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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Something Short of Sorrow

The hurt that comes while heartache heals
is something short of sorrow,
something short of how it feels
to weep and wonder if tomorrow
holds any semblance of today.
It falls short of the grief we know
when loved-ones pass away
and patted earth is covered by snow,
short of the loss that’s shared
when hope or love’s let go
and all around us are prepared
to reap the joy we’re told tears sow.
Heartache settles deep inside
where no one sees or knows
save one who peers… eyes wide
in yours… until it goes. 
© Tom Kapanka, April 28, 2012

 "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."
  Psalm 126:5 (KJV)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Until a Limb

I followed through a pathless wood
too close perhaps
to see the forest for the trees
or miss the slaps
of thoughtless branches in my face
let go it seemed
with little care of consequence
and no esteemed
perception that others followed
close behind him.
Branch after bending branch we trod
until a limb
snapped back so hard it lashed my eyes.
Half-blinded then
I saw anew the need for space,
but walked again,
this time seeing forest and trees
at my own pace
as stings gave way to speckled sun
upon my face.

Tom Kapanka
April 2, 2011

Years ago I began experimenting with structured verse in a pattern of 8-syllable lines followed by 4 syllables in the next line. In this case I only rhymed the shorter lines in pairs. This poem is based in part on an experience I once had while hiking with a frustrated friends. We had lost our way, and the most reckless and cock-sure of our group had claimed the lead but didn’t care so much about the branches hitting the faces of those foolish enough to follow him.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Only Place for Emptiness at Easter

There should be nothing hollow about Easter; nothing that suggests things are not as they appear. There can be no Oz behind the curtain. No smoke and mirrors--even in the name of Christ. The Good News should never be all hat and no cattle as Texans say when someone is all show and no substance. Easter cannot be a gig, an act, a high cathedral chant or even humble preaching to the choir.  

Easter must proclaim the answer to the question Pontius Pilate asked while it stared him in the face:
 “What is Truth?

The only place for emptiness at Easter… is the tomb.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Nothing Like the Heart

All things break...
.....but nothing like the heart,
.....the stained glass window of the soul.
Most things mend...
.....but never quite the same
.....though all the parts make up the whole.

Somehow though...
.....through broken panes
.....the morning draws the sun
.....to the darkest corner of our hope
.....and healing is begun.
No one knows
.....how in these times
.....He helps us play our part.
All we know
.....from how we feel
..........is all things break...
...............but nothing like the heart.
© Copyright April, 1995, Tom Kapanka, Patterns of Ink Vol 1
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Five years ago, I posted this poem that I'd written in April,1995. It had begun as a lyric in my head on the ten-hour drive home from my father's funeral. Sometimes the tune comes back to me, but more often just the feeling. It was the deepest grief I had ever experienced. Julie and I were expecting our third child, but she was ten weeks from knowing her grandpa's voice, and has now, for all those years, known him only in photographs and stories.

This past Sunday was the 17th anniversary of my father's death, and oddly enough I had forgotten that fact for most of the day until my daughter, who was the unborn child mentioned above, reminded me of it in the middle of a conversation with four people, two young and two older, that had a sadness all its own for her. It was something short of sorrow but still the kind of hurt that parents hope to ease, and we were honored to have been included in it.  And like grief, the expressed affections and conclusions reminded me that all the joy of what we know of love finds its deepest meaning in what we know of loss.

I am pleased that my daughter is learning these things in ways beyond her years, and I trust that the song she posted on her Facebook page a month or so ago will have even greater meaning to her in the days ahead.

Stained glass is a great example of beauty in brokenness. In the 2nd stanza, if you change the spelling of panes to pains, morning to mourning, and sun to Son, you may find fuller meaning in the imagery. Psalm 34:18 

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