I Quit

I said farewell,
To eruption of flame, eddies of smoke,
And the same small hope
Of a moment that’s mine

Taken at everyone’s expense,
And only for me, but safe inside
The cloud of death, safe to hide
Where none will follow.

Resolving to put them away
Is choosing to live, to invest,
And everyone is impressed
Anyone would make that decision.

Today I’m a smoker
With no smoke to inhale,
Engaging in today pales
To quitting.


Promises, Promises

I cannot remember the moment before
My childlike joy was kissed by grief.
You’ve upheld, offering wisdom for relief,
And a kind of peace indwelling the war.

But my senses know no exclusion;
I inhabit the galaxy of each breath:
Every tear an explosion, every pang a death,
Every goodbye yearns the final reunion.

Familial connections in every expression;
Every thought links elbows with its brothers
Fact and facet seamed to the other;
The whole at one with each digression.

Every thread a tapestry, to pull
Pulls on the universal design
Every small string is intertwined
With the foundational cords imperial

I’ve mixed all my cups, what mess is this,
Grief in my joy, and joy in sadness.
Chesterton told me once, tis madness:
Mental activity birthing mental helplessness.

And all these molecules of existence,
Shifting, bending, converting, resolute,
Breathing matter, exchanging fruit,
Bleeding under our rebellious resistance,

Sing along to their Maker’s song
The Great Architect, in Whom
Every detail is sheltered and consumed
And thrives or survives as it belongs

And all these thoughts hang on their axis:
Humble reliance on I Am who never sleeps
Ruthless trust in the promises He keeps,
Putting His word into thought and practice

Meditating on His attributes
Expanding my scope
Taking, as fact, our promised hope,
In all the details it constitutes.

Without this axis, my conscious reels,
It falls out of its orbit, turning
Through the sea of stars still burning,
Into the seeming chaos sin reveals

Into the random, cluttered, complexity of man
The blindness of sin so loudly attests
My mind remains if it but rest
In the Architect’s master plan.

Low, I asked for inclusion, for value;
You gave it. I’m reminded to empty myself,
My only value, my only wealth,
Only ever exists in You.


To Whom

I feel like a failure… I wait
For some voice to speak stay,
Reconsider, reassess:
You belong here.

I know God has spoken over me,
And I am clean, and valuable,
But I fear the worst,
Just malleable because I’m dirt

And mud.

These days sit on me,
I feel, like property, I belong
To all that’s wicked, that throngs
Into depravity.
I’m desperate to lift my head
To be counted with Yours,
But humans keep score
And I’m in the arrears I dread
You see, or scold.
Not worthy, it’s hard
To hold no membership card
To your own household
But I wasn’t born into,
Just glommed onto this way,
This breathtakingly beautiful way
I feel I was made and meant to

Love forever.

Wait patiently, You say,
And so I try,
Though long are the nights,
And early the day
I can do the math;
I put them ill at ease,
But it’s You I hope to please
Am I on the wrong path?
I’m ashamed of myself,
Or myself I shame,
But it’s only in Your name
I stake my wealth.
Silence won’t change
My basic substance
I am what I am, but this
Is what I exchange

To become more like You.

I feel like a failure… I wait
As patiently as a I can,
For You to speak value
On whatever I am.


Pressed Prayers

Today I screamed silently
Into Your heart
Grief overwhelming my eyes
Torn apart
By all the hopes that die
Every time he raises his voice
Against us both.

When did we lose his heart
Or did I marry the lies
That have dried up and fallen
By the wayside
Of our journey together
Side by side
In opposite directions

What a little fool
I have always been
A fool for You,
A fool for him,
And foolish when
Wisdom drips like rain
And soaks the earth.

Four little hearts
Beat in our care,
Are they headed to You,
Or somewhere else
Only one of us can lead them
One can remain,
If our two hearts can’t beat the same.

I’m ripped asunder
And all Your promises wait
Are they drowning under
My failures? My sins?
The little fool I’ve been?
Can You pick them up again
And breathe in life?

Or did the little fool
Plunder her future
Her promise, her hope?
Dead promises, dead lies,
My path is comprised
Of the little dead things
I plucked while alive.


God of My Life

You wait like the moon,
Reflecting what we can bear to see,
Patient, but soon
Sunlight will break over all these things
As You have said in calm and thunder,
So You will do,
And I watch in quiet wonder
The breathless spin of the moon.

You burn like the sun,
In splendor and unapproachable glory
Distant and near, our constant One.
Distant not to burn, near enough for me
To see and be warmed.
Revolving around You, but unable
To look into Your heart unharmed,
But in Your light, my world looks stable.

Every piece of heaven and earth
Unworthy of Your holy habitation,
Deepest oceans aren’t vast enough to birth
An accommodating station
But You came in the waters of a woman,
Wrapped snug in the flesh of men,
The Unreachable as touchable human,
The Impeccable amongst our sin,

Our flaws, our frailties, our treason,
Weaving a brand new thing
The true God lifting our reason
To the heights of wonder to sing
To the God of the moon and sun,
And all mankind,
So we may see, yearn, run,
And seek, and find

The God of the distant constellation,
And near as our own flesh,
Who weaves our dear salvation
From the torn shreds of His own death
And enters our rebellion,
Our gnashing teeth and blindness,
To drink our cup of hell and
Rescue us in lovingkindness.

Wrap Your shawl of wonder
Around my feeble soul,
Oh God of heat and thunder
Whom every age extols,
Lift my humble view,
And direct my blinded roam,
To look alone to You
Until You bring me home.

Psalms 42:7-8

Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.


Jealousy

She was so thin,
Bones and stories
And jokes.

She survived my world,
My weighty horrors,
So thin.

Everyone laughed when she wanted them to,
Fell silent when silence was due,
And I thought

Her frail bones made her seem so pitiable,
Some little bird who needed nestling,
And a worm or two.

I sat on my haunches, my stout paunch
Introducing me,
And I look so hearty,

I look so durable in this new flesh
I’ve worn for a decade
Covering my frail bones.

She was so cool, making soda pop jokes
Over the scenes of rape,
And starvation.

She ate nothing, but her entourage
Ate every single word, every inflection,
From her birdlike hands.

I ate them too, but couldn’t swallow
All the jokes, the laughter
Spliced into my horrors.

She laughed delicate swirls,
Fleeting and dissolving
Like thin snowflakes.

So thin.

I eat comfort, answers, procrastination,
And store them on
My hollow bones.


Taboo

Reopening Soon

The cheap sign,
Improper spacing
Rings out all I’m not facing,
A slur against divine.

Gaudy nights
Take place inside
Women hiding
Everything but their flesh from sight

Makes me sick
To think of the distortion,
The gawking at proportions
Makes me quick

To anger, to cry injustice
I feel slimy eyes
Feeding on the lies
Of porn, of lust, this

Slur against women,
Against what’s good,
Against where I’ve stood,
Where I stand; its criminal,

But legal.

Reopening Soon,
All my prejudice, the sting
Of every rotting, grasping thing,
Reopening soon my wounds.