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Jennifer Galey

First Prize: 2016 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $1000

About this Poet:
I am passionate about sharing the grace of Christ through various writing forms including devotionals and poetry. I have recently begun a YouTube video series called “Grace Footsteps,” in which I express my candid revelation of what God is revealing in my heart through His Living Word. Baking has become a new obsession of mine, especially hand-piped cookie art. I have been married to my husband Adam for seven years. He is a living epistle of steadfastness and is my biggest encourager.

About this Poem:
One morning I asked the Lord to give me a new poem. That same day, I was studying the passage in Exodus about the Ten Plagues. I love reading the Old Testament through New Covenant lenses. My thoughts gravitated to how God uses times of elevated turmoil in our hearts to reach us with targeted grace. Though our finite minds can only grasp dismembered moments of confusion and chaos, the Omniscient Creator sees the end from the beginning. He strategically shapes us into vessels that can carry His grace. The poem "Deliverance" emerged from these ponderings.

Deliverance

Looking back, I can see the utter brilliance of it all—
how even my fears were carefully knitted inside the double helix
of my DNA, the dual reality of your grace and my resistance
working together, a song being composed before ears could hear.

I.

Your voice, pure and moving, yet solid like ivory,
strikes a minor key—shattering the scaled composition of silence.
The ominous mountain dividing the dark from light,
was nothing more than a gauzy membrane,
a fragile layer of human tissue caging a wildly beating heart.

Raw aching limbs settle into carnivorous sleep
as I digest the staleness of my own breath.
The sea of familiar fears is swirling once again.
I bow my head in vain tradition, ask for a small sip of relief—
sparkling bubbles of life rise through dark imaginations,
but then, I taste the sinfulness of my own blood…lukewarm.
I spit it out, thirsting for a few drops of perfect love.

II.

An internal alarm jostles me awake:
the metallic timbre of penetrating restlessness.
A strange stirring quivers beneath the surface—almost indiscernible—
like a thousand tadpoles simultaneously hatching into darkness.
Nausea has emptied the cupboards of my worldly appetite. Nothing satisfies.
A throbbing syncopation, growing before multiplying,
a stabbing sensation that something is changing.

III.

Somehow I am shocked that faith does not grow inside slim silhouettes,
but stretches and bulges until the very seams are split.
It does not linger in loveliness like the honey-drenched fragrance
of freshly scooped balls of melon flesh,
nor does it begin to manifest until the musky
ripeness has matured to damp circles of white decay, and
the rotten rind has surrendered its empty palm
to the angry appetite of the flies. It appears like a comforting ghost
when the world is dizzy and weakness wilts lifeless limbs—
when my vision grows fuzzy and my own rebellious way
has furiously chased me into swarms of countless gnats,
the small beginnings I tend to despise, but only then I pray,
“Hallelujah! Thank you, LORD for these new eyes!”

IV.

Somewhere in between—I am neither here nor there.
The red sea of impossibility has parted. I am dangling inside
the harsh light of the unknown, an infant gulping air after
enclosed deep inside the well-planned ark of the placenta—
the velvety fragrance of heaven spilling from the filth of the afterbirth.
Yesterday spirals into the dilating pupils of time, a sepia-colored
memory flickers in and out of blinking eyes, details of the trauma
threaten into being before dissolving into forgetfulness.

The offending veil shrouding me from You has unraveled.
First, a tiny snag of mustard seed yellow, almost invisible to the naked eye,
then a bulging loop refusing to go back—the point of no return.

V.

With gesturing arms, The Conductor cues the angels and timid sun:
a golden trumpet of light blows inside a symphony of silvery blue,
it makes a sound. My voice is a tiny echo of Your own.
Old hymns slowly drift through the air like unhurried clouds,
suddenly making sense for the first time.
I am born again—thrust into my Father’s loving arms,
but only after a crescendo of inner plagues are released
across several well-rehearsed stanzas—
whatever it takes to deliver me to You.

Copyright ©2016 Jennifer Galey