Three New Ones from 2/13/13
Papaw Phil
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Moonless Mountain Night
By: Philip Kent Church

The quiet cold, of a mountain winter’s night;

Stars brilliant, untouched by the Moon’s light.

Orion hunts by treading on mountain’s slopes.

Just behind him the Dog Star, Sirius, mopes.

They travel the ecliptic to west from east,

In a nightly parade that’s never ceased.

Turn around from Orion, and you’ll see there,

The gleaming of the Seven Sisters, and the Bear.

From that Big Dipper, to journey near or far,

It’s outmost corner points to the North Star.

The softening darkness of the blanketing night,

Sprinkled with celestial glinting, glistening bright,

Calling to a place possessed deeply within,

Where the essence of ourselves might begin.

When gazing into the infinite, the Lord to trust,

For it causes the mindfulness, we are but dust.

When considering the stars, taken all in all,

It is realized that our life, truly, is small.

Remember, every note’s needed to complete the song.

Just as stars have their place, we’re ordained to belong.

Mountain Sunset
An Arabian sonnet

By: Philip Kent Church



Remembering mountain sunsets in younger days,

Recalling how sky, set upon ridges, waxed ablaze.

Into brilliant, burning hues, with awestruck gaze,

Revealing a wondrous moment, that would Amaze.


With the day’s death comes a longing hard to bear,

As into the celestial turning, then beyond, cast stare;

Wondering about who resided across ridges there.

What lives were lived, and for what did they care?


Imagining a life outside the hills for only a minute,

Like a gleaming city to be a part of, just living in it.

Then comes the troubling notion of how to begin it.


Within the mountain soul the notion brings on fears,

Just as night’s shadow darkens the sunset as it nears.

Contented again, the longing, with the Sun, Disappears.







Black Diamonds

By: Philip Kent Church




Once, long ago, I had dreams of fortune and fame,

I was going to conquer the world, teach it my name.

Yes, I was haughty and arrogant, to be a winner,

But I only caused pain; the worst kind of sinner.

Rebellious, disregarding good advice and instruction,

The years rolled by me, leaving a wake of destruction.

Finally, through unmerited grace, God saved my soul,

But, in my heart, my words seemed to be black as coal.

Longing, somehow to help, in spite of the way I’d chosen to live,

I offered the words, like coal, in my heart; it’s all I’d left to give.

When I looked within, everything had changed, there to find,

That the coal, pressed by God, now, as like diamonds shined!

Humbled, that a heart like mine could find a treasure within it,

Longing, now, only to help others, wondering how to begin it;

The Lord had given me no fame or fortune, but allowed this part,

Giving me words strong as diamonds, to reach into any hard heart.

So I will spend my days offering my words to help others with livin’.

It’s much more than I deserve, these black diamonds I’ve been given.

Another Selection
Papaw Phil
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Ridge-runners


By: Philip Kent Church




By night I watch the stars run,

Across mountain’s ridge. East to west.

I know each one’s akin to the Sun,

Traveling until daybreak brings arrest.

Upon this, my world, those worlds viewed,

I consider the whole, struck dumb with wonder;

As the ecliptic reveals constellation queued.

Thought’s of self-importance, rendered asunder,

I think of those worlds, cut-off from my experience,

Imagining who, or what therein may abide.

My mind reels, as earth-bound self, searches the sense,

The notion becomes beyond me, I must confide.














THE TORTURED VERSES Philip Kent Church

Here I am, all that I am . . . such as I am.

I live in a box, of width, breadth and height,

Following fate’s c lues, with all of my might;

Searching endlessly for posterity’s directions,

Working tirelessly, to make the connections.

Looking in between lines, a meaningful gleaning,

As my heart pines to discover, any real meaning.

Is the sum that’s greater than it’s parts really love?

Within all that exists, is someone there up above?

Life’s many components, and terrible persistence,

Interfere with notions of plains of higher existence.

Beyond empirical reality, it seems there remains a part;

Is it an accident of consciousness, is it love, God or art?

After all, are such thoughts necessary or essential;

Is it folly to waste time on things so existential?

Perhaps our reach exceeds our height attempting such endeavors;

Like a machine trying to operate itself, by pulling the right levers.

Esoteric pursuits can devour souls like ravenous cancers.

Art can drive madness in minds questing for the answers;

But when bereft of love, what we long for can be curses.

That’s when we inscribe life’s poetry, in tortured verses!


















Seeds Of Madness


By: Philip Kent Church




T’was madness, by and by, and for the most;

An affinity of the mind, there’s no need to boast.

A perspective of accepted nuance to halt,

If, then, one is mad, it’s really nobody’s fault.

Whether wrought of sanctification, or profanity,

Herein is presented some tortured verses of insanity.

Go on, be adverse, be cruel, or bullied unkind.

Regardless, here lies the pathos of maddened mind.

Whether pity, or mercy is not allowed to do it,

Bring what you will, oh, do your worst to it!

From your smug judgements serenity derives;

If one assails madness, madness always survives.

Bring your assertions, in their due inflections,

Madness remains a collection of reality’s reflections.

Bring all of empirical thought, all of the calculous you think;

Madness rules the consequences of all, brings you to the brink!

Just when reasonable concoction renders all asunder,

One trembles within the consequence, that one’s actually under.

Reality is accepted verbatim, becoming relaxed within all impression,

But madness lurks just around the corner, violently vexed it’s in expression.

You thought you were safe, nestled within your estimations.

Then the madness erupts, and lays low all of the expectations.

Life may, indeed, be lived sought with lukewarm tepidity.

Until madness reveals the useless unction of stupidity.

One reels with surprise, their mouths held agape,

When madness descends, and there is no escape!













Soul Diving


By: Philip Kent Church




From the precipice of present circumstance, release yourself.

Throw self-definition into the etherial, eternal and unknown.

Plunge mind into the spirit, fall into the steep spectral rapture.

Exhilarate from the release, into the placid, unknown recesses.

Intend the destination to that of the human heart, at the conclusion.

Fall with most sweetest abandon of care, or fear, or calculous.

Now, all hastening past you, rushing within, falling, falling, allow;

Think not of accolade, resist the exterior, descend into yourself.

Fall into the eternal embrace of all that is really . . . real, for you.

Find the truth that is your’s alone, aim for the bottom of your soul.

There one touches art. There one finds poetry; one’s essence.

Release, abandon, let go of all empirical, experience the free-fall.

Submerge, to merge with the what, and who you really, really are!

From the falling, discover your calling, birth your life’s meaning;

Stop any stalling, nothing appalling, accept the newfound gleaning!

selected poems
Papaw Phil
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Blue Ridge January Morn
Free Verse # 2

By: Philip Kent Church




Wintry morning in mountain woods,

The icy white tangles suspended in mist;

With crisp, crystalline branches drooping,

Over little snowy-ridged chevrons below.

Glaring, gray light diffused throughout,

A shadow-less white opaqued withal,

Glinting tiny rainbows sparkling on,

Twisting, snow-crowned stems fading,

Into the bright-foggy, blank nothing.

Muffled, cold-silence blanketed wood,

All nestled in a softly-stilled forest dawn.

There, frozen-quiet spirits rest beneath,

Game-trails ill-defined by snowy drifts.

Meandering into pale, oblivious shallows,

Where the quiet earth breathes to the sky.






A Tear In The Sea
An English Quintain

By: Philip Kent Church





When I think of all that’s real, my life seems so small.

Like dust trapped in Sun beams, the years float, then flee.

So where am I in the deal, where’s destiny’s call?

When I think of my dreams; all that may, or never be.

All my life really seems, just like a tear in the sea.
















Of Vain Poetry
An Ottava Rima


By: Philip Kent Church




Poems bear heart’s love, joy or pain,

Artful constructs of mind;

The syntax of thoughtful gleaning.

The impact not in kind.

Is poetry inscribed in vain,

Obscuring wisdom shined?
In vanity there’s no meaning,

The blind leading the blind.

Express soul in a way that’s sane;

Revelations to find.

As something lost, found while cleaning,

Offer nuggets for gain.

Planted seed within others lain,

To grow, mind-milled to grind,

And bend to some human leaning:

Not empty words, which feign.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
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Walton Christmas
2012

By: Philip Kent Church




Once again, Christmas is here,

Such a very special time of the year,

With chilly, brilliant starry and silent nights,

Neighborhoods all aglow, with Christmas lights,

Hearths being warmed by the Yule log,

Candy and cookies with custard and nog,

Little faces with big eyes, filled with wonder,

Believing in love, with the Spirit they’re under,

Remember, just like them, wishing for that one special toy,

Learning about the Magi’s gift, and the little drummer boy,

Or wiping away the tears, from how much it meant,

Seeing the change in ol’ Scrooge, as he chose to repent,

How sweetly Linus recited, what he had to say,

Teaching Charlie Brown the true meaning of the day,

Being reminded of simpler times, filled with so much fun,

Knowing the real gift was love, when Ralphie got his B-B gun,

Seeing our hometown transformed with decorations displayed,

While standing on the corner, watching the Christmas parade,

Warm homes filled with wonderful aromas, like gifts from above,

Evergreen sweetness, mixed with goodies prepared by hands of love,

Hearing those beloved voices whilst repeating their chide,

When presents were shaken, trying to discover what’s inside,

Keeping a close eye on the weather if the temperature’s low,

Cause it’s the one day each year, nearly everyone wants snow,

Families gathering early, still sleepy in their night-clothes worn,

Watching rumpussed children tear away gift-wrap in early morn,

When grown-ups gather the young, forgetting all the world’s danger,

And teach them about angels, wise-men, shepherds, and the manger,

Because, in the end, there can be no doubt,

That’s what the whole season’s really about,

Our Father, for all of us, in order to save,

Loves us so well, with the gift that He gave,

That in a battle for our lives, the victory was won,

By the child we celebrate, God’s only begotten son,

Because of that wonderful gift, our eternal lives are held tight,

And, by His Spirit, He’s right here with us, right now, tonight,

Because of the first, best Christmas gift, our lives can be as new,

The gift endures, still offered to the world, including me and you,

So, no matter the season, whether Summer, Spring or Fall,

The birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the best gift of all!

Song for Emilie Parker Newtown, Ct.
Papaw Phil
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Twice as Bright
( Emilie’s Song )


By: Philip Kent Church
Blacksburg, Va.
12/15/12



The best example of God’s love that could ever be,

Can be found in the beautiful life of sweet Emilie,

Emilie, the blonde, blue-eyed angel sent from above,

Showed us, in her little life, the wonder of God’s love,

When Emilie thought that someone was having it hard,

She would, with precious little hands, make them a card,


Seems not everyone’s dealt a winning hand,

Why some die young’s hard to understand,

Remember, if living in a dark world seems our plight,

Flames that burn half as long, shine twice as bright,


Emilie acted with love, when she saw a need,

By her artwork, faith, or teaching sister to read,

Such a beautiful child, full of life and eager to please,

Even telling her Dad, “I love you.” in Portugese,

By God’s grace, her Dad, stricken in his darkest hour,

Showed compassion, honoring Emilie, by love’s power,


Seems not everyone’s dealt a winning hand,

Why some die young’s hard to understand,

Remember, if living in a dark world seems our plight,

Flames that burn half as long, shine twice as bright,


Sadly, ahead , there will come many hard days,

But Emilie’s legacy lives now, and for always,

We felt the pain in our hearts, it hurt so much,

By God’s Spirit, oh, the lives Emilie will touch,

That when life’s road seems hard, instead of stumbling,

Emilie’s memory stays, eternally strong, and humbling,


Seems not everyone’s dealt a winning hand,

Why some die young’s hard to understand,

Remember, if living in a dark world seems our plight,

Flames that burn half as long, shine twice as bright,


From now on, no matter the hardship, or strife,

We all gain strength, from knowing of Emilie’s life,

Earthly loss of this child, is now high heaven’s gain,

Her love-legacy can change the world . . . She didn’t live in vain



Remember, if living in a dark world seems our plight,

Emilie’s little, loving flame, will forever shine bright!

Anti Poem
Papaw Phil
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Anti Poem


By: Philip Kent Church




I don’t feel like writing poems today,

I have nothing profound, nor deep to say.

There’s nothing inspiring, nor wise to tell,

In a stanza, sonnet, or villanelle.

Weary of trying to fit, hand in glove,

Some words of wisdom, whimsy, pain, or love.

To waste the hours of the day and the night,

I don’t want to have to take time to write.

There’s no lofty ideals to be inscribed,

No metered images to be described,

To give substance to parts of a dream.

No word usage for clever rhyming scheme,

With blank, or free verse infatuation;

No concern for proper punctuation.

There’s simply no care for iambs to mount,

No interest, in the syllable count.

Sometimes it seems to be so demented,

Figuring out how words are accented.


There’s no wish to find the parameter,

To write verse in perfect pentameter.

To write a poem today is too hard,

I’ll simply have to delay, I’m no Bard.

I’m not going to shed one single tear,

After all, everyone can’t be Shakespeare.

Though I’ve studied poetry until I knew it,

I refuse to write, not going to do it.

I loathe the idea of taking the time,

To contort verses, in order to rhyme.


I’ve read some great poets, just to know ‘em,

But, I just don’t want to, write a poem!

Nevertheless
Papaw Phil
philip_k_church
By: Philip Kent Church




Among the best sentiments that one may confess,

Is the simple, yet powerful expression, “nevertheless.”

It’s the point where, when consideration’s put to the test,

One defers to a higher contention representing the best.

After holding to logic, resulting in suspected dissolution,

If one proceeds to “nevertheless,” there emerges resolution.

Remember Gethsemane, in agony, confessed to Father from Son,

“Let this cup pass, nevertheless, not mine, but thy will be done.

Time and again, it resounds, for a better life-strategy to possess,

If one seeks the straight, narrow and righteous, embrace “nevertheless.”

When, in spite of well laid plans, defeat occurs, none the less,

Then one might consider a better philosophy, of “nevertheless.”

It’s the ascension of thought, realized in moments painful and tender,

When we lay aside our intentions, our aspirations in sweet surrender.

Though our wants and hopes, our estimated results be ought,

Allow for the better, eminent way of nevertheless to be sought.

Because, if God guides our lives, His vision we may, or may not see,

Regardless of our will, it’s always going to happen as He wants it to be,

We can petition, we can make our requests known, and our sins confess,

But God’s will is what really shall always be accomplished, nevertheless,

When in sin’s guilt, from God’s mercies we’re tempted to hide in digress,

Remember, He knows our stumblings and failures, but loves, nevertheless,

Though condemned to hell’s immolation would be the best guess,

Our Father’s grace carries us to His safety, loving us, nevertheless,

Though, to human agency, it just doesn’t occur, and may regress,

Never underestimate the undeniable power held in nevertheless!

From the Cosmic Dojo
Papaw Phil
philip_k_church
LIGHTSPEED


By: Philip Kent Church

Lightspeed


By: Philip Kent Church


We ascertain the age of all existent which is beset.

Apparent age, we give to everything’s, only, our best bet.

It’s based upon the farthest back we’ve seen as yet,

From the miles light has traveled. Here, to us, to get.


Beyond the glaring spheres, far back as we’ve seen,

There might be something further we fail to glean.

So distant, that it’s light-speed’s too slow to be seen.

Which shows, who knows how old? See what I mean?


If so, then like a ship whose horizon’s only ocean,

We can only guess at what’s real. An unsettling notion.

Our universe is enslaved to the speed of light’s motion.

It makes one wonder why, we hold facts with devotion.






The Star-ship Mind


By: Philip Kent Church






Loftly constructed of imagination is my star-ship.

Imbued with sufficient technology, to be as magic.

Time and space are obediently bent by it’s speed.

Relativistic flight brings violet, impassive hue to all.

As light’s emission is spectrally squeezed throughout.

The whole cosmos blurs to blue, with fantastic result.

Thousands of miles are accomplished with each gasp of breath.

My pulse bounds forth, as my craft leaps, faster, faster thru space.

Thoughts, traveling to conception, now pass slower than the vehicle I man.

As Earth-bound clock-hands spin, my time wanes to a crawl.

Between glorious stars, I travel within interstellar, quiet seas,


Wide-eyed visions of splendor assault abject vision, of this flight,

Red giants, magnetars, and white-diamond dwarfs engulf dark night,

As I alone, am conducted by this such impossible flight,

Revealed are miraculous denizens of space’s stygian night,


Not persons of olde, but spirits of Jove’s couplet upon the whole,

Here we’re beset of benevolent volition, upon peaceful condition.
Which can only be revealed, at this incredible speed of light,

Thus, the visions of awesome cosmos are revealed by such sight,

While succinct technology becomes the initiator,

I’m submersed in the canvas of natures Creator.



















Soul Diving


By: Philip Kent Church




From the precipice of present circumstance, release yourself,

Throw self definition into the etherial, eternal and unknown,

Plunge mind into the spirit, fall into the steep spectral rapture,

Exhilarate from the release, into the placid, unknown recesses,

Intend the destination to that of the human heart, at the conclusion,

Fall with most sweetest abandon of care, or fear, or calculous,

Now, all hastening past you, rushing within, falling, falling, allow,

Think not of accolade, resist the exterior, descend into yourself,

Fall into the eternal embrace of all that is really . . . real, for you,

Find the truth that is your’s alone, aim for the bottom of your soul,

There one touches art, there one finds poetry. One’s essence,

Release, abandon, let go of all empirical, experience the free-fall,

Submerge, to merge with the what, and who you really, really are,


From the falling, discover your calling, birth your life’s meaning,

Stop any stalling, nothing appalling, accept the newfound gleaning.





Under Sun
Petrarchan Sonnet


By: Philip Kent Church




The Sun proceeds the mountain’s sky in kind,

As long traveled a trail is trekked to gain.

A life prevailed upon, journeyed to feign,

Like some ancient clockwork refused to wind.

The whole of truth, with which we hold in mind,

It’s what we base ourselves upon, be lain.

We must remember all that may pertain,

Or find we are among the deaf and blind,


As like Autumn’s dead leaves discard the trees,

And mountain peaks resound without reply.

We live our lives thru all with aim to please,

But there remains, of hope, hopeful retry.

To gain the chance to change, as like the breeze;

Be warmed by Sun, upon which we rely.




Ridge-runners


By: Philip Kent Church




By night I watch the stars run.

Across mountain’s ridge. East to west,

I know each one’s akin to the Sun,

Traveling until daybreak brings arrest,

Upon this, my world, those worlds viewed,

I consider the whole, struck dumb with wonder,

As the ecliptic reveals constellation queued,

Thought’s of self-importance, rendered asunder,

I think of those worlds, cut-off from my experience,

Imagining who, or what therein may abide,

My mind reels, as earth-bound self, searches the sense,

The notion becomes beyond me, I must confide,

(no subject)
Papaw Phil
philip_k_church
Coming to the Point
A SESTINA By: Philip Kent Church


Now there’s so much I wish I had to say,

And there’s so much I’d write. I would? I may.

To write and rhyme, I’d hope I’d stay okay,

But there remains the rules I must obey.

The time, perhaps, at last, has come today.

A piece, th’ Sestina, I shall relay!/


Along with those mad rules of strict relay

Remains so much, a real topic to say.

To be remembered long beyond today.

The more important part allowed? I may.

To thus fulfill this part, I must obey.

My hope is that it tends to be okay!


Indulge me thru the work. Is that okay?

Because I do possess a real relay

Of great subject with rules one should obey.

To wish I could prevail in what to say,

Requires to find my mind on what I may

Relate to you. A theme delayed today.


To wit, I’d like to broach my point today,

With you, I would no doubt say plain okay?

Untangle from the form I hope I may

In order best to find, to just relay

The point I really want and hope to say.

It’s just the crazy form I must obey!


To rules of form I’m caught and must obey.

Numbered end-lines are all I have today,

To tell the thing I hope to get to say.

I have to make my way to there, okay.

The form is blocking all I will relay,

Of that I wish to state, if should I may.


To make a way to there, to try I may,

If there was none of rules one ought obey!

The point is well designed to make relay.

If, perhaps, there be some small hope today,

My point to state can somehow pass okay.

Allowed to speak it all, I wish to say.



It’s what I seek. I may reveal today.

The rules I still obey. Is that okay?

So now, with this relay, the theme to say!

(no subject)
Papaw Phil
philip_k_church
Creeks and Air

Spenserian Stanza

By: Philip Kent Church




Appalachian living’s as pure as air,

Exhaled by deep mountain forests so green,

A life to live without disdain or care,

Upon the world outside, so hard, so mean,

Up here pertains to Lord and life, so clean,

As creeks from down mountains, to stream displayed,

Among the deep hollers to flow unseen,

By all who live by sight of life dismayed.

Or lose the track of care of that in life, mislaid.

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