Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5

In eleven months
we could have joy soon and find
the keys to our locks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4.

This is my wish today:
you, forever.

And if they take that away,
it will get better

for I will follow you
(I'll find you,
chase you,
until my fingers
slip between yours
from behind you)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 3


It's like summer
when I have no feeling of spring.

Awake; resolved;
the promise.

Months will pass
and soon we will be
past today.

How slow.
How fast.

Warmth's fingers melt
into my face.

Come soon.
Come soon.

April 2

Can I sit with you
and know I just sit with you?
Just that stirs passion.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1

I don't always choose words.
Over me, they hang
suspended, bouncing
on light, light string.

I catch them like spiders
on threaded webs,
carrying them, wisp and air,
floating past the dust mites
of my over-crowded mind.

I discard some,
and shudder
at their spidery-ness.
I shy from their unloveliness
and skittering shape and size.

Some words are uncomely;
eight-legged and untimely.
(Not all words are poetry.)

But some are fireflies.

April 1, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Frederick on St. Patrick's Day

I keep watching humanity.

I know.

It's usually seen as awful, and messy,

and absolutely confusing.

I usually walk around town with an eye that sees degeneration,

lewdness, and an inherent sense of vulgarity.

And you would think today,

St. Patrick's Day, with its excuses for insatiable beer-lust

and enticing invitations for bawdy, common intoxication would

stir up the indignant prude within me.

Granted, as I walked toward downtown, the awful green shirts

with their fake bow ties and shiny plastic green beads became more

and more unbearable,

and the very volume of harsh, blatant voices

or gutsy laughs and guffaws at comments like,

"You need to tell us where you left the car, in case you can't remember after this!"

definitely grated against the calm, collected soul inside myself.

But before I reached the materialistic, base groupings of humanity

gathered for their personal pleasures and shameless inebration,

there was a sense I had.

I can't seem to voice it without sounding mystic,

but even as I walked through the people,

my moral core flexing against the jeering thrusts of carnality,

I could feel the intense fragility of their lives.

The historic district has a quiet about it,

something I relate to, like my old soul can feel the history,

the genteel propriety, and sighs in a comfortable relief.

I'm not fooled to think that everyone in such lovely houses

as are lovely as the artifices themselves.

But I tend to imagine it's so, and even as I passed an open door,

loud laughter pumping out of those old wooden casements,

I heard that people were alive.

They were probably drunk, or getting there,

and for that, I was sorry. Not because I thought the alcohol was

a poison to them, but because they found it their reason for joy.

The loud voices of the people on the street kept yelling into me,

pulsing into me,

"I'm trying to prove myself! I'm trying to prove I'm fun! I'm trying!

I'm trying to be someone! I'm trying to forget! I'm trying!"

I'm sitting at the park, watching lovely trees softly lean against the air,

hearing children squealing and dogs barking,

watching people run, and bike, and play football uproariously on the grass.

These people are alive.

I know it's not profound, but. . . it is. Because I don't think they really know it.

Because, even as much as they breathe, and move their limbs,

and flirt, and fall against each other, and scrape their knees,

and drink until their bodies vomit, and yell at each other, and march along

in their sweat suits, and Leprechaun hats, and business suits;

for as much as they beat their bodies in exercise,

or drink themselves out of their sorrows,

or walk their babies in pretty little strollers, and trot along with their

toddlers in their little sneakers and tiaras;

for as much as they live, they do not. And for as much as they do,

they don't realize it.

I feel the pulse of living inside of me: a God-given fibre that generates

a tremor that hums beneath the surface of this humanity.

There's a Life-breath, breathing, breathing, breathing. . .

It shakes up the stolid, unmoving, hardened clay of frozen minds

and tips the warmth of Knowing, and purpose, and desire into

the soul until it seeps into the cracks and corners of thought,

and flesh, and want, and heart.

I'm an outsider looking in.

They keep looking at me. I can feel it. I smile, or don't give eye contact,

but they look. The children especially. They look up at me as if they know something,

or are drawn to something, as if they are closer to knowing what I know than anyone.

I hold secrets they don't know. I know the Mystery.

A group of young boys walked by, maybe ten of them,

and the one-- a tall, chubby, oversized boy-- took the time to slow down as he passed

and very politely say, "It's a nice day, isn't it?"

I smiled and said it is.

One ten-year-old boy out of millions,

but there was that spark.

He knew something of kindness, and goodness, and what it is to exchange

life for life, from person to person.

The air is getting colder; the willow is brightening greener

and the bell tower is chiming the half hour.

I'm cold, but I'm unable to move, poised on the top of this sensation.

I am a Seer. Not in the strangeness of psychic mediums,

but I'm the reality of Knowing-- with the Spirit of God inside that whispers,

coaxes, and opens my eager eyes that I may see.

I peer into Life and it peers back at me. It's as if the Earth,

as if the Life-breath inside creation and humanity, winks and smiles at me

as if to say, "You recognize me, don't you?"

It's as if God smiles to see me seeing Him inside what He has made.

I see Him.

I see Him, and I know Him, and I crave Him more and more

with every taste of life that I get into my being.

I see Him in these people-- I see where He is not,

the absence and the emptiness,

the utter worthlessness of their plight outside of His strength.

The boy in the green shirt came back.

He stopped to talk and ask me what I'm doing.

I told him, "I'm writing."

He asked, "What are you writing about?"

I replied, "I"m writing about the day. What it is to be here,

to walk downtown, to see the park; what I'm thinking

and feeling."

His face pulled strangely as if he'd never heard of such a thing.

I asked him, smiling, "Do you ever write?"

He shook his head quickly, "No."

He asked me how old I am, if I was in college or high school.

I replied, "I'm out of school, actually."

He looked a little unsure.

I asked him how old he is. He replied, "I'm thirteen."

I was surprised. Here I thought he was ten.

I suppose we both surprised each other.

He quickly moved away and I was smiling,

only to hear four loud-mouthed boys ask him as they biked by,

"So, what did she say?"

He mumbled something quickly and they started laughing,

yelling back at him, "Thanks, man!" as they pedaled away.

He'd been set up by older, 'cooler' guys.

He had been used to try to be cool by vulgar little brats

who wanted to know more about the lady sitting on the park bench

typing away.

I'm sure they felt stupid for getting information about a woman

twice their age, but nonetheless,

I was struck.

Even the one lovely moment I had ended up tainted,

the politeness a cover for some dumb, childish, man-boy intentions.

So this is humanity, even its children.

This is what we raise.

And they keep on going and going

without knowing.

Yet I feel the Life-breath breathing.

They just need to come to Life.

March 17, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Night Dining.

Please walk out of the restaurant
one by one
and let him clean the tables early.
Please button up your coat
and take your bag,
pay your check
and take the steps
and let him run out of things to do.
(I miss him while he works for you.)

February 25, 2011

Small Talk.

The talk is so small.
Now I understand why it's called that.
So. Very. Small.

Can no one say anything worth saying?
Can no one open up
and pull out tangible things,
real things,
things that stir up something
more than drunk nights
and favourite spas?

People wine and dine
and talk like they're brushing past
a rack of clothes in a department store.
They feel the fabric,
checking how much they would have to pay
to get what they want--
is it cheap?
Will I like it once I take it home?

She giggles
and drinks her coffee,
one size smaller than his.
She's trying.
Attempting at petite;
She leans,
brushing her hair out of her face,
touching her face,
wanting this more than he does.

He sits back,
telling stories he doesn't care about,
talking with his hands,
scratching his face,
gripping his own leg
with his uncomfortable hand.
He doesn't care.

Their words speak small talk,
their brains calculate.
They'll get up to leave.
It's a Friday night.
They're middle-aged.
She'll keep giggling.
He'll keep artificially grinning.
They'll go to her place,
and then
they'll fall in love

with someone
nine people
from now.

February 25, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


The stars come out of their graves for You.
(I do too.)
Their white hot fire and my heart suffuse.
(It's all for You.)

Hot coals fire
where the diamonds blush,
treasures come up from
even in the rough.
A bloom in the ash
and a tombstone cracks;
a grave yawns wide for the men on their backs.
All that death could once control
falls away from my vibrating soul.

Dead at best, You knew she slept.
With nothing left, You called her back.

awake into the Light.

When Heaven battles,
when old bones rise,
when Mercy walks among us
with fire in His eyes--
as the Earth has groaned
so the Earth will sigh,
as its old graves tremble
and its dry wells cry--

He'll walk between graves with the walking dead
with Lazarus hearts that got up when He said. . .

awake into the Light.

His feet will walk on Earth again
as I hear her say,
"I remember Him.
It's been so long
since You've been gone.
I remember way back when;
I remember Him."

Oh, grave where is your sting?
Oh, death where is your victory?

awake into the Light.

February 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Give me the strength to resist the day;
virtue to grapple the perilous plight
of the fallen, disasters, and scorching melee
disillusioned in wastelands and blinded in night.

Leave me Your vision, returned by the light;
Heaven to help me incline toward the stay
of Your stronghold withstanding the force of my flight
and Your grounding ensuring I won't lose my way.

Serve me the means with which I can resolve
to find myself sated by every good thing;
convinced and invaded by Fullness and All,
left ruined to hungry things You did not bring.

Build me with knowledge's sure-holding beam,
giving my heart stone to footing and wall,
set against windscape and rain's biting sting,
stalwart and fiercesome to stand for Your call.

February 8, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

you wrote yourself upon my life.

I will sit here and try to think
of words for you.
And if I don't succeed today,
I will try again tomorrow.

February 1, 2011
. . .

I'll write of you, if I dare,
I will write in words that I can find,
if I can find,
if I can spy,
and when I do, I'll pen them quick
and kiss them well,
for they have been elusive things.

It is a lifetime's endeavour,
specific, and poignant, and ageless.
Words too large would drown you.
Words too small mightn't suffice,
but it's the littlest words that fit into these spaces
(the delicate, trembling,
secrets places)
I have for you.

So I will search them out,
on road signs,
and in library books;
on billboards,
and pages of Scripture;
on advertisements,
and in mindless files,
and in root words,
and prefixes,
and grammatical text.

I will look for your words
in lyrics,
and in postscripts,
and in old shoeboxes;
on discarded magazine piles,
on the backs of poets' receipts;
I'll trace out the stars
and connect the dots;
I'll tip my head and squint my eyes
to find you script
in paintings
and architecture
and antique tablature.

I'll listen for you
in childish prattle on the playground,
in my own head's recitations;
in quotation,
in poems,
in lexical lists I've filed in notebooks
on my dusty shelves.
I will sit inside myself, hours and hours,
I will sit and contrive;
I shall will my mind to dream up terms
and luscious phrase that can compare
to your face,
to our lifetime,
and to this breathlessness.

And if I cannot find you words, my love;
if I burn out this candle and cannot find
a second wind
and all the life inside of my exhales
until the flame is snuffed
and I,
like a tiny film of ephemeral smoke,
wisp into the air with my last breath--
if then I cannot find you language, love,
then know
I wrote you sonnets inside myself
on love, and awe, and silence.

February 1, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


It was the quietest thought I have ever had,
tip-toed around the yelling ones;

the ones that spit, "Who, you?"
with spiteful tongues
tipped in doubtful poison.

The storefront windows jeered at me,
telling me they're on my mirror's side.
The dark smear they left, smirking,
"You can't help but look at yourself. . .
now, aren't you disappointed?"

There was the embarrassed blush
when someone comments,
"You sure do take a lot of pictures
of yourself,"
all the while, knowing I didn't take pictures
because I think I'm beautiful,
but because I was desperate to prove to myself
that maybe I could be.

The tags on the inside of my clothes
burned numbers into my brain,
telling me even single digits are of
the greatest numerical value,
and I winced as I'd rip them off
to get rid of their weight
only to find the scales were playing
the same game.

I got up in the early morning
to paint my face on,
layering and layering and layering;
the mask that stared back at me
coyly smiled to say,
"It's me they love."

But outside of all that screaming,
there was that voice.
It was small, and still,
and it made me pay attention,

because there were two eyes
that didn't see straight through me,
or past me,
or see nice things "in spite of. . ."

Those two eyes teared up
to hear me admit what I'd been listening to
in all those leering comments
and ideas
and opinions locked inside my head.

Those eyes spoke silently,
of kisses and good sight and prayers:
he said that I was misled,
appalled that I could think that all
those cruel things could be true.

I still couldn't believe.

And then he stood me in front of the mirror,
his eyes full, and brimming with words
he couldn't even say.
So he didn't say a thing.

He just looked at me in front of that lying
piece of glass,
past the make-up and inches
and my form and waist.
His hands on my hips,
his eyes on mine,

the lovely whisper sighed,

"My mirror can't compare to his eyes.
Maybe I shouldn't believe mine."

I blinked,
and though I didn't see anything different,
the liars went silent.
Those eyes almost cried,
and Beauty smiled.