Two Poems by Devon Kelly

He Will Make the Bloodroot

He will make the bloodroot
Blossom underfoot,
Flowers white, unfolding
Wherever you have looked
For thistles and for thorns.

The ground that used to mourn,
That cried with Abel’s blood,
Is laughing even now
    With Christ’s.

Pink Magnolia: an Ode

The magnolia, burdened with beauty,
      Palms open to heaven,
Cups her hands to drink
From the warm and golden stream.

Every flower a saucer,
      Translucent, a globe of light,
Waits to water the earth
With petals in her death.

The magnolia, weighty with glory,
      Boughs heavy with beauty,
      Eyes saucers of dawn,

Has been welcomed into the dance.

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Loss and Gain

Seasons in life are rarely solely about what you think they’re about.

Last August, I had just gotten through my first year of being totally self-employed after eleven years at a salaried job. I left that job to pour my time and effort into the music I create with my husband. When I surrendered my old career, though, I lost a lot more than my salary.

I lost part of my identity as a teacher.

I lost the confidence of knowing how to do my job.

I lost the familiarity of routine.

I lost daily human interaction. 

I lost coworkers to laugh and commiserate with. 

Later that year, I lost harmony with my best friend.

I lost my perception of reality surrounding my family. 

I lost the ability to process all of these changes and stresses myself.

I lost the illusion of success.

I lost my hustle. 

I lost the bubbly parts of my personality.

I lost the feelings of excitement and joy.

I lost the will to get out of bed some mornings. 

When God wants to rebuild your heart, he doesn’t just focus on one part. This renovation went after much more than new paint colors and carpet. It stripped me down to the studs. 

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Island Memories

I’m longing for a place. My island home away from home. It calls to me as it always does when it’s time for me to return. Visions of its beauty and happy memories dance through my mind. It feels so far away. It’s just a small island. I know there are many islands and beaches in this world and frankly it’s gotten way too busy for my taste in recent years, but it’s an old friend to me.
My family has been blessed to return to the same spot for family vacation year after year. Driving across the bridge to the island after a long car ride was always a moment of excitement and joy while actually feeling the cares of the world slip away a little.

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Creativity is Your Heritage

Do not lose sight of who you are, my friend.
Creativity is your heritage by divine nature.
It is not a mood or a muse.
Creativity is not a gift that one may have and not the other.
No. Creativity is foundational to your creation. Just as your life is changed and shaped around the resurrection of Christ, so, is your life, formed and created by the divine Creator.

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Playing in the Dark

There are a number of quarries in and around Knoxville where lanky, dusty men used to blast marble out of the hills before the Depression. In fact, if you read the odd town-centric indie publication here or there, you’ll eventually dig your way into a vein of prose in which some loafered, office-bound journalist will wax poetic about the geological intricacies of East Tennessee’s pink marble. We should all dream so big. In earnest, marble from Mead’s Quarry has made it all the way to New York and the District of Columbia. These old holes in the ground, however, have become the stuff of dreams nowadays. They tend to attract college students and hometown creatures alike to their emerald green waters, beckoning the sweltering and the summer-skinned to the coolness of placid depths. As for myself, though, I go in the deep dark of winter.

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On the Verge of Turning 40

I teach high schoolers
On the verge of graduation
So-called “seniors”
Who were children just the other day.
Intoxicated with the weightless gravity
Of their newfound independence,
They drive, and vote,
And use the restroom
Without taking the hall pass with them.

Can you remember?
What it was like
For that fleeting moment,
The sensation you were standing on top of the whole world
The universe stretched before you, full of
Endless possibility
You could do anything, be anything
You could get a tattoo of your favorite internet meme
Immortalized on your backside
Without parental permission.

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The Bodacious Prophet of Cool

Recently, during my Bible study, I concluded that Elijah was by far one of the coolest prophets of God to walk this planet. Can you imagine standing against an entire kingdom, against the pagan worship leaders, against superior authority that wants you dead, boldy pronouncing their punishment instead? How about openly mocking their pagan worship and failed attempts to prove a false god?

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