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. 

December212013

Past

death and dying 
dirty lying collect on my skin
i scratch and scratch 
but can’t get in
to where the infection grows and festers
nothing makes it better
right? 
it grows from within me 
it grows without me 
it falls from me 
it leaves me doubting

all this scrubbing and scratching
tearing and clawing 
vanity on vanity on vanity

it returns again tomorrow
the very next moment 
i can’t claw fast enough
i can’t keep up

my skin dries and the toxins 
leak from my pores
infection spreads like 
growing sores
pain covers my every inch
inching it’s way inside
seeking to consume 
and divide
the dying, wicked heart

TEAR ME APART

WHO WILL SAVE ME FROM THIS BODY OF DEATH? 

i will cry and cry with my every breath
aching
screaming 
reaching out for salvation

starvation shapes me 
into nothing more than a faint plea 
but i will not stop calling
i will not stop hoping 
for the door to open 
strength left to only tap feebly on the door 
lying, bleeding on the floor 
i tried to cut away the sin
but evidence remains on my skin
pains me to see 
the bruised and bloodied 
shell of me 

angry that i’m angry
saddened that i’m sad

crying out for blessing 
affirmation 
my Dad
so i can rest assured
at least to rest
strengthened to withstand the test

love so quickly fades

how i must not stray
how fervently i must cling
to truth 
and faith and blessing

December202013

James 1:15

how many ways can i numb myself 
to pain and the sound of Your voice? 
it’s my choice, but more pain
inevitably follows
as i swallow more and more food
filling myself to the brim
then i exercise away
the shame of sin
i don’t allow myself
to feel the consequences
and let them sink in
i stay up late
and anticipate the sorrow 
i’ll feel tomorrow
and cry tonight

how many times can i hit my head 
till my mind is dead
and i think no more 
on Your death

again i say i’m sorry… 

how many times have i said it since we started
every day i part from Your path
i try to stay, but i lack
the strength and the drive
well, that’s what i tell myself
those are the lies
that slide so easily off my tongue. 
so easily proven wrong
when said out loud. 
but they exist in my mind
unraveling and unwinding 
the ropes i used
the chains i used
to bind myself to You

again i say i’m sorry… 

how many times do i try in my own strength
and fall short 
and retort that it’s Your fault? 
my prayers come to a halt 
and i ignore You as punishment 
(i never say it, but that’s what i do)
the only one i’m hurting is me 
and the only one i’m grieving is You 
because i stop feeling 
i’ve stopped hurting
but i’m skirting around the issue… 
i don’t know if this guilt is from You 
or my convictions
or if my own restrictions even matter… 

i heap guilt upon myself 
with every adage of worldly wealth
i bow before 

i am a whore. 
i have said it so many times 
so many rhymes have been crafted 
as an outpouring 
of this wretchedness i see
"i want to be free!"
but my stomach grows bigger and bigger
as i make hate with the devil
and desires conceive 
sin grows in me 
and i start to see
my appetite becomes my god 
the further i go
the longer i trod
on this tired, noisy road

how many days and hours and calories wasted
on unglorifying 
folly. 
how many sins, desires, and wickedness tasted 
in unglorifying 
foolishness. 

who will save me from this body of death?
when all i crave is wickedness? 

but i don’t. 
i don’t. 

i lie to myself daily. 
i tell myself, in wailing,
that i don’t hear You 
or see You 
or feel You
or want You

but Your faithfulness outweighs my lacking

i try to tune You out
when i am faced with fears and doubts
but Your love is relentlessly knocking 

i cannot escape You 
(praise God!)
though often i attempt to
i cannot curb my appetite
(praise God!)
for the only One i cling to 

i’m sorry
i spend too much time saying please 
and not enough time on my knees 
in thanksgiving and gratitude 

Shepherd, change my attitude,
i’m sorry 

praise be to God 
for His goodness and grace
for redeeming my life
and lifting my face toward heaven 
praise be to God 
for the seven years of maintenance 
that refine, conform my countenance 
to be made more like Him 

i’ve repented frequently 
but i want to mean it recently
i want it to be true.

praise be to God, for i can do 
that which He commands me to 

December12013

absent

i want to exist on a plane of consciousness
that others inhabit 
i walk down rabbit holes
and i am wholly alone.
my mind has sewn these words together
my thoughts have caught me in a fetter
of dreamlike stasis 
memories of fallen days
like memories of dreams

i feel like i’m in the nineties 
lost in grey and feeling dead
wandering slowly
asleep in bed 
through secret, wistful tunnels 

they are abandoned and somber 
i duck under overhangs and stairs

i sleep peacefully in the car
in and out of memories
floating over dreams
speaking wordlessly

whispers 
restlessly

i don’t know where i am but i fear
i am lost

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