Veteran

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?

Better, But Not Enough

Insufficient

Exasperating

Controlling

Fearful

Worrywart

Cautious

Helicopter

Mother Bear

 

Fighting

Striving

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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Rescue

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

Drama

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

Adrenaline-junky

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.

 

 

 

Boundaries

Brain and spirit
Soul and mind
Where they intersect
And combine?

Where does
Biochemistry
Fade deep into
Spirituality?

When do I say “Enough!
You’re wrong!”
When give comfort
Blanket with a song?

Cycle after cycle
Generationally blind
Procures one after the other
No healing I find.

Yet the individual
Stands alone
In front of God
And his judgment throne.

Only He can sift
The past from the present
The one from the whole
The wicked memories or pleasant.

But what about me
Bruised and torn?
I watch and wait
Do I leave them forlorn?

Boundaries and walls?
Or abundant mercy?
Trust my own heart?
Or wiser hearsay?

Stuck in the limbo
Where grey and murk reside
Love looks different
On this side.

I wake every day begging
For God to guide.
Each response is unique
Each time I cried.

Don’t cast stones
Deep into another’s bog.
We are all levels of wading
This life’s intense fog.

God give us grace
No way to be perfect.
Not drowning now
Head above the surface.

You Were Not There

Deepest rejection of my existence

Crushed and slandered, confused and heart drowned

You were not there

 

Brand new first

Happy, begging for advice

You were not there

 

Sudden extinction

Loss of life

You were not there

 

Questioning all

Turtle in a shell

You were not there

 

Pain and sorrow

To fill a deep lake

You were not there

 

Tentatively putting

One foot after the other

You were not there

 

But God was there

Growth

Behind the door

Impetus
Ignominy
Ignorant

But mine.

If I am my past as much as my contemporary

Then I can’t lacerate and abscond
This retrospection
And fantasize that it never was

They ask me what I’d wish to warn
The younger me, alone and forlorn

It tempts and soothes the mind to cry,
“Two names – evade them, rather die!”

But.

The now me who’s

Intuitive
Incorruptible
Impeccable

Maybe would cease to be

If I had not known you.

Power

I have an ability

Like magic in my veins

A power intense

Causes ecstasy or pains

 

I wielded this in my youth

With strength and ease

Senseless abandonment

Whenever and wherever I please

 

The skill is honed

Now that I’m older

Can kill without thought

Fine-tuned and bolder

 

And it shakes me with terror

As many by it fall

I stifle my power

Evaluate it all

 

It makes the eyes glisten

Moves the heart

Brainwashes the mind

And changes every part

 

So these later years

I watch, wait, and pray

And nervously pace

Guarding what I say

 

What is this power

That fills me supernaturally?

It’s something you have too

It’s basic and actually…

 

Our words.

The Mayor’s Child

images

 

I have numerous brothers and sisters

I am somewhere in the middle

We’re raised by our father Luc

Our mother is dead

 

We attend a school each day

Teeming with shady teachers

They lie to us and lead us astray

I hate it there

 

But the man I hate most

Is our city’s mayor

He sits in a mansion atop a high hill

He has guards at His gates

 

Dad despises his guts

He spits at the TV when he appears

When his employees campaign at our house

Dad throws rocks

 

A couple of times I’ve found

Banners and fliers in the cellar

Old stained blood on the floor

And I know he’s killed some

 

He hates the mayor

 

See, the thing is my dad has campaigned too

Us by his side dressed up nice

The man with a dozen sweet children

But in the end, Dad always loses

 

Then one frosty morning

Everything changes

The despised mayor sends

His only kid to our school

 

It makes no sense

The boy has tutors

A hoard who serves him day and night

Why is he here in our slimy school?

 

Those who voted for his father are few

They’re afraid to speak up around us

Luc’s children abound

And teachers tear the mayor’s picture

 

Why is the mayor’s son here?

 

He’s tanned and average-looking

Nothing like what expected

I thought he’d be peaches and cream and golden

Like his father

 

The boy his famous father always kept off the TV

Only guesses as to his character

The cameras on him now

The teachers disgusted

 

He makes friends so fast my toes curl

He gives out gifts like he’s infinitely wealthy

But not cheap, shallow money

Real things that make personal sense

 

My dad, in anger, beats me

His belt a stinging whip

He breaks my arm under his fists of stone

My mouth is silent, my heart already dead

 

It’s my plan, I own it proudly

My brothers and sisters we plot

Around the locker rooms at recess

On the rusty playground at lunch

 

But the mayor’s son looks at us and we think he’s heard

Does he know?

 

My dad gives me the weapon gladly

Wringing his hands and patting my greasy head

My broken arm limp by my side

I am his favorite child now

 

The mayor’s son keeps no guards

His small arms aren’t strong

His voice is firm but gentle

His step soft and light

 

This will be easy.

 

On the last day of the semester

All my brothers and sisters

We storm through the school doors

Handguns clutched in jittery hands

 

The teachers see us and step aside

The few children who voted for the mayor run in fear

We are unopposed

Unstopped

 

The mayor’s son steps out of a classroom

He walks straight for us

No surprise in his eyes

Nothing to defend himself

 

Hands out in welcome

He is alone

 

We gun him down without mercy

My siblings and I fill him full of holes

We kick his head when we’re done

We stand triumphant over his lifeless body

 

But suddenly the boy pulls out his cell phone

He had it all along

He could have summoned his guards

Rescue was one call away

 

But at this time he calls the mayor

We hear the man’s voice pick up

“Dad, I’m dying but don’t be mad

Luc’s children don’t know that it’s wrong.”

 

They have no idea what they’re doing

 

When the mayor’s guards come to our father’s house later that day

Dad acts like his hands are tied

He gnashes his teeth and curses

But his gun lies still at his feet

 

They take only me

Somehow they knew

I was the schemer

It was my fault

 

I’ll never forget the look in his eye

When he asked his dad to forgive us.

When he breathed his last

When his blood stilled cold

 

The large gates on the hill open

I’ve never been in here before

My knees are liquid

My breath is a panic

 

I shall die now

The mayor runs forward with arms open wide

He himself who I’ve seen on TV

He clutches me in arms so strong

My breath disappears entirely

 

Why is he hugging me?

What is this?

 

“You are my son!” he says

And I think he has actually gone mad

“I killed your son!”

And it comes out in a sob

 

With a smile that thaws out my dead heart

That peaches and cream and gold

Looks straight into my soul

And he says

 

“You were always my son

I adopt you back today

I chose you from the moment my wife gave you birth

But Luc abducted you from me.

 

Even if I had extended a hand

You thought you were Luc’s son

You did his bidding

You were his, in bondage

 

So I waited until the perfect timing for your heart

And then sent my own son.

I knew if you killed him, and you saw his death

Your heart would be ready

 

Luc would have no hold on you

The law would have no hold on you

Your teachers would have no hold on you

Your debt would be paid

 

And I would draw you here back to me.”

 

It’s too much for me to understand

To trade one perfect son for me

To adopt his enemy

To choose me and love me

 

His plan

 

If thought that my soul would contain no other emotion

But I was wrong once again

For behind the mayor

Appeared his dead son

 

Alive and well

Bullet holes like scars

Marring his hands and feet

“Come live with us, my sibling!

 

You too are the mayor’s child!”

 

 

“For He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will– to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.”

Ephesians 1:4-8