February 9: “Conquered” by Dorothy Day

Out of the light that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole,
I thank the God I know to be,
For Christ–the Conqueror of my soul.

Since His the sway of circumstance,
I would not wince nor cry aloud.
Under the rule which men call chance,
My head, with joy, is humbly bowed.

Beyond this place of sin and tears,
That Life with Him and His the Aid,
That, spite the menace of the years,
Keeps, and will keep me unafraid.

I have no fear though straight the gate:
He cleared from punishment the scroll.
Christ is the Master of my fate!
Christ is the Captain of my soul!

 

February 8: “Sestina: Blood Covenants,” a poem by Day Williams

 

Sestina: Blood Covenants

To make a wife for Adam, God spilled blood
By taking Adam’s rib, and Eden’s peace
Was sweet until they broke the law of God,
Who promised through another covenant
A seed to crush the serpent’s head. By faith
They left, the cherubim a flaming sign.

Adam Eve Cranach Elder

After the Flood, the rainbow was a sign.
God said to man, “Don’t eat your meat with blood
In it and do not kill,” so man by faith
In the Lord God Almighty would have peace
With Him and blessings in this covenant
Where Noah intervened for man with God.

Noah rainbow thank offering

Years later, Abraham was tried by God
Through sacrifice of Isaac as the sign
Of faith, the center of this covenant
In which in Isaac’s place a ram shed blood
As God commanded. Abraham gained peace
And blessings, for he showed unyielding faith.

After the plagues fell, Moses by his faith
Led the Israelites from Egypt, then God
Provided Ten Commandments that give peace
When followed, with the Sabbath Day a sign.
The Levites sacrificed the bulls, whose blood
Was confirmation of this covenant,

For blood must spill before a covenant
Will work. The Israelites, of faulty faith,
Failed to follow Mosaic law, and blood
Of bulls did not atone for sins. So God
Made David’s throne eternal, and the sign
Was the sun and the moon. Man failed, and peace

And land were lost to Roman rulers’ “peace.”
Now Israel had failed each covenant,
So God in grace and mercy gave a sign:
The virgin was with child. Not works, but faith
In Him would save a man, He taught, and God
Offered eternal life through Jesus’ blood.

I have sweet peace through Jesus Christ’s shed blood,
For man has a new covenant with God,

Dove Holy Spirit

The  Holy Spirit as the sign of faith.

~Day Williams, from Virginia Street and Other Poems

***

Day Williams reads his poem, “Sestina: Blood Covenants”

Aurora Nevada Crucifixion

A sestina (Old Occitan: cledisat [klediˈzat]; also known as sestine, sextine, sextain) is a fixed verse form consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, normally followed by a three-line envoi. The words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas, rotated in a set pattern.

The invention of the form is usually attributed to 12th-century troubadour Arnaut Daniel; after spreading to continental Europe, it first appeared in English in 1579, though sestinas were rarely written in Britain until the end of the 19th century. It remains a popular poetic form, and many continue to be written by contemporary poets.

~Wikipedia

***

 

The Holy Ghost

Gives Christians verve,

While Christ gives love;

The Father, nerve.

~Day

February 2: “How Sweet It Is” by Day Williams

HOW SWEET IT IS

 

With feet of clay and hearts of lies

Men sally forth to seize the skies;

With broken legs and broken hearts

They hobble back, their dreams apart.

 

Without a thought to future men

They play their cards and practice Zen;

They tell their jokes and trade their lies,

While in each man his spirit dies.

 

Ignoring God while all is gain,

They look to Him in times of pain;

And when the LORD relieves their hurt,

They pack their bags and they desert.

 

They never know how much He cares,

They never know the dream’s still there;

They never know how sweet it is

To die each day, to be all His.

~Day Williams

January 29: “Name Above All Names”

NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES

 

Deliverer, Immortal, Diadem,

The Sacrifice, the Heir of Everything,

The Chosen One, the Everlasting King,

Messiah, Ruler of Jerusalem,

 

The Light, the Advocate for those accused,

The Seed of Abraham, Child, Merciful,

Creator, First Begotten, Wonderful,

Good Shepherd, Faithful Witness, Stone Refused,

 

The Mediator, I AM WHO I AM,

The Life, the Priest, the Rock, Emmanuel,

Beloved, Prince of Peace, the King of Israel,

Propitiation, Gift of God, the Lamb,

 

Foundation, the Beginning and the End,

The Bread of Life, my Savior and my Friend.

~Day Williams