the hall of pagans, bereft of powers,
Betrayed by passion, trapped in treachery,
Stood Samson chained, by enemies chastened.

The hand of God upon him gone,
Divine strength had left him stranded,
Now weak in body as well as his will,
The butt of jokes, this blind judge.

Suspended in silence at festal sounds,
The blind gains sight and understands,
He’d played the fool, and hard he fell;
For God’s kingdom his gift had been given.

A final request: to make men quail
Before the almighty hand that moved,
In Samson’s locks, for Israel’s liberty;
A final push destroyed the pagans.

April 27 Poem: Paul in Chains

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

In chains he stood before both rulers and kings,
Two years in prison for not a single crime,
While not a day was wasted in the wings,
He knew the Lord would free him in his time.

He spoke, “I’ve had God’s help down to today,
As I proclaim his grace to great and small;
What I proclaim, did not Moses say,
That Christ must suffer and rise from death,” said Paul.

The apostle, sure of God, harbored no doubt,
Never thought that heaven’s promise was breached,
Never whined, nor bargained to be let out.
What did he do those years in prison? He preached!

April 26 Poem: The Trinity of Verse

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Our God’s above the storms,
Behind the fire that warms,
Beyond the deepest doubt,
In all his church, throughout.

The Spirit lives within,
To conquer selfish sin,
Remaking God’s imprint,
And break the hardest flint.

The Lord who made his tent
Among mankind was sent
To save and, saving, send
To preach until the end.

April 24 Poem: Repeaters

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Repeat yourself to a child,
To the hard of hearing, and dull,
But not to me, who’s riled
You think I’m thick of skull.

I hate to say it twice,
What I have said before;
Repeating is a vice,
Repeaters are a bore.

In case you miss the cues,
My words beyond your ken;
I won’t repeat, I refuse!
There! I’ve said it again.

April 23 Poem: The Greatest Good

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

Some people wish upon a star,
I hope upon a cross;
They measure gain by who they are,
My profit comes by loss.

Some live to do to others no harm,
But not do what they could;
I live, by God’s almighty arm,
To do the greatest good.

And what, you ask, a good so great
Like this could ever be?
To bear a soul to Heaven’s gate,
For all eternity.

April 22 Poem: A Bath, a Bed, a Loaf of Bread

bread and tea for meby J. Randal Matheny © 2011

A bath, a bed, a loaf of bread,
A cup of hot, black tea,
A place to write, with plenty of light,
Are pleasures enough for me.

A song, a prayer, for heaven’s care,
The Word to banish doubt,
The Lord to lead, the gospel seed,
These I can’t do without.

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April 21 Poem: List Three Things You Have No Patience For

by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

From a question posed
to spur a blogger’s thoughts

Three things I can’t abide?
A list too short to rant
About, my hands are tied,
So short a list I can’t.

God himself got seven
To list what angels deplore;
If he told six from heaven,
I ought to get more.

But here are three for you:
A tongue-tied foreigner,
A granny’s old tattoo,
And poets stuck in a corner.