Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Poem of Ecstatic Praise #4: On Meeting Jonny Rodgers

Dec 29 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

You knew!
You knew.
You knew that I would despair
and not that you knew it just today
but that you knew it weeks ago
months ago,
and set things in motion way back then
so that today, this specific day,
everything was ready.
I came to you with deep questions
despairing not of life,
but of comfort,
of my place in the world,
of your goodness.
And I turned to you, pleading
for you to show yourself to me
so I could know that you are in control
in the midst of the hate and the chaos
and the global warming
And so, today, I found myself
sitting in a bar, with a new friend
talking about life and God and how
it’s so damn hard to stay Christian
until you find someone who can say,
“Has it gotten in your head yet?”
and I can say, “yes, yes it has.”
and it is alright. And to know
that someone knows what I’m doing
and that God, in his infinite knowledge
knew I’d need it.

And so let it not be said that God does not exist
or that God does not hear,
or that this is just coincidence.
Because I prayed for this today,
and the God outside of time knew it
long before I ever would
but I prayed today, and God orchestrated today
so that I could know,
and now you could know,
that the plans were being orchestrated long before
I could even think to pray.
this is the God I serve.
This is the God that lives.
You work long before and long after
I ever know what happens.
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
information so far beyond me.
The love of God, amen, amen.

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Nov 28 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Young dad with a backpack
Dora the Explorer
Trailing shyly behind
Fatherly, he looks back at her
Shuffling up the sidewalk.
Protective scowl at me,
Eyes flit back to the dillydally
Extending his hand to her

In my friendliest voice
I say hello to him.
He reads my voice, grins
Also maybe because Cinderella
Has plowed into his leg, clinging
And yet looking back, intrigued
The princess looks through crenellations
Of dingy ripped jeans and deep love.
He turns her toward what must be
A bus stop, or the school itself.

Two days later walking the same path
I find a stuffed animal lost in the gutter.
The puppy is upside down, untorn.
I gently lift him to the curb,
Setting him upright for Dora to find,
Should she need puppy to sleep.
I hope that’s fatherly.

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Monday, 7:50 a.m.

Oct 12 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Up the hill
I see everyone’s backs
as they trudge up the incline,
the first wave straggling toward class.
Ragged movements, deflated by football
the loss of pride, the dejection of Monday.
Zombies rambling, all in the same direction
for no undead ever turns back;
once we die, ever headed in the same direction.
There is someone at their next stopping point,
valiantly trying to teach physics or English
at 8 a.m. on a Monday. Rough gig, but noble.
The zombies will not notice the nobility,
or become self-aware of their raggedness.
at least, not today.

Down the hill
A little brighter in the sky
A little heavier of breath.
A clear anomaly in the pattern:
Everyone is walking toward me, now
more casual, acknowledging tardiness
as a reality, not a possibility.
Some smile at my huffing and puffing,
some avert their eyes, shameful of something.
I am not a billboard model, nor even
particularly in shape;
and so I wonder what averts their eyes?
I can think of a dozen reasons,
many of which a woman should not have to worry about.
Alas, the darkness of the world still stings.
But the brightness: a man laughs, remembering-
a woman smiles, encouraged;
a friend high-fives.
These are not zombies;
although the world would make them so.
We take in the world as we must,
some defensively, some artistically,
some excitedly, some compulsively.
So we fight zombies not outside us,
but within us.

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Language Learning

Oct 12 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

There are languages I cannot speak
foreign ones with aspirated sounds
body language of the bench presser
the warp and flow of time passing.
Some syllables to be parsed aloud,
others bent shapes to be written;
yet more to be lived in, flannel shirts
worked out with fear and trembling.
This great, awe-inspiring awareness
that I have always wanted controls
yet the world rages about, unkempt
and unkept by my petty young feats;
This selfishness penned me in
to a single world, a tree in brush
but only brush in a haughty sight.
These languages rattle in my mind
and I laugh at myself and in joy:
how could I have only wanted one?
a whole whirling world to wander,
yet infinite languages to ponder,
signs and wonders and new words,
signs and wonders and new worlds.

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In Christ

May 02 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Fleece-lined sleeves on a winter coat
Arms wrapped in a tight hug
Under blanket before a fireplace
Held hands under sun by a picnic basket
Repentant, forgiven, accepted,
Called to come over and hang out

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What we’re up against

Apr 19 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

In Boston, terrible things happened.
In West, Texas, so again did things.
In another era, we would have known
about maybe one, or neither of these
if you lived in Bozeman or Normal, IL.
We have all the facts, and we despair,
but the world is no worse than it was;
it was always this. we just didn’t know.

And now progress lets us see all of
the wrenching technocolor melodramas.
We are not the worst generation;
we are a generation, like the rest.
Let us not weary of doing good
just because we now know exactly
what we’re up against.

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still hard to find

Feb 21 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Nothing is the new anything
as we sit around this table
Each trying to be “a good man”
copying, imitating, emulating
so as to be something very old
the aged tale, timeless even,
the keys and strings of souls
yearning to be made into song.
We want this, and it is wanted
of us; this is the malady fixed,
a call heeded, the work borne,
one foot in front of the other
a sea wall protecting the town
noble in longsuffering commitment.
Nothing is the new anything
the old is well and hard enough.

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30 Seconds in a Sports Bar

Feb 12 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Amid the mad mull of trivia,
a dull moment, line waiting
taking a breath and looking
I spend three hours a week,
every week, here. And yet,
I’ve never seen the posters.
I should keep track of them;
that might be useful sometime.
Oh, no, no. That’s not trivia.
That would not be a question.
Oregon vs. Arizona State on TV;
Ducks up 43 points at the half.
That’s trivia. That’s important.

The line moves.

I brush up against the poster
of an old rock band’s gig.
History, yes, trivia, maybe,
but more than that, so much
more than just a marker of that,
but a piece with weight and shape;
its own presence, firmly established.
This isn’t just history or trivia,
this is life; I should be seeing this
not to remember and regurgitate,
not for ego and a free round of beers.
I should be here, now, grounded,
living in my own life,
cultivating my own trivia,
no, no, not just flecks of information
but cultivating a whole life,
a story, a whirling world to tell
My set of ears hears the world sing
and your set of eyes tint it orange;
subjective interpretations of the objective thing.
we can touch it, together.
But we will never know it together
until we tell each other the story
the story of our experience of the thing.
Together we create a shared thing
when I look at that trivia pad,
your meaning and my meaning of it
are both in my mind, both here!

The line moves.

But for now I am Team America.
We must give four more answers.
Perhaps we win, perhaps not;
One more night in a long line.
Does this night matter?
No more than any other night,
Not trivia-worthy in the least.
But there is more to meaning
than whether the day tells well;
We are always a part of others’
subjective experience.
Tonight is not worthy to be my trivia
But I could be a part of someone’s history.

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inadequate methods

Jan 24 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

like mistresses
and distresses,
odd words written
and spoken,
too many syllables
fumbling over esses,
filling the spaces
that the meanings

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In Praise of Marsh Hyman

Jan 09 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Dear Lord, infinite holy designer,
remind me that while you set the sun
into motion in an unmeasurable space
you also are the person who created
the second, and the millisecond, and
Nalgene jars, and accidental scars,
pea coats and Hondas and Converse shoes.
Nothing escapes your purview.
Not even I, when I feel so estranged
from the entirety of the world:
against violence, against football,
for reading, for poetry, for the long-term
against lust, against stealing music.
You made all of these impulses,
these “ethics,” these decisions,
all ways to follow you.
Sometimes I break my own decisions
and join the crowd because I can,
so that I can feel like a part of
something. To not be standing on
Javert’s bridge, singing at stars
not that I believe in his song,
but because I so thoroughly don’t
and that leaves me washing dishes
cleaning house, doing favors, and
a variety of other things that no
one will ever know about, as I am
trying to cultivate an anonymity.
I want to remain humble always.
Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty boring.

And the gifts I have clang against
this desire to become faceless,
those gifts to write and publish
and ever be known by more people,
your voice more important than
everyone else’s. That’s power
and fame and the ability to move

or is it?

and so I wander about in my mind,
publishing and yet not publishing
being honest but not letting them
know that I am here; and I am here.
Ever shooting myself in the foot,
for I might feel a little less alone
if other people who felt this way,
could know that I feel like I do.
Dear Lord, who created creativity,
let me tell what I can do and let
it not turn me into an egomaniac.
For someone invented the t-shirt,
the Nalgene, the second measurement
and all that other stuff I said,
but I don’t know who did them.
Anonymously, they made my stuff.
Praise to them, and praise to you,
who keeps us in check and yet shows
that you speak through whom you will;
speak, even through small men who wander
afraid of their own voice, and soul,
and the weight of their thoughts.
Praise to you, who bore that weight,
long before I ever weighed it on myself.

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