FEATURED Top 20 Canadian Poetry Blogs: “At the Brook’s Bend”

Greetings From the Rugged Climes of Northern Alberta:

Friends, join me today in a rather out-of-the-ordinary blog post… In celebration of having my blog chosen by the panelists of Feedspot to be listed as 1 in 20 of Canada’s top poetry blogs of 2022, I wish to thank YOU, dear readers, for your support of my work! Without you the success of my less-than-one-year-old-blog would not have been possible. I am honoured that this infantile online enterprise of original poetry and prose has been discovered and selected by what is known as “the most comprehensive list of Top 20 Canadian Poetry Blogs on the internet.”

I also want to take this opportunity to give Thanks to my Heavenly Father, who has inspired us by his Word, and who, by his magnificent foreknowledge and kindness, has given to us the gift of words to express meaningful messages of spirit and soul by way of the unassuming tools of paper and pen… and computer keys 🙂

Once again, thank you, Readers, for your continued support of my work. If you continue to enjoy the content provided on At the Brook’s Bend, please consider supporting my platform by adding your email to the subscription list, and promoting and sharing my blog with a friend. I hope you will join me in my most recent anticipation that involves the release of my debut historical novel, Through These Dark Gates – scheduled to be released late this summer – and will standby for a future post on my book’s exciting Cover Reveal!

Sincerely Yours,

Brooklyn

There is a Mighty River

IN LOVING MEMORY OF AGNES HILDA WALL-JANZEN-KLAASEN (January 11, 1938 – April 9, 2022)

In contemplating our family’s loss, I felt it incumbent upon me to write a tribute, not only for Grandma, but for all of her family—for our family. Each one of us will face death one day. Each one of us fights a battle. A battle with ourselves—and, sometimes, with God. Each one of us searches for relief—for solace—in one way or another. In the end, though, we will discover that there is only one place we will find it.

There is a mighty river upon a mighty shore;
There is a surging current behind an iron door;
There is a life-long battle within each living soul,
Of every surging heart-beat recorded in the Scroll.

The river—is it God’s heart? The iron portal—bars?
The surging current—lifetime? That doorway—is it ours?
And who will break the death-bands,
And burst the stubborn locks
Of all our bound-up sorrows
And all our human loss?

Who looks with eyes of pity upon our weakening frame,
And reaches down to save us from all our self-made pain?
What eyes look down the lost years 
And ask us to believe 
That what we thought was wreckage
Can a brand-new life receive?

A river—Yes! A River! Bursting with bright tides,
That bursts the chains of darkness, and rolls back all the lies
Of pride and envy, doubts and fears, of all our doors inside
That bound us in one lifetime, but no more shall reside—
As Jesus looks upon us, and listens to our cries,
And opens wide those flood-gates, and with our spirit flies 
To new heights where His River is flowing wide and clear,
And bursting back each locked door
So Life shall know no tear.


COPYRIGHT 2022 BROOKLYN K. BIEGEL

“Fifty Years in the Church of Rome” BOOK REVIEW

Published in 1886, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome is the astonishing autobiography of the French-Canadian Roman Catholic priest, Father Charles Chiniquy. 

With eloquent prose and poignant testimony, Chiniquy details the many conflicted, disturbing, and soul-stirring experiences he encountered first as a child, then as a student in a Roman Catholic college, and later as a devout priest who served for twenty-five years in the parishes of Quebec and Illinois before being born again in Jesus Christ and finally leaving the church he loved to become one of its most dreaded—and demonized—apostates.

Charles Chiniquy was a remarkable man. He was a stunning intellectual, a devoted scholar, a compassionate charity-worker and caregiver. He was also a champion in Canada’s nineteenth century Temperance movement, and was recognized in the Canadian Parliament for his contribution to the cause. Chiniquy also had an indirect influence on American politics, having been intimately connected with the young railsplitter-turned-lawyer of Springfield, Abraham Lincoln, whose brilliant defence of Chiniquy in the court battle of 1856 dealt the Church of Rome an unforgivable blow. 

Pick up this extensive, first-hand narrative of Fifty Years in the Church of Rome and you will embark on a compelling and unforgettable journey. You will discover that the roots of some of Catholicism’s most revered and signature dogmas and traditions—such as auricular confession, the Immaculate Conception, transubstantiation, and the priestly vows of celibacy—are inventions that blatantly oppose the teaching of the Gospel and the dictates of plain reason. You will also learn of the shocking undercurrents that linked the secret political agenda of the Pope of Rome and his Jesuits with the plot to destroy the most fundamental ideals of the Republic, spur on the bloodiest war fought on American soil, and commit the tragic assassination of one of the United State’s most beloved presidents—Abraham Lincoln.

This book is not for the faint of heart. It is an incredible literary feat that will leave you questioning what we have been fed through the stagnant current of mainstream history, and it will raise the curtain of nearly two centuries to reveal a religious and political stage upon which a French-Canadian priest, a United States President, and the Vatican are flung together in a startling and unexpected drama.

As Chiniquy himself tells us in the dedication of his book: 

“TO THE HONEST AND LIBERTY-LOVING PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, I also dedicate this book. Americans! You are sleeping on a volcano, and you do not suspect it. You are pressing on your bosom a viper which will bite you to death, and you do not know it. Read this book, and you will see that Rome is the sworn, the most implacable, the absolutely irreconcilable and deadly enemy of your schools, your institutions, your so dearly bought rights and liberties. Read this book, and you will not only understand that it is to Rome you owe the rivers of blood and the unspeakable horrors of the last civil war: but you will learn that Romanism and Liberty cannot live on the same ground. This has been declared by the Popes, hundreds of times. 

Read this book: And you will not only see that Abraham Lincoln was murdered by Rome, but you will learn that Romanism, under the mask of religion, is nothing but a permanent political conspiracy against all the most sacred rights of man and the most holy laws of God.”

*You can purchase your own unabridged copy of Fifty Years in the Church of Rome from Chapters Indigo or Amazon. Other works by Charles Chiniquy include “The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional,” “Papal Idolatry,” and “The Manual of Temperance.

HAVE YOU HEARD OF CHARLES CHINIQUY OR READ HIS WORKS?

PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW!

The Insatiable Need

I
To know. It is a need not fully satisfied
If met without the search of free-will’s choice.
To know: it is to feel one’s human ignorance 
And say, “How can I fill this need
That, filled, frees me?”
To eat. It is a need not rightly satisfied
If met without the effort of one’s will—
Of appetite. Man seeks to know, and choose: 
“What shall I feed this shell of mine
That groans until my hunger is appeased?”
To hear. A need man’s two ears seek 
To fill, by sound or voice, the empty space;
And whether that be light or dark in substance,
Each man picks.
And lust. It is a flame not fully satisfied
At all. It never ends. But burns and kills by turns,
With no relief, and wants to know what should be left 
Unknown.
And truth. What’s that? 
A burning lamp that leads… A single Word.
A rock where all needs fall and break—and cease.
It’s life. It’s peace. It’s soul tranquility…
And that which lust will counterfeit
And lie, and say, “Be freed—feed me!”

II
The man. He had a need of soul not satisfied
By beasts. Alone… he was alone with God
In Eden’s peace until God formed 
A wife from Adam’s rib, and filled the need 
His side had long ached for.
Man and his wife, alone—alone with God 
Whose voice they heard and walked with 
In the cool of the day.
The grape: a gorgeous fruit not firm denied
By Eve, who wished to know and hear the Snake—
And for him lusted. 
God’s warning voice was not enough for her 
When coils of lust caressed 
Her gluttonous pride, 
And looks of sparkling sin
Enticed her mind with charms to eat and be—
And thus she ate. 
Adam, too: he touched and gulped
The beauteous food that turned to bitter bile 
In his mouth, and made him hide in leaves of fading green
As opened eyes to nakedness and shame
Made dying souls
And man’s insatiable need.
Who lied?—and yet, are half-truths lies?—
Indeed—what half-truths, these! that made the lusting 
Seem somehow much-less lustful when “to know” 
Seemed like, “Forbidden fruit will be so sweet 
For ‘good’ is also in it!” 
And evil—what of it? (implied the Snake);
If gods, like God, they’d overcome the “bad”
And turn their ear and eye away—
Oh yes! for they would be as gods!

III
The mind. It was a land of passive thoughts unleashed
By hell, and there the seat of man’s great appetite,
And there, in truth, the battlefront of worlds.
Who knew? All food, once chose, will feed or kill 
The mind it knows. 
And half-truths never told 
Of doubt that bred the worms of fear,
And hate that felt the part of love,
And bane that tasted much like wine,
And birthed in man 
The living side of death.
Man’s god? His wormy belly now,
That gnawed his choice to fill that blood-sucked space
With lies, and made the truth most hard to eat
And most distasteful
Because it looked so hard.
All knowledge now was man’s to eat and drink
Of good and evil—nothing was restrained;
And on forbidden fruits the greedy man relied
And was the feast of demons 
Who feasted on his mind.
Alas! A double head! It seemed to eat itself—
But no man saw the pain that man was in
To whom all sweet was bitter,
All bitter sweet, 
While all his will 
Some beastly thing became without control 
Of natural faculties
By him whose skill was slain
In mere appearances 
Of light;
And though he wished to vomit up those thoughts 
(those ugly thoughts!)
Man never could, for they would vomit him—
His personality—
In foaming shame that oozed the guilt
All over him, infesting all that flesh 
With parasites, while mocking sick a gutless man
Who chewed himself to death,
And wept and sobbed and cried—"Oh! where is life 
Outside a caged man’s 
Lofty appetite?"

IV
The Christ. The need that each man had
Was Him. To earth a honied bread He came
As manna came to feed the wandering flock
And Shepherd each one back 
Into His arms. 
He was the bread for men who ate by choice
And drank the life that flowed from every word
He said...
His voice was clean, 
As though its sound could wash the stinking scum
Right off of man.
And then... Golgotha. Giant scull there looming,
And as a hill supporting 
Hell’s final meal of the flesh of man
In Christ, who let the curse of sin, 
And weights of guilt,
Be laid upon His back
For us;
And took the famine of humanity 
In his own frame, and made it shrivel up and die 
A willing death
Beneath the plunging tide—the one great flood of blood—
Of precious blood!—poured out for man 
By one Emmanuel
Who from the grave emerged
And purged man’s restless soul and anorexic brain
From wormy eggs that hatched the lust for death,
And in their place gave man the Light 
To drench himself withal.
Christ rose! Ascending high His spirit flew
To God, sweet-smelling as perfume that blessed the air
With peace;
And no more caged by mankind’s shell
Of weak mortality 
He reached his pierced hand toward man’s boils of shame,
And pity touched them all, 
Exchanging them for life,
And hope,
Atoning righteousness,
In every man who chose 
Co-death with Him. 
And man observed: “To know.” Was it to eat?
"To eat." To know?—as choice would govern
What his body ate? The food of knowledge, sound, and sight
At each man’s fingertips 
Like trees...
And which one would he chose? 
And listen to?
And eat?

V
Man said: “My heart and mind and will—these tools 
Are dead, and must be washed at once,
For they were used (when I was old) 
In eating filthy thoughts I used to do
And hate besides.
Does Christ the Lamb have blood enough
To cleanse my soiled mind? My stains of thought
And deed? The ear I lent to sin
To know it, and become a double man?
I crave to know the way—the way away from lust;
Away from minding flesh in all its appetites,
Its selfish motives, and its prideful gains—
Lord Jesus, see!
This poor man—me (once lost within himself)
Knew not how to resist 
The sin… 
But now he’s new
In reconciliation 
And perfect circumcision 
By Him whose holy crimson
Made my poor earthly wisdom 
A foolish thing indeed. 
Now give him strength, sweet Lamb of God!
The strength of faithful sight in will,
And power to subdue 
And be renewed
In You!
What law is this?” man asks, amazed. “What law 
Has saved me now from awful self?
The self myself could never run and hide?
The law of life—of love! Not that I loved, but He!
And gave me where my heart and mind were old
New ones, that bear His word of life 
Alive in me—in my own will!
My frame! My inner man!
No more a slave
To scalding chains of lust
But now, in truth, emancipated whole!
In Him I walk, I speak, I breathe—in Him:
No strength of mine will charge these feeble limbs again,
But His—His will! for there my own will rests 
With quiet joy... an offering...
Within the will of Him who lifted my death’s cup
And brought it to His lips 
In love for me.”


VI
The need: to know that each man's need is God.
To meet Him through the search of free-will’s choice.
To know our human ignorance is cured 
In Him, and that He’s killed the lust to know 
What ought to be unknown
And satisfied the ache 
With knowledge of Himself. 
In need, in end… it’s Him who can be known
And yet, in knowing, man knows no end of knowledge,
But eats with thanks, and runs the Spirit’s way
In truth—an onward tract of tasteful mystery
Of which no man can get enough to eat.
Each thought? Man’s choice.
Each bite? Man’s will.
Each action proving what his mind now knows.
The Snake, or Christ? 
There’s one insatiable need.
What death or life 
Will each man choose
Today?

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY & SUGGESTED READING:

All Scripture References in the KING JAMES VERSION [Public Domain]:

GENESIS 2, 3; LEVITICUS 1, 2; DEUTERONOMY 30;

ISAIAH 1; 5:20-24; JEREMIAH 31; EZEKIEL 18; PSALMS 51, 95;

MATTHEW 17:14-21; 27, 28; MARK 5:1-20; 15, 16; LUKE 23, 24;

JOHN 1:1-34; 3:1-21; 4:5-26; 6:25-71; 8:32; 10:1-18; 11:25-27; 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21;

ROMANS 5, 6, 7, 8; I CORINTHIANS 1:22-31; 15; II CORINTHIANS 3, 5; GALATIANS 2;

EPHESIANS 2; PHILIPPIANS 2:1-11; 3:19; COLOSSIANS 1:9-29; 2, 3; HEBREWS 3, 10, 12;

I PETER 1, 2:22-25; JAMES 1; I JOHN 4, 5; REVELATION 1, 5, 22;

“THE SPIRITUAL MAN” BY WATCHMAN NEE [Copyright 1968 Christian Fellowship Publishers, INC. New York]

Forever and Forever

TO DAD AND MOM, WITH LOVE—AS YOU CELEBRATE YOUR 31st WEDDING ANNIVERSARY TODAY

God heard the words—’twas like a carol clearly
Chanted through the echos of years early
As the lips of youth were speaking holy
	The vow that lasts forever.
“This day give I thine hand the key
Of my own heart, my love to thee;
Our lives are wed, will ever be
	Forever and forever."

With every word swelled new emotion clear,
And year by year the lovers grew more dear,
While seeing visions of their youth appear
	Reflections in the river.
No hands more tender, no hearts more fully true,
Than man and wife whose love ran ever-new
As did the rushing river running blue
	Forever and forever.

The course was staid, the three-strand cord
Grew stronger though cares pressed them hard,
For both had sorrow’s mem’ry shared
	With courage, waning never.
And passing through the sphere of life’s pace,
To each spake they with heaven’s holy grace,
Words that e’en time cannot erase,
	“Forever, love; forever.”

Though tempest blew, the race went steadily
For those who trod the path along the sea
Of their life's trials—they whispered readily,
	“Forever we’re together.”
And never moved by age's impending sway,
Nor letting evil tongues bear them away
They sang again the Master’s perfect way:
	“Forever and forever!”

And now with words of simple faith they pray
That this such truthful love will stay
Each wedded two in one united way
	Till death, and happy-ever:
"May our Creator’s wisdom now impart
A portion of his love in each young heart—
What God hath joined let no man part,
	Forever and forever."
COPYRIGHT 2022 BROOKLYN K. BIEGEL

It’s December

Before the sun rises:
The ice hardens
As the wind
Sheds a throw 
Of deep snow.
	It’s December.

Before the sun rises:
The smoke stiffens
As it lifts
From the stack 
That is black.
	It’s December.

Before the sun rises:
The air shivers
As the branch
Filled with flakes
Finally breaks.
	It’s December.

Before the sun rises:
The moon glistens
In the blue
Like a tear
On the cheek
Of the day
That is new.
	It’s December.

Before the sun rises:
The elk watches
As the bliss
Of the dawn
Gives the frost
On the trees
A pink kiss.
	It’s December.

And while the sun rises:
The earth listens
As the dark
Finally flees
From the trees,
And the sun
Jumps the hill’s
Windowsills,
And strikes light
That is bright
On the waves
Of the drifts
That are white.
	It’s December.


COPYRIGHT 2021 BROOKLYN K. BIEGEL

I’ve Heard Tell

I’ve heard tell of wander-lust
And men and boys beside
Who sought out nature’s gold-dust
And left their fireside
With youthful lustre in their eyes—
No thought for hearts their passions crushed—
Their lips and arms gave feigned goodbyes
They did not feel, nor cared they rushed.

I’ve heard tell of wander-lust
And women and girls beside
Who dab on fashion’s eye-dust
And flee their husband’s side
With not a care of home’s demise—
Or thought for how he feels the thrust—
She shuns her role and her children’s cries
To find her fame in the world’s eyes.

I’ve heard tell of wander-lust
And children and youths beside
Who grew up never life-rushed
And loved the ocean tide
Of life’s sweet calm, no compromise
That steered to things that rust;
Moth-eaten dreams their eyes never cried—
For a child's heart has a child's trust.

And I’ve heard tell of wander-lust
And a handful I’ve known beside
Who hate this world’s gold-dust
And choose a road not wide;
They maybe have no envious eyes
Of man or name fixed on their private ways,
But God’s hand gives them restful days
That hold the peace of the Only-Wise.

COPYRIGHT 2021 BROOKLYN K. BIEGEL

A Mary’s Prayer

Wash my eyes, Master, unstop my ears, remove the veil from thy word;
Save this soul from these drowning tears, and gird this mind 'gainst self's dread cord! 

Let these eyes with brightness shine, denoting peace and hope within
That comes from thy strength so divine and slays the lying tongue of sin.

Be thy promise all my heart requires to wait on thee and watch with perfect calm;
Be thy presence all my soul desires when tender waiting seems to last too long.

Let me hear Rabboni call my name; teach this heart to walk the kingdom's way; 
Let thy living law in me proclaim the faith that rests and hears thy voice today.

Show me I am nothing on my own - and help me see that I'm your child!
Judge me at thy judgment throne - still draw me though the storms blow wild!

Jesus, friend and Saviour, here I bow,
Willing that thy voice in trial will increase…

“Thy faith hath made thee whole now,
My child, I am with thee; go in peace.”


COPYRIGHT 2021 BROOKLYNK.BIEGEL

ALL SCRIPTURE REFERENCES IN THE KING JAMES VERSION (PUBLIC DOMAIN):
John 9:6-7
Isaiah 35:5
Hebrews 6:19-20
Psalm 27:14
John 20:16 (Rabboni translated "Master")
Luke 17:20-21
Hebrews 3:7-19 (Psalm 95:7-11)
Jeremiah 31:33-34 (Hebrews 8:8-12 & Hebrews 10:15-22)
Psalm 26:1
John 12:3
Luke 7:37-50
Jeremiah 1:8
Mark 5:34

My Daddy’s Hands

Dedicated to my Dad, Robert (Bob) Charles Biegel, who was born again in Jesus this day; October 18, 1989, at 9:00AM

My daddy's hands are big and strong,
His heart is good - they do no wrong;
And when my heart sinks in the sand
I reach out quick for Daddy's hand.

My daddy's hands are always warm,
They held me close when I was born;
When mine were cold before violin
He'd cup mine tight - say, "Bless Brooklyn!"

My daddy's hands work very hard,
He never sees that they are scared;
Yeshua's hands were scared-up, too,
With scars He took for me and you.

My daddy's hands - they always give
Much more to others so they can live
In comfort, plenty, and lesser strife
And see the hope of eternal life.

My daddy's hands are tough but kind,
They seem to tell of a quiet mind;
I do not know how they impart
Such love, except through the Saviour's heart.

My daddy's hands are the only ones
That touch with a care that overruns
The brim of a soul and mind so true -
It's the work of God in a heart made new.

COPYRIGHT 2021 BROOKLYN K. BIEGEL

To A Sunflower

A tiny seed you were in early May;
You drank in dewy moisture by the day
And tried to reach your sprouts along the way
And shove your tender stalk up through the clay.

One morning sunlight filtered through the gloom
Of dirty clods that made your lonely room
And with the dream in sun to one day loom
You thrust your smiling face out of the tomb!

Ah! there you are, sweet laughing flower, shy!
Now tilt your head upwards to face the sky!
You’re tall and strong now—see the bees that fly
And sip the nectar from your honied eye!

May I come, too? Your face is soft and brown—
I’ll brush my face along your sugared down
Of cushioned cheek that never knows a frown
And kiss the silken sunshine of your gown.

It’s autumn now. The west wind chill that blows
Across the painted landscape somehow knows
Your countless seeds on fertile ground he sows…
And waits for blooms to wake with melting snows.

COPYRIGHT 2021 BROOKLYN K. BIEGEL