Fall Together, Fall Apart (a poem about colder weather and cognitive dissonance)

Idioms and axioms swirling across the concrete of my twisted mind,

Like reddish yellow leaves swirling ‘cross the concrete of  twisted sidewalks where I find,

My beginning and my end.


Righteous indignation sets ablaze the synapses in my head,

Like the fire in my bones is strengthened by emotions long thought to be dead.

“I am the beginning and the end.”


But God who called the dust to rise up and speak a life-giving word,

How can I discern your plans for me when silence is all I’ve heard

At the beginning and the end?


Where is this mysterious scroll  of prophecies long inscribed by omnipotence,

Hiding beneath the clouds of vested emotion or rambling beneath my own incompetence?

You are my beginning and my end.


My judgment has been marred by trust long broken,

Faith in anything is so frail that affirmative words are now hardly spoken,

As if bearing heavy burdens is an easy trend.


Goosebumps, a childhood memory that kept me up at night, weaving tales of killer clowns and puppets across the back of my eyelids that would make your skin crawl. Goosebumps, that feeling of anticipation that something was about to happen that would change everything and you couldn’t put it down. Goosebumps, raised on my flesh as war rages under my feeble plans. Rising knots in my throat and tears in my eyes as I try to put pen to paper and understand my own rebellious heart. What a wretched, empty soul who cries out “Abba, Father” and is made whole. Following your heart is just fine in fairy tales, but “the heart is deceitful…who can know it?”


You can know it because you know me,

Like leaves racing across the blacktop of childhood dreams,

Their path unknown to the casual passerby,


Twisting and turning and ripping at the seams.

Unraveling like words in a line and cognitive dissonance shaking the corners of stanzas yet

to be

(or not to be)


Falling apart, we fall into ourselves,


into our selfish whims,

But we are not of those who shrink back,

But those who cry






Predetermined or burdened with purpose?

Invisible streams flowing mightily from the one who holds it all in his hands,

My beginning and my end.







Rhema (or, Idol Hands Sit Idly.)

Emboldened by words left unspoken,
Crumbling beneath all that I have broken.

As I scramble to rearrange the jagged pieces,

To complete a puzzle named resentment.

Wordless, I have no thoughts left to pen,
I have no utterance to be uttered,

No rhymes left to usher in.

I have held all my cards close to my chest,

And I wish I could say I tried my best.
So I guess the letter I would’ve written would sound like

Dear Future Me,

You’ve got so many stories left to be told, A blank canvas soon to be dripping with red and blue and gold. Do not give in, do not give up.But stand.

Stalwart and proud of the man you have become.

A man who knows what is past and what is to come. One who weighs his legacy like his idol hands weigh on his conscience, and idol words sit enshrined on tongues of fire racing around and around as if chariots set ablaze.
I speak because there is an inferno resting inside my bones, as I wrestle against flesh and blood and deny the calling which I have received.
To be simultaneously saint and sinner, to wage war on these rebellious legs that carry me to places I know better than to be.
Oh God, may my futile words be few.
May my lips tremble when I speak your truth, and may my heart be laid upon a blazing altar for you.

You are my past, present, and future. It’s always been You. So forgive my idol thoughts and my idol ears and my idle soul sitting idly by, waiting on You to move.
Jesus, rid me of deceit, of anger, and of my broken heart. Let me embrace the calling you have poured out upon me as you envelop all the idols that strive to gain a foothold in my life in refining fire.
“I love you Lord, and I lift my voice. To worship You. Oh my soul, rejoice! Take joy my King in what you hear. May it be a sweet sound in your ear.”

More to Be Said (a poem)

Words wound tightly around wounds from which our memories unwind,

Words said without thought,

Words leveled against enemies in haste,

Words full of truth but lacking in grace.


Words of the heart misshapen and leaving intentions mistaken,

Words written without love,

Words spat out to the world with hate,

Words that create scars and sap from us the power to create.


I was called to be a lighthouse,

a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.

But it seems in all of my bitterness,

I have chewed up more than I have bitten.


I am constantly smitten,

Overwhelmed with love for my fellow man.

At least that is what I say.

But is it love for others I hold close to my bound up heart,

Or is it love for the man staring back from the shattered mirror,

Love formed of well intentioned words my well intentioned mouth has torn apart?


Well if all my well-intentioned words have any merit,

Then call me elipsis,

I create sentences that sentence me,

Leave the posture of my heart in question and my good intentions fly amiss.


Because with all I have spoken there is more to be said,

Because my words need bring life, and raise the dead.

But all too often I have held back life-giving words

At the behest of the doubts swirling in my head.


Words, words, beautiful, wonderful, terrible words,

Ill-fated, broken, brutal, and wretched words.

Compassionate, lovely, graceful and healing words.

Words that sting and damaged, yet jubilant words.


We cannot say enough.

In a word, there is more to be said because of The Word.

That which came into the world that all my idle words may lay irrelevant in the face of the truth,

The final word.


The Word that says more in three words than I have in my entire life.

The Word who takes away all my empty words leveled in spite,

The Word who holds me close with blinding bright.

The immutable Word, the unshakable Word, The Christ.


So if there is more to be said,

Let my words be His.

If there is more to be spoken,

Let my life and speech revive.

If there is more to be said, let it be the three words that cost His life.


“It is finished.”

He is the Christ.

Forgiven and Fading (a poem)


We stood on the shore, drifting in and out of our own misplaced reminiscence, ambivalence coursing through our once vibrant ,now broken luminescence, pretentious contentiousness gnawing at the fabric of relationships we left in our wake.

We sat, feet in the sand and buried deep.  How long did we believe we could hold on to our past offenses as they dove into the sea like stones that would rest at the bottom of God’s shrinking memory, sensory perception making me perceive that I needed all my sins like all my sins needed me.

Like forgiveness meant nothing, so I could continue on my spree. And as long as God was still good, I had an excuse for still being me.

And as the cold water rushes past my chest, and I stand, buried up to my neck, I cry out for a savior that could save me from the man I never wanted to be. Oh, sweet release, for a heart that can fly free past this world’s cruel bonds.

The singer sang that our sins were stones at the bottom of the ocean, but did he count on me swimming deep enough to raise them from their graves and indulge in emptiness again and again and again?

And, if God really has amnesia, then what does that mean for me? Those fading memories sing exoneration’s song, clawing past all my insufficiencies and resting in that He is enough. Before the throne of God above… I am emptied of excuses, I am left all too aware of all that I am not.

So I stand on the shore, waves of nostalgia and regret pulling me in like a rip tide, to bury me with all my past disgraces, wherein the traces of all my mistakes would tether to me to God’s indelible wrath and that I myself would sink in his fading memories. …I have a strong and perfect plea… Please, please Jesus, set me free.

But instead I stand before a throne, and the Son looks forward with eyes ablaze and says “my child, you are set free.…a great High Priest whose name is love, who ever lives and pleads for me. 

Velocity (a poem)


You were a song spilling out of  speakers at 70 on the interstate,

Words I’d heard a million times, but never quite believed,

Emotions hid away for the sake of projecting the perfect persona,

A voice swept up and hidden in all those years I let myself be deceived.

“You are invincible,” echoed in my soul.

Spilling out like a song from the lips of a child certain of his own security at 85 0n the interstate,

Convinced that whatever gave him life would never feel so entitled as to take it away,

Believing that death doesn’t happen to kids our age,

That life clings to us and shrouds us from all that might expose us where we lay.

“You stand immovable,” screamed through my soul.

Believing that innocence clings to us like our souls are safe at 105 on the interstate,

Like, turn the speakers louder and believe that all the bad you’ve done doesn’t need to be washed clean,

As if all the good I’ve done will cover up those ugly stains on the side of highway,

Perhaps if I pray hard enough I’ll make it home in one piece, however obscene.

“You are unforgivable,” a whisper through my soul.

We believed we were safe at breakneck speeds on the interstate,

Found solace in the songs on the radio that blocked out all strife

Disregarding the sound of our own heartbeats at 200 on the Autobahn,

Convinced our souls are safe from the world we believed owed us our life.

“You are loved,” a voice calls out.

But there is freedom outside of ourselves,

Running parallel to us at the speed of light,

Calling, beckoning, come home, let go.

That voice that shakes the ages, pulls us from danger with all his might.

“You are set free.”

It’s been a little while since I’ve written anything because I guess I just had nothing to say, but this is the poem I’ve been trying to write for months now. Granted, it may not be very good, but the image of a kid clinging to the idea of safety while needlessly risking his life has just kinda been stuck with me for a while now. We grapple with our own mortality, and believe the lie that we are in control, but we aren’t. And the only real freedom from our self destructive tendencies is found outside of ourselves in Christ, he is the only one who can free us from our love affair with sin and death. 

A Prelude

Boundless insecurity,

Thickening ice across a mountain made of fire,

Staring out on the shore over an ocean of starless nights.

Wondering about the plight of those I’d rather just forget,

In favor of the sword I clench tight in my fist.

Oh God, deception calls me

To trudge through the waters of my despair and build a home for all my secrets there.

Redemption yells from the shore, begging me to run back,

To be made whole in the presence of the one who can free me.

Circular sins,

But a circle always starts from where it ends.

Oh but hope is like a ship at sea and an overcast sky,

and I can barely see it’s sails unfurling, but I know it has not left just like I know it’s not standing dry,

Like I know God has not left us wanting, left us to die.

And that ghost is ever haunting in the depths of my soul.

If suffering proves me that I can feel at all,

Set me on fire and watch me fall to the ground,

Rolling around and around and putting out all that makes me human.

Believe me, I don’t want this emptiness,

So take it from me, set me free.

Freedom looks like arms stretched across splintered boards,

Nail protruding from hands that held children and healed the sick,

Thorns pressing inward and bleeding out.

A hole in the side that my fingers will just barely fit into.

Freedom purchased for a wretch like me.

And fear still ebbs in the darkest parts of me,

Like I know God has not left us wanting,

But that ghost is ever haunting,

And sometimes I slip back into the chains that bind me to myself.

But the King is calling,


“You are free.”


Michael (not pity, but mercy)


You spoke into the inmost parts of me,

Picked up all the ugly pieces no one else could see.

And you looked at me,

Eyes filled with, not pity, but mercy.

You breathed life into the darkest parts of me,

Tore apart the man I refused to let them see,

Eyes spilling over with, not pity, but mercy.

Oh God, like David dancing through the streets, a man who would soon know your wrath better than anybody, better than me. I want to be free, can you set me free? Like the fire that builds in the belly of the beast. Like the words springing forth from your prophets resounding at the feast, restoration. Freedom’s song going on and on and on. Mercy’s symphony ringing brazenly, vividly, uninhibited, cycling through my head.

I swear, the victim in me is dead,

crucified with Christ,

That only the loving gaze of a man acquainted with grief can remedy.

He looked at me with,

Not pity, but mercy.

And then he set me                free.