Teton Fire Damage

Jenny Lake Trail: Grand Teton National Park


Just a quick Note: The holidays are a time of joy and celebrations and rightly so. Somewhere in the festivities or hiding away from them, are hearts and minds that are troubled, fighting this demon, we call depression. For some, its temporary but for others it’s a continuing battle; day by day, minute by minute, only amplified by everyone else’s “joy”. Please, please continue to pray for them and be there for them. You, may be the only link, their hope, their angel. Although this is not me today, I have experienced every line in this reflection, I know and love people that have battled this and won, and others that have learned and continue to learn how to navigate the backroads in our minds. If you need help – seek it – don’t wait – life is worth living and loving every minute of it, even through trials. There are excellent counselors and doctors waiting for your call. God Bless You.

National Suicide Crisis Center: 1-800-273-8255

By David De Jong

I have walked many-a mile in the shoes of sorrow
Desperately prayed there would be no tomorrow
Stared at the trigger the barrel and lead
Wonderin’ how such thoughts creep through my head

I’ve shattered the picture that framed my days
Watched it drift away in a smoldering haze
Wandered with a fog in darkest woods
Finding myself where someone never should

Storm clouds fill the horizon east to west
Every step taken repeats the test
The rain never ceases though the sun may shine
Each hour spent feels like unending time

Mornings come too soon and night never ends
Conjuring up imaginary friends
Breaking relationships, free of all strings
Battling thoughts and their deafening rings

My mind’s all scrambled in its fragile shell
Searching an exit this torment in hell
Where can I go and let myself roam
How can I go without leaving home

Some gave up calling, others look away
While good intentions lead me fast astray
Only to return empty, cracked apart
Praying for an end or even a start

People like to sum me up as lazy
While others got me figured as crazy
I don’t really care if they’re wrong or right
I don’t have the energy for the fight

I’ll smile at your face and cry at your back
List all the qualities you think I lack
Tell you I’m fine and that all it quite well
While slowly sinking in this lonely hell

Quietly I wish for a better way
Hoping you would leave yet thankful you stay
All I want is a normal, daily life
But I’ve lost the key to unlock this strife

Please don’t unlove me or cast me away
My mind is distracted and lost its way
With a little help, some clinical math
My neurons may find a much better path

Help me find the light that will guide my thoughts
Untie the burdens of fear and distraughts
Turn wishing: to doing, wanting: to done
Help me see and believe; life can be fun

Memories and Fence Lines

BnW Fence line

Photo Credit: Judi De Jong

Thank you Judi for this wonderful photo that spurred a little poem.

Memories and Fence Lines
By David De Jong

Old memories like fence lines part the field
Tendin’ and mendin’, attemptin’ to yield
Some sort of order and an open view
But after all the fixin’ some slip through

Always checkin’ the strands to see they’re tight
Lest somethin’ wanders away in the night
The older the wire, the less it holds
Tattered webs that break, before they can fold

Old corner post still holdin’ its domain
Half buried in sediment flushed by rain
Overgrown by persistent brome and weeds
Hidin’ barbs, and splinters, forgotten seeds

Once trimmed and taught, posts in a stately row
Garnerin’ looks from last year’s ol’ scare crow
Perfectin’ his stare while feelin’ his oats
Dazed by a reflection of eight old goats

Not sure what was in mind while lookin’ back
Some of the strands are gone and won’t come back
Some stock broke free and wanders, aimlessly
While some tends to linger, auspiciously

Like a trusted horse on a narrow road
Let lose the reins and let him take the load
Instinct will carry you back when you need
Let you see across, give the fence a read

Count your blessin’s if your wire still holds
And keeps your memories between the folds


A Glimpse

Snake River Overlook B&W_1_600x400

A Glimpse
By David De Jong

I saw but a mere glimpse of Your glory
Reflected in grandeur upon the earth
The heavens could not envelop Your heights
The waters incompetent to Your depths
My eyes welled full with tears, my heart grew faint
I clasped my chest with shallow gasps of breath
My body shivered, as hair stood on end
I fell to my knees, legs failing all strength
My vision, incapable to amass
The entirety, the bound’ries so vast
My tongue unable to utter a word
All speech, incoherent, maladroit noise

As winds tune their harps across aspen leaves
And blush their colors amongst thankful trees
The elk bugle and pronounce your path
While eagles soar on a wisp of your breath

Cloaked heavens thundered and the earth fell still
Shepherding clouds gather in symphonic form
Sweeping rains to wash temperance from the air
While the mountains reply in joyous praise

How can I compare Your almighty deeds
How can I surmise with a mortal mind
Likeness and beholding’s of You, Oh Lord
How can You love me, wretched as I am

Teton Rain B&W 1_600x400

Awestruck, reverence pervaded my soul
My heart regained its rhythmic pulse of life
My gasps replaced by breaths of living hope
My core calmed and warmed in Your rays of light
My eyes transfixed on Your unfailing ways
My soul restored in Your covenant love
Yet my words seem futile, inept, too bland
To define You, indescribable Lord
You know my name and hear my cries for aid
You read my heart for what it truly is
Yet reclaim me with Your unfailing grace
You console me with a glimpse of Your face

Snake River Overlook_1_600x400

I am Broken


I am Broken
By David De Jong

I am broken as I sit and I watch from afar
Old lives spent and new ones taken, spit in a jar
Left unattended, wasting loneliness on hope
Plucked for a cause unjustified, no life to scope
Forgotten memories and thoughts that leaked away
Solemn reminder to make the best of your day

Tumultuous cascades of unforgiving rain
Echoed in empty stares and cries of hopeless pain
Uncharted water ways replace Seventh and Main
How much more must come, before heaven plugs the drain
Unprecedented, unmistakably insane
While the South drowns its cities, the West prays for rain

Smoke choked skies hide mountains where the sky never ends
Ranges of memories, parks, homes, ranches of friends
Friends we’ve never met, no longer strangers in need
No field to farm, roof overhead nor stock to feed
May these lives not be forgotten, unspoken names
May waters of the storm put out consuming flames

I know who holds the world in the palm of His hands
Who calls the stars by name and who tallies the sands
Who sets the boundaries, who harnesses the wind
Who marks the east from the west, who carries my sin
Though I am broken, I find hope in God above
With these words from Habakkuk I have learned to love;

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:17-19a

These Flags

Field of Honor

These Flags
By David De Jong

How can we say thank you, to a stranger we’ve never met?
How can we demonstrate gratitude and never forget?
How can we embrace with comfort, the loved ones left behind?
How can we give meaningful compassion, to those assigned?

We shake the hand of a veteran every chance we get;
To tell them: “Thank you”, “God bless you”, “We will never forget”.
We work for solutions, contributions, our arms stretched out,
By taking their burdens, as our own, so they never doubt.

We hold those we know, to shed a tear, for those we do not.
We embrace their grief for our sake; in humble, somber, thought.
We stand for their honor, their dignity and self-respect.
We support their families, despising any neglect.

We hold them dear in our hearts, like they were our very own,
For they truly are brothers and sisters we’ve never known.
Just like those we know, that we have loved and that we have lost;
We remember and hold in honor, their ultimate cost.

That’s why these flags fly; with dignity, pride, significance,
Each one carefully placed, with loving hands and thankfulness.
For every man and woman of valor each represents,
May our hearts, our lives, reflect gratitude and reverence.

Weathering the Storm

Rain Sun Roof
Weathering the Storm
By David De Jong

Weathering the storm
Till the sun decides to shine
Holding on to hope

Time seems to stand still
Yet the clock sticks to its task
Pressing on ahead

Even through the night
The storm navigates its way
Spending bursts of light

Cold dampness surrounds
Sheltered anxious inner panes
Yearn to be unlatched

Swift-flowing creeks
Swelling river embankments
Cleansing dried up shores

Trees begin to lean
Earth losing its mighty grip
Strength is laid to rest

New paths are molded
Etched in freshly planted fields
Scars ‘til harvest comes

Gray masks over light
Obscured daylight blue confused
Pleading sun’s return

Saturated earth
Over abundantly blessed
Filling all its stores

The old heron stands
Defiant in his domain
Fishing for his chance

Green takes liberty
Adorning its many shades
Hiding winter’s way

Abundant new growth
Awaits its moment of grace
Patiently in peace

New moss grows freely
Over bare forgotten trails
Covering old wounds

Puddles wait their turn
Searching for a beam of light
Heaven’s reflection

Green pastures resting
Planted seeds bursting with joy
Hope has taken hold

Bud and blossom burst
Triumphant beauty displayed
Thankful for the storm

Remind us gently
Blessings seen from darker days
Yield the brightest light