The Streets Where We Live

I wrote the following poem for the Art & Vespers service at our school a week ago today. It is a reflection on Isaiah 58:1-12

The streets where we live
are not paved with gold, no
trees of life lining their ways.
Ours is this brokenness,
shattered dreams
lost seasons, too many reasons for
regret, we forget
our whence, our whither, our why.

The streets where we live
are cobbled together, a stray
stone of hope alone on
a gravelled road of
slippage, everything
sliding out from under us. And
yet that strong stone sings
to us, who
are well wearied, harried
and vulnerable. Cracked open.

The streets where we live
are alive. Yes,
they weep, they worry, they
wonder why we won’t
tend them and so
they wait on us, these streets.

These streets where we live
never despair of repair.
These broken streets work on us, we who have
been over-worked, over-looked, under-fed
are now led by streets who reveal their wounds
to us, so that we weep with them, and
our sobs repair this breach
our tears restore that street.
.
The streets where we live are holy ground, all
around us are streets
hallowed, so that with
feet well shod, we trod
where we are – in awe.

Come, walk with me.

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12 thoughts on “The Streets Where We Live

  1. Marie Taylor says:

    I love the idea of the streets waiting for us – of sharing a journey. Lovely poem. Thank you.

  2. shoreacres says:

    These lines caught me immediately:

    The streets where we live
    are cobbled together, a stray
    stone of hope alone on
    a gravelled road of
    slippage, everything
    sliding out from under us.

    I’m showing my generation, I suppose, but I couldn’t help thinking of these words of Paul Simon’s:

    You know the nearer your destination
    The more you’re slip slidin’ away

    Isnt’ that just the truth? And yet that’s where the hope may lie. All of that slipping and sliding away may not mean we’re on the wrong road. To the contrary, it may be an indication that we’ve chosen the right path – even if we have to stop now and then to repair the very road we’re traveling!

    Wonderful poem.

    • agjorgenson says:

      Thanks for your encouragement. And as for finding some hope in slippery paths, doesn’t Jesus have a thing or two to say about roads easily traveled? I’m not sure that makes it any easier. Tears are still tears even when they heal…

  3. diannegray says:

    This is beautiful, Allen xxx

  4. A stray stone of hope…. Beautiful

  5. Diane Rivers says:

    I love this whole poem so much. I know these streets well, especially those with the “gravelled road of slippage” sections. I often forget to look for that stray stone of hope and listen for it to sing to me when I am cracked open. Thank you for the reminder. You’re an amazing poet, Allen.

  6. jannatwrites says:

    Beautiful poem -I’m glad you shared it!

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