Tag 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!” 

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 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!

See the Morning

Having wrapped up my Permaculture Design Course, it is time to begin writing again. I have missed being able to share my thoughts and feelings in this way. The last few months have been hard, and today’s poem captures the thoughts and emotions I am wrestling with right now. The last phrase is of deep significance to me personally, it is credited to 2 of the first Moravian missionaries. They are said to have shouted it back to shore as they sailed out intent on literally selling themselves into slavery for the sake of the unreached. May we all have such courage and faith, and when we struggle to do so may we drive one another forward.

See The Morning

The road ahead is rough and rising,
The road behind long and painful,
The road ahead is choked with thorns,
The road behind is slick with my sweat and blood,

Moving forward is painful,
I am stiff and struggle to force one foot before the next,
My muscles strain from the trial,
And sweat drips down like rain,

Each step forward I am buffeted,
Forced to my knees but not pushed back,
I set my face into the wind,
And rise to continue my journey,

The pain it begs the questions,
And the wind whispers subtle lies,
In the face of pain and heartache,
The lies pour out with smooth rhythms,

They say:
Is faith worth so high a price?
Can you continue to walk, who cannot stand?
If He cannot or will not provide, do you trust that He will save?
You are weak and weary, lie down and do not attempt again to rise.
You are alone in this struggle, therefore give it up and walk away.
There is no victory for you here.

In the swirling flows of fears and doubts,
Despair takes a deep root within my heart,
I have no answer to the charges,
For I am certainly weak and near to fainting

Yet I will walk on this night,
Even under the utter blackness of despair,
I will fall and rise, fall and rise again
If for no other reason than to see the morning

Darkness lasts not forever,
Even when our light is weak,
The light has come into the world,
And the darkness cannot overcome or understand

Feelings lie and deceive,
Emotions fail in the time of greatest need,
Yet he whose faith is properly placed,
Will have a foundation made of stone.

I will recount Thine deeds of old,
And pile stone upon stone in memorial,
Raising high an Ebenezer,
Recounting each tender mercy and strong deliverance,

Lord I believe, but help my unbelief,
In dark of doubt and pain of despair,
Whether visible or not, you are there
So I will trust to see the morning in Thee

Those that overcome follow the Lamb wherever He goes,
Yet the overcoming does not come easy,
The price is often high, higher than I have yet paid,
But the highest price is already paid,
And sin and death defeated once for all,
Therefore no price I pay is any price at all

The Lamb of God will receive the reward of His suffering!

Of Lambs and Lions

When we were deceived and paradise lost,
When chains of sin encircled our hands and feet,
When generation after generation we could not escape,
The power of sin and death that held us tight,
When in our foolishness we pursued false gods,
Making idols of ourselves and of material things,
Pursuing as gods those things which are not gods,
And binding tighter the shackles of our sin,
A rebel race we were,
Completely estranged from God,

Then You were the Lamb,
Offering freely on the alter,
Your blood to set us free,
Your sacrifice tore the veil of separation,
From top to bottom,
And opened before us the throne of grace,
Our chains were broken,
In the moment of your sacrifice,
Your blood purchased for all our race,
Redemption before the Father.

When in Egypt your people were oppressed by the cruel King,
When Goliath spat out his contempt for you,
When the three Hebrew children were thrown into the fiery furnace,
When Nehemiah rebuilt the wall,
When oppressors surrounded us on every side,
In the moments when there was nowhere else to turn,
In times of fear and darkness,
When evil seems to reign upon the earth,
As the Kings of the earth gathered together against us,
And lay siege to your holy people,

Then you were the Lion,
Your roar shaking the earth,
With your arm outstretched to redeem and save,
You struck the oppressors,
They will never rise back up,
Your arm is might to save,
None can withstand the power of your coming,
In righteousness and justice,
You have removed the cruel oppressors,
And reign in truth and love,

To the unreached child who has never heard your name,
Wrapped in fear and sin,
Worshipping with trembling the evil spirits of the earth,
To the orphan child,
Raised upon the garbage heap,
Ignored by a world that has passed her by,
And that could care less for her needs,
To all those in deep despair,
Hurtling into a future apart from you,
Having never heard your name,

I want to be a lamb,
And sacrifice my life that they may live,
Give up the choice things,
To pursue those on your heart,
To tear down from before their eyes,
The veil that separates them from the Father,
And if necessary bleed and sweat,
To make your sacrifice real to them,
I want to walk in their midst,
In such a way that Jesus walks among them

To the unborn child,
Slain in her mothers womb,
To the child starving to death,
Because cruel war consumes his land,
To the woman tricked into a life of shame,
Bound with oppressive chains and lies,
To the generation for whom liberty ought to be a birthright,
But have instead had it taken away,
And traded for cruel tyranny,
And oppressive destruction

I want to be the Lion,
Let my words be like the roar of justice,
Let roar of righteous truth overwhelm the noise of the crowd,
And cut the through the lies of the destroyer,
I want to take my stand in your strength,
To stop oppression,
And rescue those who are being lead away unto death,
Bringing them safe and sound before your throne,
I want to draw them out from slavery,
And strike the oppressors with the arm of your power

To the countless masses,
Who know not of Jesus Christ,
To the men, women, and children,
Still bound in the darkness by lies,
To those who know not His truth,
Nor the comfort of His voice,
There are over six thousand peoples,
Yet unreached and untouched by this Good News,
The cross is of no effect to them,
Because they have not heard of it

Won’t you come and be a lamb?
Trade in your life of ease and comfort,
And sacrifice your selfish desires,
To bring Christ alive in the midst of them,
Through your own bloody hands and feet,
Will you be the incarnate God among them?
Walking and talking in their streets,
And in so doing tearing down the veil,
Be a lamb revealing Christ’s love to thousands,
Let redemption flow from your hands and feet

To the children starving to the point of death,
Despite an abundance on the earth,
To the earth abused and cruelly treated,
To the point of infertility,
To our nation,
Staggering on the brink of collapse,
To your children ensnared by the cruel lies of our times,
To all of the abused and outcasts of this earth,
In times of deep darkness and oppression,
When all the lights in their universe have gone out,

Will you come and be a lion?
A bright light in a world of deep darkness,
Will you shake to pieces the chains of oppression,
With the might of the Spirit that is in you?
Demonstrate the righteous wrath of God against injustice,
And trample the oppressors under your feet,
In you will the arm of The Lord be revealed,
Become again a city of light,
Fight against oppression with a Holy vengeance,
And set free the oppressed to know the love of their Father.

We are, each and everyone,
Called to be lambs and lions,
In a world of hurt and pain,
In a world of oppression and evil,
The righteous light must shine forth,
Full of hope for the hurting,
And strength for the captive,
To redeem and rescue a world in need,
Christ calls out to you and me,
Won’t you come and be a lamb?
Won’t you come and be a lion?

A Meditation On Springtime

The leaves are coming in on the fig trees as the warm spring sunshine lights upon them.

The leaves are coming in on the fig trees as the warm spring sunshine lights upon them.

Every aspect of creation,
Each and every day,
Radiates with its own song to the creator,
It possesses a glory all its own,
And aims it at the hand that placed,
The dew upon the grass,
The leaves on the trees in spring,
The rose upon the stem,
And the murmur in the stream.

One hand has shaped,
For all mankind to see,
The world we live and walk in,
Full of grace and beauty,
The early morning song of the birds,
Is a song of love and praise,
And the wind takes up the call,
And the sun sends dancing rays,
All this for the only loving King.

Walk outside the world of men,
The concrete monuments to our own glory,
For our cities are like Babel,
Built to glorify ourselves,
We have become disconnected,
From the ties that make us human,
When we lost our connection to creation,
We lost our connection to ourselves,
For apart from the image we are made in,
We cannot be.

Turn your back to things of this world,
If only for a moment,
Listen again to that ancient song,
And join in the harmony,
Contemplate the dawn,
And the moonlight on the waterers,
Ponder the stars anew,
Find the place reserved for you,
In the ancient dance of praise,
Each day has its own glory,
Will you add or subtract from it?

Take the Gap

When the dark tide seems ever rising,
And evil closes in,
When the orphan goes hungry,
And the fatherless is killed before she’s born,
When the earth is being destroyed before us,
The mountains hacked down and streams corrupted,
When the soil fails,
And we turn to chemicals for food,
When the just ones pollute themselves with the blood of the innocent,
And celebrate endless war,
When the nation turns away from her God,
And faces instead His fiery wrath,
Then will I pray:

This day by Thine grace and power,
I place myself between the oppressed and the oppressor,
Upheld by the three who are one,
I will stand between the helpless and the darkness,
When the gap stands gaping open and the destroyers come pouring through,
I will place myself in the gap,
And by Your Hand overcome,
You are able to make your servants stand,
Therefore I will not be polluted with innocent blood,
You will have your glory,
Therefore I will shine out as a light in the midst of the darkness,
Some will see no evil,
Some will hear no evil,
Some will even speak no evil,
But by the Power that flung the stars in space,
I will allow no evil,
If you aren’t a part of His solution,
You are probably a part of the problem.

Lady liberty bleeds out,
Slowly wounded and abused rather than attacked right out,
Yet the nation prides itself on freedom,
And doesn’t realize it’s in chains,
Chains slowly forged by giving liberty away,
The rich oppress the poor,
The poor rob those who might help them,
All this we’ve made lawful,
And in so doing become lawless,
There is wickedness in high places,
Yet the nation still places its hope in rulers,
Instead of in the the One who rules all, is all, made all,
The blood of the unborn cries out for justice,
The earth moans under the weight of our abuse,
The very food we eat speaks against us,
In such times I will pray,

Today, through your love and blood,
Shield me from the guilt of sin,
Teach me to walk guiltless before you,
Then I will take my stand,
Unashamed before you,
I will, by your power, place myself,
Between the innocent and the wicked,
To be a force for you upon the earth,
To hold back the tide of wickedness from your remnant,
When the courage of men falters,
I will rise in your might,
For the battle belongs to The Lord.