Monthly Archives: June 2020

To the Ancient of Days

I see my impotence,
My selfishishness,
My sin and paralysis.
It may be
The best song I ever sing
Is an elegy,
My best witness
An epitaph.
Let all these gentle moments
You’ve poured out upon me

Let them live.

Whatever years stretch before me,
Though crippled to action
As I have always been,
Harvest some morsel of affection
You may enjoy every now and again,
Let those morsels survive.

Because I am nothing,
But I’ve been marked by
All in All.

You Are Here

And all these days
I was content to wander,
To wonder through the bus windows
About the galaxies of rain
To squander
The potential of the future
On the resignations of the past
I have traveled slow years
Through fast miles
And I miss the sunshine
Warming my skin
Imagining it was Your love
Because it’s easier to imagine
Than to take hold, to live in,
To consume,
To assume the responsibility;
Love bears responsibility.

I can’t ride the old bus ticket forever.
Some part of my soul passes
Every open station
Intransigent in my seat
Because eventually I bring every love
Back to the scene of the storm,
Back to the soaked debris,
And strewn heirlooms
Back to the caved roof
And shattered glass windows.

I used to think it reduced to one:
I couldn’t be loved
But how well I’ve been loved
All the while
By the best of us.
The truth: try as I might,
I cannot love.
All my love is tied to destruction-
It is tossed amongst the strewn debris.
How may I recover what is lost?
How can I lift my love
From the muddy bed of grief?

If all these years haven’t done it,
What other salve remains?
Is there a balm
For the phantom limb?

Continuing forward is no progress.
Will it always ache?
Who can bear the legs
Unable to support their own weight?

Round and Round the Mulberry Bush

I speak, eloquently or plainly,
In the extremes of a fanatic
But I let the smallest things restrain me
And that is
To my great shame.

Perfect love casts out fear
Yet I crawl under the heavy hand
And sabotage what love draws near
Because all that I can understand
Is the child handled severely,
And ultimately abandoned.


When I consider many ages ago,
The many deprivations, many blows,
This body’s sustained-
Of course it still complains.
My last efforts burned my final reserves
I fight for upright, but sag and curve
To inevitable rest
I pray the next doctor knows best
How to undue the bitter years

Still working themselves out in my flesh.

For now, the pain is presumed
The aching, racing, burning resumes
The sharp pain like cutting wakes
Like shattered glass, or driving stakes,
The dull pain that sits on me askew
Haranguing all I try to do.
At length, I forget to be my friend
As all my failures swirl and blend
Into one monstrous masterpiece

Of hideous impotence.

Grace be Ageless

Time enters into birthing
Screaming at crimes
Both real and imagined,
Travailing, waiting before the Divine
Either gnashing or trembling,
Begging for more time,
But the contractions come
One wave after another-

Am I prepared?
Has anything I’ve done mattered?
Have I lived a life pleasing to You?

Interrogative Response

I remember staring
Through the window by my bed
At the great forked tree
Reaching to the skies overhead
Around a taller branch we’d tethered
A thick rope- upon it, a swinging-flyer
Rounded-seat, my father severed
From a massive tire
And I watched the river’s genesis
Through the lush leaves self-aware
In sparkling metamorphosis
And I knew You were there,
Do You remember?
I know You do.

I asked You to be everything to me.

Not Quite Requited Church

Last night I dreamed
Walking through the fearful sleep,
The aching loss, the sudden sight
Of loves I couldn’t keep
Or purge.

And I wondered upon waking
If You felt the electric proximity
Of a bride not ready for the taking,
Did You wrestle to hold Your equanimity
So her equity wasn’t compromised?

You came from unreachable heights
To walk beside her in flesh,
Did You ache at the sight
Of who she wasn’t yet,
Or who she would become?

Did You see the future molding her
In her fledgling eyes,
Did You yearn to hold her
Against Your chest, under those skies-
Did You know Your time had not come yet?

Did You feel the temptation contrary to reason,
To pluck the fruit accessible,
To defer waiting for the proper season
To express the still inexpressible
Or subvert waiting?

Because we see what You did instead
Walking with her in tender restraint,
Passionate and patient, You led
In purity without taint,
A life given for her good.

You loved her to death all along
Taking those electric moments in stride,
Investing Your love where it belonged
You earned the ransom for Your bride,
In which I now may join

Unto our selfless Groom
And King.

My Love, My One

Oh you,
What words have I not already wrung dry?
To say I love you in a million ways
Some written or spoken
Others lived out
In the untold proclamations
Of coffee refills and shared glances,
Oh my word, I love you,
From that day I was spoken for,
But we sat across the table and
Something made complex and intact sense
About your entire existence
Hot potato and musical chairs,
And we’re still here
Hidden signals before we knew
What we had could thrive,
Could have a name,
Could share one.
We traveled down the aisle
And hundreds of miles
Now we’ve traveled years as well-
Every year I love you more.
Every year I learn to be loved,
As we wrote into our wedding.
You stand broader now,
Grown into your integrity
Like a giant sentry stands erect,
And we laugh at the ecosystems
expressed in partial sentences,
a single word sometimes,
a nuance or inflection,
giggles and whispers and smuggled kisses
And you’ve proved,
Through every season,
To be the better portion
Of all I am.

You are worthy of the one:
The one love I had to give,
The one life I had to share,
The one hope I could invest,
The one partner to labor with,
And laugh with,
Embracing every moment
As a table for two.

Oh you,
Come What May,
With my every seam, I love you.
I’ve always loved you.

Migraine and My Purpose

All the ground I’ve gained
The least two weeks
Scales down behind me
As I rejoice at the peak:
Praises and communion,
But the old, familiar enemy
Brings my body to a halt:
A pain-wracked cacophony.
This time we set aside to celebrate
Now in bed, I pray relief
To force this physical aggressor
Return the blade into the sheath
How deeply I desire mission
A life spent tending the soil
In the great vineyard
Wherein the fruit may never spoil-
Father, use the pain that grinds me,
Use my willingness and my sin,
To feed the sheep You send me,
To be Your fisher of men

From this age unto the end.

My Genesis 1:2

I close my eyes to daylight,
Lulled to deepest sleep
By the gently lapping bay
In which I’m steeped
So tiny no one saw at the first
Whether I lived or died
But You carried me to the river
And dipped my feet in the tide

Merely a child stretching her legs,
Unable to walk, but I could see
Our essence is imprinted
By the timeline of eternity,
I felt the hours stretching before me,
The suffering, the weight, I cried
For the longevity of shadows
You washed my fears in the tide

I gazed upriver long
At the cost I once must pay
And I purposed, even then,
To give it all away
You set me apart for the task
The defiled You purified
You committed me to You
Baptized in the tide

Stumbling along the shoreline,
Floundering in the waves,
Every movement forward
I cried out to be saved
And You gently held my head
In the hands that sanctified,
You taught me to tread water
As I navigate the tide.

So far from where I began
But when I close my eyes to rest
I hear the water lapping
As the heartbeat in my chest
Silk waves folding around me
As a veil around her bride,
And I remember our communion
Mingled in the tide.

As each new shoreline passes by
You add joy into my journey
The unexpected blossom
Of unsuspected yearning
Constant in the ebb and flow
You stand with legs astride
Like mighty oaks in root
Unmovable by the tide

Your branches reaching every shore
I cling to You or drown
The Golden Sunlight dances down
Upon Your priestly crown
And praise erupts as crashing waves
Tossed from deep inside-
My God of every shore;
My God of every tide!

I strain to see the port
Wherein my journey ends
I’ve never been this close before,
Surpassed so many bends,
But I know the destination
Will be the journey satisfied;
Your presence marks the value
Of every passing tide.