What is the substance of a soul
That it may groan and crack
Like the hull of a ship
Squeezed by heavy stacks,
Exposure wreaking corrosion
Throughout what once stood intact.
What comprises a soul’s DNA?
That it remain pliable under grief,
Capable of being wrung repeatedly
Shaken in its basic self-beliefs,
Bruised like the hopeful face
Full-moon smiling with no relief
Under the blow by blow.
What is the substance of soul,
And what good would it be to know?
My fear for 303:
No achievable speed of repair
Can outrun the dilapidation
We’re alone there
But for God’s ministration.
My fear for me:
About the same.
I sometimes wonder
At human affection:
A gap in proximity,
A few steps in the other direction,
And we all fall silent.
Where there is some mutual benefit,
Some stake in the ground,
But who lifts up the useless?
This isn’t a poem.
It’s barely a prayer,
My soul is wrenched
By desperate despair
Railing against my huddled joy
Smiling between blows,
Because between black and blue,
She knows, she always knows,
Morning breaks new.
Be my sustainer,
Through exhausted nights
When my anarchic flesh
Wakes me with bites
Of breakdowns and threats
Sustain my flight
From birth to endless praise.
Take my family in Your hands
Like You have all our days
In Your stalwart tenderness
Protect us and renew our ways
To serve You as we enjoy
Lifting ever purer praise-
As You move, we are able.
Forgive the stubborn sins
You died to forgive
Before we relented, before
We cried out to live:
After You reached into my chest
Squeezing the stone impassive,
Transforming it into a beating thing.
And the attacks land
On this buffeted body
But I rejoice I can still crawl
Our family suffers the volley,
But we remain Godly,
Because You are God of all,
And we are Yours.
Wrap us in the tenderest provision.
It isn’t in some hidden crevice,
Some dark corner outside Your realm,
That I process out the gathered sludge
Of moments overwhelmed
To see Your heart instead.
You are capable beyond comprehension:
As I refer to human abilities
To connect the pieces in cohesion,
Our intricately imbalanced fragilities;
We don’t know true comprehension.
We know You are capable beyond
To weave redemption, reconciliation,
Shocking our concrete sensibilities,
Our most fanciful imaginations,
Into humble adoration.
I don’t know
If through this heated furnace
You’ll deliver mightily,
Or if the day displays in earnest
Another shade of Your glory.
But I do know
He who Is, is able to command,
And every moment that follows
Flows from the same Hands
That formed man,
And was pierced for the same;
The Hands that will come again to reign.
Foundations measured oft and laid
With painstaking care in precise order
Even lines and distributed weight-
A cement marriage, balanced daughters,
But the brick rubble of the prior structure
Heaps into my mountain view
The sense of constant deconstruction
Urging me to build anew
Yet these bricks will just as likely crumble
I cannot build to former glories,
And each brick inside my simple hovel
Has seen a more magnificent story.
And I look for those who wear their gloves
Who understand what bricks may mean,
The perishing beauty in single pieces of
Antique constructions now unseen.
Some days I go out alone
To sit among bricks of disordered decay
Listening to palacial whispers
From fallen yesterdays.