Category Archives: Passion

The Defense Rests

I stood before you
Pleading my case into the offended silence
Assuming no able mediator
Would intervene in the violence,
The waste, the butchery,
And the endless consumption
Framing my identity and
Crippling my function
But the unthinkable happened, as I unraveled
Spilling confession where I noxiously sinned
The Judge handed me the very same gavel
With which I should have been condemned-
Mine to beat upon you, and the past,
To damn, or to set down free.
On it, engravings of our trespasses:
Killing you was killing me
And how deeply I considered it
With no one left to save-
Allowing my embitterment
To seal our ashes together in the grave
But what would be left behind
If I razed our souls to damnation?
We would both produce in like kind
The offspring of condemnation.
And the Great Judge pointed to a battered face
Hanging bloodied on an unearned cross
His wheezing body dripping grace
On the gnashing teeth of the lost.
I set the gavel down.
Where is the path forward?
What kind of future can be found,
Or excavated, or forged
After all these crimes between us?
My demon is my brother is my priest
And it is treasonous
To refuse your release.

So I release you,
But not to freedom.

We, neither of us, move autonomously
Outside the constraints of our pardons
We must not live dishonestly,
Sowing what separates and hardens
But pursue good, each for the other.
I sought you once, for help getting me through
The tragedies in each collision of breath
But you instead became the catalyst that got me to
A reality higher than death
And I am grateful for your diversion,
Your oppression and extortion,
Because in your exclusion and aspersions
I found that, in Him, I am more than

A Conqueror,
And so are you.

We are blood, and able to stop shedding it
Putting down the blades of our desires and expectations,
What we’ve been revering or regretting
Before cutting into the next generation
The same slavers’ irons
That have clapped us both in chains
Don’t you likewise yearn
For freedom to change?
And you are free
From the past, from your sins
I release you;
Go and make your amends
By sinning no more
Become the man you were created to be:
Serve the least, stand for
We who cannot be heard, the weak
Lost under the grumbles.
Walk in bare feet, be true:
Stand in honesty, humbled,
And I will stand for you.

A companion piece to:

Well Wandered

If I’d packed my bags then
During those first steps into the rain
How heavy-laden I might have been
To hold anything but love and pain
In these two, fragile hands

Only capable of carrying
What fits inside a coffin, or a womb,
A thing to bear, or to bury
One to produce- one to consume-
On either side of standing.

All those years, the quiet dignity
Growing in adverse conditions
Our roving anonymity
Void of live ammunition-
Defenseless but for invisibility

My identity I had only sworn
To deceased associations
I wandered, well-worn
With You as my nation;
My allegiance pledged in motility.

And my Nation wanders still
To the roadless places,
The empty hands, unfilled
But heavy with the graces
Carried to the last generation:

Shall I again pledge allegiance
To my well-wandered nation?

30 to Life

Skipping shells
Like vagrant towns
Carrying homelessness
On my back
Sleeping in it
Slipping into tidal pools
To stay out of the rain
All my epiphanies
pounded free
from the firm wet sand
below the strandline
twisting in convolutions
revolving again
back out to sea
to tangle in the murky depths
of my hypocrisy

Pitter Patter

Tender rain falling
recalling wispy remembrances
Walking slowly into it unprotected
gray like our forgotten corner dances
cloudy like lost conversations
in strange, unlikely places
Cold like the corners of your mouth
when you say something tasteless

Tumbling walls of the dead
pooling in the streets
I splash through their loss
with forgetful feet
but they gather in rivulets
babbling in whispers
and I’m numb to forget
the secret, fervent vespers

Muted veil across the earth
and sky, neither light nor dark
diverts from bringing the past
to the high watermark
these rainy days halt our time,
and I again take a trip
to chasing butterflies in the open sun
while you licked your lips

I know you, always I will,
when gray insulates
with finger to mouth
hushing the disconsolate
Whether we’re both dead
walking through our phantom lands
and I never see you again in flesh
I am marked where I stand

and knowing you is part of who I am.

Perseverance of the Faint

I get these moments…
When the world seems cold
Shoulders and toes
And I belong
Nowhere with no one:
Old like
I’ve overstayed
The slightest welcome
And I see the back door…

And I think,
“No one would miss me
If I stepped out now.”

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.