Feb 17 2016

Afraid of the Water

David spent a lifetime overcoming his fears. God knows he had enough work to do, and not enough time to do it in. But the rhythms of the machines next to his bed, the regular interruption of intercom calls, and the hum of fluorescent lighting overhead all combined in his mind into one sickly dirge announcing his death. The one fear he had yet to conquer.

David depressed his thumb to raise his head up. Perhaps it would reduce the pressure behind his eyes, not to mention the stupor of painkillers he knew were constantly flowing past the bruise in his arm via the IV. How had his body become so frail, he wondered? His arm seemed like an arid desert, patches of purple and red like murderous empty lakebeds. The room’s airflow pushed flakes of dead skin around like startled birds looking for food.

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Nov 29 2015

Grave Sunshine

On reading W.B. Yeats’ “The Song of the Happy Shepherd”

The poets in their foolish song
Have captured for my reading
Glimmers of their thoughts, long gone
Desperately pleading.

We walked in sunshine once as you
And toiled after truth
We gloried in our bodies once
And reveled in our handsome youth

We left our sophomoric verse
To make you think so well
Of us and life and higher things
Before the pangs of Chronos swell

How much of time we wasted
In vanity and telling mirth
Only heaven knows the tally
Whilst we lie encased in earth.

Wand’ring quiet in the warmth
Of perfect temperature and breeze
I marvel at my lack of focus
Wandering my mind to these

Whose lackadaisical reminders
Of life spent in reflection
Can warn, inspire and rebuke me
To find a sure direction.

Why is it that when I lack pain
Of body or desire
I drift in deadness and the qui’t
Of a dimming, dimming fire?

Awake my soul and call to mind
The passion of our Lord
Who suffered willing for the Father
Considering a sure reward!

There are more who are outside
Who need a shepherd sure
And the clarion to call them
To the pasture of the pure.

Gather thyself and thy kin
And form an army strong
And build a church that loves the lost
And offers the eternal arm

There are no wages in this life
No pleasure, pow’r, nor thing
Which can fulfill the longing heart
Nor make its ramparts sing

There’s only One that can complete
The seeking of the soul
Only One whose purposes
Are worth our efforts whole

So wake to seek Him, wake to strive
And wake to preach and save,
For while the sun shines now on you
It also falls on poets’ graves.


Nov 9 2015

Remembering

“Where am I?” Horace asked himself as he walked out of the doors into the afternoon sunshine.

This was the second time in recent memory that Horace had experienced some disorientation when exiting a store – or was it the third time, he wondered? Standing in the doorway, he didn’t panic – years of martial arts training had taught him the difference between an imaginary crisis and real emergency. “Heck,” he thought to himself somewhat unconsciously, “even in a real emergency you can’t lose your head.”

Horace turned his torso half way around to look up at the name on the store. “Ahh, the pharmacy.” He was beginning to get his bearings – at least he knew that he was in his home town. But where was his car? And what did he come to the pharmacy for?

He glanced down at the flimsy white plastic bag in his left hand, and brought it up to his face to peer into it as he pulled it open with the other hand. “Nail clippers,” he said out loud, with a slight hint of recognition – “I came here for nail clippers.” Holding his hand up in front of his face, he surveyed his nails and grimaced. “I hate when my nails get long.”

In reality, his nails were only showing about a millimeter and a half of white beyond his nail bed, but for Horace, they had to be kept trimmed flush. Continue reading