Guest at the Banquet

Soda cans occupied what should be sacred ground
Discarded bags that time was shredding lay all around
Candy wrappers in the grass held me spellbound

     Why did I feel guided to this opposite singularity
    Into a secret hideaway for youth’s unending party
    To be invited, one must belong to their nobility

I considered collecting the mess, to throw it away
As God would have it, instead, it was time to pray
I guessed wrong, it would wait until a different day

    The Word called and opened randomly to Esther
    To find I had arrived after the King’s last dinner
    Paper and pen came out to record the adventure

Then, without notice, the pines became a morass
Three red squirrels were disturbed by my trespass
Their chatter ruthless, I rose to leave the impasse

    One brave one skittered close to face the unique
    Twitching, he barked a language I did not speak
    Holding out my hand, I whispered soft mystique

St. Francis then arrived, my new friend was stilled
Sitting down quite logical, to do what God willed
A wave of joy sent its message, time to be filled

    Obviously new kings had conquered this empire
    Now, I was their guest, my presence their desire
    Common flies gathered too, party gone haywire

They too enjoyed the spoils left for them to dine
Change came as the sun rose above the tree line
On the ground within my reach a thin grapevine

    Silence took me deep, the treasure found its place
    My world morphed, glory showed her loving face
    I could only handle a second of eternity’s embrace

In the distance a Blue Jay called to end it in a flash
Comfort had found a home to rest among the trash
How can I ever explain, what I found in the cache

    Before I rose to leave from the direction I entered in
    I had to watch Esther’s victory undo the King’s sin
    She, a single human soul following God’s direction

Although late to the reception, another puzzle piece
Loneliness set in, time to leave the squirrel in peace
Esther was put away for me to wait on her expertise

    The kingly squirrel surprised me with one last chirp
    I waved goodbye, with a smile for God’s good earth
    One sweep of my foot, smoothed the uncovered turf

I did not clean the other mess, I left with no regret
The ugliness haunts me, the palace I cannot forget
A gift of tears arrives, when I think of friends I met


We went camping at a place I had not been before that had a maze of hiking trails. I was drawn to take several detours which took me further and further away from my intended route.  I found myself on a small trail that was not marked.

I followed that for about a hundred feet entering a clearing under some pines. It was a dumping ground for a group of kids who had left behind their trash from what appeared to be weeks of camping.  I was full of shame for what humanity had come to and could think of nothing else to do but open my Bible and pray.  Esther spoke to me in ways I cannot adequately describe.  When squirrels arrived, I thought I had disturbed their feast, but then the scene of St. Francis speaking to the animals came to mind.  I tried to behave like him and was blown away with the results.  Nature responded in creation’s palace. St. Francis’ gift of the kings new friends I will not forget.

For further reflection: Esther