Tag Archives: humanity

Diverted by Beauty

We march, shoulder to shoulder,
In a column down the road
Densely packed together,
Those behind us take the goad
I strain to make my way
Through the crowd, to see
The final destination
We pursue in step proudly,
But only elbows, shoulders,
The backs of many heads:
And everyone is leading,
And everyone is led.
The left leads with their left foot
The right leads with their right
As I tumble, tossed between them
For my way to walk upright
I stumble once, a hip
Collides into my side,
I find the ground beneath my palms,
Then catch a knee in stride
Foot by foot, I’m pressed
Now my back, my neck, my hand
As I scratch and claw sideways
Out to higher land
Aside the moving crowd
I recline on the foot of a grassy bank
I catch my breath. I see the sky.
I lift my quiet thanks.
The throngs continue moving
Humming as they go,
Some homogeneous buzz:
A million tunes that no one knows.
The sky above looks gray,
But along the horizon view
It spreads to fill the space
Pink blooming to vibrant blue.
I lift my head, and standing alone
At the peak of my grassy slope
I’m caught unaware by a flower
Piercing with sudden hope
A nameless hope, shapeless,
Stirring my stagnant depths
Now I’m crawling and fumbling,
Too bent low to take real steps.
As I crest the hill, splendor
Bathes me in golden light
Fields of flowers spread
Out to the farthest sight
And rocky mountains carve the air,
A crystal lake reflects the sun
People break off from the group
Slowly, one by one,
I stand to resume the migration,
Ambling beside the troupe
Neither independent,
Nor one within the group,
But all my steps ascend the hill
Gravitating to beauty
Devotion meets affection;
Loyalty finds its duty.
Somehow a nation is formed
In steps between the two;
The solid mass of man,
And the beatific view.


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.


It May Be

Maybe we belong
because we’re here
but we’ve linked belonging
to some intangible nostalgia,
some forgotten garden aroma
of “home”
Souls wafting similar fragrance
take the wandering vagrants
by the nose.
Those who’ve said farewell,
whose Home has retired
to either heaven or hell,
transplant their definition
beyond the earthly conditions.
Everyone feels like they’re hurting,
or working, or searching
for a place they belong-
some fantasy of found-family:
Maybe it’s all wrong.
Maybe present is accounted for,
and there’s nothing deeper to be found
than sharing the same ground,
in the same days.

Maybe we belong wherever we are,
just as much as the next dumb soul.
Maybe the concept of home, or love, or whole
merely reduces into shared ideals
when everything deconstructs
into parts we juggle.

Maybe I got stuck, and struggle
to see what’s real.


Pride of Men

Immortal souls traveling
In decaying flesh,
Breaking us down, taking us down
To an inevitable grave
No force may save from
Final goodbyes: weak or strong
We all die
We seek the long delay
Trading moments for days,
Breaths to barter or borrow
But the pride of life
Is toil and sorrow.


Complexity and Complicity

Forgive me my ancient remedy,
My overthinking, my overwringing
Each moment into a cacophony
Of strained, offkey singing

When I feel overwrought.

You gifted me to look inside,
And underneath, and from afar
A gift to see conclusions implied,
To guide my wandering star

By unknown charts and graphs.

Your gifts preserved me
I’m thinking on them oft again-
My years now stretch to eight and thirty:
You discipled me in lone places when

I wasted so much trying to join a club.

Disciple me again in this foreign land
I use this overthinking
To try to understand
When my engagement started sinking

Into the deep barrier of me:

To find the ladder back out-
I can feel another cistern
Of grief, and anger, and doubt
And I know I must return

To the spot, to break open the earth

I want to be angry,
Because I know if it’s not true
I enslaved myself to agree,
To believe them over You

And there’s nothing left but to repent-

Which I know I will do,
But I thought they held the keys-
They didn’t permit me pass through-
And now could it be

It only mattered who held the Truth?

It only mattered who the Truth held?


The Thief

Did he steal heaven too?
Hanging there, despised,
Hearing words his equal spewed,
His wounded gut felt the lies-
Fear God! Is it not clear
Who owes, and who gives?
Death is raging ever nearer;
Despair is wrenching as he lives
But he has seen a glimpse,
And hopes enough to beg-
His hobbled life limps
To the end of broken legs,
And he cries out, “Remember,”
In one desperate act of faith,
“Remember me!” as slumber
Slices through his days
And in the closed fist
And throes of agony,
Hanging by the wrist:
He met the Prince of Peace

How his heaviest, darkest hour
Must have also been his brightest.
In the suffering grip of evil powers,
He finds his weightless rest

The Light overcomes the darkness:
His worst hour becomes his best.


Rapha

A morning lingering into day,
In waking, walking paralysis
Our finer natures overlaid
By an interlocking antithesis.
Waiting with breath abated
For any signal to divine
If affection is reinstated,
If value is reassigned.
Late afternoon I went to work
For You, to finish what I started
Not for favor, or fear of shirking,
But because the work is imparted
And I had the time to do it.
When I left, You began to speak
My fears are falsity-conduits:
I’m only in trouble if You are weak.
Then You reminded me
I’ve been gifted unspeakable devotion
A God who desires, who seeks,
Who set time in motion
To rescue me, to hold me close.
Your love rained on me all afternoon,
I saw You greater than the foe,
And somehow I’ve been hewn
In Your image,
Which is anything but hollow.
You alone set me to pilgrimage,
And equipped me thus to follow.

I began the day waiting to forget,
These frailties fading into embers,
But You reminded me You’re not done yet,
And what I need most is to remember.