Thursday, February 24, 2011

Comfortable With Your Own Demons

It seems incredible now
When the earth shook I'd find a doorway
Slip under a table
A reality I learned
When my ballet career was cut short
All I thought of was you
It seems surreal now
A throng of pink legs in the street
And I couldn't see you
I couldn't find you
I didn't think of it as abnormal
Years from now
You've grown comfortable with your new demon
It seems incredible now
Your world shaking down the plaster
And you remain calm
He is not a natural disaster

I wrote a gigantic explanation for this piece, but realized this was not the blog for my essay on the world's fallen state, the second coming of Christ, marriage, natural disasters, family ties, and ballet. Perhaps my other blog would be a better venue. It will suffice to say, I wrote this for my sister, who married her own earthquake.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Untitled (This is Very Exciting)

For the first time, I am posting more than just poetry. This is a fraction of a short story that came to me yesterday amid washing coating material from Tall Fescue seeds.
The name of one of the characters is blank. I realize it almost looks like a curse word with the asterisks, but honestly I can't quite get a good grasp on who the character is. All I know is that he is the son of the narrator. I think his name is Francis, but I'm unsure.
Also, quite honestly the editing is deplorable. This was written in one sitting and it's very rough. So, forgive any aberrant punctuation.

The first time I realized there was something wrong was when **** asked for a rabbit. “A rabbit?” I asked a little blankly. “You know we can’t keep a rabbit in the apartment, ****” I know,” he replied, “I meant a stuffed one.” "Your twelve years old, too old to be playing with stuff like that,” I said a little too gruffly.

He looked down at his mud spattered shoes. “You need new shoes,” I said. He bent forward slightly to ascertain the truth of my statement. "I’ll get you some new shoes," I said. “I want a rabbit,” he repeated, as if the conversation had not even taken place.

The truth is, I couldn’t even afford a rabbit, much less a new pair of shoes. I felt guilty because now that Mary-Evangeline was gone **** was home alone all day while I was at work. “Want to go to the park tomorrow?” I asked. He blinked at my non sequitur. “Look you can’t have a rabbit!” I irrationally proclaimed. His shoulders stiffened and I felt a pang of remorse. “Ok dad,” he said and walked back to the table where a glass of milk grew warm from the air temperature.

Part of what leadership training classes will instill in you, is to never admit you made a mistake, even if you did. This will keep your subordinates from seeing you as a weakling or a pushover. You may modify or change your decision but never admit you were wrong. These leadership classes do not prepare you for the guilt you will feel when you have taken this path. They certainly do not prepare you for parenting.

I walked stiffly from our grey little building at the end of our grey little street in Vancouver, Washington. I was already late for work but I stopped in the park because there was a little girl at the playground attached to our apartment complex. There was nothing particularly interesting about this little girl. She looked like every other little girl I had seen at that desolate playground, except that she wasn’t playing. Granted, there were only two swings and one was broken, and there was one slide that was probably just a little too small for her, but she was not looking at either. She was holding a mass of puffy material which appeared to be a headless stuffed animal of some sort and looking up at the room I had just left behind.

My eyes found exactly what she was seeing. In the window with his face against the glass was a bleary-eyed ****. He had not yet seen me, but he held a sign that said, “Sory. Fathr wonts me to grow away from toys.”

I backed slowly away from this strange scene. Neither child had seen me and as I rounded the corner I saw the little girl lift her hand to **** and walk back into the complex.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This is my Calvary
The pietà is over
I've walked the earth for thirty-two years
My mother never cried
My arms outstretched with violence
Ever spinning 'round my head in thorny blooms
I forgive Michaelangelo
The image of myself will be rent asunder
I forgive the prison guards
This, my world, is darkening
I forgive the passers-by
For they know not what they do.

I was listening to a podcast that mentioned Laszlo Toth, and his attacking the Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica in 1972. I didn't know much about the story and honestly still don't. Basically he was a crazy man who was under the impression that he was Jesus Christ, and went at the statue with a geologist's hammer. He ended up in an asylum in Italy and was eventually released to Austrailia where he still lives.
I suppose a man thinking he was the resurrected Jesus Christ attacking a statue of Jesus Christ and His mother was a powerful image for me, and that poem was the result. I'm not quite satisfied with all of it. There are things I'd like to add and some things I'd like to polish, but I suppose it's that way with everything we write.

Monday, February 21, 2011

6. Blessing I Will Bless Thee

Earth, let me be
And rain on me blessings
The my increase should return
And kneel
Earth, let me be
And keep me always near you
Remember you have caused the growth
Harvest then, me
Let me be
Earth, let me be

I haven't posted from my Hebrews project in a while. Cheers!

Friday, February 18, 2011


It would be easy to misinterpret
This wordless banter; our vocal eye contact
The Lord chose the printed word for a reason
We could not hold up under eye contact
I am lost in the mirrors of your teeth
And your eyes repeat me, twice
In this warmth I am telling you things
My body creates broken sentences
Which my lips put to death before they reach you
Can you see their ghosts in my eyes?
I mean what I look; but I can't see what you mean.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wind in the Wheat

An immense emerald glittering carpet
All stalks alike in the wind's eyes
His breath making each one alive
Each stalk bends towards his neighbor
To kiss
To battle
To dance
To kill
To embrace
To push
Against loneliness they seek
Stalk with stalk
Wave upon wave
The wind watches and one day all will raise to the wind
An open palm
Some screeching their significance
Others silently bowed
The wind will animate without borders

This was a response a while back in response to SB1070 down in Arizona. I am not directly commenting on closed borders or immigration or racism or anything in here. What I am saying is I believe in a God who sees us as either His children or not, regardless of race or citizenship. And I do not think I'll ever understand Christians who wouldn't see an influx of new people as a chance to spread the gospel, and an opportunity to show His love to them. Honestly, I have absolutely no good ideas about "fixing" whatever is wrong with illegal immigration or the process of citizenship, but I know many believers who are not looking at this the way we ought.

P.S. I hate the first line. Anyone have any ideas of how to make it better? Collaborative poetry, anyone?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


There's a light there, Noah
As you approach the battleground
I know before you do, that you
Are about to take your brother's toys
Your black eyes shimmer
As your mother leaves the room
And your round full cheeks crease
With the loveliest of baby smiles
As you push over his newly formed castle
Then onto plump knees you fall
Tearing apart moat and drawbridge
Plundering his building blocks
A tremble begins upon his lips
How can I look into your shining eyes and scold?
You adorable rapscallion infant!
Your one-toothed grin is rakish
And unconquerable
This is beyond armistice
I've lost this war and go to find the crackers

This is another one written as an excercise doing my poetry workshop from last year. We were supposed to think of something that made us very happy, and I picked working in the nursery at my church. My mother is going to read this and be shocked that I said it makes me happy, but it has its moments, and when they happen I love it. It also has its moments where I want to flee for my life and my peace, but I imagine that is similar to motherhood.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Garden Ghost

It was a bad year for grapes
The summer was too cold
For anything but low-hanging fruit
And I walked in my dreams
Holding out my desperate hands
For clusters even I had to jump for
Unfortunately, I was not the only ghost in the garden

This is a love poem. Really. Happy belated Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


So, apparently I can post other people's lyrics as long as I don't use the entirety of the song. I'm not really digging any of my stuff today (Read: I completely left my poetry notebook at home this morning), and there's just so much good Tupac out there. I'll probably post an excerpt from different people every once in a while. And I'd like it to be mainly rap lyrics, to show that some of them actually are poetry. I should also state now that I will be editing any inappropriate content. I'd like to keep my blog relatively family friendly.

Excerpt from Changes
I see no changes all I see is racist faces
misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
We under I wonder what it takes to make this
one better place, let's erase the wasted
Take the evil out the people they'll be acting right
'cause both black and white is smokin' crack tonight
and only time we chill is when we kill each other
it takes skill to be real, time to heal each other
And although it seems heaven sent
We ain't ready, to see a black President, uhh
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
But some things will never change
try to show another way but you stayin' in the dope game
Now tell me what's a mother to do
bein' real don't appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way"I made a G today"
But you made it in a sleazy way
sellin' crack to the kid. " I gotta get paid,"
Well hey, well that's the way it is

I picked this one because it's one of my favorite Tupac songs. It's a little more redeeming and takes on bigger issues than some of his others. Plus, he uses Bruce Hornsby's "Changes" as the chorus and it is an interesting contrast with the melody of the song against Tupac's flow. Also, I like that a black president was mentioned. I'm sorry Tupac did not live to see this happen.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sermon #4

A reversion to hope
Into the child that knew wisdom
In incredulity
Content to sit at the feet of the Lord
Decreasing to the world and the minds of those who would judge
The rolling eye and sneering lip of age
Out growing the story
Re-awaken the enchantment
From the sluggish cynicism of years

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Musings at Work #3

Another dead mouse
This one totally obliterated
Under the ubiquitous wheels of the forklift

It looks like an offering
A small icy blood puddle with a tail
Sacrificed to the gods of industrialization

I almost stepped on it
I was hoping that his family had left
That life held more promises than a course meal of seeds

Monday, February 7, 2011

Savannah, GA pt. 1

Your palm frond hands and Spanish moss
Drip with unspoken secrets
Your heart haunted by the figures
Dancing in the light of the magic of your eyes
And did my momentary foot touch
Where the great ones trod, like Sherman’s pride
I breathe in the heat of your living history
And touch my own experience on earth
Eternal as the mayfly
Savannah, your comedies and tragedies
Whisper in the sea-grass
Your gothic beauty wrapped in silence and history

Friday, February 4, 2011

You Meant it for Evil; But God Meant it for Good

I’ve sold you so often
Again and Again I present your bloody clothes to the crowd
He is dead, I lie often to myself
I have these moments where I resent your control
I am jealous of your power
You’ve been wounded to save me
Just as the eleven brothers stupidly furthering
Their own humility
I have been furthering my own defeat
While you suffered like Joseph
For the preservation of your would-be murderer
I, am no better than these
But punishment is withheld
You give me grains of grace and life
I fall humbled before your love

This was inspired by a John Piper sermon on the selling of Joseph by his brothers. It's in Piper's "Spectacular Sins" sermon series. Don't be put off by the name. It's great.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lies About You

I think I strained a muscle when I looked for you before
I think I fell apart when you walked right out my door
I think my eyes were blinded by your sensitive sweet side
I think that none of this is true; I think I may have lied

I hear you sprained your ankle sometime late last night
I hear you had a heart attack because we had no fight
I hear you lost your memory and everything you knew
I hear that all of that’s a lie, and none of it is true

I know you started running when you heard me down the hall
I know you couldn’t stand to see a proud man like you fall
I know you wished that this was something that we tried
I know that none of this is true; I think I may have lied

I thought the rain was falling against your glassless pain
I thought I couldn’t hear you cause you’re choking me again
I thought we’d work this out until our hearts were torn in two
I thought that all of that’s a lie, and none of it is true

I wrote this about five or six years ago and it means a lot to me. There are some parts I dig, and some parts I don't (glassless pain? come on!), but it had merit for me anyway.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Heron

In that moment I forgot everything
I forgot you broke my heart
I forgot I held a grudge
I forgot his imminent death
Simply I saw it
Hovering over water
Like an incomplete kiss

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Soft Oregon Rain

Skittering like wishes on glass puddle pains
Soft death of blanched earthworm
And now emergent from sunshades
The swallows sound like tin cups
In treetops
The tinny rustlings of restless swallows
Immigrant variations on a familiar theme.

Just for the record, I'm not actually this nostalgic about rain. If I could afford to live in Arizona, I would do it in five minutes. But I guess when I wrote this, it was appealing to me for some reason beyond myself.