April
Sketch Notes
LeannMarshall.com

Sketch Notes
is my Web site's seasonal
page where I can just get
creative and have fun.
(No rules.)
In This Issue-
Note:
"Our Inspiring April"

Writings:
"Doorway" by richard lloyd cederberg
"Spring Bouquet" by Marianna Jo Arolin
"Fortune's Smile" by Rosemarie Skaine
"Sabbath" by MaryAngela Nangini
"Easter Sunday" by Jeanette Cooper
"I Am The Way" by Paul Berube
"Feather Rain Creates Emerald Glow" by Phyllis Jean Green
"Set Free" by Jerry Engler
"Music or Love?" by Linda J Alexander
"Longing" by Missy Cross
"Resurrected" by Karla Dorman
"A Sign From Above" by Jason T Goudie
"In The Shadow of the Cross" by Leann Marshall
Important Note: All of the original writings are copyrighted,  belong to those who
created them, and should not be used in any way without their permission.
SPRING BOUQUET
by Marianna Jo Arolin

My sweetheart brought me roses,
Each with tapered stem,
As gold as amber sunsets,
Twelve lovely fragrant gems.

My little boy came running in
And taking time from play,
He too, offered sunny gems,
From Mother Nature's array.

My finest antique crystal
Holds this treasured display,
The roses and the dandelions
Make a lovely spring bouquet.
FORTUNE'S SMILE
by Rosemarie Skaine

You looked back;
slowed your step.
Full with child
and a little wild,
fortune’s smile
crossed my face.

You look back;
slow your step.
Wet torrential rains
and undaunted restrain,
fortune’s smile
crosses my face.
SABBATH
by MaryAngela Nangini


The day, the hour, the
moment.... of rest

Sabbath

I let myself drop
Into the heart of trust

Wounded
I lay still
and wait
to be replenished

Anchored
...even as I let go

Tethered
...even as I am free
EASTER SUNDAY
by Jeanette Cooper


EASTER SUNDAY

The blessed sanctity of this Easter Sunday
Reaches out of Nazareth toward the final
state,
Of our beloved Jesus nailed to a wooden
cross
Decreed to death by Pontius Pilate

Our thoughts mellow with love and praise
Of the miracle impacting divine destiny’s
instead,
When three days after Jesus’ crucifixion
He rose gallantly from the dead.

Jesus’ Resurrection became the root of
Christian lore
Spreading to gentle folk around the earth,
Its mystery capturing hearts in spiritual
need
Savoring the spirituality of Jesus’ rebirth.

A new day marked religious freedom by
choice
As billions of folks raise skyward their
eyes,
Toward the heavens where God dwells
The Father of the son heinously crucified.

As we say our prayers this memorable day
We remember John 3:16 with heartfelt
divinity;
“For God so loved the world, that
He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him shall not
perish,
but have everlasting life.”
I AM THE WAY
by Paul Berube

His love is an eternal flame.

Burning paths to righteousness...

Always alive in blessed glory...

Existing for no one man

But for the measure of all
mankind...
FEATHER RAIN CREATES
EMERALD GLOW
by Phyllis Jean Green


Everything looks so green,
so. . .tender.    As if  rain knows
what we need.   This kind
that lets itself down in stages,
knowing we need peace,
not just drink, not just to be fed,
bathed and sung lullabies
until we drift, do not fall, to sleep.
This kind that says yes
to nourish and no to hail.  
Cherishes
its vow not to strike,
but rather to parachute  teams
carry hope and faith in silk
packs that are treated to resist
storms. Orders to give to all.  
No portion is to be too big,
no portion too small.  No one,
but no one,  is to be left
to watch with hunger bulged eyes.  
Please rain your kind again
and again.  Everything looks
so. . .everything look so. . .green
SET FREE
by Jerry W. Engler

The quiet time of familiar things is
sometimes what sets us free.


A quiet-time shadows the earth
as a moist spring fog rolls
over the Flint Hills,
so still in the new light
of the red rising sun
that a cow lowing her voice
from two miles away
to call her small calf
can be heard as if she
were next to you.
The booming ground soft coo
coaxes from mating prairie chickens
call you to your home
in the center of being.

To fill the lungs
in such a setting,
to feel the chill from
the dew-laden sweet growth
of the new green prairie grasses
seeping down inside the swelling chest,
to smell the breath of creation,
is to invigorate the spirit
with the touch of life's hand.

You mount your pony,
her own ears turning expectantly,
and she steps out gingerly
over the ancient stone outcrops
that have been a part of you
and those who came before you,
and your heart is set free.  
MUSIC OR LOVE?
by Linda J. Alexander

Music or love . . . sometimes they are the same
thing.

There's a tingle in the air around me.
It ripples my hair at the base of my neck,
Covering me in shivers when it runs into my ear.
It trills in my head as it encircles my waist,
Softening my calloused feet
And slipping me off the ground.
I am levitated as I relax,
Knowing only my smile.

It soothes my hair and pats my neck.
I am gently warmed as it breathes on my face.
Suddenly I am let go and it hums slowly.
We touch the ground at the same time.
Finally earthbound, we both have a ghost of a grin.

Alas, the song has ended.
LONGING
by Missy Cross


It's another late night here on the
homestead. I blame the margaritas... this
is a very particular mood tinged tequila,
swirling around a distant memory.

Longing


It’s a newly discovered cavity
that yawns with startled pain
still tinged with sweet around the edges

It’s the ear that seduces the music
in its fantasy to become
the chords that echo around dreams

It’s the sky that aches
to merge with sun and earth bookends
forever cramped between

It’s the breeze that ruffles your hair
in motion long ago abandoned
yet tenderly remembered

It’s a geometric equation
a fantasy of paper lines and variables
praying for the absolution of solution

It’s the molecules of memory
that skate on currents of a brisk breeze
carrying whispers of youth and death

It’s a generous hue of twilight
a blue that lingers with excuses
just to flirt with possibilities
in a sold-out corner of soul

It’s the gap between
a nameless bottomless need
that compelled me to wrap you in my arms
and a heartless endless fear
that wrapped me in a straightjacket

It’s the aroma
of falling off a star
as you reach for heaven

It’s my century

this longing.
HAIKU CHAIN: RESURRECTED
by Karla Dorman, The
StormSpinner


sun and rain
encourage seeds to spit in
winter's eye

and blossom -
resurrected from death,
they burst through

the confines
that threatened to impede
Spring's progress ...

coloring
the landscape with hues of
renewed hope
A SIGN FROM ABOVE
by Jason T Goudie


A religious poem about cloud
formations that appear holy.


A Sign From Above,
has made my tired eyes awaken.

A cloud as white as a dove,
has shown me that I was not forsaken.

It was the Holy Cross,
and from the other clouds it stood alone.

For words I was at a loss,
as I stood motionless as stone.

I slammed my eyes shut tight,
certain that it was an illusion.

Yet it was as real as daylight,
and that was my conclusion.

I wondered what it had meant,
as any normal person would.

Theories came and went,
but only one seemed good.

It must have been a mark,
A Sign From Above.

Do not live life in the dark,
but live in a world full of love.


I was not imagining things when I had
seen the giant Cross in the sky. Thank
you for showing me that you are
watching over me Lord as well as all of
my family and friends and everyone else.
What kind of world will our children inherit from us?
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Click on the book to find a varied
selection of good reading!
Visit the Book Shelf
Come on--an inspirational Science Fiction book?
Read The Starfish People by Leann Marshall
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Our Inspiring April

Here in Charlotte, unpredictable March has “gone out like a lion” instead
of lamb. But we are certainly very lucky not to have the disastrous
flooding that has plagued some parts of the country. Instead, good
steady rains have helped to alleviate the long drought, and have already
brought out the lovely cherry, crabapple, and dogwood blossoms; their
new, tender leaves hovering  around dark tree bark like a pale green
mist.

It is now that April, dressed in Spring finery, leads the way through one
of the most beautiful seasons of the year. The brilliance of the blue sky,
the pungent aroma of flowers and of the dewy grass, the warmth of the
yellow sun upon our skin—all do wonders for our starved senses and
help to renew us in so many ways.

Our religious holidays do these things, as well—Easter for me, in
particular, brings back many memories from distant past.
I remember my excitement in spying a bright pink, plastic egg against
soft green grass, and the way the air smelled so fresh as I scooped it up
to drop it into my basket. I remember my mother bent over her sewing
machine, hard at work to make each of her four daughters a beautiful,
special dress in lovely pastel fabrics to wear in time for Easter Sunday;
then holding my father's hand as we walked into church. Simple things,
maybe, but all of these things and much more hold very special meaning
for each of us.

I invite you to read and enjoy the wonderful work of several writers
featured here this month. They, too, are bound to inspire!
IN THE SHADOW OF THE CROSS
by Leann Marshall




Sun-dazed
Dust-
choked air
A long
shadow
darkens
rocky ground;
All eyes
turned
upward
to see
the face
above them
Features drawn    Agony    Spikes through flesh and bone   and

blood spills down    down    Turns the baked soil red around their feet
From within
from behind
the long
shadow
Cast upon
rocky ground
Even now
We hold
this image
in our minds
For time
invents no
change
The soil at
our feet
Still red
The crowd
their eyes
turned upward
afraid to
Yet
wanting to
See the
Face again
They who gather
Cursing
Crying
from the darkness
To be forgiven
As the thief
To find peace
To find the way
Have faith
To do what’s right
Will step
from behind this
long, dark shadow
and
Into His Light
DOORWAY
by richard lloyd cederberg

The knock on the door stiffened my spine.

I wasn't too sure about what I'd be encountering on the other side of that threshold.  
Change, in any form, represented a nebulous form of chaos to me, and my adroit and
disciplined life suffered immeasurably. During these seasons, a profound tingling took
residence in my stomach and joints and my puerile concern with it interfered with all my
daily routines. The physical symptoms were always the same; my thoughts and
responses became vacuous, I developed this nagging difficulty focusing on simple things,
and a general malaise’ hovered around me like drunken wasps.

Where had the youthful warrior gone?

The one who had packed up and charged over battlefields on a whim? That man who
had never backed down from anything, or anyone, and always seemed to emerge
unscathed from any kind of resistance. Back then that man wouldn't hesitate a second to
move across the country in an old dilapidated vehicle with only $1500.00 in his coffers,
and no prospect of work.

Was that faith in action?

Aaaarrrrggggh! I felt like cursing myself, but somehow restrained doing so. These
memories, though, ate at me. Something I had wanted for so long was now, finally,
upon me, and I'd somehow become tenuous in my yearning to embrace it.

I could feel my fingers trembling slightly as I reached for that old tarnished doorknob.
Slowly as my wrist arched down; the ancient strike groaned and released. With a low
pitched squeak, the doorway fell open. Standing on the other side of the threshold was a
benign gentleman smiling with one scarred hand outstretched towards me.

“Welcome to the next season sir,” he said gently with a voice like bubbling water. “I
would remind you that the Light of Truth arrived here many centuries ago, and the
wisdom He offered, and the work He accomplished, brought life to those who will
believe and accept it. We are indeed blessed to know this. I hope you will enjoy your
stay. It is so good to see you. You have been known to us for many decades. If there’s
anything that you need sir … please pray!”

After that he bowed slightly, and then moved back into the light. Immediately, after he'd
vanished, choruses of laughter rippled through the air and, all around, I could see smiling
silhouettes emerging towards me with extended hands. As my pounding heart echoed in
my ears, and my eyes beheld wonders that I had never imagined, I took a hold of
someone’s hand and shuffled forward into a brand new season.