The Sixth Seal (tanka by me)

Earthquakes shake the ground,
All mountains move from their place,
The moon turns blood red,
The sun turns black like onyx,
Stars fall from the sky to Earth.

Everyone hides,
They hide from the wrath of God,
Terror seizes them all,
The angels hold back the wind,
No wind blows on land or sea.

The great multitude
from all tongues, tribes, and nations
stand before the throne
wearing white robes, holding palms
crying out praise to the Lord.

This tanka is inspired by Revelation 6-7.

 

The Four Horsemen (villanelle by me)

When the Lamb opens the sealed scroll,
Four riders on horses are released,
Will God’s mercy save a single soul?

The white horse is set to overthrow,
His weapon is the bow he carries,
When the Lamb opens the sealed scroll.

Then a red horse brings great woe,
The rider eliminates peace,
Will God’s mercy save a single soul?

Next comes a black horse ready to cull,
Poverty and inflation are unleashed,
When the Lamb opens the sealed scroll.

Last a pale horse is in control,
Death & Hades offer no reprieve,
Will God’s mercy save a single soul?

Why wait for God’s wrath to fill the bowl?
Repent now, trust God, and just believe,
When the Lamb opens the sealed scroll,
Will God’s mercy save a single soul?

*This villanelle is inspired by Revelation 6.

Worthy of Praise (kyrielle by me)

Almighty God sits on His throne,
Emitting light like a precious stone,
Elohim, You will rule always,
Lord God, You are worthy of praise.

An elder will throw down his crown,
Before You, he’ll fall on the ground,
We will worship You all our days,
Lord God, You are worthy of praise.

Your cherubim have many eyes,
They show honor for they are wise,
Lord, You never cease to amaze,
Lord God, You are worthy of praise.

*This kyrielle poem was inspired by Revelation 4.

Which Lampstand Are You? (sestina by me)

Christian, are you the Ephesus church?
Have you forsaken your first love?
Yet you have good deeds and are hard at work…
Do the things you did at first; repent!
And then if you hold onto your faith,
You will eat in the paradise of God.

Are your deeds unfinished in the sight of God?
Then you are part of the Sardis church,
You are falling asleep in your faith,
Remember God’s unfailing love,
Wake up your spirit! Wake up! Repent!
The Lord comes like a thief; get to work!

Adulterer, watching porn at work?
Do you not fear the one true God?
He will show you mercy when you repent,
You are not alone, Pergamum church,
He will assign you a new name, Love,
You will eat of His manna by faith.

Believer, you are wealthy in your faith,
Yet you receive little pay for your work,
They will admit He has shown you love,
You have never denied the Name of God,
You are Philadelphia or Smyrna,
Teach others to be true and repent.

Are you lukewarm in worship? Then repent!
Make a choice! Be hot or cold in your faith!
Worldly Christians belong to the Laodicea church,
You’re wealthy but do little or no work,
But are you rich towards Almighty God?
Buy understanding; share some love.

You have faith, service, even love,
But you follow false teaching; repent!
You have one Father, and He is God,
Hold onto God’s Word in full faith,
Then ruling nations will be your work,
Stay strong until the end, Thyatira church.

Is Christ your true love and in whom you place your faith?
Confess sins and repent, then trust He did the work,
You are a child of God no matter where you go to church.

*This sestina poem is inspired by Revelation 2-3.

Alpha & Omega (sonnet by me)

Jesus made us to be a kingdom and priests
to serve His God and heavenly Father,
He sat before us fine linen for feasts,
To our spirits, He is living water.

In His right hand, He holds seven stars,
Angels carry His decree—
He reminds them of His holy scars,
His blood that set the captives free.

Behold! He comes from the sky on a cloud,
Every human eye sees and perceives,
His voice like a trumpet calls loud,
He holds the keys to death and Hades.

From His mouth comes a double-edged sword,
Glory forever belongs to the Lord!

*This sonnet is based on Revelation 1.

The Morning After (poem by me)

(In memory of Bryan)

Let it be yesterday,
Let me go back in time,
And hug you,
And hold you tight,
And tell you “No,
Don’t do it!”
We will never get over you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”–Jeremiah 29:11

*Do not suffer in silence. Speak out and tell someone if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts. The National Suicide Hotline. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255) any time of the day or night.

**One of the aims of Draw Near’s upcoming anthology called Laments is to communicate our struggles instead of wrestling in silence. Please consider submitting an essay that conveys the challenges in your life and the hope you have in Christ.

A Mourning Lament Outline

So you want to write a lament poem to mourn someone you loved? You can just follow your heart, but if you don’t know where to start…then start with this outline derived from David’s lament for Saul and Jonathon (2 Samuel 1:19-27).

I. Introduce your loved one as a symbol using two lines. Here is the example from 2 Samuel 1:19. (The gazelle symbolizes an important figure.) 
    “A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.
    How the mighty have fallen!”

II. Use four lines to explain how his or her death will affect the world. In the case of Saul and Jonathon, their death would cause their enemies to rejoice. See 2 Samuel 1:20 below.
“Tell it not in Gath,
    proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
    lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.

III. Use four lines to give details of the death. In 2 Samuel 1:21, David curses the place that the death occurred.
“Mountains of Gilboa,
    may you have neither dew nor rain,
    may no showers fall on your terraced fields.
For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
    the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.

IV. Use eight lines to describe your loved one’s character. David describes their fierceness, skill, and bravery in battle (2 Samuel 1:22-23).
“From the blood of the slain,
    from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
    the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
Saul and Jonathan—
    in life they were loved and admired,
    and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,
    they were stronger than lions.

V. Use four lines to describe the good he or she did in their lifetime. David recalls the riches that Israel enjoyed while Saul was king (2 Samuel 1:24).
“Daughters of Israel,
    weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
    who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.

VI. Use four lines to describe how you loved the person. David and Jonathon were close friends, and this becomes evident as we read 2 Samuel 1:25-26.
“How the mighty have fallen in battle!
    Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
    you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
    more wonderful than that of women.

V. Using the last two lines, repeat one of the lines in the first stanza. For the first line of his last stanza, David repeats the 2nd line of the first stanza. Then he adds another short line to close out this last stanza (2 Samuel 1:27).
“How the mighty have fallen!
    The weapons of war have perished!”

This versatile outline can be used to write laments for any event that caused you to feel abandoned such as a breakup or divorce. There is no better place to get inspired than God’s own Word. If you wrote a masterpiece and would like to have a chance at getting it published, see Draw Near’s guidelines.