Category Archives: Poetry

Lucy’s Albatross

A meditation on the advent in the midst of uncertain times and a culture that constantly calls for fear.

Pitch black the island of darkness,
That which surrounds my heart.
Everywhere my eyes turn,
I am confronted with fresh fears.

Have you felt the ensnaring evil,
The cold grip of fear upon your heart?
Does your mind rebel against the violence in the world?
And your heart yearn for peace?
Have you wondered where the justice is?
Or been driven to despair?

The world seems ever darker.
Each days newscast rings out like an alarm bell.
Another war here, another murder there.
Fresh violence today, no answers tomorrow.

Where are you Prince of Peace?
Where is the peace on earth and goodwill toward mankind?
When will oppression cease,
And joy reign in our hearts?
What hope has truth in the midst of lies,
Or love in a world filled with hate?

So I stand and cry out to You.
The one who penetrated this darkness in human form.
I bear my heart full of fears and doubts,
Then like a whisper come the words:

“Courage dear heart!” 

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Son of a Poor Widow

I was born on a fateful day,
Filled with pain and sorrow,
My mother bore me in searing pain,
And birthed me on the wrong side of the tracks,
My poor father past before my birth,
Destining me to a hard life.

One day this pain is going to be too much,
And I’ll leave this world behind,
No one is made to live like this,
The voices of pain rage in my head,
And eventually I’ll give in,
Standing on the edge of the river,
Eventually I’ll jump in.

Mother did her best to care for me,
Her only wretched son,
But times were tough and jobs were scarce,
And a young widow didn’t have a chance,
So I spent my childhood in rags,
Skin and bones with shallow cheeks,
Mother fought just to keep me alive

And as the time goes on,
The darkness grew within my mind,
The pain overwhelms my senses,
And takes root in my tormented imagination,
Even sleep is no release,
My dreams are fear and evil,
And eventually I’ll give in.

Day by day I walk passed this stream,
It looms larger month by month,
The pain wells up within my heart,
But I’ll allow no tears in my dark eyes,
No one sees my pain,
So no one will see me weak,
To make it in this life you must show strength.

I watch my mother waste away,
As I grow old enough to notice,
Her young face ages much too fast,
As she begs and toils on the street,
And the time will turn this troubled boy,
Into an even more troubled young man,
Every day the river bank is calling,
One day I’ll have to answer.

So mother dear,
Set your heart like steel,
‘Cause each day your beggar son dies a little bit,
Don’t weep for me when I depart,
This life is worse than death,
I’ll seek my comfort in the waters,
And finally get some rest.

I know I’ll break my sweet mothers heart,
As I stand here on the edge,
But the damage has been done to both our lives,
Two hearts shattered by a painful life,
And I can’t live that life any longer,
In death I see no hope,
But at least the pain will stop.

See me jump from off this rock,
Into the swirling stream below,
I won’t fight as the waters close over my head,
My body sinks,
Carried ever faster downward,
By the weight of my despair,
Here I am underneath the waters,
And the pain in my lungs at last drowns out,
The sorrow in my heart.

As the life seeps from my bones,
I know what will happen next,
The men down by the shore,
Will find my broken body tossed upon the shore,
And they will fetch my mother,
And how she’ll scream and moan.
There may be no life in my heart,
But I brought light to hers.

Then the pitying souls of those dear men,
Will bear me on their arms,
They’ll carry me out of town,
To lay by body to rest.
And they’ll be whispering to themselves,
About how my mom had done her best.
Then they’ll see how cruel life is,
And finally I’ll have said my peace.

My mother won’t hear them through her tears,
Pouring down in a torrent,
And watering this dry and barren land,
Even as I close my eyes,
Her screams are echoing in my ears,
But it is too late for me,
As I choose to breath in this water,
Replacing searing pain with searing pain,
I die.

Yet what is this I find,
As I sit upright in the midst of my own funeral,
As my eyes snap open,
I hear screams of pain turn into tears of joy,
Confusion and wonder rack my brain,
I am certain that I was dead,
No doubt remains about that,
Yet what can make a dead man live,
And a hopeless young man hope?

As I turn first to my mother and then to the rest,
I see only wonder in each face,
Clearly this was an unexpected reversal,
Of my fate thought to be inescapable,
Then my eyes rest upon the man,
Standing at my side,
As his eyes meet my mine,
Something strange happens in my mind.

My heart explodes with hope and wonder,
At the love behind those eyes,
Had I only known such love existed,
But it matters not for I live again,
Then in a voice that convicts and heals,
He says “I am the living waters”
“Come, dive in”

As my head reals in confusion,
My heart is sure and calm,
I must have living water,
And find this hope in a world of pain,
I dive off the ledge of pain and unbelief,
And sink in this immortal hope,
I will follow Him,
The one who turns death to life,
And pain to hope.

So I sink beneath these waters,
Of love and grace and peace,
Hope covers over all my pain,
And I am born anew.

Inspired by Luke 7:11-17

Hello, Hardship.

Hello, Hardship.
Hello, Tough Times.
Seems you’ve come to visit once again.
You bring questions I can’t answer,
And try to bury me in anxiety, fear, and doubt.
Yet in my struggling,
And in my weakness,
I refuse to let emotions reign,
You’ve brought and accusation,
That I refuse to accept,
I will not doubt the faithfulness of my Lord and God,
No matter what may come.

And after a while,
The pain and doubt fade,
I should have known you’d visit,
When I stepped out into the fray,
Why should I be surprised,
That evil wants to stand in the way of good,
And attempts to force me to despair,
Here I am,
Just plodding on,
And hardship becomes fellow traveler,
Without whose company the journey would be less real,
For my God is present especially in the tough times.

Light into Darkness

I find myself needing the sacred seasons and holy days of our Church more each year. As the storm clouds seem to be gathering on the horizon, it is more important than ever to set aside these special times to reflect on that which God has done throughout history and will do at the end of all things. What follows is a poetic meditation on the advent.

In this world of rock and dust,
As time moves on in relentless procession,
The sensation is often inescapable,
That the days are darkening and the water rising.

Often we are forced to watch unfold around us,
Events of deep despair,
When children starve and violence spreads,
And hate appears the victor.

All around we look and see,
Undeserved pain,
Unforeseen trials,
And our own inability to stand in the face of the flood.

Despair creeps in,
The tears run down,
Our hearts are slowly breaking,
And we weep for our broken world.

Is there are hope for love in a loveless world?
Or for joy in a world of despair?
When great evil seems to reign,
Is there any hope for good?

Yet my soul remember,
As the sacred season comes,
Through ritual and sacred ceremony force your mind to this,
The reign of evil is but a farce and good has conquered yet.

For when the darkness of sin seemed at its peak,
And our world was a swirling vortex of misery and despair,
The light struck the darkness like a lighting bolt,
In the form of a sacred infant.

Seemingly helpless,
Seemingly weak,
But Lord of all the earth,
Darkness trembled at His birth.

Born to die,
That we might live,
To be like Him in our lives and deeds,
Our lives remade by nail scarred hands.

Light in darkness,
God in flesh,
Hope stronger than despair,
The author of all created things has come to dwell among us.

He has come and He is coming,
The work is begun and will be finished,
Evil is already defeated,
And will soon be no more than a memory.

So strengthen trembling hands,
And still shaking knees,
Fear not the darkness,
For in your faith it fears you.

Rise up in broken victory,
And be a bolt of bright light,
In a world of deadly darkness,
In the pattern of the Master.

Take heart this sacred season,
Remember the hope you have,
Ours is not only the Creator God,
But also the Savior.

This is a time to reflect on that which is real,
In a world of illusion and farce,
For truth and justice do reign ,
In Jesus Christ the babe of Bethlehem and Savior of the world.

We need this time of sacred remembrance,
In dark days more than ever,
But the light has overcome the darkness,
So let us remember and rejoice!

The Image and the Likeness

A meditation during Advent

Made from the dust of the earth,
God breathed life into the man,
And there arose our ancient forefather,
Adam, father of us all.
Firstborn of mankind,
Crowning jewel of creation now complete,
Made in the very image of God,
And walking daily in His presence.
Endowed with authority over all Creation,
Blessed with mind and might.

Would that the story ended there father Adam,
For now the image is broken,
The presence taken away,
And the power and might turned toward harm,
The presence that brought you life,
You no more may see,
And the image in you becomes corrupt, unclean.
Deceived and deceiving you fell away,
Pulled down by false desires conceived in your own pride,
Destroyed by thine own hand.

Now the image of God in our young race,
Is broken and almost lost,
Shining through but from time to time,
In a world whose hope is gone,
Violence grows,
And darkness rages,
As our race despairs,
We see not the image,
Still planted though broken in each heart,
And turn away blind and broken.

Yet through it all the rumors spread,
Of a coming King,
A new Father,
A Prince of Peace,
One who will bring us life,
And restore our hope,
The renewer of the Image,
Hands that heal,
What will our healer look like?
When will He arrive?

Only begotten of the Father,
Firstborn of all things,
Creator of heaven and earth,
All hail The Lord Jesus,
Descended to our broken world,
Born in a backwater town in a backwater nation,
In image like one of us,
But in Likeness God Himself,
Lying vulnerable in a cattle trough,
And come to die that we might live.

His hands are healing,
Yet they are pierced,
We must look on the one whose stripes heal us,
The King of all Creation came,
And we killed Him on a tree,
The broken Image could not stand before the Likeness,
And we walked instead in the violence we knew so well,
Yet see how he conquered our hearts,
For even in weakness and death,
The Likeness conquers over our darkness.

The barrier to the Father removed,
By the atoning death of the Son,
That Likeness was placed inside our chests,
In the person of the Spirit,
Restoring the Image anew,
Beyond even father Adam’s first condition,
We become something new,
Redeemed men indwelt by the Savior God,
Bearers now of the Likeness,
The Image now being restored.

So let the Likeness reign in your heart,
By walking with the Spirit,
And become this Advent season,
That which our Savior was,
On the day of His advent,
Bring in your person the Likeness of God,
To a world where the broken Image is still all many men have,
In a world of know hope,
Release the Likeness to its good work,
And leave the Spirit to heal the rest.

The Mustard Seed and the Candle

My poems often reflect my prayers and meditations, whereas other posts reflect my thoughts. I’m working on laying out some very important thoughts, but I’ve spent a lot of my time in prayerful meditation as of late.

This poem is for all my friends struggling with their doubts and unbelief, let us pray together “Lord I believe, help my unbelief”

There are times when the darkness closes in like a prison,
And unanswered questions rain down like a deluge,
The storm soaks to the skin,
And the heart floods with doubt in dismay.
Is He real?
Does He care about me?
Am I forgotten?
Where is His strong right arm?

In this dark and doubt,
The light becomes unclear,
Answers become questions,
Beliefs are turned to doubt,
The turmoil reaches fever pitch,
And crisis grips the heart?
Is there something wrong with me?
Why does my heart entertain such fears?
Perhaps I need simply to believe harder?
Or maybe I never believed at all?
Am I a son, or do I yet remain a slave?
Is my heart truly renewed?

These questions are not yours to answer,
Anymore than faith stems from yourself,
But there is one who answers such questions,
If you have only enough faith to ask

Yours is the way of the candle,
Light a small wavering flame in the dark,
And wait in quiet expectation,
For the blinding light of breaking day.

And yours is the way of the mustard seed,
A tiny grain of faith,
But cling with diligence to it,
And the roar from the throne above will move mountains of unbelief.

Thomas needed to see the scars,
Gideon had a fleece,
Moses was reaffirmed twice by signs and doubted still,
Yet The Lord did not lose patience,
And Thomas touched the scars,
Gideon’s fleece proved true,
The God of signs and wonders,
Will prove Himself to you.

Bring your questions before the throne with boldness,
Lay open your heart before Your King,
If it was your own faith that saved,
You would be dead in unbelief,
But our Lord is not unable to make His servants stand,
He strengthens the weak knees and steadies trembling hands,
His final answer was a man called Jesus,
Who could be seen and touched,
Ask Him what you will,
And His answers will be just as real.

If you know the Almighty is real,
And that Jesus is alive,
Why hesitate to ask Him to reveal Himself?
Do you fear that He would do it?

A Poem for Sons, in the Dark

A Poem for Sons, in the Dark

Darkening Sky,
Pelting Rain,
Gathering Inertia,
Swelling Pain,
Slipping Feet,
Muscles Strain,

Down, Down, Down I fall onto my face.

The trail ahead is steep,
Shrouded in darkness and fog,
But the Mountain looms through dark,
Forbidding all who come.
Enemies line the way in mass,
And I am overcome.

The way is choked with thorns and foes,
And I am choked with fears and doubts.

Faith finds me not in this hour of despair,
Alone in the dark,
Weak and unable to press ahead,
The dust of the earth chokes my lungs,
blinds my eyes,
and dries out my tongue,

Then in the solitude of my misery and defeat,
I let out an anguished cry
And it goes up, up, up into the sky

Little do I know,
In the ignorance of despair and pain,
The cry pierces the darkness falling,
And the falling rain,
It flies straight and true like an arrow,
Into the heart of God.

Then from within comes the Comforter,

The Helper raises His voice,
And despair shakes in fear.
“Look back before you try to rise,
And see from whence you have come”

The world will always say,
“Leave the past in the past and don’t look back”
But I turn my ahead anyway,
At the command,
There behind is a trail of tears and blood,
Of toil, struggle, and pain.

But then my eyes clear,
There streaming back mile after mile,
Piles of broken chains and shattered fears,
Defeated Foes,
And joy through tears,
Peace in the midst of chaos,
Victory through defeat,
All the way back to an old, rugged cross,
Where a slave died and a son was born,
And the all sufficient man placed His life,
Into the insufficient man who had none.

I weep tears of joy at the sight,
Then comes my Counselor’s quiet voice
“Now Son you may look around you,
And set yourself for the road ahead”

And when I seek to rise to dance upon this mountain of injustice,
I find a hand waiting to lift me up,
Where I swear there was none before,
There I find an army waiting,
That had been there all along,

So I rise up on my feet,
But leave the dust as a reminder on my clothes,
Shields of Faith locked around me,
Safe in the community of brothers and sisters,
Comforted by those placed by the Swift, Sure Hand at my side,
This is the fellowship of those who do not fear despair,
The sons and daughters who have turned defeated into a sweet offering.

We are not a people who need relief from pain and torment, death defeat or despair,
For every time we die,
We rise again!