Tag Archives: Poetry

The Defendant Rises

It never got easier
The way obedience usually does,
It gets heavier each year.
I was here in the beginning:
The territory is changeless.
Wasn’t I submissive
When the pastor said my mom
Got beaten because she wasn’t?
If she weren’t a contentious woman
He wouldn’t have to raise his hand.
Didn’t I understand?
When my pastor wouldn’t talk to me
Because my gender forced sexuality
Just like my abusers proclaimed
I didn’t complain.
When I discovered he’d known, for years,
What they did to me in the dark,
But fearing speaking to me
He just let it be.
Then, when I finally took his advice
Found a nice boy; surrendered to yoke
He broke the plan; he broke my heart
He wouldn’t even witness the vow.
I was never really included then;
Nothing’s different now.
I submit to the pastor
My husband picked out
He preached Jezebel was hiding
Inside my soul
I tried cutting her out,
But I never found her
now I’m never whole.
I tried asking him for help
But I’m the most dangerous whelp
The Kingdom of Men knows:
A woman who actually wants to grow,
but they have butchered me all.

When I was still a little child
They dug my grown-up grave.
With open hands raised, they invited me come
A tender thing, trusting, I knelt so young
In the hole they scraped
I became the slave
and all the rest was left unsung.

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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.


Winter Trembles

These flurries drifting in my skies,
Floating through my reason,
Express intentions unrealized,
A cool, restraining treason,
As though winter, holding back surprise,
Waits to drop her train and freeze us

Flurries in my secret vaults,
Flecks of dark depression
Whisper to me all my faults,
And leave the stark impression
That under my cold facade, tumult
Rages with aggression.

Who can restrain a single flake,
And who can speak to atmosphere
To reveal her flurries as mistake,
Her whispers altered and austere,
Who can reach inside to shake
The brewing storm severe?


Just So

And has there ever been, from birth
Any moment, or breath,
Some collision of word, or flesh,
That was ever anything of worth

Without You wrapped in it?

We dig our gardens, our graves,
Passing our rote to little minds,
Studying tides, and stars, and all kinds
Of grasping, assuming we’re saved

By our tasks and do we miss You?

Let the floods commence
Eroding our mud breaches
Folding in on what we teach is
Our greatest recompense:

The surviving members of creation.

You will come with mighty roar
Like the oceans we adore
And our proud knees will drop
And our hard hearts will stop in our proud chests

On the dry shores of our vested interests.

Will we forget our complex knots?
Our webs of assent, the tangles
Of all the wisdom we’ve mangled
And all the lies we’ve bought,

And peddled.

Even so, Lord Jesus, come.


Sparrows and Sorrows

We toiled at the crossing,
Long days ere we deployed
With frantic errands fit between,
But our work became our joy
Preparing to cross the bar,
To meet our fellow brothers
Co-heirs adopted by our Father,
Born from different mothers.
Embarking with meager belongings,
But carrying hearts full brimmed
We eagerly journeyed through
A stranger night, soft dimmed,
Barely closed eyes opening
Onto a day born new
All the wonder of our hope
Painting a lovely view.

I cannot know, looking back,
What caused the quiet schism
Was it cultural habits of expression,
Stiff-lipped stoicism,
Prejudice or snobbery,
Or some other slight assumed
Caused by some prior phantom
Also born from my mother’s womb.
Their call extending to every nation,
But touched with contempt for mine
As the bonds of brotherhood dissolved,
So also our grander design,
And our love evaporated
On the cold and distant shore,
And our full hearts were emptied,
And our value full ignored.

So I call on you, our father,
Who gives life unto the dead,
And you love your varied children,
To the very hairs upon our head
Mend the boats we sank,
And purge our dark intentions
Teach us to love beyond our faults,
Our prejudice and apprehension.
Our value solely found in you;
We are lovable because you’ve loved
And all that’s worthy in any flesh
Is given it from above

And how I know you care for them,
And how you care for me,
But oh the depth of salty tears
Filling this expanse of sea!


August Ruminations

Here sits the castle of my soul,
Touched by rot and ruin,
Cramped and narrow,
Housing doubts, fears, confusion
Standing room only

This aged mansion
Can’t hold the immensity
The vast expansion
Or colored intensity
Of a summer sunset.

Man from clay,
But here I lie, on earthen hill,
My corridors splay
Insufficient to fill,
To swallow the ground beneath

Incapable of cleansing my stains,
Or repairing my breach,
Created: I cannot contain
These elements beyond my reach
Beyond my reason

But even they have a first:
God’s handiwork unfurled.
He fills to burst the
Confines of this world
That cannot contain Him.

And how small am I?
Woven in the womb’s darkness
By His delicate design
And omnipotent sparks
Of fragility and fate

And I ask Him to abide
In this broken abode.
I ask Him to hide Himself inside,
This God I know
Of fire and radiance

I ask Him into this crumbled pittance
Decaying more each season,
Because denying Him admittance
Is no small treason,

This Creator who can neither be contained,
Nor restrained,
Nor ever moves He in vain.


Rebel Yell

My morose flows
Like a shallow stream carving,
A waking dream,
A beggar starving,
But there’s a well in me
Swelling waters in the deeps of me
That ripple insurrection
The deepest introspections
Dredge my recklessness:
I won’t let this mess own me
I won’t succumb quietly
Shaking these lies I’ve invented,
I’ve invited in to stay,
And made their bed
I’ve fed them my hours,
My future, my vital powers,
But I’m done, I scour them off my walls
Because all this-
It’s just a distraction
A fraction of my purpose,
And there is a reason I wait,
Why every few seasons
I shake off my possessions,
Reminding me I’m not what I have,
And it doesn’t have me.
I am free
Because of the word He has spoken
I am broken,
And unbreakable

Because He made this knowledge,
This vision, this raging existence
Unshakeable in Himself.
I am who I have,
And He has me.