Thursday, 25 August 2016

Walking Home

We are all walking home.
Such a long walk.
In the light, and in the dark.
Sometimes hand in hand,
and sometimes alone.
Sometimes, we stride forward
steady on the path.
Other times we trip on the stones,
on the verge.

In the day we can clearly see our way.
His smile, our light.
We know his hand of blessing,
and his gentle guidance.
While at night we feel our way,
and struggle with what we thought we knew
so well;
what had seemed clear to us in the light of day.
We encounter ourselves.

We are all walking home.
And light and shade define our days;
just as sun and moon distinguish
day from night.
If there were no questions or regrets;
struggles, slips
or back-tracks,
then we would have arrived.
We have not arrived.

Yet we may look, and find,
the blessing in the night.
Those things we cannot see in the daytime,
have a way of surfacing in the dark.
And without our eyes to see,
we feel instead, their edge.
And realise again, our deep need for him,
who, although we cannot see him near,
keeps vigil by our side.

Ana Lisa de Jong
August 2016


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Momentarily

Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand


For a moment,

I gaze at you.
And its as though
the curtains of heaven are pulled aside
to let you through.
As though you bend
down to kiss my upheld brow.
So briefly, that I

mesmerized,

struggle to contain your presence,
and frame your memory.
And must keep searching,
all the length
of my days and nights,
for glimpses of you,
alive again,

in my sight.

While I know you are there
in reality,
its just reality has a way
of colouring things grey.
As we live out our existence
in the rush of tomorrows expectations
and today’s claims,

on our time.

But the light
still seeks me out,
rays of silver,
tracing patterns on the floor;
and if I take a moment
and turn and really open my eyes,
I see you, seeing me. 


Living Light.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
June 2016



Cocooned

Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand


Looks deceive, dead seed pods
and limbs bereft of leaves.
Grey leaden sky,
and chilling winter breeze.

We hunker down,
layered like the earth beneath.
Wondering what still lives,
what might still breathe.

But looks, they deceive.
For under the pile of cast-off broken leaves,
as quiet as the tomb,
the earth holds its breath.


And waits.  Just as we awake,
breathe and stretch towards the light,
so the earth waits,
still, and expectant of life.

Yes looks deceive,
for underneath, stirring and lengthening,
are seeds, growing to bursting;
awaiting the turning seasons.

We too are mistaken,
to believe nothing is happening;
brittle hearts covered,
in last year’s debris and bracken.

Wondering how renewal and restoration,
can appear a possibility,
when all is sodden?
But lo behold, life is coming.

Like sun on snow,
our hearts begin thawing.
Like light on the hills,
Spring ascends the horizon.

Not one moment too soon, nor too late,
in arriving.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
June 2016

The Nightwatchman



Piha Beach, Auckland, New Zealand

I will wait, I will wait up with you.
I will wait until
the soil is dry,
of the tears that have fallen,
until the sun crests the hill
and the new day is dawning.

I will sit with you in the garden.
If you are awake, I will be too.
I will not slumber while there is
hunger in your soul,
I will stay while 
the night lingers still.

I will keep you company
when the loneliness bears you far
from the presence of others
who cannot follow.
Who cannot know the things
that keep you up at night.

Those things which you feel alone.


But for me.  But for me, who comprehends.
Who understands.
What it is to sit and to grieve,
without the comforts of a friend.
To feel the shadows bearing down
on a cold and barren ground.

Yes, I am the one who has been there before,
the dark night of the soul.
And because of this,
you know that only love for you
led me to the garden’s floor.
And its love for you that moves me still.

So I will wait, I will wait up with you now.
I will wait until
the fear subsides, and
the light that seeks you out,
starts dawning in your heart.
Yes I will wait with you in the dark and lonely night.

And you will rise with me in the light. 

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
April 2016

Seal Me

Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand


Seal me in your heart.
Seal me in your heart oh
lover of my soul. 

Prise me open to you,
and to you alone,
because your love for me
is to the death,
and your jealousy,
strong as fire.

My only answer
to such a love
is to fall upon my knees.
Captivated by a love
that will not let me go,
pledged fast to me.

And all that you ask,
in return,
is that you are my one desire.
Above all, who may draw me
from your feet,
above all the world’s allure.

Oh seal me fast,
tied to your side,
for I’m inclined to wander.
Though I know there’s no-one
who can touch the spirit,
beyond heart and soul.

But for you.
But for you, my God.
My love, my desire, my all.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
May 2016



Whole


There is something I’ve been trying to grasp.
A truth you would have me understand.
From these lessons, with no explanation,
I seek reasons for their being.
And think, there must be a plan,
or else, chaos.

And that is not how you work,
although we know its from inside out.
And we know you make us fools,
despite our thinking we are right,
and you use us then, as broken tools,
meant to confound the wise.


Yes, I’m learning that in your upside-down world,
weak does not mean defective.
Nor does cracked mean I’m far from whole,
but simply that I haven’t shattered;
and I’m actually stronger in my walk with you,
than I truly knew.

Yes, I read today that doubt is
not faith’s opposite, as I thought,
rather it’s an element of our journey to belief,
and precedes the faith that follows it.
If that is true, then I can trust my fears to you,
though all may appear, as lost.

And love, love is made stronger still,
for the strain on its roots. 
And the desert, beyond all appearances,
can bloom as a rose, and springs burst forth
where it appeared there were no water, before.
And dry bones can be revived.

Yes, this is the something I have been trying to grasp.
In the chapel, upon the floor,
and in bed, with the width of miles, between opposing views,
I found you whisper it to me, loud and clear.
It’s just I couldn’t at first believe what you said,
that we could be ‘broken and still whole’.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
March 2016



Piha Beach, Waitakere, Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, 27 May 2016

A Candle in the Darkness


I see the candle glow,
see it light the dark.
Flickers of light in the shadows,
I watch it dance.

I see how it glows and dims,
yet fails to go out.
Charged with energy at its core
it keeps itself alight.

I carry its flame,
to use to light another.
Before long the shadows become scarcer,
and the light in the room is doubled.

I sit in the warmth of their glow,
thinking how it didn’t take much,
to keep the darkness at bay.
And so it is with the power of love.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
May 2016








Tuesday, 8 March 2016

His Light


It is a way forward,
this light, however dim,
and even if I can see my way
only one step at a time,
I trust in the guide
who sees fit to shine
His light only where He leads.

And though I pray
for so much more
than what I can see
by His light right now;
I must trust
what He yet hides from me,
as much as what He reveals.

Because He promises.
He promises, that though I doubt
I can yet believe;
can trust in a future
still dimly perceived,
through the misty veil
of hopes and dreams.

I can depend on the fruition
of His promises,
and plans, though they may differ
from all I’ve yet imagined.
They are designed to fit our frames
and not to chaff and hurt
as something ill-planned.

Yes, it’s a way forward,
this light, however dim.
And what matters more,
is not what’s held in store,
but the truth, that He accompanies
His children on their journeying,

and we’re to forsake our crowns, for His.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
March 2016

“…And the light of heaven will shine upon the road ahead of you.”
Job 22:28  
Matai Bay, Northland, New Zealand


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Self-Compassion

Should we not give ourselves,
that which we would not fail
to feel for another?
Compassion. 
Understanding.
Willingness to suffer,
alongside.

So sit with your sorrowing self.
Hold your own shaking hand.
Feel the strength that you
can impart, from one palm
to the other.
Lift yourself,
strong again.

We were all born
sensitive, and vulnerable.
Though we may profess
self-assurance,
we still need the gift of
of a non-judgemental self,
to serve as our sturdy backbone.

So let yourself be honest.
Sit in the midst of pain.
Listen as you might to a friend
to what your heart
is not saying;
but might, if it had the courage,
to follow its unravelling.

You are Strong.
Though born in weakness,
and dependence,
your will to survive
whatever you were thrown,
was ingrained.
You are still the same.

Though we may feel alone,
in our deepest selves,
we need not be there unassisted;
and without the grace:
which self-compassion,
in its hope and love,
will always give us.

So trust yourself.
Encourage the foot which
stumbles behind.
Your sensitive heart in
its softness, and strength,
is the re-builder,
of all that is broken.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
February 2016



Karikari Peninsula, Northland, New Zealand


Friday, 5 February 2016

Mosaics


We are mosaics, you and I.
Each part designed.
Each piece patterned and coloured,
to blend in to the pieces beside.

We are mosaics, you and I.
All our strengths and flaws,
our light and our shade,
intricately designed.

To make a beautiful, perfect whole.

No we are not meant to hide,
those parts of which we’re shy.
Or which we cannot perceive,
could serve any purpose at all.

For we cannot see the image of ourselves,
which others see revealed.
Yet God has made of us a storybook,
for those around us to read.

Our true purpose, to be real.

Yes, we are mosaics, you and I,
designed to hang in the light.
When all the colours and the patterns merge,
the picture meant is evident.

Mosaics, you and I.
Our beauty not easily defined, by this world.
As each person see in us something different,
for which God has given them eyes.


Our gift, simply to be ourselves,
and reflect the artist’s design.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
January 2016

Okura River, Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Come


Come home to yourself.
Home is sand under your feet.
And sun glinting silver on the sea.
Home is the waves and the birds.
Warmth on your skin.
The solitude that brings you home,
to your soul.
Forgo the crowd, which leaves you lonely.
And come away for a while.

Come back to yourself.
Survey the view.
And you’ll remember,
that you’ve never been away.
Just been wearing something ill-fitting,
waiting for the day you can disrobe.
And run barefoot.
Dishevelled, wind in your hair,
but free.

Come take a walk.
To the hill where the sky is large.
See the evening spread like a curtain across the day.
And feel yourself small, but wide.
If you still yourself you will hear,
your heart beat along with the earth’s.
And you will know yourself a part of the whole.
No separation at all.
A particle of life.

Which can seem lonely, unless you recall that,
your footprints leave a mark on the sand.
You make a track where you choose to walk.
Every action has a reaction.
No, you are not swallowed up
by the majesty of this breath-taking earth.
You share its beauty,
because of your living, breathing
part in it.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
January 2016
Matai Bay, Karikari Peninsula, Northland