May 1, 2015

Rachel Watson: Three Poems, “Dinah’s Dream”

I am a blogger at RachelEWatson.com, and writer of poetry, fiction, and essays; I draw inspiration from my formative years spent in rural mid-Michigan, my evangelical Christian upbringing, and my current life in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I live with my husband and two rowdy cats.

My nonfiction work has been published in Campus Voices: A Student-to-Student Guide to College Living, Feathers & Leaves 2009: A Publication of the Cornerstone University English Society, and The Greenville Daily News in Greenville, Michigan.





Dinah's Dream


When you were small,
your world was mostly
siblings and pets,
mom and pop.


Nothing in your mind’s eye
foretold a coming split,
a breaking spirit,
a wrongful touch.


You recall the rag dolls,   
the broken truck parts,
the empty sandbox,
but not a touch.


You remember threats,
fan silencing screams,
vivid waking dreams,
and loneliness.


But you block the very event
your body most grieves:
the day innocence died
after cartoons.


It’s as if your memory wrapped
itself in shields of Teflon
that searing late morn
so pain wouldn’t stick.


Years later, your body knows
but your mind does not,
so it has to be taught
to dig and release.


Like a cat from its carrier
now roaming the house,
your mind finally sees
and finally is free.




Sabbath 


God’s gift to us is a rope swing dangling over a deep, cool river on a weekend,
tempting us to tear off top layers and rush right into the sweet frothiness
his free-willed humans scooped out with hands chapped by six days.
Forgetting all talk of coal mines and factories, grocers and offices,
we swing madly, gladly into the whirlpool, arrested by light
and the rushing, gurgling current of a spring-fed runnel.
Paying no mind to an encroaching Monday we shout,
glad to be alive, that the water is fine, oh! so fine,
and it aches to embrace you, dearest friend.
So you grab the hemp cord, the lifeline,
launching you into the lap of divinity,
and you lay claim on gravity-faith,
letting go of your ties to six days
as you plunge into Sunday
with a smiling face.
This is rest, yes.
This is rest.




Strange Blood
 
I.


This cup full of strange blood,
spilling from my crown, my hands,
my feet and my heart,
is painted across thy lintel,
is poured over thine errors.


I look at thee with mild eyes,
lamb-like, and thou knowest
forthwith thy triad of denials,
the guilt that drains me,
the deeds for which I die.


II.


Thine eyes beheld my sorrow
from afar as I prayed for this
cup to pass, and allowed
that it would not, and affirmed
that I would bear the cross.


Having charged these drops
of strange blood into My Father’s
care, I grew calmer far than
the gale I once quelled while
thou stoodst by in fear and awe.


III.


They came to collect me,
thou drew out thy sword,
in vain battling pain and commotion
by the strength of thine arm.
“Put it away,” I commanded.


IV.


But now — now I am risen.
I have fought the darkness
and prevailed by the greater
power of My Father’s light.
The prince of evil has lost.


V.


See the place where they laid me?
The tomb is empty. I stand here
before thee with scars, my palms
wrapped tightly around this:
The key to my kingdom I hand thee.


Peter, thou art a lion, a rock
upon which my church shall be built.
Take this key, painted with my
strange blood, open the gates
of heaven, and let the war-weary in.

~Rachel Watson

6 comments:

  1. AnonymousMay 01, 2015

    I TOTALLY want to sing this. It's beautiful Rachel!
    Mary Dean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, my sis says she feels comfortable writing for sopranos. I have a work-in-progress chorus, too. So fingers crossed, the hymn adaptation of "Strange Blood" will become a reality! :)

      Delete
    2. I look forward to hearing the hymn adaptation!

      Delete
  2. Rachel, I LOVE the Sabbath poem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lindsey! So happy to hear that. Thanks for reading!

      Delete

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