seeing: thoughts on art, life and poetry

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It is said that seeing is believing. But what if those things we’re seeing are obscured somehow? Can we trust our eyes? Or do we require an inner knowing, a new perspective to override our senses?

The image above is my attempt to take something prosaic and make a new form of it. Would you believe that hidden beneath the vivid colours are some faded sweetpea flowers, a wire fence and a recycling bin? Yes, really.

We’re all artists at heart, creatives to the core. Because how could we not be when our Creator God made us that way, to reflect His ability to take, shape, mould and make something from nothing?

Though sometimes we don’t consider ourselves as such. But with the right type of media that suits us, a hefty dose of courage, encouragement, faith, patience, persistence and perseverance we can all discover just how to be our uniquely creative selves.

And even if that is restricted to our own pleasure in the process, it’s absolutely fine. I happen to love messing about with photographs and creating word art. If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you are treated/subjected to my imperfect attempts in those areas!

We have a choice to share or not to share, to tear up and try again if need be. We also have a choice on who gets to view our work and if we feel able to cope with a degree of public scrutiny.

With today’s #magneticmonday magnetic poetry offerings, I hope your seeing will be more than simply absorbing the words as they come. I trust the creative spirit in you will find some resonance with the poetic storyteller in me. There’s no pressure, because like all works of art, there is no single way of interpreting them. Let’s compare notes when you get to the end, yes?

A swim of light

You ask why these pictures

lie and have languid,

lazy, elaborate lives

Watch through blue fingers

as the urge is all

You never cry time 

on sweet sleep symphony

and summer forest trudging,

as those red bared rose

petals crush luscious as honey

and a swim of light shows

©joylenton2017

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Our shady peace

Gentle winter-wet breeze

and dark moistened air

cycle soft above pure

love’s moon, and wild

grass grows like a sweet

blanket between lonely tree

Behold, earth is our shady

peace, as we relax beneath

and feel more alive here

©joylenton2017

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I love how photo editing apps can make such a difference  with their ability to completely alter an image into a new work of art.  Here’s a selection of some of the best editing apps for i-phones and these are great with an android device. I use picmonkey and canva to help me create blog post images. You probably know of more inspiring apps and editing sites to explore.

How do you express your creativity best? What apps do you use to aid your artistic ability?  I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Being sustained at the table

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Advent is a season to deliberately look for and lean toward the light of God’s presence.

We hunger for hope, run hard after His wild mercy and grace.

Long for freedom from our pain, guilt and shame.

Seek sustenance for our dry, thirsty souls.

Scripture gives us promises that the weak and weary will be refuelled and restored at God’s table of grace.

So we come because invitation has been given to feast with Him here and in greater abundance in heaven.

Won’t you join me at the table? I’ve saved a seat for you. There’s always room for more.

Come taste the wine of His presence and eat the Bread which gives sustenance and life to us.

“But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food” ~ Job 36:15-16

This table..

Here lies hospitality beyond

all knowing, an open table

stretching to infinity

which still keeps growing

A warm welcome here for all

who live in Love’s thrall and spend

their lives devoted to the Friend

who laid down His life for them

Yet here in the very midst

of mess, trouble and strife

we find this table groaning

heavy, brimful with Life

In the presence of our enemies

this table speaks of bounty

deep, laden with grace for the

able, wounded and weak

And even as we eat and drink

to sustain our weary souls,

we will always rise replete,

satiated, filled and whole

This table sits within dark

wilderness, shining bright

with Light’s heavenly splendour

inviting us to taste largesse

©JoyLenton2015

hospitality table FMF PJ

“You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” ~ Psalm 23:5-6

I’m joining fellow thankful table-dwellers over at Kate Motaung’s site today as we feast on the word ‘table’ , chew it over in five minutes flat and pour out our soul offerings. The poem above is my contribution to the rich fare being served there. Come join us?

Where we see holes

holes ~ tankaHow do you see your life?

Maybe, like mine, it’s full of holes.

Areas of unfulfilled plans, uncertainty, pain and turmoil sit side by side with love, laughter and joy from above.

And those messed up places look like empty, wasted spaces in what could be a full and flourishing patch.

Garden grown crazy, weed-ridden. Can’t see the wood for the trees.

Only.. Light has a way of seeping through, turning fallowed into hallowed ground.

Bringing beauty out of ashes. Joy from despair.

Grace-occupied space is never wasted.

Here lies hope, potential, holy ground.

New life to come from the old.

A making way for growth and harvest in due time.

Let’s see it and believe it. Trust our days and ways to God.

Look for colour and brightness in the darkest of spaces.

See its fronds filtering through. Realise there is purpose in the midst of pain. New life is springing forth.

Promise poking through those holey places, held fast by the glue of His grace.

Bringing transformation, change and healing.

holes ~ tanka poem pin 2

 

Vibrancy

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Within the darkest recess of soil life stirs.

It cannot be held back for ever.

There is seed bursting forth. New growth appears. Fruit will come.

Arid, dry desert places give way to lush green, verdant growth.

In the Winter of our souls,  entombed hearts awaken to Life. Resurrection. Gasp of freedom.

Sense hope rising and faith stirring.

Vibrancy in the air; pulsation of purpose.

An awakening.

Call to rise up.

A new season has begun.

Yesterday’s mistakes, pain and problems can be laid aside, cast at the Saviour’s feet.

Grace calls us forward, upward and onward. Readies us for change.

The old is left behind as we welcome and embrace this day, this moment, this gift of new beginnings.

Gratitude grows strong in hearts ready to receive God’s best.

geranium leaf ~ vibrancy tanka poem pin 2

 

Full circle

When life is painful and challenging, we are apt to forget its higher meaning and purpose.

Feel weighed down by the heaviness of our situations.

Our existence is intended to be rich and meaningful.

We are born to be in relationship with God, to love Him and love others as we live out our calling.

Each day of life is gift and grace. Each breath a miracle all its own.

A life can be summed up in three parts, with so much left unsaid ~ we are born; we live; we die.

Our lives lived in the dash twixt birth and death. In-between lies the fullness, colour, shades, variety of our days and ways.

Known intimately by the Author of Life Himself, shaped by His loving hands, made for His eternal purposes.

” Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you. The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” ~ Psalm 139:16 The Message

We face a daily battle to escape darkness and an invitation to embrace Light.

Our choice is to make our days count ~ from now into eternity.

Live purposefully. Live well. Live like we could face God any moment.

Sharing 3 haiku today which symbolise the full circle of our existence.

birth haiku image pin

Life haiku image pin

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Finding freedom

Living within the constraints of chronic illness, or other limitations, needn’t mean living a limited life.

We may have to be more creative in the ways we seek soul sustenance.

Have support and input from others, perhaps.

Imagination and insight play their part.

Freedom can be found in unexpected ways and places.

I am discovering how my mind and spirit can roam free even if my body cannot.

And how feeling chained is a state of mind.

Being captive to circumstances is a choice.

Being free is another.

‘Freedom’

I’m blue-sky

thinking,

dreaming, drifting,

white-clouded

pillow-sinking

A vast horizon

hones into view ~

inviting, enticing,

warmly beckoning

to me and to you

Feel the sand yield

beneath your feet,

salt-tangled breeze,

melting mists that

waft and greet

Wet pavements glistening

in the sun,

as we shuffle,

amble, or break

into a run

Noisy clamour of

a city-busy throng,

elbowing, thrusting

through crowds

to where we belong

Stinging crystalline snowflakes

bite our faces,

reshaping the familiar

into landscapes

of inaccessible places

Even when confined

to bed or chair,

my unfettered mind

is free

to roam anywhere

All it takes

is a pause, glimpse, a look,

with time to reflect ~

on the words and images

contained in a book.

©JoyLenton2012

freedom poem pin

**NOTE** As you can see, this is one of my ‘here’s one I made earlier’ poems for such a time as this. It originally appeared on this post on my blog, ‘Words of Joy’, where I spoke about adjusting to loss, and the freedom we can have in Christ.

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Tanka Tuesday

National Poetry month 2014 image

 

Poetry speaks soul to soul.

Creating a spark of recognition in the reader.

It ignites and inspires.

Firing off thoughts to share.

In celebration of April being ‘National Poetry Month’ I aim to post extra poetic offerings over the next few weeks.

I cannot promise a daily dose because my fluctuating health won’t allow for that.

However, I will do my best to put out smaller snippets a little more regularly as God gives me inspiration and strength.

They will be based on observations of life, loss, love and faith ~ with  a stronger emphasis on life in this season where it is burgeoning all around us.

Today’s snippet (like subsequent Tuesdays ahead, hopefully), is a tanka poem using a 4-6-4-7-6 syllable pattern.

Enjoy!

cascade of water ~ overflow tanka poem pin