Poetry

The Artist Above

By James Harris

 

O Lord, your radiant beauty, the splendor of its magnificence, shines forth upon my face.

Though not able to explain it, the sun burns a fire in my heart, which keeps me ever moving.

You are an artist at work, starting from scratch, and I wait to see what shall become of the sky blue canvas.

The brush of elegance you dip in white, forming the first of bodies, two, four, seven clouds.

Ordinary, basic, yet sublime, there is nothing to compare with your inconceivable perfection.

“More!” I exclaim, I wish to behold the continual motions of your right hand.

The clouds you stretch across the horizon, intertwined with the orange glow of Earth’s hearth.

A wondrous design, a delightful hue, no mind but yours, O Lord, could have made such an ineffable depiction of your glory.

Now, perhaps, a new body? Yes, there it is! You have done it again!

A spectrum of colors you portray through the rain in my eyes by the guise of your rainbow.

It is but a taste of spiritual honey that you give my soul, and I crave it all the more as I observe the artwork you give me from above.

12/31/07

 

 

Leaf

By James Harris

 

I am bright and green,

Joyfully I rest.

On the branch of God,

Tree of life blest.

 

Oh I do wish to stay,

Here forever more.

Connected to you, Lord,

Yes, this I implore.

 

What is this I hear,

A dragon-serpent-snake?

I’ve been deceived,

I’ve made a mistake.

 

My body is drying up,

Appearance turning brown.

My stem is broken,

I am falling down.

 

Fear is not here,

In the confines of my heart.

I trust in your love,

Though we are apart.

 

Holy Spirit has come,

Like a gusting wind.

He carries me home,

Forgetting I have sinned.

 

I am caught by Jesus,

Who clings to me.

I am reunited,

My God and my tree.

2/8/08

 

 

Light to Our Hearts

By James Harris

 

You are the bright morning star,

Where I look is where you are.

Your holy face is the shining sun,

A countenance exceeded by none.

 

Even clouds cannot hide your love,

While you radiate grace from above.

Open our hearts to your fire,

And grant us a burning desire.

 

Continue to beam your rays on me,

With divine light for me to see.

Through night I wait to see your flame,

The days are new but you are the same.

2/17/08

 

My Lady Wisdom

By James Harris

 

To me you are always near,

Forever, my lady Wisdom.

Your words are pleasing to the ear,

More than the best of singers, O Wisdom.

 

You adore all that is true,

And abide in the depths of my heart.

Together in peace we flew,

From me, you shall never depart.

 

I see the glory of your light,

It exceeds that of the sun.

Those who desire it have insight,

And see that you are the One.

 

Instruction and discipline are yours,

In heartfelt beauty do they shine.

You guide me along ocean shores,

Freedom and joy become mine.

 

Remain with me there and here,

Loving queen, my lady Wisdom.

Give me truth always sincere,

I love you, I adore you, O Wisdom.

4/11/08

 

Together Forever

By James Harris

 

We can run together in the fields, O Lord,

My fingers are in the palm of your hand.

I remember when on your wings we soared,

You carried me all across the land.

 

Tomorrow shall be a wonderful surprise,

Like a child, I cannot sleep while I long.

Yet, I awake to behold your beautiful eyes,

With the birds, you play me a new song.

 

Whenever you show me what is in your heart,

I see that your love is forever.

May our hands, O Lord, never be apart,

I know we will always be together.

4/19/08

 

From Stagnant Gazes to Cordial Liberty

By James Harris

 

As I sat upon the ripples of dark oceans,

The unceasing wonder of your goodness descended upon me.

Only you know how to summon my emotions,

For, never has anyone shown what you let me see.

 

You have shattered the fetters to my heart and mind,

Joyfully, I run to you leaving all else behind.

4/26/08

 

 

With Humble Beauty Comes a River

By James Harris

 

Peace and silence are in the air,

Only a windy breeze can be felt.

Sunlight shines onto His brown hair,

And working tools hang from His belt.

 

As He lifts up His head to the sky,

Clouds give out their loving praise to Him.

The birds declare His goodness and fly,

All know the light will never dim.

 

He lowers His head, chin to chest,

A water droplet flows from His eye.

His body reclines to take a rest,

Yet, slowly He begins to cry.

 

No, He is neither sad nor mourning,

But simply overwhelmed by beauty.

The Son is the Father adorning,

From a tender heart comes humility.

5/9/08

 

Conquered By Love

By James Harris

 

I sought repose after a hard-fought day,

And so the night became your gift to me.

My body reclined in silence to pray,

From the hustling world my mind was set free.

 

Sleep came in a flash like that of the sky,

The hours passed as did the moonlight.

Yet in a dream the enemy stood by,

It was then that I knew I would soon fight.

 

As a star that falls from Heaven’s dwelling,

The heathen darkness was flooding my soul.

But in an instant You began quelling,

The opponent You crushed, making me whole.

 

Who can compare with the Almighty’s love,

The One who has saved us from our foes?

He always knows what we are thinking of,

And watches as His own universe glows.

 

He came to me faster than lightning speed,

More sightly than the eclipse of the sun.

In me you have implanted a new seed,

I rise for a new day has just begun.

6/3/08

 

You Are There

By James Harris

 

Amidst the trampling of the crowd,

I look, and you are there.

They blast lifeless sounds,

But I listen, and hear your voice.

A fragrance of emptiness fills the air,

Yet I inhale, and smell your beauty.

This flavor around me cannot satisfy,

Still I taste, and consume eternal sweetness.

Finally, you stand before me,

I reach, and we walk hand-in-hand in Heaven.

7/7/08

 

I Am

By James Harris

 

Take a good look at your life,

And see if it is like mine.

You may choose to live in strife,

Or ascend to the divine.

 

You lazily sleep hours on end,

And dream emptiness on your bed.

I pray, think, and comprehend,

For, I have nowhere to lay my head.

 

You rise to work your job in vain,

And thank no one for what you keep.

I toil to receive true grain,

For, what I sow, I also reap.

 

You utter meaningless things,

And love what withers away.

I speak words which wisdom brings,

For, this truth is the eternal way.

 

Now, you are no longer blind,

And may become like the lamb.

Begin to seek and you shall find,

I Am.

10/2/08

 

 

Our Daily Betrayal (To the Nameless)

By James Harris

 

A middle-class citizen awoke one day,

And decided to walk around the town.

Something was different, for no one said “Hey”,

Even many took a glance and then looked down.

 

Saddened by betrayal he sought a friend,

One that would simply give him a smile.

There were none, not even one who would pretend,

So he took a rest on a bench for a while.

 

Passing by was an immigrant on a bike,

Unnoticed as he was as he rode to the store.

Him and his people, they all looked alike,

This was a group that everyone seemed to ignore.

 

Next came along an elderly grandmother,

Who humbly climbed onto the public train.

She appeared no different, being like every other,

Wielding the standard purse and modern-type cane.

 

Many more crossed the eyes of the man that day,

None of whom he had ever seen before.

Yet, they were always there, and are there to stay,

This was something he could no longer ignore.

 

He got up this time with the revelation,

Realizing that he too is of the nameless.

Greeting the next face, he knew man’s vocation,

And so he became one of the blameless.

11/27/08

 

May I Beseech Thee, O Lord, for Wisdom?

By James Harris

 

There is a longing for you,

a desire to be,

Within your open circle of men.

 

Such beg all things true,

a heart-filled plea,

To hear you speak time and time again.

 

An open mind will hear,

a tongue of fire,

That tells the inmost love of the heart.

 

It is a truth so near,

a heavenly choir,

Which never ends what it shall start.

 

So one becomes a wise soul.

What will we be today?

What will we be today?

4/9/09

 

 

A True Gift

By James Harris

 

The sun is more than a step away,

And the moon is farther than arm’s reach.

One must dig to find earth’s clay,

Or go to the shore to see the beach.

 

All of these things will always be far,

They cannot be kept as one’s own.

What, then, is closer than a star,

More obtainable than a stone?

 

It is the Lord, forever near,

To children who walk in his light.

His presence he makes ever so clear,

So man can receive the One at his right.

4/14/09

 

Just One Look

By James Harris

 

In perceiving truth, I cry,

Overwhelmed by God’s face.

In searching, I seek the “why”,

And my heart begins to race.

 

In seeing beauty, I sink,

Unable to handle light.

In gazing, I ever think,

And begin to take flight.

 

My soul has a pair of eyes,

They look, and I become…

5/27/09

 

Highest Freedom, My Lord

By James Harris

 

I believe I will sit upon the highest clouds of Heaven with the Lord,

And drift through times of eternity, a new earth, a new sky.

To fly, yes, to sail with a purpose, far from all vanity.

I ask for freedom, not simply to feel, but to be, and see.

You, with me, I’m free.

7/8/09

 

 

 

I originally wrote this poem in Spanish and then translated it into English. The style is based on that of the great Spanish poet Saint John of the Cross.

Originalmente, escribí este poema en español y después lo traduje en inglés. El estilo es basado en el del gran poeta de España San Juan de la Cruz.

La sabiduría

Por James Harris

25/2/11

 

 

Cuando encontré

yo la sabiduría,

De hecho, cuando

ella encontró a mí,

Ella me dijo: “Siempre

amaré a ti.”

Así, hubo algo

que bien yo sabía,

En mi vida, ella sería mi guía.

 

A su cariño bello

yo respondía,

Aunque no sabía

el tesoro allí.

Abrí mi boca: “Siempre

amaré a ti.”

Fue un matrimonio

que nadie veía,

En mi vida, ella sería mi guía.

 

Yo gozaba la

belleza que tenía,

Y a ella yo

busqué en todas partes,

Pues, su amor es

mejor que todos artes.

Era invisible; yo

la conocía,

En mi vida, ella sería mi guía.

 

Ven con la luz

brillante del mediodía,

Ven con la verdad

amante tan dichosa,

Ven con la paz, calma la mente nerviosa.

Oh, tú que te

llamas la sabiduría,

Yo sé que para siempre serás mi guía.

 

Wisdom (English translation)

By James Harris

2/25/11

 

When I found wisdom,

Rather, when she found me,

She said to me, “I will always love you.”

And so, there was something I knew well,

In my life, she would be my guide.

 

To her beautiful affection I responded,

Though I knew not the treasure there.

I opened my mouth, “I will always love you.”

It was a marriage that nobody saw,

In my life, she would be my guide.

 

I enjoyed the beauty that she had,

And I sought her in all places.

For her love is better than all arts.

She was invisible; I knew her,

In my life, she would be my guide.

 

Come with the shining light of noon.

Come with the loving truth so blessed.

Come with peace, calm the nervous mind.

Oh you who are called wisdom,

I know forever you will be my guide.

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