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James Beard

About this Christian Poet:
I am James Beard of Follett Tx. I started writing in earnest when Christ changed me in 1974. I had to speak and write of this Love so overwhelming.

I was a closet writer/poet until I couldn’t get the door shut anymore; then I self-published a book of poetry, Musings of Grace, in December of 2003. This most certainly was not my intention when the writing started those many years ago.

My writing qualifications include:
          very poor grades in English, coupled with a love for literature and science
          a revelation by Grace of the Love and Person of God one defining day
          the Peace that writing brings
          the friends I meet
          that Hope eternal to pen His Truth, that still small Voice that speaks.

The poem, “Dead Word Walking,” became a poem one day in the process of writing another poem. I needed a word to describe the movement of a tree branch. I searched my mind and the Internet for a word to capture this tree movement that I have seen, felt and heard. None was found.

The poem birthed in an attempt to describe the word needed.

I found the word hidden alive in the tree branches movement only, but dead to my mind and pen. No written word found could suffice, leading very naturally, to the thoughts of Christ.

Second Prize: 2004 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest

Dead Word Walking

I need a word
that describes the living movement of a tree branch in small breezes.
Not just any breeze
but a very small, yet powerful, gentle breeze.
Not just any branch
but one of those lower heavier branches that extends horizontally
far out over the surface of the earth.
Like a mama’s arm reaches wayyyy out
her hand hovering over the face of her sick baby when she pleads her frantic prayers.

Swinging?
The limb’s not moving far enough.
Swaying?
Too smooth, this movement carries small shudders of dread.
Swishing?
The limb moves too slow, so slow you barely see it groan
like God walking
before Creation
back and forth
back and forth
thinking of Calvary.

Maybe…
Maybe this movement was tree-born That Day, when tree saw them coming, laughing,
with their glistening axes.
Maybe…
maybe the word I need died…and hid alive That Day.

Copyright ©2004 by James Beard