A Prayer to God for Rest (a heroic)

I run around far too much …  Here is a prayer in verse asking God for rest and to meet me in my vulnerability:

 

A Prayer to God for Rest – by Haydn Sennitt (Oct. 2019)

 

My Heavenly, loving, and unseen Father

My life is Yours and belongs to no other. 

Forgive me for thinking I have no limits

When my efforts limp like soggy biscuits. 

I think I can trek 90 kilometres

And reach up higher than glass thermometers. 

I love so much to ‘feel productive’, You see:

My dad said once, “Son, useful you have to be

If you want others to love you in this world”. 

Ever since then I’ve been searching for pearls

And spinning like a rat on a training wheel:

Wiped out and weary is now what I feel. 

My increasing wrinkles are cracks of drought

Caused by the worries I’ve carried about. 

 

Please be the water which revives my soul

And the glue which binds me safe and whole;

Heal my parts that want to earn Your holy love

And all the bruises from my push and shove. 

Teach me how to find my calming rest in You

And cease from trying to get myself approved. 

Please be, today, strength and all my joy.

Be the Father doting on his little boy. 

Help me to choose to lie under the tree

Of grace so You do not have to make me. 

 

In Jesus Christ’s name, blood, and authority I pray,

Amen.

Categories: Prayer | Leave a comment

Sauerkraut & Ironbark Crescent (acrostics)

Here are two acrostics that I wrote just for fun –

 

 

Sauerkraut – by Haydn Sennitt (Sep. 2019)

 

Shimmering birds fly

Around mountains strong.

Undulating and

Everlasting bold

Rocks cannot stop them;

Kings’ powers cannot

Reach these princes winged

Above their circlets.

Under golden thrones

These kings have a grip.

 

Ironbark Crescent – by Haydn Sennitt (Sep. 2019)

 

Industrious pursuits

Render me tired.  While

Outletting deep sighs,

Nebulous mists

Block my vision.

Aching to revive, my

Redeemer restores,

Knowing me.  Filling me.

 

Christ is

Rising in me.

 

Categories: Acrostics | Leave a comment

Sydney Indifferent (tercets)

My home city of Sydney in Australia is extremely cold to the things of God.  Its culture is also incredibly selfish, lonely, and exacting.  Here is a poetic reflection of mine upon it:

 

Sydney Indifferent – by Haydn Sennitt (Sept. 2019)

 

Indifferent to the things of God

Natural man spurns right and wrong,

And church folk follow worldly songs.

 

I witness this maddening sprawl;

With aching back I hurt and crawl:

The things of God are being ignored.

 

My bones and smile have slowly died;

In drought my nation’s rotting inside:

It’s like it wants to slowly die.

 

This death just never seems to die.

Does no-one ever wonder why,

And in repentance wail and cry?

 

When will I see fallen trees grow,

Who drive their cars and shopping go?

When will the Holy Spirit flow?

 

This life, thank God, will pass away;

I cannot stand another day

Where Christ is tossed for other ways.

 

Heaven’s hopes restore my bones

More than the things I see and know.

Can’t wait to drink God’s love bestowed.

Categories: Modern culture, Tercets | Leave a comment

Injured Head in Lennox Head (in cinquains)

When I was a child, my favourite holiday destination was Lennox Head, a coastal town on the northern coast of New South Wales (only a few kilometres south of Brisbane).  I was doing backflips in the swimming pool when I hit the back of my head …  My parents’ response to it all was quite shocking and for the last 30 years I have carried many internal scars as a consequence; only recently have I faced this memory and processed the pain underneath it.  Here is a poetic reflection of mine upon it:

 

Injured Head in Lennox Head – by Haydn Sennitt (Sept. 2019)

 

The palm trees waved us into Lennox Head

To the terracotta-stained brick motel

And its cobalt-blue tiled deep swimming pool.

Not far away the ocean belched its swell

Of flesh for fishermen to cook their gruel.

 

My favourite spot to holiday my head

And rest my weary body, spirit, soul,

This sleepy paradise gave calm respite.

Then I struck my head on the pool’s edge bold;

All spun ‘round with raging, menacing spite.

 

“Oh dad, I think I need to see a nurse”,

I screamed in swollen pain.  “It hurts so much.”

But mum and dad would not be bothered then:

Alone, I lay down with a little touch

So they could talk with other mums and men.

 

Lonely, I wondered if anyone cared

As fluid leaked from the base of my skull.

I vowed that, again, I’d not ask for help.

“Only I can look after me”, I mulled

And suffocated my agonised yelps.

 

How hard it has been to let all this go:

For thirty sore years I have walked away

From help, sweet blessings, and generous love. 

Yet the tender touches of Jesus today

Comfort my spirit with His soft hands above.

Categories: Autobiographical, Cinquain | Leave a comment

Lonely Moses (a sestina)

Here I reflect on the life of my favourite biblical mentor (aside from Jesus): Moses … May it bless you as you read it (you guessed it) aloud.  (NB – Mosheh is Moses’ name in Hebrew.)

 

Lonely Moses – by Haydn Sennitt (Sept. 2019)

 

Oh Moses, how lonely you must have felt

All through your life.  In trauma you were born:

Upon life-giving waters red with blood

You were cast, one of the few survivors

Of satanic purging.  From your mother

You were torn.  Then the butchers brought you up.

 

Mosheh, how did it feel to be raised up

Inside the palace halls of those who felt

You deserved to die, stealing your mother

From your arms, to whom you were dearly born?

Of course, it made you quite the survivor

Through the reddened memories of others’ blood.

 

To re-join your family you shed the blood

Of an Egyptian.  What did that bring up?

To Midian you fled, a survivor

Again from Pharaoh’s hot revenge.  You felt

In the desert like a new man re-born.

Jethro’s tent gave you that special other. 

 

To save those connected to your mother

You went to Egypt, but they sought your blood

And probably wished you’d never been born.

How was it helping them by going up

To speak for them to Pharaoh when you felt

Their resentment of you, old survivor?

 

Leading to freedom Israel’s survivors

Your two siblings from your Hebrew mother

Slandered you in public.  It must have felt

Like a kick in the face.  But then, in blood,

You taught Israel how to walk with God.  Up

Mount Sinai you trekked where you were re-born,

 

Shimmering glory from your face.  Though born

Anew, you were strange to the survivors:

‘Alien’ your called your son.  Your time up,

God united you to your dead mother,

To die outside your Promised Land, no blood

No more to see.  How lonely you must have felt …

Categories: Bible books, Sestina

Booked Face

Here I reflect on Facebook, our major provider of social media, and how it affects the concept of friendship … May it bless you as you read it (you guessed it) aloud.

 

Booked Face – by Haydn Sennitt (Sept. 2019)

 

I joined this site, this face that booked me

To see how many friends I could net;

Some jumped in, my loneliness to forget

But with one another we oft got bored.

 

The stuff we shared was droll and banal

At times, though at times things picked up

As I sipped coffee from my cup

To learn of foreign news.  Opinions

 

Plopped out like bubbles in the bath,

Small balloons popping foul reeks

From those that probably shouldn’t speak

At any given moment.

 

‘Friends’ came, and ‘friends’ went in an abyss

Liking, unfriending, blocking, sharing

Unconcerned how I was faring.

I did likewise to them, at times.

 

I can get some chums I’d like to have,

Yet they’re a picture on a screen.

What’s their sound when their voices scream?

How go they when they go unwatched?

 

How is their face contorting right now?

What do they do when a baby cries?

We cannot see one another’s eyes;

We resort to virtual messages.

 

I joined this site, this face that booked me

To see how many friends I could net.

Friends, not facts, I seek from the Internet.

Does it work?  The jury’s still out on that.

Categories: Haydn's Verse

Black & White (petrarchan sonnet)

Here I reflect  on the colours black and white.  I am amazed at the word play and other interesting ‘stuff’ that came out when I wrote this in KMart this afternoon.  It’s in the form of a petrarchan sonnet (abba abba cdc cdc) … May it bless you as you read it (you guessed it) aloud.

 

Black & White – by Haydn Sennitt (Sept. 2019)

 

When the world began all blackened it was,

Forming, foaming, writhing, in bubbling dark.

Chaos mingled with lifelessness.  How stark,

Purposeless this black became when Light was caused.

God’s colour dissected the black with white

To inform earth as to who is in charge,

Its holy radiance looming large. 

The white makes the day, the black forms the night.

Between dark and white war goes on;

The black, for now, may linger.

Yet for its death we won’t wait long:

White will swim on black like a swan

And sing its notes in a shimmer.

Jesus’ wooden cross proved black is wan.

Categories: Colours, Petrarchan sonnet

Asparagus Acrostic

This poem’s just for fun 🙂 

 

Asparagus – by Haydn Sennitt (Sept. 2019)

 

Arrow-like, you make your point

Spearing my dinner and steak.

Pepper rarely stirs such a scene,

Although the spice rack fiercely vies,

Roaring its voice for attention.

Alone you are delectable

Giving me more than what I asked for.

Undressed, you shimmer; dressed, you shine 

Surfeiting with nourishment, fine asparagus.   

Categories: Acrostics

Invisible (v. 1)

Being a shepherd chosen by Jesus (the Shepherd) to lead others under Him is really hard.  Many times and in many ways I feel so invisible – to God and others.  Some may be aghast that I could think and say such things to God, but there is a strong tradition of God’s children speaking to Him like this in the Bible.  David asked God things like this in the psalms, as did many of the prophets like Habakkuk and Jeremiah; Jesus Himself did so.  Here I wrestle with these feelings in a rondeaux form of verse.  

 

Invisible v. 1 – by Haydn Sennitt (Sept. 2019)

 

Awakening every day in wonder I

Look in my hands, the ground, around the sky

Wondering how God’s leaders chosen

Get shut out from the sun.  Ignored and frozen

Flying alone against the wind, I sigh.

 

Winds blown without, winds blown within … I sigh:

All the banners of Hell against me fly.

More pain among the pleasure is woven,

awakening every day.

 

Father, do You not hear how loud I cry?

Do not Your blessings to me apply

Like allies, gold coin, and dreams awoken?

The angry prayers that King Dave had spoken,

Like Psalm Thirteen droop my lips, my red eyes

awakening every day.

Categories: Autobiographical, Poetry, Rondeaux, Wrestling With God

My Life in Verse (a heroic)

I am now almost 40 years old, so I decided to write an account my life in poetic verse, a quick skim of the things that I have gone through.  It’s written as heroic verse, with rhyming couplets throughout.  Each year of my life is covered in two lines of verse (a rhyming couplet per year), so this poem is 78 lines in total with a rhyming scheme of aa bb cc, and so on.  May it bless you as you read it aloud.  Perhaps you may even connect with it.  (PS – I have written a pindaric ode reflecting on how God took me out of homosexuality.  You can read that here.)

 

My Life in Verse – by Haydn Sennitt (August 2019)

 

Into history I came in February

In the year of AD Nineteen Eighty;

To Chatswood’s Beresford Avenue I

Joined my folks, then heard my sister’s first cries.

A young shoot growing up into a tree

Was the curly haired blond, little old me.

‘Kindy’ class was soon graced with my presence

Back when I hungered for Christmas presents. 

Nan, in Northbridge, watched the mischief I’d made

Then cleaned up the mess with a towel and spade.

But soon the bell tolled when mum got tumours;

We hoped the cancer was just a rumour. 

Jill survived the ordeal, one breast cut off

When down on Chernobyl death rained her stuff.

Then I was told we had to ‘move onward’,

So I blocked my tears and learned some song words.

We cheered the nation’s two hundredth birthday

And hoped that the poor would just blow away.

It was then we heard news odd and bizarre:

We bid farewell to the USSR.

The world was changing and I, ten years older,

Grew bigger, smarter, and rather bolder.

In Ninety-One I changed schools; then Nan died;

Moved house; lost friends.  Had my eyes opened wide.

These brand new things in my life felt so chilled;

The old had gone, no matter what I willed.

Now thirteen puberty punched me one day,

Yet I felt so queer: I thought I was ‘gay’. 

I suspected dad would skin me alive

When admitting that I liked other guys.

Again the bell tolled when mum’s second breast

Spawned new cancer.  They again sliced her chest.

Weeping inside, her womanhood shattered,

She often believed she didn’t matter.

Again I changed schools, to flee from its thugs

And I felt so worn from feeling like mud.

Graduating from school in ‘Ninety-Eight

I could do my own thing.  I couldn’t wait!

Now I sat in university halls

As many feared that Y2K would fall.

The Social Science course that I studied

Prepared me for work.  I wasn’t worried. 

Yet the bell tolled again (one, two, three): sick

Mum was again after the Olympics.

Then she died just before 9-11.

I joined the ‘gay’ scene when she joined heaven. 

My family broken, my life plans were dust.

Though a Christian for five years, I lived in lust.

Facing a life cruel and unstable

I wondered if it all was a fable.

What profit did God have in all this mess?

I missed my young life at my first address.

Wandering my own tracks, I walked outcast

Lost far from God’s way, the safest path.

Then in ’O-Seven I married a wife –

Ji Hyun, my beau, to begin a new life. 

One year later came our first-born daughter,

Ji Hyae, whom I bathed in scented water.

To Korea we moved and soon returned

To process the lessons I had to learn.

Hwan Hee came next, our baby number two,

Who gave such joy.  We changed her nappies too.

I entered ministry at thirty one,

Then shared my story to help other sons

Stuck in homosexual addiction

And other sinful, deluded, fictions. 

Through churches aplenty I flew my flags

Giving testimony.  How I loved to brag!

Then it stopped so I ceased (uninvited).

How it hurt to feel ignored and slighted.

When seminary stopped the next project

Was to shepherd a church of wrinkled necks:

My history unique, with details macabre,

Gave light to others still trapped in the dark.

All which God gave (the gorgeous and ugly)

He was using to carve sculptures of beauty;

Though stubborn, impatient, and sinful

I am with such blemishes and wrinkles,

I thank my family for how patient it’s been.

Goodness, my eldest is almost a teen …

Categories: Autobiographical, Heroics

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