Dance among your dead,
And have you prayed first
On the beads you’ve thrown?
Save it for tomorrow
Today there’s just heat.
Inhale your legacy
And blow it out your brass
Into every waiting street
Drink, and be merry,
Eat your mud bugs
Before they eat you
And you wait in marble houses
While they dance around your grave.
Monthly Archives: November 2015
Dance among your dead,
Truth, applied again, like balm to a sear
Burned by my sin, myself, my fear,
When this brilliant ray of hope appeared
All my failures somehow met:
My pale faith, my proclivity to forget,
Folded into my profound debt
And paid in full by His profound gift.
My sin won’t force me to be dismissed
Because His sacrifice will ever exist,
And He is faithful, and has made it just
To forgive and cleanse my muck and rust
To lay the ground for unbroken trust
By drinking all my death and hell,
The gnashing teeth I once indwelled,
To bestow His righteousness as well.
The gift, beyond my comprehension,
By His life and death, resurrection and ascension,
Has covered these sins, too loathe to mention,
With white-hot, smoldering purity
Draping me in white robes of amnesty
So He may look in love on me:
A filthy slave now clean and free,
Adopted into His family.
Pushing back time
Holding back his groping hands
Like some drunk frat
Who’s never been
To a gallery or museum,
Who cannot understand
Or the damage of a touch.
How often I threw myself in tears
On the breast of the Chesapeake bay,
Exchanging my saltwater for fresh
The ever impassioned castaway
But the tide always brought me home again
Even when I had other designs,
Those waters washed me clean again
Time after time after time.
I never showed that side to you;
We always bowed to the other.
You recognized the weak in me:
The perfect mate and mother.
You quoted Kinder, Küche, Kirche,
As you prepared to take my life,
But my docility stood a constructed facade
As I refused to be your wife.
But you came by your oppression honestly
So I never wished you harm.
There was, underneath your tyranny,
Rays of childlike charm.
In what you loved, you showed delight
With a smile spread ear to ear,
And I mostly enjoyed our merry dance
Until you pulled too near.
Alone, I must have found you,
And alone is ever excising
But I’ve heard of all your accomplishments;
Your star seemed ever rising.
You loved our virgin state
For the dignity of her past,
And the grandeur of her beauty.
You were ever holding fast.
You’ve thrown yourself off a bridge,
Dying as every falling star.
I cannot stand in judgment,
Remembering where my own bridges are
And knowing what it takes to stand
On the edge of all you’ve ever known
The courage it takes to make goodbyes
And courage, you’ve always shown.
I will not ask you why, or say you are laid waste,
But I will honor you, old friend.
I only wish you had come home
To make your final end
Where the water flows in kindness,
And may have cradled you to her breast
To lift your head, to wash you clean,
To bring you home to rest.
I’m no guiltier than the moon,
Credited with shining white
And causing howls, or lovers’ swoons,
But possessing no inherent light
Merely collecting forgotten rays strewn
On the lost side of the dark of night.
I’m no guiltier than the mirror clear,
Reflecting all you hate, you fear,
All you adore now lost among
The wrinkles and smears
Depleting the memory of the young
You once wore here.
I’m no guiltier than the pen,
Or the fingers clutching tightly:
A marital dance, twirling again,
Ever swirling sprightly
Through the aged den
Of the unavoidable and the unlikely
Colliding into truth when
I speak in verse; I speak rightly.
I’ve never raised a hand in self-defense
Like those mad drunks swinging wild
At the immense blackness that defiled them
Though I inhabit the same hour
And own the same hands
And have scoured the expanding
Darkness in us all
I’ve even been put down myself
I’m not enthralled to tell of it
But it’s happened yet
My hands hung listless
I forget to feel vicious when I get restless
I never grab my fists
To take up the collection
When some stranger twists the wrong inflection
Or casts an insulting eye
From a swiveled head
I never try to beat the dead
Or kill the ghosts inside men’s souls
That taunt us in the wilder hours
The old that haunts with ageless powers
I never found my fighting feet
To stand, to swing, to rage on by
I think it must taste sweet to try
But for the excessive afterthoughts
That drive a man to drink:
A thought worth not the think.
Oh Father, I’m so damaged.
I can barely manage
These broken bits of me
Ever falling out for all to see.
A dire protection isolates;
To retain what must remain inviolate
It’s too late for me, I’m untied
But for them, I can keep it inside
And what light have I to shine?
What witness can still be mine
When all I do is distract,
And my best gift is to detach?
How do I let Your light shine through?
How do I reflect solely You
And keep my mess aside?
I have failed You as hard as I tried.
I’ve been stretched to great lengths;
These weaknesses that show Your strength
Threaten to crack my reserves,
To open spillways no one deserves.
Yet I hear the call to hope resound
I feel my resignations unbound
And I tremble for the next step:
Blind at my best.
Grant me hope,
The ability to cope
With all my most broken,
And leave me unspoken
To speak instead You,
Oh God, Preeminent Truth
Speak to the lies whispering to my soul;
Make my witness whole.
Because when I am weak,
You alone can speak to it,
You change my substance
Melting my reluctance
Into love, into engagement,
Ever at my amazement
But not for my sake, so feeble,
But for the sake of nourishing Your people.
Because I’m swimming blind,
But if You are so inclined
Your kind hands may pull me free;
You may teach me how to see.
And how to feed the starved
Whilst You still carve time
With instruments of flesh.
These sins I confess.
And as You carve time,
Bear our end in mind.
Can a soul pray for gray
For some way to validate
I spoke against our story
Perhaps in truth
But what good is it for me now
To punish our youth
The fragile leaves outside
Tremble against the wind
As do I
Hoping to bend
Back into you again.
Migraine – shaken loose from core to shell,
Like a bad drunk reeling in a carnival scene
Following the circuitous path to leave
Round and round the prancing carousel.
Caught in all the smells of the morning after,
Stale trodden popcorn, leathered cotton candy,
Challenges and failures barked and bandied
Spliced with derisive carnie laughter
The pain to rip through the shadow
Of tiltawhirls and teacups,
To see a world unjust
And land knee first in the fallow
And hallowed dust.
Eager for the great hibernation
That sluggish, creeping cold
Dipping my consternation
In the patina of the old
Until the latest kneading
Becomes another hidden fold.
How I flit like dry leaves
Counting down in seconds browned
All the moments upcoming winter breathes
As its consciousness is found,
As it awakes, and yawns,
And runs the sky to ground.