A White Rose said to an African Violet:
Purple darkness makes my day.
The Violet, showing forth her petals, spoke:
Let’s share some sun this May.
Write a poem in which one or more flowers take on specific meanings.
OK. I didn’t blow off the prompt today. I have discharged my poetic duty.
Now here are two flower-based poems previously written which I had dried and pressed
between the pages of a weighty theology tome:
One thinks on Calvin heav’n’s own spirit fell;
Another deems him instrument of hell;
If Calvin feel heav’n’s blessing, or its rod,
This cries there is, and that, there is no God.
A transcendental tulip
is blooming in my garden.
Before the petals wither,
before affections harden,
I pray it may diffuse its scent;
so gloriously redolent.
Encouraging the faithful,
it blooms in any weather.
In sunshine or in shadow;
let us, elect, together,
enjoy its sanctifying smell
while warning careless souls of hell.
In Him we stroke the petal
That proves our own depravity:
the flower that declares our heart
apart from Christ, a cavity
where only evil may be found
by One who dares our depths to sound.
The second petal beckons
and sings of pure election;
where souls are freely chosen
by God’s divine selection.
(As yet not offered to the masses—
Unto whom His wrath now passes).
Thirdly shines the Limit
of Christ in His atonement:
benefits are thus withheld
in God’s eternal moment.
So let the worldling rant and bluster;
Raging will not dim the luster.
Fourth: shall the fallen Adam
hold out against omnIscience?
Will puny human being
Prevail in disobedience?
The Lord on high will hound you down;
His grace to place a golden crown.
Point five unfurls its essence;
as saints arise, and striving
shake off the dust and onward march—
though never quite arriving;
while God empowers to go the distance
Persevering with insistence.
Behold in full the blossom!
In Grace it shines, reflecting;
delighting in God’s wisdom,
the lead to gold perfecting;
Magnanimous floral alchemy
bestowing at last true liberty.
TULIP # 2
God arose and wrung His hands.
“Those Calvinists have got it wrong;
my will is shackled by human sin
and their chains are far too strong.
I gave them all free will—it’s true…
some choose to scorn my sacred Word.
I guess I don’t know what to do;
their human plans are undeterred
while my designs are all aborted;
no more need for intake lists.
My plans made void, my Truth distorted
by crypto-hyper-Calvinists . . .”
Distressed by celestial impotence
His angels wept and veiled their faces;
for there is nothing God can do
when man His perfect plan effaces.
The Lord continued, in His sorrow
“I’m guilty and my outlook’s narrow
in other words: I’m screwed . . .
Man is king—while I, poor servant,
exist to bless his mortal dreams.
Genie of the Bible bottle,
I facilitate their schemes.”
God sighed. “Oh that my wisdom could
redeem the lost, and punish sin
but I’m unable to get through.
(Besides, I’m semi-Pelagian.)
Humankind can vote me out,
fashion me anew from clay.
I will evolve to suit their fancy
growing with them day by day.
I want to help them— but it’s hard.
I just can’t do predestination.
Mortals twist my righteous plans
I’m no rigid righteous Sovereign—
don’t believe that Puritan hype.
I’m your life coach, here to offer
I’d love to finish what I started
but humankind won’t acquiesce.
First I need to ask permission
so our plans might coalesce.
My essential need to please;
(sinful self-important twerplets—
ignorant of my unease…)
Tulip-breeding Dutch reformers
Sottish lairds and heretics
reading the Bible for kicks
will never comprehend my purpose.
I am sworn to placate Man!
Offering my selfless service,
I’m doing the best that I can!
So burn a candle, say a prayer.
Let me prosper, help and bless you.
Intervene? I’d never dare.
I’m mainly here to confess to.”
I hereby smite thee with my flower, you simpering Pelagian.
By the five petals of my predestinating tulip you shall wilt, wither and die. My TULIP flourishes, watered by the blood of martyrs, fertilized and flowering by God’s sovereign grace. Away with your merely human worldly wisdom. Christ cultivates a blooming garden of grace, and our Savior hallows the Augustinian fragrance flowing freely from this line of flight.
It’s time to stop and smell the TULIPS !
Tremble and surrender, worldlings, before the eternal might of my gentle flower as it sings, blooming on a theological stalk, waving gently in the wind of liberty, a floral banner proclaiming freedom. Away with your works; out, out, and perish, you preachers of what cannot save. Give up, give in and praise the Lord of hosts for redeeming grace and unmerited favor. This eternal flower must go forth conquering and to conquer.