June92014
My brother and his son (my nephew!). This is by far my favorite picture I’ve ever taken of the two of them — maybe my favorite picture I’ve ever taken. The intimacy, love, and trust between father and son is palpable… His sweet, gentle little hand on my brother’s cheek, the tenderness of their sharing a first experience… Ah, I love this and them more than I can express. 

My brother and his son (my nephew!). This is by far my favorite picture I’ve ever taken of the two of them — maybe my favorite picture I’ve ever taken. The intimacy, love, and trust between father and son is palpable… His sweet, gentle little hand on my brother’s cheek, the tenderness of their sharing a first experience… Ah, I love this and them more than I can express. 

3AM

In dreams

last night i dreamed I could fly
and swim, and never die

it started with a fear of death:
i walked along and my breath
began to quicken
the atmosphere was sickening
as the bad man chased me,
my heart was racing and
i sank beneath the snow bank
guns were shot and i didn’t know
if he saw me
blood was dripping on me
permeating the once white
blanket that held me,
i sank deeper and deeper
into a hidden lake
and i didn’t come up for air
i think i used morse code there
or smoked a cigar
or typed a paper in a car
far beneath
the depths of the surface
but then the dream changed

i was walking through a supermarket,
and i can’t remember why
but we were all afraid to die —
still, i knew i could always fly
away and death would never touch me.
there was a man
who was particularly afraid
and dismayed
over the coming of death, 
and i spoke to him
under my breath
that i could show him what to do,
i grabbed his hand and beat my arms
and urged him to do the same.
i didn’t know his name or his story
but i did know he was bringing me down,
as we took off he started scoffing
and staring at the ground
saying death could get us, 
and the more he doubted
the heavier he became
— i think wild boar were chasing us
and Dear Death was replaced by pigs,
i remember passing pretzels and bulk items
and then i dropped him
and the dream changed

i walked through a town
and passed a church
but the church was a cult and
i had always been curious
so i walked inside. 
i felt afraid that if they denied
the truth of God
I couldn’t help but do the same.
i recognized people
(and felt ashamed that they were here too)

when the service started
i took my place
in the head of the pews
and i and all the others
covered ourselves in blankets
and the preacher
began to “preach”
on whatever he was saying, 
and the others who were praying
echoed back with movements
and gestures
and they all began to pester me
to follow suit —
here again wild boar appeared
and at that time i feared as i noticed
more and more people who knew me

hurriedly i ran outside
and beat my arms once more
the gusting wind sealed the door
and i rose into the sky

i often dream that i can fly
and at this point i was aware i was dreaming
i told myself i was going home
or at least the home i grew up in
but as i rose and saw the world
the girl i thought i was, was lost. 
i flew over playgrounds
and fast food restaurants
and i found myself by the sea —
i never stopped moving
but i grew more afraid
and frantic
and i remember
i was hunching over in the air
and my back began to ache
so i had to make myself straighten up
and carry on
and ignore the pain i felt
though it hadn’t ever left

when i reached the forest,
i told myself to fall
(thinking of the exhilaration
of sinking through the air) 
i told myself it was okay
but as my stomach dropped
and my heart sank
again i was afraid,
i kept falling
and falling
and the trees
were taller
and darker
and the air more freezing
than i’d ever imagined…
when i reached the ground i managed
to open my eyes
in the waking world
but my mind was still
in the dream
and as i saw, it seemed
my hand was bleeding
and a creature was attacking me
as the trees filled my bedroom

i closed my eyes
and slipped back into the forest
and the chorus of creatures
crept closer and closer
and began to reach their
spindly tendrils around me
i remember seeing drawings of madness
somehow among the madness
and blackness
of what was ensuing, 
and i don’t remember when
but the pursuing things fell
and i woke,
and all was well again

i often dream like this
that i can fly 
and sometimes swim
and never die,
but then i wake 
and it takes a moment 
to realize 
that it isn’t always the case

May62014

i guess i ran

i guess it is numbness
that leads to the dumbness
that leads to the silence and tears
i guess that the kindness 
replaces the blindness 
that follows my aching and fears 

i ran through the meadows 
that rippled the shadows 
that led to the desert i’m in 
i ran without thinking
and thought i was sinking 
down into the sadness of sin 

i guess i’m not sinning 
just bearing and grinning 
and hoping temptation will flee 
i guess i am moving
and He is approving 
and through it He’s making me free 

poetry 

April192014

1 Peter 2 - Out of, Into

it’s silly how we live
(every part of it is)
the fact that we wake up and breathe
and in sleeping we dream
and in dreaming we fall
into lies
(in waking, we realize)
were shadows
of streams
of consciousness
(a lot like this is)

i suppose i have had my eyes closed
and my mind shut off
trying to forget how often
i feel like crying

it’s silly how we live
and yet we are dying
(every part of us is)
because we waste the days
on foolishness
and choose to live
in passing
blissful
ignorance
trying to neglect that this is—
that time is—
never coming back.

the truth is

we have only one youth
and then we’re old and lack
and we’re told to make the most of it
but instead it’s spent on emptiness
wrapped in nothingness
wrapped in vanity
wrapped in gold

and before we know it
we’re cold
and the sun’s risen,
but we’re too blind to see it
and our children are singing
but we’re much too deaf to hear it
and we lie on our backs
and fall into space
and silence

our eyes wrinkle
and the stars twinkle around us

if we were wise
we’d be surrounded by memories
of their faces
and of love…
but our minds are weakened
memories of
the shadows of
the memories of
our youth.

the truth is

it’s just silly how we live
because we ought not
to spend our time
on silliness,
because it will decay like our bodies
it will fade and show its folly
when we pass from space
into forever

but whenever I think on who I am
and look at all my well-laid plans
I realize how much of this is wrong.
i long for meaning
yet so much of me is clinging
to meaninglessness
and throngs of my friends do the same

fame will fade into darkness
parties will sink with their shame
beauty is gone with the morning mist
happiness overshadowed by pain…

so it’s silly how we live
(every part of it is)
not that we should rise and fall
but that we still call to empty idols
who’ve never helped us at all
and cling to worthless moments
that don’t inspire awe or depth
but lead to heaped on regret
so we drink more to forget
and dance more to not let
anything here touch us

but it’s silly how we live

why do we do it?
i swear we knew how hollow
it is to follow fads and trends
instead of living in these moments
that soon will end
and instead of trying to speed them up
or make them pass faster,
working to make the past worth remembering
because we’ve filled it with sweet surrendering
to the One who created time.
we’ve made them valuable
because the mountains we climbed
got us closer to Him
and farther from sin.
we died for others
because we loved our fathers, sisters, brothers
we willingly gave to our mothers
we humbled ourselves and made a difference
instead of choosing ignorance

because if this life is all we have
empty gladness will fade as quickly as we do
would you not rather live a life
that will go on after you?
and if we do go on to the afterlife
why do we create more strife
by grasping at the wind?
we know the truth, so why do we live
still clinging to death?
if we’re set free why spend our time on vanity
that will fade as quickly as we do?

it is silly how we live
but the truth is we’re afraid
(so much of us are)
that if we prayed
we might see who we are
and how far we’ve strayed
and how hard we’ve kicked against the pricks,
we’re afraid of leaving nothingness
because it’s all we’ve ever known
and once we’ve been shown
we know we can’t go on.
so we yawn and we sleep
and we keep our eyes closed
and our ears plugged
and we shrug our shoulders at waking up
and roll over and sleep some more

but i’m telling you it’s silly
because the door is open now
and it won’t be open forever.
and sleeping it away will never
erase the fact of this
impending blackness or light
that is your choice.
blocking out the noise
will never stop the truth from consuming you
or this life from ending.
so why not rend your heart and not your garments
and repent of all your foolishness

but the truth is i’m afraid of this feeling too…
the nothingness…
so i surround myself with nothingness
hoping it will drown out the silence
that haunts me

still, it’s silly how we live
so daunted by the idea of feeling
anything but comfort,
we contort ourselves
and distort this hell we’re living in
to believe that it’s okay
that we’re okay…
but what i’m saying is, we’re not.
we’ve forgotten who we were before
and we’ve forgotten why we’re here

and i’ve worked on this for a while now
going back and forth between the depths
and shallows
of this storm.

I can’t do it anymore

numbing myself has never worked
and yet i think it will every time.
every evening always hurts
and yet i find
kindness greets me there

mercy means i’m undeserving
compassion means He cares

yes, it’s silly how we live
(every part of it is)
though sillier still that He forgives
and lives alongside us…
i trust in my Shepherd… I’ve decided.
because He’s walking with me
and only He has gone before me
it’s not about performing
but feeling the joy and the sorrow,
spending today and tomorrow
adorning Him with praise
and making more of what He’s raised
from this silly, empty nothingness

March92014

girl

um, she wanted to write for quite a while
on how she couldn’t seem to smile
or laugh or feel the way she ought to
or how she always did what she knew not to,
but every time she tried
it felt like nothing more than
scribbled lies - er, misconceptions
hidden beneath deep deceptions
of what she was pretending to be

night came and she could never see
when morning was coming,
she could never see the distant sun beams
peaking over the horizon
when her eyes were on herself
and the wealth of fool’s gold she had hoarded
and accepted and kept within her heart,
it had become so much a part of her
like the sound made by a river,
rushing winds and waters came
but she very soon forgot her name and who gave it to her

morning came, yet still she cried
for in the night she thought she died
and when the sun rose
her heart froze to think
the corpse of hers would start to sink
deep into the moss that smothers the trees
and consumes the leaves,
she was suffocating in sunlight
cold to the touch
she’d said too much and the
creature of night came close to her

she never heard the birds chirping
she never heard their song
she only heard his words hissing
telling her she was wrong,
her smiles fell like copper leaves
her laughter withered like fallen trees
worms ate through her sunken soul
ripping holes through the fabric of her being

she had run through the field
trying to find her Shepherd
she’d lost Him in the fearful running
from path to past
she thought she heard
but she couldn’t find Him and at last
she fell

the light beat down on her like a waterfall
she didn’t hear Him calling
her skin was crawling with anxiety
and her stomach started churning,
so deep was the yearning to be free
at least to see where freedom came
at least to hear Him call her name

"please say ‘well done’"
she wished inside
but the secret voices soon denied
that she’d done anything to be proud of
she’d slipped into the cloud of their breath
and she didn’t know how to escape

she didn’t know whose voice to take
as the truth, and she tossed it up to her youth
saying she didn’t know any better
but He had freed her from her fetter
she did know, He had shown her,
she’d known His name, and her Lover
she’d known His love and soon discovered
His joy, but she couldn’t find or hear Him now

she didn’t know how much longer she could take
but she offered it up as an act of faith
her heart, her life, her fears, herself
she offered up the stores of “wealth”
that had poisoned her,
she didn’t know, she wasn’t sure
but still she hoped He’d make her pure
still she asked and waited there
for Him to come and say He cared

poetry 

January252014

Psalm 51

"youthful innocence"?
it’s a lie
from the moment i was conceived
i began to die
from the moment i was cast upon my mother’s bosom
i began to breathe the infection
that affects us all.
perhaps you were blissfully unaware
because i was not able to express it or share
but i’ve been crushed beneath 
the perverse oppression 
before i could even crawl.

i was born but i was never free
i was new but i could never see
i never learned to open my eyes
i wandered about blindly
but knowingly seeking 
chains and ropes
and feigned hopes
with which to bind myself to evil.
i was a child
but my naivety was counterfeit
and i ran wild,
splashing in the filth of my mind.

i grew only in my sickness
height and weight, yes,
and my hair thickened
but my heart grew thin 
from malnutrition, 
my mind grew weak and carnal 
seeking to fill its appetites 
i might show a glimmer of sweetness
here and there
but i never really cared
for anything but my stomach 
and the one who’d laid the snare.

when i met You i saw the truth
from my youth i’ve been lied to 
and i lied to myself.
i’ve since looked in the mirror and thought 
"my youthful innocence is long forgotten" 
but it was never there. 
with every prayer my eyes are opened 
more and more 
i see the truth i never saw before: 
i’ve been a slave 
soaked richly in sickness 
since the dawn of time.

they sing that you were born this way
as if it’s a banner you ought to wave proudly
as if when it’s sung loudly enough 
it will become okay.
but i’ve begun to see so clearly 
that we’re all, every one of us 
drawing very nearly to the dust 
from which we came 
and calling it “God” 
because then we can lust and desire
and feed the fire
without the shame. 

i am sick 
but my disease is in remission 
as i submit to the great Physician 
and call upon His Name.
i’m wrapped in His arms and His protection
i cherish His correction 
because my bones are broken, 
my purity’s lost, and He has spoken
He’s commanded that I change
and be healed
and He has sealed me, 
when He died and overcame.  

January232014

inward

so very much of me 
is hidden deeply in darkened dreams
in secret lands 
where no one goes
where no one knows or understands 

i traipse through patterned memories
that no one hears 
and no one sees

i wander through the colored air 
that goes unnoticed
no one cares 

so very much of me 
is hidden beneath surfaces 
and silhouettes 
under dusty voices and pirouettes 
leaping notes 
dance blissfully 
but no one’s really listening 

i’m lost in valleys and distant seas
i’ve long been lost 
but no one sees

i’m buried in this muddied green
i’ve long since died
but no one grieves 

so very much of me 
is consumed by pain and pity
and apathy
i try to hope but then i see
nothing’s really there for me 

i’m cold, i’m lonely 
i’m far from home 

i’ve long been lost
i am alone

Poetry 

January82014

Romans 8:22-30

"We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.”

January62014

digressions

it does overcome you faster than you’d expect it 
you had suspected it was lurking 
around the corner
and you wonder 
why it didn’t attack sooner 

you almost wish it would have… 

you go through life laughing and crying 
and yet 
when it strikes 
it feels like you’re dying

but this is not what you thought death would taste like 

i guess i was romanced by movies 
to think that death and apathy 
was a great and dreamy thing 
that slow music would play
and people would weep 
flashes of trees 
and spent ecstasies 

but there is no music 
no crying lovers 

only empty rooms 
and empty covers 

i sit in the corner with the creature 
who touched me 
i sit in his presence 
and soak up his essence
and fall deeper and deeper 
into hate and depression 

well… maybe not hate 
and depression’s a strong word

i guess sadness replaced gladness 
and i don’t know how else to express it. 

i know i am overreacting 
and acting strangely 
i guess it is that lately 
i have had a rising and falling 
rising and falling 
and it’s left me feeling strange 

days go by when i feel nothing 
and then it’s just sadness again
it came in like a rushing wind 
and blew away all my leaves

i am cold and i am lonely 
and everyone can see my scars

but… that doesn’t scare me anymore
i guess it’s just caring for 
and then saying goodbye
or caring for 
and then wondering why

i mean… i say it is a creature 
but i can’t be sure if it is…
or if it’s just me 
or if it’s just the normal rhythm of monotony 

or it could be fear of tomorrow 
whether it will hold more joy than sorrow 
or if the melancholic sentimentality 
will overtake reality… 

But.
The Lord is my Shepherd, 
He leads me through fields of green;
and by His side I have seen many things 
though none so terrible as this darkened cloud of fear. 
Yet as I walk, and I’m tempted here 
as I look around, I see He’s near. 
No matter how close the cloud gets
He is closer still. 
No matter how quickly I forget,
my Shepherd never will. 

This fear is great
as is my sadness
but I will wait and hope in gladness 
knowing that this field I see 
and the clouds in front of me 
are weak, and fleeting, transitory
chapters in my Shepherd’s story. 

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