Prayers of Defiance

Hands clasped together

knees firmly rooted 

eyes closed

each breath measured

in the quiet

alone,

praying

but for what?

Love is the desire

of everything we do

as the world lurches

from one idol to the next

seeking happiness

in the squalor 

of massage parlors

and brothels of shame.

Holding on to faith

in the midst of despair

an act of defiance 

against those seeking

to chain the hearts

of those who love

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.

One Day

One day,

I will not be here

but not today.

One day,

I will not feel the rain

or know the wind

but not today.

One day

I will not feel

love or pain

but not today.

One day

I will not hold my lover

in the darkness

but not today.

Today, 

I will live,

Today,

I will love,

Today,

I will feel,

Today,

I set my heart

to look forward

Today,

I hold my lovers hand

as we kiss,

Today,

I will live fully,

in the beauty

of God’s world.

Meditation

Sitting in the darkened church

all is silent the only sound my breath

flowing in and out from my body

my eyes are closed, as I kneel there.

In this silence I feel your presence

as I whisper prayers into the air.

I’m only a simple man, not a prophet

I only seek to write the poetry

that lives deep within my heart

the words placed there at creation

that yearn to be freed from the dark

to see the beauty of this world 

in the very simple things of life.

To smell the sweetness of the forest

as the wind passes through the trees

watching as the sun rises in the morning

the sky afire with the promise of a new day.

The world is full of fear and anger

there is a deep joylessness 

that infects the hearts and minds.

My poor poets words seek to pierce 

through the gloom and despair

to find hope and joy once again.

Here in this silence I seek your Word

here in the darkened church

I kneel before your altar

within my soul I hear your voice calling,

“Oh man, arise and see the light,

give voice to the words you hear

write with the heart of a poet,

be not afraid for I am with you.”

My Morning Thoughts

Each morning my routine begins the same way. I awaken to the sounds of the birds outside my window, the early morning light beginning to seep through. I lay for a few moments, as I calm my mind to prepare for the coming day. As I lay there I sometimes allow those moments from the past to be heard in the darkened caverns of the mind. Their voices echoing in a past that I can not change but only look back upon. An examination of the soul, that place of deep meditation in the early quiet moments of the new day. I’m not some mystic, able to touch the face of God or to hear the voice in a burning bush, I’m simply a man, filled with doubts and fears trying my best to live into the calling of my vocation. There are times when I begin to doubt my faith, not my faith in God but my faith in the path I have chosen to take. There is the temptation to run and hide, to bury myself in busyness using it like a cloak of invisibility, joining with the masses who run around looking more like chickens pecking the ground for the few scraps. Being busy becomes the great disconnect, that way of not having to deal with anyone’s issues, including my own. To be intentional, to be attentive means having to let down that great barrier and be vulnerable to the emotions and feelings of being human. Looking out the window, just as the light of day begins to brighten the grey, I know somewhere deep within that there is also another light seeking to brighten the dark depths. The poetry that I write, although not great pieces, begin to take shape in those early moments, I see the words floating along as I begin to create. Sometimes what I see within is sharp and clear with no fuzzy edges, then there are those days when the words are a jumble, their meaning senseless, yet I write them down. I go over and over every piece, fine tuning the words, looking to make clear what I have written. Writing has become its own journey, it has taken me down long, winding roads into the deep wilderness of the self. I write a stream of consciousness, then I revise, then I write again, then I revise. I read it though first silently then aloud, I pick at the wording, try to make sure the grammar is almost correct. I try not to use the comma like a life raft. This week I begin another writing class, again I’m taking creative nonfiction. I will once again be challenged to explore the depths of my being, finding the words that best express my thoughts and feelings. The writing will be read and judged by others, and their comments will help me become better. At least in theory. After all, as I said, my writing is a journey through the wilderness. It’s not a yellow brick road, and I’m not off to find the Emerald City of publishing where the great and powerful Oz’s decide if your work is worthy or if you need to go after the witches broom stick