Graveside

If ever I doubt the way my heart feels

Once again, unbidden, to my mind will spring

the image of your body, lifeless and still

wreathed in flowers as the pallbearers sing.

 

Just imagining this in my darkest thought

sends daggers clawing through my chest

It makes me regret each time that we’ve fought

And the longings increase to give you my best.

 

So if ever I look at you without my heart twinging

I will remember again, life is so very fleeting.

This place is too evanescent to doubt

that my love for you should know no bounds.

 

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An Ode to Culture

Dark skin
Is lovely
Deep brown like aged trees
Or light milk cocoa.
All the in-betweens are just so.
Ivory skin
Is beautiful
It can be so pale as to glow in the twi-night;
Or tan skin, bronzed or golden from sunlight,
or butter-cream like our favorite ingredient.
Skin is fully incredible
When it wrinkles in a smile
It is an adornment for our lilting words, graced with cultured miles
Every part of humanity is at its most shining
In the moments of sun when we glimmer with kindness
We are not divided by our different words for love
We are not defined by the heritage of our blood
The world is a big place
There are many of us; and we are different
The greatest gift is our unique lives, not once repeated, not a single time
So
Why
Would we seek to degrade differences?
You and I are not the same
It is beautiful
Let us revel in all we can now learn from one another.
Or not learn; or share. We are all “others”
in the world, because no one is your kin if you do not feel that everyone is
To someone else, and so to you.

Jawbones

I glance about and note some trash
eyes lingering on its curving shape.
Some remnant of a ghostly past,
like a discarded jawbone left to waste.

Not yet abandoned to the dust,
my flesh has yet to rot and die.
With time grows weak my wanderlust,
though now, today, I am alive.

Some spark of thought lights weakly here,
that some day soon my end draws near.
Then my existence too will cease,
my bones back to the earth a piece.

Will words I once breathed live again?
Beyond my grave and charred remains.
If all I wrote, I wrote in vain,
at least in life it eased my pain.

All is not lost, though earth will be,
and gain is perishing to me.
For souls survive beyond the dark,
once bitter stillness grips my heart.

Pebbles and Spit

You are the everything to me,
You strengthen my arms and help me breathe.
Your presence makes my soul to find,
The peace to live this changing life.

The world says quietly, “Come away!
You have no time for Him today.”
But the yearning in my soul to be with you
Grows sharp in its anguish for your truth.

The shades become drawn over my heart’s bitter longing,
You knock on the door but no answer’s forthcoming.
The One that I need in all of this world,
I deny because “time” is a bittersweet word.

Please help me, be with me, secure in me grace,
Give flame to my heart to seek out your face.
Speak joy over me, and excitement, and life,
Let me not with the things of this world be enticed.

For the world offers emptiness in all of its gold,
Beyond the bright gleam is a truth rarely heard.
There is nothing, raw void, only emptiness, tricks.
You cannot make an ocean from pebbles and spit.

To Feel

When emotions strain against my flesh
And I feel them press against my chest
They seek release, held in by bone
And a heart that aches when it’s alone.

The feelings surge down my fingertips
They speak the thoughts mute from my lips
Words that dance in song and ink
Release the heart that dares to think.

The cold touch of my hands is sure
To ignite a flame of written word
Skin that’s cracked from scrubbing stains
Of pens that broke from all my pain.

The writing flows and soothes my fear
The beauty of sonorous words that breathe
And phrases become eternally dear
In their rhyme, entrenched in memory.

Best Friends

Friendship is not money or lattes or flowers,
It’s capital letters and rambling for hours.
It’s video games, failure and horrible homework,
Stupidity, laughter and telling her first.

It’s listen-to-me, I’m-smarter-than-you,
It’s “you’re doing this wrong, let me show you,”
It’s how-did-you-miss-that, they-taught-it-in-class,
And parents saying “how do you two text so fast?”

It’s “thank you for being there” in all of your ways,
When I copied your notes on those it’s-too-much days.
Gratitude for all that you’ve done, we’ve been through,
A round of applause and hats off to you.

Why Do You Love Me?

Lord, who am I to pretend that I am more?
Pain beckons blackly in my treachery.
Every lie in the book that I’ve fallen for,
Every curtain whose glimmers I believed.

I do not want to entrust my shivering heart
To this rawly gaping realm of change
I want you to make my dead end a new start,
And plant steadiness in the soil of my pain.

Pump blood through my veins untainted by life
Make different the swaying emotions inside
Be the endless fuel for my flickering light
Incredible Lord, do not leave my side.

I ask you to quell the tide of my pride
Tear down the walls I’ve built up inside.
Make humble again what man elevates
And flood us all with a sea of your grace.

I am so inadequate
Words in any tongue are not enough
Simplicity may praise you best
For your designs are found in my mess.

Forgive me, Lord. A wretched sinner.
Shame is like my shadow, dirtier, blacker,
I am disgusting and you love me.
Why? Why should you love me?
I have made myself worse than nothing.

My tears spill because of your grace,
Mercy like light that floods from your face.
The holiness catches the darkness like blades
And twice as sharp it cleanses this place.

I weep for your beauty and cry out for your love
Your power and majesty that I am full of.
Lord be my refuge and leave not my soul
For your flames alone drive back the cold.