Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Sunday Best

my Sunday Best
dressing me
at water’s lapping edge
twirling my hair
with heaven’s breeze
gently swaying memories
as waves of comfort
tickle the shore of my soul
wrapping me in the sweet smell
of pines that grandpa planted long ago
standing tall to shade me
here where Rest is free
napping at the water’s edge

Patricia Spreng
Come to me, anyone who is tired or worried, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Sharing today at d’Verse where you will find the wonderful words of poets.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When a woman cuts her hair
two things may have happened
initiating outward change
that began internally
long ago

She may have turned 51
She may have had a glass of wine or two

While surrounded by girlfriends
who reinforced the battle cry of change
giving her courage
not unlike the liquid form of courage
found in a bottle of peroxide and golden brown # 23

Engaged in the mirror of life changing seasons
over which she has no control
finding herself with front lines
at the battle of the bulge
and not winning
though objects in the mirror may appear slightly larger than they are

Some seasons are cut too short
letting go and moving on
as though a new normal is normal
but it isn’t
not unlike sitting in a stylists chair
watching her long locks
                                              a woman
                                                                   her hair

Patricia Spreng

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monarch Metaphor

The parable that Luci Shaw created in her book Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination, and Spirit: Reflections on Creativity and Faith, deeply resonated within my spirit.   In it, she tells of the felling of a dead tree in the winter after the death of her beloved husband. The loss of the tree, the space it inhabited, it’s strength, branches, roots and the scar it left in the ground, all became a metaphor for the loss of her husband’s presence, strength, memories and her remaining wound.  This God-given picture, a vision of sorts, was something tangible for her to hold on to.  Shaw writes, “It was then I realized why the felling of the tree occupied my thoughts so consistently and with such a sense of significance. It was because I was the frozen sod with the deep wound, and Harold was my tree who was simply . . . gone.”  I understood.
My heart ached as I read this and tears flowed easily… again.  It hasn’t been that long since the deaths of my mom, my father, my brother and my sister-in-law, all within the last three years.  There were so many times I cried out to God questioning the need for such suffering of beloved, elderly parents; or the unfairness of cruel, debilitating, terminal illnesses of my wonderful siblings.  I would pour out my heart to Him in whispers of desperation asking “really?”  Sadness overwhelmed me, my faith pummeled by waves of grief.   It was somewhere in that fog that I found a captivating prayer written by an ancient writer, Mechthild of Magdeburg, a medieval mystic nun from the 12th century. 

“Lord, I will tear the heart of my soul in two
and You must lay therein. 
You must lay yourself
in the wounds of my soul.”

Never before had I heard of His comfort in this way.  Sometimes in grief the loneliness of that experience is overpowering.  So the thought of the presence of God not only by my side, but actually laying into my broken heart, consoled me like nothing else.  I hung on to that picture. He was my peace.  I don’t pretend to understand the pain of losing a beloved spouse.  But I have been deeply threatened by it.  During that grieving period, my husband underwent a successful brain surgery to remove a benign tumor.  As his sister simultaneously battled an aggressive brain cancer, fear would tiptoe into my resting moments and taunt my faith quietly until I could hear its boisterous, mocking laugh and I would have to get up and move my mind elsewhere, always repeating the name “Jesus.”  Sometimes that’s all I could pray.
I feel deeply thankful to Luci Shaw for sharing her personal experience.  But, more so, I am thankful that in her wisdom, she has taken what she has learned over the years to validate, confirm, and encourage the soul of the artist who is willing to see God’s metaphors.  This is precisely how God works all things together for good.  It brings to my mind one of my life verses (Luke 22:31-32).  Where Satan has demanded permission to sift us like wheat through the storms of this life, Jesus himself prays for us so that our faith will not fail.  And when we have turned out of our seasons of difficulty, we will share with our brothers and sisters to strengthen them.  Luci Shaw is strengthening me. Without shame she acknowledges the powerful gift of metaphors, the ability to see them and create with them. 

For years now, I have photographed, written, and spoken of the monarch butterfly.  (Click on the ‘Monarch’ tab up at the top of this page.)  I have seen God through the life cycle and metamorphosis of this amazing creature.  He shows us a beautiful metaphor of the stages of our spiritual

transformation.   Sometimes, as I’m speaking about monarchs, I get a few funny, or quizzical looks.  People may think I look too deeply, care too much, or maybe I’m just too buggy or boring!  But, I feel no shame in saying that I see God in monarchs and I never cease to be amazed at His faithfulness that he shows me through them.

Thank you to Luci Shaw for her powerful words of affirmation:   ‘This is like that.  In fact, in metaphor, “this” is “that.”’  Luci, I needed those words.  Thank you.
I close with the most exciting moment… just as I was finishing this post today at 4:45pm; I caught sight of something familiar outside my window.  I grabbed my camera and looked at my milkweed patch.  The same milkweed patch that was accidentally sprayed with weed killer right before my son’s graduation open house in June.  During this long awaited monarch season, I have not been able to find caterpillars or chrysalis on my milkweed.  The eggs I found in early June met with demise, as the pesticides took effect.  Sadly, I have seen no monarch butterflies.  Until, I was writing this post…

 ...there He is again!

Patricia Spreng

Today, over at The High Calling, I am joining new friends for the first time as we read, enjoy and strengthen each other in this book club hosted by Laura Boggess  .  Thanks Laura!

Shaw, Luci (2009-09-01). Breath for the Bones (Kindle Locations 810-811). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Shaw, Luci (2009-09-01). Breath for the Bones (Kindle Locations 676-678). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Knot my dog…

Ha!  some vict’ry in your tug of war
whose side is winning now?
cramping claws and clenching jaw
don’t even ask me how

working out this knot
seems to be so tight
stopping all the flow of life
I've tried with all my might

you’re pulling on the wrong end
please don’t try so hard
you’re making too much noise
go play out in the yard

this knot it ain’t no use
just throw it all away
go and buy a new one
I'll chew some other day

Patricia Spreng

Having fun over at dVerse a place where you will find the wonderful words of poets who are being prompted today by “shoes.”  Go visit there and see if it fits =).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Little princess pinecone
headdress  fixed so dear
waiting for your prince to come
so you can grow this year

seeds within you carry
strength so great and bold
beauty could become you
your quiver filled with gold

But wait! ...

I didn’t get my chance
To show what I could do
That stupid squirrel
He jumped on me  
Look what he made me do!

I fell so far
From way up there
I’m ‘sposed to be that tall
My strength and beauty still to shine
It isn’t fair at all!

Ah, yes my princess pinecone
your life was cut too short
‘sposed to haves and should’a beens
and princes you could court

But now you shall remind me
sitting on my sill
my little princess pinecone
one task for you to fill

tell me of the seed of death
waiting in us all
to rear its ugly head and say
pride comes before the fall

patricia spreng

Thursday, July 21, 2011


all as we pass by

agenda driven
controlled lives

cannot stop
or be still
long enough to know

He is everywhere
so is he
waiting to devour

greater is He
beyond imagination
be still then
and know
the difference

Patricia Spreng

Thank you to One Stop Poetry Pete, Adam, Brian, Chris, Claudia, Gay and Leslie. Blessings to you and thank you for your encouragement.  You have been a gift to me.   I found this wonderful world of poets online… or did they help me find me?  Tonight is a celebration of a year long celebration of poetry...  Click on the link above and come join the fun and read for yourself. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


thrown away
give away
walk away
used up

nothing left
nothing right

holding back
by day
forced to give
a dam
that breaks
by night

where sorrow
is allowed
to surface
through swollen eyes
as salty wetness
hides within the shower stream

pain washing pain
rinsing, rinsing
always rinsing
like the never ending redness
of cheap dye bleeding
through fabric of woven memories

silent screams
in silent movies
that no one

Patricia Spreng

In spite of the sadness of this poem, today is actually a celebration for the grand opening of a new site encompassing the wonderful words of poets… come visit  dVerse  an open pub for poets to express, visitors to enjoy, and all of us to learn.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Singing… it’s part of who I am.  I still remember the day my Dad assembled the stereo cabinet in the front hall  and ran speakers into the living room.  Our lives were forever transformed by Petula Clark,  Doris Day, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Andy Williams, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, etc.  And then, there was that day that he brought home a microphone and plugged into it’s own jack in the stereo.  It was all over after that.  We were our own entertainment on many a night.  So, the other night when I gave a concert at the opening of a beautiful, new retirement center in a nearby town, I couldn’t help but see how the titles of the songs I sang fit nicely into a poem of sorts…. A Standard Poem, if you will.

A Standard Poem

What’s New?
(did you know)
I Have Got a Crush on You?
(i love having )
Someone to Watch Over Me
(and whisper in my ear)
Hello Dolly.
(i hear the)
(and see the)
Orange Colored Sky
(and i think to myself)
What a Wonderful World.
Almost Like Being In Love.
When I Fall In Love
(i get)
(do I need to spell it for you?)
At Last
The Very Thought of You
(you make me)

Patricia Spreng

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jes Lemme Sang

Mice in the kitchen
Momma be unstrung
work a little hectic
dog just rolled in dung

Daddy’s far away
long time comin’ back
this bed all big and lonely
said ‘yes,’ but what the heck

daughters are a scrappin’
son professed new love
but I was sangin’ blues las night
ain’ nothin’ more I love

so pick away guitar men
let me hear you play
touch me with your strings of steel
I’ll sing us far away

Patricia Spreng

Dad, I gots to do me sum sangin’ las night… belted out good … just like you taught me to.  You’d say ‘it was grand, really swell.’  Oh, and I could feel it alright.  What a fun crowd, all 4th of July and such.  I would tell you how we jammed all night and I kept picking up what they was layin down.  It was hot... and they were cool cats, Dad.  Totally spontaneous…  the way jammin’ sposed to be.  You’da loved it…mmm… if’n you was here.  ‘Til then big daddy... lil' pitypat

One Shot Wednesday where you will find the wonderful words of wonderful poets.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


burst forth
as freedom rings

freely receive
freely give
from deep within
deep calls

lives were laid
in blood
before the graves

covered by
broad stripes and bright stars
proof in the perilous fight
our flag is still here

campfire shores
freedom rings in air

songs and sighs of days gone by
parades of celebration
and the rockets red glare
the bombs bursting in air

run freely here
and dream in peace
here in the
home of the brave

Patricia Spreng

Happy 4th of July at One Shot Sunday where you will find the wonderful words of poets.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Give me
          Your patience
for the Patient
          who is really
the  Care’taker’
          depending  on
the Care’giver’
          to be
but she’s not

impatient spreng

Thanking God as we pass the one year mark of my husband's successful brain surgery.  The road to recovery was rife with emotion, pain and unexpected challenges and setbacks.  I never dreamed the  caregiver would be challenged as much as I was.  As I swam in that sea, it seemed there were precious few moments to capture my thoughts in writing.  I knew, without a doubt that God is the solid rock upon which sometimes only our toes touch, so that our noses stay above water... by His grace. 

Submitted to Friday Poetically with Brian Miller at One Stop Poetry where you will find the wonderful words of poets.