1238. The man who says his evening prayer is a captain posting his sentinels so he can sleep. ~Edited except from Charles Baudelaire

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In the quiet curve of evening,
in the sinking of the days,
in the silky void of darkness,
You are there.
In the lapses of my breathing,
in the space between my ways,
in the crater carved by sadness,
You are there.
You are there, You are there, You are there.

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In the rests between the phrases,
in the cracks between the stars,
in the gaps between the meaning,
You are there.
In the melting down of endings,
in the cooling of the sun,
in the solstice of the winter,
You are there.
You are there, You are there, You are there.

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In the mystery of my hungers,
in the silence of my rooms,
in the cloud of my unknowing,
You are there.
In the empty cave of grieving,
in the desert of my dreams,
in the tunnel of my sorrow,
You are there.
You are there. You are there. You are there.
~Julie Howard

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May my prayer be set before you(God) like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. ~Psalm 141: 2  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

526. Heat lingers as days are still long; early mornings are cool while autumn is still young. ~Po Chu-i, Chinese poet who lived from 772-864 during the Tang Dynasty

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


~Excerpt from i thank you God for most this amazing… (65)

by e.e. cummings, a poet whose peculiar syntax
and lack of or strange use of punctuation
conjures up as lasting and as memorable
images as this photo

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I think it curious when I read another’s perfect description of my current reality, especially when it is one like Po Chu-i’s that was written so long ago and so far away from where I am. When it happens, I can’t help but wonder what the writer was like, what he was doing when not writing poetry, and what the landscape looked like that inspired his thoughts and rhymes. Was he young like the autumn of which he spoke, or was he like me, one who has weathered many an autumn. I also  wonder if in China today the heat lingers again in Lady Autumn’s infancy. It’s certainly lingering hear in Texas in the 21st century. However, I’m not complaining because for some time now our early morns have been deliciously cool as have been the evenings that draw the days to an end. So cool in fact was it again this morning that after last night’s watering, droplets yet bejeweled the rose in the photo. That in and of itself is cause for thanksgiving since it wasn’t too long ago that all such surface water would have evaporated before dawn’s first light brushed away night’s obscurity. Actually, despite the lingering heat, this fall has been filled with more than a fair measure of splendor, a smattering of its usual intimations of holy mysteries, and now the first expected touches of nature’s autumnal poetry have been penned. Speaking of poetry, some poets like e.e. cummings write lines that challenge easy interpretation, but often poetry which defies easy understanding endures through the ages because the words and thoughts resonate in the deepest chambers of the human heart. Perhaps that’s why today I’m captivated by cumming’s poetic imagination as well as nature’s magical images and the Lord’s amazing genius.

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4   ✝

475. To one who has been long in city pent, ‘tis sweet to look into the fair and open face of heaven-to breathe a prayer full in the smile of the blue firmament. ~John Keats

Nature is man’s teacher.
She unfolds her treasures to his search
unseals his eye, illumes his mind, purifies his heart;
an influence breathes from all the sights
and sounds of existence.
~Alfred Billings Street

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It is not so much being “city pent” that keeps me from looking long into the “fair and open face” of the heavens in summer. It’s from being “house pent.” However, to keep my heat-driven incarceration inside my air-conditioned home from totally stifling my spiritual breathing, I hungrily emerge out of doors for a while very early and/or very late in the day. Outside and under the heavens I am able at last to breathe long and deep in prayer. According to Howard Pyle, “The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived.” In my childhood nature and her sweet stories left a profound impression in my memory. Because as Pyle suggests that impression was not thrown on “the rubbish heap” and because late in life I reentered nature’s haunts by means of a garden, I was brought back to a reverent and devoted relationship with the Maker of my soul and Creation.

Last night when I was out, I noticed that a pure white Angel’s Trumpet had opened, and it was still there briefly this morning. The brilliance of its whiteness reminded me of the temporal dominion of any kind of darkness and the inevitable return of light. Then when I came inside, I read an email from a friend in which he quoted “Peace is seeing the sunrise and sunset and knowing who to thank.” Though neither he nor I knew whom to credit for the thought, we always know who to thank for everything. So thank you, Lord, for sunrises and sunsets as well as endings and beginnings. For you see the Angel in the Trumpet intimated that the heat beast is on its last legs.

The earth is filled with Your love, Lord; teach me Your decrees. ~Psalm 119:64   ✝

Lord God, Your breath is within me, and I will honor and praise you with every breath that I breathe.

328. Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

We are mosaics–
pieces of light,
love,
history,
stars–
glued together
with
magic
and music
and words.
~Anita Krizzan

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Wordsmiths we are, we who pen our thoughts and feelings upon the page, scribes who search the depths of our hearts to share the terrors in our “dark nights of the soul” and the heights of ecstasy in our glad times and victories for if we touch such things in others, we connect in our vulnerable sameness, grief is halved and joys doubled. The artist who paints upon a canvas or sketches on paper does the same with the images he/she creates as does the musician who marks notes upon a staff. The creative urge is deeply rooted in the human soul, and our yearning to bring what’s inside to the surface is a way of getting to know God, our Creator, for we are, after all, made in His image.

This is what God the Lord says–the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it… Isaiah 42:5  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

263. Don’t grieve for me now. I am free. ~Author Unknown

This post is in loving memory of Debbie Jeanne Avila , a friend and fellow blogger.  Tonight I’ve chosen bits and pieces of some of Debbie’s poetry to honor her, and because she loved my photos of flowers, I’m including one with each excerpt.  Sweet Debbie you will not be forgotten, and I am comforted that for you to be absent here, means that you are now and forever in the presence of Jesus.  Till we meet again.  Love, Natalie

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I had forgotten what LIFE was all about,
Those dark chocolate nights dipped in indubitable doubts,
Wonderful wonderings if this was all there is,
And if it was, then, we had bitten envied bliss.

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as sad as a morning glory that has never met
her glory I am damp with seeds that have never met
the portent wise sunlight–
damp with grinding dreams at my hoof and
damper after they sodden cold with dawn’s
twilight–
nothing reverts or inverts, if all formulates into
winter’s beginning and continuance

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Help me with my un-perceived progress
I stand still, everything around me sweeping
Like a Kansas tornado.
So many
voices within, held down and pressed,
It scares me to hear such a composing
Of songs I alone know

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September vivifies the introspections of soul like
The glaciating mountains in silence-
Ruminating, finding their niches so to sleep and then
Shake at springs kissing–
It embers gently, suspiciously as if someone would
Snuff it out too soon–

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Miscreant as it may some times be with the unexpected
Heat and elongated sun-kissed troubling–
Days are slightly shorter for most living breathing ways,
As I turn down the lights,
Pick up Keats and Dickinson, Rumi and rosehips
For morning simmering decadence. (http://girlwiththepen1118.wordpress.com)

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“Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”  ~1 Corinthians 15:55  ✝