Poetry by Ryan Feed

paying attention

 

 

Attention is the beginning of devotion.

                -Mary Oliver, Upstream

 

Paying Attention                                                                                        by Ryan M. Roberts

I took a walk this morning.

At first glance, it was a rather drab venture.  

But then I took a closer look, and there it was;

Creation, beauty, grace.

 

(here are some photos to prove it - click on photo for better view)

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be swept away

DSC02689This is my endlessly recurrent temptation:  to go down to that Sea (I think St. John of the Cross called God a sea) and there neither dive nor swim nor float, but only dabble and splash, careful not to get out of my depth and holding on to the lifeline which connects me with my things temporal.

     —C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

 

Things temporal is the stuff of life and in that stuff I find safety, pleasure, purpose, identity and help. 

But it doesn’t last.  It is . . . temporal. 

So I strive for more.  And in that striving I allow little time for things eternal. I make no room for God. 

Yet I long for something deeper.  I look to the horizon of the great waters. I exult at its beauty and breadth and mystery—and I shudder too.

Did someone call my name? I step toward the depth and the exhilaration is quickly doused by a cold water concern for my temporal shoes.

They are wet and I am only in ankle deep. I responsibly step back to the eroding shore. It is temporal too.

I am still longing for something . . .

***

Please take five minutes and listen to “The River” by Steve Green. I encountered this song many years ago and its message greatly affected the trajectory of my life.  The lyrics are included below the video.

 

 

There's a river ever flowing
Widening, never slowing
And all who wade out in are swept away

When it ends, where it's going
Like the wind no way of knowing
Until we answer the call to risk it all and enter in

The river calls, we can't deny
A step of faith is our reply
We feel the spirit draw us in
The water's swift, we're forced to swim

We're out of control
And we go where he flows

There's a river ever flowing
Widening, never slowing
And all who wade out in are swept away

When it ends, where it's going
Like the wind no way of knowing
Until we answer the call to risk it all and enter in

Danger awaits at every turn
We choose a course, we live and learn
As we surrender to His will
We're at peace but we're seldom still

He is in control
And we go where he flows

There's a river ever flowing
Widening, never slowing
And all who wade out in are swept away

When it ends and where it's going
Like the wind no way of knowing
Until we answer the call to risk it all
Until we answer the call to risk it all

There's a river ever flowing
Widening, never slowing
And all who wade out in are swept away

When it ends and where it's going
Like the wind no way of knowing
Until we answer the call to risk it all
Until we answer the call to risk it all

It's widening, never slowing
Will we answer and risk it all?
There's a river ever flowing, ever flowing
Be swept away


today i saw a tree come down

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Today I saw a tree come down;

Actually, more than one.

Like gentle giants they lined, adorned and guarded the campus . . . some for more than eighty years.

As they grew, so did the community.

Their magnificent shade, strength, and beauty will be missed.

Oh the stories they could tell—one for every leaf borne from their branches

Some of those stories are of life, hope and love; 

Some are of pain, misunderstanding and death.

Even mighty trees don’t last, but the stories do.

Their magnificent shade, strength, and beauty will be missed.

Today I saw a tree come down;

Actually, more than one.

 

 

(photo courtesy of Amanda Marble)


The Old Tire

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              The Old Tire 

by Ryan M. Roberts

 

                     As one of four, I carried a car;

On business of utmost import.

 

From summit to shore, I traveled afar;

All the while my time growing short.

 

I rolled along, till my tread was all spent;

Tossed away—thin, worn and unfit.

 

On the side of the road, to the ditch I was sent;

To die lying still in the pit.

 

But life ebbed again at the hand of a boy;

A push and a roll was my test.

 

I found all joy, in the guise of a toy;

These miles are some of my best.

 

 


Autumn Hope

Dscf1309_2 Autumn leaves flame out as they make their descent through the cool harvest air.

Their brilliant colors wane under foot, broken and crushed into the darkening earth below.

Even in death they yield a harvest.

Hidden in winter depths their embers glow, fueling hope with a spark of new life.