November 11, 2015

Veterans Day

Posted in War tagged at 11:06 am by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Some trudged for days through sullen swamps,
With water soaking into boots and socks and bones.
While others marched on desert sand
Through insolent, remorseless winds
That parched their faces and assailed their souls.
Still others, travelling in metal frames
That moved through perilous seas or skies,
Tried to remember how it felt to touch the earth.
All these, the brave, stood firm against the foe.
Their pockets cherished letters that conveyed
News and normality of life at home.
And every hour of liberty they spent
Was filled with thoughts of all they left behind,
Of kisses sweet, and yes, of comforts too.
From far, far distant shores they strained to hear
Church bells on Sunday or a baby’s cry,
Knowing they might never see their home again,
Counting the days until their duty had been done.
Lord Jesus, haste the day when wars will cease,
When all the earth is draped in perfect peace.

Copyright © 2015 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)


Today is Veterans Day, so this post is a bit different from previous ones.

My grandfather, two uncles, two cousins, a cousin-in-law, a nephew, and countless friends have served from France to Japan to Vietnam to the Middle East and beyond. Those who came home were never the same because of what they had seen and experienced. By the grace of God, I have never had to stare into the face of an enemy soldier or live in fear of imminent death from an enemy invasion. I have the utmost respect for all who have spent sleepless nights in swamps or soil or sand or at sea or in the sky, ever vigilant for the cause of freedom. But most of all I pray for that day when war is only a distant memory.

August 2, 2013

Veterans

Posted in Creation, Faith, Grace, Hope, Thankfulness, War tagged , , , , , , at 10:13 pm by Teresa Roberts Johnson

Black-eyed Susans peering through the chain-link fence
Divert my eyes from razor wire that looms above.
Unlike the well-armed guard, alert to every threat,
Their faces are alight with memory and hope.
For flower-beauty graced this place before
This fence was built and tanks assembled here,
And their soft splendor will withstand war’s ugly gaze
Until the time when swords become plowshares.
Even in death their eyes drop seeds that wait for spring
To shower them with the sky’s sweet tears,
Which blend with warming earth to coax new life,
New beauty, from the barren battlefield.
They bud, then bloom, diffusing calm amid the fray
And offering themselves as healing balm.
Their incense rises in the cruelest summer heat;
Their pollen nourishes a host of butterflies.
These blooms, untutored in the deadly art of war,
Prefer the art of peace and lavish loveliness.

Copyright © 2013 by Teresa Roberts Johnson (All rights reserved)


I have been pondering what it is like to live on this earth, where such incredible sadness can be countermanded by the beauty and promise that lives within a flower. I have referenced no specific Scripture within the poem other than Isaiah 2:4, but if you cannot see Christ in a Black-eyed Susan’s face, then nothing I can say will help you.

%d bloggers like this: