Category Archives: faith

Easter 2014

My annual Easter poem. I had a different one, but a couple nights ago, I just started writing this. 

It’s a messy, messy world
out there, all around me

Can I help the defensive blaming feeling
as the questions rise up in me
resonating AT me
culminate to one – age-old question from Gethsamene –
“Who is it you are looking for?”

Still, I’ll ignore that ugly sunken feeling
As I kiss him, betray him
Yell “Hosanna!” and “Crucify Him!”

But it’s a confounding, weeping feeling
that suddenly I see
– as the thief and the denier
or maybe worse, the bystander –
That, still (in spite of),
I’m promised a forgiven destiny
here and later.

And in the dawn,
it’s a clear and chilly feeling
to touch the stone
and WONDER WHERE?

Silence.

I can only realize regret that the truth is…

I’m a messy messy world in me
full of fear and gravity.
Through the noise of emptiness,
“Who is it I’m looking for?”

Then Mercy at its deepest
Truest
Softest
Says my name.

And I recognize the voice
and look up.

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Turn-Over

First iteration from one of the products of our very first monthly writing group with Halley Greene.

‘False’
reverberates through the
room bouncing through
heads and paintings of barking
animals fighting over bones…

if truth enters, it seeps in under
the door.
Starting at our feet.
and if it isn’t trampled
it may rise to the waist and if
our arms embrace it,
rising higher – squeezed up
up. up. into our eyes and wine glasses
smoking higher
diluting
penetrating
grazing soft kisses on eyebrows
relief through fires’ fear.
extinguishing like a slow suffocating
unaware but so. so. clear
up. up. in the air.
until our ears quit ringing
with the reverberating.

Consonance in the key of love-minor

I admit, this one is purely my own selfish indulgence in my love for the beauty of words…

In light years ahead, can love be seen,
a traveling gleam from this point of view through hundreds of — fears?
And if so, is it trial or triumph?
or simply a trip:
today’s augmented reality: a Thai-fervor with exotic graphics?

Or is it a lonesome lacking
a balloon looking
(like a vagrant Valentine)
frightened of the inescapable
landscape that looms
largely
replacing the lazy longing for love?

A seeking
or freezing?
Learning love
and hating
stepping on
or via vice versa

(My toes are numb…still…)

So artful glances shoot spitefully like a cat,
hair on ends, tail straight up,
suspicious of simpering selves

Suspicious of savory sweets
Scintillating streams of swiss chocolate
thick, melt in your mouth unmentionables
(It’s impossible to talk, anyway, with your mouth full)

A string-along
a run of words
wondering at what moment it would be wise to win?

Or lose?
(A great loss can more than lengthen the lack of lackadaisical looks)

Defenses appear
Hackles instantly rise

A run-on sentence
becomes a rambling Rover of rumors,
the Pied Piper of the painful poets
Forces the English language
to match that effervescent (and sometimes frenetic) language of love…eons ago
eons and languid eons ago.

Whoever may, will
Find love
A laughable test if anyone really knows it well enough,
swelling up
full of philanthropy
Or for some: philandering
(or phallic fallacy?).
All would like to imagine that
no, it must be more than
Phileo

It’s tough, they know
complicated, we know,
but some just don’t give up trying
even when they beg to
die to
love too

It hurts
but in the end, (forgive the moral
but it must be made, you know.)
In the end,
I (amongst all the vice and voice)

Could only hope
that the words and wanderings were worth it, despite wary and wearing
Lifting
like that balloon
Searching for
(not even demarcation or demonstration)
more than decoration

maybe even for deflation
in some one’s lonesome yard.

And it is enough.
It is enough for me.

Dis-unraveling

Could a well-oiled, put-together puzzle, complex
in its structure and solution
withstand an earthquake
of questions and doubt?

Yes. I think it could.

Could the one who created this world
setting natural and spiritual laws in motion
stand under a barrage of
angry pontification or
sobbing accusations or
reasonable considerations?

I think he would.

If we think we see a crack in our foundation
isn’t it okay to peer down into it
pick at it?
Are we so afraid that this scab
would reveal an anemic system
or a suffering of hemophilia,
gushing unfounded and diluted answers?

Sure.

There’s a sense of safety
in never questioning,
security in full acceptance
but a complete contentment
with cryptic concessions
can only in the end
be disingenuous

Could it be

daring and disturbing
frighting and fruitful
spacious in mind and moral and mystery
even Truthful…
to say
“I need to see and touch the scars”?

Reaction

On Nov 8, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Working where I do, we are surrounded by the news, and  it’s easy to become numb to the numbers. But today, seeing pictures, reading almost-surreal first-hand accounts of a devastated place half way around the world, a couple thoughts came to me…

Typhoon Haiyan

You know what I can’t imagine?
Waiting for that storm to hit.
Feeling like you can’t do anything else – but
pray
perhaps, if you dare,
And just wait.

And knowing that the odds are against you.
Against your whole community.
Knowing you or your neighbor will be the one washed away.
And if it’s your neighbor,
You’ll be walking by his body in just 24 hours,
Grief-stricken
But relieved that you’re alive.

Or will you be?

And so you sit and wait and only hope.
As the winds get stronger.
As the rain falls harder.

Is there a calm that falls on you, like an eye
In the middle
or right before?

Or maybe I’d want to shout,
“Typhoon Haiyan – WE SALUTE YOU! Bring your rage on!”
But it would do no good.

Bravery and death
have no correlation.
And the only question I have left now is…
Did prayers?

For updates or to donate: click here.

Because.

Happy Father’s Day to my Papa.

Because you were Goliath for our plays.
Or the horse.
Because every night, you had time to make banana chocolate milkshakes.
Because you always answered the little six year old, scared in the dark, calling
‘Daddy!’

Because you read Winnie the Pooh over and over and over again.
And wiggled your eyebrows at me when I felt blue.

Because you built us a dollhouse
And taught us how to use a machete.

And how to swim
to climb
to care
to give to others
And how to change a tire
and ride a bicycle.
Because you made me wear a helmet, even when I felt silly.
Because you let me drive your motorcycle
even after I knocked down the fence.

Because when I woke up early in the morning, I could see you sitting outside
coffee cup in one hand
Bible in the other.

Because still, retired, you go running with me. Or play pickle ball. Or volleyball.
Because you’re never too old.

Because you’re humble
and you’re strong

and faithful.

Because you taught me to love life. And take it seriously.
Because you cried and you weren’t ashamed.

Because you make me laugh.
With your puns.
Your poses.
Your stories.
Because you sing the words
even when you don’t know the song.

Because you can make a mistake and say ‘sorry’.
Because every time I need it, you pray.

Because you always love the view
and take a million pictures
taking pleasure in the simple things.

Because you speak bahasa like a local
and keep connected with your students.
Because you could always be interrupted.
Because everywhere you go, you’re talking to someone.
Making friends.

Because you’re my friend.

Because you ask my opinion.
And care what I think.
Because you make me brave
and want to live up to all that you believe I am.

Just because
I’m so proud to be your daughter.

The Word

My annual reflection on Easter…

“Father. Forgive them”
Spoken from a place of God-forsaken pain
deep incomprehensible love for all
who cried
“Hosanna” and
“Crucify Him” in one
breath

“It is finished” breaks the earth,
tears religion top to bottom
Regained access to our Creator

And when death is buried
sealed, guarded,
dawn comes…
The stone removed
reveals astonishing Truth:

“He is not here.
He is risen.”