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The Call of Fife

The rules are set.
How I longed for you to come to me
Not by some impassioned bedroom trellis
In blooming tongue and brazenry
By indifferent moons
But boots in tromp, and mud, and stain
Shoulders casting shadows, squared
Unaware the foe that feigns mundane
Deep I slept, alone at night
The warmth of my own purity
Radiating into hope, cradling and caressing
The distant drums of maturity
A thousand giggles are the opening bid,
The downpayment into a union rich
A zig to zag, a bob to weave,
The back and forth of each new stitch
Into a tapestry of stalwart companionship
Thriving in the daily hours
Kissed by passion, defended by honor,
Unflinching amid the darker powers
Raging to sink their teeth
In tall and sunbathed prey
These powers drink, in crimson teeth
Drunk, they sing of who to slay
By starless night to creep and scratch
But day exposes cravings dark
In many revolutions around the sun
Wherever integrity has lent its spark.
Who will lace their boots for we
The ones who cradle and caress?
Who will stand against the night,
To work, to will, and to confess?

Foolish, here, to tell my lies
Some fervent nights I found no sleep,
But what the day cannot, in manhood, earn,
The boyish nights will never keep.


Way of Life

Faint, I hear on winds of spring,
As little bells whose giggles ring,
Recollections gray of our beginnings
Chiming through to this new morning

And You are new
My Ancient of Days.

How dark those bitter nights
Must have been, dark sights
Broken, jagged childhood delights
Snarling in crooked-toothed fright

And I begged You for death,
O Giver of Life.

How those moments undone
Dissolved one by one
Like snow exposed to a gentle sun
As You held me in a garden

Sweating in fervor
For my redemption.

I glimpsed You lifting
Gold from death’s ashen rift
I waited, in sorrow adrift,
For You to sift

The precious from the worthless,
As You continually do.

I never dreamed this well.
You established me:
Your daughter, a mother, a wife.
I begged for the release of death,
But You gave instead the embrace of life

Giver of every good and perfect gift.


Special Providence

Let today ever be the day
I seek Your face
My sins aplenty remain
Hidden in Your mysterious grace
I am washed clean,
Seated well at the table

In an unearned place.

Let today ever be the day
I walk the winding narrows
Into all the world
Bowing before no Pharoahs,
But kneeling for the least of these.
And if I pass from life to life,

Bear me up with the sparrows.


Until We Meet Again

Cigarettes,
Veiled in white
Like an expensive bride,
Unduly attractive,
Who brings a man to ruin

In past tense
Tonight I spoke your name
Wrapping recollections
Around the toxic body
Of our acquaintances

Lying awake
In restless absence
Scrapping for a fight
To make-up our differences
Rolling you in my fingers

Inhaling your venom
Absorbing the rendition
Of your assertions
The contrast of the pure,
And the burning, and the ash;

The multicolored tapestry
Of who I am now,
Where I came from,
And who I used to be,
Or be worth.

Burning in my lungs
Like a fuse.


To the Third Pedigree

I’ve seen a certain hubris
An idolatry of valuation,
The sacred kept on a short chain
Of tradition and education
Who, upon passing an orphan
In oversized church attire,
Pats the beggarly head
With stature rising ever higher,
Dismisses the ruffian with a kind word
And the double-edged demand
(The child is easily banished,
As he is citizen to no land.)

This walking hubris turns
Fingers to the golden chain,
Pleased with the service he renders
To the sons who may remain
He condescends and reiterates,
Proud of his behavior,
But at the true center of his sanctuary
You will not find a Savior.


Surprise Snow

I’ve read the freshly fallen snow
Frosts the world as a wedding cake,
Smooth and crisp, sweet to know 
The world in pure and pristine flake
Yet my children don their war attire 
And carve out channels fit to pass
They chop and dig, stacking ever higher
All the snow they may amass
With buckets leftover from sandy days
They shape their castle walls
Pouring their work into their play
Grappling and clambering, their falls
Are buried in the foundation
Of the spectacles they build
The feats of effort and imagination
A marriage of fantasy and will.

If I should have to choose between
Untouched snow or their forged civilizations,
I’m forever grateful I have seen
All their passing, perfect creations-

Their evanescent ecosystems
Of icy delights.


All Aboard

My life has crossed a vast terrain,
A train through many foreign stations
And very little still remains
From the dawn of my creation
That world has aged and passed away
While the train increased in speed 
I have more now than I ever hoped, 
But remember my basic needs
When my journey began in lilting motions
As I waited for it to end
And all I had, all that stays the same,
Was some paper and a pen,

And my Eternal Friend. 


Free Time

These bizarre days crawl
Like a fat mosquito
Stalled between the humidity
And his next meal
While I slap at the place
He used to drink.

Sweat beads and races
Like a townhall turned
Into an angry mob
Running with no sense
But urgency
And I scratch the itch.

The sun sets.
Wind gusts around me
From the broad face of the sea,
It’s a cool comfort
To be still,
And to borrow the motion

Of a thousand year-old wind.


Unbroken Song

I want to sing a new song
As this moment demands-
As a family, the Church,
A citizen in this foreign land
I want to stand for
All that’s good and true.
Seeing these strands unravel,
The former days now through,
Leaves much to be woven
Into the fabric of our age
No commonalities in our common ground
Soft answers shall sing through the rage
A brand new song.

Our God is good and true.
He establishes and directs our steps.
Forced to choose, we renounce
The dalliances which crept
Into our work, our worship,
Our endless days at play
His patience built skills into us
Preparing us for this day.
He will lead us to stand, to march, to sing
Through and against the railing night
Perfecting, confirming, strengthening, establishing,
He will set our course aright
The Almighty God of Truth.


Quintessence of Dust

Our first fetal cry
Is not for understanding,
Nor accomplishment
In desperate strains demanding
Comfort, security, nourishment,
Until we may stand on solid feet
Shoulders to heaven
Walking the paved street
Of history in steady gait,
Taming the wild fields
Of the unknown future
Our fetal wails must yield
To the corridor of humanity
Briefly in scream, or song,
Or shout, or silence,
In cold isolation or dense throng-
We insist we must be heard
In this, our briefest eruption of time
Our pulse as our metronome
Wonderment in immense design
First steps beyond the bassinet
Our voices harmonize
With all the souls engaged before
In this momentous enterprise
Striving with all to mitigate
Our autonomy and our vassalage
The struggle, the sorrow, the song:
Our greatest irony and privilege

The complexity of our passage;
The simplicity of our cries.