Calm before storm, softly lit trees in dim living rooms
Like tombs of years gone before but passed, too fast to grab hold,
Scraping off the mold, like flakes of gold left behind by memories stored longterm
Knocking back the worm you’ve finished the glass waiting to be poured,
Ignored by others, your sisters and brothers but left behind for you to wait, to contemplate,
To exist in a state of mind promising not to bind you to what was, and less thrilled by what is
But this – moment that points to what will be. As still framed artwork from empty hotel tells you
This is the same in every room, every womb that carries expectant moments of hope
For those facing end of rope, for those with unpaid bills, unclimbed hills, or scars from falling down
Look around and find you’re not alone, not abandoned to roam as sea foam washed up on
Empty beaches, previously filled, children laughing at will, sun spilling through the shade of clouds
Too weak to intervene – and somewhere in this scene, you recognize the obscene thing
Is not to have hope, to try to cope, nor is it offensive to be burdened or feel uncertain,
behind the curtain, to to be hurting or elated, you are not fated to endure these moments solo,
To know there are plenty just outside, waiting for curtains thrown wide in invitation
Just waiting for relation’s sails to unfold, ship catching old winds
and launching into waters, departed to places uncharted but together, weathering whatever.
If only all would sever the binds toward such endeavors, instead of cleverly arranging
mortar and brick, in order to trick others into staying just outside their reach, impeaching friendship as a sail not worthy of raising, tasing those who try with shock waves of pride and cold shoulders, boulders way too heavy to entertain, strained to points of breaking simply by taking the chance on the uncertain, and trying to know the you behind the curtain.
So rise up from your position, wishing to be known but sitting on a throne surrounded by carefully crafted kingdom of silence and control, take a stroll through the eyes of someone who wants to know The ways you grow, so show the extro-version, the side you’ve tried to hide,
slide back the door, or at least trade brick for fabric,
A trick which allows you privacy but still parts the way
When seasons sway you toward a day where all seems lost, and cost seems too high
Hope embossed on invitations sent to everyone but you, to do that thing that seems with ease,
Locking your knees, pretending all is fine on center stage,
but with age those dog-eared pages of behavior lose their truth
The proof discovered on the shoulders of others you’ve allowed behind the curtain
I knowing thou, world seeing just how there might be hope for them as well
As swells of hope the waves crashing on shores around, surrounding and flooding
Where you live, the best gifts to give come unwrapped and ready, a steady flow
Of willingness to know and be known, your light shone and self shown
Pulling back covers, recognizing sisters and brothers where previously called “others”,
Remember that knowing a name is not the same as knowing person,
Clicking like is not making a connection, on deeper inspection we find souls thirsty
To interact, to shed the laugh tracks of hundreds to hear one genuine response,
And you – can be a first responder, the first to ponder,
On the scene, showing just what it means to be less obscene in our culture of obscenity,
To not accept the serenity of status quo, simply adding to the flow of what it means to know.
Pull back the curtain, but first your own, letting it be known, we are all wizards on tender thrones
Groaning beneath the weight of creating an image we know can easily shatter
So do something that matters, unfolding sails meant for winds of change,
No matter how strange it may seem, engines filled with steam gleam with polished potential
Powers elemental to our being, much more freeing than scrolling down with feigned elation,
Soften your heart, and set sail your ship to true relation.
Posts Tagged ‘poetry’
Calm before storm, softly lit trees in dim living rooms
As we walk forward, toward the unknown we begin to roam in new altitudes,
and attitudes mixed with platitudes have begun to make it hard to breathe
the hot air just a little too thin, sunlight begins to dim and I realize
I’m in flip flops stopped at the bottom rock looking at the top of a mountain I’m unprepared to climb.
And I’m here today to say, I think that’s okay.
Because this is Mount Political Climate.
You may have noticed a slight decrease in temperature because it’s cold
A system way too old for anyone to question, we’ve steam-rolled the bold ways of discovery
And fell deep into the well of “this is how it’s been done”, and the sun continued to rise
so our decision must be wise. We disguise the misguided attempts at others to deconstruct
Those who might call it corrupt, because they’re simply outsiders, underperformers,
Unprepared misfits who couldn’t handle the climb
But it’s time those of us not clinging to the ledges to look up
And realize what we seek, might just not be the peak
Of Mount Political Climate. Refuse to Climb it. Walk Around.
The sounds should astound us at first, like a thirst that’s unquenchable
Things unmentionable aired out for public consumption, because that shows gumption
Whatever that is.
And the fad is growing to start showing your opponents weaknesses before they get a chance
To show you with your pants down. The town meeting ignores the fact that
you’re running to be a leader,
Because deep down, they’d rather be amused.
A in the negative, Muse meaning to think, we are a people not thinking
While our patterns go on stinking and bringing about change in ways
we never would’ve chosen On purpose
Getting nervous as we’ve only scratched the surface
The fact is, we deserve this type of leadership, because it’s only a megacosm
Of the micro we live every day
As we live to get paid, and sway situations to shine the sun on our day
I wanna get mine and protect it, and keep others out so they can’t infect it, but don’t try to inspect it,
because – like I told you, it’s mine.
My Mountain of Political Climate. Refuse to Climb it. Walk Around.
And so we’ve found that sounding an alarm might just do some good
And it could shake you and I away from what would, toward what should happen, as we’re mapping new routes
As we refuse to climb the foodholds set before us, though others may ignore us, or abhore us,
Our voices join in one chorus,
That healing won’t come by name calling, health is not built by a wall, and one sure way for us all to fall is to try and stand so tall everyone else seems small.
The ball is in our courts, to call our courts to once again view the human in their being.
To start seeing names instead of numbers, to welcome new comers to the table, and perhaps rising above all political noise, is the silent necessity of, Love.
The hidden wealth of nations is not found in vaults, or in banks.
That Power is not found in muscles, missiles and tanks.
That Happiness not found in tickets to Disney and apple pie.
We must go beyond a simple cry for change, and embody what we hope
Facing the ends of our rope, we come together, tethered to something greater than ourselves
Dusting off the shelves of a room we knew well when we were young
Before we became so high strung, and the songs we sung were a lot more inspiring
Not conspiring for one to rise, but to ignore such lies and seek the good of all.
Because, humanity, united we stand, and divided we will fall.
But it’s a Mountain, this Political Climate. Refuse to Climb It. Walk Around.
There once was a church in a place far away
They were proud as they entered the church every day
Every time the doors opened, they’d fill up the pews
And when burning bush talked, they’d remove their shoes.
They shook hands with love, and greeted each other,
When having a meal, invited one another
They’d pray for the people, who never came in
They’d pray for their budgets when wallets seemed thin
This lovely old church found so far from here
Their singing of songs was lovely to hear
Always on tune, and always on key
They were often mistaken for those who sang professionally.
One day in this church, found so far from here
A young man came around, who’s purpose wasn’t quite clear
He sat when they stood, making some of them nervous
Just what was he hiding, beneath the surface?
A task force was formed, to follow the lad
To observe his actions, and judge good or bad
They listened and watched, and saw what they thought
He cussed and he drank, he stole and he fought
This task force reported, next gathering time
Something had to be done, this was crossing the line
A decision was made, to proclaim with some flair
The next time the young man attended for prayer.
The scene was all set, and parishioners waited
As the young man approached , the moment seemed baited
The line had been cast, and the hook was quite clear
But they hadn’t expected just what they might hear.
Their pastor began, “Lord thanks for revealing,
The ignorant ways of those who are stealing,
Those who are drinking, and those who do curse
Are like crumbs at the bottom of a grandmothers’ purse.”
“Thank you that we are not like those without,
without reason to live, so much reason to doubt,
They think they are happy, they think they are fine,
They think they can see, but are completely blind.”
“So God we are thankful, we aren’t like those people
The one’s who have never even been under a steeple
They don’t know the words to each chorus we sing
They don’t know your Word, Lord they don’t know a thing.”
“Thank you for making us so good and wise,
We invite you to look on us with both of your eyes,
To see the incredible things that we’ve done,
To honor your ways, and to worship your son.”
The words had been spoken, and they were assured
By their holy speaking, he’d see Christ as Lord
He’d cry at their altar, and they’d smile when
Eventually he would become just like them.
But we shouldn’t be shocked at this point to find out
It wasn’t their words that turned him about
He wasn’t moved by their spotless approach
And didn’t seem to desire them as coach.
He ran to the altar, that place of their pride
Fell down on the floor, with his arms open wide
They tried to keep singing, as planned from the start
But they couldn’t keep from being warmed by his heart.
He prayed, “Oh God look at me, stumbling along,
In need of your mercy much more than a song,
If you don’t respond, I’m not sure what I’ll do,
But I know that if I’m to make it, I need grace from you.”
With that he bowed, and tears ran like a stream
So much that the altar had started to gleam
The people were taken by such a sight
And felt like maybe they weren’t doing alright
The way this young man, depended on God
The way that his tears at first just seemed odd
Reminded each one of the early days spent
Receiving forgiveness as they would repent.
And so one by one, these people came up
As those who’d been emptied, uplifting their cups
Not for his approval, or seeking his prize
But simply to be seen by the loving Father’s eyes.
Revival had come to that morning at service
Though it came in a way that makes you and I nervous
To let go of all our reasons we stand,
Our trophies, our titles, and empty our hands
To throw ourselves down, at his Mercy seat
Father, Son, Spirit, whom washes our feet
Our tears may flow also, as we receive love
So undeserved, and so free from above…
The squirrel lifts its head
as acorn falls, alarming all
against the gravity of autumn.
Solemn leaves of orange, pale against the sidewalk chalked by children who live here,
riding by now, plowing through late morning as Moses through Red Sea-
warning neighbors recently wed, the beauty of life to be,
of life that was, as others’ lives come to dusk, grandparent of the street whose feet shuffle slowly,
feeding birds who greet this quiet community with their own,
interrupted by invitation to observe, daughter has worked up nerve to try,
bike off sidewalk, just a moment but smiles years in practice,
proud to her father, sits on porch swing slow, wind blows and leaves fall like gentle rain,
plainly proclaiming place where life will come again.
Small nod and raised hand sing hello to passersby, one cannot pause – spoils of her morning in hand.
Each front porch presenting welcome demands of slow-worn paths into community,
lit by street lamps that saw grandparents with mud pies.
I don’t have all the solutions, but I know change is needed. The way our political system encourages unhealthy competition, unnecessary spending, and berating brothers and sisters who desire the same things – we need to walk around it.
Ps. Posting this early here, so you don’t get bored of my writing and miss it. My wife got me an incredible new microphone (Blue – Snowball) for Christmas, and I couldn’t wait to try it. So I whipped up a quick spoken word yesterday and put it online so others could hear it. Check it out if you’re brave, and share it with others if you like it!
I suppose it’s about time for an update. We continue to wait, and pray desperately for a miracle to help bring our daughter home from the DRC. No incredibly miraculous updates there, other than the blessing of knowing she has just celebrated Christmas in a home with a family for the first time in her life. The pictures of her beautiful smile, and stories of her visiting sick children in the hospital to help them smile warm this fathers heart.
It’s also worth noting, I’ve completed my first year of Seminary!!! Whoo hooo!! I’m 1/3 of the way toward my MDIV degree at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. What is an MDIV? (I get asked this often.) My response is usually, “I want to be a better pastor. To improve how I serve God, my family, my community, and my church. The classes for this MDIV are basically examining the various facets involved in pursuit of such a goal. So far I’ve also realized I’m not a horrible student anymore. Somewhere along the way, my nerd genes were activated, and like a mutant whose powers have only just begun to show – I’m more than a little excited. Not because it helps me get A’s, (though those are each worth free tokens at Chuck E. Cheese), but because it’s legitimately improving the wealth of wisdom, understanding, and academia I draw from in the moment to moment serving who I serve where I serve. I’m loving it.
Looking forward to the year ahead. Throughout my spiritual formation course lately, I’m reminded of my extroversion, and desire to craft words together in a way that connects with others. So be watching out for plenty more posts, and spoken words in the months to come. Thanks for reading!
What is something you’re looking forward to/hoping for 2016?
There is a stifling silence in carrying a burden, a weight so uncertain and hurting,
In search of a balm, we check the Psalms, and we learn that in turn,
these struggles that rock our home
Can become our megaphone.
Because it’s hard, and we’re not alone.
Our scars run deep, and to the bone. It seems like evil is on the throne,
runs the show, and even though we know there’s something greater,
it always seems like later – never now.
Never knowing how we’ll make it to tomorrow, but the sun comes up again.
And I guess that means we’re doing well, even though sometimes it just feels like we’re surviving.
For some, that’s the extent of thriving.
When driving rain comes faster than the wipers can clear a path.
The aftermath, sometimes silent, can come in violent waves unexpected
Of hope rejected, knowing sometimes there’s more dark before the dawn.
And if this was a song, it’d go on for sometime, before the key would change.
If an honest poem, more turning of the page, before the stage were reset,
The dim lights begin to raise, because there are better days ahead,
the field is not dead,
In fact, there is wheat growing among the weeds, some seeds of hope that cannot be rejected.
Knowing what’s expected, is not etched in stone, evil is not on the throne,
no matter how much sway it may seem to hold. Our whispers grow bold,
as we gather our broken bones, and cry out to the throne –
Lord Come. We need you.
Our arms are growing weary, and we need you.
Our eyes have grown bleary from the tears, over years and Lord we need you.
The blisters on our road-scarred feet scream for us to retreat, and we need you.
Our children look to us for answers we cannot provide,
and so with arms stretched wide we confide – Lord – we need you.
There is no other ear that even comes near to hearing our stifled voices,
choices all around us for ways to avoid this feeling of burden
A burden so certain and so heavy we want to find relief,
yet so infused to our hearts that we cannot put it down.
Clever words fail, and so we wet sail on uncharted waters
Praying the one who walks on water, the one who saves,
will be with us to calm the waves.