Sunday, October 28, 2007

A good reminder

If you asked me (which you didn't), I would tell you that good poetry is much like prayer, it is somehow out of time, applicable in more than one setting, and at the same moment, entirely relevant and set in the moment of it's creation. For more thoughts like these, go back and reread the first poem I posted, On Writing. But this is what I was thinking when I reread today's post. I remember writing it. I remember how good it felt to finally have those thoughts on paper. And as much as my life has moved from that moment, this is still true.

How do I praise God from my life?

I know how to cry to you
I know how to collapse before you
I know how to cling to you
I know all this and so
I struggle.
How do I praise you?
How do I lift my voice,
_____My weak and trembling voice,
_____My voice which has been hoarse from shouting,
_____My voice which has so often protested the facts of my life
_____My voice,
To you in thanksgiving?
How do I stand in the face of all my wounds,
Wounds which never disappear,
And proclaim your great grace?
You didn’t stop the wounds
You didn’t ease the pain
There were tears you cannot redeem.
They were. Nothing changes that.
Not grace, not love, not beauty
And still I do.
Because pain was not all or the end.
For all the pain,
for all the sorrow
There was always love.
Not to redeem or to drive away the other,
But to stand beside, to contradict
To hold out hope for more, for better,
And so I practice:

God of Gods, God who calms storms, God who counts the hair on our heads,
Thank you
God of my life, God who heals (though not me), God knows even the sparrows,
I bless you
God who stays, God who loves (even me), God who sees all beauty and all pain,
I love you.

Written 5/26/06

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The New Look

I liked the old look. Really. It would have been gone at least a month ago if I hadn't liked it. The problem was that as much as I liked it, I write really long lines in some of my poems.

This is a real connection. You see, in the old template a line could only be so long before the template automatically wrapped it around onto the next line WHERE IT DIDN'T BELONG. I know that this seems like a small thing to a lot of you, but it's not. I actually divide the lines of a poem for important reasons I may never be able to explain. Some words belong on the same line and not on separate lines. I could not let a template destroy this important factor in my writing. (My control issues are entirely appropriate in the context of how my blog template is/was destorting my writing.) So I changed templates.

I'm still working on liking this template, but it works better for the poetry. Still, this probably means more changes ahead. I'll only comment on them if there's a new or significant reason behind them.

Next problem--tabs. I need to be able to indent my lines, because some lines need to be indented. This thought process is unlikely to become clear to you unless I can show you how much better my work is when I can indent.

If you don't understand just accept, and tell me how to do indentation. Please?

(And see, if I didn't post poetry, you'd have to put up with this sort of illogical, quasi-whiny, defensive rhetoric on more regular basis. Don't worry, next week we'll be back to the [good, pensive, dark, hopeful, insert-own-adjective-here] poetry.)

10-25-07: So, this template will last for awhile. I'm not entirely happy with it either, but I like the style and the space for posting is a bit wider. Such is life.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Eternal temporality

things I think while looking out the window...

playing on
Molted leaves

greens, once shiny
browns, soon to crumble
now, resplendent

I can't capture

words fade away
images outlast their first cause
the world spun, spins, will spin

and this perfect imperfection
which we love
is forever now

written 10/22/07

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Themes in my life

Sometimes it feels like this is the summary of my life.

Questions in the Void
You say this doubt is new
That these are new questions
And my heart swells
With compassion and envy

For the questions that are new to you
are old to me
I know how hard it is to live with them
and I wish I did not

But I stand, have stood, will stand
And stare into something that often seems a void
And I will ask those questions
I will shout,
those questions
I will stand and I will curl on the floor of the edge of the cliff
And I will be at home

I know where you but enter
I have wept here
And I have learned to rejoice here
I do not envy you your entrance,
But wish I had not lived here so long
That this could be new

And yet, and yet
I am alive, even here.

Written 9/22/06

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


There is no way for my to describe (here) why this was written. However, I do not think that you need me to. Either you understand (in which case I will say a prayer for you this week) or you do not (in which case I will also pray for you). Prayer is good, after all.

Round and round, turn after turn,
Up is up then up is down,
I laugh then weep then am silent.
I try to find sense and meaning
Then I try to survive.
I sing your praise,
Then angrily demand explanation.
Nothing makes sense.
And then I realize,
Meaning is always lost
In the next rotation,
Because the only fixture
Is your love—
Your love for me.

I stand in silence,
Stare into the distance,
And ponder
if that is enough.
As again my world turns—
Everything moves.
And my faith shakes.
My heart and mind demand
Meaning and justice
In crescendoing pleas.
And my soul quakes in your love,
Your love for me.

I want to scream and rage,
To have a face
At which to aim
But I cannot.
There is no anger, no despair—
Just the desperate hope:
Hope for tomorrow,
Hope for today,
Hope for me.
Because I remember your love,
Your love for me.

The turning hasn’t stopped
Maybe it never will
But you and I—
We’re here
And I keep finding that
I love you
In a pale imitation
of your love for me.

Written 5/21/06

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I don't remember exactly why I wrote this one, it fits so many moments in my life.
Also, head over to Sophia's site to see this post. I don't know if she meant to write poetry, but I think she did.

Pieces of Faith
I sit in the dark and wonder….
Why do I still talk to you?
Why do I think that you care if I do?
But I cannot be silent.
I cannot ignore you.

Looking at my life,
I cannot show your overwhelming favor.
I have no token of your love
There are too many sorrows,
Too much pain.
But what else keeps me here,
Talking to you?

Perhaps it is just a fancy,
A flight of mind brought on by lack of sleep.
But why then,
Do I hear you
In the stillness of the day?
In the heart of the night?
In the middle of my life?

I remember Abraham,
How you stood in the middle of the broken birds
And I wonder if you do stand in the middle of my life,
What do these pieces mean to you?
I wonder if you will ever tell me,
If I will ever hear.

Written 4/10/06