Monthly Archives: April 2019


To go by what I see
Illuminates by sorrow
A broken world of bigotry
Cruelty inherited tomorrow
From the carelessness of today

But there’s another way:

To walk by what I believe
Casting light on circumstance,
So the shadows only grieve
Until what is coming supplants
All that has been

And earth is healed and purged of sin.

The Lame Child

I am not
a mover and a shaker,
except for being moved by You,
and quaking
before Your Holy presence.

I am not
ready to rattle the gates of hell,
where I grew up,
but I must tell
how You brought me out.

I have not
been educated
by anyone but You,
nor dedicated
by any but You.

I have not
the lungs for the sprint,
nor legs for the marathon
Can the lame be sent?
Yet even on my litter

I praise You.

I have
seen Your kindness blaze
beyond the darkest sins
and most broken ways
to weep with us.

I have
been indelibly marked
by Your deep beauty
the grace that embarks
on a selfless crusade

I am
changed by Your story
the timeline of love,
of promise, and unstained glory,
of tears cherished and abolished.

I am
the little one You saved
too weak to be strong
too wounded to be brave
but You’ve dwelled with me

And I will ever praise You,

as long as I have a song
it belongs to
The Great I Am.

The Quotidian Sisyphean

I’m in wonder before a panoramic view:
An overturned sock hamper,
A room thrown askew
With toys and trash and odds and ends
Rocks to push uphill, then blink,
Then push uphill again.
Vehemently my back complains
As everything falls out of reach
I struggle for motion through the pain
But a thing at rest tends to stay still,
And a thing in motion
Is only rolling down the hill.

Each Part Equal

There is a balm in Gilead!
Your Word brings comfort to my spirit
Stilling my anxious heart,
You open me to hear it.
The world entire may spurn
This offering I bring,
But I bring it to You-
These are my special things:
Gifts You gave me to offer,
And, in time, I believe I’ll understand
The work Your finger
Traces in the sand.
I will not call good evil,
Or roll my eyes at Your gifts
Which are all good and perfect
And each gift fits
Perfectly in the other
One complete tapestry
Each string valuable,
Woven in mastery
By Your fiat.

Praise You for who You are,
Within Yourself,
And for allowing us to look,
To see,
To know You,

To be healed,
To be set free
To serve You freely.

Pete and Repeat

I’m repeating myself these days,
Forgetting the myriad of ways I-


“Can I have gum?”

……”I  already said no.”

I’m repeating myself these days,
like the history tucked in lost pages


“Yes, I can have gum?!”

I’m repeating myself these days…


For this reason I kneel before You:
The unfathomable love
With which You’ve pursued
Your unworthy child;
Your majesty is manifold-
Beauty unspoiled, grown wild
Through all broken creation
And I have vowed
To tell of Your works to every nation,
As far as I’m able,
In every generation
As You make me capable
Because You deserve it all.

And though I squirm and squeal
In the fetal pain of maturation,
Serving You is still my highest ordination
And my most treasured privilege.

Labor Pains or Death Throes?

What is this pain slicing through my soul?
Have I been a fool all my life?
I’ve never been whole.
Is anyone whole?

I don’t understand why it hurts now,
After all the years interred.
What purpose is there in somehow
Exhuming what remains?

Nothing about me is useful
Or tolerable
When I was youthful
at least I had potential.
Perhaps I spent it all.

There’s some key I’m missing:
Some slipped space between
the teeth of ability and identity
Listing to the side of isolation.

I am starting to think there may just be
some kind of battle again raging
Over who I am to be.
Who am I to be?

The failure?
The slave?
The suicide?

The victory?

Which of these things most resembles me?

Speak now,
so I may forever hold my peace.


I tremble ere I speak,
yet I may neither draw closer,
nor leave; I speak of my grief
To my only Hope

You called me
from the womb, Your hand
defended and installed me
through the wasteland
You led me
You taught me to be wise
when the enemy bled me
Cutting deep lies-
But even Your servants agreed
on who I couldn’t be,
they deserved that decree:
The ability to guide what I believed
And there were texts behind them-
I only had desire;
The design of which stemmed
like some foreign fire
from my inner Jezebel-
Or so the story went
But to speak was to rebel
Proving my intent-
Damned to do or not to do,
So I curled up inside my soul.
I begged it be untrue,
But the years exacted toll
And I grew into myself,
Twisted against restraints
While none came, no heartfelt
Broke the cycle of the saints-
Perhaps this sounds accusatory,
But who am I to stand?
To litter Your story
With my own demands?
Who I am became assigned to me.
Those periods stretched so long…
I grew into who they said You wanted me to be-
But it always felt wrong.

Now they say it isn’t who I’m meant to be-
But isn’t it too late
To excavate
A brand new identity?

(Yet if there’s hope, or time,
to be whoever You want me to be
Ignore how I whine;
Begin the surgery.)

Their Bones for Bread

On the stoop, how many years past,
And he appealed to me to leave
Don’t waste it all, he begged-

pie in the sky
he called You:
A crutch.

And I said goodbye like this:
”Not a crutch, but a wheelchair-
and if you are lame,
a wheelchair is a gift.”

And he understood,
Like so many outside do.

Yet inside
I feel coerced into hobbling
on the broken knee-
and it’s never as good as running-
Never enough
to say I got here on a crutch
and the wheels of grace

No room for the broken
in the engine of advancement,
of pressing out, stamping forward,
Treading the little ones,
and the lame ones,
under the righteous toe.

And what standard of measure
Can I use safely?
Deficient by all lengths, but
I hope for the day

The light that pushes back the night
shines with some radiance of warmth,
some basic human kindness
to those outside,
and those within:

I want to feel safe again.

Reservation for One

I suppose you can’t hold the table.

When I was young
the clinking glasses and silver
were diamonds tinkling
against my new skin-
Learning to stretch, to dance, to leap-
always learning how
to use this new thing that is me.
My hair, the dense forest,
cascaded in waves down
gaunt hillsides-
That hour is passed.
Thinning now, and dry
it cracks like desert mud
forgets where the river ran.
My traintrack spine
missing sleepers and spikes
with sleeplessness for thinning ballast-
The years pass like train cars,
in blinks:
a job, —
an apartment, —
a relationship, —
I inhale fast
and glance furiously at my watch.
Oh, good.
There’s still time.

I head out to meet my reservation
into the tangled mass
of furling boulevards and back-alleys,
Streets twisting and contorting,
obscuring their corners
I step deliberately
like Jack climbing
a multitude of woven stalks
looking for his one giant.
I find directional flow,
and passive valves,
and hawkers on corners,
Backstreet tyrants
with hands like freshly-sawn ham-hocks
And my table is around any corner,
Every corner,
and none.
No one understands me
as I plead for directions
I scrutinize signs
printed on walls and billboards,
spray-painted in dark corners,
signs written in the skies.
I glance at my watch.
I thump its face
a poor attempt to change its mind.
The hours thin
like the light around me
I begin to grieve:
my time is almost up.

Will they hold it for me?

I stumble now, sober
But footless like some
career drunkard
waltzing with the ghosts
he drinks to avoid

Who invited me?
I can’t remember.

Who told me there was a table,
And I could have a seat at it?
Who told me I could bring something
to the Great Conversation,
Or make some meaningful connection
Past ham-salad sandwiches
and the exchange of goods and services?

I finger through the scratched phonographs of yesterdays
Back to the beginning,
But I can’t find the song or album I’m looking for,
not in this light.

It’s okay- it can wait.
There’ll be light enough at my table.
It must be around here.
I must be close by now,
I’ve come so far….