Tag Archives: salvation

Graceful Rider

30 Jun

I recall the asphalt—a blur beneath—and my days
at the school of tachometry.  Chrome tailpipes
and handlebars shone like a vision.
I leaned into the turns until the foot pegs scraped.
Hardtop suited me just fine.

I evoke the throttle’s spirit—the twist and release—
and the engine’s heat.  They moved me, but pavement
takes a toll and ditches are replete.  All those close calls,
falls, and crashes hurt, but I never refused the road.
I crossed the double line

before I slowed.  Then came the graceful rider.
He rode from days of old on everlasting tires
because the time had come.  When he spoke I shattered,
but he whispered to each piece; for every shard he shouted.
His voice was bread and wine.   

He made pursuit his standard and tattooed me with fire.
I ducked and dodged and rolled with bent desire,
but he planned my course.  He pierced and purchased,
broke bones and mended, then caught me with a look…
He saw a man born blind.

My will failed, he gripped.  He healed my road-rash knees,
rebuilt my make and model, he saw to parts unseen
and my gears made changes.  Rubber on the street
moved me to new places.  Beneath chain and sprocket
I saw narrow roads unwind.               

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Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand by Henry Alford

8 Aug

Henry Alford

On the ABOUT page of my blog, I explain that my blog title If You Long For Home…is meant (in part) to reflect my eternal perspective.  This hymn by English hymn writer Henry Alford (1810-1871) is a fine description in poetic form of my eternal hope and desire.

Alford was also a scholar who studied Homer, English Poetry, and the Greek New Testament.

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Ten thousand times ten thousand in sparkling raiment bright,
The armies of the ransomed saints throng up the steeps of light;
‘Tis finished, all is finished, their fight o’er death and sin;
Fling open wide the golden gates and let the victors in.

What rush of alleluias fills all the earth and sky!
What ringing of a thousand harps bespeaks the triumph nigh!
O day, for which creation and all its tribes were made;
O joy, for all its former woes a thousand-fold repaid!

O then what raptured greetings on Canaan’s happy shore;
What knitting severed friendships up, where partings are no more!
Then eyes with joy shall sparkle, that brimmed with tears of late;
Orphans no longer fatherless, nor widows desolate.

Bring near Thy great salvation, Thou Lamb for sinners slain;
Fill up the roll of Thine elect, then take Thy power and reign;
Appear, Desire of nations, Thine exiles long for home;
Show in the heaven Thy promised sign; Thou Prince and Savior, come.

Robert Buchanan, Hindenburg Docker

14 Oct

260px-Hindenburg_burning

Robert Buchanan waited on the field,
in wet clothes, to dock the Hindenburg.
No shadow marked its’ place
beneath the heavy morning sky.
The airship came close, then, POOF!—

strange enormous light, a bite, and suffocation.
He wondered, is this the end?
Heat shoved him, outran him, jumped down
on him.  It was the hottest thing
he would ever live to tell.

Rain came twice while he had waited;
twice its’ grace fell on him.
He escaped, but had to run a long way
before he turned
(to see from what he had been saved).

Robert Buchanan was interviewed for the PBS program History Detectives (Season 6, Episode 5).  His testimony of how he avoided severe burns and possible death at the crash of the Hindenburg inspired this poem.