Poetry Friday

Blessed be


Blessed be the unwashed bag lady, shopping cart stacked with tainted treasure

for she will have her basic needs met.

Blessed be the man standing outside Great Canadian Superstore, hands out, eyes down

for he will be fed.

Blessed be the sixteen year old abused daughter living with another hard fist calling the shots

for she will be loved.

Blessed be the business man in the new beemer driving home to an empty house

for he will find what he seeks.

Blessed be the neighbour with the barking dog and all night weekend parties

for she will be shown grace.

Blessed be the cashier with dark eye circles stuffing groceries into righteous cloth bags

for she will be given a kind word.

Blessed be the old woman’s slow crosswalk shuffle during rush hour

for she will receive patience.

Blessed be the smart ass tough guy dealing from his high school locker

for he will be given a second, third, and fourth chance.

Blessed be the snot nosed kid screaming murder in the grocery cart, and his mother

for they will be observed with eyes of understanding.

Blessed be the new Canadian struggling with his pronunciation

for he will be a trail blazer for future generations.

Blessed be the middle aged mom breathing deep and hugging her daughter

for she will be a rock in this hard place.


Blessed are you when you are weak, hurt, without answers, taken for granted, displaced and overlooked because of what you believe and are learning. Rejoice and be glad that you are unwrapping peace, empathy, kindness and love. Epiphanies often bright burst from dark places. Extend what you have received to those you meet each day, and the Kingdom of God will come near.


Inspiration of Matthew Chapter 5.


Because you asked…

Cross on Brown Edge. This modern metal cross s...

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A transcription of the poem, “I’m sorry I’m a Christian,” by Chris Tse. If the *f* bomb offends you, you may not want to read this post. If you can see past that,  these words may crawl under your skin and poke your soul. Read on…

Used with permission of the poet.

I am a Christian. I’m sorry.


I’m sorry for the way that I come across
So fair and faith friendly and full of myself
Judging your spiritual health by the words that you say
And the way that you dress, and the things that you do
Or maybe just judging you.


I’m sorry for the way that I live my life
So confident of my own beliefs that
I would never even think to think about thinking about yours


I’m sorry for the wars.
Ivory clad Crusaders mounting steeds and drawing swords
With such a spirit that if The Spirit spoke they wouldn’t hear
But you see the sword of the spirit was not a sword but the Word
And the Word was with God and the Word was God
And they preached this as they marched on the Holy Land
Singing and Praying and Killing and Slaying
And purging and healing and raping and stealing
It’s ironic that they lined there pockets in the name of God
Just like the priests who line their pockets in the name of God
Just like the people that you can’t stand, because they always raise their hand
And spread their faith and hate and judgment in the name of God


I’m sorry that I take God’s name in vain
Or rather I’m sorry that I stain the name of God
Defending my selfish actions as selfless actions pertaining to the will of God


I’m sorry for being intolerant
For trying to talk down to you
For trying to talk over you
For not letting you talk


I’m sorry for not walking the walk
For being a hypocritical critical Christian
Criticizing your pagan lifestyle while my lifestyle styles itself
Just like the televangelist’s hair
All slick and sly and slippery
As the silver syllables slide their way into your ear


But see that’s my greatest fear
That the steps I take won’t match the words I speak
So that when I speak all you hear of me
is a weak hypocritical critical Christian
Doing one thing, but saying another
Loving my friend, but hating my brother
It’s a show.


I’m sorry I get drunk on Saturdays
and go to church on Sundays to pray
for my friends who get drunk on Saturdays


And on that note,
I’m sorry for making the church about the pews and the cross
And the walls and the steeple
Because see the building is not the church
The church is the people


I’m sorry that I hate you because you are gay
I’m sorry I condemn you to hell because you are gay
Instead of loving I jump to hatred
Mouth open and tongue preaching
Eyes open but not seeing that you are the same as me
Just a fucking human being


I’m sorry that I only hang out with Christian friends
And we do nice Christian things
Like pot luck dinners and board game nights
While in the night a man beats his girlfriend again
Another homeless man died again
Is this the way that my own crowd has been?
But here I am with the same friends again
But see what I always forget is that Jesus didn’t come
to hang out with the priests and the lords.
No, He hung out with cripples and beggars and whores




I’m sorry for history
For native tribes wiped out in the name of the church
Lodges burning stomachs churning and yearning for justice
And mothers screaming and pleading
Pleading for the young ones
As they are dragged away to church schools
Where they were abused
I’m sorry for the way that I refused
To learn your culture
Instead I just came to spread the Gospel
And the plague


I’m sorry that I stand at the front doors of abortion clinics
Screaming at 15 year old girls as they enter
Instead of waiting at the back door to hug them as they leave


I’m sorry for taking my wars and my faith to your lands
When historically it was on your lands that my faith was born
And in the face of the storm, I realize that
If God is Love and Love is God
Then why are we shooting instead of sharing?
Why are we launching instead of learning?
Why are we warring instead of walking together?
Why are we taking instead of talking together?
Why are we bombing instead of breaking bread together as brothers?


You see I think that God looks down and He’s sad
And from His right hand throne above
Jesus asks where is the Love?
And if it takes Wil-I-Am and Justin Timberlake
Asking that same question for us
To start asking that same question
Then where the fuck are we headed?


So I will take this stage to be my chapel
And this mic my confession booth
And in the presence of God, the few,
and the blessed I confess, that
I am a Christian. I’m sorry.

Thanks for reading.


Poetry Friday007

It’s been a while… trying to recapture ‘normal’ in my life after the passing of my Buddy. Words have not been flowing, nor has the desire to post much other than a few pictures and comments on Facebook. Yet, there’s a growing tickle in my gut that prompts me to take steps back toward creative expression, rather than holding it all close and tight inside me. God’s gift of life purpose has been marked by the discovery of my voice, and knowing that, I cannot long be silent. In the past five years, God has taught me that the posture of my hands needs to be open and surrendered to what He has for me. Although right now I feel like curling up in a ball and crying, I know that’s not a posture of acceptance or expectation for what comes next. While I must grieve, I must also step into God’s future for me. Today’s post is just that. Although these poems are not new, they are some of my favourites.

Here then is a collection of poems and photographs for your pleasure.

Gulls 2
by Lesley-Anne Evans, Jan. 2008

Gulls are drifting inland on updrafts from the sea.
Wantonly weightless they float overhead,
Calling boldly of flight and freedom.

Creature of the middle earth I stand in salt spray, toes
Sink in wet sand, thoughts sink deeper.
I lift my face skyward, consider their foreign tongue.

Then, rusty hinges on the screen door and
You call from the cottage.
Warm voice carried on the wind, you beckon me.

I turn.

Choose the welcoming parameters of our love and life.

Lesley-Anne Evans, Feb. 2009

Shredded strips of newspaper
On the bottom of your fancy cage —
Evidence of neurotic tendencies, as

You wait for daily offerings
Of fruit and seed in outstretched hands.
Still, a hunger is embedded in

Your dull remembrances of
Open skies and temperate winds
And clipped wings healed.

Okanagan Harmonic

by Lesley-Anne Evans, August 2009

There’s music in the vineyard
A rising tympani of leaves
Exposing their soft bellies to
The western wind.

Harmonies of vine and wire
Vine and wire, vine and wire
And the rhythm of staccato posts
Support the melody.

Bees buzz, tasting floral hints
Of autumn’s fruit
While heavy hot summer sun
Pulls the song from root to blossom tip.

There’s music in the vineyard
A complex composition carries on.
And, the cry of red-tailed hawk
A grace note.

Bud Hunting
Lesley-Anne Evans, December 2009

It’s not like you haven’t tried to adapt to the new ways
In your old age. Like gun licensing – forcing you through bureaucratic
Hoops to hang onto that part of you that only comes alive in pine
And birch, aspen, fir and poplar. Then you gave in, gave your guns away
To your brother, left you having to ask him to use them. Instead,

You told hunting stories, like the time you were about a hundred
Miles up on the Spruce River Road with a bunch of buddies, came around a corner, and
There were all these white birds — Snow Ptarmigan — white and fluffed up and floating
Over the first dusting of October snow.  It stopped all of you in your tracks —

The sheer blessing of that moment.

In contrast to your most recent conversation with the clerk at the
Ministry of Natural Resources, who advised you in no uncertain terms

That you couldn’t even buy a game tag anymore. You felt the door closing

On yet another chapter of your life.  So you fought back, 83 year old

Disarmed hunter, in the only way you knew how —

Told the guy to ‘Go to hell’, as you hung up the phone.

Poetry Friday006

I’ve got relationships on the brain at the moment… complicated, fickle, and utterly transcendent as they are.  So I’ve dug up some poems that echo with the universal experience of living with and among other humans. Enjoy.

Words 1

I have grown weary of utterances
both yours and mine
spoken, heard, yet
not sinking in
words ripple out to
the horizon
… gone…

Yesterday’s words return like echoes across
a darkly organic lake
alive with possibilities of leaping trout
and pan fried filets for supper

The Day After

He drove you to the airport, came home,
sat on the couch, looked into my eyes, and said
“Thank you for everything”.

I had to wonder if I had done anything at all
other than hold my tongue at the appropriate moment,
serve another coffee, another hot supper,
engage in another verbal volley to offset your negative remarks,
or say ‘uh-huh’ in response to your rhetorical babbling.
Did I really do anything?

OK, I did stifle resentment and disbelief just below the surface,
like when I dressed for Christmas dinner, my vision of ‘festive femininity’,
and was greeted with your, “Are you going somewhere?”
rather than an affirmation or even a small compliment, man to woman.
“Jeez! Did you just fricken say that?” I thought, but didn’t voice,
instead letting the hurt pool in my eyes while
I mashed potatoes, basted the fowl one last time in 350 degree hot oil.
Did you have an inkling of what constricted my heart —
the desire to lash out, wound you as deeply as you wounded me?
And there were times when I did… sort of. Did you hear that bit of sarcasm when
I let it leak? But that would take some emotional intelligence on your part.

So no, I don’t feel like I deserve any thanks —
nor do I want any.
I’d rather take a stiff chalk brush and wipe your most recent scribblings
from the blackboard of my familial life.

By now your plane has deposited you far enough away.
Here I am searching for normal,
…the day after.


In my ordinary life:  divine favour.

How your dark lashes veil a sure and tested sounding
And, how loon crying, echoes the call of dawn on Okanagan Lake.

How a breath of Claire’s freshly washed hair somehow expands my lungs
And, how my lips feel, against your unshaven cheek.

How the backyard lilac opening, diffuses a heady spring
And, summer breaks, under my tongue, with chocolate bits of a dipped DQ cone.

And the way I feel,
stepping wet from the shower, into your waiting eyes.

Poetry Friday 002

Thought a regular posting of poetry each Friday would be good. So, last Friday’s post being the first time, today is 002. A rather eclectic mix of poems, with the hope that you might enjoy or be moved by one.

Haiti  16:53

What seems like one minute you are chewing on your HB pencil
Staring at the clock and dreaming yourself out onto the dusty street with
Football between your agile feet, and running, running.

The next, you are lying on your back struggling
To breath through white dust that settles in your mouth and lungs
And you somehow can’t make your hand wipe away what stops your eyes from blinking.

Sounds of moaning, all around you in the dark, burst the small bubble of
Hope, that you are daydreaming at your desk, and you will wake up any moment
And the clock will say 16:54.

Lesley-Anne Evans
January 2010

Please shut up

They always stand at the top of the bleacher seats
Steaming Starbucks ‘to go’ in clenched hands.
Sideline exclamations of more than encouraging words.

“Go, run, kick, pass, hard on the ball girls, now go!”
Constant commentary for two 25 minute halves
While red and blue go up and back, up and back, up and back.

Prepubescent girl with parental dreams pressing
Like hot hands into the small of their sweaty backs, and
Expectations like hair on fire.
They play with heart and soul, while

Parents hold vigil

At this Sunday morning prayer meeting for scholarship futures.

Lesley-Anne Evans
February 2010


In the distance striped fields of ochre and green show how
one day, soft topped grasses moved like waves in the wind
and how a passing Massey Ferguson laid them down, unresisting
into rows like palomino manes, subdued and willing to embrace
the sun, heat up, dry out, offer up body and blood
as fodder for ruminations of cattle and poets and
farmers at the Feed and Tack.

Lesley-Anne Evans
August 2009

Poetry Friday 001

I used to have a poetry blog called My Grace Notes, where I posted my poems along with interesting photographs by some of the creative photographers in my life. And, I used to have another blog called Sometimes Suicidal Mama that was about life… all writing. You can still visit both of them to have a look at the postings there.

After a year, I found it to be too much writing and too much time involved in keeping both blogs current. Now I have only one blog… this one… and it’s so much better. I do miss posting poetry though. And the photographs too.

So, today I’m posting a recent poem for the pure delight of expressing thoughts in this form. And a surreal and beautiful photograph by my brother, Joel Clements, who has a new a photography blog ‘Follow the Dust Cloud’. I hope you enjoy them all.


The complexity of being human

Good mousers can smell a trail
Long gone cold, and will
Persist with haunches quivering
Tail erect and short inhalations
More like snorts, noses
Pressed down into wet, mouldy tunnels
With enough memory of mouse to illicit
Pavlovian response and anticipation of
Warm bodies, scratching, scrambling chase, blood letting.

On the other hand, desire leads down rabbit trails of
Mysterious occurrences, confusion and disappointment
Forks of indecision where one trail leads to ecstasy
The other, a cold grave.
Blood-warmed bodies become comfortable in their skin
Numb. Complacency is a dead end trail.

Yet, sometimes, on a sleepy Sunday morning
With the house shifting and creaking and ticking a lullaby
Stirring possibility timidly presses its’ nose to the ground
In search of the scent that remains.

Lesley-Anne Evans
February 14, 2010

Fleshing things out

Today I wrote down where I’m heading… and it helps to do that! Take the amorphous thoughts and put them down, make sense of them. Because I have to be able to vocalize what I’m thinking, and after the ‘Step One’ of yesterday, I have to email ‘further information’ to a potential client.

So, here’s the first few paragraphs of my draft proposal… tell me what you think so far…

PoetryNOW… bringing poetry to people

There is power in the written word to transport you to different times and places, cultures and experiences. Stories provide the opportunity to transcend circumstances for a time, and to live without limits in imagined worlds. And, words have the power to transform, bringing joy, delight, hope and healing, when you recognize that every life, including your own, is a powerful narrative of words that is worth telling.

PoetryNOW is an exciting new program initiative launched by Lesley-Anne Evans, B.L. Arch., to bring poetry down to earth, and make it accessible to ordinary people. Through readings, and personalized poetry writing, Lesley-Anne desires to enrich, honour and bring hope to the lives of participants in the program.

Lesley-Anne’s personal experience of losing a dear friend to ALS in May 2009, and sharing poetry and stories with him and others during the time of his illness, affirms the truth; that writing down and sharing meaningful words with people can impact them forever. PoetryNOW provides a way to do that.”