Close Enough

49758-Jesus-crucifixion-1200x627-thinkstock.1200w.tnSo, what’s so “good” about Good Friday?

It’s one of the most common, confusing, frustrating and foundational questions in Christianity.

After all, this is the day when the man called Jesus died as an enemy of the Roman state. A common criminal. A political agitator and potential adversary. 

Though not unexpected — Jesus himself predicted his coming death — his crucifixion was nonetheless terrifying and heartbreaking to his followers.

More than that, it was embarrassing.

After all, some of them had invested years of their lives in this man. They knew him as a powerful leader. A brilliant, if somewhat radical teacher. Possibly, a king and savior, even. They’d seen him leading a world-changing political, religious and social movement (perhaps with one or two of them maybe sitting at his side and wielding some of his authority.)

Yet, now, they could only see his brutalized body hanging from a bloody cross. 

What had happened? What had gone wrong?

History tells one story.

Faith tells another. 

Faith shows us that the movement did indeed happen. And the world did change.

For out of Jesus’ horrible death came eternal life.

A mere moment in time redefined Time itself.

And the angry screams of hatred became the soothing whispers of love.

We just have to be brave enough to listen, closely, with both ears and hearts. 

And hear.

Happy Easter.

CLOSE ENOUGH

Yes, Lord, I hear you

calling me to the foot of your cross

I love you, I want to carry your burden

but I see your pain–

The salty tears in your eyes

The rancid smell of your dying

The sticky blood knotting thorns and hair

The slivers buried deep in your palms

The shame of your broken nakedness

–And I am a sparrow in a storm

Yes, my child, I know your fear

It bows my back and stills my spirit

Yet, where else but at the foot of my cross

Can you be close enough–

To feel the soulless metal that stole my life

To see the gnarled wood through my wounds

 to kneel in the dirt,

moist with my sweat and tears and blood

–To know, truly, finally what I did for you?

Where else, but here, at the heel of my suffering

Are you close enough for me to touch and hold you,

And whisper, so softly that only your heart will hear,

“I love you.”

Advertisements

What Time Is It?

time

Time after Time

Time out of mind

No Time like the present

Time flies

Time waits for no one

Wasting Time

Making up Time

Who’s got the Time

Time’s right

Time’s wrong

Time’s up

What is Time

anyway

But a tool

To say where

We are in

This second

This minute

In this day

A way to assign

Value, to

Know what is new and

What to get rid of

As fake as Splenda

And not quite as sweet

Each clock’s tick

A new brick

Trapping us behind

Walls of fear, sloth

And arrogance

 Each cry for

More Time a

Reflection of

Self-deception

As we vainly refuse

To make Time

For Time

Yet still we honor Time

With the fear and awe

We once saved for our gods

All now lying at the feet of Time itself

Weak, irrelevant or dead

We have faith in Time

In a world where belief is belied

By the reality of fake news

Where Truth seems only to exist with a Capital T

Time is the only thing

Worth the effort

Promising a new day

A new hour

A new minute

A new second

Of grace

Time…

Real as a

Beating heart

a first kiss

a last breath

…is a

Door always open

To the possibility

of HOPE

It’ll come

Just give

It Time.

Boots

boots 3

 

This is about boots

Literal and metaphoric

Modern and historic

Like the ones you wear on your evenings out

Walking happily arm in arm to a nice dinner

Together with the one you love

Your boots, comfortable from years of wear

So soft, so warm, so rich, so You

Supple and shining with the polish of countless dreams fulfilled

But they pale in comparison to hers

Brown fringe flirting with every dancing step

Bedazzled with diamonds – only the best will do! — sparkling

In the streetlamp’s glow

Miniature moons splitting the chilly night

Lighting the path one step at a time

Toward my shadowy suffering

I pull newspapers around me

praying the ink is as warm now as the words once were

The merciless night mist dampening

My cardboard couch – the only thing between me

And concrete pneumonia

I watch your boots walk by, only raising my eyes

To silently meet your sneer

The blinding glare of your shimmering hypocrisy

Swallowed by the black hole of my reality

Of course, you are right

I should “Pull myself up by my bootstraps”

As (you insist) you did alone, no help from

Anyone! Anywhere! Anytime!

I swear by everything red, white and blue

If I could, I would —

After all, as the song says,

some boots are made for walking

Then I’d spend my evenings just like you

Stomping on and over and around

Everyone who is not Me

Yes sir, Mister Man, I absolutely would —

If only I could afford a pair of boots

December 7, 2018

Apologies

Apologies 1

So, you ask,

Which is worse?

Filling the sky with lies so thick that

The very air turns to concrete,

Cutting hearts still beating from their chests

With mocking words sharp as shrapnel,

Dousing dignity with graceless shame

Until it hides in the shadows,

Pounding truth as if on an anvil

To fit the twisted shape of your greed?

Or

Ignoring the stabbing pain that comes

With breaking hearts, minds and spirits,

Refusing to lift the burden caused

 by pathetic, selfish failings,

Denying a few small words that could

Reflect the error of your ways

And prove the humanity

Deep beneath the shallow surface?

How can we

Be clear when

Bullying, once a black mark on

A cowardly, pitiful soul

Is now celebrated, held as

The golden hammer of the gods,

Bludgeoning decency, until

Life’s road glistens red with its blood

As so many look away, the

Cost of their conscience paid-in-full.

To be sure

It’s hard to

know which is worse in a world where hatred

Is hailed, pain is policy and

Ignorance, hubris and apathy mean

Never having to say, “I am sorry.”

October 2018

God Bless America

God bless

GOD BLESS AMERICA

We measure ourselves

With decimals and dollar signs

Yet we’re surprised

That everything is worth nothing

We take love out of Love

“Hooking up” masked as connection

Then get mad that

Condoms sit next to cough syrup

We slice Belief from

The greatest mysteries of life

But can’t understand

When faith sits in an empty pew

We scream I, Me, Mine!

Spitting on the very notion

Of owing something

More Than to they who are not us

We water down thought

Waving ignorance like a flag

 Then wonder why some

Don’t sing God Bless America

                                                                                                                                    July 2018

 

Mea Culpa…

lineI learned this week that I had added to a grieving friend’s burden — not through intentional malice, but worse, unintentional absence.

I had simply “moved on” with my life and forgot to look over my shoulder to see if my friend was keeping up. 

She wasn’t. 

I was crestfallen. Embarrassed. Guilty.

This poem is my small apology to a friend who deserves so much more. 

A LINE

No, of course, I don’t know your pain

How could I, standing on my side

Of this divide — invisible, yet as solid

As your concrete and steel sorrow

Certainly, I can never

Understand much less

Explain the dark clouds

Raining grief on your spirit

I admit, because I am human

That I moved on, moved ahead

To claim otherwise is to lie

But I never meant to move away

In hindsight, I see that my failing

However unintended, was

Another knife shredding the thin

Sheet of solace that time had bought

The truth is, I cannot know

What I have not known

Your heart is not my heart

Yet my heart is always open to yours

Sadly now, we see each other

Across an unfamiliar distance

You, grieving your loss; me, lost in your grief

Still, it is just a line between us, not a wall

Honestly, I pray never to be on your side

Yet I am always here on mine

Reach over any time

I will forever reach back

                                                                                 May 2018

 

And The Door Shall Be Opened

i-am-e1480292532425-1024x353I started this blog in March 2016 with an Easter poem, so this is something of a tradition now…

This one, written years ago (available in my second book, “Abundance — a collection”) for me boils Easter down to its essence.

Happy Easter!

AND THE DOOR SHALL BE OPENED

I am knocking

On your heart

Your mind

Your soul

Do you hear me?

Do you feel me?

Do you know me?

I am knocking

Do you know

the sound of love?

Listen closely

I am knocking

Love is knocking

Love is…

I Am…