land of rest

Land of Rest is a blog of Peter Jenks. Poems, quotes and photos are by Peter Jenks (unless otherwise noted or I miss noting an older post's photo) and are copyrighted, you are free to use these if you acknowledge their source.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Forgiveness is letting go of a better past".
This is a quote I heard from Chris McClarty, and a good one

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lamb Stew

We have been blessed to have local lamb that we can buy. We know the farm, the butcher and it is all local.
And in the process of learning to cook lamb, we have discovered that cooking it a long time can bring out great flavor, especially in stew.
Add in everything one has to make it a great gathering, not only of friends and family, but of one's harvest as well.

Monday, February 25, 2013


a half hour of silence, Rev. 8:1
the ghosts and goblins we might actually meet are no match for the ones we can imagine.

every time

every time
  you  gave me a song,
i tried to use it as a bowl
      or a house.
every time
   you asked me to dance,
i tried to take a bath in it.
and then i was mad
   because the bowl
    could not hold
 the water of my tears
nor the house
   keep the water of my sorrows out,
nor the bath
   make me any cleaner.
now you want to kiss me.
   and i want to see the moistness of your lips.
and you take me sailing.

Friday, February 22, 2013

How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing.  - Luke 13

Thursday, February 21, 2013

some haiku and a thought

It used to take a week for a simple hour to pass
Now it takes an hour for the week to become my past.

Water in a bowl
Magnifying the rocks beneath,
No lies are hidden.

Divorce is final
Like an amputated limb,
Love stains forever.

With every Fall
Family expectations
The same leaves let go.

A fish and a boot
Sharing the same currents
Sibling memories

Water art, with hues
So subtle and transparent;
The ocean of tea.

When my distractions blink,
   I am stunned by the sight of you.
When my opinions pause,
   the flash of love’s flesh stuns me.
When I stop avoiding doing the things I fear to do,
   It is you, who sits beside me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

we, in the mirror

We, in the mirror, we
Entwined like seaweed
Gently moving with the currents
Beneath the surface
Separate plants,
Only an image
In the mirror
But the feel, the touch, the skins of our skin
Raises me beyond the surface so that I can breathe.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Land of Rest

This man is playing the song, LAND OF REST.  LAND OF REST is an old American folk tune used in the Episcopal Hymnal.  It was also used by Ken Burns in his documentary on the national parks. I grew up hearing this tune and learned to love it.  This tune name is what I used to name my blog.

So Right

When the right tool is found
At the right time
And having been put away in the right place
It is just right.

When the perfect color is in the perfect shoe
And it is on sale,
And it fits,
oh, things are so right.

When the most appropriate song
comes on the car radio,
with the people there you want to hear it,
things are so right.

So right,
like my arm slipped around your waist
fitting so wonderfully.
So nice,
As you pull yourself to me
to be together
so right.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

from St. Teresa of Avila

When your soul was born,
it was like a still ocean that had yet to experience
its infinite life.

God then came to the shores of our souls and gazed upon the immaculate splendor that His divine Heart created.

He then took off His clothes and dove into us.

Nothing on their own have your arms ever done,
the movements of your feet are caused
by the waves He stirred.

Light baptizes life wherever it falls,
and every religion and all upon this earth
is a shadow.

A shadow may move but it has no real power of its own,
though it can affect the weak and frighten them, and men can use
that darkness to exploit others.

As I found the source of all we do, as I found the
source of all our desires, so humble God became
He admitted: He caused
all things.

- Teresa of Avila     translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Monday, February 11, 2013


I did not want to change the way I ate, until I discovered Jesus dancing in the kitchen of my heart.
I did not want to change my habits and exercise more, until I heard Jesus laughing in the gym of my soul.
I did not want to change my opinions, ideas, nor beliefs until I saw Jesus sitting with those whom I disagreed.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

In the storm

Emily broke her toe just before the storm at dance class. The chickens are stuck in their yard. Shoveling is intense. And it keeps snowing.

Friday, February 8, 2013

being connected

The old saying, that 'we are what we eat', has some deep meaning. We have eaten several of our chickens. I got to know them, they were killed so that we might have food to survive. I have a connection to these birds that is wonderful. They provide eggs, I let them out and feed them. I have been checking in on them in the storm today to be sure they are all right. The grains, the fruit, the meat and all we eat has come from some life. It is a sacred connection. Jesus took bread and said, this is my body.  He took wine and said, this is my blood. We survive because of others. When food is made through chemicals and factories, it loses some of the direct link of life and death, of living and breathing. We seem to want to take the conflict out of our being, the drama, the potential of dying. But it is in the mortal drama of change, death, birth and conflict that we come to know love.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Where are the biblical stories of mother and daughter?
I am trying to think of any.
For such an important and powerful relationship, a relationship that is so deeply defining and crucial to the human experience, I find it tragic that I cannot think of any such stories.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

some humor

my friend Jerry sent this to me:
A wife asks her husband,
"Could you go to the store for me and get one carton of milk, and if you see any avocados, get six.?"
A short time later,
the husband comes home with six cartons of milk.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

God in Food

For a God who claims to be bread, to be wine, to be that which is shared in a common meal; to have those who follow and have been molded by such an experience, take the experience of shared food and make it into cheap casseroles, cheapest pancake mix from bulk boxes, and bland coffee as the time of fellowship is outrageous.

St Etienne by Jurg Roessen
Why are not the receptions after worship a celebration of the grandeur, the awe, the live giving element of food?

Why is the drink of the church not wine, but coffee?

Water would be better than coffee.

Why if God is in the food of communion, if something had to give up its life for our survival, every time we eat, why is this mystery transformed into chemical enhanced, cheap processed pulp?

Is it because nothing had to die for the chemical enhancement to happen, and we are only celebrating our fear of death?

The faith that claims death has no longer a sting or fear, has left us terrified of it still.

Perhaps a revival of the art of eating is a cure for the processed box faith of the church today.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Does this count as a burka

Recently it was very cold and the wind was fierce.
Emily donned her coat and a covering to protect her from the wind.
I wondered would this count as a burka?
and could burka fashion be adapted to the west as such?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A poem in the night

Pain never heals,
  Sorrow never leaves,
     Grief is only buried deeper into the soil of our soul.
Forgiveness simply helps us to plant again in the soil
  and to allow the blooms to return
   and remind us of what we have lost.
And in the cycle of growth
   we find ourselves buried in the soil before our death.
When we see are one with those we have hurt,
   and are lost to those who never will know us,
    perhaps then we become love.

                                                     Peter Jenks
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