Writing from the Heart

The sky shimmers

masking the shadow

that lies on the heart.

The earth feels solid

as I walk along the path

yet, a chasm opens

seeking to draw me down

into the depths.

It seems so long ago

that I took that step

to discover myself

as I began to write

began to explore deeply

those feelings 

that lie just below the crust

breaking out in midnight tears

wraiths weaving their threads

entwining themselves 

in and through my life.

Each day I use words

discovering hidden myths

as I scrape the surface

ever searching for truth

buried under layers of life

where lies and deceit take root

choking out the dream.

I know I’m not as clever

in the words that I use,

and there are moments

when I can’t write what I see.

But age and nature conspire

and I have only a short time

to put out into poorly written verses

that which lies heavy on the heart.

To write is to be free

to envision paradise reborn

in the moments of my life.

Thoughts while waiting at a Four Way Stop

Four way stops

are like life’s crossroads

no one really knows the rules

who gets to go first

so we take tentative steps

a quick glance 

left then right

a slow creep out

hoping to catch the eye

of the others who wait

as you gently pull out

hoping that it’s the right choice

but then again

are there ever right choices?

Simply Just Love You

I simply adore you,

the way you smile,

and your laugh

how you’ve made our home

a place of love,

the way you smell

like fresh spring flowers

after a warm April rain,

your soft body at night

when we cuddle in bed.

I simple adore you,

everything you are

and the gift of love

you share with me

and the life we have.

I simply, just love you

each and every day

On the Edge of Tomorrow

Time flies by, so they say. 

One moment your a child 

nervously entering a new school, 

then your an adolescent 

negotiating the pitfalls of puberty

as you seek to discover 

your way in the world, 

then comes those early years of adultness, 

figuring out what path to take, 

to your dream destination. 

Then you find out that life is not ride at DisneyWorld 

the Fairy Godmother is not real 

the Princess or Prince is really a frog, 

a poisonous one at that, 

but if you’re true to yourself, 

persevere through the storms 

then maybe, 

in the shifting seas 

you find that one person 

who will hold on to you no matter what. 

That one true love

that you reach out for in the dark

when you’re scared and tired

knowing they will be there.

Then comes the moment that you pause,

like an explorer, stopping to survey the landscape

looking back at where you’ve been,

then looking out onto the fog shrouded mountains,

you know you cannot go back

and so placing one foot in front of the other

you take a deep breath and step boldly out

trusting in the love and faith you have.

So Simple

It seems so simple,

to just kneel and pray

to remain quiet and still

for just a few moments,

taking time to be silent

to block out the noises

and the shouts of others

who seek only to be loud

drowning us in a sea of words

hateful words, angry words,

while all I seek is silence

kneeling in the sanctuary

looking up at the stained glass

seeking peace that lies within

to calm my heart,

yet, tears come to my eyes

the heartbreak of deep loss

that loss of spirit and faith

in all that I hold dear and true,

so I kneel and pray

to quiet my troubled heart

lifting my hands to God

seeking that deep peace.

Memories of a Time on a Snowy Day

So, on this snowy day, I’m sitting here remembering being out on guard duty looking out onto the fog illuminated by the perimeter lights, and hearing the crack pow sound of an AK-47 off somewhere in the distance as if in a dream that makes no sense. Meanwhile, outside the snow is blowing around and it’s hard to see across the yard as the plows scape and bang their way down the street and here I am stuck once again with memories of youth in a place and time where there was no snow, and the air contained the smell of rotting vegetation, mixed with the scent of tropical flowers, growing in the burned out perimeter, where only the rats ran and thrived.

Priestly Prose

As a Priest I straddle between two worlds, spiritual and material worlds, trying to preach a message two-thousand years old in a time of anxiety, where anything said or done is subject to being thrown back in your face. Don’t be too political, that’s not your place and don’t tell me to live by a message of love and grace, it cramps my style. No, just give them puppies and kittens, rainbows and unicorns, a few jokes during the sermon to make them smile, then demurely sip tea at the afternoon ladies gathering. After all I follow a homeless man, an itinerant Rabbi, carpenter by trade, who tells us to turn our cheeks, to give up everything, to carry our cross and to love even the unloveable, and that is called the Good News. 

A Drone Dares to Write

There comes a moment when you realize you suck at something so bad that it’s time to either shit or get off the pot. Writing, sure it’s not easy, sure it takes time and sure not everything written by you is worth reading, but there are those for whom writing is a lark. By that, I mean they write effortlessly. Now don’t give me some bullshit that it’s not all that easy when a seasoned writer can vomit clever lines and titles with the ease of a person having a stomach virus, the words just spew forth and all in a colorful pattern. Those of us, I should say, people like me, who have struggled creatively with everything they have ever tried (yes, I’ve tried plenty times to be creative) only to be beaten down by the critical voices both within and without. When I write all I hear are all those English teachers who only fawned over the literary geniuses in our class, rewarding them with extra credit and special one on one critique. While the rest of us drones were relegated to reading Jane and Dick books in the vast mausoleum that was called a study hall. We were the cannon fodder, the kids being readied for the factories and janitorial jobs that no one wanted to do, then the geniuses closed down the factories and the drones were truly flightless. Now, here I sit, doing what every English teacher told me I could never do and that is write, write creatively. As I enter into the later part of my life I write, a bit of prose, a bit of poetry pouring out my heart onto the blank pages. Really, what do I have to lose, all the ego and self respect as to my own creativity I once believed in, now litters those long dormant study halls of the past. I’m never going to be a “published” writer, as such, that domain belongs to the geniuses and spewers of fine words. Me, well, I’ll throw out my words like one throws spaghetti at a wall and see what, if anything, sticks which in the end only creates a mess but at least it’s my mess.

Anamnesis 

Candles are lit 

the altar hung with green

the Chalice and Paten 

entombed under the veil

on the table rest cruets of wine and water

the Ciborium is filled with bread

a small candle burns above the tabernacle

Christ present in this place.

I look out at the people

some are sitting, 

some kneel, 

others stand.

There was a time

when the priest stood with his back to them

now I stand there face to face

a sea of humanity waiting to cross

into the promised land

yearning to know God

in the simple gifts of bread and wine.

The gifts of God,

for the People of God.

The mystery of Word made flesh

an offering made for us all

as I intone the ancient words

the centuries are brought together

the living with the dead

sharing the bread and the wine

the anamnesis complete

of hearts seeking God’s gift.

Simply Listing 

Write a list poem

one that is a list

of the stuff you have

ordinary stuff,

that book of Donne poems

that old 1928 Prayerbook

a bag of pistachios 

four bibles four translations

a book explaining all that,

the Burial Office book

and Joan of Arcadia DVD’s.

It’s all a messy jumble

nothing in place 

papers strewn all over

notes long forgotten

fragments of my life

like the lists I create

pieces lost

pieces found

words said 

words not said

words lost on the wind.

A desk of potsherds

a Humpty-Dumpty

all shattered yet whole

piecing together my life.