Monthly Archives: November 2018

City Graces

Scraping, struggling,
Past my reserves, past intact,
Indulgences of doubt
Seeping through cracks
And I put down my hand
I stepped back.

I sit on a bit of stoop,
The city street half-lit
By twilight clouds, passing cars-
Numb to cold, to life, sitting
Unable to eat, I lift a whispered prayer,
“Please… I feel so close to quitting.”

So simple, maybe just a falling tear or two,
Ensuing silence… then sounds of life pursue-
Sirens in the distance, some nearby conversations,
Footfalls and phonecalls out of view
But in earshot- the children call to me by name,
As does the neighbor passing through.

Gentle love fills my soul.
This house becomes my home:
A place my soul finds rest,
I love it best when I’m alone,
No one judges how I fail;
None resent its frail bones.

And prayers are heard,
and answered,
from my little stoop.

It May Be

Maybe we belong
because we’re here
but we’ve linked belonging
to some intangible nostalgia,
some forgotten garden aroma
of “home”
Souls wafting similar fragrance
take the wandering vagrants
by the nose.
Those who’ve said farewell,
whose Home has retired
to either heaven or hell,
transplant their definition
beyond the earthly conditions.
Everyone feels like they’re hurting,
or working, or searching
for a place they belong-
some fantasy of found-family:
Maybe it’s all wrong.
Maybe present is accounted for,
and there’s nothing deeper to be found
than sharing the same ground,
in the same days.

Maybe we belong wherever we are,
just as much as the next dumb soul.
Maybe the concept of home, or love, or whole
merely reduces into shared ideals
when everything deconstructs
into parts we juggle.

Maybe I got stuck, and struggle
to see what’s real.

Pardon the Mess…

Today is the part where I sincerely,
pensively, and meticulously consider
scrapping everything.
In disparate, unique states
my two sisters struggle under heavy loads;
one walking on ageless, solid truth-
one crawling through nightmarish apparitions-
Both overwhelmed,
and I have nothing to help.
I also go it alone-
Our mantras don’t rise
higher than the gasses that comprise
our voices- our self-centered choices-
We are encaged by our eyes
Their limited field of vision
casts no farther than our own proximity.
How can any overthrow these
Fortresses of Flesh?
The timeline is an apparent infinity
of myopic grasping.
A globe of collectors:
Collecting things, collecting flattery, power, or security,
some with the audacity
to try their hand
at collecting souls.
Grand things and thrift things
are all the same-
Decaying into a mass-grave,
a landfill of spent distractions.
Flattery is deception,
doctored photos and inflated perceptions-
Drugs for the addict
Distasteful to those who are not-
Sometimes a horror.
Power and security are the other triplets,
Deceptions and addictions,
based on shared intangibles
Ideas that run humanity
like a hidden engine-
a magic machine-
some deus ex machina.

But souls?
Collecting souls cannot be
A hit-and-run endeavor.
You cannot amass more
than you can cultivate-
Knowledge and skill
to impersonate relationship
but just busy enough
to avoid it.
Our eyes keep us alone.
Island shorelines erode
changing in the absence,
confusing returned travelers,
and no soul remains
if they cannot know and be known.

The gift of our Creator,
Who strives with man
to know and be known

But we have no time for something so non-essential:
Our landfills won’t fill themselves
Our merriment takes work,
and years, and fun
is the new fortress.

Under the Blacktop

When I’m with him, I feel it:
Walking blind, feigning sight
Alongside a precipice cut above
An endless abyss of night
By waters that are shallow
To everyone’s thinking
But the hidden dread and intoxication
Remembers sinking
And sinking


Into a torn seat
In a borrowed, busted car
That only needs to make one trip,
Never far
Just a black strip into darkness
With the cat’s eyes closing
Somewhere to end,
Or a familiar hand to offer comfort,
Or a stranger to begin again
And again


Wandering blind
In the perpetual silence that followed
The question
Wagering tomorrow to
Leverage yesterday
Waiting for reparations-
The stakes seem cheap,
When there’s nothing else to barter,
But losing the bet
Means sleeping harder,
Or forever,

And hell won’t right no wrongs.


How I’ve peered into Your creation-
Those smaller than a speck
Ecosystems, those vibrations
Too tiny for the eye to inspect-
And it’s good.
You’ve worked structure and detail
Far beyond what we could:
What our structures entail.

How I’ve glimpsed the grand-
Out beyond our farthest sight
Beyond our ability to understand
To chart the boundaries of night
And it’s good, too:
A majestic symphony
Lifting praise to You
In undulating harmony.

Here I am between the two-
Can I sparkle? Do I shine?
I was formed by You
In secret places, by design.
Galaxies inside of me,
And also years of carnage
Unlike celestial bodies,
I am formed in Your image.

Help me be the masterpiece
You intend me to be.
I don’t belong to anyone else-
I don’t even belong to me.
Complete Your work:
Protect what You desire,
And bring it into being
For You are an all-consuming fire

And I am Yours.

“There is not an atom of the universe in which you cannot see some brilliant sparks at least of His glory.”
John Calvin

The Faith Dynamic

I walk with wide eyes
Scrutinizing details
Minutiae in the macrocosm
Swirling activity at every scale
If I look closely enough,
No surface is solid or still-
The building blocks of life
Move about at-will
The entire teeming dynamic
Rides within a swirling sphere
Spinning in its orbit,
Which also spins and steers
Around a spinning galaxy,
That also travels alongside
Other galaxies breathing
In the vast universal tide-
Everything remains in flux,
Constant metamorphosis,
Churning, changing forces
From the dawn of genesis
But there is nothing new under the sun:
Matter can neither be
Created, nor destroyed,
Therefore everything we see

Has been churning through all organic history.

I walk with wide eyes
My breath succumbs to magnitude,
Comprehending all that is
Fully beyond my aptitude
Yet I cannot help but see
The galaxies in every soul
Opposing forces, symbiotic choices,
Exchanging properties at toll
Branded with eternity,
Touched by death and rot,
Defined by diseased perceptions
Of what we are and what we’re not.
My eyes appraising evidence equal
To either hope or else despair:
A Creator-God who bears our burdens,
Or a world in irreparable disrepair-
Hurtling through spacetime
Toward eventual extinction
Or eternal resolution:
Faith makes the distinction.
While I rely on eyes wide open
These things remain our plight,
But there’s a vision beyond vision
That sees all in time put right,

So I will walk by faith, and not by sight.


What, in darkness, crept
Some ancient secret nearly kept
Some decrepit harbinger
Or else, angelic messenger
Ringing like tinnitus in offkey tones
To chill my childlike bones
Blackness as cover, but not as absence,
I hovered in happenstance:
Studying the blueprints
The structure, the meter made sense
How like Horatio I stood erect, then
Whispered, shouted, shivered at specters-
Putting my ear to ground:
A universe resounded.
Swirling in vibrations
Molecular orchestrations
Humming, always humming
The fingers of primal causation strumming
Strings of intelligent design
Singing arias in divine
Force and opposing forces
Cacophonous notes breaking in
Echoing forth original sin
Every soul vibrating at a unique frequency
Every hum tinged by indecency
Matter and mass dealt deathblows
Groaning, awaiting the final cadence to grow
To impart some peace and resolution
The strain giving way to final ablution
We live in the crescendo mounting
I wander in discordance
My own tune out of ordinance
Buffeted by ceaseless voices
Existent waves in their respective courses
Rays racing since first unrolled:
Like light and sound and soul
And the stopwatch of time,
And the momentum and trajectory of mankind
Everything exists in some derivative code
Following through some massive node
Deep calculations inside the rhythm
Spacetime in diminishing algorithm
We contribute to our own satisfaction,
But every variable produces foreseen reactions
Overwhelmed, I clutch my ears and fall
Shouting at ghosts and trembling walls,
Searching for silence amongst the din
For the fallen sparrow unseen by heaven
But all is included in all eternity:
Yet none see.
None put ear to ground-
None consider the fullness of sound:

The readiness is all.

”Not a whit, we defy augury. There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now,
yet it will come—
the readiness is all.
Since no man knows aught of what he leaves, what is’t to leave betimes, let be.”

Hamlet, Shakespeare

Pride of Men

Immortal souls traveling
In decaying flesh,
Breaking us down, taking us down
To an inevitable grave
No force may save from
Final goodbyes: weak or strong
We all die
We seek the long delay
Trading moments for days,
Breaths to barter or borrow
But the pride of life
Is toil and sorrow.

My Bread

Years past, I brought my loaves
My little bits of oil and flour,
I laid them before You
In all Your wealth and power
I prayed You accept my small offering
And rejoiced to see them devoured!

I travelled far, drank the dew,
By You, I’m ever blessed
But I lent my ear to those
Proclaiming bigger to be best-
Embarrassed to bring my little loaves
To place amongst all the rest.

These last few years
I folded a little leaven in:
A dash of works, a dash of man,
Something grand to ascend
But You’ve brought me home
To my simple faith again.

I never stood amongst the mighty-
I inhabited the lonely fields,
And their armor never fit me,
Yet still I did not yield
Because I’d seen You,
And You’ve always been my shield.

I bring another little loaf-
It will never be much to see.
I pray again You accept it
A show of gratitude in humility
With joy in obedience
For Your kindness shown to me

I cannot deserve or impress,
I tremble ere I speak!
But You inhabit little helpless things
The world proclaims as weak;
And Your glory shining forth
Is all I seek.

Discipline of Grace

Endure suffering as discipline:
God is dealing with you as sons.
Hebrews 12:7

I have tasted suffering
Meted out, blow by blow,
Throngs of pains and pangs
And I know that I know

I am stronger for it.

I grew closer to Him
In what suffering I endured,
Growing inside His care,
Battered, yet secure

In His sufficiency.

He entrusted me with something
Beyond my scope
I need Him to sustain
Beyond silence or trope

In power and truth.

Falling fearful, I groveled,
I sniveled, I winced
Concerned the difficulty
Was merely recompense

For zigging if I should zag.

I forgot some key truths:
Discipline isn’t merely correction,
Punishment, or retribution-
It’s also difficult, loving direction

Equipping for the future.

And most importantly I forgot,
More than what I do,
More than what I accomplish, or fail,
More than what I put Him through-

Jesus loves me