Archive for the ‘Haiku poems’ Tag

Setting attainable goals

Accepting failure

For the unattainable

can move us forward

~~~

To strive instead for

What is attainable now

That which is in reach

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In Philippians, chapter 3, verses 12-16 Paul was addressing the church of Philippi about the highest goal of which we can all attain, that being the one called by God; to live according to His plan, for His glory not of our own flesh and earthly desires but of that which brings Him the glory for what he can do through us and in us. We may work hard and diligently at things that are self-seeking, things we want for ourselves, our goals and dreams for those that we think will bring happiness, success and gain. But what is not sanctioned, blessed and directed of and by God can only bring failure, dissatisfaction, and a searching for truth and reward. Only that which God offers can bring what we need and ultimately want to have; what no man or anything on this earth can take away or destroy, that which is called the “highest goal,” the “prize of the high calling of God” that Paul speaks about. To press on, to attain that goal is the easy and best part, but to work at being what God has called us to be requires commitment, dedication and is not self-seeking, but the reward is eternal. So many times I have worked and sought to bring about a result of self-satisfaction and gain for myself in what I have tried to do as a writer, or at anything I felt led to do on my own, only to fail at attempts that proved we are nothing without God and can only move forward by His grace and know a real peace that only He can bring. It is not what the world can give or anyone else but only through Him we have that which is the highest of goals attainable.

“Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” Philippians 3:16 NIV

Joyce E. Mannhalter © August 2019

Welcome April

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After all the snow

The sun shines; it’s warming up

And that is no joke 🙂

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Joyce E. Johnson © 2016 

Still reflections

Looking west towards the mountains from River's Edge Nature Preserve, Loveland, Colorado photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

Looking west towards the mountains from River’s Edge Nature Preserve, Loveland, Colorado, houses can be seen in the dark, but a small lone light was on in one where my lens caught it. This was a very peaceful, serene reflection of the lake.
photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Still waters reflect

silhouetted trees and peaks

as dark settles in

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Joyce E. Johnson © 2015

After the storms God gives us rainbows

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An arch of color

spreads across a twilight sky

too soon it is gone

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Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Life found where we least expect it

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Nature won’t give up

on what it breathes life into;

but comes back, stronger

___________

One and a half years after the disastrous flood of September 2013 in our town in northern Colorado we have amazing sights that surprise us like this old cracked tree stump that was surrounded by destroyed trees and washed out trails, roads and demolished buildings. But, last summer while on the walking trail we spotted this old tree stump cut down where others had been trimmed or uprooted from the flood, many that literally floated down the raging river during the flood. Thinking the tender green shoots were growing up from the ground near it, I decided to get a closer look at it and found that they were actually growing from out of the cracks or crevices in the stump. I was glad I had my camera along.

I was immediately reminded of a favorite scripture in Job 14: 7 of the Old Testament that says, “At least there is hope for a tree; if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.” (NIV) And I thought about how often I had given up on dreams or things in my life because I felt as if they were ‘dead in the water’, like the trees that washed away in the flood, or having been cut down of ever producing any life or fruit again. But, God’s word is true. It is the same promise for today as it was in the days of Job, and there is the faith and hope that new life, new growth can begin again and we will bear new fruit.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Eye to eye

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Like me, this lone dove

on our roof waits patiently

for spring to arrive

__________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)


It is only love

It is only Love

That can dispel darkness in

A world full of hate

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Today is a day we honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., a man of influence who had a ‘dream,’ a dream of equality and fairness for all people of color, race and religion. It is hard to believe that in 1965 back then when he and thousands marched in Selma, Alabama I was a senior in high school with little thought of him, or his dream at that time. I had only one thought that spring; to finish my senior year and graduate high school.

Little did we think or realize how things would develop and turn around, and change for a country so steeped in racial divide, prejudice and hatred back then for the black population. No one believed or ever thought there would one day be a man of color in the White House leading our country.

But, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of faith, a ‘preacher’ who not only had a dream of equality for all, but a man who was not afraid of what a ‘white man’ could do to him, only what a nation would not do to stop racial segregation and injustice, one who allowed rules where restrooms and sections in restaurants divided the white people from the black. And, where the KKK would be allowed to meet in secret under the disguise of white hoods to continue in their practice of hatred, prejudice, even killing and hanging black people to further recruit and promote for their ‘white supremacy’ agenda.

And now, we have racial division once more from the recent incidents of white police officers shooting and/or killing black people in a ‘choke hold’ defensive maneuver. The judicial system we have may have flaws, or maybe just a lot of gray area not easily defined. Time will tell and we will see where the sides and division in these matters decide who was right or wrong. But it emphasizes the fact that hatred still lives in the hearts of those who refuse to practice ‘equality’ and fairness for all, or even to love one regardless their color, faith, race or political perspective.

Living Water

Boyd Lake, Loveland, Colorado

Boyd Lake, Loveland, Colorado

‘He who drinks from the

pool of living water will

never thirst again’

 

A woman came to a well to draw water when she came upon a man, a stranger weary from a long day who asked if he could have a drink.  She inquired as to why he had no vessel to use for water. But, he replied if she knew who he was she would not have asked why, but instead would have asked for the, Living Water. He was not a mere stranger, but one who knew everything there was to know about her and could read her life like a book. He was not a psychic, fortune-teller, spy or stalker.

She soon realized that it was Jesus she was speaking to, the Son of God who spoke with the authority and knowledge of His father in heaven. When he asked her to go share this news with her husband she replied, “But, sir I have no husband.”

He said, “Yes, that is true, for you have had five husbands, but the one you live with now is not your husband.”

She wanted to hurry home to share her news about the man who knew all their was about her and offered her the gift of Living Water. She only needed to believe and trust in Him.

____________

Footnotes: I love this story because it tells about the caring, loving, compassionate Savior who makes that gift available to everyone, whatever their background or ethnicity, if they will only believe in Him. This is a true story, and can be found in the New Testament Bible in John, chapter 4. The above haiku poem is just my own paraphrased interpretation of the gift of Living Water. 

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Daring to be different

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A single pink rose bloom on my white rose-bush

Daring, different

From all the rest this pink rose

Shyly opens up

~~~~~~~

I have several rose bushes in my back yard of different colors; red, pink, and white. The single pink bloom here is the only one among the white or ivory colored blooms on this bush and seemed remarkable as we watched it develop and bloom.

It reminds me of the ways in which I felt different growing up. My friends had blue eyes, blond hair, had common names like Kathy or Linda, and were considered ‘cool’ and ‘popular’. I had brown hair, brown eyes, a less common name, was quiet and more the introvert. They had bicycles of their own. Mine belonged to my sister. They all made A’s and B’s in school. I barely passed on C’s. Their fathers had good paying careers and jobs. My father was a church pastor barely able to provide for a family of two parents with four kids. Did I resent that? No. My life was just different from everyone else’s. Sometimes I thought it unfair, and grumbled; until I realized it was I who needed an adjustment, and an attitude of gratitude with a thankful heart.

About the blue-eyed, blond-haired girls; back then, I wanted to be like them; until I learned that brown hair and brown eyes could be romantic and mysterious; all in the brown eyes of the one beholding such beauty.

The bicycle that wasn’t mine? I rode it everywhere throughout my childhood until the day I could afford to buy my own.

My low grades? Well, I learned that what I lacked in confidence and ability in some things I could achieve and excel in others. So, I worked at those things I could do well in; writing, music and art.

And my father who was a church pastor; well, he worked long days and sometimes nights ministering to people with love, humility, grace, compassion, forgiveness and a thankful heart. His lessons on life he taught his children, as well as those in his congregation.

What I learned? It isn’t how much we have, or what we’re born with that is important, but what we do with what we’ve learned; believing in ourselves and knowing it’s OK to be different, blooming where we are planted.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Awaiting the adventure just ahead

A highway through the state of Utah on the way to the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Photo taken while on a trip in August, 2013

 

If the path you choose

seems an arduous journey

look for adventure

 

around the corner.

It might be just the thing that

brings you sweet reward.

_________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Footnotes; Things I’ve learned along the way. Looking back on the fun and adventure of summer vacations I remember our kids saying all the time while taking road trips, “Are we there yet?” That line later made its way into movie and TV scripts with the kid asking the same question over and over. Even now we can get impatient in life not just with the literal trips we take, but metaphorically speaking of the long journey in life of our chosen path, and it may seem it will take forever to achieve. Some will have their rewards and others  may not. But, a chance taken is sometimes worth the risk. How we travel and whether we carry baggage along the way often determines its success.

As beautiful as a rose

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There is no job more

worthy of honor or praise,

none more difficult;

~~~

None more deserving

of earning payment or raise

than that called ‘Mother.’

~~~

She gives of herself.

With her heart she nurtures those

she’s given to love.

~~~

She embraces life

because she cherishes what

she is blessed to have.

______________

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL MOTHERS AND GRANDMOTHERS OUT THERE!

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)


The Daily Post: Weekly writing challenge, Student/Teacher

Good writing is not

in perfected form, but in

a corrected form

_________

Submitted for the http://dailypost.wordpress.com/     Weekly writing challenge,  Student/teacher

The above haiku poem is a lesson I learned when I was a member of the Christian Writers’ Guild years ago and mentored under instructors like Jerry B. Jenkins (author of the New York Times best-selling Left Behind book series and founder of the CWG) whom I admire and respect as a writer. While being mentored by a published author assigned to me I learned that good writing is the result of re-written, revised and re-edited material not just once, but a number of times. And it has paid off considerable times when I have resubmitted pieces to publishers after the first and consecutive rejections. If after the third rejection and re-edited, revised material one might reconsider or re-examine the piece entirely and decide it is worthy of submitting again and again. But, in the process it can make one a better writer and teach perseverance and patience. I think that is the ultimate lesson a writer learns above all.

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Having hope is easy…but faith? Well…

Hope is what I have,

Faith is what I strive to gain;

more of which I need

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If you have come to my site looking for poems for the 30 day NaPoWriMo challenge of posting a poem a day, you can see this and all those posted under the month’s archive with the last and final one today, above. Most are newly written poems never before posted on my blog. Some are old poems written years ago, some published, but never posted here before this month. All of those posted for this 30 day challenge can be found under the category of the NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). I have not used any of the optional prompts provided by their site, but instead my own ideas to write what I wanted to post for that day, so hope no one has been disappointed. As you have been able to tell by now, I have had a variety of all kinds, types and subjects including some fantasy, funny and whimsical.  🙂 Poetry is one of the genres I love to write, but it is not the only thing. I love writing fiction too, and soon will be back to posting some again. I hope you have enjoyed some poems I have posted here, but there are a whole lot more poems under the poetry and Haiku categories.  I celebrate today for several reasons. First off, it is my birthday today. Second, it is the last day of the poetry challenge and I kept up with it, posting each day in spite of the fact that I have had some serious health issues for several months and recently (yesterday) had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee to correct problems with it after having a total knee replacement a few years ago, so will take some days off to rest and recuperate.  Another reason to celebrate is that it is spring now, my favorite season and things are all turning green, flowers are in bloom, and much or most of our city here in Loveland has undergone and finished the repair and restoring of our roads, parks and river areas devastated by the terrible flood last fall here in Northern Colorado and the Front Range. Those are all happy and positive reasons for celebrating this day and this season. So, a Happy Spring to all out there. And, thank you all for reading, and for the positive comments, follows and likes on my posts and poetry.

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Joyce E. Johnson  (2014)

Nurturing what we plant

Like seeds planted and

nurtured, our fruit is known by

that which feeds our soul.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson  (2014)

Achieving the attainable

Failure may not be

easy for one to accept,

but can prepare one

~~~

to strive instead for

realistic attainable

goals within our reach.

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)


If I could catch a sunbeam

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If I could catch a sunbeam

I’d keep it in a jar

 and save it for the times

when cloudy skies or rain would fall

 and threaten to spoil my plans that day.

I’d open up the jar

and watch my sunbeam spread its warmth,

its golden rays and magical waves sweep across the sky

and everyone would wonder,

“From where did the sunshine come”?

I would then reply, “It’s just a bit of magic

I kept in a jar.” 🙂

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)


The Galilee

 

 


The Galilee, stilled,

cold and quiet mourns His death,

the slain Lamb of God

~~~

 who walked on water,

 fed the hungry, healed the sick,

helped the poor and weak,

~~~

taught us how to live,

and how to love our neighbor,

then humbled himself,

~~~

 and died on a cross

bearing the sins of the world;

God’s redemption plan.

________

The above photo of the Sea of Galilee was taken by my husband on our trip to Israel in May of 2001. References to the ‘stilled Galilee’ can be found in the New Testament in Matthew 8:23-26 (NIV). Other miracles of Jesus and his ministry is told and reported throughout the books of Matthew, Luke and the Gospels.

Joyce E. Johnson (2014) 


Our life is a journey

On The Road of Life

Along life’s journey

we meet new travelers who

make it all worth while

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Bound between two covers

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A book is read for

what is found on its pages

it’s not the story

~~~

that’s most important

or pictures that entertain

but the way it’s told

~~~

and the message gained

for on its pages are words

that change heart and soul

______________

Notes:  I read that this week is National Library week so decided to use this poem and photo for the NaPoWriMo post for today. I love to read and have an extensive library of traditional print books in my collection of all genres and types and by many different authors. I am also fond of antique books and love collecting them. But, the ‘book’ in the photo above is actually my paternal grandfather’s German Bible. Although I have different translations of the Bible and concordances in my home it is the significance, sentimentality and the history of this old Bible that is special to me, but the ‘messages’ contained inside it I value most. The NIV (New International Version) Study Bible is my favorite translation and the one I prefer for reading and personal study.

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

April rains and spring flowers (Day 15 of NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month)


April brings showers

The fresh scent of falling rain

And new spring flowers

___________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

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