WHAT LIVES ON

Oh the joy when he was born
great hope for him and so much more
they brought him home then school began
a graduate with summer plans

Special friends and selfie pics
family meals and relatives
parents always there for him
and dreams that never ever dimmed

College bound or working plans
some were buying wedding bands
a proud Marine for this young man
serving in Afghanistan

People there lived in despair
through warring years invaders shared
with ISIS-K its brutal hands
more violent than Taliban

Marines in final exit days
led pawns in hell to freedom planes
but plotting psychopaths would find
a fiery way for their demise

And then the news caught by surprise
a bombing blast by suicide
a mother’s joy a father’s pride
their son and twelve more
lost their lives

For twenty years this distant land
was breeding ground for battlements
a back and force of blame and loss
with soldiers blood the tragic cost

At home deep wounds and smoldering doubt
leaves war again to reason out
so is this conflict really done
or troubling storm in what lives on

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

CERULEAN SKIES

Fire and floods
crime and love
tomatoes summer sweet
war and storms
buds are formed
as old man winter leaves

Covid fears
Sports and cheer
cerulean autumn skies
no relief
thoughts of spring
it’s beauty rhapsodized

Seasons from
earth’s pirouette
that change throughout the year
reckoned by
distant sun
and measured atmosphere

Steel and flesh
ice and death
we see the best and worst
acts of God
evil spawn
of man and planet earth

Lovely things
pain and loss
the smile of morning light
gratefulness
tends the world
how great it’s grand design

fragile life
in the fray
of hurricanes and hate
mercy then
everywhere
let loving hearts pervade

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

WORK TO DO

Great strides in our technology
and human rights for us
have changed our lives in many ways
but have we changed that much

Seems we remain the ageless tale
of greed and love of self
midst poverty and pleasuring
with wealthy guarding wealth

there’re politicians promising
and church prescribing faith
but still remains the human core
that fawns our selfish ways

Change has never quickly come
but we hold hope it will
and fight for fairness in the world
yet poor live poorer still

Well there’s no entity on earth
with universal powers
that sure can offer all we need
and keep us safe from harm

Innovative industry
continues to improve
but our intentions for this world
have not gone quite as smooth

Still left to trust in laws and kings
this thought burns in me well
just how will mankind ever change
If I won’t change myself

Before I meet the world I want
and face the harsh milieu
my prayer begins at break of day
Lord I’ve got work to do

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

FREEDOM LAND

Mangy dog on a rusted chain
Bordertown, just another day
Burning sun and a dried up well
Thirsty man in a living hell

Busted prayers of a Judas faith
Swim around in a concrete haze
Sweat drippin’ off a leather face
When’s it gonna rain

Freedom Land, Freedom Land
Take me to the river
wash me clean again
Freedom Land, Freedom Land
Won’t you take me down to
Freedom Land

Killin’ time with the enemy
They cut me open just to watch me bleed
Chasing heaven like a gypsy king
But not hoping much for anything

Freedom Land, Freedom Land
Take me to the river
wash me clean again
Freedom Land, Freedom Land
Won’t you take me down to
Freedom Land

I got nothing keepin me alive
Tried everything I know to try
Sweet Jesus help me catch a ride
Over to the other side

Freedom Land, Freedom Land
Take me to the river
wash me clean again
Freedom Land, Freedom Land
Won’t you take me down to
Freedom Land

STARLING (Élégie pour Simone)

Oh starling fire
the wind is hers
each time she takes the stage
a world enthralled
views artist skill
with ballerina’s grace

Her floor routine
with grand jeté
is beauty to behold
thru vault and bars
or balance beam
her dominance unfolds

And once again
Olympic throngs
came back to see her shine
but starling sensed
a twistie mind
was fighting her this time

This precious bird
once foster child
abused in doctor’s care
could never know
the undertow
of damage nested there

Twas strength and will
that carried her
in every test throughout
but broken trust
kept creeping in
to feed the waves of doubt

so when she heard
the cheering crowd
this champion was torn
her teammates strong
her head in flames
her choice was stepping down

Some believe
she quit her team
no courage to be told
while others feel
the issues here
are deeper than we know

No matter where
opinion rests
let kindness rule debate
and try our best
to understand
when mental health’s at stake

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

ON THE DOCK

standing on a floating dock
lake water and the sky
a father with a fishing pole
and three years by his side

trees aligned along the shore
of earthen art and sand
buzzing skeeters gnats and bugs
and v-lined pelicans

little eyes experience
a world not seen before
another drop of human grain
that memory surely stores

though stunning as the landscape is
and nature’s loveliness
beauty’s greater power is found
her hand fast holding his

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

AS WATCHMEN FOR THE MORNING

In the hue and cry of day
and life’s impending peril
songs of joy aren’t always sung
nor every lark may carol

Yet Lord I muse upon Your name
far into evening watches
beneath Your wing as in my heart
Your Holy Spirit lodges

though night is the professor now
to stem a faithless storming
still does my soul wait on the Lord
as watchmen for the morning

and from on high the stars that shine
attract my eyes toward heaven
though darkness spans above the clouds
Your will my lone confession

then sweet the whispered nightingale
heard in the quiet sky
she softly sings her comforting
mid colors of the night

and like the Eastern Whippoorwill
with his incessant cry
God’s voice is constant trumpeting
the mercy of our Christ

SO MUCH MORE

Beneath fields festooned in red poppies and flags, our valiant guardians now lie here in state. Uniform headstones stand fit for review, in beauty the honor of nature’s salute. With reverent calm bugle nocturne now plays, sad twenty four notes this Memorial Day. I live in the irony that gratefulness warms, for the grace I’ve been given, midst the sorrow of war

Dear Lord,

Help me understand what this means… I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me…but we’re tethered somehow…in the memory of their great sacrifice… and that is is so much more than just another vacation day please help me try to comprehend
all they faced in battle
and in the fallout of the afterwards
Amen

NO LITTLE THING

faire Cynthian moon
perched on the night
backlit in beams beyond
lone nightjar flies across the sky
soft canvas stretched above

the simple beauty of the earth
is everywhere to see
and when I look
it’s then i find
God does no little thing

a nod begets encouragement
a word becomes a poem
and soon one seed will feed the world
as drops to rain unfold

God wakens me another day
to morning’s mourning dove
and for each small step that I take
He gives me just enough

but there are days of wondering
and for a little while
i feel more like a speck of dust
but quickly reconcile

for when i understand the power
in worship of the King
there is no doubt in me at all
God does no little thing

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

CREATOR OF CREATION

(Verse)
As we behold fair rainbow span
our thoughts Lord turn to You
Your watercolors paint the sky
in captivating hues

You charge the phantom clouds to wing
the snow like birds to fly
and from the deep your thundered voice
calls boiling rock to rise

(Chorus)
Creator of creation
what wonders you have made
yet may our eyes more fix on you
than all that you create
to know your hallowed nature
and see your endless power
then marvel as we worship you
in this and every hour

(Verse)
When mountain growth is scorched by heat
or flowering fields by flame
Your dripping clouds and scattered dew
restore the earth again

The universe complexities
are beautiful and fierce
they evidence our frailty
Your providence made clear

(Chorus)
Creator of creation
what wonders you have made
yet may our eyes more fix on you
than all that you create
to know your hallowed nature
and see your endless power
then marvel as we worship you
in this and every hour

Amber R. Maxwell
Greg Nelson

Poppie’s Hallel/AmberMaxwell Music/ BMI (admin by Amplified Administration). All rights reserved. Used by permission.