Cover by Peter E. Abresch

   This page updated 7/23/2018


Cover by Peter E. Abresch

   This edition published 03/11

Welcome to Burnt Offerings
    by Peter E. Abresch
    These are the second and first collection of Burnt Offerings, spiritual poems, the last one published in October, 2015. I hope to have a third by the end of the year.
    In December, 2007, I started sending Burnt Offerings to friends, acquaintances, and fans of my fiction writing. I started with a small reserve of poems and sent them out each Monday in the hope they would cheer the start of the week. The idea was to continue until I ran out, but through what I beleieve is a gift of the Holy Spirit, ten years later, on June 18, 2018, I sent out Burnt Offering #500.
    I have worked these jumbles of letters, black squigglys on white paper, and string them together because they are the sole gift I have to give in return.
    Even so, in the vastness of time and space are they not like our lives, just whiffs of smoke? Burnt Offerings? Here today. Gone tomorrow.
    But Godís love for us is eternal, higher than the stars above the grass of the fields. And if these black squigglys help you connect with that grace, if they give you comfort, a chuckle or two, a prayer, if they prompt a closer relationship with God or help deepen your faith, than dip your bucket in the water of hope and drink so that it overflows your heart.
    You have become the eyes on the other side of the paper. You save me from being a seed pod rattle in a desert wind. And the squigglys become words of love for both of us.
    So let the universe ignore us. We don't rule it after all.
    But take heart, our Father does.
    PEA, July 2018

    Below is a sampling of Burnt Offerings in the reverse order from #500 to #01. If you have enjoyed any of these poems over the past few years, may I suggest buying a collection as a gift, or placing a copy in your church chapel and marking it please do not remove, then if anyone receives solace or a new faith from these burnt offerings, you and I in a small way would have helped in evangelizing the world. Thank you.

    The Burnt Offering Collections are priced at $9.95. To purchase, please click on [Burnt offerings #2] or [Burnt offerings].
    You may email me: Peter (at) sidewalkbooks (dot) com, putting in symbols and taking out spaces. Adding subscribe puts you on the free Monday morning mailing list

Click here to [Return to Index page]

The first poem was sent on 24 December 2007,
then on June 18, 2018 this poem was sent as
Burnt Offering # 500. PEA.

              All In
       I want to run again, Lord.
       I want to leap over high fences,
       laugh into the teeth of a storm
       and sing until my lungs burst,
       no fear now of future tears.
       Most of all,
       I want to see You,
       face to face,
       and know what love is.
       So maybe I ain't so crazy
       about the steps I must take
       leading up to the entrance,
       but, Father, open that door
       and I'll fly like an eagle.
            Peter E. Abresch
            February 5, 2018


Burnt Offerings 461

              Pre-Tense
       After careful study
       using old-age wisdom,
       I may be considered
       pre-deceased.
       However, I pre-fer
       to be referred to as
       pre-saint.
       I take that liberty
       because God's love,
       which is
       pre-eminent,
       extends even to idiots.
       You may have noticed
       I am also pre-humble.
            Peter E. Abresch
            August 7, 2017


Burnt Offerings 431

              Joseph
       I thought to put her aside.
       Pregnant not by me!
       Then an angel came, oh yeah,
       in a dream--was that even real?
       So I receive her into my house,
       then watch her eyes light up
       as she takes it all in,
       complements me on neatness,
       yeah, well, easy to say, I guess,
       then the big smile
       at the sewing chair I made for her,
       and look where I carved your name,
       and see here the cradle for our son,
       oh, and Mary, come see this . . .
            Peter E. Abresch
            December 19, 2016


Burnt Offerings 402

              Among Women
       Blessed are you
       among women.
       Among women?
       What is that?
       Orphans from another planet?
       Words forged in the Dark Ages
       by men who treated women as,
       well, only women.
       Mary is first among women,
       but, then, she's only a woman.
       Where does that place her
       among men?
       Words carry meaning.
       Do we listen to what we say?
       Is Church willing to go there?
       Blessed are you, Mary,
       among all Man.
            Peter E. Abresch
            May 9, 2016


Burnt Offerings 399

              Diaphanous
       Words
       are but a shell
       encasing an idea.
       When gleaned,
       it is the idea that flies,
       words discarded behind.
       So it is with us,
       encased in eggshells
       we sometimes
       lavishly decorate.
       But at breakout time,
       it is our soul
       that conquers the sky,
       words and eggshells
       need not apply.
       Time to fly.
            Peter E. Abresch
            April 14, 2016


Burnt Offerings 365

              Butterfly
       Sometimes I feel
       like I am like a slug
       plowing through muck,
       not seeing the Light,
       but only its direction.
       I waddle toward it
       in faith that up ahead
       You will give me wings,
       and I shall fly free
       the whole world to see.
            Peter E. Abresch
            July 16, 2015


Burnt Offerings 325

              Bouncing Along
       I saw a play once
       where laughing children
       rushed onto the stage,
       and tall in their midst,
       the man called, Jesus.
       And where else would He be?
       Talk of heaven's rewards,
       of castles and mountain keeps,
       things the tongue cannot tell,
       nor the mind conceive.
       All the same to you,
       I just want to be
       among those laughing kids
       skipping along
       in Jesus' company.
            Peter E. Abresch
            September 18, 2014
In memory of Pat Yatsko
and for Jack.


Burnt Offerings 300

              Grin
       When you can,
       smile,
       chuckle,
       laugh out loud.
       People might
       think you simple,
       but these are God's gifts.
       Try them on often.
       They are
       warm up exercises
       for heaven.
            Peter E. Abresch
            February 5, 2014


Burnt Offerings 268

              Super Surprise
       Asking for God's grace
       to increase our faith
       is like asking for pizza.
       Extra cheese and pepperoni.
       And if the grace we ask
       is to love others as ourselves,
       He gives us a special topping,
       super surprise.
       The path forward
       won't be easy,
       there's still the cross,
       but with a full stomach,
       pizza and toppings,
       who can stop us?
            Peter E. Abresch
            June 22, 2013
For Joe Mills and Jim Caldwell
on the occasion of their ordination
with stolen words from my son Stefan


Burnt Offerings 229

              Rinky Dink
       Ever just shout out
       to the Lord in joy?
       Spontaneously?
       Great job
       with the sunset, Lord.
       Someone called these
       Rinky Dink Prayers
       as opposed to formal
       or rote prayers.
       Nothing wrong
       with any kind of prayer,
       but I happen to think
       He prefers Rinky Dink,
       those that pour
       from the heart.
       Yeaaa, God.
            Peter E. Abresch
            July 25, 2012


Burnt Offerings 206

              Hello
       It's the pastor's fault
       if a church is unwelcoming.
       Isn't he the head?
       You and I are just
       bystanders.
       Right?
       Like the guards at
       Auschwitz.
       But may I present
       for your consideration,
       if we don't greet
       even the least,
       who should we expect
       to greet us
       at heaven's gate?
            Peter E. Abresch
            March 2, 2012


Burnt Offerings 170

              Wilderness
       When I walk
       in the desert
       of my mind,
       may my lips sing
       Your praises,
       my memory recall
       Your promises,
       my heart hearken to
       Your love,
       For it is then
       that whispers of hope
       ride the sands
            Peter E. Abresch
            June 23, 2011
For Tina Newgent
with love July 11, 2011


Burnt Offerings 131

              Shall
       Someone made a sign.
       What part of thou shall not
       don't you understand?
       They smugly signed it, God.
       They missed the whole story.
       It's not thou shall nots that matter,
       it is the you shalls.
       Love God with all your heart,
       love your fellow man as yourself.
       Nothing was ever accomplished
       with all the shall nots,
       but the two you shalls
       can conquer the world.
            Peter E. Abresch
            August 26, 2010


Burnt Offerings 122

              Battle Shield
       Terror is not the dark of night,
       nor evil spirits ready to devour,
       nor the angel of death at my door.
       It is the utter desolation
       of an abandoned child
       should You ever withdraw from me.
       My only lifeline
       through this world of pain and fear,
       is the promise of Your love.
       Give me that shield, Lord,
       and I'll battle the terrors of night.
            Peter E. Abresch
            June 9, 2010
for Linda Sauls
with love 6/21/10


Burnt Offerings 100

              Winter Light
       The sun in its shortened arc
       brings night before its time.
       Trees bare,
       once vibrant leaves dried up,
       crumbled, blown away.
       The wind's bite sucks the grease
       from my creaking joints.
       Despair lurks in the gloom,
       ready to cast me into depression.
       Then I call Your name,
       the sunshine of Your love
       bursts through the darkness,
       high noon on a summer day,
       laughter's adrift on the breeze.
       Yea, God, yea, God,
       yeaaaa, God.
            Peter E. Abresch
            January 14, 2010


Burnt Offerings 51

              Outcasts
       Dandelions,
       yellow flowers
       brightening the green.
       You offer men sustenance,
       men offer you poison.
       They curse you in the
       name of perfect grass.
       But you are the Christ flower,
       bringing magical parachutes
       to little children,
       and wine to old men.
       So I rejoice when I see
       your smiling faces,
       your seed pods aglow
       in the sun,
       you remind me
       that I am not alone,
       and that I am loved.
       Only God plants
       dandelions.
            Peter E. Abresch
            August 14, 2007


Burnt Offerings 34

              Anchor Watch
       I stand alone on deck,
       the universe my ceiling,
       while in the deepening of night
       house lights wink out ashore
       until only God and I remain,
       our shipmates' safety in our hands.

       But all time is God's watch,
       all the world His shipmates,
       He is the masthead light,
       Guardian of the night,
       and when my watch is over,
       my hope against the rocky shore.
            Peter E. Abresch
            October, 2004
Aboard Adventuress
Puget Sound


This first poem was sent on 24 December 2007
Burnt Offerings 01

              Scattered Letters
       Meaningless letters
       when scattered about,
       powerful when
       sculptured into words.
       Bombshells for hurt,
       balm for healing.
       Tis the season
       for healing.
       Peace, shalom,
       Merry Christmas.
            Peter E. Abresch
            December 6, 2005


Burnt Offerings

              The Password
       Shhhhhh.
       I have broken the code
       woven through the bible
       from early times,
       the secret combination,
       the key to open
       heaven's gates.
       And I am amazed
       I have been given
       to decipher it.
       How many pass over
       and never see--
       seven times seven?
       Though given to all
       it is found by only
       an exclusive few,
       the humble,
       who already know
       the password is,
       shhhh,
       love.
       Engrave it on your heart.
            Peter E. Abresch
            June 29, 2006
Dedicated to Fr. Peter Daly
On his 20th Anniversary


I added this poem even though it should be at the top,
but I added it here because it is long, and because I like it.
Burnt Offerings 498

              Extraterrestrial
       In this vast array
       of lights blinking
       across the universe,
       where rock bound planets
       grew in size since big bang,
       our small third planet
       is just old enough,
       barely big enough,
       to be on the cusp
       between life, no life.
       Also beating the odds?
       How lumbering dinosaurs
       gave way to intelligent life
       like us, some of us.
       And while it is thrilling
       to think of super beings
       out in the vast black velvet,
       and surprise me not if so,
       suppose in the soup of life
       intelligence is us?
       Somebody has to be first.
       God chose Abraham to be
       as numerous as the stars.
       God's Son died on the cross,
       not for Oogalee Ogalay on Planet X,
       but for love of you and I,
       made in His image.
       How awesome is that?
       So while we should keep listening,
       Oogalee Ogalay might well be phoning,
       we just need not hold our breath.
            Peter E. Abresch
            May 31, 2018


Mail Me

My email address is: Peter (at) sidewalkbooks (dot) com, putting in symbols and taking out spaces. If you wish to be added to the Monday morning poem list, add the words Subscribe Burnt Offerings


Published Books

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