Experimenting w. Poetry: Place & Cyberspace

*This poem grows out of some reading I have been doing on “place-making”.   Craig Bartholomew’s book “Where Mortals Dwell” is a much needed resource for Christian placemaking, and a much undervalued and underestimated topic.  This poem comes from asking the questions of “What is a place for?”  I realize that the mention of “Arkansas” at first read seems awkward.  But Bartholomew has taught me that naming and tending to the particular is important if we are to do well with the places that God has given us.

I walk off my back porch

Later in the light of a half-moon

The porch door shuts behind me

My bare feet hit the grass off the concrete

Cold damp grass – life supporting life

Rooted in the earth, a Bermuda foundation

The clouds roll in from the west,

The wind that carries the coming storm

Moves through the open windows of our home

The moon is blurred, fighting through the thin

Clouds

Forerunners of God’s provision

The birds sing their final song

Of warning

Sleep well and easy

This spring night

Tomorrow it will be different

Driving rain, wind and hail

Pruning the earth

And this place, our home

What is gold and silver will remain

A true kingdom to be shaped by fire

New life will spring from death

This is not cyberspace,

This is planet earth

Arkansas

Our home

It is very real

Where pain is not a façade

But bleeds

True blood

There is a place to this space

And here

No one dies alone

In the koininia of God’s Grace

Our own co-creation

Of love

With the first Place-maker

Our home

At home with one another

And God

Even within the prophecy of the coming storm

Finding shelter in pain

Is what makes a space a place

And this true pain and community

Cannot be fabricated

Like cyberspace is made up and untrue

For it lacks all Grace

Like a human-being without a face

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