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Showing posts from December, 2017

Those Who Shape (a poem)

Those who shape give time, attention, dedication, devotion, patience, and a willingness to follow the contours of that which is and is in process of becoming. Those who shape are unknown artists of eternal renown; their presence forever evidenced in the becoming that never ends. Those shaped through the loving faithfulness of those who shape live their gratitude in becoming those who shape. -- bshivers

Offered in thanksgiving to those who have shaped my life.
There are too many to list. 

Thank you for being.

And Then (a poem for Christmas Day)

And then,
it happened . . .
the unimaginable
the in-breaking,
the delivery,
the disruption,
the coming together,
the nascency.

There was labor.
There was pressure.
There was pain.
There was tearing.
There was agony.
There was ecstasy.
There was power.
There was birth.

The poor sing songs of deliverance.
The oppressed cry out in relief.
The prisoners dance liberation.
The outcast celebrate inclusion.
The sightless see visions.
The lame leap for joy.
The mighty are brought low.
The systems of power and privilege cast down.

And the world
     may never be the same.
The world
     should never be the same.
Our world
     must never be the same.
We
     cannot be the same.



Advent - Join the Rebellion

Fear is mass produced in the sweatshops of lies and the factories of half truths. It is perpetuated by the narrative of scarcity and is hocked under the guise of "safety", "needs", and "wants". Faith is the ultimate act of rebellion against fear's tyrannical reign. It dwells in the hearts of all flesh and bone who risk resistance. It is incarnate in the joy, peace, hope, and love that mark the lives of those who dare to believe a different story. Advent is what we call the rebellion. Let us rebel together.  #jointherebellion

Advent - Love Is (a poem)

Love is.
Love is decisive.
Love is relentless.
Love is stubborn.
Love is 
no matter what;
no matter when;
no matter the cost.
Love is "yes, and".
Love is "with".
Love is “for”
first.

Love is reckless and illogical.
Love stands when it more convenient to sit.
Love stays when it is easier to leave.
Love is silent when all you want to do is speak.
Love speaks even when fear tries to steal your voice.

Love moves forward 
toward one another 
when doubt, uncertainty, discomfort
would remain isolated.

Love sees people
as human
not as 
agendas,
problems,
pawns,
projects,
other.

Love is that thing,
that mysterious,
indescribable thing,
which holds us together
when all else
seems to be crumbling
apart.

Love is beyond us,
yet dwells within us.

Love makes no sense;
yet love is the only thing that makes sense 
out of this everyday nonsense.

Love is not for the faint of heart.

Love cannot be found... 
because 
Love is.
— bshivers

Theotokos (a poem)

To know 
the things you undoubtedly know . . .  To have  the courage that you possess . . .  To persist  in the face of the patriarchy . . .  To sing  a song of deliverance from the depths of oppression . . .  To speak  against the systems of injustice for all of the marginalized . . .  To nourish  the entirety of creation within your womb . . .  To magnify  the one who shares your blood as the promise for all . . .  To voice  truth to the divine presence suspended in your amniotic fluid . . .  To see  beyond the uncertainty of this moment into the certainty of a promised tomorrow living as if it is today . . .  To expect  the unexpected hope, peace, joy, and love . . .    — bshivers

Subjects and Objects (a poem)

We fail one another  through our  insidious penchant,  ravenous appetite  to objectify others       who are subjects;      agents and artists;      authors and creators            of their own story  treating them  as if they are 
     nothing,
nothing more  than things  to be       used,       abused,       misused,       manipulated  at our own discretion,  for our own pleasure,  for our own advancement,  for our own benefit  in the only story  we have convinced ourselves matters,       our own story. 
This selfish,   this self centered,     this egoic  behavior      fed by       our anxieties,      our insecurities,      our fears destroys all life.   — bshivers

Joy - Present All the Same (a poem)

Care must be taken
Or joy 
     will be robbed
     of transforming power.

Joy is more than a
     transitory,
     momentary,
     circumstantial,
     egoic,
     fleeting,
feeling
     of happiness,
     of contentment.
Joy 
     lasts in spite of circumstance;
     dwells beyond individualistic self-centered feelings;
     cannot be possessed. 

Joy is born 
     with a vision of abundance 
          where once there was only fear of scarcity; 
     where more than enough bursts forth 
          where once there was only lack;
               in waters breaking forth in the wilderness;
               in streams found in the desert.

Joy calls us 
     toward difficult things.   Joy asks us 
     to see the world differently; 
     to live in our world differently.


Joy speaks out 
     against not enough,
     against never will be,
through action. 

Joy is tied to 
     justice, 
     healing, 
     mercy,
     inclusion,
     equity,
     freedom
for all.

Joy 
     demands nothing less than 
          lifting up the lowly;
   …

Peace of Advent - As If for the Very First Time (a poem)

Peace is
     more than a comforting platitude.
Peace is
     more than a careless valediction at the close of correspondence.
Peace is
     more than a holiday card covered in glitter.
Peace is
     more than twinkling lights of red and green.
Peace is
     more than a well worn symbol on a threadbare tie-dyed t-shirt.
Peace is
     more than two fingers lifted skyward.
Peace is
     more than something that should be given a chance.

Peace changes
     everything.
Peace turns
     all we once thought we knew so well downside up.
Peace shatters
     silence brokered by the intimidating agents of violence.
Peace awakens
     visions of what might be in the minds of young women and young men.
Peace mends
     fiercely divided lives and fractured existence.
Peace proclaims
     hope of a different way than the status quo.
Peace births
     wholeness, shalom where once there was only splintered pieces.

Peace is
     the avenue where steadfast love and faithfulness meet as long lost friend…

advent people (a poem)

do not be
mistaken.
this waiting
is not
inaction;
this anticipation
is not
wishful thinking.
they are
present tense
living
in a
world
preoccupied with
the way it was,
  the not yet,
the used to be,
  the maybe never.
they are
persistent
prophetic
resistance
found
in the song
of a young mother;
in the coo
of a newborn babe;
in the living
of advent people.
  -- bshivers

Hope of Advent (a poem)

Hope is a strange thing.
Hope in the face
     of uncertainty,
     of discord,
     of disease,
     of brokenness,
     of adversity,
     of wickedness,
     of bad news
seems irresponsible and naive.
But . . .
Hope sees a way
     where the path appears blocked.
Hope beckons us
     when all else seems lost.
Hope is 
     that which pulls us
     toward possibility.
Hope is foolishness
     in the eyes of a pessimistic world.
Hope is  the audacious persistence  of a young expectant  mother  who sings songs of deliverance in the shadow of 
     occupation           and 
     patriarchy because of the promise held  in her womb.   O, the voice of hope
It will not
     waver in the presence of fear.
It will not
     yield under the strain of adversity.
It will not
     fail in the grip of oppression.
Courage,
Faith,
Love,
Resistance,
Change,
     are impossible without it.
In this season of Advent,
In this season of waiting,
In this season of anticipation,
may we live our lives “as if”
     in this “not yet” world;
may we be known
  …