On the Nose

My hand wavers over the screen

I eye the things calling out your name

I wish I could send them or buy them all

But I fear it’s too on the nose


The tomes you could read, mementos to gather

Communities formed with like-minded travelers

Who pilgrim through hardship just like you

Extend their hands and cry out! On the nose.


I want to say “No!” as piercing as a scream

And tell you things are not what they seem

But you’re as fragile as a thundercloud

And I’ll be thought of as too on the nose


All of my gift ideas and nonfiction books

The self-help articles and encouraging talks…

Is my love also too on the nose?

Or is it simply not enough?



Where is balance, who am I?

Am I seasoned veteran

Or backwards relic?

Does humility dictate I do nothing but ask?

Or do I limit my reach and my ministry?


Does all my legacy mean nothing

If it’s not modern and hip?

If in the arts one’s considered expired, only

After a decade; how do true seniors feel?


When I focus on beating down pride

And opening two ears while closing one mouth

Does this diminish my respect?

Where is the balance?


Your eyes don’t see what the world all sees

I think you believe multiple realities

How can you possibly twist and turn

Your mirror like it’s a messy butter churn?


You are so wrong, I can’t say it better

But not in every little letter

There’s enough truth to fool those that aren’t close

Your cross-eyed gaze won’t travel past your nose


So now all I want is to be perpetually right

It may look argumentative, my clenched fists tight

But the risk of seeing the world wrong even a bit

Means I could turn into you, so I stop and sit


And desperately turn the kaleidoscope round in my brain

My thoughts obsess like a one-way lane

I’m sorry I’m so desperate but I need accountability

Because my relationship with reality demands fidelity


Can’t contain it


I am not sovereign

Without a chance to say no


Trials, suffering, bad news

You’re going to allow

The dam to be breached

And quite a lot this year


I’ve never been promised a fortress

I’m not the sequestered princess

In this life

I’m the knight with flayed armor


So instead of praying for no dragon’s breath

Instead I pray for time

Give me the meadows, hours of joy

Then do what you will, my King


Give me time to polish my armor

Give me time to prepare with sleep

Hold back the droplets when my plans are precious

Still I submit on bended knee

Better, But Not Enough








Mother Bear




Bravely trying

Stepping off the platform into the abyss


I am a conqueror


Yet when I step back

You mock my nerves

My sensibilities


You who have no idea how far I’ve come

The fathoms of change and growth

You know nothing

To you I will never be enough



Ten Years

to Brad


A decade of laughter, sorrows and dreams

A decade of three new human beings

A decade of love, pride humbled and lost

A decade of following Christ and counting the cost

Started on an island, came full round

As we walk now hand in hand on sandy ground

Older, kinder, smarter, quiet

Feasting on a gratitude diet

Love ripened and mature

Hopes in the future, worries blur

Full of nothing but peace and grace

I never tire of gazing at your face

“I love you” has never been more true

I love doing life with you



Tragic, death, destruction, loss
Heaven or hell
Adrenaline shot
Gasping hyperventilate
Blood pressure high
Grief and elate

Then crash like a child
Through Narnia’s door
Slams back into England
Out of magic snow
To tedious normalcy
Boring life flow

Runs headlong
Into little me
My problems average
My sorrows small
Never known pandemics
Or epic suffering at all

Does the soldier’s temper
Snap like a twig
Like a hurricane?
Lonely, uncomprehending
“Who are you?”
So condescending

I’m me
I’m average
I’m not sorry
I haven’t been to outer space
Or Narnia
Or a war-torn place

Does my scraped knee
And my friends’ fight
Not matter
Unimportant, less?
I could hear your perspective
But I haven’t lived through that mess

As I back away
Are you saying, “Just leave”?
You can’t have a muggle
For a friend.
I don’t get it
This is the end?

I’m not going to run
And throw myself to the flames
To be able to relate.
If you scoff at my tears that glisten
I guess all I can do
Is shut up and listen.