Can't Wait Christmas!

We love the reindeer; love the snow,
Santa's sleigh and his "Ho, ho, ho!"
We love the stars hung on the green,
Bulbs blue and red; gold tinsel seen!

Beneath the limbs, our gifts are laid;
Of stores are some, and others, made.
And, in our beds, we wait each night
For Christmas morn' to cast its light!

Much better yet than all these things--
The Babe of Joy, the Peace He brings--
Meet Christ, our King! low-born today
To show the world...God's perfect way!

One Sunday Morn'

One Sunday morn' and long ago,
Two women knelt beside a tomb:
Too sad to note the angel's glow,
For Death is master, as we know,

And stony clay, man's final womb.
Most bloody, bitter, wretched loss,
Such was the Roman way of pain:
Each victim impaled upon a cross,

Bodies broken then flung to moss,
As soldiers spat with smug disdain.
God's hymn began one early dawn,
Three, those dim Cimmerian nights:

For after sun from haze was drawn,
The grave parted--the captive gone
Up! to grand, most glorious heights!
One Sunday morn', 'twas Easter past;

Two women knelt then wept for joy:
Christ's ship of life! full sail and mast,
Launched that day! His mercy to last
Thru time, or storm, or Satan's ploy!

The Fifth Horseman

Come and see our ancient foe prance and frolic
throughout the earth!
Tears streaming, I watched as Satan's beautiful
seductive masterpiece,
Riding a stunning white horse full of dead man's
Deliciously galloped over unsuspecting masses and
conceited highborn!
I sobbed, "Do not be deceived!", but no one
heeded still small voices!
All were so eager to welcome enticing promises
of new world orders,
And to embrace grandiose doctrines of man born
in utter darkness.
Trembling, I fearfully awaited the words and events
that would follow.
Come and see the aftermath wrought by the
ultimate pied piper!
I looked and observed wars and rumors of wars in
full flower.
All were riding blood red horses scourging the
earth with gladness.
Falling, I numbly awaited the words and events that
would follow.
Come and see the collapse of progressive social
orders big and small!
I shuttered as fierce black horses invaded once
proud lands with ease,
Delivering chaotic gifts of famine, pestilence, and
economic despair.
Mourning, I bitterly awaited the words and events
that would follow.

Come and see the final judgment of wicked
Babylonian insanity!
I raised my head to observe thin pale horses
feeding on human carnage,
And Lucifer laughing as Christless souls sank into
hell to join the beast
Moaning, I pleaded with my host, "Please sir, no
more horses!"
A gentle voice beckoned, "You must come and see
this one last sight."
Eyes slowly opening, I saw a magnificent
White Horse coming from afar.
Terrified, I screamed, "No! not again!", as the
Fifth Horseman approached,
But then I beheld a most glorious form, the
Rider called Faithful and True!
Leaping with song and joy, I immediately
"Thank God for his horseman and the restoration
He brings!
Thank God for the Lamb and the Lion's eternal
Praise God for He comes to make things new

The Hunter Returns

Green filled the season, just one year ago,
When cancer went forth to excise the clay
And devoured a man esteemed to this day
For following Christ and wearing His glow.
Now the cycle renews; fresh sorrows flow
As the hunter returns. Saints kneel to pray
Thru rain their pleas to spare all who obey
God's word from the taker with lethal bow.
Earth's dark poacher--no respecter of age!--
Regards all as game whether saved or not--
Seeking lambs to swallow with savage rage,
Stalking flesh to be culled, eaten, then shot.
Adam's tears shall be 'til close of this page--
Old dragon slain!--disease cast from our lot!

In Memory of Glue

One out of many is the noble quest
As the boy positions each plastic part;
Let there be structure on top of this desk
Built with a labor direct from the heart!
One thing is needful before he can start
Preserving the union when task is through,
An item with the name of airplane glue!

I remember my childhood some years back,
Those days gone by when an order prevailed.
We begged the system to cut us some slack
And hoped for a break whenever we failed,
Yet the game was clear, "Expect to be nailed!"
Blind hate stood up, a fact known to be true,
But standing much taller was common glue!

Something has departed with telltale sign,
A substance permitting walks after dark;
Me has defeated we and ties that bind,
And hunter stalks prey in the public park!
Grieve not for shelter in a fifties ark,
Not all was well and worthy of lament,
Rather mourn the loss of social cement!

Nations arise, young waves upon the sea,
Swelling up...on the power of the whole;
Initial bonds break and they cease to be,
Falling mist-like into a captor's bowl!
Oh, never fall victim to wicked foe
Free land saluting the star-spangled blue;
Pray for the return of national glue!

January Landscape

Sun, low hanging, in a weak southern sky
Has failed to surmount the mid-winter chill--
Vistas of sameness, blue barren brown hill,
Subdued by gray clouds too stubborn to die.
Gone are days greener so daring and spry--
Gone too are birds, past melodies now still;
Sweet roses of June; spring's white daffodil--
Expunged or ravaged per long frozen sigh.

Bleak portrait of life? perhaps need not be,
Awake with vision from self-sinking gloom!
Cast away old scenes parading one's youth,
And trade times colder for eyes new to see
The glory of age and wisdom-thawed room
When offered to God--a lamp for His truth!

Of Memory, Rhyme, and Meaning

To preserve brief seasons before they fade,
Bestow a meaning while this pen still moves,
To rescue the precious from time's parade,
The poet's high calling--to seize these truths...

To enshrine fair moments priceless and dear,
Praise the praiseworthy with paper and verse,
To scribe with cadence redeeming our years,
Faint pulse that reflects--tiny tongue so terse...

To challenge the wrong in each human heart,
Endorse the good without pretense or shame,
To capture life's pains and triumphs in part,
Sure measure, as stone, for knowing or fame...

The gift of the craft--to harden man's clay!--
Our power will mark as the rhythms repeat.
God grant us Your wisdom to tell, we pray,
What tales to retain? which values to keep?

Mid-life Wisdom

"Greetings 1996!" and "Happy New Year!"
The ritual, so familiar, has aged to a stale bore.
Body that once quivered with youthful exuberance
Answers the world's festivities with an unabashed
Life is a great teacher and has taught the student
About misguided expectations, the temper of
True Hope.
Gone is the unfounded optimism of more
fanciful times
That brought faith in politics, man, the human
Redeemed by the King while traveling unique
My wisdom will not accept a philosophy from
Oh blessed discovery, I do not fit into--nor have a
need to!
Glorious replacement, Thy Kingdom come, Thy
will be done!
Ring those tired bells! Yesterday's passion all but
Replaced with a new hope that fills eyes with quiet
New hope! that makes bodies still tingle and hearts
Hope so new, really so old!...
Even so come Lord Jesus!

Oh Man!
Oh man! that takes the highest hill,
Surmounts the sky for greater thrill,
Come to me, and beseech life's fill,
For I grant fame and wealth at will.
Come nigh to me in fruitless night;
Desert the gap, and ease your soul;
Share this, my gold; enjoy the land fall away--leave your stand!
Oh man! be warned of Satan's dole,
Return to God and seize His Light;
Christ's way is mortal sight
That slays one's essence for a mite!

I Hear God's Trumpet!

I can hear my trumpet blowing
Which beckons from afar.
Come hither to me my pilgrim,
And leave your broken jar.

Weep not about this mortal flesh,
Life's journey nearly spent,
Rather look upon chosen path
As talent Christ has lent.

Does account brim with interest,
Two or three, seven times?
Or does his vessel stand empty
Trifled on self and grime?

Travel I must to Heaven's home
Released from earthly pain.
Are you prepared to do as such
When shell to moss is lain?

In memory of Marvin Beam

John C. Sparks