Showing Up

The chaplain reminded us,

that life consists of showing up,

being there, in good and bad,

when life gets hard,

when life gets easier.

Being present,

it’s not easy sometimes,

as our own life gets messy,

falling off the rails,

pushing us to the edge,

where we stumble about.

Maybe it’s then,

when we’re uncertain,

when life is foggy,

that our being there, 

just listening is enough.

Showing up,

not with certainty,

armed only with love.

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Writing Poetry

 I’ve been writing a lot of poetry these past few months, well, let’s just say I think I’ve been writing poetry. I’m definitely not a classic poet, I don’t do all of the rhyming or understanding of what constitutes a decent poem. Yet, I continue to write these poems and once in a while I get a few positive comments and quite a number of likes. 

 Lately, I’ve begun to reflect on my writing, what it means, what I intend it to mean, basically those great existential questions of self worth and what my life is about. Most of what I write starts as a short verse or just one word. From that one short verse or word, I start to write, usually a stream of consciousness until I exhaust that vein of words. I then look over what has been written, read it out loud to hear what it’s saying and then make edits. Many times I surprise myself at what I’m reading. It’s as if my mind and thoughts are no longer my own as I write down what I’m hearing inside. Another voice, ancient and elusive, seems to be seeking an outlet as I write. 

 Ever since being struck by that car door, over a year ago, this voice deep within has been ever present with me. I see the world and all that is around me in a different light. I see the flowers and trees, the birds, and the life around me, coming even more alive. There is a vividness all around, an achingly beautiful, yet fearful world, that screams at my heart to write about. I really can never explain these feelings, as I am still seeking to make sense of what I’m hearing and writing about.

 So, I will continue on this path, I will write more poems, delve into sacred prose, seek the Spirit that underlies my very life. Some will resonate, some will just purely suck, all of it will be mine. 

Lost SoldierĀ 

“What’s the spirit of the bayonet!”

“To kill without mercy,”

In a time and a place,

we stabbed at straw filled effigies,

of those we were supposed to hate.

Taught to use weapons of war,

to do what we needed to survive,

by making sure the other did not.

No glory, no marching bands,

no great crowds as we paraded by,

only cold stares from war weary folks.

The years have passed yet I remember,

as I stabbed at those straw figures,

with blood in my eyes, being the hero.

Now I’m an old man filled with regrets,

of a time and place long lost,

of a brotherhood united by war,

trying to once again piece together,

those lost places of the heart. 

Digging

It’s like digging out of an avalanche,

nothing but darkness and cold,

suffocating under the shear weight.

Trying, to make the arms and legs work,

moving tons of debris away seeking light.

Each hole I punch out, fills again,

each handful I grab gets only heavier.

The act of digging is emotionally debilitating,

I want to just rest, to close my eyes,

allow the dark and cold to overtake.

If only my mind would let go of the thoughts,

that litter the landscape of the interior.

Looking at the road, seeing the past,

wondering about the future, living in the present,

the rustle of dry leaves underfoot, crunching.

I Started to Write a Poem

I started to write a poem,

had no idea where to go,

nothing comes to mind,

as I sit here all alone.

It’s not easy just to write,

something prophetic,

something profound,

nature takes its own course,

and I’m just an old man,

whose thoughts are a jumble.

So, I started to write a poem,

of what I see all around,

the children bustling off to school,

as parents look relieved,

the yellow busses filled with young,

bright, green leaves on trees,

flowers drooping, colors fading.

Late summer sun shining,

grasses dry and brown from drought,

this world just keeps turning,

not thinking what we are about.

I find that love grows deeper,

each year as we trod along,

life is like these poems I write,

a bit messy, a bit trite.

So, I do only what I can,

and continue to write

Old Prayerbook

Opening the old prayerbook,

pages yellowing with age,

smelling musty, aged.

It’s language is archaic,

lost to another place,

to a time long ago.

Walking through the pages,

listening to ghostly voices,

that speak to the soul.

The poetry of ancient rhymes,

psalms, prayers, 

like incense rising.

In an age that rushes,

where deep language 

is cheapened.

This old book is the wardrobe,

taking us into wonders unseen.

It’s the secret gate,

leading into the garden,

of light and color.

If we dare to take time,

to step through that gate,

to tread the path 

beyond the wardrobe.

To walk slowly, patiently

to fully absorb into the self.

the meditative rhythm,

We may then see grace,

in these old words. 

To Colin

Yes, you have the right to sit,

during the National Anthem.

Yes, you have the right to speak,

against the darkness of racism,

that still infects our people.

Yes, you have the right to be angry,

to not acknowledge the flag,

or the nation which it symbolizes.

Yet, as you sit there, on the sideline,

remember, those who sacrificed,

those who marched off to war,

who faced greater challenges in life,

than some hulking defensive end.

Men who trained and fought,

side by side as a brotherhood

giving their lives, so you could sit.

Yes, things could be better,

we all need to look deep within,

black and white, brown and yellow

acknowledging our part.

So in the end let us remember

never forgetting, why we can sit.