Least of These

I close my eyes
She appears again, in the haze
Of spent years and separate ways
And tears bent to earth.
Her moment torn open,
But she no longer remains
In the flowing wounds, the stains-
Her broken fragments of being.

I close my eyes,
And they’re ever kneeling
In like condition: healing,
A foreign concept- a mythical beast.
Love, a foreign language,
A muscle rarely-used,
A notion much-abused
And deeply mistrusted.

I close my eyes,
And open my heart in prayer.
You brought me here from there,
And I was too blind to remember the route,
But I remember You,
And the day I learned love was tangible,
Solid, substantial,
And I could receive it,

And I could give.

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Here and There

Surveying the broken bits
Of former glory
Remnants of Your story
Before, behind,
Sometimes we find
New roads to lay, new avenues to pave ahead
Your church,
But sometimes the work is to
Rebuild again
What once has been
The best we can do.

Building the walls,
Repairing the gate,
The mud and nail and wood and stone,
After life, while it’s late,
But maybe no one should build alone.

Yet the work spreads out in all directions,
And the workers are so few
Perhaps it’s harder to view
Broken down things
Than move on to what is new.


Returned

These nights, these dreams
Pull poetry
Kicking and screaming
From some instinctual,
Guttural place inside of me
Wherein I must hide
All the wonder and dread
Once interpreting the world
Spread out before my eyes
Of flesh.

I treat it as a child’s toy,
Faded, torn, missing pieces,
Carried past the age of reason
A thumb in the mouth,
Plumbing the depths,
And four fingers cemented around
Some leg of its being.
If I leave it wherever I go,
I come home to find it
Laying just so in my bed.


I Saw You

How do I write these words?
To say I’ve loved you all the years-
I’d given up here
On verse, on expression,
On believing my words could make an impression
On the once malleable rock of souls
The intractable solidity
Of human goals and ambition-
Such a dirty word to my cognition.

So we are what we are-
We will be what we will be-
And I withdrew the poetic parts of me
From the temple of the obscene.
I found a different dream,
A broken altar on which
To break my bones,
To spill my blood, my sweat, my years,
Something tangible for which
To live, to die, to fight, or resign:
A wall on which to stand
Taunting to be shot down
By all those who secretly snipe me now.

I grew tired of mankind,
My brotherhood,
The endless repetition
Of proclaiming with bold assertion
Misunderstood lies,
And self-justification wrapped in judgmental demands,
Proclaiming to understand,
But not seeing a soul,
I grew tired of the whole of mankind,
And somehow more willing to die for the parts,
Willing to say goodbye.

What audacity to say I’ve loved you.
We knew each other such a brief intersection,
Who could say any deep connection exists
Beyond wishes and fantasy-
The archetypes of my mentality
Painted over the frailties of your humanity
Who can say any reality thrives in the insanity of absences and adherences?
And Love must be reality,
Else it is a horror.

Yet I’ve loved you,
For whatever you’ve become,
However you began,
What small moments changed the sway of your rhythm,
By even a half-measure,
Your victories and failures,
Unseen and adored
Known the less, loved the more
Your villainous possibilities,
Or your greatest potential,
Pale in comparison
To the space we occupied
At the same time.

Some spark of time that never faded,
Some ember falling into ash,
But burning evermore.
And by the flickering light,
I saw you.
I saw you cared; I saw you hid.
I saw all you never did,
But would one day.
I gave my heart to you unrestrained,
But locked the rest away,
Because I loved you too much
To risk your days.

I never caught a spark, a token,
A look, a word, a hope
To assume you saw me too.
I never would have presumed,
But I saw you
And it burns alive forevermore.

So ready to fall upon my altar,
So ready to break my back
But I fell asleep, sick again last night,
And you arrived.
Another dream of you,
Through the years they follow me,
You showed me shattered things
Don’t always feel-
Compressed, contained, and cold
They wait
In a frozen state to process
All the stimuli they experience-

I awake- did I wait
For another dream?
Are there things still yet to feel?
To experience? To process? To pen?
Shall I open another cistern of soul-
Care for the whole, invest in the parts?
Shall I start to feel and try again?
And if I do, will you find me
In dream again so
Once more
I might see you.


Shuttling off the Coil

And so it is
What it will be-
I take the moment in stride,
But what it means,
What it changes in me,
Are collisions that can’t be denied.

I see the forked future-
Two twisted tunnels
Diverging into darkness,
And I must ride the beast of time
Into the unknown pummels
Of Decision & Destiny’s markets.

Who am I to choose? I’m a poor wayfarer-
And both tracks are wrong,
And both are right.
Perhaps if I saw farther, clearer,
But alas, my fear of the dark prolongs
The ever enveloping night.


Oh Me Of Little Faith

Tethered to these moments
Slipping in, slipping out,
Rocking forward and back
Along the way here:
To the place of my doubt;
To the place of my fear.

All my short days
In long years tossed
By grief, by illness,
By importunate pain,
And is it counted loss,
Or counted as gain?

Pulled from the softness
Of my welcoming bed
By a body in revolt,
A body ill at rest:
Lifting my weary head
To rehearse the confessed.

Always disturbed
By an unshakable feeling
In any moment
Scales may fall from my eyes,
And I will see I’ve been reeling,
Laboring under lies.

Calling You by names
You are not
Doubting the names
You are.
You’re the only reason
I got this far.

My brokenness
Is paralyzing-
My brokenness
Compels me on-
Mold these mistakes,
So terrorizing,
Into something held
And smiled upon.

From fire and ice
I was formed.
Burned by both-
Frozen still and raging wild,
Let me be again
Transformed.
Let me be
Your simple child.


Walking

How often wisdom
Stays my hand,
Lays my tongue
Like heavy sand
Inside my waiting jaw.

While foolishness bubbles
Like a simmering pot
It roils and boils
Spilling what it’s got
Without discretion, without stop

How still I stay
And train my eye,
To look for truth, for integrity,
For the active lie
Inside the virtue.

But the manifold is diverse-
Subjective- all beholding-
And I’d rather be foolish and faithful,
Than wise and withholding.