Lynn Michael Martin: The Feast

Come, said my Father, and I came,
but as a stranger and a guest,
for he had pledged eternal rest
and the protection of his name.

Yet when I bowed to thank his grace
and praise the honor of his feast,
my eagerness and praise increased
seeing a vision of his face.

My Lord, I said, I praise your name,
I praise this table set with food—
back where we men are poor and crude,
I heard your majesty, and came.

I praise you as a gracious king,
and generous in food and gift,
and thus within my mind I lift
your glory over everything.

Then I was silent, and he said,
I did not ask you for your praise,
nor in your gratitude to raise
my cup to laud my wine and bread.

Why should you come and go as one
who praises me yet knows me not?
Have you not known; have you forgot
that we are kin, and you my son?

You are my blood and so I say
that you must let me raise you up
as one, who drank my bitter cup,
was raised, one yet more bitter day.

For I extend this birthright, one
not sweet in either drink or rest;
yet if you drink, you’ll be no guest,
nor yet a stranger, but a son.

dover castle (2)Lynn Martin loves stories and epiphanies, and believes that good poetry expresses humanity’s deepest longings.

Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Obi Martin: Confront Me With Words

confront me with words
when there’s every reason
to do wrong, or worse, or nothing.
when every emissary
of other
is around me chanting
beyond chant with
even the rhythm of natural
life itself.
there speak to me in language.
explore for me perception and wood-smoke,
linens and pepper corns.
show me new things in old ways
and old things in new,
speak as solemnly as a child.

when I’ve set myself up
some mock of God
to fix me through the moment,
there speak to me in language
using writing to unbirth
everything I knew but never thought of.
build strong words up like bridges to me
plasma-fitted together arching
even slightly beyond intention.
speak the possibilities of spacing inside paradox
speak beyond possibility and construct
for me a logic of love.
speak to me with the words spoken
confront me with the words of
rappers, slam-poets, and mothers.
speak to me in the language of tree-work
roots and pen strokes.
write for me in booklength,
speak longer to me than a brother.

confront me with words
as soaked and wrapt
and all-encompassing attention
as dawn warm rain on early
winter-ending mornings.


Obi_ProfileObi Martin says that the times he feels most alive come often when reading or writing.

Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Roger Biehn: Benjamin Gate

(Jeremiah 20)

Lord of Hosts, 
let me see your vengeance upon them, 
let me see it. 

This is the trick God played upon me—
I sought to be reason and thought,
inspiration, the man of the generation;
the voice of comfort and tower of strength,
a trumpet rousing the people to believe—
I sought to be that man, but I was tricked.

When I open my mouth to speak,
The word of the Lord is a burden to me,
a source for my disgrace and ruin.

The coldness of that priest, Pashur,
angry eyes measuring me, freezing in anger;
He said to the crowd,
“Denounce him.
Humiliate him.
Stop his mouth.
Make him fear to speak.
Lower him to the dust,
so he will say no more.”

Now, in the stocks, in the square,
wrists bruised, back bleeding
(friends conceal their faces,
pass away on the far side,)
hands gather splinters,
face gathers spit and refuse,
eyes blink against dust and sun,
cracked lips purse to blow at flies,
my back inventories every blow;
every time I shift a newly forgotten pain
shouts its name, I shift again
and the pain I quieted shouts louder
and then they are a mob of accusers,
one chained to another.

The word of the Lord is violent as the warrior
crueller than the Assyrian, harsher than the Chaldean,
covering my steps, shielding me from enemies;
the many blows of my countrymen cannot take me down.
I have been overwhelmed a thousand times;
the Lord of Hosts rescues me and hears me and preserves me.

But why was I born? 
Why did I leave the womb? 
For what purpose did I come into this world alive? 

The Lord is a mighty warrior;
I am ground down to powder,
a fire burning in the midst of the people,
a cry that cannot be silenced,
tears that cannot be stanched.

rogerRoger Biehn is a corporate controller and part-time poet.



Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Sheri Yutzy: Healing

Let your proud eyes fall
and let the world fall
from your shoulders.
For one moment
like silent, circling snow.
Your eyes are tired.
Let them fall
and let the muddy Jordan
sweep over your head
one last time
and you will find healing.

sheri3Sheri Yutzy loves to write words that illuminate the longings of the world. You can find more of her work at

Photography by Elisa Knicely.

Sheila J Petre: The Manic-Depressive

This is what I mind the most:
When I tire of medication, everybody knows.
I sit at home and sulk, and mind it,
Missing bits of something, one thing at the most.
(I could know, if only I could find it.)

This is what I fear the most:
That this stray thought, which comes and goes,
Will go at last, and I will never find it.
It will not free me when I need it most.
(Housebound, I wrap myself in me, and mind it.)

This is what I seek the most:
Some sure whole center where a new life flows
For those who know full brokenness, nor mind it.
I seek and pray, and when I seek it most,
I fall, free fall, am caught up close–
and find it.

sheila with childrenSheila is a Pennsylvania housewife who shares love, laughter and the hope of the resurrection with her welder husband, Michael, and their seven children born from 2007 through 2017.

Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Roger Biehn: Set Me Alight

Oh, to pull up shades and hidden light,
to swim from darker pleasures of irony
to rebuild the child-like desire to touch, feel
say wow to the sunlight of the world
decode the calculation standing in
for beauty. Borne back through the spray of sight
let fingers, hands, turn to the ear, turn to the nose
turn to the wits, unleash their dimension,
unclasp the heart and let go, be lost
to delight in reality unchained,
released from the reflexive reaching for
stimulation. Bury me in that towering wave
and let me breathe, let me not by rote recite
necessary gratitude but let me come back
alive in one long crest, let me feel the ocean
push me
to the light.

rogerRoger Biehn is a corporate controller and part time poet.

Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Lynn Michael Martin: Adam

Two leagues to cross this lake, and twenty toward
The place the sun arises in the east
On midyear’s day. The sign’s not moved or ceased,
Nor has the river, nor that wet-kneed ford
We splashed across before the angel’s sword—
That all remains, but we have changed, at least,
And all that garden’s glory, all that feast,
Fades from us, as the presence of our Lord.
My son, touch this poor semblance of a leaf,
And its soft edge; ah, it’s a noble thing,
But I’ve seen Eden, and its scent and sound,
And we are shadows, son, and know the grief
Of flying things that flit along the ground,
Or men who hear a song, but cannot sing.

dover castle (2)Lynn Martin loves stories and epiphanies, and believes that good poetry expresses humanity’s deepest longings.

Photography by Kenneth Godoy

Claudia Lehman: Snow

The skies are slowly, fully falling
into the forest’s lifted hands,
breath-soft whispers of a language
friends of stars could understand.
Clinging velvet, how it robes
all things with glassy clarity
and turns this world into another
where anything could come to be.

Perhaps it’s not transfiguration,
but this is how things really are,
this teeming planet, whitely marbled,
spinning round its golden star.
Perhaps the children always knew the
things we know not how to know–
I believe them when I see
the songbirds settling on the snow.

Brittle winter, sleepy sunshine,
candlelight on frosted glass,
the common finds impartial splendor–
maybe this will be, at last,
the moment that we live our living,
and hear the storied silence call.
Fall, soft skies, and settle on us,
make believers of us all.


Claudia Lehman lives in Lebanon city with lots of books, tea, and her favorite man ever. She loves exploring the world of words, teaching children, and feels most at home in the woods.

Sheila J. Petre: The House We Used to Live In

Someone else has taken up the house we used to live in,
Filled it with their dreams and things and pictures on the walls.
Someone else was given what my people had been given:
Room to keep a thousand books, and echo shouts in halls.

They took and changed what had been ours to make it theirs more truly,
Patching up the ceiling cracks and taking doors away.
There is gravel where the sidewalk was and pavers marching duly,
And a valance on the window where my curtain used to sway.

Strange how paint can change a hall to make it somehow stunted,
Furniture can fill a room which had been wide as dawn.
I don’t mind they’ve narrowed down the entryway I wanted;
Fine with me if fine with them to put the shutters on.

But standing here, their pictures there, and everywhere, their voices,
I see their dust has covered up the things I used to know.
And something like a songbird in my secret heart rejoices
That they cannot move Antietam Creek or change its ageless flow.

sheila with childrenSheila is a Pennsylvania housewife who shares love, laughter and the hope of the resurrection with her welder husband, Michael, and their seven children born from 2007 through 2017.

Jeremiah Stump: Light

Illuminating rays,
Of constant stream from distant stars, and near;
Creating, energizing earth and space;
Still gently clarifies the lunar face.
Within the darkest delve, its keen allure,
Its radiating, shining pure.

Par, polarizing glow.
Your smile’s intensity defies my frown.
Exquisitely your frequency’s embrace
Teaches my soul its lucid interface.
Reflected rays burn through my cores opaque;
With joyful beams my heart awakes.

True Light: the life of men.
The Light that shone, before the sun began;
The Light which lighteth mortal spirits dim.
This Light we seek to make a synonym!
Lift up your countenance, revealing right;
Our lives enflame to walk in Light!

A word from the poet: The inspiration for this poem was sparked by memorizing the book of 1st John, especially the first chapter. After all that John sees and knows of Christ, his conclusion is that God is Light. Impressed by this fact, I decided to try and understand light from the physical, the abstract, and the eternal, and hopefully better understand (though but a fragment more) our matchless, glorious Lord.

img_0009.jpgJeremiah Stump finds his joy in being a disciple of Jesus, and in learning new things such as singing and psychology.