Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Tag

The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature   Leave a comment

Agape

Agape (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

 

In April, Dead Mule published my poem Agape. This is the third poem in the Love triad with Phileo and Eros, both published in February by The Legendary.

 

While an overtly religious poem, I believe Agape offers hope for everyone. It was written, as were the other two, for the friend turned briefly lover, reminding him in the darkest hour of the hope he’d found in the renewal of his own faith, and to keep trudging ahead, no matter the dips in the road.

 

But I find, especially at this time in my life, that I too need this reminder on a daily basis. No matter what life throws at you, there is hope somewhere. Nothing is all bad, you cling to the good to pull you out.

 

My belief in Christ has never let me down, no matter what the circumstances. May you find something in your own life to hold on to and give you peace just as well.

 

http://www.deadmule.com/poetry/2012/04/helen-peterson-agape-a-poem/

New Year, Dead Mule   Leave a comment

Gosau, Upper Austria. Calvary chapel.

Image via Wikipedia

Read my story, March to Sunday School in March, here

This story means a lot to me. It’s perhaps one of the most autobiographical things I’ve ever written. It’s based on a tradition I grew up with, attending church at Calvary Chapel. Every year, during the month of March, we’d go a little crazy, and have March to Sunday School in March. We’d have Bible drills, crazy hat day, relay races.  It was especially funny to watch some of the older deacons and church ladies, running around the pews, balancing an egg on a spoon, or a balloon between their knees. It reminded us that Christians don’t have to be stodgy, frowning folk, that God wanted us to have fun, too.

It was also something I missed, moving on, growing up. It was an example of the magic, the idealism of childhood, that I longed to get back, by any means possible. Especially when times get hard, and being an adult isn’t all its cracked up to be, making the hard decisions, having pain, both physical and emotional, thrust upon me.

May my story help you begin the new year on a hopeful note.  Enjoy.

Literary Tonic   Leave a comment

http://literarytonic.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/poetry-by-helen-r-peterson/

In April the online zine Literary Tonic, published right here on WordPress, posted my poem “My Soul Pours Out Like Water”. The poem’s title comes from Lamentations 2:19:

Arise , cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.

And OK, Jeremiah said heart, but whatever was going through my head that night, I read it as soul.

I’ve written quite a lot about my experiences as a mother, some might even call it my theme, my niche. However, historically I don’t tend to write a lot while pregnant. I guess I have other things on my mind at the time.  My third and last pregnancy was an exception, as I was in pain most of the time, and writing through it became my only reliable release.  Stuck in bed,  rolled up on your side, all you can do is read and write and try to keep your lunch off your belly. So I read the Bible in between the stacks of library books and gleaned from its pages verses, phrases, a word here and there that spoke to me in some way. Later, after nearly succumbing to Helpp syndrome, I was able to go over my notes and fit my own words around those of the prophets and apostles. The poem Literary Tonic chose to publish is an example of the fruit of my literary labor. Enjoy.

Dirtcakes   Leave a comment

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/dirtcakes-journal-vol-1-issue-1/11473677

Dirtcakes is a fantastic new print journal that publishes work along the ideals put forth by the UN. The first issue dealt with hunger, and included my poem A Gallimaufry of Days.

This was, I think, the first, and in my opinion best, of the 3.00 poems. Gallimaufry was actually one of the words on David Foster Wallace’s list, a word that means a jumble, an unorganized collection. What the word inspired in me immediately was food, a potluck dinner with a mix of dishes that don’t necessarily go together. With my main image intact, I began to brainstorm why a potluck is arranged to begin with, who would be there? Potluck is synonymous with church, for both happy occasions and sad, funerals, baby and wedding showers. All topics that have become cliche in poetry, love death and birth. What could I do that would be new?

At the time, I was hoping to go to Haiti on a short term mission trip to help build a library. I was attending missions conference at both my mother’s church and my own. I put myself in the place of the many weary missionaries I’d seen come and go growing up, sharing a meal at our house, pulling out the sleeper sofa. I knew that this was a group of people often misunderstood, by both the faithful and the secular world alike. And with that I had a setting, a theme, and a great word for the title. After that, filling in the blanks came easy.

I hope that you have the opportunity to buy a copy of this beautiful journal, and read my poem for yourself. As I’ve said before and will say again, print needs all the help it can get in the modern world. Afterwards, pick apart the threads of your own chilldhood and write about the interesting people there hiding in the shadows of memory. Bring them to light for us all to enjoy.