Erick S. Brown

Honorable Mention 2006 Novice Christian Poetry Contest $50

I just graduated from the University of Oregon in Spanish with a minor in English. I'm 23 and getting married this December 16th to Alisha Tendick, who I'd like to thank for all her constant love and encouragement. We attend Calvary Fellowship in Eugene where Alisha often leads worship. She writes songs and sings, I write poetry and prose, and we are both quite in love with Him.

It's difficult to grasp God's love for us at times especially when human love can be so inconstant. To what does a person compare God's love if they've never been loved? I wrote this poem with a broken world in mind, ours, and with the idea that this world, without doubt, is going to fail us. Even fathers fail sons. The premise behind "New Faith" is looking to God (although we must strain our eyes at times as far as the stars to see His love beyond our hate) for the completion of ourselves. That said, putting faith in God, the finisher of all things rather than in this world. We'll only be left desiring more if we trust ourselves to the world. In Christ we'll find the fullness of peace, rest, and love that we desire.

New Faith

Bright stars took him hostage
in moments of unbelief
caressed his eyes, his heart,
and helped him fall asleep.
no one knew his bruises
like the dark night sky.

Fights and riddled
pellets in a tin can heart
split strength of dreaming,
let out silent screaming.
no one knew his nightmares
beyond the hand that brought him dreams
no one knew his bloody nose
that knew another father's hand.

Late night in the basement
short of breath with gasping, crying
limp whispers came of bloody lips,
(the boy shivering cold and quick
pieced together shards of stars he gathered)
and sent forth a plea from shatteredness.

what mattered now was this:

how do you hold a father close as the stars, as this?

Up from frozen concrete and the dark cold night,
sat elements of love,
spat red and watery eyes,
speaking, being far from the horrors in his mind
breaking fear from these swollen eyes.
listening to the din of calloused places left to hide.

In the name of the father, the son, the spirit,
be child-like again, trust and feed.
sleep, be.

aloud this revelation recently beheld in air
spoke to a tin can heart; once broken, torn apart
speaking sweetly to the frozen child the day arose
beating firmly in his chest, the child's prayer for a father
turned once about a smile and came to rest.

Copyright 2006 Erick S. Brown