Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Rival (a Poem I Wrote for My Wife 5 Years Ago)

My wife likes birds.  She is smitten with the cardinals that are with us in the good weather. 


The Rival

My lady arises and opens the shade,
And bends at the waist to peer out of the pane,
Where my rival intones his melodious refrain.
I lie on our cool morning bed, yet unmade.

His love song enthralls her, she hears and obsesses.
No part of her mind is on me or our bed.
Her thoughts are ablaze with his feathery red.
I gaze on the form her brief nightgown caresses.

On guard, my opponent, I’m stealing your tune!
I’ll learn it, refine it, and bring it alive.
I shall serenade her at five-forty-five,
And steal her attention away from you soon.

But no, there’s your color. She aches for a glimpse
Of your bright apparel. My clothing is lame.
I’ll hie me to Kohl’s™, for a shirt bright as flame!
My color, not yours, shall then capture her glance.

But, no, there’s your flying; she loves you for this.
Had she wings of her own and the power of flight,
She’d fly off to find you, and with you alight.
You’ve won her, my rival, by bringing her bliss.

But still I’ll adore her fine form from this view,
And watch her as closely as she watches you.


© 2014, Paul Erlandson

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Language

I like hearing English spoken with many and varied accents. I remember that at my company, more than 20 years ago, there was an Accent Reduction Team, formed by Indian-American engineers who felt that their career fortunes would improve if they spoke like native Michiganders. I remember objecting at the time, stating that I loved to hear English spoken by my Indian-born colleagues. The musical lilt they gave to my native tongue was something wonderful to the ear. Whenever God reverses a curse, he does more than simply put things back to the way they were before the curse. So, when God in Christ redeemed the world, he did not simply put men back to the original Edenic state. No, he went far beyond that, taking humanity into Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ. Thus, a Redeemed person is even more blessed than an unFallen person. It is the same with language. When God reversed Babel's curse, He did not merely put us back to a common language such as Esperanto. No, He did something FAR more glorious. He allowed us to keep the rich diversity of languages, and one step beyond that. He allowed us to have each language spoken in a plethora of accents. The whole things is just so rich and beautiful and glorious. It is far more than a simple utilitarian solution of allowing us to comprehend each other's words. It is a majestic amplification and magnification of language. It is a phenomenal enrichment of human experience.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Another New Poem - The Small Commission

The Small Commission

When school yearbooks are thrust forth to be signed,
We give out life advice.  We speak our mind,
And charge our classmates to keep some small vow:
“Recall our good times!”  “Stay as you are now!”

As Christ did with his Great Commission bind
His church to teach and baptize all mankind,
So do the yearbook’s Small Commissions urge
Obedience to some much less solemn charge.

If we look back to that glad time remote,
Shall we have held to what our friends then wrote?
Were Small Commissions in our hearts enshrined?
Or were their words forgotten over time?

Well, one of these at least I’ve kept so far:
“Dear Paul, please stay as crazy as you are!”

© 2019, Paul Erlandson