storytelling: haiku, time and tides of life laced with grace



Let me tell you a story. It’s as short as can be, though it encapsulates life, time and eternity, encounter and surrender to a higher Power—no less than God Himself.

It’s a story of how we seek to define our days and soon discover we are a slave to them, a slave to time itself and to our plans and ideas.

Then we cannot help but compare and contrast our efforts with those of others, see our flaws, faults and failings, even as we admire their seeming mastery of things, their coherence compared to our stumbling efforts to speak.

As a poet, I’d like my words to flow well but sometimes they just find a rhythm of their own. A cadence. A voice. A way to break free of the straight-jacket I often want to constrain them in. Like this week’s prompt from #RonovanWrites which I had three thoughts about.

In thinking about ‘Flow&Tear’ I soon saw how each haiku followed sequentially from one another, eager to speak as a haiku vignette story rather than three separate solo acts. Though I offer them to you individually, because that’s how they first came to me and how poetry often speaks best—one small, singular offering at a time.

Tear up the plans

Let’s tear up the plans

set a watch over our hearts

Life flows in God’s hands




Comparison steals

Comparison steals

our joy—stilled by silent fear

the flow slows, halts, tears




A fast flowing river

Grace wipes away fears

It’s a fast flowing river

running like my tears



12 thoughts on “storytelling: haiku, time and tides of life laced with grace

  1. Dear Joy, I love how these three Haiku indeed “flow” together, even as the word prompt itself is further enlarged by your journey of words. I am struck so much by the thought that to “set a watch over my heart” does indeed involve that tearing up of my plans, in order to come to that place of realizing that the true Life flowing from God is His own river of Grace. I am stopped in my tracks of looking outward, where the comparison steals my joy that God would want to give me. Thank you for sharing these precious words today, my friend. xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, I love how you see and sense more than is written, enlarging on the meaning between these concise words and delving deeper into them all, especially this: ‘I am struck so much by the thought that to “set a watch over my heart” does indeed involve that tearing up of my plans, in order to come to that place of realizing that the true Life flowing from God is His own river of Grace.’ Amen, my friend! Your keen poetic eye and understanding are precious gifts indeed. xoxo

  2. I love all three of these haikus, Joy. I can so identify with each of them. I struggle so much with comparison, and it’s so true what a thief it is. Thank God for His grace that flows so freely! Love and hugs!

    • Thank you, Trudy! Your appreciation of these haiku tells me I must have hit a nerve somewhere. Comparison is such a sneaky thing, creeping up on us when we least expect it. Admiration for someone’s work can quickly turn to feelings of insecurity and inferiority, even though God has an individual plan for us that is a beautiful fit for our talents and the way He desires to use them. Yes, our lives would be greatly diminished without God’s grace! It enables us to grow into all He intends us to be, no less important, cherished or vital than anyone else, full of worth and value in His eyes. Seeing ourselves in that way can be challenging at times, can’t it? Blessings, love and hugs! xox

  3. Joy, you have outdone yourself this time! All such beautiful haiku that flow together so well. I especially love the last one. Those fast flowing tears could also be tears of joy as we realize the vastness of His grace that continually flows over us. Blessings to you dear poet/sister/friend! xoxo

    • Gayl, you are very kind, thank you! And how perceptive of you to grasp the deeper reason for tears running like a river. That was certainly the case for me when I first encountered God’s amazing grace. It has never lost its power to awe me. I’m hoping your visit here is an indication of an improvement in your health? You are in my thoughts and prayers. May full recovery come swiftly so that you can cuddle your new grandbaby! Blessings and hugs to you, dear poet/sister/friend. xoxo

      • Yes, Joy, I am feeling much better today. Hopefully I’ll see her next week! 🙂 Thank you so much for your prayers! Love and hugs! xoxo

      • Oh that is good news, praise God! May you continue to be healed and strengthened in the days ahead. Your motivation to get better is undoubtedly very strong! Sending healing prayers and hugs to you, Gayl. xoxo

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