Faith – The Void Filler: Tanka

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Photo by Matt Flores on Unsplash

Life deals unfairness
Great sorrow and dark losses 
The vacuous void
We but only can hope fill –
Faith the greatest void filler

Written for  Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday .  Colleen explains that a Tanka follow s a 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure, and consist of five lines.  These are written in the first person point of view. “This is important because the poem should be written from the perspective of the poet.”  This week’s prompt calls for the poem to contain synonyms for EMPTY & SPACE.

My Tanka, this week is written from the perspective of both grief and hope, in the aftermath of a recent bereavement, but with a Christian faith to carry me through.


The Widower: A Single Tear

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The Widower

I have loved

And I have lost

Past now: the passion of breath inhaling breath

Of lips on lips’ gentle caress

The fleeting dart tongue on tongue, I shall know no more

Gone the exquisite ecstasy of our bodies conjoined.

Shed a lone tear for me – no more and no less

For I am now but singular,  parted from the piece of me that was best.



This poem is not a statement of a lack of faith, but an expression of physical loss.  I remain convinced that we shall be reunited in the heavenly realms.  For now, however, I must continue my life’s journey alone.   While the flavour of this poem is far more suggestive than my usual writing, please see it as a celebration of married love (much as in the Song of Solomon) and of that love lost.


Where Have I Been?

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It is with a broken heart that I need to announce that my wonderful wife Dianne went to join her Lord at 12:54 this afternoon. She went to her Saviour without fear, and in fact (and I am not just trying to create a candied view of her) she never once showed any sign of kicking and screaming or of bemoaning the unfairness of it. She believed firmly in God’s power to heal her, even to the last minute, but prayed that “Not her will but His be done.  Whatever served the kingdom better so be it.”  She loves God (purposeful present tense) and she loves me. She built me up, and made me a better man, and challenged me to be a better Christian. I learned from her, and was uplifted by her.  I will miss her, and yet I will live my life even more for Jesus so that I can be confident in joining Him AND HER when my walk is done. Those of you who knew and love her, I am sorry for your pain, but it is all the more weighty on me. I have been as a blessed husband, and now have lost my best friend.

Her final passing was swift.  The cancer had recurred a year and a half ago, but her general health was good until last Monday.  She became weak and then fell into a coma Thursday.   It was merciful in its swiftness.

Thank you for those who commented on having missed me on my blog.


Love Lies Bleeding

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source: Johnsons Seeds

She said she had to find herself,

So she left their house and home;

She found herself – with someone else,

Leaving him alone.


Was it some symbolic act,

Full of hidden meaning,

That in the Spring before she left –

She planted love-lies-bleeding?



When The World Assails


Most all of us have had bad days. Some have even had rough weeks, or months.  I have written in the past about the loss of a child, but I have not given much detail in the past.  I must note that it was one of, if not the worst, days I have had to experience, especially in its context and circumstances.

I had been away on a conference in April 2014, and arrived home later than had been expected.  My wife and step-daughter had waited up for me, and when I arrived home, I was greeted by a wonderful “Daddy!” from my step-daughter.  We had a meal together, then I gave them each a gift I had got for them on the trip. And Ana went off to bed in a very cheery mood.

Next day my wife and I spent much of the morning and early afternoon chilling in the lounge.  Our conversation eventually went to the fact that Ana hadn’t come down yet.  She had been suffering from insomnia, so we initially took it as a good sign that she was able to sleep.  But, as the day drew on, we called to her, and their was no response.  I went up to check on her and found her lifeless in her bed.  She was dressed in the new t shirt I had gotten her as a gift, and she had passed in her sleep, she was 22.  There was nothing I could do.  She had been gone for hours.

My and her mother’s world collapsed.  There were days of confusion, mind slips, and tears.  We had lost a treasure, but held on to God.  Though prayer was hard, and the presence of the Lord at times seemed far away, we held on to His promises.

We had barely come to terms with her loss, when a month to the day later, my wife’s adoptive mother passed.  This created even more hurt, and trials of a legal kind in regards to arrangements, and the estate.

Our world was in limbo, and the stress was great, and in June it took its toll when I suffered a heart attack.  Life does at times assail.  But God’s love is sufficient.  I did mend, but the trials of life had not relented.  We were just starting to put our lives back into order when in October 2015 my wife was diagnosed with advanced cancer.  We entered into the world of hospitals, chemo, and radiation.  The treatments themselves have caused massive health issues through side effects. Our trials continue until even now.

Scripture tells us that He will not put more onto us than we can endure.  I can attest to this.  I have hurt, cried, and pleaded with Him in the last 3 and half years.  Through it all He does remain – Good.

On Sunday, the worship centred on the sufficiency of God in our lives.  “He that is in us” is greater than the trials of the world.  This is especially moving, as our worship leader, my dear brother Joe, is now in the kind of trials which I have come through (above).  Will my readers please raise up Joe and his wife Claire in their prayers, for their continued faith, strength, and example as Joe awaits word on the health of his father.  We hold him up for prayer as well.

I am strengthened, and encouraged that Brother Joe, not only continues to lead worship (even in his distress), but he does so in a way to lift up others.

When the world assails, let us remember to turn to Him who is greater than the world.