Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gods for Sale

From Blog12
Come! I have gods for sale--
There must be a thousand here!
Big, rich ones for you handsome men,
Pretty, sweet ones for the ladies there,
And cute ones for the little kids.

Don't hesitate! Step right on up
And choose the one you like.
I have crystals for the New Age folks,
Lodges for the businessmen,
The Klan for Southern whites,
And Allah for the urban blacks.

Whatever you want, whatever you need,
I've got a god that's just your type.
What's that? You don't accept my gods?
How intolerant of you!

Please, don't speak such things out loud.
Bad for business, don't you know?
What? You have a God who died for you,
And rose again, and lives to save?
And then, you say, your god is free?

Please, go away.
I need a hundred sales today.
Yes, I have gods for sale.

In the Bible, we read:
I am the LORD; that is my name;

my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
(Isaiah 42:8 ESV)

This poem was written about 1994. I realize that Allah is the best word in Arabic for the true God, just as "God" is in English. In this poem, I was thinking of the incorrect Muslim conception of Allah.

Poem and photo ©2012 James L. Swindle

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ode to a Chair

I love you for your legs
So beautiful, so smooth.
I love your graceful curves
And perfect little feet.
I love your lines--your back
Is perfect...svelte...complete...
But most of all, I have to say,
I love your big blue seat.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

If the Devil Sends You Flowers

From Blog12
If the devil sends you flowers,
You can know it's not for love.

He may tenderly caress you,
Show you wonders to impress you,
Tell you all the ways he'll bless you--
Make you richer and fulfill you--,
But when push comes down to shove,
Then his shiny fangs will kill you.

If the devil sends you flowers,
You can know it's not for love.

Be angry and do not sin;
do not let the sun go down on your anger,
and give no opportunity to the devil.

(Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV)

Sunday, June 17, 2012


                            Puddle, 1952, M. C. Escher

I can't imagine what'll
Match a simple puddle:
Sky and trees all upside-down,
Goo and muck (my Mom would frown).
I hear the puddle splash or splat
Each time I walk--just think of that!
It splashes on a suit or dress
And makes a truly wondrous mess.
I can't imagine what'll
Match a simple puddle.

Shower, O heavens, from above,
and let the clouds rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit;
let the earth cause them both to sprout;
I the Lord have created it.
(Isaiah 45:8 ESV)

For other people's thoughts on this image, click here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Corn Still Grows

From Blog12

The corn still grows
Green and serrated,
Aiming strongly for the sky
(In tassels, come July).
Yet it's seldom seen 'round here.
Farming's left to other places.
We grow more nail salons
And insurance agencies.

May there be abundance of grain in the land;
on the tops of the mountains may it wave;
may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may people blossom in the cities
like the grass of the field!
--Psalm 72:16 ESV

Monday, June 11, 2012

Not Yet Finished

From Blog12

The darkness is falling.
The night is coming,
But the work's not yet finished.

My power is waning.
My mind is fading,
But the work's not yet finished.

It's not by my power.
It's not by my plans
That the work will be finished,

And yet I must work.
I must yearn and plan
For the work to be finished.

The LORD gives the power.
The LORD makes the plans,
And the work will be finished.

The darkness will end,
The day-star appear,
And the work will be finished.

    And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
    Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”    
    (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Behold the Cross

Behold the horror of the cross,
God's holy Son become a curse
And bearing all our sin and loss
--The righteous One, now as the worst.

Just try to picture, if you can,
The sacrifice--no lamb, no calf,
But Jesus Christ, both God and man,
Hung up to die on our behalf.

Would you despise such sacrifice,
The holy blood he spilled?
Or bow in reverence at the price--
Believe and be both washed and filled?

He'll transfer you from night to day.
Receive his life that has no end.
Embrace what Jesus did that day--
His sacrifice for sinful men.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”... (Galatians 3:13 ESV)

For all posts that mention the cross, click here.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

First Car

From Blog12

I remember the car, the freedom it gave
For going and doing and coming back home.
But it wasn't a statement of who I then was--
No, just my way out; transportation, that's all.

Its sleek glamor, its lines, its sporty appeal
Were irony since they were wasted on me.
I would drive it, just drive like a little old man.
No tickets; just wheels; just my ride--nothing more.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."   (Matthew 6:19-21 ESV)

The Chevrolet in the photo reminded me of the era of my first car. Actually, my first car was a 1966 Plymouth Barracuda.