Faith, Poetry, Writing

Avian prayers

I do not “fill the
birdbath”. I am “answering
the prayers of a bird.”

Faith, Poetry, Writing

Psalm 42b



My women’s Bible Study group started Renovare’s Prayer & Worship: A spiritual formation guide last week. One of the things you’re asked to do at the end of the first chapter (on worship), is to pen your own psalm. Using Psalm 42 as an example, the book examined worship as a thirst for God. It’s this theme that inspired my own “psalm”.

Psalm 42b

A psalm by Lee

I do not thirst for You as a deer thirsts for water, Lord; that would be too easy.

I am not always sure that I thirst for You at all.

And yet… And yet there’s something, Lord.

I look for it on the Internet and in books, on blogs and at the bottoms of cookie jars, in saying the rights things and trying to act in the right ways, in having a clever answer and a chip on the shoulder, at the tops of fluffy white clouds and at the bottom of the soles of my feet squishing into soft grass, in good humour and PMS and quiet moments and deep, long sighs.

I perpetually pat my spiritual back pockets, checking to see if that something is still there, but I do not know what it is.

I therefore must conclude that it’s You, Lord. Can it really be that easy?

I’d rather it be harder, I think; that way I can get more credit for trying, and thus, more leeway for my standard ill-appreciation of Your grace.

What, after all, does the deer do, other than thirsting, for You to answer it?

What a scandalous notion, that my thirst is answered on no account of my own!

And yet… And yet it makes sense that You. omniscient, loving, kind, patient, forgiving and forbearing, make no sense at all.

You are not human logic but Logos. “Love” is the Word.

In the meantime, I will check mashed potatoes for that something, and being irrationally irritated by minor inconveniences. and judging people by their velocity in supermarket aisles.

Just in case, You understand.

Man! It looks like I’m a deer thirsty for water after all!

Poetry, Writing

Where you’re from



Yesterday at our Bible study social we swapped our growing-up stories in the form of a popular creative writing exercise adapted from George Ella Lyon’s poem “Where I’m from”. Basically, you crib the “Where I’m from” poem and enter your own information. Gratitude Gal wrote a post about it, which includes a template and some examples.

“I am From”
by Lee Botha

I am from library shelves,
from BMX bikes and tepid Oros.
I am from the sunny spot on carpet floors
(gauzy, distilled,
stirring in hot breezes.)
I am from willow trees,
ropy branches swaying secret worlds of shade.
I’m from milktart and big bellies
from Flip and Nicoleen.
I’m from the Wednesday night braais and April holidays.
from “Money doesn’t grow on trees” and
“Don’t hit your cousins!”
I’m from Sunday school classes, reluctantly attended.
I’m from Delmas, Warmbad, Krugersdorp, Heidelberg,
from apple pie and Ricoffy,
from the father dead at age fifty
and the sister whose funeral I remember in red dust.
Family albums yellow in the closet,
chronicling big hair and Ford motorcars and family dogs,
telling stories about people I’ve known my whole life
and never met.

Poetry, Writing

Haiku: “Late Summer”

Red Dahlia heads summer-
heavy, dulled, bowed, resisting
Autumn’s furtive approach.


Autumn #2

The sky is bright with

the cold breeze, sunlight fragile

as bone reinterred.