An Incomplete Poem Looking for a Metaphor 

I wonder if words are enough

in a world full of noise

cheap trinkets 

dangling from golden tongues

distorted versions of their true selves

barbarians at the gates

breaking down the wills and souls

of those too weak to withstand

the intensity of the barrage

that comes in the 24 hour cycle

without break, without rest

meant to wear down opposition

of those who speak of peace

of the kingdom of love

words as healers of the broken

in the quiet morning hours

flowers open to the warming sun

embracing the life that shines

banishing the darkness

The Headache of Zeus

I’m looking for that perfect sentence

the one that will open this poem

the perfect metaphor never used

so that you will read my poetry.

I even bought a book or two

to help me on my quest

to find the right combinations

of those words that I seek.

Poetry for Dummies is one

that claims to help demystify poetry

only will it help demystify me.

I dream, dreams of words aligned

all in perfect poetic order

then when I sit to write they are a jumble.

Outside the sun shines bright

and I hear the birds singing

the world is slowly waking up 

as I emerge from the dreams.

Now I sit here writing once again

looking at the blinking cursor

on the blank screen of the iPad

trying to remember what I dreamed

in the midnight hours

because what I saw was that sentence

all pretty and perfect

just waiting to be birthed

a sleeping fetus

enclosed in a darkened womb

of my mind

the headache of Zeus

that refuses to be born.

Foxhole Prayers, Talisman’s and Lucky Charms

Foxhole prayers,

those prayers that come

when we’re stuck in the mud

when the slime and grime

of the world has worn us down,

we pull out our talismans

that special rabbits foot

the four-leaf clover

reciting that charm

we learned so many years ago.

We pray without words

to some unseen deity 

even when we don’t believe, 

when all is crashing down

suddenly finding ourselves

seeking that miracle 

when all along that miracle

is well within our reach

if only we open our eyes

to see that we were never alone

even in the darkest part of the tunnel.

There are those who bluster

claiming they have all the answers

they don’t need any prayers

their answers lie in their facts

until that moment when it fails

their certainty eludes them

as they stand knee deep in their foxhole

looking out on a no man’s land 

of their own making

cursing that which they don’t believe 

wanting that which they don’t believe

to come down and save them

in their moment of need.

The Harrowing

Oh, to write an ode or poem

to set down in words

the deep love within

showing the scars

on the landscape of the heart

left by travelers along the way.

Oh, to write of my life

in all of its intricacies,

the threads I have weaved

in the grand fabric of my world,

some tattered and worn

others new and complete,

each a different color

each a different texture

the complexities of the human soul,

upon which he bore the wooden beam

whose love carried the weight of grief

high above the city gate,

as the veil is torn

to reveal the grace

of loves true light

upon the darkened landscapes

that dwell in the depths

as he harrows the hardened heart

bringing peace to the wearied 

and life to the dead.

Reflection on the News

It comes as no surprise

to see how we react

to the news that shocks

us to the core.

It’s easy to blame the past,

hindsight is 20/20

and of course,

we would have done it better.

It would be nice if people

were so easy and predictable

not creatures of habit

seeking what’s best for them.

Yet, that’s not the way,

hasn’t been since that fatal bite

in a garden lost to memory.

Personal Dilemma

My desk is littered with half read books

journals that I have barely scanned

bits and pieces of sermon notes

and reminders to myself to do something.

On my iPad there are unread poems

that I intend to get to as soon as I can

but there is always something else,

a death this week, a crisis of faith next.

I intend to write more poetry and prose

I want to reveal the inner fears and dreams

yet, those old voices creep shouting 

and my own ego is much deflated

as I would rather seek a place away

somewhere deep in the enchanted woods

where I may lay my head and dream in color.

Away from all of the mechanical noises

that burrow into the skull polluting the mind

and overwhelming my ability to just be.

I look now at this poem, this small offering

above it another half written poem awaits.

Deep down I know I want to write

then again, 

deep down fear crowds out creativity.

Where do I go from here?

How do I end this poem?

Maybe that’s the answer,

no poem is ever really finished

no poet can ever sit back satisfied

the world is so full of darkness

and I hold a palette of vibrant colors

as I seek to paint with the words I see

streaming across the subconscious 

like wild horses running across the plains

unfettered, unafraid, untamed and free.