In nature’s season of pomp and fanfares
Her swollen creeks and answered prayers
Rejoicing in all of love’s fed fountain
The warming ices cascade down the mountain
Singing over every pebble they pass Read More
In nature’s season of pomp and fanfares
[This is a continuation from Deep I]
Poverty and sorrow my allocation
I became a proverb unto the nation
Adorned in sackcloth, I am set afar off
From those who care not for salvation
But you know I am neither deaf nor dumb
Having been my trust and all life’s sum
Forsake me not, give strength to this lot,
Your power to everyone that is to come Read More
This creation is what C.S. Lewis meant with the new Christian: The Atman. The quiet yet radiant, the contemplative yet lively. The paradox. The corporeal enigma. The truth. Read More
‘Twas your wrath, O Lord, your fiery rebuke
So I heard your voice and my net I forsook
When the dust settled, you spoke your verdict: Read More
Just out of the shower, baby in bed, husband putting toddler to sleep; I look down the hall to see the front room awash in that lemon-zest glow that is common of the dawn, but a prized gift for bedtime. Still seeing a light rain to the west where the sun is ready to slip behind the mountains, without hesitating I grab the camera and bolt out the kitchen door, sure there will be a heaven-sent rainbow in this reminding light. Read More
The mind fragile; he crosses an ocean and all disintegrates into order.
Into her arms he goes; rip, decision, spill. Freeing the border.
The old line awakens into dance, A New One! The rhythm spins.
The beat of every blue shade. Simple: A new wor(l)d begins. Read More
Where do I put this sequin when the sequence
Falls like notes from the cellar door?
On my knees searching on the dirty waxed floor
Hands graze gypsy mambo scuff-marks
And dirty martini olive-swords.
Candles glow in distant red bulbs,
My search waxes dim.
How does poetry save the world like God? Read More
In this season of festivals and fairs
Swollen creeks and answered prayers
Toast the sparkling wine and pass the cake
We are saved for his mercy’s sake
We are here as his love’s fed fountain
As the warming ices cascade down the mountain
Rejoicing over every pebble they pass
Listen, can you hear their gushing laughs? Read More
Word to the people of the world
It’s in the water, as a loving Father
Or a bodhisattva comes to us
From the skies, formed of his designs,
By gravity of grace, here to remind
Unblind, and hydrate all that has dried
Into a reality we face:
That if I speak liberate,
I could find my fate, taken and raped,
Locked up in a pool of lead acetate.
To hell wit dat, I don’t drink polluted words
Or spit what I heard, nah, I drink from the earth
Man it’s about the Mani, not the money
The OM, not the O-M-G and see,
Not tryin to be funny but this water’s so free
And flowin that I’m down here knowin it’s been Daddy-O spinnin
This Manikhorlo from the beginning and—Er Ree EE-e—
Scratch that, Big D(J), this Whee-ee-eel has
None nor end but I’s just wond-er-in’ the nature of the
Period, cuz every song has one and
The peak of this mountain, is covered in truth,
So I go along with him, to follow his rhythm
Of the air, of the prayer, of this wild hair,
Of this word.
©Amaya Engleking, 2011
La palabra para la gente del mundo
Está en el agua
Como amoroso Papa
O una bodhisattva
Viene a nosotros
Desde los cielos
Hecha de sus diseños
Con la gravedad de la gracia
Para recordar, develar, hidratar
Todo lo que se ha secado
Hasta ser la realidad que enfrentamos:
Si yo hablo de “liberar”
Podria encontrar mi vida
Robada, violada, y encerrada
Con las llaves ya en el fondo del abismo.
Al diablo con eso
Yo no tomo palabras polucionadas
Ni escupo lo que yo he oido
No, yo las tomo del manantial
Sabe a Dios, no a dineros
A “OM” no “O-M-G ¡que escalandosos!”
Y no estoy tratando jugar
Sino que el agua es libre y corriente
Y estoy en la tierra yendo humildemente
Porque Mi Viejo ha girado
Esta gran rueda rezada
La manikorla y la mandala
Desde la primera palabra
La rueda sin principio y sin fin
Pero todavía me maravillo
De la naturaleza del punto
Porque cada canto tiene solo uno
Y la punta cima de esta montaña
Está cubierta de la verdad
Que se derrite
Porque todos la tomemos
Asi que yo fluyo
Sigiendo su ritmo
Derramondo alabanzas, lágrimas
© 2012, Amaya Engleking
Karyn at Saturated in Seattle has taken time out of her exciting life of writing articles for the Huffington Post and bee-keeping to honor her favorite blogs. Thanks for thinking of me:) Let me just say that reading Karyn’s posts and her testimony make me a better person. The way she lets God penetrate her wounds and heal her from the inside out, and how she bares her scars for the whole world to see is power. Her words linger with me and don’t slide like raindrops off a rooftop, but saturate my cells and transform my being. I am very grateful that we can encourage each other in our writing and in sisterhood in Christ.
So in accepting this accolade, I am to answer her below questions, list 11 facts about myself, and recognize some of my favorite bloggers. I know I’ve come across blogs that wish to remain “award-free” and I don’t want to push this, so if any of you bloggers mentioned below want to participate, please let me know.
1. How did you come up with your blog name?
The most prominent theme in my writing/life for the past eight years has been my conversion and learning how real and hard the Gospel is. Actually, only by writing about my conversion experience do I cognitively figure it out, which of course is not necessary to be a follower of Christ but it’s a fascinating subject for my brain to contemplate and derive answers. Then, ‘Isosceles.’ I love the sound of that word, and especially coupled with ‘Gospel.’ Both the consonance and assonance, along with the imagery of the Trinity, is striking to the poet’s senses.
2. Favorite thing about blogging?
By far the best thing about blogging is the genuine connections made with other writers all over the world. I love how we get to know each other by our hearts alone. It’s like the communion of saints I experience while reading books. This is one thing the internet has an advantage over real-life interactions where judgments based on shallow things seem inevitable. The last writer’s group I joined encouraged me to start blogging because of my writing, but their stories of creating community by blogging, sometimes actually traveling and meeting their blogging friends, was the real reason I convinced my husband we finally needed internet connection so I could find my own kindred spirits out there.
3. Hardest thing about blogging?
Blogging on WordPress tests my patience, and that is a good, but hard thing. For two whole months I put up posts and had very few readers and no followers. So sometimes I thought, “What am I doing wasting my time like this?” It was difficult to navigate through the administration and set-up process. It seemed like it took me forever to figure out what a ‘widget’ was. I had trouble finding blogs that I connected with, too. But I learned as I went, like life. When I found a good blog, I would also check out its readers’ blogs. When I found a thoughtful comment, I would go to that person’s site. It’s actually refreshing to go the ‘slow-but-steady’ pace when everyone in the world would seemingly sell his soul to have it all RIGHT NOW!
4. Go to music?
I have a blog post on my top 17 songs of all time, and if you see it, you’ll know that this question is impossible to answer, given that it took me months to compile that highly diverse list. I’m a dancer and a musician and groove to 50’s jazz, 60’s soul, 70’s progressive rock, 80’s Roxette, 90’s grunge, 00’s STS9-type stuff, and there’s some good contemporary world music too. I can’t get into Christian rock. My favorite classical composers are Dvořák, Chopin, and Shostakovich. I never listen to music while writing.
5. Who do you admire most? Why?
I admire those who live the truth of the beatitudes, even if they’ve never heard the ‘sermon on the mount’ but know it because it is the truth in all of our hearts. This, I believe, is what Jesus meant when he said that no one comes to heaven but through me. Living the teachings is the hardest and often most courageous thing we can do here on earth, no matter the religion/culture among which we live.
6. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
New Zealand to visit my brother. I also hope to hike the Colorado portion of the Sangre de Cristos, a colorful mountain range in southern Colorado with my family, once the babies are older.
- Would you rather live in the city or country?
I’ve lived in Chongqing, a city of over 15 million people and currently live on the outskirts of a mountain town with a population of about 600. There are advantages and drawbacks to both and every size in between. I just want to be moved by God and know that I’m right where I need to be in the present.
8. Favorite meal?
Shui Zhu Yu, a Chinese fish and celery dish, with spicy black bean sauce and Sichuan numbing peppercorns. I usually make it with cod and serve it over jasmine rice. Also, whenever we get to the city we treat ourselves to sushi (sake-salmon and saba-mackerel are my favorite nigiri) with a good beer.
9. One piece of advice you would give to a new blogger?
Just as Karyn said and I tell new bloggers if it comes up, don’t write for anyone but for yourself. It may seem a paradox, but when you are honest in your writing (writing for yourself) you will offer much more substance to readers than if you try and write something you think potential readers want to hear. “Inspirational” blogs tend to be anything but that because most of them are tepid extractions of wisdom gained the hard way elsewhere. There’s no rawness. There’s no vulnerability. These qualities are essential to a good blog.
10. If you had a free afternoon, how would you spend it?
Face-painted and dancing to a drum circle in the woods, near a river, in uninhibited praise.
11. What is the last book you read? Would you recommend it?
I’m re-reading all of Annie Proulx’s works so I can make a list of my favorite similes and metaphors. She’s fantastic. My favorite author. Although many say she’s too dark for their taste, I couldn’t recommend her enough, if you can stand a bit of grit. Although I still have two books to go, and she’s coming out with a new novel in June, be on the lookout for the list of analogies in a future blog post, months in the making. Here’s a taste: “Year after year rich people moved into the mountains and built glass houses at high elevations; at sunset when the valleys were smothered in leathery shadow, the heliodor mansions flashed like an armada signaling for the attack.” Heart Songs and Other Stories, ‘Negatives’ p. 191
Now for 11 randoms about me:
- The most awesome little corner of this planet I’ve ever seen was over 200 miles of the Grand Canyon from the Colorado River on an 18-day raft trip in 2009. I also got my dreadlocks on that trip as I forgot to bring a hair brush, and have had them since. A good souvenir!
- I’m embarrassingly bad at many day-to-day things (like small talk and cleaning) but I kick ass at baseball, ‘Evil’ Sudokus, and Crypto-quotes (codes in which one letter equals another and you have to solve the quote.)
- My husband and I met as co-instructors of teenagers in the wilderness of the El Capitan, Sierra Blanca, and Chama regions of New Mexico.
- I love conducting choirs and orchestras and I’m the cantor at the little catholic church.
- My dad used to bring me and my siblings, when we were too young to comprehend, to pro-life rallies at the state capitol. What I remember of those rallies was the anger and shouting from one side of Lincoln Ave. to the other, pro-choice/pro-life. The division. My impression was that the two sides wanted to strangle one another.
- I lived in China for four years.
- I never thought of myself as an artist but one night while I was living in a Tibetan farmhouse, the Dalai Lama told me to draw him in a dream. So when I awoke I tried and was amazed that, with just a good bit of focus, I could draw! I’ve been drawing portraits ever since.
- I stopped eating meat (except fish) when I was 10.
- But if I’m hiking the jungles on the border of Myanmar and a poor tea farmer invites me into his home and his wife slaughters their only chicken and serves me not only the flesh but also the blood in a bowl with scallions and ginger, then I’m going to eat and drink.
- I used to DJ a classical music radio show.
- Faith is truly the most incredible thing that can be conceived in this realm of earth and gravity. For when one has faith in the one who created everything, life turns from this bleak domain of getting led by Satan’s chains of popular opinion, political and philosophical ideals, mortgages and investments, the current science, and societal norms; to a whole new life that is so dynamic because these things are not dragging us around anymore. This freed life shows us a glimpse of the heavenly realm. So it is my only fervent prayer: that every soul chooses faith.
It is a flash from the state of non-belief to faith, There is no more than a syllable between doubt and certainty: Prize this precious moment dearly, It is our life’s only fruit.
-From the Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam
Here are some blogs I wish to recognize:
Perennial I think Bethany’s blog was the first one I followed. A believer in God, she is introspective and opens up about her relationship with her parents, her marriage, motherhood, and her growth in spirituality. I know she’s busy with her baby boy, but I only wish she would post more often; wise beyond her years, I savor her words. Here are some of my favorite posts of hers: https://bgoodsy.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/soundtrack-of-my-childhood/ and https://bgoodsy.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/my-father-lies-over-the-ocean-so-bring-back-the-daughter-in-me/
Turhon McdowellSome future collaboration may be in order with this beat-inspired writer of poetry prose, whose ‘About’ section begins, “I am the twentieth century. I am the ragtime and the tango; sans-serif, clean geometry…” His latest poem was absolutely stunning: https://turhonmcdowell.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/aprils-angel/
Snapshot Couplets Mario’s catholic/spiritual poetry convicts the reader in a beautiful way. His latest poem asks you whether you would save all of the words ever written, including the holy words of scripture, or save a human life from burning in a fire. His poems are often rhymed, with clear rhythm, and are accompanied by his own photography. I once re-blogged his poem, The Cantor: https://snapshotcouplets.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/the-cantor/
Gathering Stones Strung On Threads Nearly every morning I am blessed to start my day with Peter’s beautifully crafted, poignant poems, which are followed by relevant words from masters of language and life. https://notehelfer.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/dancing-in-the-dark-2/
A Noun Walks Into A Bar Brilliant poetry and prose set in Rhode Island. Here’s a favorite to start you off: https://anounwalksintoabar.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/yule-log/
Towns, Junctions, and Interchanges Formerly ‘A Gift of Opals’, Maia’s a true poet and a fellow lover of baseball. You have no idea how happy that makes me! I like how she also gives you a short origin story of each of her poems. Here’s one: https://tjipoems.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/the-tulip-merchant/
Pursue Peace Bold in opinion, a fierce lover of God, and her short fiction will move you to tears. I know Karyn recognized her too, but just wanted to give a second shout-out. Here’s a short story: https://pursuepeaceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/living-outside-the-cocoon/
Patchwork Gene writes about everything from reflections on the significant spaces in the Bible, to humorous getaways with his wife, to grieving the death of his son. On his eclectic blog he shares his gorgeous artwork as well. https://genekiepura.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/my-addiction/