First Love

Peter Venable


We loved him because he first loved us.

            —1 John 4:19.


[Love] is an abyss of illumination, a fountain of fire, bubbling up to inflame the thirsty soul.

— St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent.


For the beauty of your face,

Body clothed in glowing lace.

For your touch, which since our birth,

Gave us faith and cosmic worth.

From your life we conquer death,

Safe beyond our final breath.




Your love, a fount of fire,

Your love, a blazing spire,

All of this, we are immersed.

The greatest gift? You loved us first.


Roll Away the Stone

Peter Venable


When the horizon looks bleary;

The woes and wars makes you teary;

Take heart! The Holy One shines clear.

Roll away the stone aside the tomb.


When titan thrones makes you weary;

Broken pledges make you leery;

Take heart! The Lamb of life is here.

Roll away the stone, into spring’s bloom.


When hope feels empty and eerie;

Day by day, shows dark and dreary;

Take heart! The Healer’s hand is near.

Roll away the stone, into Love’s womb.


Healing Winds, Ad Infinitium

Peter Venable


Over Junaluska, the mist

Could not hide the Holy One’s face:

The Lord emptied Himself and kissed

Each soul—and soothed their hurts with grace.


The world, the flesh, and the devil

Were cast into some desert place.

We prayed and sang in joyful revel,

Held by the Lamb in sacred space.



Peter Venable


In Flanders Fields those rows—Auschwitz ditch graves—

Gulag mounds below snow—lost souls heaved in caves—

MRSA steals a child—one too many pills—

A bullet rips through flesh—hypothermic chill—


The end? Such spearing grief—the bare seat and bed—

The memories that haunt—the future, all dread?

There is one hope for all—everlasting spring—

The balm from Death’s cruel sting—the eternal King.


From Roman nails and wood—from limestone-sculpt tomb—

The Holy One rose up—to open spring bloom—

Death forever vanquished—past the sky’s blue sea—

He holds the key to life—for eternity—



The writer has written both free and metric verse for over fifty years. He has been published in Ancient Paths, Time of Singing, Windhover – A Journal of Christian Literature, The Whirlwind Review, Apex Magazine, Kingdom Pen Magazine, and others. He is a semi-retired clinician, volunteers at a prison camp and food pantry, sings in the annual December Messiah, and is graced with a happy marriage, daughter and son-in-law, and Yeshua.