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.

Homemade Joy

Light, fleeting, a helium balloon

Joy wobbled, bright green on a string

Floated away, waving in the wind

Higher than anything.


“I need your help!” I told my neighbors

People stumbling to and fro

“Let’s grab it! Jump! Lift me up on your shoulders!

Bring it down with a gun or a bow!”


Reaching and climbing on one another

Scrambling, clawing, sweating

Our fingers would brush the string of the balloon called Joy

But elusive, away it’d go jetting


Why is this so impossible?

Why is Joy so high?

So far, so rebellious

Floating into the cloudy blue sky?


Then suddenly, down the asphalt came

Light tapping of shoes, merry and bright

Smile cracking wrinkles on either eye

Holding something round, smooth, and full of light


“That’s Joy! How’d you get one?

Ours is still floating away

Where did yours come from?

Have you had that all day?”


Twinkling grin, arms strong

He held bright green Joy

But it was not made of helium, nor did it escape

The picture perfect happy boy


“You all are fighting for

A community feeling you have to hold together

Thinking if not all grasp the string

Then no one can have this fleeting feather.


Reliant on each other’s emotions

As if joy comes from the external

But I manufacture my own Joy

Mine is internal.”


How? When my focus is on the group’s balloon?

How to have my own glowing ball?

An orb that comes from my own heart

No matter the feeling of all


I pray my Joy exists deep and glowing

Even if everything around me breaks

If the world crumbles and falls into the sea

God’s Joy inside no one takes.





Her hands are greased

His shoulder impinged

Maybe I reached?

Maybe I walked sadly by


But those where I stubbornly stayed

Until my fingers locked up in pain

For some I righteously stayed

And held on


I cry to them to never let go

But their arm drops limp

The muscles relax

They give up


Perspiration pleading hoarse prayers

Whisk away like the wind on my tears

And she slips

Hands like oil


I promised to stay

I could have raised you up

Maybe foolishness, naivete

Tricked me into dreams of success


Unless God infuses life into the hanging biceps

And determination to the dying

Unless the person holding on chooses to change

They will all slip away from me.

Boring, Boring

Hurt him, strike him, hate him


He’s cool with it all

But the mundane is a curse

An unconquerable foe

That slowly destroys like a wrecking ball.


Waiting, hoping, for something to go wrong

Crimes of passion, deaths and break-ups

Frightening, broken, messy life


He passes on the gossip

He dines for dinner on strife


So many nights he wishes

That something juicy and delicious

Would shake up his boring, boring world

Would send a tingle up his spine

Make him gasp in horror

Make his toes curl


But everything serene, peaceful, and calm

Sends his stomach boiling in apathy

And curse ennui, curse tedious

Curse comforts and tradition

Curse happy Disney songs

Curse tethering oneself to be studious


After realizing it’s never enough

A tornado here, a car accident there

Facebook feeds of conflict-laden fights

Political turmoil, undercover conspiracies

The psychopath begins to create the things he wishes

On boring, boring, easy nights.





No longer a size ten

Can’t wear those soft old shirts

Crow’s feet round the eyes

Waking up just hurts


Hairdo’s perfect

Makeup now just right

Yet curves have multiplied

Diet is a fight


She knows it’s about her heart

She knows her friends abound

She knows the mirror lies to her

She knows life’s better older, she’s found


She’d never choose to be a teen again

She’d never give up her freedom now

Her sobriety, maturity…

But how


Can she turn off that voice that says

Neither man nor women look

No one cares, no one praises

You’re done – the end of your book?


She knows it doesn’t matter

This earth’s not all there is

Her life is golden and largely pleasant

But every once in a while this


Hits her square between her aging eyes

The other half of me

Is ugly, ignorable, DONE

My body


And she can’t keep the grief out of her step

Because this world with every billboard and ad

Says no one will ever find me beautiful again

And it shouldn’t, but it makes her sad.