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Imagination vs. Observation

The only creative writing class I ever took resulted in a B, which ruined my high school GPA. I might have been devastated if the instructor had been open to anything other than sci-fi, fairies, or modern-day mythological imaginings, but the grades she gave reflected those interests only. Years later I found a kindred spirit in Mary Oliver’s poetic principles, which encouraged writers in all genres to observe and really see and sense what’s around us. Yes!

Isn’t this like Jesus’ encouragement to “Consider the lilies.” For me, that means paying attention to the ordinary as well as the unexpected! Yesterday, for example, I went outdoors to enjoy the unusually warn temp and discovered a single blossom at the bottom of a bush. As I considered that unimaginable gift, this haiku came to me:

Weird winter weather –
extreme highs and lows and one
azalea blooming.

(c)2023, Mary Harwell Sayler

Haiku Heals

The week of Thanksgiving a tragic death jolted our family. Who could think, much less find words? But as the shock eased in the days following, thoughts started coming to me in haiku, bringing healing, I pray, to all who read.

Early morning crash!
His car carved out a pine tree.
Nothing can stay long.

Devastating death!
I need to feel God’s grace. I
want to hear You call.

In the darkening,
my eyes are filled with onions.
How will she survive?

My thoughts race around
this grief she must be feeling.
Devastation spreads.

The owl didn’t call
our names but soared between us
with startling silence.

A pinprick of light
rises on the horizon,
puncturing the dark.

Night is lonelier
than the silence of day.
I won’t forget him.

Everything changes,
but I know it’s all right. God
has something going.

Psalm 118:1 in Haiku

Give thanks to the Lord
for He is good! His love lives
on and on and on….

(c)2022/11, Mary Harwell Sayler, in honor of my precious daughter and memory of my beloved grandson

Poem posted on Veteran’s Day

an unfinished poem in need of additions

When I woke up, God breathed out

the odor of coffee,

finding entrance into my thanks.

He provided us

with a car at an amazing price

and graced the glossy hood.

In the evening, He dashed

onto my lap, wanting me to read

Bible stories at bedtime and say

His prayers,

and when I offered Him milk, He

gave me the last animal cracker.

When He walked me to church,

He motioned everyone in –

like a traffic cop, waving

and wanting to round us up

into one big Body

with a long rap sheet

only He could forgive.

When He appeared as a homeless vet

with part of His heart hanging out

of His chest –

just trying to get His kids back

but in need of a job that didn’t mind

blood oozing –

I didn’t know what to do

but hug Him.

Mary Harwell Sayler from poetry book, A Gathering of Poems

#poem#poetry#poetrycommunity#veteran#veterans day

Haiku from Talking to the Wren

Spring comes silently –
slow as a caterpillar,
quiet as an owl.

Days fly by like bees –
flitting through the calendar,
sticky with honey.

Lightning pries the sky
open like an oyster shell.
Hard rain falls like pearls.

Wind and water shape
magnificent mountain peaks.
Air and spirit rise!

Crickets on warm nights
calling one another –
music in their wings

Haiku by Mary Harwell Sayler from the book Talking to the Wren, published by to the Wren: haiku, short verse, and one long poem (

The Reading of God’s Will

With Jesus’ sacrifice as The Last and Lasting Passover Lamb, given for our redemption, His death made possible the reading of His Will. Since Jesus’ Will was/is/ and always will be God’s Will, His crucifixion put that Will into full effect.

To read God’s Will accurately, however, we need to turn to God’s Word:

God’s Will is for no one to perish. God wants us to turn from ungodly ways.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9, New King James Version.

God’s Will is for everyone to be saved. We agree with His Will – and help to put it into effect– as we pray for one another.

“…I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone… for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth,” 1 Timothy 2:1-4, New American Bible (Revised Edition.)

God’s Will is for us to trust Him, no matter what!

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you,” 1 Thessalonians 5:18, King James Version.

A Will does not go into effect until death occurs.

God’s Will went into effect with the death of Jesus Christ, Who overcame death to save us for Eternal Life in the Lord.

God’s Will is for all to live in God forever.

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day,” John 6:40, New International Version.

God Wills to save the world!

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him,” John 3:16-17, Holman Christian Standard Bible.

Originally posted on Mary’s blog ©2021 by Mary Harwell Saylerpoet-writerBible reviewer, and compiler and paraphraser of the Book of Bible Prayers, which was researched on Bible Gateway as was this post

poems for Good Friday

Good Friday

A sword
slashes the sky.
The gash thunders.
Inside the Temple,
the veil in front of
the Holy of Holies
rips apart.

My heart enters.

Mary Harwell Sayler, published by GodSpace then the book A Gathering of Poems

Impassioned by Christ

Gethsemane –
and i am a pebble
pressing against His knee
as He kneels in the garden.

i am a stripe on His back
when He’s beaten
thirty-nine times.
Yes, count them –

thirty-nine times.

i am a thorn
in His crown,
a nail
in His palm,
a cave
where, lifeless,
He’s lain.

i am a hollow
space, an empty
shelf, an unoccupied
absent at His revival –
but filled
with passion
at His arrival.

i am forgiven.

I Am Risen.

Mary Harwell Sayler, from book A Gathering of Poems


It was finished.
There was nothing left to do
but take down Jesus’ body
and hide it quickly
from mind, from view.

The terror of the tomb
closed the matter,
once for all,
wrapping sin
for its descent
into down-falling darkness
where never light had been.

Even from the Upper Room
no one had known our own
souls would be exhumed.

But Christ arose.
And with Him angels rolled
away the tombstone,
shroud, and doubt –
releasing all
who wanted out.

Mary Harwell Sayler, from book A Gathering of Poems

Making peace worth keeping

Matthew 5:9 – Jesus promised us, “Blessed are all who make peace, for they shall be called the children of God.”

Keeping the peace at all cost isn’t what You meant, is it, Lord? That sounds more like being passive – a word we would never use to describe You!

Making peace creates what isn’t there, but that’s no problem for You, Lord! You, our Creator God, created everything of substance out of invisible matter, so the unseen became the seen. Thank You, Lord, for making us in Your image – creators capable of making peace. Please put on our minds the peace-healing prayers we’re to pray in Jesus’ Name. Remind us especially to pray for people who seem indifferent – or even hostile – toward the peaceful solutions that only Your love can bring.

Mary Harwell Sayler from book Kneeling on the Promises of God