Grief's Oppression, The Lord's Comfort

I wrote this poem in memory of a dear friend, Austin Bhebe, who died in Nairobi, Kenya on November 5th, 2016, and was put to rest in Kabwe on Saturday, November 12th, 2016.  

From the east, the sun rose, bright and clear,
Saluting my world with its gleaming heat,
A yellow ball that should have rolled out its cheer,
But alas, sent forth a solemn song that was offbeat.
A peal of thunder that conquered the night,
And subdued the morning with overwhelming sorrow,
Casting into gloom the promise of the daylight,
And reminding us of that which we cannot forever borrow.

Over the towering Kilimajaro, the sad news soared high,
Descending into Lusaka with shattering force,
My heart, with grief oppressed, could only in pain sigh,
As to God I turned for strength, yea, to my only recourse.
My chest swelled and heaved with throbbing distress,
Oh, what rivulets of tears rolled down my face!
My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouths in silence,
Deeply mourning a dear friend removed from our space.

In death a dear friend, and companion lies,
The sweet rhythm and melody of life muted,
Leaving painful memories and sorrows’ loud cries,
As the once green and tranquil garden is suddenly uprooted.  
Austin, O Austin! No more shall I see you here below,
You leave an aching void and floods of pain,
That freeze the heart with the solid coldness of snow,
And refuses to melt in the torrents of the rain.

Yes, though smitten sore by His divine hand,
My broken heart still shall praise Him who gives life,
For He never leaves the soul of His own in the wasteland,
But rescues and delivers it from earthly strife.
Austin, though the curtain has been drawn upon your mortal being,
You shall awake at morn, more heavenly, more refined;
To begin a new existence which knows no fading,
Elevated from the snares of sin, and by grace purified.

© November, 2016


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