Tuesday, November 16, 2004


























Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Coat

Just who is it inside that coat?
It’s like a dark gray crushed velvet
Covers everything from her sharp chin to her vinyl shoes
I mean, I know her name and see her smile, but, still…
It's like, when an artist shrouds his work from the public eye before it's ready
She tears into the church foyer with a determined, caffeine-induced pace that could only be hers
Wearing the coat, which, by whatever means, subtly adds elegance to the mystery…
We've talked a whole lot and I gotta admit I've hardly ever gotten along with someone so well
Then, there's the time I playfully squeezed her warm hand and I became bewildered a little because
Well, I mean, unless I’m crazy, it was like she seemed to welcome my touch and there we were
But then, winter quickly gets cold and dark and we part ways for a really long while
UNTIL – that is…
Determination and faith in a knowing God finally bring us to a park on a storybook warm summer’s eve
There’s no coat, and what’s revealed is probably as perfect a creature I’ll ever behold till Christ returns
I think I now know who was inside that coat all along…
She’s someone I know
I know her, and I also know that I need to love her
To keep her warm
To protect her from sinister eyes
And to stay as close to her as I possibly can
Just like
The coat

Saturday, August 28, 2004

My soul needs to bleed tonight...

She is the curious girl next door who comes over to play...
She is the bossy little dark-haired beauty who insisted I join the party in the basement - but freaked me out instead…
She is the new girl next door who steals my toys and hides them...
She is the tall blonde who watched out for me in first grade when we had to go to another class for reading...
She is the teenager in the summer outfit that made me grudgingly admit to my 8-year old self that she's cute...
She is the brown-eyed girl who gave me my first butterflies when she got on the bus in 4th grade...
She is the new girl next door, now a little older, who seems to like nothing more than to push my buttons...
She is the ornery grin on that dang girl at school that made my ears turn red...
She is that same grin on my cousin’s face when she asked, “where’d you get all the big words, MIKEY?”…
She is all those questions from the sweet thing in the next seat in forth grade, the same one I eventually flirted with…
She is the pretty, innocent face of the poor girl I saw chased across the schoolyard and called names by a perfect prick…
She is my first big crush in 7th grade that I wished would just kill me quickly…
She is that slender brown-haired gal I finally noticed after six weeks of coed volleyball in gym class…
She is also the troublemaker on the bus who teased me just enough to lose all nerve with that particular teammate…
She is the inspiration I felt when I wrote my first love note at 14…
She is the reason why the first girl I kissed didn't really get to me till she dogged me...
She is the a friend like the slightly older tomboy who rode her horse to my house then made butterfly-chick flip her off…
She is the other girl next door who just plain knocks me flat with those beaming eyes...
She is the sunlight I once saw through pretty blonde hair in the Sunday School room...
She is the now shy dark-haired beauty by the pool that I tried to bond with - but gave up too quickly…
She is the mysterious babe from school lookin' GOOD in blue jeans at the mall...
She is the other girl next door who became my best bud in 10th grade...
She is the brat at church who spends zillions of hours with me on the phone…
She is the prettiest girl in the whole school starting a conversation with me in art class…
She is the new girl next door, now very attractive at 18 whom I often confuse, rarely charm, and mostly ignore...
She is the intriguing, exotic world of my first “official” girlfriend...
She is the person I truly longed for when I bawled in her very arms over the song "Hold on to the Night"...
She is the gal at work who asked me out when I didn’t have a clue…
She is the beautiful college coed whose tortured reactions always left me bewildered…
She is the essence of that one special college coed whose patience and grace helped me more than she’ll ever realize…
She is the sweet lady’s love I wasted for several years while just passing time…
She is the spirit of that sultry sweet office gal at a company picnic that really, really made me wonder…
She is the prize worth risking it all to win back in Oceans Eleven…
She is the tender chocolate-eyed morsel with a bratty streak…
She is that sassy little go-getter I can never spend enough time with…
She is the classy lady-friend who’s tolerated my earnest bungling…
She came along just as I'm realizing what I’ve been missing all my life...
She is the reason all the others weren't right...
She is definitely the reason my tune has changed...
She is the one you never believe you could get in a million years, even when she makes it clear you already have...
She is an angel from God if I ever knew one...
She is...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004



in their bite

the poison stings

the flesh of their victims

emerging from piles of dust

legions of the king of trouble know

that the fate of their furry cuddly adversary

will soon be that of total annihilation

because the legions of trouble

know not the word retreat

they are unstoppable

they are evil

they are


(for lady lauren and her minions of squirrels)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Moth in the Fish Tank

1983. Summer. The Bible says the days are evil but these are just plain torrid. So for the last couple days there’s been a visitor on the back porch. They say he’s a moth, but he looks more like a butterfly with big velvety wings. Autumn colors, like the carpet and furniture in our living room. We kind of adopt him just as we did the goldfinches that frequent our feeders. They eat Niger Seed. Comes from India. These are the days when Dad gets home from work and immediately fills the evening running the log splitter. All I know is that the noise splits my head until a storm comes. This moth is so docile. He sits there on the picnic table and finally crawls into a fish tank we’d just decommissioned. These are also the days when Tuesday nights mean Happy Days gearing up for its final season. I never miss it. That Jenny Piccalo sure fascinates me despite being so nonchalant and annoying. So why do I ignore the girl next door with the same description? As I watch the moth her house is behind me. Her dad told us what kind he is but I forgot the name. Then one night something a little weird happens when he makes a pool of white liquid on the glass. Mom says it’s a scent so he can attract a mate. Still, my initial thought made my heart sink. I assumed the fluid of life had missed its chance and I had to sit down for a while and actually choke back tears. But, I guess if that’s only the welcome mat then there’s still hope. Why do I care? And why is she such a pain? We used to goof off all the time but now she’s like this giggling grinning googley-eyed bag of hormones always telling me I don’t know enough about, well, sex I guess. Just where’d she pick up this Jack and Diane crap and who the heck told her she could sing? Dingbat. Most of all I’m pretty tootin’ sure she talks about me with people at school. It’s a conspiracy! A HUGE conspiracy and she’s in the grade ahead of me and they’re ALL in cahoots. But the moth made me aware of things I’d never thought of. I was deeply moved and pretty confused. Kind of like that dream I had back then where I was floating across the back yard and she floated toward me and then, well, it happened. I awoke and there was proof. Even then I admitted to myself that it was because we knew each other. Not because she’s cute and was always taller than me or because she’s a laugh riot to be around. Heaven knows I could care less about that stuff. No, it was because we’ve spent so much time together and now there’s this new force acting within me. But by then I’d let the world mold me into a shell and there’s no way I’d ever get that close to her. Just too frightening to even ponder. Yep, the combined length of our yards is just fine by me. Far as I know that moth never enjoyed mutual company, and I was further saddened to eventually see him shrivel over his vain crust of love potion. I went on to start the sixth grade on my 12th birthday and became increasingly alienated as the fall wore into winter, allowing my misunderstood outlook to justify putting up walls. I gradually mellowed out, but I never asked with words whether the girl next door might like to flutter off with me and create a new future. Rather, I did answer the question quite clearly by my actions over the years. So far, it’s “no”. But does the story ever truly end this side of Glory? Didn’t think so.

Monday, July 19, 2004

The Big Heavy

it's those thoughts again
every night i find myself
fighting them back
when i try to sleep
sometimes when i'm just
i try to quiet my mind
but they come back
they rob my peace
big fat heavy dark worries
a boulder
just about to crush me
unless i run
or just ignore it
yeah think about something else
tell myself
it's gonna be ok
i mean
it's nowhere near bad enough
in the world
for the rapture
to happen soon
or is it
this boulder is too heavy
to even lift
let alone to carry
if it falls from the ledge
i’m done
if i share it
will anyone
ever understand
can anyone
carry the load
can someone
take it away
give me the peace
to rest
the joy
to live
the strength
to carry on
who will encourage me
day to day
pick me up
when i stumble
why do i feel
like a kid
in trouble
with my parents
what have i done wrong
well plenty i guess
but who hasn’t
i'm a good person
still i wonder
do i ever need
to say
once again
to god
that i’m truly
truly sorry
is there still time
will it be ok
i keep thinking
i’ll get better in time
yeah someday
surely i’ll understand
what i need
to be ok with god
but what if that’s just another
just another pipe dream
can’t i have the assurance
right now
someone once told me the verse
to live is christ
and to die is gain
but i don’t think
i mean
that i can say that
like i mean it
feels kinda funny
fits as a square peg
in a round hole
what if this is like
my last chance
to make peace
with god
soot is such a strong smell
like when a locomotive train
chugs by
leaving that stench
coal smoke
dank steam
why does that seem to permeate my nostrils
oh god am i closer to
than i thought
torrid midday sun
scorches my flesh
thick soupy air
oppresses my lungs
cold of deepest night
chills my inner bones
darkness leaves me stammering
smoke burns as i choke
will someone please
please someone
touch water to my lips
can anyone
massage some life
back into my hands
as they curl up
rigor mortis
hear my breathless screams
demons are whipping
no one can stop them now
into your hands
i commit my spirit

Friday, May 28, 2004


O hear now, Mother of Oppression!

Lend your ear, Sister of Deceit!

From the earliest of my days

You have sought my destruction

You, who are not of my people

Crossing the border into my land

Treading upon my sovereign soil...

With a smile that hides darkness

Why do you try to entice me?

And seek to prove me a fool

Charm me with feminine amenities

And play my feelings as a banjo

Is it a reaction you seek?

Find you any love in my rage?

Antagonism - your big red plastic bat

See how far this perforated ball will soar!

But alas, I am curious

And I see you are too

What’s this all about?

So compelling, yet strange

Is nothing held sacred?

What’s off limits, to discuss or display?

As long as it’s mutual

Does anyone else need to know?

But in time we both grow older

Trading the obvious for that unseen

Your methods become those of shrewdness

No longer brazen, but sweetly cunning

In secret absence I explored you

Never willing to connect with the heart

Now I am just as guilty

And even more so for my part

For I abandoned the path of righteousness

I have denied friendship - basic and true

A coward; I caved to social paranoia

And surrendered to weakness of flesh

Still you crouched in waiting

For the exact moment to pounce

The bait appealed to the sensibilities

Plus a twinge of mystery; need to explore

I was craving a change

And the seasons were shifting

“Won’t hurt to try,” I said to myself

“Besides, she seems so willing…”

Has there ever been such a swift plummet from grace?

As I ravaged unknown territory

And tried in vain to act out my thoughts

Shameless, demented twist of creation!

My armies advanced

Through fields once tranquil

With orders to assess

They’re to gather “intelligence”

But in their wake lay destruction

The landscape disfigured

As they set up encampment

In garrison, awaiting fresh orders

You finally take arms

To protect your vast riches

Guarding that which is precious

Since I’ll do no such thing

For I say, “freedom is mine”

So why would I deny it to you?

The tense epochs to follow

Find brief moments of peace

But militias still skirmish

And guerrillas never rest...

Once the newness fades

And reality sets in

We’re both tired of giving

Oh so empty within

Your problems never cease

No, they multiply with time

Do you ever solve anything?

Deeper, in quicksand, you sink

But do I pull you out?

Offer even an olive branch?

No, for I’m spent of your ways

Yet not ready to leave…

Your desire for completeness

Matched only by you bellicose futility

Frustrates me to no end

With you I can do nothing that profits

Yet I continue my natural way

Austere as always, keeping composure

But, by the same, never improving

You cry for help with actions

Still, your letters tell a sad tale

But ‘tis easier to let a tree fungus rot

Than to scrape it off by toiling

Finally, long sought freedom arrives

Yet I’m deep in despair

For my last pitiful ember of light has died

Giving way to cold stale darkness

I now realize my “plans”

Were never such at all

I had not set wise goals

Just drifting along toward nowhere

Then I turned to my God!

Who understands my failure?

And gives grace to repentance

He rewards those who believe Him

He also set my paths straight

And cleared my confusion

He gave me wisdom and strength

To stand up before the enemy…

As I keep watch by night

My radar surveys the horizon

Be sure, I shall see you coming

Beleaguered jets with idolatrous markings

O Daughter of Perdition!

You Niece of Iniquity!

How your sins multiply in time

Surely perversion deepens with age

Only the foolish try the prepared one

And the stupid die who attack the vigilant

But is there not hope for you?

Indeed, a chance to change your ways -

Repent to a loving God today!

Become His, you creature of beauty

For He created you and loves you

Why do you take arms with His sons?

And try His soldiers with temptation?

All heaven rejoices in the lost sheep’s return

My sister, o lovely child of God

Why must we maintain troops in array?

Keeping battalions posted all day

And artillery poised to defend by darkness

Locked in stalemate; a pointless effort

Have you any chance of victory?

For I realize the truth – yet it’s relevance you scoff

That my battle is not against flesh and blood

And I fight not with woman or man

How the opponent’s warriors are not mortal

That this conflict is but a portion of eternity

A struggle within a greater engagement

Although the rebels mount resistance

The Victor’s army outnumbers them

Surely God has kept His faithful!

Two of His to one of the losers’

Will you join us, my dear one?

Will you lay down your weapon for true love?

For I’ve found the real battle wages inside us

And God sent His Son to win it

To resist Jesus means that we lose

But surrender all to Him…and be won!

For He has shown me the new way

That even I can become your friend

But we both must be on the same page

United in His Spirit by His Blood

So will you bow your heart to Him now?

Have your name written in the Book of Life

Our names will appear there together; joint heirs

United forever beneath the flag of the King!

Now we stand face to face

How’d we get so old?

But you’re really not here

For the familiar falseness screams

A non-answer to my disbelief

You still don’t get it

And I fear you never will…

Take heed, I am well armed for defense

In truth my silos are deterrents

I must aim missiles toward your homeland

And with wisdom point guns at your border

The strife that began so long ago

It has protracted without decision

For weeks, many months, and even years

It continues today in spite of intentions

The impending threat is still real; it saddens me

Because only one of us has surrendered

Bowed to the King of Kings – WHOLEHARTEDLY

And but one has stopped fighting for vain interests

I say once again, let this be a dire warning

To yourself and those alike -

Surely our mutual posture of distrust remains

Till Christ takes His spoils

One way or another

He will win over your heart

But will it be by your own volition?

O, I implore you! Don’t let yourself be…


Thursday, April 1, 2004

From The Badlands

How many times, Lord, must I learn that You’re here even amidst the chilly winds and the battered streets among naked trees?
When times are good I question them and when times are bad I seek understanding
Thankfully, You lead me to those who extol Your counsel in a world where pretentious friends flee in their shame
But would-be foes learn to bond in their similarities
Lord forgive me for my lack of faith, for now I can discern when it was You guiding my heart in the reflective moments, even when I rarely sought You out by name
Thankfully I had been grounded in Your precepts, so that when youthful angst pressed my limits, I knew to always keep a clear path back toward Your Way
But mostly, Lord, I thank You for showing me not to wander off in the first place!
And that those with foolish inclinations toward the world are not worthy of my trust
Lord, as I look around once again I ache at these badlands and I wonder how Your grace would ever reach to such a pit
But I stand on Your promise to meet me where I am, and I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able
Take me now, O Lord my God, to the place You have ordained for me to do Your will, for You have already inspired me beyond words with Your sweet song and my heart yearns for the MOUNTAINS of GLORY I’ll reach riding this train