Author Archives: backfromtheborderlands

About backfromtheborderlands

These writing pieces and a few photos are from my experiences and messages I have gathered from living in the borderlands.

A Blessing for Open Eyes

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Open our eyes to see

What is happening in our world

To see with eyes that care

About the suffering of others

To see the connections

And understand

Why these things are happening today

Give us insight

And vision 

To see solutions beginning

Small and thin

That lengthen and thicken

Into strong ropes

Strong arms

To lift 

To carry 

To free

© 2021 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, God, Hope, Lent, Life, Love, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus Flag

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

For all those

Waving a Jesus flag

Big shoes to fill

Big steps to follow

Better get started

Developing love

Self-sacrificing love

Takes a lifetime

Posers will be revealed

Examine our hearts

Whose path am I on?

No idols here

No judgements either

Fruit will reveal

Better than a flag

Who I serve

Who I truly love

© 2021 Julie Clark

Photo by ATC Comm Photo on Pexels.com
Categories: Faith, God, Love, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Change

Let us

Search for the light

Like wise persons

Follow it

Come out of the blinding

Darkness

Shake it off

Shake ourselves awake

And free

Let love

Come down

Melt the hardness

In our hearts

Let the tears

Flow

Do their work

Break us open

Just as the rain

Finds a way

Through the earth’s 

Hardened crust

Look up

Rise up 

Follow the light

Our paths

Need examining

Need pondering

Where am I headed?

Who am I?

Who am I becoming?

Is this who I want to be?

Is this path leading to life?

Leading to light?

Leading to love?

If not

Step off

We can change our course

We can grow

We can choose

We still have breath

We are still alive

© 2021 Julie Clark

Categories: Faith, growth, Hope, Life, Love, Paths, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good-bye 2020

Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

May this new year

Show the fruit of what we have learned

from the troubles and sorrows of the passing year

How we need each other

Always have, but somehow

Lost sight of our connection

To each other

To our earth home

To our heaven coming down home

May the fire 

The flood

The hurricane force winds

The pandemic

Be used 

To strengthen and straighten the bent and broken

Places in our hearts 

To repair and renew 

The moral compass

of all, including

The powers that rule

The powers that have crushed

The powers arising

Replacing the old

Bringing the new

Until, until

“The kingdom of this world 

becomes the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” *

How long 

How long

How we long for that day

© 2020 Julie Clark

(*Revelations 11:15)

Categories: Faith, growth, Hope, Life, pandemic, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Pandemic Christmas

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

This year we are all

Frayed around the edges

Wheels wobble and threaten to roll off

Relationships can be tense and anxious at times

Fingers pointing, fault lines drawn

Whose fault is it anyways?

We’ve all inherited trouble 

All have passed trouble along

Instead of blaming with pointed fingers 

Instead of self-protection and mental isolation

We can acknowledge that we are all in this together

Imperfect and in need of mercy

From God

Others and ourselves

The humble road is the path to life

The humble hand extends mercy and

Receives mercy

The humble heart

Has room to expand

To grow love

And give it away

©  2020 Julie Clark

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Counting

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

(This was a prayer/thought I had Saturday morning before we heard the results of our recent presidential election.)

Are you counting?

Like the votes are being counted 

One by one, day after day?

Are you counting

My every thought

Every move

Every deed

Weighing on scales?

No, not counting

Loving

Pouring it out

Day after day

The love that covers

Every mistake

Wayward thought

Angry word

Unkind action

Hateful look

The self-pity

Self focus

The pride

All of it

Again and again

Until it is covered

Until I learn mercy

And do the same

© 2020 Julie Clark

Categories: Autumn Poems, Faith, God, growth, Hope, Love, Poetry, Prayer | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Take Beauty Personally Today

A friend of mine asked me, yesterday, if I had a word for these anxious times, this election day. Here is what came to me first:

In this time of uncertainty, anxiety, and stress I would suggest spending some time in nature. It might be taking a walk in the neighborhood, a hike in the woods or on a trail or it might be looking out your window or sitting on your balcony or back porch. I have a phrase I have used in my poetry a couple of different times. It is “take beauty personally”. Slow down, take some deep breaths and pay attention. What is calling you to notice. It may be a flower, a tree, a bird song, the sound of water from the sea or a fountain. Whatever it is, take it to heart, a message from God, the earth, or the universe that you are beloved. Find a way to let go of what is troubling you and receive the peace and love that you need. 

Categories: beauty, Birds, Faith, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Arrested by Beauty

Arrested by Beauty

Stopped in my tracks to notice

My senses alive 

To see, to listen, to smell, to touch, to taste

These gifts all around

I am taking beauty personally today

As my beloved and I slowly walk this town

The bald eagle shows off his mighty wing span

The chickadees flitting from one tree to another

With their happy chirps

The autumn leaves in full display calling out:

“Look at me, look at me!”

I brush my fingers through the fragrant lavender

I breathe in the fresh sea air and let the sound

Of waves wash over me

Later the taste of fish tacos caps off our walk

This walking, this paying attention

Calms me, refreshes my spirit, 

Brings me home to my body

Today I am alive, happy and grateful

Categories: Autumn Poems, beauty, Birds, Life, Photography, Poetry, Seasons, Trees | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Lament for the Earth

I wrote this 2 years ago when smoke engulfed the Pacific Northwest from fires burning. This year the fires are worse and so is the smoke. I am one of those with underlying conditions. I am not well. It is supposed to rain and help clear the air. I think of those who have lost lives, homes, businesses in these fires this year. This on top of the Covid 19 pandemic which has taken so many lives around the world. Pray this prayer of lament with me and let us work together for change, starting with our hearts.

Backfromtheborderlands's Blog

forest fire smoke burning Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

God we ask for your mercy and help.

We have filled the waters of the earth with poison and pollution.

We have harmed people, animals, fish and plants with this water.

We have continued to fill the waters with chemicals, plastics and garbage even when we know this is harmful.

God have mercy on us and forgive us.

Help us to care for these precious waters that sustain us.

We have poisoned and polluted the land.

We have destroyed forests and fields.

Our foods are no longer rich in nutrients.

We continue to harm people, animals and plants with our poisons and pollution.

God have mercy on us and forgive us.

Help us to care for the land that sustains us.

We have poisoned and polluted the air.

We continue to burn fossil  fuels that are heating our atmosphere.

We are harming people, animals and…

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Categories: Uncategorized | 6 Comments

A Week on Vashon Island

After breakfast

The fog coming across the water

The ferry sounds its horn

The seals sun on the little dock

Set out for them

You could forget where you are

As the sound of waves distract you

And the surf laps against the shore

You could forget that you

Have to go home tomorrow

Back to those routines

Instead of these

And the gull cries

Calling you back to now

“Don’t worry we will be here

When you return”

And the fog keeps rolling

And blurs the seals

On their little rocking dock

I visited the Mukai Farm and Garden remembering and honoring the Japanese community that lived and farmed strawberries here before WWII. They were taken away during the war to internment camps. As I strolled the gardens there was a labyrinth with lanterns hung and intermittent Haiku streaming from pages strung with clothes pins as well. I was inspired to write these poems below.

I.

Immigrants settle

Growing fields of strawberries

Taken and interned

II.

War has many faces

Death and life roll through the land

Tears flow unending

III.

When will we return?

Children speak our unspoken words

Can hearts hope again?

IV.

Some return, rebuild

Life twists and turns with the sun

Trauma stays within

We took several hikes, this one runs along Shingle Mill Creek to Fern Cove.

They clear-cut cedar

Giants turned to roof shingles

The forest still grieves

Categories: beauty, Birds, children, grief and death, Hope, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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