an autumn story: must be prepaid

a Pedestrian
mining town sale
nothing is free son
all must be prepaid
a voice from behind the wooden wall warns.

mind your step son
on real snow must be prepared
as he trips his foot over a thorn

the glassy bottles rattle
as he glides across and prattles
leaving behind many feet long gutter

clash, crash, clatter, smash
gliding rolling sputtering
not to worry ma’am stop hollering

i got cash to pay
boy looks up into dad’s face bathed in bright sun ray

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I took this picture in a mining town which had stopped operation. It is now for tourists and perhaps movies shooting. The autumn had long gone or was never there due to high altitude. But I like to keep the title as autumn story. Why? Because autumn gives a sense of forlorn beauty, a time to let go, mellow down and rest with a good warm cup of _________(fill in your favorite drink) and listen to random poetry reading, good and bad. Poetry writing is a personal thing. But reading is even better because the sound is part of the fun and you do not have to commit anything except some minutes/seconds of your life.

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autumn story: a man and a giant pan

old frying panHumboldt is a humble man
he lives alone with a giant pan
minding his business tending his sheep
never lazing or sneaking a peep

one night he counts and finds one short
leaving 99 behind with kind farmer Shultz
he calmly cleans his pan and drinks his port

he searches yonder with a daylight lamp
until reaching the darkest lair
of one ferocious beast that could prey
on his foolish simple little lamb

the monster may roar and paw while spewing names
brave farmer Humboldt lifts his pan and aims
once and twice and thrice he whams
the poor beast has nothing to defend against
this lopsided knock out match launched by
one humble man and a giant pan

(o what a heart-warming dawn, the Peeking villagers all rise and proclaim: humble Humboldt safely home with simple lamb and a giant pan)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I took this picture in an old mining museum. Somehow it turns out that the frying pan becomes the centre piece! So i decide to write a poem for it.

autumn story: an old love hat song

Just a Peek at autumn’s end.
mining townnever will I leave you, he said, not again
faded eyes blurring with moist drops
like rare autumn squinting sudden plops

(not even when fall comes to stay and/or if our hair should fall?)

no I will never leave you old, not again for gold,
see, all tidal waves are churning into buttery yuletide

putting down his battered hat
the prospector comes home.

(frantically digging cob-web caked in false gold teeth with man-made ivory-handled pick,
the wife wakes
and hears long-forgotten song
“Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By the look in your eye
I can tell you’re gonna cry
Is it over me?

If it is, save your tears
For I’m not worth it
You see

For I’m the type of boy who is always on the roam
Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home
I’m telling you that’s my home

You had romance
Did you break it by chance
Over me?

Young Paul – Wherever I Lay My Hat Thats My Home
(UK No. 1 single for three weeks in July 1983.)

autumn story: land’s end, lonesome cafe, something orange.

poem for autumnShe says, No one passes here anymore;
You know, less is more.

Continuing chattering,
her eyes not engaging, hands fluttering
like butterfly trapped
on fake glass map.

You shouldn’t be here, Peter.
Her fingers deftly whittle
away a wooden kettle.

Too late now
we are closing down,
Peter. (She throws a bone across the table)
No one passes by anymore;
Less is more.
(Something orange Peeks, stirs and darts away from behind the door label, “Do not disturb”)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I took this picture on a beautiful autumn day in November 2015. You may ask me, is there a real story behind the above attempt of a “poem”? My answer is, you are free to find your own story. I am OK with any interpretation.

Incidentally, I just watched a touching, hour-long interview with an award winning old poet who started writing poetry in her teen, I realize how far away from poetry I have strayed since teen. I prefer Haiku because it is short. But it is not as satisfying as writing a poem.

As the poet urges, there is something one just needs to express. She enjoys painting and music but she cannot be good enough to be a painter or a musician. So she writes poetry to present her painting and music. To her, every poem is a precious creation and needs to be birthed with the best she has inside, to become a positive encouragement to others who read it. If I were to use one word to describe her, I would use the word, “Genuine”. She is genuine about her limitation and her giftedness.

I only came across her poetry yesterday while doing a research on a writers’ festival in another city for someone. After reading some of her work, I mentioned that I would like to buy one of her volumes. Today I received the good news that someone who attended the festival today has bought an autographed print for me as a gift! (I am looking forward to read it when it arrives).

what we could have shared

Rounded
rounded window
One day I took note of a window scene in a black and white picture that accompanies a rather interesting story by a blogger I am following. It has the same style of another blogger who published a book of a collection of his blogs ten years ago. He wrote rather short sentences and someone from Japan did the photography. I dug out this book and just read “the people we could be”. So here I am, experimenting my own black and white attempt using Apple Photos. What I like about this picture is that almost everything in it has a round curve. There is a definite favor for roundness.
I originally took this picture in beautiful multi-colors in 2015 in an Italian Restaurant hidden in a small town in US. I was eating hot sausage sandwich alone after a rewarding hike. My best friend was on another mountain hike faraway. My friend would have liked to take a rest at this place and savor the food. Whilst I enjoy solitary travel and hiking, I sometimes like the silent company of someone familiar who enjoys the same ambience and taste. The silence is not broken and yet there is a veiled comfort of knowing that one is not alone in times of sudden need. I left this town shortly after.
P/s: Someone asks: why a sudden black and white? Well, after using many colors for too long I suddenly wake and notice that Black and White picture gives an expression of a mystery to ponder over. I quite like the short stories another travel blogger writes (in a different language) which I admit have influenced my change of taste.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 45: Promises (and Shield)

psalm 18:30
Today’s words are PROMISES (and SHIELD).
The wise poets in ancient days declared:
About God: He will shield you with his wings! They will shelter you. His faithful promises are your armor. (Psalm 91:4)
To God: You are my refuge and my shield, and your promises are my only source of hope. (Psalm 119:114)
I have thoroughly tested your promises, and that is why I love them so much. (Psalm 119:140)
I stay awake through the night to think about your promises. (Psalm 119:148)

The wise prophets looked into the future and proclaimed:
About What God has promised: “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land sparkling with happiness. These are the promises of the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:12)
Prophet Daniel’s prayer: “O Lord,” I prayed, “you are a great and awesome God; you always fulfill your promises of mercy to those who love you and keep your laws.” (9:4)
God likes those who keep their promises: Proverbs 12:22
God delights in those who keep their promises and abhors those who don’t.
Prophet Isaiah knows all about how God’s promises can come true:
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. (30:18)

Here are some Bible verses from the New Testament on “Promises” for meditation and receiving by faith!
Romans 5:1
So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
2 Corinthians 1:20
He carries out and fulfills all of God’s promises, no matter how many of them there are; and we have told everyone how faithful he is, giving glory to his name.
Galatians 3:29
And now that we are Christ’s we are the true descendants of Abraham, and all of God’s promises to him belong to us.
2 Timothy 2:13
Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, he remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of himself, and he will always carry out his promises to us.
Romans 11:29
For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn; he will never go back on his promises.

The Power of the Holy Spirit is our shield today!
Galatians 3:5-7Living Bible (TLB)
5 I ask you again, does God give you the power of the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you as a result of your trying to obey the Jewish laws? No, of course not. It is when you believe in Christ and fully trust him.
6 Abraham had the same experience—God declared him fit for heaven only because he believed God’s promises. 7 You can see from this that the real children of Abraham are all the men of faith who truly trust in God.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 44: the power of Grace

2 Peter 1:2Today we again read the letter G from the Book. GRACE is today’s word. The spirit-mind man used to think of grace as a weak word and avoided it until one day when he was struck (metaphorically) by it and was caught up into a realm he had never encountered before, like being suck up into a whirlwind or like being hit by an invisible lightning rod as he lifted up his hands to worship. It was just an ordinary Sunday morning but his life was never the same after that supernatural invisible encounter in his spirit.

This is what the spirit-mind man discovered about Grace.

A supernatural power that can only come from the Almighty God.
An inexplicable sense of being immensely loved by Him.
An indescribable perception of being in the presence of His absolute goodness, faithfulness, mercy, and loving kindness, resulting in total peace and great joy.
It opens into the spiritual realm (in the Christians’ experience, an intimate relationship with God just as Jesus has taught His believers).
Some of the resultant feelings, perceptions and actual experiences are listed at random below: security, wholeness, acceptance, being valued and esteemed, favored, lifted up, built up, completely broken down and yet being made re-integrated into a whole new being, complete, honestly and transparency, freedom from fear, freedom from condemnation and judgement, clean and pure, released from heavy burden/oppression/obsession, thoughts of hope and optimism, refreshing, energized, renewed, transformed inside out, made over, re-prioritized, re-focused, re-directed, renewed in youth, rest, peace, love, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, and many more.
The experience is real. It has lasted decades and is still processing and ongoing.

Grace is a power word. It is authoritative, real and strong. And it transforms an individual human life. Here are some random verses quoted from the Bible to illustrate grace:

John 1:14
[ The Word Becomes Flesh ] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:16
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:33
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
Acts 14:3
Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:32
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
2 Timothy 1:9
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
Titus 3:7
that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 13:9
Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
James 4:6
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 1:10
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
2 Peter 1:2
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
2 John 1:3
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.