Tuesday, November 2, 2010


So now I've been thinking about hope. Not really in the "never give up way" way. Although I do espouse that mindset, I'm really a "wake up and smell the bacon" type of person. No, you're probably not going to be the next J.K. Rowling. No NBA for you, pal. And no, he won't break up with her for you. Just saying.

Of course, I do recognize that hope is important. No one would ever write an award-winning novel or become a world-touring rock band if they hadn't believed it was possible. Some hopes are good because they keep you afloat. A person who is working a dead-end job and going to college at night has to believe that things will get better. Hope is good. At the same time, hope can betray you. My Nordic side can't forget about the others.

What about the aspiring actress that finally gave up and became a hooker? Or the athlete who was injured his senior year, losing his college scholarship and dreams of pro sports? Or the girl I recently wrote about who hoped that the relationship would lead to the altar but it really just left her heartbroken? These stories don't make for good movies, but they're reality.

The Bible even talks about this in Proverbs. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." The problem is, then, that you can't choose which hope will be deferred or not. Will this hope lead you to the tree of life or to heartsickness? Hm.

I guess the key is putting your hopes in the right things. It's probably a good idea to try to be at least a bit sure of something before letting yourself get carried away in daydreams. If you want to be an NHL star but are always on the bench, that's not a good sign. It can happen, it's just not likely.

More importantly, God is ultimately where we should be putting our hope. Do you know how many times the Bible talks about putting our hope in the Lord? Well, I don't either, but I know it's a lot. If I were a good blogger, I probably would go look it up. But oh well. The point is that we should hope in God because only in him are our hopes safe. If our dream is to live for him, to praise him in suffering, and put aside our own ambitions for his sake, then we will never be disappointed. If our hope is truly in him, we can handle the heartbreaks and setbacks in life. We will never lose our hope.

Well, that's the end of my thoughts-related portion. On to the poetry portion. I've been thinking about writing a collection of poems where I would write three poems for each topic. Each of the three would treat the same topic in vastly different ways. Who knows if I'll actually finish the project, but I did write my first triplet on hope and hope-related things.

This one is about the struggle between emotion (which embraces hope) and logic (which tries to push hope away).

The Battle
Hope, that niggling mite, the cunning weed,
the worm that burrows into the core of a heart
and makes a home in the warm, red pump.
It's an infestation no amount of Raid will end.
So, the battle is on.
Brain v. Heart,
Brain, the favored contestant.
It stems the red tide with its
solid, unrelenting mass.
But blood bubbles up, overwhelming the gray matter
with crimson waves.
The brain rallies, slowly subduing each pulsing spurt
'til all that is left is a black puddle
and the taste of metal.
Hope is lost, banished to a far-off atria
to nurse its wounds
and plot its inevitable escape.

This is a look at how hope can often be duped.

The Same Story
in an annoyingly repetitive collection.
Hope is locked away in a tower of steel,
Swiss bank walls and bullet-proof glass.
To be kept from prowlers,
princes, hunters, knaves,
witches with apples,
meddling neighbors,
fairy godmothers and their so-called help.
Then comes a breach.
A prince with drills and ladders and wheedling declarations of love.
Poor Hope, pitiful, deluded Hope,
lets down her hair to let the loving liar inside
so he can pillage her jewels and cast her out,
flinging her to the roses
who take her sight in payment for the landing.
So the happy ending finds
the prince riding off with his loot
and Hope blindly wandering the wilderness,
weeping for her bullet-proof glass
and cursing boys and broken promises.

Ok, here is an optimistic one for those of you who like hope.

I Hold Hope Close
Not sewing it to my sleeve
or casting it about like a farmer planting seeds.
For sleeves soon rip
and seedlings die under searing sunlight.
I hold hope close,
tucked in the corner of my heart
and it lights the shadows of my life,
glowing in tears,
shining in laughter.
I hold hope close,
but I wait for the day
when hope has forever died.
Not swallowed up in darkness,
but faded into light.
For what was once hope
will simply be reality.


  1. Mmm, very good. I like the second one best. :-)

  2. Good thoughts. I like your second poem the best, I think, (love the line "who take her sight in payment for the landing"), but I like the third one too, especially the last six lines.


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