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 17 2015

These Leaves

Original Publish Date: 11.1.00

I got a Thanksgiving card from Mom today
With the reds, oranges, and yellows of fall
Cut out of the cover into a string of leaves and a pumpkin.
She is always on time with cards

Inside, some pressed leaves, real ones
Presumably from her yard,
Or somewhere down the country road
Where we all like to walk

I am in the summer of my life
And soon, I will be in the fall
Is there more I can plant before it ‘s too late?
Why have I no family to invest in for when I am old?
I sit in specification review meetings all week
And silently ask myself repeatedly
Is this what you wanted to do with your life?
You are in the prime of your life!
This is your life!
You will never get this day back.

I must reach inward again and move
Toward the dreams of my heart
What sorrows, what sins lay unresolved?
What guilt, what hatred that should be brought to light?
There is no more time to palliate wounds
With potato chips and television

Unless that is what I want to say with my life
That life is too hard, and the best you can do
Is strive not be poor, or out on the street
That living a noble life
Is for those who are lucky
Who started on the right track earlier.

I may never reach the heights of some
But I can reach the heights of peace,
And usefulness, and some level of love
If I try. If I try.
God help me to try.

Nov 9 2015


Original Publish Date: 7.1.1

Every ache
Speaks of a time
When we will meet
You are the doorway through which
Even the Saints must pass

Sometimes I feel you
Creeping up from behind
Others, you are a distant
Point of darkness
That could spring up
At a missed traffic light
Or in a winter virus

My days are less numerous
Than I would like
I can no longer afford
The wasteful frivolities
Of inane videos
And addictive activities

Creativity and spirit
Call to me as gently as ever
But now I hear a note
Of pain in their voices
Wait no longer
Today is the day that counts ask alice . site headers