Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Rain Redux*

Rain, rain, come again;
Drought and dryness starts to drain.
Rain, rain, come and stay:
Stay again another day.

Arizona wants some rain
Which we've too long sought in vain;
Rain that's gone away since May:
We would welcome shades of gray

Father, who once cursed the soil,
Saying now that we must toil,
Still You show amazing grace,
To Your falt'ring human race---


Rain, rain, come and play
Stay with us another day.

---C. Marie Byars, (c) November, 2020

*Redux, both because of the importance of "again" in the original rhyme and this poem. Also, "redux", because this poem comes in tandem with my poem of earlier this year, discussing the distress of Arizona's already long-standing lack of rain then, which is even worse now.

(It was a challenge writing a poem with deeper thoughts using the "punch" and even "taunt-like" meter of the original rhyme.)

Here's the previous poem that "twins" with this


Friday, October 2, 2020



During this COVID time, we are limiting our travelling and exposure. We did take some time to do some socially distanced, responsible  volunteer painting.  (My husband held the ladder while I got up into the pinnacle!)

Tuesday, September 1, 2020


"Rain" means something other
If you're not from Arizona:
"Into every life..."*
(Twist you here the knife)
"A little rain must fall..."*
(Unmitigated gall).

At last God sent us rain
To ease this climate's pain
Elsewhere they have floods--
Nature's twisted torsades.**

I pray You come again,
Far moreso than the rain;
I want to see Your Face:
Lord, Jesus, come with haste.

---c.m.b.  (c), 2020

(a summer of record breaking 110+ days in Phoenix; no rain; high ozone)

*A paraphrase from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "The Rainy Day"  (see link below)
**Torsades:  an irregular heart rhythm

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Lilies on My Table

 Flowers I bought to off-set the wicked heat and drought outdoors. Set on our bird themed tablecloth, a gift to ourselves for our last anniversary.  They opened over a couple of days, just as the store promised.

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Sunday, August 2, 2020

[Joy & Peace in Believing]

(from the Olney hymns)
Sometimes a light surprises
     The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
     With healing on His wings;*
When comforts are declining,
     He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
     To cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation
     We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God's salvation,
     And find it ever new;
Set free from present sorrow,
     We cheerfully can say,
E'en let the unknown to-morrow
     Bring with it what it may!

It can bring with it nothing,
     But He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing,**
     Will clothe His people too;
Beneath the spreading heavens
     No creature but is fed;
And He who feeds the ravens
     Will give His children bread.

Though vine nor fig tree neither***
     Their wonted fruit shall bear,
Though all the field should wither,
     Nor flocks nor herds be there:
Yet God the same abiding,
     His praise shall tune my voice;
For, while in Him confiding,
     I cannot but rejoice.
--William Cowper [pronounced "Cooper"], 1779; part of Olney 
hymns, written alongside his friend, John Newton, author of 
"Amazing Grace" 
*Malchi 4:2--  the Sun of Righteousness [Christ] will rise with 
healing  in His wings. This idea is also found in a verse of "Hark 
the Herald Angels Sing"
**Matthew 6 & Luke 12--  Jesus told His followers that God
clothes the grasses in beautiful lilies that outshine wealthy King 
Solomon's best clothing.  He feeds the birds, specifically ravens, 
though they don't work and plan as the farmer does.  Jesus tells His 
followers that His Father will certainly take care of them, also, and 
that they shouldn't worry. 
***Habakkuk 3:17-19, a paraphrase.  If all else goes badly, rejoice. 
This is not idle, wishful thinking, nor pie in the sky optimism.  
Cowper suffered from crippling, pitch black depression at a time
before there were psychiatric medications. 
(Habakkuk is one of my favorite books of the Bible.) 


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Nature is Never Spent (*)

"For all this, nature is never spent."*
As unto urban wastelands sent
Was this poetic English gent
Ourselves are now to parched lands lent,
Absorbing well what Hopkins meant.

I see no British Isles lush~
I look on desert city rush~
Adapting as that orange-breast thrush**
I find my own internal hush.  

"There lives the dearest freshness deep-down things,"*
As I admire our flowerings
And still the robin gamely sings.**

"For all this, nature is never spent."
On earth, this comes as form of rent
Until we dwell in Christ's new tent.***
--C. Marie Byars, 2020 (c) 
[during covid and unrest times, but not in direct response] 

*From Gerard Manley Hopkins', SJ, 1877 poem
God's Grandeur

**A robin is a type of thrush. Its wide range suggests it's adaptable.

***Tent/tabernacle/dwelling.  The Old Testament Tabernacle was a durable, highly ornate tent with a special purpose for worship. There, God's visible presence on earth could be found.  In John 1: 14, "The Word [Christ] became flesh and 'tabernacled' among us."  The Greek word for 'dwelling' means more literally 'tented.'

Friday, June 26, 2020

July 4th, 2020

There will be no special patriotic posting for the American 4th of July holiday.  Since this blog never really gets "dated", you can find posts that suit you by searching through old ones.  There are the July postings of almost any year in the past, found at lower left. See the menu to lower right.  You may also want to click the "summer" or "society" label at left or below.  Thank you for your on-going reading of this blog.  Marie