Monday, January 31, 2011


I try over and over again.
My heart screams for you
Through my hands.
My eyes long for you.
But I don't intoxicate you.
I don't attract your attention
Even for a little while.
Do you know what my sinking
Heart feels like?
It burns to have you even
Slightly affected.
But you are unfazed
By my endless, tiring attempts
To draw you.
Go ahead and keep looking away.
I'm used to it.

Chains of Freedom.

My chains hold me tight.
I must call them my chains
Because they are no one else's.
They surround me and heavily hang
From my shoulders in cold, metal coils.
If this is freedom,
Why is it so restricting?


You are my Enclave.
A rock of safety,
Safely rocking me to sleep,
And calming the waves that rock my soul.
You, with Your sacrifice, rent the veil
That veiled my King's throne;
And became a veil of light
To veil my eyes from the darkness I had known.
You accessed victory for me through Your cross.
You accessed a cross for me through Your victory.
A cross for me to die to myself on.
A cross to live on.
A cross
That became my door, that You the Door
Died on.
You are my Enclave.
Like David's cave
You hide me from my enemy.
You hide me from myself.
I am my own worst enemy.
I can't outrun myself,
But you can.
You are already at my destination.
You're the walls of salvation
That surround my Enclave
Which is Yourself.
You are my Enclave.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


You hold yourself together with
A strong resilience I admire.
You cry all your tears inside
Your own self
Keeping them in a bottle
Made of the hurt you've experienced.
Even bookends need something to lean on
Tonight, won't you stop trying to
Patch up the holes your tears
Leak out of your heart through?
Don't you know that once your heart empties
All your tears through those holes
I will use those same holes
To pour my love
Into your heart?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Teaching a child the art of confession.

Here is a poem by a writer named David Shumate. He is always a pleasure to read, and I love his work. This poem is my favorite that he writes.

Teaching a Child the Art of Confession

It is best not to begin with Adam and Eve. Original Sin is
baffling, even for the most sophisticated minds. Besides,
children are frightened of naked people and apples. Instead,
start with the talking snake. Children like to hear what animals
have to say. Let him hiss for a while and tell his own tale.
They'll figure him out in the end. Describe sin simply as those
acts which cause suffering and leave it at that. Steer clear of
musty confessionals. Children associate them with outhouses.
Leave Hell out of the discussion. They'll be able to describe it
on their own soon enough. If they feel the need to apologize
for some transgression, tell them that one of the offices of the
moon is to forgive. As for the priest, let him slumber a while

Monday, January 17, 2011

My words can hug too.

My words can hug too
Because I can't tonight.
As you sit alone in your room
And I sit alone in mine.
I know you say they aren't enough
But tonight they will have to do
Because they are all that I can give you.
I poured out my heart to you in those words.
Can't you taste the liquid heart?
Did you even know my heart was
Contained in those word prison-cells?
I poured it out for you to catch.
Did you even catch my poured out heart?
Or were the word containers not good enough?
Because I can't tonight,
My words can hug you,
But you have to let them.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

You say.

I know what you say,
You tell me you are very proud of me
But I taste the disappointment in your voice.
It tastes like salty rubber.
I see the looks you give me
They make a lump enlarge itself
In my throat.
I know  I know,
I failed you.

My biggest fear.

I am not afraid of darkness
My heart stays calm
When it creeps its slender fingers
Over my window.
I am not afraid of death.
It is simply the threshold
To my true home waiting.
I am afraid, that one day
You will look at me with your
Breathtaking blue eyes, as expansive as
The blue-sky horizon,
And you will tell me,
"You are too misfit to be my misfit.
I have found a prince who has real armor
Not tattered cardboard for defense."
You will say these things and he will set you on his noble steed.
I will remember that I have no noble steed.
And I will watch the broken heart that you returned to me
Bleed the very blood I gave you
Onto indifferent stone.
That is my biggest fear.

Siren's call

Here is poem by a marvelous writer named Margaret Atwood.

Siren Song

by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood
This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember.

Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?

I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical

with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Yellowing Letters.

I am writing you this letter
Although you will probably never read it
I have dozens of other letters just like it
That you will never read because I have not given them to you.
They sit in my notebook between
Rambling poems and broken stories, yellowing.
I just thought I would tell you that
Your eyes are the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
I know it's cliche,
But it's true.
And your smile is like the sunset,
Bright and warm and dazzling
When you catch it at just the right time.
Oh well, I guess I'll stop
And go do something productive,
For about five minutes until I
Start thinking about you again.
My love will never yellow.


I woke up this morning
To your breathtaking blue eyes
Looking into mine.
You took your hand and brushed my cheek
And said, "I love you."
In a little whisper
That made the hair on the back of my neck tingle.
Then, I leaned in to kiss you, but
I woke up this morning.

College Ruled.

The lines on my notebook paper stare at me.
The taunt me with their uniformity.
The stand firm, guardians of distance, dictating
Exactly how much room I have to write my words.
What If I break these lines?
Writing is not about convention
But about conviction.
My heart should be so connected to my pen
That it hurts to stop.

The thing about lines is
They can't feel.
Words can.

Late Night Haiku.

It's twelve twenty nine
And the air-conditioner
Blows silently loud.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

When cold winds blow.

I watch the ancient brick buildings of this city
As they are assaulted
By an onslaught of
Sharp sword-like wind
That is merciless.
The brick buildings do not move.
They only stand, full of hardness and resistance.
Meanwhile, oak trees sway happily.
Are you an oak tree?
Do resistant winds drive you to hardness?
Or do they drive you do dance?

Her Long Illness

Here are words by another man. A poet named Donald Hall. This poem is called "Her long illness". It is somewhat sad, but sweet it the same instant. I love this poem, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.

Her Long Illness.

Daybreak until nightfall,
he sat by his wife at the hospital
while chemotherapy dripped
through the catheter into her heart.
He drank coffee and read
the Globe.  He paced; he worked
on poems; he rubbed her back
and read aloud.  Overcome with dread,
they wept and affirmed
their love for each other, witlessly,
over and over again.
When it snowed one morning Jane gazed
at the darkness blurred
with flakes.  They pushed the IV pump
which she called Igor
slowly past the nurses' pods, as far
as the outside door
so that she could smell the snowy air. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Prounouns are wonderful things.

Eyes are dazzling.
She is dazzling.
Can I tell you about her?
What's that?
You ask me why I only use prounouns
When I talk about her?
It's simple really,
Her name makes my heart
Skip a beat or two
And it's not polite to let your heart
Skip a beat are two
In front of company.
She loves traffic, and adores red lights
So she can have more time to sing in the car.
She loves hot chocolate, and she shrugs
Her shoulders with delight
When she drinks it.
She is scared of storms sometimes
But that's okay because that's what
My arms are for.
She wants to travel and see the world,
But always come back home.
I want her to know that she can run
Into my arms
And not worry about being who I need her
To be
But just
To be


What do you call it
When a King
Puts on servant's rags?
When the Prince of peace
For a violent sinner's heart?
What do you call it
When He who knows no sin
Becomes sin?
When the spotless Lamb
Embraces spots?
When Life
Embraces Death?
What do you call it
When the One who can see everything
Chooses to look away from my dirty
That sounds like Grace to me.


I remembered today,
For no particular reason at all
At least, not one that I can place,
Our little peach house on terrace drive
With its tall front windows and
Field-goal shaped tree
And that garbage can lid painted
With neon orange spray paint that I would
Throw a baseball at for hours,
Or what seemed like hours.
Until my arm got tired,
Or until I wanted sweet tea.
Then, we moved to a bigger, yellow house
That was newer and staler
And much grander.
At least, until the real estate market fell through.
I think peach is better than yellow.
Oh well, one thing about memories is that they are
At least, if you want the truth.
The other thing about memories
Is that
They know how to whisper too.
And sometimes, they do.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Plane Ticket from Hemingway.

I was reading a book from the library,
Hemingway to be exact.
When a plane ticket fell out from the pages near the back.
I wonder what kind of person you are
Miss Beverly V, White?
Or are you a Mrs.? I'm terribly sorry
Was your husband on the flight?
On your way to Dallas/Fort Worth,
Did you enjoy your seats in 14b?
Did you have a loud snorer beside you?
Or someone who talked incessantly?
Well, I'll probably never shake your hand,
Or get a chance to see your face,
But I guess we'll share this momentary link
As two people who read Hemingway.

5:20 PM

I'm sitting under a shade tree.
Car doors open and close around me. A bird
Climbs up and down the branches of the
Twisted oak above my head
Brakes squeal and I smell exhaust fumes.
Owners are taking down their displays for the night.
The Christmas lights on the leafless trees lining main street
Come on, covering up their nakedness.
That bird is still whistling.
And I smile at the beautiful rhythm of life.


I stood before my King.
I watched His eyes of fire as they watched me.
The threadbare, tattered, rags of my own righteousness
Hung from my shoulders.
I had called them garments once,
But now I realized they were chokeholds.
Threads that formed a rope of resistance
Draining the life out of my soul.
The Accuser burst into the room
And with a voice of wicked delight said,
"This is Your highest creation?
This polluted, trembling worm begging for salvation?
I demand his damnation! Or will you put your justice to shame?"
My King's fiery eyes shone all the brighter, like a fueled flame.
Then, my Beloved rose and I caught sight
Of His wounds.
The scars that should be mine.
And with a voice of power perfumed with beauty
He spoke to the dragon that demanded my soul,
"Get behind me Satan!
Do you not remember my words when I died?"
Suddenly, a vision inflamed my mind.
The Lamb was on the cross.
Nails held Him tight.
Or was it love that held Love there?
Regardless, the darkness, the mocking, the groans of His spirit
Form one resolute melody of victory disguised.
Then, the mocking pounds louder,
The darkness presses harder,
The crescendo of the song is the Lamb's final cry,
                  "IT IS FINISHED"
He dies.
The vision ends, and I see the dragon
Whimper and crawl away defeated.
My Love looks at me.
I tremble with an understanding of my own failure.
"Pardon me Lord," I said " As I stand before you now
All I have to give you are my stale promises and broken vows."
He stops me, and grace fills His eyes.
He takes of His own purple robe and wraps it around my nakedness,
And gives me a kiss perfumed with His sweet fragrance.
Redemption holds me tight.


Far too many times your poisonous words have stabbed me.
Far too many times you have made me pause
At the precipice of obliteration,
At the chasm of darkness
That eats through my soul like disease,
That presses my heart like a weight of unease.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


The chair across my table is empty.
An old couple walks past me, he smells like old spice.
They hold hands and smile at each other, like old couples do.
He stops to show her a chess set,
But she has gone to look at cookbooks.
I guess the old man doesn't cook.
That man there looking at business books, he looks like a business man.
His red tie is wrinkled.
His hairline is receding, and his shoes are scuffed.
Maybe those are signs of a successful business man;
Scuffed up shoes and a receding hairline.
The girl sitting three tables down
Is drawing.
She smiles gracefully as white haired couples
Stop to talk awhile.
I think she comes here often,
To draw with a pencil,
And smile gracefully at white haired couples.
The chair across my table is still empty.
So I put a book in it.

Hidden Treasure.

Enigmas abound in black and white.
Emeralds and rubies,
Neither of them shine so brightly as
The light i see shining in
The eyes that melt my heart.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I wrote this to show you.
I am excited.
Oh, you have a distraction?
Oh well, they are just stupid words,
You don't have to hear them.

A thought for E.

The southern wind blows on my face,
And makes my loneliness feel out of place.
I sit here and play this simple tune,
And my guitar moans because it misses you.
And so do I.