Upon A Sheet Of White Paper

John Bunyan (1628-1688) is the famous author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, but he also wrote many poems. Below is one that caught my eye as I often stare at a blank sheet of paper, or a white screen with cursor blinking.

This is a warning for both writer and reader to have discernment. Bunyan gives us a poem, and then a comparison poem.

Upon A Sheet Of White Paper

This subject is unto the foulest pen,
Or fairest handled by the sons of men.
‘Twill also show what is upon it writ,
Be it wisely, or nonsense for want of wit,
Each blot and blur it also will expose
To thy next readers, be they friends or foes.

Comparison

Some souls are like unto this blank or sheet,
Though not in whiteness. The next man they meet,
If wise or fool, debauched or deluder,
Or what you will, the dangerous intruder
May write thereon, to cause that man to err
In doctrine or in life, with blot and blur.
Nor will that soul conceal from who observes,
But show how foul it is, wherein it swerves.
A reading man may know who was the writer,
And, by the hellish nonsense, the inditer.

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The Skipped Page

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I skipped a page in my notebook
And wondered what it meant.
Was I supposed to leave it blank,
Or should I write on it?

Were the white spaces and blue lines
Reminding me to breathe?
Or, were they desperately calling,
“Please write, and do not leave?”

So with mechanical pencil,
I wrote between the lines,
As I stared at the metal rings
And holes dotting both sides.

On the left, a short hair dangled
Off the edge of the page,
And made me wonder what it meant…
Could this be about my age?

So I blew the little hair clear
As I stopped to erase,
Thinking it was faster to strike,
Than stop, and start this way.

But when I began writing fast
The lead in my pencil broke.
I had to click and start again
To finish the last stroke.

My mind wandered to the pencil;
Was it better than ink?
And should I use a yellow one
That rarely ever breaks?

The moral of the story is…
I really do not know.
Perhaps, don’t leave a blank page where
Skipping thoughts can go.

Blank Canvas

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I sit back in my chair,
As the blank canvas glares,
Worn keys waiting to write.

I think about pure white,
And late at night street lights,
Then dark invades the bright.

Behind the lines

There are times I don’t know what to write. I ask myself, “What more can I write that hasn’t already been written?” Then there are times I can’t stop the ideas from flowing and the keys on the keyboard pound into the desk.

Ideas often come after a time of worship or meditating on God’s Word, but sometimes they come out of the blue. Another way to get creative thoughts flowing is to think about the Eternal God and His self-existence. What was He doing before time began?

In the beginning, God had a blank canvas. Then He spoke:

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:3-4 ESV).

Did God speak before that day? Which language did He use when He spoke? Ah, the infinite questions only God can answer. I’m grateful for what He has revealed about Himself through His Word.

Let’s read and write about Him. It’s His canvas and His story.

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