This flesh that rips like paper,
And weeps at every fold,
Incapable of withstanding
The fire or the cold.
My stone fist,
Fossilizing life and days,
Poverty and wealth
And my every wicked display.
On broken legs,
I offer the wrist to chain,
To live, to live a slave,
To die if You ordain.
I raise the white flag
Over my fortress You’ve laid siege;
I surrender all,
All my Lord, to thee.
These are Godless times.
We write Him out of His own history,
Condemn Him for our crimes
And celebrate His mystery
As our innovation.
We are a Godless people
Who do not work the field,
But eat our bellies full
Of everything that appeals
To our wandering wisdoms
Because I’m afflicted by
My own dark thoughts,
And words, and heart
Walking circles again
Tracing my doubts,
But never without You
My God and companion.
I can’t fathom how
You hold on when I sell out,
Fall in my canyon,
And forget again-
You are on my side
Even when I offend.
As my friend said,
Just because I can’t see You directing,
Doesn’t mean You aren’t protecting.
Forgive my detestable behavior.
I’m pleading with You to perfect me,
To be my perfect
Palpable shame demands a distraction
Same old reactions, and inaction allows
The ember to sear into flesh,
Toss it around to remember it less,
To arouse less suspicion
Or delay the imposition of conscience
And whatever legal terms apply.
A nonsense-binge denies the evident,
But hinges on turning a blind-eye
To the relevant and essential.
An element of dismissal
In the realm of consequential.
There was a time when you were near,
And our tender years unsung
All my love was in my heart,
But never on my tongue
And shadows fell on quiet thoughts
Before our years were wrung.
Many times my blood’s been hot
Deafening in my ear,
I spoke the things I never ought,
And you never ought to hear
And distance wrapped its scaly tail
Around my words severe.
Regret is grown from planted seeds,
And blooms on either side
The stream of man’s timeline
His cowardice and pride
Fertilizes his fruitful ground
Reaping woe betide
And who can say what yields more dread
The gush of malice spoken
Or the love that’s left unsaid?
Waves of faithful
washing over my faithless,
When I despair
as one who is graceless,
and fear falls baseless.
I know again, it will be okay,
for even if I cease,
Your love continues on
to uphold in perfect peace
where my love stumbles lame,
a slave to consternation and caprice.
I stare beyond civility with closed eyes
Because the dancing flickers of light wound them
I chase you free through sticky grass fields
The air is clean and does not yet burn my chest
We run to where the storm loomed
I see you kneel;
This is the moment I learned your secret.
And I return after you have gone to
Wander through the smell of rain on hyacinth
Slowly, now my lungs are wrong and the air’s so thick,
But I find your abandoned crevice of hidden treasures
And now I kneel.
The sun is gone adventuring when I get home
My sweater is shrunk and stuck to my skin
I’m in bed three days with fever and sweat and dreams
Sitting on my chest and taunting me,
But I have been out to see you again
At the place I know you will always be.
I’ve mistaken His forbearance for forgiveness,
His patience for permission,
My obeisance for obedience,
My subtlety for submission.