A Capitol Christmas

Christmas in the capital
is filled with all the pageantry of the season.
Faces all aglow with the chill of winter.
An uncommon peace and cheerfulness prevail.
The air is also ringing with music, both traditional and new.

As the people pass through the capital streets,
they fail to notice, or more likely just ignore,
the lost, abandoned souls
who hide behind the fancy greenery, trying to stay warm.
Those whose souls have been forgotten, neglected, abused.
Souls which, even in the depth of their despair, and hunger,
cry out to us…‘Feed us, clothe us, show us you care!’

You know, I am reminded of a time so long ago.
Joseph and Mary, arriving in Bethlehem,
alone, weary, and hungry from their travels.
It was not mere chance that they found the innkeeper.
And, as that innkeeper looked into their eyes,
he saw that in their hearts was a ray of hope.
He gave them what he had, a crude stable.
Not much, you say, but in that little bit,
a king – Our King – was born.

So, as you pass through the capital streets
this wonderful and joyous season,
it is my greatest hope, my Christmas wish,
that you begin to recognize
those broken, lonely souls
that are hiding behind the fancy dressings of the season.
And may you also be ever mindful of the gift
that the innkeeper gave, one night, so very long ago.
He gave shelter to the poor, and warmth to the weary,
and helped bring to us the hope of a new tomorrow!

Lee McQuinn
0347-010120021400

Violence Domesticated

I remember it like yesterday
a moment,
forever etched in brutal memory.
A mistake,
easy enough for a six year old.
Grass growing up beside the corn
in the small, backyard garden plot.
The wrong seedling pulled
and the swishing sound of a hoe
cutting the air past my head,
missed me, but embedded itself
in the old, tarpapered garage wall.
Memories of a mother
who stepped out ready to defend her child
against a father unjustly angered by a child’s error.
The child stood screaming in fear crying for them to stop!
Mother dragged the child to the car, they left in a rush to safety.
Domestic violence,
so simple a term, tagged to events
which scar a child’s innocence forever.

Lee McQuinn
0346-010120021330

China Angel

Thank you, http://allgirlsallowed.org/news/newborn-baby-girl-china-thrown-trash-bin, for bringing the topic to the light! No child should be murdered!

Thank you, http://allgirlsallowed.org/news/newborn-baby-girl-china-thrown-trash-bin, for bringing the topic to the light! No child should be murdered!

God created her
knit each and every perfect cell
he designed each little wrinkle
each dainty little toe
God created her
she is beautiful even in slumber
he has a dream, a plan for her
each day a future to explore
God created her
watch them snatch her
ending her young existence
with quick and bitter hatred
God created her
Man hated her…

Lee McQuinn
C. 2008
0327-060820081115

Long Time Past

It was a long, long time past
When youth abounded within my breast
But, like now, the memories flood back
Too young was I to fight or defend
Against the strength of rage
That fought and scrambled on the hardwood floor.
A life slowly being strangled out of a precious flower
By an evil, rage filled bulldog
So much would have been given
For a weapon, to end the awful siege.
Now, a child’s existence is forever scarred
Caution and paranoia now a habit out of fear.
No longer the youth,
The rage had filled my older breast
Ready to kill the old evil in the family tree.

Lee McQuinn
302-081819981604

The Wise Man

She was batted and broken
A soul scarred by sin
He thought her scarcely worth his time
A waste of prayers, she would never repent
Still he held her hand one more time
Dear Lord, said he, this is a case for grace
This child, she has many sins
Won’t you step right in, turn her heart around
By your wonderful grace. Amen.
The people jeered. The could never believe
A soul like this could be saved
She was bitter and harsh.
She was angry and mean.
Her sins too broad to explain
She could never be saved
Never be one of them
Of her they would ever disdain
But there was one who heard
The song in her heart, who loved her all the same
He stepped right in, then he exclaimed :
“She is mine, I’ll take her in!”
The organ died.
The people were still
Not a single sound could be heard
As a tattered old man stepped up to the front
Smiled, and said to her:
“Many a life has been lost to sin,
Many a soul has been burned,
But today you are Mine
Not a sin in your soul
Wiped clean by My Holy Word.
The crowd stepped back
They couldn’t understand
The power of the old man’s words
For their hearts were hardened
By years of neglect,
Prayers unspoken – unheard
Until a single man rose
Dirty clothes, tangled beard
And in a voice that was softly firm
He spoke straight to them
“Her sins are forgiven,
her soul is now clean.”
Here the lesson was learned
For them who choose to believe
Of a grace so freely given
It touches the heart, it heals the soul
It says that All is forgiven.
For there is One who hears
Each and every heart song
You need only sing out to him
He will hear,
he will step right in
He will say:
“You are Mine. I will take you in!”
 
Penelope Shedrech
c. August 2008
0299-091420081230

Public School, Public Cruel….

I remember my first day at school
public school, public cruel!
I remember how they grabbed my hair
yanked my feathers, tore my braids
public school, public cruel

I remember my first day at school
public school, public cruel
I remember how they laughed
my native tongue now denied
their language stuttered from my lips
words I couldn’t understand
public school, public cruel

I remember my first day at school
public school, public cruel
I remember how they punished
my lack of “tennis shoes”
stomping on my doeskinned feet
til toes bled and arches screamed
public school, public cruel

I remember my first day at school
public school, public cruel
I remember the laughter and jeers
my simple long dress offensive
my medicine bag yanked off, destroyed
before my very eyes, my soul broke
Public school, public cruel

I remember my first day at school
public school, public cruel
I remember how it felt to be
be publicly stripped of all —
my culture, my identity,
aye, even my soul– destroyed
by cruel ignorance and prejudice.

I remember my first day at school
public school, public cruel.

Penelope Shedrech
C. 2008
0282-061020082300