WHERE CAN THEY GO

On watching the evacuation of Ukrainian women and children.

Through the trepidous rumble
of Ukrainian rails
there are train cars loaded with passengers fleeing a merciless war
and their reddened eyes
and vacuous stare
say it all
where can they go

a little girl asks her mama
where are my friends
but there is no answer
for the truth is horrific
her mother is frightened
alone on this journey
afraid for her husband who has stayed home to fight
her head on the window
her tears In profusion
she prays for the child who rests on her lap

back in the city centuries old buildings burn through the night
the stench of death is in the air and hell lights up the sky
explosions then sirens
a baby cries
where can they go

another bomb blast
and in the charred debris
an old man is bleeding
he calls out for help
but nobody comes
and his life disappears
there are thousands like him
but one is too many

the citizen throng of the invading force who didn’t want war
now face the world’s wrath
but they’re just more victims of this diabolical rogue
isolated in their homeland
where can they go

the schemes of this madman ring as in a war before
you remember the certainty
this could never happen again

yet it has
or so it seems

but hope is creeping in
the adversary’s strength has been overestimated
the tyrant image
is not precise reality
the wizard of oz is once more exposed
nations have rallied
more emboldened

but no matter
here the dead are no less dead
the maimed are maimed
what’s done is done
even with the nation being laid to rubble
the tiger’s still hungry
there is want for more no matter the cost of innocents
how much more no one knows
but the most violent of all threats
not only to the Ukraine
but to the planet
is the cloud of Hiroshima

so where can they go

A Poem by Greg Nelson
© 2021 by Poppie’s Hallel
(BMI. Admin. by Amplified Administration)

SUSIE

I love tickling her arms like our mother did for us when we were young
giving her foot rubs with slightly scented lotion that I warm in my hands
looking into her precious eyes
remembering happy memories of growing up together with our big brother

she’s tired now
and I want to be near

her journey
one of struggle and great success
the difficult and the idyllic
like kintsugi pottery
her broken pieces have been made stronger with gold from the Refiner’s fire

the beautiful colors of her life are a rainbow span of extraordinary gifts in a mist of mercy and human caring
each of her friends bring their own special hue

but now as it always has been
there is no rewind
for soon she’s off to better things
the world keeps turning
I watch her sleeping
my heart is aching
I love my little sister

INVISIBLE

What a sweet old man
such a kindly lady
that’s so sad
we sometimes think those things when referring to the elder infirmed
while we enjoy unrestrained mobility
their world is changing
their freedom fading

these history makers look out their window and remember what they once dreamed
what they once accomplished
what they once experienced

yet now the hours turn slowly
life’s not the same
food doesn’t taste like it use to
laying down at night is a lonesome moment
living even more

familiar faces fall victim to the actuarial tables
memory wanes
redundant questions imply a creeping debility
waiting marks their days
despite our best intentions
they wait
always waiting
waiting for meals
waiting for visitors
waiting for calls

simple tasks become increasingly difficult and frustrating
privileges like driving a car are taken from them. transitioning
existing more as a changeling

they want to tell the doctor how they feel
but they don’t hear well and the conversation is difficult
it’s perplexing to be in the same room and hear their children speak for them in absentia

They have long since given up engaging in group conversation
or any conversation for that matter
there is an angst in their psyche that we can’t fully grasp
for slowly
they are disappearing
but for family
caring friends
or the music of a child’s voice

Invisible

A poem by Greg Nelson
© 2022 by Poppie’s Hallel
(BMI. Admin. by Amplified Administration)

IN WAYS WE LEAST EXPECT

My dear friend, Julia Tanner posted this picture today. It had great meaning to me, lifting my spirit in what has been a more lachrymose season just now. It got me past myself.

IN WAYS WE LEAST EXPECT

mid dead branch of weeping limbs
and earthen dampened brush
warming sun
peers in the soul
of natures loveliness
regardless be the wildland smudge
or trees with wounds beset
its light still finds the beauty seen
in ways we least expect

A poem by Greg Nelson
© 2022 by Poppie’s Hallel
(BMI. Admin. by Amplified Administration)

IT’S THE QUIET ONES

IT’S THE QUIET ONES
(About Florrie Anne Lawton)

Some people become presidents
influential business leaders
or wealthy entrepreneurs
the important people

she worked in the church nursery
for decades
outside of those walls
members of the rest of this world would know little of her

she didn’t look like a minister
with robes and the like
but when babies were dedicated on a Sunday morning
she would carry them
nestled in her arms
as if holding rare treasure
for they were to her
just that

always a lovely smile
so delighted to present these newborns
facing the congregation
so everyone could see

it was the smile of an angel
a servant
quiet
so beautifully genteel
and without pretense
or bombast
just simple devotion
to to her little ones

she’d sing to the babies
each one
her soft voice so sweetly


love permeated that nurser. it was a thing of heartwarming beauty and heavenly consequrnce

she followed their lives
even after leaving her care
they mattered
for they were her sacred charge her Kingdom work

You may not know her
but the babies do

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.’

THE BEST LIFE CAN BRING

there’s no better wonder

than the love of a pet

and the heartwarming comfort

as they nuzzle your neck

 

they live to be near you

right there on your lap

or lying  beside you

when you’re taking a nap

 

hamsters and rabbits

canaries or fish

Orpington chickens

and pot bellied pigs

 

they’re teachers and healers

listeners and friends

except for a parrot

not a word ever said

 

as you eat at the table

a vacuum wags  there

to clean up the pieces

and crumbs by your chair

 

puppy breath moments

so playfully young

or the lick of a kitten

with their sand paper tongue

 

proud geldings and stallions

show the joy that they feel

with a romp and a kick

on their green pleasured fields

 

a balm for depression

the doctor is in

for these faithful companions

are the  best medicine

 

its a loss in the family

on the day that they die

and a feeling of  sadness

that no words can describe

 

protectors and guardians

for paupers and kings

reminders to us

of the best life can bring

 

A poem by Greg Nelson

© 2021 by Poppie’s Hallel

(BMI. Admin. by Amplified Administration)

TIME UNDONE

It’s the moment I’ve always imagined was a little ways off

But with a long life
and falling through more and more branches of the wellness tree
I can see that it’s not as far off as I once imagined

We’ve all lost family
close friends
and people we’ve admired throughout the panorama of our lives

Yet when I hear the news
it always seems too soon
and I’m surprised
but then again
not really
they were my age
maybe younger

But somehow we cope
If ever so differently
and we get through it
the mourning
the farewell
and the what happens after part

With each mortal absence
I find myself contemplating life
then unpacking the question
What’s it all about

And with that come these meaningful nuggets

That time is undone as quick as a wink
and vanity’s fire
that too

That it is far better to posses the grace of the poor
than face the imprisonment of great riches

That the harvest of life on this earth will stem only from the seeds of love I have planted

Everyone of us has their turn
to saddle up with the rider of that pale horse
So with great deference to my friends and respect for there views
this is my personal submission

whatever is left for me of this life
I shall desire to keep losing myself in the faithful arms of an unfathomable God
and if that sovereign belief be foolish to some
would that I suffer the mercy of fools

A poem by Greg Nelson
© 2022 by Poppie’s Hallel
(BMI. Admin. by Amplified Administration)

SIMPLICITY

Cluttered lives and lengthy prayers
busy noisy streets
Then mid the scream to realize
I want simplicity
a loving smile with tender touch
a tear from what I’ve read
the beauty of a new day dawn
or watch a sun that sets

To seek essential facts of life
that teach us simple truths
we need escape the raucous roar
in woods of solitude
with this Thoreau came reckoning
and anchored hope in him
that he not find before he died
he had not truly lived

Our mortal spooling can’t recoil
the silence that we miss
if failed to poke a wooded fire
we lose what life can give
the footprints of a baby’s feet
and lockets of their hair
the best of memories that we keep
or cares of heart we share

Better than the grandeur be
and better too than gold
these simple pleasures ever here
stand ready to unfold
the unseen work of rich or poor
as servants who invest
find mercy renders so much more
for both are doubly blessed

A sovereign God who tends to us
and gifts the air we breathe
lends water if we care for it
enough is all we need
a nesting bird a morning walk
the sky and stars at night
so much to take for granted here
these simple things of life

A poem by Greg Nelson
© 2021 by Poppie’s Hallel BMI (Admin. by Amplified Administration)

THE THINGS WE SAY

I heard this quote the other day. “The world goes through so much left unspoken.” I thought about it and imagined things not spoken that should have been…like beautiful, healing words of love, graciousness, encouragement, forgiveness and even regret. It all had such a poetic sense to it, but what did it mean?

Well I asked myself that question, and came to this hard truth about why I go into stealth mode instead of speaking. I found it mostly centered around anger, confusion, stubbornness, fear, inconvenience, personal hurt or sometimes, just being unkind. 

But that said, there are other reasons for leaving things unvoiced. I begin by saying, the truth be known, I revere my opinion way too much. I’m quick to share it, and often times without a lot of foresight or facts. I have a reactionary gene in me, and prone to spout off, sometimes as awkwardly as Adolf Hitler leading a sensitivity training seminar. It’s in those moments I need someone to put me out to pasture so I can regroup and get ahold of myself.

Part of the problem is my deep seeded need to be right when making a point. And for some nonsensical reason, I think that redundancy and volume make my point more true. One of my beautiful writing partners, Phill McHugh, said this once about a person who was waxing eloquent, full of themselves and their viewpoint. “That guy is sure treating greatness with undue familiarity! We both had a laugh. Yet so so many times throughout the years, I’ve realized, that I’m the one of whom he spoke.

I’m discovering that instead of thinking about what I’m going to say next in a conversation, it’s much better to cease my ongoing babblement and quiet my trumpeting so I can actually listen to what others are saying, and not feel requisite to fill the silence.