Tuesday, June 17, 2014

These Things I Own

It has been said 
These things you own
Indeed, instead, own you

I am unsure 
And wonder still 
Is this completely true

Most certainly
They may become 
A woven part of you

My deepest fear
This mind's invention

The darkest lust
And good intention

My cruel thought
Or kindest deed

Lash out in anger
Give aid to need

The broken promises
The resolved stand

As I pushed them away
Or held out my hand

Oh, bold design
Life's masterpiece

My failed attempts
Like falling leaves

Intoxicated, brooding form
Dark, cold, empty soul

Poor, beating, noble heart
That burns as hot as coal

Mocking little vanities
Cracked mirrored reflections

Wind blown, seeking bourne
In damned, earthly condition

My dirty little lies
Or bold imposing truths

Each testify my worth
When looked at, show the proof

In deepest, dark sequester
Searching, running, free

These things, I own
And, still I ask
Do they, infact, own me?

What do I own?  My life.  All of it.  This place in time or at least, my part in it.  I am not victim to any man or circumstance.  I am not tennant nor prisoner.  This is my life, my doing, my choices.  These are my things, all of them.  I am bound, only in this frame and to my decisions.  What do you own?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I'm Not OK

I'm not ok
It's hard to say
But, yet I know it's true

The cruel way
My world can be
The pains both old and new

I try to do
What I believe 
Are all the the proper things

Amazing still
How futile now
So many of them seem

I'm not ok
I won't pretend
To make you comfortable

Sheltering you
Is far too much
I am not indestructible

And disrespect
Until I mirrored them

It took a fall
Just breaking down
To be myself again

I'm not ok
So please don't ask
Unless you care to hear

About the building
I must do
To close this gaping tear

I know that it
Will be alright
With time and meditation

But while I build
Don't be surprised
By me and my vexation

I'm not ok
I feel alone
So tired, lost, and stranded

Like wandering
A desert road
Forgotten and abandoned 

Forgive me now
If it seems harsh
My blatant honesty

But while I covered 
All of your wounds
No one was healing me

I'm not ok
But I am strong
I will rebound again

When I can rise
I hope to find
That we are all still friends 

I have spent a lifetime trying to be a hero.  Trying to fix other people, other things, so that I didn't have to deal with my own pain.  The last six years of my life were spent in a very toxic environment.  I endured the ridiculous, trying to do the impossible, and found myself trying not to compromise my own ethics in an environment that was very ethically deficient.  I broke down.  It had to happen; thank God it happened.  At the very least, I am addressing these emotions and these circumstances without my normal filters.  So, if you are my friend, please stand by while I adjust the vertical and the horizontal.  I'm doing some much needed repairs and soon will be fine tuning the man I need to be.

Monday, May 19, 2014

How Long is a Lifetime?

Painting by Robert Ives.
Image used without permission from ivesart.com

Swinging, playing, in the park
What seems like yesterday
I longed to hold on to your hand
But turned and walked away

Then once again when our paths crossed
Your smile knocked me off my feet
Too shy, again, the chance was lost
I journeyed lonely and incomplete

The Springtime, here and gone so quickly
The Summer, came and went
The innocence I once held richly
I fear has all been spent

At every turn, in retrospect
I'd stumble into you
Never once did I expect
That you could love me too

I said I'd wait a lifetime
For you, that touch, your kiss
But I wish now, I'd recognized
The chances that I missed

The Autumn leaves are falling
The Winter closes in
If now I falter and keep stalling
How can I ever win?

How long is a lifetime
That youth is squandered so?
How many chances will be mine
Before I finally know?

So, if I act now, somehow hurried
Break some sacred protocol
It's that I feel the seasons blurring
I soon may have no time at all

The winds of life begin to chill
I see all of the signs
I answer before my heart grows still
This is, my love, life's time

There is a time for waiting.  There is a season for temperance.  But, comes the day when inaction is just lost opportunity and sad, lonely regret.  Can missed opportunity become a most beautiful future?  Carpe Diem

Thursday, January 16, 2014

So They Might Know You Better

Father, I ask for your blessing and Holy Spirit
As I live my life and as I write these verses
Help me explain your mercy as I have come to know it
That it be a true testimony and witness

You came to us from working class poverty
To prove that even the lowest of us can be exalted
Bringing a new law that freed us from slavery
Proof that a soul can not be walled or vaulted

Parables not given as lecture but inspiration
Ideas that shook the earth and caused the skies to open
Lessons not for one people, instead given for every nation
Through enlightened teaching, old chains were finally broken

Judgement turned to kindness and charity
Now between justice and love
There would be no disparity
Here below as promised above

You came and showed us freedom's cost
Responsibility for our lives and those we touch
To hold up a light for those who are lost
And give up even our lives, if it come to that much

The Word made flesh, the essence of  grace
Love thy neighbor as thyself
God's law given a new face
A source of joy and eternal wealth

Through our rebellions and failures
In the darkest hours of despair
It is your love that endures
It is that hope that we can share

Scourged and mocked like a criminal 
Nailed on the Skull Rock to a cross
Darkened skies and earthquake as the signal
Signs of impending victory not those of loss

After three days, risen to walk with us again
Sin and death defeated for all mankind
One price, one final sacrifice, born of our pain
That we would know him better and find our love refined

There are times in my life when I question everything.  My heart has consistently come back to one conclusion.  I am free not because I am deserving of freedom but because the cost of my ransom has been paid.  I believe that all people receive this gift; just as we were bound to sin, so are we freed from it.  I have no judgement, for I have been given reprieve.  I have understanding that my imperfect love can be perfected.  While my worn and weary heart may falter, the source of my love never fades.  God, help me that I always remember to love and forgive, as you have loved and forgiven me through Christ Jesus.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – Madiba

Good night, dear, wise, Tata
Rest now and watch us from on high 
Finally, your long walk is ended
Your legacy will not pass into the night

As you led your people out of evil
As you showed the world nobility
So shall we take up your banner
So shall we forge a new reality

Thank you brother Madiba
We now tread forward in your stead
As our foot steps cause the ground to tremble
They will all know you are far from dead

The voice of dissent is not silenced
The fight for freedom not ended
Thus shall we walk the long road to freedom
Thus shall we labor until the damage is mended

We've rested long enough
Still so much left to do
Our voices join yours in heaven
Amandla! Awethu!  Amandla! Awethu!

I will celebrate the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.  His voice inspired me as a child and his legacy remains an intricate part of my being.  To call him a hero is inadequate.  Any words I have will fail.  I will continue to fight for freedom though my meager efforts are laughable.  In some small way, maybe as part of a larger voice, I can play my part.  Thank you brother for your life and your inspiration.    

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hi, My Name is Roger

Hi, my name is Roger
I 'm much more than what you see
These withered hands, and broken form
Not who I used to be

As little boy I dreamed of space
And knights on brilliant steeds
I knew that I would change the world
With all my noble deeds

As young man, fought to reconcile
The unjust pain I saw
With all the things my parents said
About a loving God

I tried to be a soldier once
But couldn't understand
How force of arms could ever bring
Freedom to every man

I married twice and failed them both
Perhaps we failed each other
It was hard for me, the balancing
Of husband, friend and lover

I always strove through out my life
To speak for what was right
Champion the cause of liberty
To which I cling with all my might

I wrote some prose, a vanity
I hope they will endure
A testament to who I was
Before my thoughts obscured

You did not know the man I was
But, we were once the same
The joy of life once pulsed in me
And passion filled my veins

I lay here now and this one thing
I ask of you young friend
Treat me kindly; as you yourself
Will someday reach your end

I know I may appear to be
A burden in your eyes
But understand trapped in this frame
That little boy resides

I dedicate this poem to my mother Margy Clark who has been bedridden and in a convalescent home for nearly a year.  My sister and I have gone to her side nearly everyday.  Although we know we cannot care for her needs ourselves, we recognize our responsibility to the woman who gave us life.  I have gotten to know a number of the residents at the home and I am saddened by how infrequently their families visit.  I am also shocked by how they are treated at times.  Thanks be to God, my mother's home is a good one.  She has good food, and lives in a clean facility.  But, I know that this is far from true for so many others.  Men and women who built this country and the world often lay in horrid conditions, forgotten and alone.  I wrote this piece to remind everyone that we will all succumb to the great equalizer at some point in our lives.  May you all be treated with the love, regard, and care that you provide your elders today.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Rose and the Flame

Sit comfortably
In a quiet room, alone
Enjoy the silence

Breathe in through your nose
Exhale slowly from your mouth
Slow, steady, rhythm

Picture a rose bud
Hold the flower in your mind
Push out distractions

See the soft petals
Focus on every detail
Cells pulsing with life

Simple true beauty
Dew drop caressed perfection
Full of energy

Envision a flame
Light, warmth, and vital essence
Touching everything

Powerful nature
Creation, destruction, strength
Boundless potential

Watch it dance and sway
Chasing away the darkness
The aura of hope

Joining images
Place the flame below the rose
See the flower blooms

Tender sails unfurl
Sweet aroma rises forth
Forms crystalline sphere

Imagine yourself
Entering the chrysalis
Feel the warmth

Seek out areas
In yourself that cause you pain
Visualize them

Gather them, form them
Becoming Spirit Steel bars
Re-enforce your sphere

Feel yourself growing
The chrysalis molds to you
Rose flame fuels your heart

Breathe in slow and deep
Let cool life water rain down
Drink, wash away care

Emerge clean and new
Armored in experience
Strong in conviction

Meditation is an opportunity to slow down and breathe.  The practice of meditative exercises and breathing techniques is found in one form or another in every culture.  I wanted to mimic the 5 - 7 - 5 meter of Haiku.  I hope you find healing and renewal as you envision these images and seek center.  Namaste.  Peace be with you and with your spirit.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Truth

There are no walls for the soul
There is no cage for the heart
When you’re searching for your freedom
Knowing this is the crucial part

You can overcome any trial
Use your mind’s eye to see
Set your spirit forward in motion
Then claim your victory

Focus every desire of your heart
Through daily meditation
Manifest your destiny
Practice positive confession

Hone in on an action plan
Inscribe it in your being
Remind yourself everyday
There is no limit, no upper ceiling

Your hands are there to shape and mold
The things that caused you pain
Become your weapons and armor
Forged and formed by flame

Only you can make this change
The power of your spirit
Allow yourself to realize
The truth now that you hear it

This is truth.  No matter what you have been led to believe.  No matter what fools have tried to convince you of, nor what you allowed yourself to believe, you are the author of your story.  The armies arrayed against you are made of paper and you hold the flame to burn them down.  Rise up be the person you want to be.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Butterfly Effect

In the space of my mind's eye
It's clear and well defined
The moment locked in history
When you, almost, were mine

Awkward and uncomfortable
Expressions I could not find
A stutter step cost me, I know 
Your love for all of time

Sometimes alone, I close my eyes
Envisioning that night
To travel back imagining
And try to make things right

If I could use my words and deeds
Why surely, then you'd see
The love I know that we still share
Would finally set us free

Some call the Universe limitless
With parallel possibilities
I'd like to think in one of them
We're together happily

I do accept the way we are
I see life rationally
Somehow the way things are today
Is how it's meant to be

Just know that thoughts of you remain
Among my precious things
My love, these dreams I now release
Take flight on butterfly's wings

I think we all have a lover in our past that haunts our dreams.  The one who didn't work out.  "The one that got away."  It's healthy and natural to reminisce and wonder what could have been.  In the end though, growth comes through acknowledgement and moving forward.  You never know where life will take you but, you can't remain stagnant if you want to find out.

Friday, September 27, 2013


My thoughts are so disjointed
How could you take your life?
I'm angry, frustrated and disappointed 
Look at all this damage, hurt and strife

Brother, I am sorry you were in so much pain
I feel guilty that you felt you couldn't call
Knowing that I won't speak to you again
Is the most painful thing of all

No fucking answers just questions now
We were the same Goddamn age
Wondering if we failed you and how
Feeling emptiness and rage

These fatal steps can't be retraced
Why Steve? Man, why?
What was the problem that you faced
That made you want to die?

I guess there's no point asking
There's not much left that we can do
Console each other's mourning
Just know this bro; we miss you.

I got the call last night from Steve's brother and one of my best friends, Larry.  I am still in shock these words are anemic at best.  This is how I deal with loss.  I don't know or care if my prose are any good.  I just needed to do something with all this angry energy.  My condolences go out to Steve's family.