Monthly Archives: August 2019

I Can’t

My whispers collect here.
Have I been in the cold
Wandering all these years?
Hope is the old man
Singing through his tears
To the child in my soul

I can’t, but I know
God can.

Caught between the crashing waves
My desires wash out to sea
Slipped between fingers that could not save
I drop to my knees in sand.
At least the child was brave;
What is left to make of me?

I can’t, but I believe
God can.

The Lonely Rook

Ivory stones,
the color of moonlight,
hewn from solid surfaces.
An ethereal sight
between the soft flesh
of the pulp, the heartwood,
the bleeding sap and life-
against this backdrop stood
he, the lonely rook
erect, and half a league high,
cold, white skin jutting
his intentions into a black sky
She trembled ere she drew near,
but drawn was she all the same,
wrapped in walls of anonymity
no one to remember her name;
She never felt safer
than in his closed fist
An intimate, unapproachable
Midnight tryst;
Breathless still the walls,
The great silent sentries
Yielded no secrets on odd nights,
Nor yielded secret entries
to the ragged, circling searching
feeling her fingertips sore
desperately hoping
to find a way inside once more

Never knowing
when battened fast
if in lonely stone
her last warmth passed.

On the Inequality of Passings

Tender, timid, untouched petals
huddled side by side
Fearful of the unfurl
Or falling under stride

Growing stronger silently
under the sun’s gentle hand
Braving a peek, a stretching forth:
Petals trust before they expand.

A moment of gray
tents the sky, west to east,
A tiny moment alone
with an unknown beast:

The wind stampedes
Pounding his chest
Grabbing the throat
Of the flower at rest

“Bloom!” he thunders, “Bloom now!
Your bloom creates your space!”
Shaking her petals open
to expose her childish face

Endlessly the wind chides
To bloom a different way
So she stretches back and forth
Bending against the sway

Lost and fallen petals
blown apart, out of vision,
crushed spaces and voices-
“Why?” she asks the wind

and he replies,
“The fault here lies
entirely on your stem.”

Exuberant Agony

I sing to You
Though sweat may roll across my brow
Pain dancing along me in waves
No cure for now
But I have already been saved
In my helplessness, and in my helplessness
You’ll see me through

And what is a little turmoil against eternity?

I sing to You
In withered state,
Onlookers guessing at my loss
Perhaps a well-earned fate
But I have always thrown this on the cross
Regardless of who may accuse;

Even when I accuse, You defend with authority.

I sing to You
Not to appease, nor to procure
Some relief or resolution
But because Your worth is sure,
Incapable of any iota of diminution.
How unworthy am I to be pursued,

Yet You overtook me with Your grace.

Even if these were my last breaths
You are worthy of every song I have left
And eternally more.

Works to Grace

Illness lands fast
Successive blows like boxers’ gloves
Looking for the last
Unconquered territory
But the true damage is past:

I’m steady now.

I kept spinning twirls
For my last sensei
Fearful and unfurled
In the murky depths
But it’s a solid world:

I’m standing planted

I’m grateful for these bouts
Pain and exhaustion wracking me
Weakening me, starving my doubts,
Stripping my abilities,
Until I am left without:

Sore, but light on my feet.

My fragile shell breaks down
Unknown, in silence and seclusion,
Draining away the ounce
In which the multitude imbibes,
And in their drunkenness, drowns:

That space in front of our hands.

Even so, I caused neither illness, nor ground,
Reduced instead to essential being
The innate truth of His strength resounds
Here, in my broken uselessness,

My eternal worth is found.


Tired of me, the days shove by
All elbows and heels
I want to yell, “Watch it!”
But slink off in silence
To eat sour grapes and herrings red
Waiting for something,
Anything else:
The wind against a window,
A bird call, a clock chiming.

I’m learning, slowly,
To shake off the dust
When goodbyes get lost
In the white-noise of apathy
To let them fall mute
And walk on happily
Because family is family
Across all distance
And distractions
And social conventions

Family costs something:
Some wild-eyed trust
And purity of intent
Concern for each other beyond
Ambitions and aspirations
But nothing is lost in the wake
Of honest refusals-

Time is gleaned:
Some time to travel
In other directions
Return to your peoples
Or build a new village
Find some savages
Whose hearts are clear
Of guile and show
And twisted desire-
In bare feet, dance around the fire

Of freedom and simplicity.

For My Own Mismusement

How does one, into madness,
Descend, but that sanity
Is certain and solid? Sadness
Rips not the fabric of vanity,
Should all be vain.
Even the squalid should sparkle
Through tinted panes
Or against a dirtier, darker
Standard- how should we stand
Without ground and legs and gravity
And the heavens to stretch forth our hands-
Heaven’s purity reflecting our depravity
What measure may stretch
Across the division?
A man is a priest is a wretch
Who has been forgiven
And needs no new sacrifice:
His One High Priest saves-
Can a man die outside the Life?
Can he come alive in waves?

Can we evade the weight of tragedy-
The misuse, the gnashing, the vain,
Our farthest fall is the apogee
Of our highest reach- The sane

We measure by blindness and momentum.

Estoy Mal

How I shiver, tremor, ache
As crumpled paper, here I lie
Balled and crushed by some mistake:
The folded plane that could not fly

Ill again am I.

These bouts predate
My conscious choices
From wee, broken state
Come I, but the voices

Of wrung-out being accuse:

These frailties exist as punishments alike-
Penalties for all I cannot be-
But how unlike Him to strike
The confused and weak, with infirmity

They cannot understand

When He forgives the ones
who err in ignorance.

Morning Brood

I love our mornings,
Children’s silly, babbling laughter
Like bubbles colliding
Filling the rafters

With offerings of peace

Joy beyond our wildest hopes
As the leaven in our bread
Or cream in our coffee,
No one concerned with getting ahead

Or falling behind,
Because we’re right where we should be.