Archive for April, 2009

Phantom Riders

Looking through my old writings, I happened upon this extremely rough poem I jotted down a few years ago. But I thought you might enjoy it anyway.


Far and away
many years ago
there were strange ghosts
in an old, old bay.

Phantom Riders named
for their eery flight
over the waters
and under the dusk

Late at night
or early morn
one never knew
when they might come

across the street
the trees, the beach
but when they did
they’d leave no trace

A flash in front
a glow behind
those fierce blue eyes
and bony hands

The children would shiver
within their sleep
hoping the doors
were securely tight

For oft it’d been told
And oft believed
that those unlocked
were open to the night

The phantom riders
in would glide
and choose one member
of the house that night

Whether it be child
or whether it be man
They’d choose for themselves
one for their kind

And that individual
a ghost he would be
A phantom rider
For all eternity

-J. A. VanZandt


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Through the Trees . . .

Yesterday I was walking along Lake Bob on my way to my car, looking around at my lovely college and beautiful campus, thinking about my life here. Actually, mostly thinking about how I was accepted neither as an RA nor as a teen camp leader. Why? I couldn’t understand it. I loved this college so much – I had dedicated years to preparing for it, and when I came, I had every intention of helping the college with everything I could, getting involved everywhere possible – and maybe even settling down within the college. So why didn’t God open any doors for me to do . . . anything with the college. I wasn’t a student amabassador, an RA, a teen camp leader – I wasn’t involved in the plays, in the clubs, in the senate – really, all of my activities thus far had been directed more toward classes and after-college type activity. And those opportunities I hadn’t even been looking for. Why wasn’t God letting me get involved with a place I loved? I couldn’t understand it. And then a sudden thought pierced through my denseness. Exactly what I had been thinking really clarified in my head for the first time. I thought about settling down here. I viewed this college as an end. Not a means to an end. In my mind, God wanted me here, and I didn’t care what happened beyond that. This is where He had led me, and this is where my vision stopped. For all my talk of changing the world, I couldn’t see past the college years. People ask me what I want to do after college and I basically shrug. I didn’t really care. God would open that door when it came. And that is true – He will open the door – but that doesn’t mean I should keep my eyes shut. Maybe God wasn’t letting me get involved simply to open my eyes to the realization that He had plans for me beyond college life. That I had settled down on my own moon and no longer could see the stars beyond the moon. God promises that He has plans for us beyond our comprehension. He had to remind me that those plans stretch beyond college. And I need to move on past my present life and go on toward the true goal. Maybe now light will shine down on my path just enough so that I can finally, once again, see the forest through the trees.

And I think I’ll spend this summer in Colorado with the Gibson Girls – away from both college and home. A new place for a new perspective.

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