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Of Whom (In Memory of Mom)


Note: this is a section of a larger poem (To the Titan Women)  that I wrote for and to a  number of essential women in my life.  This is the part that belongs to my Mom - Eleanor Jordan (aka: Moma Ellie) who left our world to be with her Beloved,  December 3, 2009.   Mom loved this poem.

I am the son of Titan women,
Born of water and of blood;
Born of Heaven’s will
and of the burning sod.

I am born of Terra
and of Sarah too,
a son of Adam and
our “Father” Abraham, included
in the loins of faith.

I am the son
of strong STRONG women
and the sire of the same,
I have tasted fire,
and added to flame
of life.

Trace me back
and you will find
Irish maids and Cornish Lords,
scallywags and dumblewits,
pagans, saints, and tumbled hordes
mighty pillars, bloody swords,
and …a fire that burns back
to Eve.

(* Portion removed, belonging to several other women in my life, for placement at another time.)

And now

I know that it's a prejudice
born of being born to you, But when it comes to you
(or Momma Ellie as she goes)
I see a broken titan,
patched with gold.

A woman of rare and enduring beauty.

My first mental picture, photograph derived
shows a little girl with hand-tinted lips
and red brown hair. 

They say
You favored Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz.
Or next, Audrey Hepburn in your senior picture.

Oh, what an image.
Gentle slope of a V-neck draped cross your shoulders,
elegant pearls and hair cut
daring short. Class mates would
remember the Knuckey girl, top of the class
and editor, with a cutting edge
and wild side.
Next mental picture shows you, just before you met my dad
breaking from the surf with scuba mask.
Thin cigarettes balanced on your lips, spooned hips
packaged in pencil leg jeans.

At eighteen you bought a one way ticket
AWAY From tradition and old church ways
to a California of convertibles and gold dust.
seagulls and stars.

Three years later you would wed
a young engineer and outdoorsman.
sturdy with a zest for life,
the music of the Kingston Trio
dancing in your heads.

I see you there
rushing from the pines of the Wayside chapel
up the ragged coast
to the boats and rivers,
to your own pizza business
two kids
and a small farm
so rich in childhood memories.

Next mental picture has you asking me (age seven)
What ever do you mean “Are you saved?”

As it is, I’d gone to some kid-hood missionary campaign
replete with sword drills and flannel-graph epics;
We learned of Pilgrim and his burden
emptied at the cross; and though I had yet
to visit either the Vanity Fair or the Slough of Despond
I said “yes” to the Celestial City.

Some weeks later you did too.

Conversion, for you
was never like a shift in sentiments,
No – it was like the first day of creation.

And that light
has been your life
every waking day.
and night.

And what a night it’s been.

I hope you will not mind, If I skip the glory years
when you stood strong
as wife and mom to four....

or, as missionary to the street-crowd,
Carrie Nation for the cause of Modesty,
Healer of other folk’s marriages.

Nor do I think you’ll mind
if I skip the greater part of night
(Though, how long it lasts).
Two husbands down, and no one now to share
your dreams of aging into godly grace and ministry.

Distant children,
Distant dreams,
And distance
sometimes even for us.

You take your wine, right off the vine; I like mine with age.
You take your kingdom in the future, past apocalypse and caged
in a thousand years. I’ll take mine – right now, albeit slow and growing like a mighty tree throughout the earth until the final day, when heaven crashes through the walls.

You take your gospel southern,
I drink mine pure black.

You walk in the spirit of conviction …
'bout some of things of which.....we are not convinced.

But even with our differences…

You have born
the hard humility
of giving everything to Jesus
Only to have him take you at your offer.


Dignity – His.
Family – His
Pleasure in the present – His.
All your hopes and dreams – His.


see you now sometimes,

burdened down and grey
like a full-bodied version of Mini-Pearl
replete with Hawaiian drape-dress,
funky hat, and walker decked in ribbons.

I see you hitting the tambourine with streamers,
or doing the soft foot jig
before Baptists ever dreamed of such.

I see you (Oh this is funny)
Throwing litter back into the open window
of an offending motorist in a parking lot.
You say: “I think you lost this.”

I see you walking up to laughing black-men
dressed in suits and telling them how “gorgeous” they look.

I see you at the jail, or on the plane,
in the lanes and byways,
asking folks what they would say to God
if they met him tonight.

I see you walking into strip joints
past the surly hard-eyed stares,
and naked flesh to find
some gal who’d like to leave the life
but has to make a living.
And she’s thinking about Jesus.

I see you on your knees
every night, with sobs
like Monica weeping for her kids.

I see so many hearts,
now broken into, by the savior of the world.

I see a woman
Spit, chewed, and broken
like the fine Art of God.

I see some Titan, on
the other side of life
taller­­ than a Redwood.

I see one of whom the world was not worthy.


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