The Gray In Between

I’ve always existed in the gray space… between black and white, between the hard lines. It was about so much more than the color of my skin. This “red-boned” girl with untamable curls had thoughts and feelings and an essence of being that drifted into places the hard-liners wouldn’t go. Everything and everyone around me was a hard line.   

She was a high school dropout; a teenage runaway; a girl escaping the hand life dealt to her [a pocket-sized fireball mother, who was an abusive, alcoholic reservation brat… and a burly, racist, womanizing, European-bred farmhand father; neither of whom cared much for the multitude of children with which they populated the Midwest] in order to live by her own rules. Life abandoned and free, she forged new worlds into her reality. The imagination of a 15-year-old is limitless, and so was her determination. Unable to steal away her younger siblings for her voyage to the Golden State; in about a year’s time, she’d know for herself the struggles of being a young mother. She would be met with the responsibility of birthing a brown-skinned, curly-haired, mixed-race baby into the space between black and white. But, her hard line of freedom at any cost had been drawn and cemented into place. 

He was a smooth-talking country Cajun; a star athlete; a ladies’ man in the making [his high school sweetheart, turned wife, had little use for him after he was stationed overseas for the war… even a baby-on-the-way couldn’t keep her faithful or them together], who turned young girls’ heads with his 6-foot, 2-inch athletic physique that he carried with authority as he exited whichever high-profile vehicle he was driving that day. By way of Baton Rouge, the Los Angeles inner-city became home to him and his matriarchs when his father decided to plant his next church there. A decade later, he was the sole provider; a hardworking construction manager, toiling through life’s rubble; lending his spare time to only mom and nana, until the day he saw her. The 4-foot, 9-inch narrow frame crossing the avenue in a canary mini-dress and white go-go boots would soon call the number he scribbled on a napkin. Not long after, he would rescue her from a violent beau, take her in, and gamble away his freedom in one night… the night he conceived me… the night his black and her white became gray. His hard line was opposite hers, so he wore a veil to keep the peace. 

Here I am – exactly like both of my parents, and not. Free-spirited, strong-willed, earthy, imaginative, inclined to run away from what hurts… secluded, compromising, stately, disciplined, inclined to defend and fix the hurting. The Gemini zodiac sign wasn’t wasted on me. I was born into duality. It is my birthright. It is my gift. Between the hard lines, between the black and white; I am the conceding gray. It is my ticket to the glitz and glamour; as well as my pass through the slums and alleys. I am the proper among the poor, and the meek among the privileged; in neither case being disingenuous. Gray carries significant weight. 

Some people consider life to be fated – a series of events beyond their control; a dishing out of servings they sometimes delight in devouring, but more often than not trumpet as an outpour of spoils dumped upon their heads, creating a stench they can do nothing about but cry “victim.” Others see life as a game of chance in which one never knows what is around the corner, good or bad, lucky or unlucky. The roll of the dice keeps them teetering on the edge of life’s seat, and an ample supply of hearty superstitions may be just enough to bring more positives than negatives into play. Of course, neither perspective provides much ambition for the soul. Fate and chance are hard lines… with no relative influence of choice. If all is fated or left to chance… well, one must wonder – what’s the point of any of this. What’s the point of me?

She was not one to be tamed; she never was and never will be. The men she seduced served a purpose. They were part of her lifelong escape; just as the drugs and alcohol, which helped to coat her existence with a passing numbness that required frequent refills. Her motherly instincts, however haphazard, were strong. She never laid a hand on us when we were children. Perhaps her childhood beatings granted us this favor. And either one of our birthdays meant presents for us both, though presents for any occasion were often returned to the store a few days later because we couldn’t afford them. Her laid back nature and long leash provided ample room for her life posture to be absorbed by my sponging spirit. From father’s perspective [once he removed his blinders], she was a harlot, a manipulator, a thief, an addict, and an unapologetically bad mother. From the wide accepting eyes of her firstborn, she was fun, creative, cunning, adventurous, real, unafraid, crazy (in a larger than life kind of way), and she gave us the freedom to evolve. Even though this growth took place among prostitutes, thugs, perverts, and criminals, all of whom were usually high or wasted in their functional capacity as professional outcasts, they all had fascinating stories about their pasts. Their recounts led me down paths of compassion and intrigue as I sat, often for hours, listening to their tales of “the good ole days,” before society abandoned them to the playgrounds of scum. They were my friends. Well, at least the ones who didn’t attempt to violate me were. Some of them had been gray, too; but migrated to the outer lines and commenced the waving of fate- and chance-ridden flags, once life had its way with them. I felt okay about it, though. Like hers, their hard lines were ones in which I could revel freely. 

He, on occasion, would carry me off before daylight in his chariot. The deep orange streak above the hills fought vigorously to push up its navy nightcap as we scurried to work at the construction site. At the time, I didn’t know why I’d get to spend the day frolicking in the dingy warehouse among rolled up industrial rugs, cold metallic machinery, and endless mountains of bits and pieces that didn’t make the cut. But it was dark and vast and I could play with the old desk phones if I liked. Daddy knew my imagination would keep me quietly stowed away until he could find a place for me to go while he worked. It was one of those days when she didn’t come home the night before. It was also one of the treasured glimpses I had into his mysterious life when I was young. He was always working. I imagine the way she taunted him made him want to work more. He wasn’t a violent man, though very intimidating. He was the king of his castle, and no one could tell him otherwise. Well, she could, but anyone else might live to regret it. He was proud, strong, and quite full of himself. Eventually, two failed marriages proved his outlook to be slightly inflated. She often said he was a liar, cheater, abuser, neglecter, and a self-righteous hypocrite who always made her out to be the bad guy because he was better at keeping his secrets. He must’ve been quite good with secrets. All I saw was a giant, gentle, mysterious man of integrity; who never smoked, drank or said much because there weren’t a lot of good things to say. I revered his hard line, seeing little less than perfection. [He wasn’t always fair, though. I knew if I bet a dollar against the Lakers and they lost, he would not pay me my winnings. One time I inquired and learned it is very disrespectful to ask a parent to pay a debt. To this day, I’ve never asked for any remittance of any sort from any family member. It was a good lesson.] What’s more, he loved Asian artifacts, bear rugs, Chuck Norris, and Bruce Lee. I loved these things too, which made me special. Most importantly, I knew where he kept his gun – a perk for being the responsible one.  And when he was especially proud of me, he would pat me on the shoulder gruffly and say that I was his favorite son. I knew he was being funny, but couldn’t help but wonder how my older brother would feel if he heard such a thing. 

Grandmother was my abiding cornerstone. When parental care was reduced to Wednesday night sleepovers at dad’s and Sunday visits with mom, my heart rebelled. I had grown accustomed to instability. Being grounded was boring; spending three days a week in church was frustrating [as Southern Baptists rarely complete the moral of the story once they are captured in the throes of the Holy Ghost, selfishly leaving the rest of us searching for the closing point that the adults somehow already knew]; and grandmother was always suspicious of everyone’s intent, which made her over-protective, over-bearing, and not gullible enough for my alibis. Often, I mumbled my wishes for her immediate demise. Within moments, however, I would quickly recant my desires, believing that somehow that would be the one prayer God granted and I would be forever vexed by my evil tongue. I did not cry at her funeral. I’m still not sure why. She was my everything. I remember crying for my father’s pain when he heard the news. I remember being angry when I found out my uncle pulled the plug without my father’s consent. I remember empathizing with the grieving elders of our church, whom I’d grown to love as my extended family. I remember despising neighbors and friends who had a field day rummaging through my grandmother’s treasures; as though they had any claim to her belongings [I polished her jewelry. I brushed her wigs. I clipped and polished her nails. I applied the fancy Oil of Olay cream to her supple cheeks every night before I “accidentally” fell asleep in her bed. She belonged to me, making me by default the executor of all her things. Still, no one consulted my authority on the matter. They likely underestimated the sophistication of my twelve years of life.] But I did not shed a tear for her, and that always weighed heavily on my heart. Perhaps, this first loss of a loved one began the shaping of how I respond to disappointments. Little things tend to unnerve me, but big things… the tragedies that shake people at their core… well, those are the times when I am a rock of comfort and understanding – when my feelings sink to the bottom of the well and I’m flooded with the conviction to make things better for everyone else. Or maybe I just don’t know how to deal with tragedy, so I don’t. There was nothing iffy about grandmother’s line. I knew it and I knew it well. It planted the seed for my salvation.

There’s a third way of considering life. Those with any type of faith base tend to receive life as a gift. Any realized circumstance is acceptable, as something grander can be gleaned from it, adding to the shaping of character, the building up of wisdom. Breath and experience are to be valued and only questioned from the perspective of perennial growth.

Today, my step-mother is as two-faced and bitter as she was the day she promised my grandmother on her deathbed that she would take care of us girls. I don’t have much to say about her, as my views are pretty much the same now as they were then, and I prefer to speak in terms of evolution. I will say, she harangued my dad into non-existence during our teenage years, when she reigned as tyrant and passive-aggressive overlord over us all. We spritely ones escaped with notable scarring. Unfortunately, father remains a prisoner of war, waiting to see who will outlive the other. On the upside, the passcode to higher education was her gracious contribution to my wellbeing. As an educator and patriot, two non-negotiables in “her” household were a college education and respect for our nation. I might not have benefitted from either had it not been for her utter commitment to emasculating my father. As such, her hard line granted me the tree of knowledge (and -yes- this is a pun referencing both Eve and the serpent). 

Aside from four years of cranial refinement, social networking, and emergent independence; from university, I netted a husband with whom, in total, I spent twelve years of my life. With those twelve years came emotional and psychological abuses, along with lesser doses of physical exploitations, both externally and upon my own person. Anyone interested in those sordid details is free to peruse my poetry to deduce which belong to this muse. Amazingly, the greatest gift in all creation through the eyes of any true mother came from our collision of courses, and the resulting salvage is an even deeper shade of gray than I.   

He is the dragon to my ox, and we both flow deeply as water, filling up the containers we encounter in our lives and washing out that which shouldn’t stick to our souls. He is everything I am not, but also am. I am sure his aptitude surpasses mine. But then, he does not have the forty plus years of experience I have, which – he admits – puts me at a superior ranking of mad genius than he. I accept this glowing compliment from my jovial teen and know that, despite my sheltering, he will soon catch up to me.   

Someone as fuzzy and fluffy as I (per my step-mother), with an exceedingly stupid heart (per my father), inevitably had many knight-in-shining-armor dreams, which stubbornly persisted from the time I was very young to sometime before yesterday. Words, music, and pictures crafted the most magnificent representations of romance that my lofty mind could compose; as I was sure that love looked nothing like what I saw growing up. I suppose the unpredictable nature of my parents’ relationships caused me to be charged with a desire to plan a much better course for my impending love life. As it were, a series of dead-end fairy tales [beginning with my divorce] effectively snuffed out the breathing room of my heart, and it seized with fear of being permanently annihilated.

Then there’s that fourth posture towards life: life is a trust given to us from God. Whatever portion we are granted, we are intended to multiply and, subsequently, bear fruit. Every experience is a deposit into one’s spiritual wealth; it is an opportunity to plant, nurture, harvest, and feed… expanding our capacity to relate and develop intimate relationships with God and one another. He promises abundance to those who manage His trust with hope, compassion, love, and authority.

From there (infancy) to here (maturity), I can overload the airwaves of the universe with jaw-dropping parables, gnawing soundbites, and perplexing parodies that most would cast off as imaginings if I didn’t claim them as testimonies. The groundwork was sufficiently laid by my family, which constructed these cross wires of breeding and circumstance, forming the hard lines all around me. One line shouted I was never good enough, strong enough, nor focused enough for his exemplary standards; making me timid and filled with humility, always questioning my worth. Another line snickered and taunted that I was too well-behaved, a miss goody-two-shoes, and a challenge to accept because my looks and personality didn’t fit in with her revolving door of sketchy situations; making me increasingly loyal and socially adaptable, determined to be whatever I needed to be. The third line framed my conscience and all of my early beliefs and concepts of God, which were unquestionable; making me afraid to fully commit my life as a Christian, for fear of imminent damnation at my first failure following baptism. One more line taught me that every privilege has a price, as nothing is freely given from one person to another without consequence [usually a painful one]; making me immensely independent throughout life, intent on accomplishing what is needed by my own accord, but also being that person who does give freely from the heart… because I should treat others better than I’ve been treated. Finally, with the escape route of my hopeful fantasies severed, the last hard line dropped upon the others, roofing the walls I spent half of my life trying to climb over. The culmination of all the black and white lines of this world, the hard places that rejected everything I was and wasn’t, closed in on me. I became trapped within the confines of all the conditions that eventually broke my spirit.   

At ground zero, God entered and breathed life back into me. He lifted the pieces of my heart, my worth, and my understanding, and began to reveal greater purposes for my life. Were it not for everything I’ve been through, I would not be so centrally positioned to love with my mind and think with my heart. I wouldn’t be able to sit, walk, talk, laugh, cry, work, play, serve, and pray with anyone of any station in life, of any faith, creed, race, gender, age, and belief. I can do this because I embrace being gray. I own the messy composition of my life. I appreciate the jagged edges as much as the smooth ones. And because I’m this hodgepodge of all the hard questions and even harder answers, I love the hard lines and everything in between. In this rigid, hateful, segregated world; I am blessed to be in the gray space… the malleable, forgiving, encompassing freeform that is only seeking to multiply the portion God has given to me.

Debris

My view is clearly obstructed by the
muck in this room, by the
suck of this gloom, where there’s
no place for space, and this
pace serves no race worth running,
except away from…
Beats hit the drum some, but
I’ve lost count of how any of this counts,
when every price paid only amounts
to a discounted effort… a lost sum of
sweaty tears stinging heart’s thumb,
‘cause I’m still flipping through the pages,
in spite of the cuts
Everything is moving only where it stands
Stampeding footprints – same old dance
Story keeps telling, but never advances
Chances pinned by circumstances, and
no one’s making progress… The air –
stale with the stench of regress
Distress after distress… they keep coming
to confess their bitter sob
Don’t you know I am not your god?
Imposed façade against my will
Imposed supply against my bill
Demand falls on all deaf ears, while
knowing eyes watch me pay the price,
grinning as I dig deeper and deeper,
sowing promise for the handless reapers
These fingernails taste the grit,
lose grip in this bottomless pit, where
life slowly fades into the walls of
everyone else’s falls, and
I am left to wallow in a haze of
trepidation that isn’t even mine.
Those sins – not mine to bear
These faults – not mine to wear
This world – not my belly’s fare, and
starvations leave me cross,
swimming in a blur that feels like lost
But I know who I am,
and the streams still flow against the
break of the dams
Orientation of self won’t be drafted to damned
Spy this warrior of life as if the
intel is real, but the
shade of the armor doesn’t match the reveal
Wrapped in a skin to show a
fight that you think you know, but
blow after blow refines the kingdom within
Whose view will your darkness stain when
the vein is severed, the drawbridge closed,
and this breath of tenderness transposes into
a cool breeze that carries all your debris
far away from my sights.

Sifting

Sifting_image_solidswiki_credit

Sifting…
these granules of everything
shifting, then falling and sitting
beneath the holes in my theories.
My heart – sumo lifting,
too unsure to be weary,
simply committed to the tasks.
Here comes the ask,
“How vast can the plays run
with no end game?”
Breath-to-breath, a middle name,
claiming its position at the
center of no gain – the forerunner
of this insane relay.
I keep running to lose.
Still… sifting,
as fuses choose to flare up and
melt closed my vents, circumventing
the logistics carefully structured
for defense and escape.
Each moment only gets one take.
Yet, déjà vu holds a permanent stake
in all my planes of existence… a
non-discriminate pretense catching
all the stuff that should just keep moving.
This sifting…
rearranges order and priority on a
flat line, like a king without authority,
delineating his final wishes to a
deaf mime – no means to receive or deliver,
only to animate a royal waste of time.
Nobody’s hearing this echo, but me.
These tiny grains shimmy, then freeze.
This free-flowing motion takes a knee…
as I sift vigorously.
The shake out leaves me perplexed,
somehow yielding no more and no less
than what I arrived with – sufficient portions
to compose the next breath
of a life I am not willing to die for…
but in spite of.
Sifting…
to break these holds that
put brakes on my whole; that
stifle love’s everything and
placates my soul’s lowest denominator.
Below the line hosts only a
fragmented respirator for living.
There is no giving of life, no
fullness in divide, no satisfaction in this
biding of whys that leave convictions empty.
Nothing breaks down –simply– anymore.
This overflowing vessel of hollow
loses its core amidst the broken parts,
suffers its more within this complex art
of sifting… and sifting… and sifting.

 

Photo Credit: solidswiki.com

Canvas

canvas pic

Here, these thoughts splash…

Where words drip from numb lips,
whispering heart’s throb through bristled tips,
not smooth enough to brush it to life.

Meanwhile… colors hit hard,

chipping delicate sheets with their biting shards –
rocky edges unsoothed by shallow dips in the rinse.

Intense…

just a pretense display, as the showroom bulges
with the prints being laid.

Soon to be played is will’s posing,
always supposing its sway can repaint history
in softer shades.

But it can’t.

Truth shows vivid today,

with no way to whisk away uncleansed stains,
weeping their pains through filthy veins,
gripping tight to their brushes.

Too many pages left unturned, ‘til
burned into forever are the layers of poor design,
left stacked upon the scale of hardening time,
setting ebb and flow into a state of refusal –

where everything beautiful comes to die.

I want to flip this over, but
it all just sticks… this
stench and ick… this
composting shtick… this
perpetual state of sick that
bleeds its broad strokes across my canvas,
where subtle existence loses its favor to
raping hues of unforgiveness, along with
envy’s splatter, and pride’s full clatter, ‘til
not a single inch of white space remains.

Tomorrow, I will paint under the sun…

and pray it rains.

 

Photo Credit: CherylPascual.com

Rouge & Lipstick

rouge-and-lipstick-still-life-phyllis-tarlow_edited.jpg

As if the elevation of her cheekbones
wasn’t enough to catch the eye
As if the prim and whimsy clash on her tongue
didn’t pause the passersby
As if the swish of a brush could command any more
than the supple glistening of those jowls
As if the curve and swipe of a vibrant hue might
draw in deeper the captive scowl
As if the blush of her grin didn’t move the clouds
and cause all storms to seize
As if the float of her hymn didn’t quiver the bones
and lower the saints to their knees
Still, never a day could spend its time without
succumbing to the witnessing
The adornment of Heaven’s earthbound kiss
… but a veil upon splendor’s being

~ In memory of Grandmother ~

Photo Credit: Rouge And Lipstick Still Life painting by Phyllis Tarlow

POET

POET

Promise to catch me
in the crease of your words,
where craft coyly cradles the
mysteries of your heart.
I want to fall
into your every breath
and feel the undercurrents of their purpose.
Your engravings etched upon the universe
drip their dust into my soul.
I become more whole with every verse.
To breathe more deeply within
the fortitude of your wisdom;
to release more fully into the
folly of your wit; to
submit more willingly amidst
the throes of your fury; to lose
more completely the very root
of my senses
to the enchantment of life
expressed through your spirit –
I reject reprieve from even your torment;
as your woes are sweeter still than the
honey-dipped tongue of any other.
To be wrapped in the wave of rhythm
which crosses your lips…
is to know heaven on earth…
is to give in to a constant rebirth
of a love that can only be felt
in the emboldened conveyance
of your world into mine.

Image credit: John Stammer’s Top 10 Love Poems

Mistress

mistress_nightgown_2_by_mistress_zelda-edited-jpg

Dressed up in yesteryear’s clothes,
commencing the “walk of shame”
where passersby know no names –
only someone’s leaving from
where she shouldn’t have been
Walking proud like nothing’s happened,
red eyes reveal streaks of dissatisfaction
‘cause mornings came sooner than expected,
betraying the beauty of kindred dawns.
Resuming appearances undetected, still,
knots swell on the inside, holding tight
to a longing for dreams come true.
Dreams… born of heart’s adventure,
divine anticipation, and womanly speculation,
with hope left uncensored underneath its
cynical skin. Dreams… of being in…
when all the resolute moments define
a lifetime of falling out.
All that’s left is sore.
Sore sights, sore ears, sore lips, sore tears,
sore promises in arrears found a sore core.
Sensibilities say “no more”… and, yet,
there’s always tomorrow.
Suns rise in different shades, but never
fail to shine their rays on reality’s dimming.
And so, possibility keeps brimming
within the soul… believing universal scheming
will one day roll love’s mistress
out of its fleeting bed and into its eternal home.

Image credit: http://windkittyhana.deviantart.com/favourites/

The Twist

twisted-rope-close-up

Innocence lost in a dubious tryst
Bricks stacked high between lies in the midst
Heartbreak shatters morality’s quest,
as love left tattered abandons the nest
Wide eyes narrow and vengeance spreads broad
The act becomes real, and truth – the façade
Prayers lace lips like a crackhead’s rod,
perpetrating belief in any known God
No one can escape the heat of the wrath,
but bearer burns most in her own aftermath
Rigid, dons the right, with frail on the left;
both sleeves carrying destruction’s best
Life seems long when it’s lived so hard,
counting countless moments without regard
Pages turned over right before they’re shred
Prayers for eternity for the already dead
The mind of a child, the voice of a shrew,
the taste of a bitterness impossible to chew,
the roar of a lion, the back of an ox,
the slide of a serpent, the face of a fox;
chameleon shades seldom seen by another
The best known cover – the mask of a mother

Image credit: John Stammer’s Top 10 Love Poems

Heart Strumming Haiku 2

 

heart-strumming-haiku-2_angelslove

He exposes me
between the seams, undresses
me down to the bone

Inspiring the
packing of baggage to send
pride off on its own

Alone is just a
fantasy where thought presumes
its desires hide

But heart’s beat drums the
tell-tale rhythm, alerting
soul – he has arrived

Time slows to still just
long enough to let all come
piece by piece apart

Then, regathers each
to reshape the whole to now
hold each other’s parts

Not here, not there, but
everywhere we connect
on every plane

Not now, not then, but
every when, our paths have
led our souls this way

Image credit: photobucket

Reflecting

 

Maybe it’s because I feel some kinda way –
yesterday sits on the edge of my mind,
like a clingy child on grandma’s full hip…
Her supple cheeks were soft to the touch.
Much of the time, I was lost in their silkiness.
I remember she smoothed on Olay with an
away and up motion. That was the key,
she told me… the key to maintaining. And,
though I hated being sick, I do often miss
the awakening sensation of her go-to Vicks.
No one else did, but she cared enough to
provide the right rub for whatever ailed me.
The vibrato in her song lends chills to my
memories, and her depth of soul must’ve
evolved throughout the centuries. There’s
no other explanation for her effect on life.
Life then… was sustaining, but never enough
to satisfy my imagination… so I dreamed often.
Dreams were my existence, and reality… just a
resistance to the world as it should be. All the
bitter circumstances never defined me: broken wills,
hustled bills, shattered hearts and scattered parts…
heavy chains, spiritual drains, twisted knives and
sold-out lives… scantly father, love imposters,
damaged siblings and no forgiving… evil games,
lacking shame, pimped-out children calling
mommy’s name and… tomorrow we’ll begin again.
Yeah, whatever.
God’s got me and He made me clever. Wherever
my flesh existed, my mind was above it. All I
ever did covet was acceptance… you know,
to be enough of the stuff that makes parents
want to hold you close, say you’re pretty, look
into your eyes and –for once– not lie, protect
your innocence, rein in the recklessness, perhaps
even pray for their children’s successes.
Yeah, well.
God’s got me and He made me from His heart.
At the start, I didn’t realize that wherever I am,
Love is too. In this truth, there’s nothing more,
below nor above which carries more weight.
I don’t hesitate to embrace the arms that
left me cold… to find beauty in the eyes that
couldn’t behold me with affection and verity.
Incredibly, I have room to accept those who’ve
never accepted me… then, now or ever,
because I’m clever and I know… it’s most
difficult to accept what one cannot understand.
I am not a man, but I can still be the bigger one.
I can rise much higher than a baby girl’s corruption,
stretch a lot further than a spirit’s deconstruction,
reach far deeper than a soul in isolation. Creation’s
center floods my veins, and I am infinitely more than
any context. Though seen in a reality quite vexed,
I am a dream – a damn good one… the kind that
trembles bones when it speaks to souls and
softens hearts with eternity’s love; that eases
wounds and lingers on the senses; and without
pretenses, dissipates the bitter circumstances
which should never define. Much of the time,
away and up is how I maintain divine. I am a
dream which sits on the edge of the mind, like a
love child clinging to mama’s full hip, making
all life carries just worthwhile enough to
dream a little longer.
Perhaps, I am a reflection of her…
or maybe, I’m just feeling some kinda way.

 

Revolution

revolution

 

Listen…
as the whispers take their rise
Boiling depths bide no more time
Hushed
has encountered its due demise
Leveled
now tilted towards rebellion’s side
Sensitivities melted
into a rigid mold –
wounds fortified by its defensive hold
Exhausted
by the pilgrimage of the soul; love
takes refuge ‘neath the armory’s fold
Arid
is the breadth behind swollen eyes, for
fiery veins have replaced their tides
Passions
extended across enemy lines –
no longer compromised by collateral lies
Depleted spirit
granted sabbatical leave, while
arm’s reach slips on a radical sleeve
Invaders flaunt their spoils, presuming reprieve,
but
turnabout’s the fate they’ll come to believe
Survival
transforms the roots of all fear, waking
dormant defenses as outcomes become clear
Dissent’s
marching orders ring the bell for all ears
Revolution
is not coming, it’s already here.

 

Image credit: uk.pinterest.com

Dying to Live

Lights of the Soul

I die every day.

Every day, I die… just a little, letting go of pieces of me which no longer serve a purpose. I must die daily if I am to make room for more. I suppose the “finale” is somewhat the same. This life, this plane of existence, concludes with a shedding of that which is no longer necessary for the evolution of self. What is the point of being, if not to evolve?

While parts are fragile, not all of them can be easily discarded. Some fight to survive, no matter what the costs. Such is the bane of humanity. We are what we are… because of what we don’t let go of. We can become so much more… because of our freedom to choose to let go.

Therein lies the concept of “life comes from death” … not burial, though, but cremation. When we bury what we no longer need, it eventually rises again to haunt us, to chase us down and overcome us when we least expect. Burial is a covering up. But to give the spirit power to set flames to the proverbial flesh and singe out the lesser self… well, that is how life transcends, when ashes begin to transform into fruit..

Let me clean this up a bit. “Death” and “cremation” sound like a finite ending to existing, but that is not my meaning. I am only speaking of an ending in perspective, in self-realization, in world truth as it pertains to the elevation of thought, emotion, and nature. Outside of that prescript, nothing truly dies. Energy transfers from one form to another. We are energy. And when we release that which drains us…that which takes up significant space with insignificant matters… and that which muddies the waters of our fluid, ever-evolving design; we provide room for growth, expansion… transcendence.

Living is this process. It is the active engagement of all of our senses striving to realize the divinity of our higher selves. My son views life as planes of existence which compose the whole of the universal God (whatever you may call Divinity). Depending on where you started, where you’ve been, and how quickly you evolve (and we all have differing capacities at various stages of the spectrum); you occupy part of the universal body of Divinity, either closer to the feet (flesh-based) or closer to the head (spirit-based), for simplicity’s sake. He has an engineering mind, so I find his conceptual outlook rather intriguing. He views physical death as neither a fixed occurrence nor a rebirth experience, but rather a transferring of energy from one form to another, and whether you transfer higher, lower, or make a lateral move simply depends on your level of conscious development at the time your current reality ceases and becomes your next reality. As such, death is not an end, but a means for moving on.

Taking Inventory

I am infinitely more than flesh and bones.
I am infinitely more…

Deeply valuing the energies which compose me; I hold myself to a high standard. But mainly, I just hold myself. For, as much as I am infinitely more than flesh and bones; I am still flesh and bones… and they are a heavy load.

Flesh and bones tempt me to live as “I am,” to carry the weight of merely existing until this life passes. Living as “I am” fosters a – putting up with – perspective which prods the soul to get by via any feasible means until the end is realized. But to live as “more than I am” is to utilize this life as a means to elevate myself and others. It charges the soul with facilitating growth toward transitioning to a higher existence. Walking the jagged path between living as “I am” and living as “more than I am” makes for a rigorous journey. Choosing to be more is a formidable choice. In as much as I strive to keep it all together, I must occasionally fall apart. I must be reminded that I am still in progress. I must stay connected to my mortality, but be careful not to lose myself to it. Taking inventory is necessary.

I check in regularly to ask myself, “Am I living to die or dying to live?” Which is in control at any given moment, the flesh or the spirit? Am I maintaining the desired balance? The answer is never straightforward. How can it be? … as I am flawed from breath to breath, and to achieve progress in this process requires labor on every level. Still, I try. I try intently to see beyond the chaos. I try intensely to feel past the reaction. I try diligently to transfer negative energy into positive energy. I try wholeheartedly to nurture this very basis of ascension. I try quite earnestly to show up as a constant in the ebb and flow – a constant in dying to truly realize living: dying to self to uplift others; dying to fear to embrace freedom; dying to temptation to reinforce integrity; dying to lust to exalt love… In short, I endeavor to die to my lower self in order to empower my higher self.

To empower the higher self is to reflect a depth of truth, light, freedom, genuineness, love, and power which expands without end and permeates everyone and everything around us. The universe as a whole is elevated when we empower our higher selves.

The Deeper Dichotomy

Be divinely human.

Dying to live is not hard. The soul is impassioned by our desire to be more, by our need to manifest purpose, by our hope to live altruistically, by our longing to be love and experience love in its highest form. When we are spiritually motivated, every struggle is worthwhile and contributes to achieving ultimate fulfillment. Dying to live nurtures our divinity and is deeply fulfilling.

Dying to live is not easy. The soul is challenged by our aptitude to settle for less, by our willingness to submit to circumstance, by our craving for immediate gratification, by our tendency to live in fear and attribute love to everything it is not. When we constantly gravitate toward our carnal natures, temptations appear more satisfying than any eternal growth. Dying to live ostracizes our humanity and is quite lonely.

The journey is not the same for any two of us; and yet, we are all affected by these threads in some form or fashion, directly or indirectly, for better or for worse – we are all connected in our divinity, in our humanity, and in our unique paths of development. How we manage the dichotomy of our existence is paramount in defining our lives, as well as the progression of collective mankind.

Finding Balance

I am flawed from breath to breath.
Breathing is significant.

Managing this existence is about finding the right balance internally. It requires breathing in what is needed and breathing out what is not. Maintaining the proper flow of energy is crucial to being centered and focused. However, the balance between inhaling and exhaling can be tricky… if I remember to breathe at all.

Often, when circumstances get intense, I forget to exhale. I draw in deeply and hold. One would think so… but breathing doesn’t always come naturally. Our complex biological design gets tripped up by the esoteric, and the “in and out” reflex becomes stifled. The floodgates open to receive all the stuff… the endless waves of stuff… and failing to employ tributary exits can cause a drowning out of healthy responses and spiritual connections. The spirit must breathe to survive; not physically breathe, but constantly manage the transfer of energy.

We take in so much. The volume is so massive that our hearts and minds become entwined in continuously assessing, judging, feeling, comparing, defending, and ultimately fostering unilateral perspectives; which, in turn, cause us to lose objectivity, understanding, tolerance, forgiveness, and the ability to consider that all perspectives reflect personal realities that differ from our own. Only through such consideration can we even begin to relate to one another.

But, we take in so much. We become consumed in the processing, paranoid in the vetting. We measure morality with our hearts; what feels good and what feels bad shape our compass for navigating life on our own terms. Our minds analyze and break down everything based on these persuasions. When something wondrous or tragic overcomes our circumstance, the common response is an accelerated pulse of emotions; a flood of thoughts and reactions; and an overwhelming sense of anxiousness. When we inhale too much, whether quickly and all at once or slowly over time, and do not allow ourselves to properly manage the intake and release; our ability to thrive freezes up. And, our capacity for destruction multiplies. We start living to survive each moment. In other words, we start living to die.

All of it matters.
Therefore, none of it matters.

How, then, can we manage to experience life as more than a sentence to survive when life hurls so many conditions our way? How can we live without seizing up in so many moments that our journey reads like a lifetime practice of suffocating? The soul must be groomed in altruistic indifference.

Indifference is not a dirty word if it is applied to the relativity of all things. There are a universal place and purpose for everything which exists, regardless of what we think, feel, or believe. If something were not meant to be, it wouldn’t be. Whether we comprehend the reason for any person or condition taking up any portion of time or space, is irrelevant. It all matters. It all generates cause and effect toward an unknown end, but – ideally – a greater one. Therefore, the truest form of understanding is indifference.

I am not referring to the stereotype of indifference, which is marked by stoicism, and often cynicism. What I am referring to is the recognition of life as ebb and flow… a rise and fall of extremes, and everything in between… a consciousness of all that is subjectively fleshed out by the influences of humanity’s singular self-vision. The soul must be trained to see outward and inward simultaneously, embracing the relevance of all and accepting that the only “control” one has is over the energy one personally projects throughout existence. This energy defines one’s quality of life and how one’s life will impact others. Accordingly, we are compelled to think, feel, and believe to play our parts; but we can do so far more effectively once we recognize the relevance of all parts in the grander scheme and free ourselves from suffocating under the misnomer that we have power over anything other than ourselves.

When we know and understand what we can and cannot control, we develop the potential to become a positive force of life.

Sustaining Peace

Be the eye of the storm.

We are surrounded by chaos – worldwide, nationally, regionally, locally, personally, and spiritually. Each of our lives is affected by the storms of existence in one way or another, by a few or many. How we live and how we leave this life depends on how we relate to these storms.

My life, for one, has the advantage of having been infused with all aspects of the storm throughout my journey. I was born into the storm: lost in it; judged by it; controlled by it; abused and abandoned by its many twists and turns, faces and places, truths and lies; and so, I know its suffering well. I have been the storm: unleashing my powerful spin; outpouring my drops of fury; devouring that which has blocked my path; and so, I know its temper, as well.

Having experienced both the aftermath of suffering through storms and the discontent of affecting them; I’ve learned to attain peace by keeping the highs high and the lows low while navigating my spirit through the center. It isn’t a matter of numbing myself to the fluctuations, but rather completely encompassing them all, so that I can become the balance… so that I can be the eye of the storm – the quiet, watchful place which embodies security, strength, and stability, regardless of the surrounding circumstances.

A Complex Choice

Interestingly, the seldom occupied eye of the storm tends to be the most envied; the least understood; the space both desired and rejected at once; and the very center of attraction for everything it is not. It is a complex position to hold.

To be the eye of the storm in life, exhaling is imperative. Chaos and destruction must be released into the periphery. Calming, embracing, loving energy must be retained at the core. Living this life with universal purpose requires constant breathing in and breathing out to facilitate a deeper awareness of self and others.

Dying daily to the unnecessary is crucial to spiritual peace, relevancy, and growth. I choose to live and die and live this way… in hopes that my soul and all that it touches rises in the body of Divinity.

Image credit – http://www.serraphim.com

Turbulence

Broken wings –
these silly things
letting air flow through
where substance should fill the gaps.
Perhaps, as with weaker souls,
my brilliantly crested breast can indulge
in lesser pleasures, still survive the dawn,
and redeem my righteous standing…
just maybe… if I lay down my armor gently.
Yet, fragility is no less feeble when coated
with a tentative nature.
Whether savagely devoured or
carefully pierced by the edges of
pristine, pearly teeth
– a bite is still a bite.
And, despite Light,
humanity is still falling.
This spiral with breathtaking views
leaves us confused in descent.
Why can’t these wings keep me afloat?
Ambitious feet refuse to be soiled,
but toes stretch long for the dipping,
knowing – they will rue the day
of defiance. Why, then,
must they test forbearance?
Knowing is a double-edged sword,
reflecting simultaneous truths.
I am beloved and bewildered
in this crippling existence. I am
held firm and alarmingly adrift
in this spiritual persistence. I
see forever, but taste now with
quivering heart and trembling lip.
Thus, loss and triumph
caress my fingertips, while I
walk with mortality and dream
outside of it.
I need these two worlds to collide,
so I flap, and I flap, and I flap –
ever reaching for more.
Life uplifted.
Breath suspended.
Love transcended.
I flap, and I flap, and I flap –
ever sinking in less.
Life encrypted.
Breath resisted.
Love acquitted.
I flap, and I flap, and I flap –
ever soaring in stillness,
while turbulence surrounds me.
Then, I remember…
I am but a flutter of faith,
nesting in eternity’s heartbeat.
These silly things –
these broken wings
with gaps that let air through
were never meant to carry, but
whisper in their flurry,
“I need You…”

Born in a barn…

Guess I should’ve been.
Doors sealed shut,
but my mind was always listening.
Constantly sharpened by the
blades flyin’ through the air.
Cloaked in silence, so the
spirit wouldn’t be too bare.
Nestled in the weeds for the
comforts of earth.
Soul unstable ‘til the
fruits were unearthed.
Stretched across folds…
different wools in my hat, but
none of them know
where the loyalty’s at.
Trapped by the holds of
varying planes, where
a bud of existence
was only known for its name.
Complexities of thought and heart
got saddled with silting.
Riders simply spat their parts
‘til blooms were left wilting.
Runaways were mental notes that
pressed against ceilings;
memories – these baggage totes
which weigh against healings.
And now…
the sheep has bore the lion,
warmed in her fleecing;
nursed the vital organs that will
keep freedoms breathing.
Secrets set to soundboards,
hushes hollered loud,
regulations unraveled…
empowering the endowed.
No more hidden colors in the
shadows of the clouds;
humble power roars against
the charges of the proud.
Every moment brighter
with the light breaking in.
Vision spreading wider
from the depths of within.
Disregarded nature can
no longer be muzzled.
Formidable birthright will
no longer get hustled.
Every truth in struggle learned,
liberated from unspoken,
readied for release because
the doors are now wide open.

Impressions

impressions-image

… that carve far deeper than the surface,
drowning all traces of purpose…
Breaths bleed blue ‘til
inflamed passions spill red hues.
Every right to choose, but
the beaten path becomes familiar.
Tragic howls resolve to whimpers
(and we’re all taught – it’s rude
to listen to whispers).
Bitten tongue composes lies.
Broken soul breaches eyes.
Heart struggles to chant its beat,
the sole echo of delayed defeat,
as will still trembles without its pride.
“Alive” comes in many forms:
dormant pulses, social norms,
raging fleshes, and spirit storms,
but, oh, the stench of dead
cuts to the core. The
Dark One’s whores delirious,
stomp their heels of hopelessness;
choke with grips of hatefulness; and
drop their prey into the mist… with
impressions chiseled beneath the breast.
But, the wash flows down deep
with the come up, and the
rise lets new life steep
in love’s cup.
Outlines of “was” take on
shades of rediscovery.
Sketchiness develops into
layers of vibrancy, ‘til
colors of depth reflect the light which
no impression can overcome…
sadly, a realization for only some.
The fisted spoils of the spirit undone
loom in the balance
far too often for far too long, waiting
for an utterance to be heard, praying
for transforming terms to free
the broken story… to see
the allegory… to be
the love that helps the etchings fade.

Gravity

Photo credit: Kevin Carter, Pulitzer Prize Winner

My position is grave. 
Skin pinned to these walls 
that keep chanting “slave.” 
Spirit pulled low, 
in spite of my levity, 
as this world misbehaves. 

Hazy is the universe, 
with grief-stricken eyes 
and a heart without verse. 
Got these chains 
hanging on words ‘cause 
this “freedom’s” cursed. 

Light shines above. 
Face pressed to earth, 
I can’t reach for love. 
Dove of peace, pray 
nest in these souls 
that wear hate’s glove. 

Cards dealt dirty… 
From nations to rations, 
why’d karma rebirth me? 
Embraced one nature, 
glorious now painted evil, 
discredited from worthy. 

The gaze of vultures, 
breaking apart humanity, 
raping the truth of cultures; 
injects fear and dissonance. 
Histories lost aren’t enough, 
they’re slaughtering futures. 

Crush

Storms of elation elevate
palpitations beyond real life
expectations into a nation of
revelations fancied by perceptions
drawn from reflections set in scenes
of daydreams that live among the clouds.
The heart screams aloud, while all else
fades to a nagging nuisance.
Truth becomes compartmentalized into
tidbits which draw the nose, but never
satisfy the soul because a whole divided
is less than what must be provided to
align stars properly. And so it goes…
the Godsend becomes abandon’s property.
The crushing crumbles into the
comforts of poverty. Loneliness…
once again, the luxury which cools the heated flesh.
Oh, how you’ve been missed among the
laughter and butterflies, and
freshness of doubt’s lies, where
unknowns give just rise to the green in these eyes.
For, I know you…
You are vulnerability’s fortress,
freedom’s mistress, and
adoration’s seamstress, as you
sew these edges with the strength to evolve.
Such resolve stands highly regarded, especially
when hope has imparted its alter ego upon the soul.
I won’t fold…
no more than I will live without breathing.
My needs are sobering.
Like oak-aged wine, truth sits bitter on the lips.
I am the shrewd drunkard desperately thirsting for a
swallow of veracity in this den of flesh.
Crush dismissed.

Away

Purpose fled to destiny;
now, what of the rest of me?
Hanging in this balance between
everything I’ve been and all I shall be,
nothingness pricks my heart.
This art I’ve called survival…
worn for one cause only.
A perfected craft sits lonely,
awaiting invitation to fill shoes
which no longer fit. My quick –
exposed beneath time’s blade,
anxiously dripping remnants of yesterday
that will never cling again to the surface.
“I am” is fleeting, constantly shrinking
into past tense qualifiers… no longer
quantifiers of this substance of being.
“I was” is all I’m seeing.
“Without” is what I’m breathing.
The needing – slayed through open doors
bidding the exit of identity; for there’s
no room to follow. I swallow feelings
with this gulp of intellect.
Mind over heart’s matter – so says the
professional chatter. I’m too
keen for my own good.
Should gates come crashing down,
temperate lose its crown, and
grief command its grounds – then,
sanctity be found. Meanwhile,
I am loosed in the most composed way,
quietly measuring existence with the
absence of my everything.

Taking a Seat

 

Taking a Seat_SareeDreams

Sitting room only.
Everything I stand for fell by the wayside.
Never in this heart, but always in these eyes –
the energies disguising their despising of truth.
Perspective is a ruthless mutha…
navigating minds to give reason to
abuse one another.
One can’t further the cause of another
‘cause good intentions come with a clause;
good for me, doesn’t mean good for you.
Your shade of green colors my shade of blue.
Prosperity gleaning from the stroking of your
superfluous ego leaves the streaming
of my dreaming washed out cold.
Fire smothered by the wet blanket of indifference;
worth diminished in the smugness of knowing;
love stifled through the unraveling of pretense;
hence, the unseemly filtering of
my outward spirit.
There’s simply no justice in it…
ergo, where you go, I cannot.
Hope drips eternal, but it’s a slow leak, and
each time I stand up for it;
some piece of shit blots it out.
I try to widen the spout, but
narrow is the mind of the disbeliever
and cynicism is contagious.
Flying high becomes outrageous…
the longer I pour universal ideology
down the drains of tunnel vision mentality.
The vacuum is full and needs to be emptied,
but thick skins hold firmly to their dust;
sights blink blinded by loose particles bound
to nothingness. And so,
I recline in resolve.
Breath extracted…
Fervor dissolved…
Passion – just a pulse along the small of the
backbone I sink low to rest deep in.
Cradle me tight in this not quite fetal pose,
as I transpose my bearings from my
outcast wearings to the quiet place inside.
Hush you utterings of my soul
into this safe empty space,
which holds my every weight,
at least until I have the
strength to rise again.

 

Photo source: SareeDreams.com

In Pursuit

In Pursuit_image

 

And you ask me not to spill over…
when my continence breeds this fiery pulse?
You step into this playground of emotional smolder
and view your blistering toes with repulse.

Fingers pass through my drifting limbs, as they
fade away with my dissipating heart; a
force beyond holding with nimble whims,
requiring a firm grip from the start.

The quaintest of quiets, it breathes with ease,
as it rests in the nestles of sweet refuge.
If only its slumber could dream past this tease,
we’d escape the wiling up of its deluge.

No, I am not the sum of past iniquities
dribbled upon the slate of my naivety. I am
but the heartbeat which longs for love’s antiquity,
before fate conspired the ruin of its indemnity.

Mistaken not my willingness to abort
for a chilled and bitter spirit of recluse.
It is love’s domineering weight which retorts,
dictating which bidding hands to refuse.

My rathers would submit these very pores
to consume the deepest achings of your wantings,
but impetuous judgment cannot go ignored,
and the will of fortification comes flaunting.

Aching for More

This pathway of integrity envelops me
outward from the circle of more, turning
knobs to transformational doors where
periodic soundness expands into scores of
foundational grounding
Awareness is astounding when you
bridge your gaps…
one soul to all others
Not man’s druthers, but the wearing of
Supreme Love, ushering wholeness, character
and conduct on a mindful mission toward
moral construct
Weighing in more than a loss or forfeit;
stepping stones to avoid the dark pit
Practicing walks… ’til the third eye gets it,
so, in the day and in the night the
same face flaunts this
Only one sacrifice worthy of the benefit –
freedom’s new life when you die to inherit it
Choosing right relationship above all stakes…
answering His call to satisfy the human ache

Ambition

Hopes on delay, 
pending displays of “should be” 
as I lay in waiting for self-realization.  
Swimming through nations of constructs, 
contemplating my currents, rationalizing my pasts; 
knowing neither lasts beyond this phase. 
Restive nights and diverting days pave 
rabbit trails to steal my gaze down other avenues. 
Holding reins to the good news, sometimes I 
remember to breathe a little softer… search 
a little deeper, beyond this perch among the flesh. 
Wretch is my name, but my fingerprint is holy. 
Wholly divine – my aim – when focus rises. 
Surviving disguises life’s truest form with 
satiated dreams of societal norms… no,   
not misinformed, but misaligned at times. 
There’s no track to get back on when   
living’s free because love is fluid, and 
the hand which feeds me needs me to 
wander into being, beseeches that I 
ponder into seeing, requires in each 
moment of receiving that I give a 
quiet thought to the question,   
“Am I who I want to be?” 

As He Wishes

Let go…
he said.
And I cringed
within the betrayal,
the sheer audacity of his being.
Coming of age earns no right to
abandonment.
Knowing… creating…
facilitating… maneuvering…
pre-meditating the turns and
moves to navigate challenge,
to contend gracefully with life…
such is my badge.
Today is not the day for me
to bleed from the exit of its prick.
This is not the hour of acceptance,
when accountability adds weight to
mistakes that cannot be undone by
a mother’s touch.
This is not
the moment I
relinquish my instinct
to the folly of desired manhood.
I thought it was understood, but no.
Let go…
he says.
And I shun
this crowdedness,
as I lay here with all these layers
of me trapped in my bed of desertion.
Tomorrow…
he’ll rise without my bidding, and
fall without my net, and the
bruising of existence will
begin to take its toll,
as he wishes.

 

For Challenge for Growth Prompt #11: Overcoming Resistance

For You

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There was a time
when God introduced me to “why” and
all intent became lost in those eyes. In a
moment, I suddenly knew it would be
always for you… this
dreaming laced with reverberation, a
flutter beyond butterfly’s duplication.
My heart, seduced into nurture, commands
all of me to hold all of you. No longer a
cradled grasp, but the fervor in my labor;
the “no surrender” in my soul;
the “any cost” in my spirit;
the see, hear and feel it
of my world’s intangibles.
I’ve never been so expandable and
limited, at once. I’m just a girl, but,
for you, super-human fits the bill, so
I wear this will with a forceful nature.
Above nor below can hinder this passion
fueled by my reason – gifted from
the Heavens, granted to the universe.
Depth of my verse, you are. Life’s
script would be breathless without you,
for your smile whispers joy into my
existence, from which your moving
spills out loud. As God is my center,
you are all my edges, shaping the
fulfillment of my divinity; my complex
serenity in a simple world of delusion.
Together, we will always rise and fall
above all else because I am here
to be your indestructible when
the rest have proven deductible.
Take heed, free yourself of everything
less than hope…
short of love…
void of freedom.
Reign in your inherited kingdom knowing,
for you always, I will wage my all
to build up your fortress
until last sigh claims
my mortal breath.

For Challenge for Growth Prompt #9: Message to a Child

HUSH…

Hush.
The strongest voice whispers beneath the silence,
composing the structure of its weight from the
deepest echoes of the resting heartbeat.
Diaries of ago play incessant mantras upon the
stringed belly of untoned thought, leaving
the mind heavy, spirit obsessed, and
soul plucked to frayed by yesterday’s follies.
No room breathes for anew, as suffocating fears
manifest destiny in the cycles of the psyche.
Unleash the bitter known for the promise of greater,
for it is only the self that can be so consuming as to
eat away its own hope, its own joy, its own freedom
to live abundantly. Surrender the noise,
binding the ears from all tones within and without,
until peace ingests your being and you lay in waiting
for that which you can only hear when all else is
silenced.

For Challenge for Growth Prompt #8: Stop Repetitive Thinking

OFF

Kilter filtered through my disconnect – time to
unplug from these 21st century defects
Names and faces translated into
taglines and avatars… likes and dislikes
denoted by how many stars
Hookups propagating in internet bars, drawing
hundreds of “friends” with no clue who you are
Connecting at lightning speed when
everything you know is a 10 second read, a
flash in the moment social media conceived
a notion… a voice… a cyber stampede…
or maybe just photos of what someone eats
There may be an update of critical status,
perhaps a poor joke so all can laugh at us
Which side shows the best, and which one’s
claimed… shining a light or airing a shame?
Always within reach for another’s agenda, yet
markedly distant from your own spirit’s center
No space for just living among the living today;
none for considering the purpose of these days
Because everything’s turned up in this
rat racing realm and – last time I checked –
hell was circling the helm and overload is
served up on a bed of overwhelm. So,
yes, here I am – finger pressed to the trigger,
readied to release my mind from the rigor of
useless information some software configured;
and set to have all of my senses delivered to
commune with the seekers who yearn
something greater than the confines and conflicts
which veil the Creator.
Turning down for a moment to an illuminated pace
No dial ups, no log-ons, no service in this place
where I turn off the world and tune in to Grace

 

For Challenge for Growth Prompt #7: I Unplug

Unshielded

Undetectable, over the years it builds…
an immunity to spirituality’s shield
Freedom’s imposter wears the mask of my will
Feigning impunity as the soul seals the deal 

Left in the wreckage are projection’s lies,
a catatonic mind lost behind worldly eyes
Everything known is everything inside;
therein lies the root of everything despised 
More than the sum of those reckless pieces;
more than the plane of one lost existence;
beyond the carnal cycles of elation and bane,
a holding of supreme elevation still reigns 
Woven into the ranting and raving malarkey –
a straining vibration against mankind’s lethargy;
the hush of the noise when spirits are freed;
the rush of the joy when barren eyes see 
But we fight and we fight and we fight against love,
turn our backs on the notion of grace from above
Answers are sought through the lids of the blind,
living like there is no end of the line 
We bend and we bend and we bend without break,
reveling in pride with sanity on the take
Dreams become nightmares we just can’t shake
because life is a coma and we refuse to awake 
Wake up! Wake up! We can still be alive
Pick up the armor and strengthen the stride
Our strategies differ, but we’re in the same war
Us against them will never settle the score 
Victory begins when we know there’s much more
than the stench of deception we wear like cheap whores
Not man against man, but love versus fear
Use spiritual authority to make the view clear 
One note across the board, but nothing’s the same
Everyone plays a part, but no one’s to blame
Every piece, so different, building towards one end –
all are in the struggle hoping to transcend 
Don’t go on defeated behind enemy lines
Harness your spirit to the ties that bind
to eternity’s promises for the chosen wielded
Let today be the day you march onward shielded 

I Hear You…

Especially in between the lines, where
your words rest and your thoughts
breathe their truths.
Your silence
tells a story of its own, pondering
vulnerability’s willingness to be known.
My eyes listen intently,
gaining more from nuances than
ears can ever hear; learning
more with every wince and beam
reflected in your mask’s betrayal.
What you do not say overwhelms,
and I am drawn deeper
into your silhouette, deeper
into the mystery beneath your
prudently prepared outline.
I am lost in your hidden spaces,
reaching for those veiled traces of
“how come” weaved into your DNA.
Drifting through your layered shadows,
dare I invade with a touch; adding
the tremble of your pulse to the
culmination of terms displayed?
Dismay is not a factor, for
hearing you is knowing you
without pretense, before judgment,
taking in the complex spectrum
of your reality’s perspective.

 

For Challenge for Growth Prompt #6: I Listen Attentively

I AM…

Truth revealed through a tender heart
The hands shaping wounds into works of art
Eyes that see beauty in the deepest of flaws
Who gives hope to every hopeless cause
Foundation when everything trembles around
What lifts your spirit when you’ve lost ground
The Rock of Ages in your sinking sands
A quiet still voice against the world’s demands
Maker of ways when there’s no way out
Reason for believing when filled with doubt
The light of salvation when you’ve given up
The end of thirst when you drink from my cup
Everything good beneath your broken view
Love, the Creator, and I dwell within you

This is more than a declaration of my spiritual beliefs. Each statement above represents each individual’s capacity to receive and give and BE love. There is a way to convey truth that isn’t harmful, threatening or hurtful in its delivery and intent. While some express an ease in living in denial or ignorance; this perspective is disingenuous to one’s true being. Truth isn’t always welcome, and it often travels on airs of subjectivity, causing the hearer to tune out. However, whether the hearer is someone else or you, learning to deliver and receive and BE truth is necessary to realizing a life of integrity.

Everyone is wounded. Everyone has hidden parts. Often, we sacrifice the fullness of life by constantly licking those wounds or hiding behind those secret places of hurt and insecurity. Overcoming isn’t about ignoring or forgetting; it’s about learning, reshaping and offering a testimony. What good is any pain if you do not grow from it? What good are your past experiences, if they are not used to help others going through similar trials? The key word being “good”… what “good” can come of the bad you’ve known?

Love is blind. No, it is not! Love sees all, and accepts all for what it is. Yes, we want the best for and of ourselves and those we care about… some of us even want the best for and of the world at large. But let’s be honest, nothing in this life is perfect (whatever perfect means). Criticism reigns within and without on so many levels, as this world dictates a clone mentality… look like this… think like that… measure your being up against the skew of a few. Beautiful is what makes you – YOU. What makes you special… physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually… is that which defines your unique contribution to the universe. Sameness is like listening to an orchestra and hearing only one note.

Who or what is your “go to” when you feel defeated? They say misery loves company. Well, I know nothing draws out darkness like light; it draws it and drowns it with hope and stability, pouring out a reassurance which lets you know that you will survive the sinking ship. Some are blessed to have others in their lives who serve as a rock; others are blessed to be that rock; and, many can only find the source of comfort they need beyond humanity’s angels. If you don’t have a source of uplifting… reach out, because there is ALWAYS someone willing to share joy with another’s heart.

Be still my aching heart. There is holiness in being still, in bringing peace to all the beating impulses of the mind and body. We often want to run, act, react, force, move, control… and in those desires, we lose our center. Rashness and anxiousness take over and master our wills and senses as we stand in defensiveness against the world. But in the stillness… in the calm… in the meditation… in the prayer… in the soothing whisper of a loved one, we can regain composure, perspective and presence. We must remember to carry a stillness within to balance the chaos among us.

Some believe in karma, while others see no consequence. Some believe everything happens for a reason, while others believe in chance. Some believe in free will, while others believe in destiny. Some believe in judgment. Some believe in nothing at all. Most, I think, believe in some combination of these. My faith rests in the guidance and protection of my God, Yahweh, while others define the Creator in other ways, if they, in fact, believe in a Creator. Even for the non-spiritual, however, there has to be a driving force internally or externally which prods one to persevere. Perhaps it is the human condition for them. I know, for me, too many miracles have occurred… too many paths have been uncovered… too many chances have been bestowed… too many tragedies have been survived… too many endings have been avoided… and too many unimaginable blessings have adorned my life for me to not believe in something greater than myself… greater than humanity… greater than this world.

This world confines, speaks doubt and negativity, and finds ways to extinguish the spirit of innocence and altruism. And yet, here we are. You and I, he and she, us and them… constantly fighting to reveal something beautiful, engaging, inspiring, and evolving… something so much more than what exists on the surface of existence. In as much as God is here for me, I am here for you, and you are here for someone else. We are all capable of leading someone else somewhere better; and, through the process, will find ourselves improved.

Everlasting life in His cup… the salvation of His sacrifice… the goodness He creates from our falls and failures… yes, these are my beliefs… my mantras… my “self-talk.” How similar or dissimilar these are from other faiths, I do not know. I do know that LOVE in and of itself is life giving. I do know that sharing LOVE with others is contagious and has brought many souls out of isolation and suffering. I do know that LOVE has seen through the dark, ugly and hateful, and has transformed hardened hearts and vexatious minds into completely new spirits of joy and abundance. I do know the power of LOVE… in God… in myself… and in you.

Challenge for Growth Prompt #5: I Am Love

Watch “Matthew West – Hello, My Name Is (Live)” on YouTube

This song has had me going all day. It’s one of my favs that I haven’t listened to in a while. I was heading out to the desert to deliver lunches this morning, turned on my ipod and… well, the Spirit is amazing… beyond words most times. Thought about writing a piece, but really, Matthew says it all right here. It’s one of those fire starting songs that I simply love! ♡♡♡

Breathless

Breathless

She longed to take it all in,
to be filled with knowing through every pore.
Breathing deeply; the most coveted item on her bucket list.
Lungs of a soulful depth only drew in shallow airs, leaving her
lips kissed with salty drops and gritty grains, thirsting still for more.

Her spirit fumed,
never reaching the sights of her heart.
Every part listened, but ultimately numbed to the
crushing waves of insubordination which looted her naivety.
Perhaps, no one would ever know the richness of her fullness.

Without breath,
she looked on, as if it would appear.
She looked on, as if he was allowed to take her all in.
He wasn’t. He couldn’t. He could only capture her wavering shell.
Without breath, she could only wait for the stillness to restore her life.

The Making of Yes

“Because I said so” began the fall of “no”
… choking me back down my throat
Contemplating mind wasn’t part of the scope

“Do as told,” “Speak when spoken to,”
“Follow this list of don’ts and do’s”…
fashioned my feet for someone else’s shoes

“Never shine too bright when here you roam”
“Save your perfection for those at home”
The frayed ghetto womb is where I’m from

“Good isn’t bad, but it’s never enough”
“Be more than you are, accepting and tough”
Love isn’t free… it comes with these cuffs

“Set the example,” “Failure’s not an option”
Every part of me sold at authority’s auction
before sense of self could begin construction

Always falling short of unconditional affection
“In the eyes of others” … my self-destruction
Heart on a platter for the world’s consumption

Departed the nest with a pleaser complex,
traversing society with a “YES” on my chest;
bringing everyone joy with my soul in distress

Burned both ends to offer more than my best
Lost control in self-inflicted duress
Lived for others, now let the spirit confess…

Sometimes saying “no” is a self-love test.

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #4: Think Before Saying Yes or No

 

Journey

Through this dungeon I tread, seeking foundation for my head, reaching to shed layers of dead skin weighing down my levity. Discovery bends the shadows into brevity, shoring up this beacon of longevity within the good fight. Degrees of might empower me to chill with this burning; ride easy in this yearning; roll gently through this turning of corners, surpassing the borders and overcoming life’s hoarders. Freeing are these steps of depth, sinking deeply past the muck of ground floor, digging soles to push hard to the core, giving each journey around the sun just a bit more vesting toward worthiness. Heart confesses secrets held beneath tresses, as abandon gives way to less consuming distresses and the wilderness within gets lost in these walls, whispering away all that forces my spirit’s stay. Truth is arresting in its liberating way, evidenced by my rampant run to its torches, illuminating scorches along this dark and narrow path.

Failure to Be

I sit in this awareness, trying hard to see a blank canvas;

stressing my heart’s biases to melt away into a quiet place;

squeezing this ever sense of urgency to cool its heels and breathe

through its impulses to make everything better.

It will all be what it will all be… and yet,

I still inhale need and exhale salvation; as if

my only salvation is to be needed.

God loves me

because I am the child who makes him laugh the hardest.

At times, His humored tears touch my spirit, letting me know

I have put on an excellent show, and now it’s time to resign.

But these veins are ambitious; harboring

this blood infused with endless purpose; embodied in

this being of unsettled life.

A state of rest is foreign and intrusive to my design.

What does it mean to not do, say, think, feel…

impose my essence into the universal echo

at all times?

This may be my only existence in this reality.

Therefore, in good conscience, I can never just be.

Challenge for Growth Prompt #3: Learning to Be

Through the Shadows

Phases of regression creep past knowing. Vices of a solemn heart stir here, bestowing traces of past footsteps behind the gaze of doubting eyes. The stench of impression sewn into the fabric of tomorrows leaves hope waning in fogs of unworthiness. What defense exists in premeditation… other than its source in trepidation? Wherein rules the shadows (Light’s foes); therein hangs the gallows, looming high to choke from life all inherent love.

When all the darkness rears its form, cast your net above.

For Living, Learning & Letting Go Prompt: Looking for the Good in Others

The Needing Want

Never too long before the line blurs…
The flurry of rises and falls vacillate, then
migrate to the other side of sustenance
Yes, I know of common sense, but
passion’s throes can circumvent
any form of reason
Definition morphs from the believing
Life’s needs emerge from the weaving
How little or much requires conceiving is
rooted in the heart of the being
What luxury abounds in discernment; to
know the “I must” from the “surplus”
isn’t inherent –
not when fantasy is one’s reality because
man’s duality can become one-sided
if the mind’s eye stares too long
Caution drifts from where it belongs, and
love’s domain belts its vulnerable song, and
lost in the want is everything that is wrong…
until nothing else can be right without
the pulse of requite
Breath by breath, heavy eyes
conceal their hope in soul’s reprise, the
longing hymn of imminent demise when
needing want is left to die

 

For Living, Learning and Letting Go’s Challenge for Growth Prompts: Needs vs Wants

Slippery

Twisting and turning, I’m

churning for a buttery existence, a

melting through the burn of resistance.

I want to flow, beginning to end, as

the flavor of life seasoned just right

for discriminating palates; the ones whose

mallets demand the taste of love in their presence.

Essential essence resonates with the kindred

and the lacking; the filled up and the cracking,

and here I am – sticky like glue.

Is it wrong to leave my residue, and then

slip away off the edge of a smile? It seems

I have a way with meanwhiles.

Moderation begs my leave… preservation –

my reprieve – yet, to my bosom clings

the thirsting heart for more.

Its score unsettled in my arms, with

less than requited charms, finds

adoration’s just a whisper behind the door.

Evermore, permeating measure, I wield this

captive treasure, finding peace just past

the reach of tangible.

Unimaginable only blinks ago, this truth

only my God could know hid in the belly

of self artifact. Therein, the part of origin

left intact beneath the rubble, the

broken bubble of this lifetime,

now wiggles its fingers through the crumble.

Prints brushing against the winds of time

with their endless story, caressed by glory,

where nothing else sticks.

Nurture is drawn to the outcry, but

nature remains slippery to a fault.

I am everything and nothing worth

holding on to.

Loving You

I love you like the morning sun
Like the glow in the moon when the day is done
You’re set in my soul and you give it rest
You’re the light in my spirit and the fire in my chest

I love you like some old time blues
Like my favorite hat and my best-fitting shoes
My heart holds you close in the beat of its song
And I know this is right ‘cause love can never be wrong

I love you like the still of the night
Like the life beneath rain and the thrill of the fight
You’re the laugh in my joy and strength through my pains
The constant in storms and the gift of my name

I love you like the warmth of the flame
Like the cool of the cube on a hot summer’s day
You’re the chill in my spine when there’re no words to say
This love is what keeps me when all else fades away

I love you like the morning sun
Like the glow in the moon when the day is done
You’re set in my soul and you give it rest
Here is my all, you will never get less

Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort

 

It goes down like that real ish…
warm on the tongue, with just enough bite.
Like history through aged eyes,
like a tingling gut when the air is still; it’s
a knowing, showing its wear like
second-hand clothing.
It fits, but the threads are worn,
seams – a little torn,
fabric’s been stretched just enough to
lose a bit of color.
It moves like a tired mother,
slow and with purpose, but it’ll
get where it’s going ‘cause that’s the
only option at hand.
It overstands without explanation,
without institutional education, since it
carries antiquity in the shadow of its soul.
It’s all the broken pieces piecemealed
into a whole and you can’t just
slice out the sections you crave.
Every portion is a full taste,
deliciously unsettled as it goes down.
It’s the best thing around.
At times, hard to find, but never too far;
southern comfort is the murmur of the
overcomer’s heart, the
whisper in a smile that almost didn’t come, the
exhale of a spirit not quite done…
resting hushed as it stirs the atmosphere,
awaiting the occasion to enlighten another ear.

Soldiering On

soldiering on 1

I am an act of war.
Taking no prisoners behind closed doors,
strewn in the open are my countless scores;
the rises and falls my weapons have bore
Panoramic scenes slow time to a crawl, so
the blink at 360 reveals it all
The fear in your heart is what I’ve been called;
a quake in the veins that crushes your walls

soldiering on 2

With a charge and a clash, I collide with this time;
steel upon will, drawing blood to the line
The dripping tip at the end of my mind…
piercing the soul til the flesh is blind
Fumes consume every breath in the room,
leaving hearts seized in the depth of loves womb
Waiting for the readied, this spirit will loom
and call out the life from the embodied tombs

soldiering on 3

Truth shatters screens to cut through the masks,
setting shadows free from the binds of their pasts
An unfettered journey with the strictest of tasks;
to transform the first and walk with the last.

A Reflection on Intentional Living

My Defining… 

Not so much calculations, but revelations – conscientious estimations regarding outcomes. Before endings become, the intentional ones ascertain the losses and gains awaiting the conclusion of any chosen path. The fallout from wrath; the break of too many mistakes; the accumulated scars which brand their mark after one too many broken hearts; the void when give succumbs to take; the bite in the air when the room is full, but no one’s really there… are all reasons for each of us to be subconsciously awake and moving, thinking, speaking, acting and being intentionally. Always sharpening the blade…

I don’t believe in chance. I believe we are each designed by the Creator for a purpose. And so, the universe engages us constantly toward that end. Whether and how we choose to engage with the universe is the only questionable variable. Life can just happen to us, and we absorb, defend and protect; or run, hide and curse; or maybe react, fight and regret… or perhaps find ourselves utilizing all of these responses in some form or fashion along our way. However, when we enact authority in our existence by premeditating good outcomes, thoughtfully restraining, lovingly interacting, and considerably processing how the worlds of those around us are impacted by our choices, in addition to with what we fuel our own existence and its ultimate meaning as our personal piece in eternity’s puzzle; we are enforcing a phenomena intuitive in nature… one that wealth, fame and notoriety cannot conjure. Although, knowledge and attractiveness often do empower greater influence, enabling one to more effectively walk out whatever lies at the base of one’s heart and soul – one’s truest motivation for breathing.   

I have a proclivity for intentional living for various reasons. One being, I do not react well to the unexpected outcome; and, I have no desire to contribute to any untoward end. When life constantly throws you for a loop and your point of reference is unstable, bitterness and skepticism begin to take hold and reshape the posture of your heart. However, cynicism is a faulty shield, as the spirit is genuine and knows what the flesh may not willingly reveal. We all suffer blows in this lifelong sentence and scramble to secure ourselves in our own ways. While walls are constructed to keep harmful inquisitions at bay, mainly they simply keep us locked within, smothering in our own reason, fear and anxiety. Such seclusion takes courage for a species created to love one another. Yes, courage, because as love-based creatures, the decision to be disingenuous, reactionary, solitary and unwaveringly formidable as an island of one is against the very grains of our spiritual sculpture. This lends to my second, more evolved reason for intentional living… it is what the aware spirit is called to do. One may remain faultless if unaware, but there is no peace for those who know better and choose to submit to a haphazard life, steering recklessly, if at all, toward no defined end, no greater good, and no enlightened cause. I cannot in good conscience carry that burden, and so, I choose the other.   

The intentional life is indeed burdensome. It can be quite uncomfortable, quite overbearing, quite offensive and most deeply humbling; and yet, it is the most bountiful and altruistic path. This complex journey is full of oxymora. Inconsistent variables meet the constant spirit and we find ourselves compelled to acquiesce or flee; compromise or abandon; succumb or break; love or feel less hate. In sum, we either subject our power to the world by letting conditions and circumstances dictate the stability of our being or we subject the world to our personal God-given power by infusing our intentional energy into every effort we commence, experience, and conclude. 

Half the Battle… 

Unleashed from before 
Spirit readied for war 
Subjected to earth’s dominion 
Influenced by man’s opinion 
Wearing its heart of armor 
The soldier and the farmer 

Credit: Paul Woodward 2010
Credit: Paul Woodward 2010

In this lifelong war, we each play a part in attaining fulfillment and influencing the fulfillment of others. As the champion, the victim or the passive observer; we each make choices based on our strengths and weaknesses, conditions and circumstances, reach and immobility, minds and hearts, bodies and spirits. And as we begin to measure our grounding and those things which have the power to shift it, we realize that intention is only half the battle. One can mean well without having the assets to walk out good intentions. We must know ourselves, what we believe in, what we believe our purposes to be, and have some type of reference for the opposition that we will be met with on our journeys. This is the launching point for self-direction; self-direction, as opposed to being directed by the world. No matter how we arrive to this battlefield, we will be tested, prodded and beaten… some beyond recognition. Without a solid foundation, with a weakened spirit, we are unable to rebound and focus; and the world will prey on us, leaving us incapable of walking out our inherent designs. 

In our core, we all desire peace, happiness, companionship and satisfaction, but not everyone can utilize or even understand the means for achieving these goals from a pure point of origin. Temporary gratification, living in the moment, sacrificing oneness for systematic symmetry, sacrificing sanity for survival, sacrificing thoughtfulness for self-preservation… these are all challenges to our ability to evolve the posture of intentionality into the practice of sowing and harvesting. There has to be a realization beyond the innate will of the heart. There has to be an application of our heads, hands, feet… our entire being in order to achieve anything close to true fulfillment in the purposeful life. We must hold the seeds in our hands and actively plant them; as we sure up our armor to stay the course. We must be farmers and soldiers to have any hope in finishing victorious. 

This is not the torch I’ve always carried. While my life before my now had always been somewhat off-putting, I didn’t understand why. I simply tried harder, submitted lower, cried longer, prayed deeper and fell farther; wrestling with the demons I didn’t know I had; holding on to destruction I didn’t know I granted; denying all of the purpose I didn’t know I carried. Thus, my journey began… 

Dimly Lit… 

Yesterday danced around me like a crisp winter’s night. 
The darkness was deep, the stars were dim, 
and the warmest of blankets could not ease the chill in my bones. 
Still, I peered so intensely at every glimmer, every flicker 
of brightness against the backdrop of existing 
and tried to glean something bigger than life 
from the burn left behind my eyes. 
But I could not see at all. 
I chased the lights blindly, until the moon grayed… 
and the stars became ash… 
and all the spark of being left me. 
Having wandered too far for too long, 
I fell limp upon the universe and surrendered 
all I had ever hoped and longed for 
into the black hole it had fashioned for me. 
Diffused and disengaged, I closed my eyes 
to mourn my soul and put its journey to rest. 

Surrender is a humbling phenomenon. At its depth, you expect nothing good to come of it. After all, you are giving up, submitting, acknowledging your utter failure at self-sustaining survival. At its height, you expect nothing worse to emerge from it than that very moment which caused you to discard the last sliver of hope that once whispered to you. The consummate paradox, surrender overwhelms you with the intense release of everything you have ever felt into a wounded numbness of letting go. It is the wake and the burial in one, and demands to be grieved. “I can’t, I won’t, and it hurts too much to care” make for a sufficient mantra to protect one’s shredded remains through the process.   

For me, surrender led to something divine occurring. I was drawn out of my perspective of searching to realize my purpose in becoming. As I began to unfold the complex tapestry which cocooned me in darkness, I started to see that I was the light I so desperately reached for in the world. My soul wasn’t destined to be extinguished, but reborn. My light wasn’t meant to be acquired, but revealed. And I urgently needed to understand that, while there are many forms of illumination, not all light shines in the same way or for the same reasons. I wanted to be more than a graying moon or diminishing star. My flame was exceptionally molded, and should be used to draw into its warmth the chilled bones of others, running through winter’s darkness, chasing falling stars.   

I had fallen broken and shattered, a victim of my own inability to see, and God reached in to convince me of to whom I belong. My existence became dimly lit and I began to pursue my own light, an energy which took me completely out of myself, so that I could be redeemed, rediscovered, restored and released. And I soon realized that I can, and I will, and it hurts too much not to care. I was reborn. I would make it count. 

Dancing in the Fire…

As the flames rose up, 
she watched her coals char into oblivion. 
Her fiery fortress melted away the useless layers 
until the burn revealed the jewel, and there within her heart
glistened the crown of her refinement.

I believe an exceptional life is marked by a challenged mind, tested will, and labored heart. By choosing to emerge from a defeated spirit, with these elements intact, I had no reasonable explanation for living anything less than an intentional existence. A life with purpose should be lived purposefully, even if the meaning is still elusive. It is that vague sense of knowing which called me to submerse into the fire of living with abandon in faith. This statement says so much about the commitment I’ve made to live intentionally, and it proves that anyone can.   

I am an introvert. I am a fixer. I am a perfectionist. I am a loner. My greatest fear is a broken heart. My greatest difficulty is to truly trust another. My greatest peeves are to be unprepared, unknowing, and unworthy. Well, the irony here is that my definition of intentional living goes against every fiber of my learned being. Intentional living is about reaching out; touching others; accepting brokenness; allowing disappointment; sharing of self – deeply; investing one’s heart entirely; trusting a higher hand in my encounters; and, most certainly, engaging a faith-based life with limited preparation, little knowing, and a posture of unworthiness. As such, to be the person I believe I am designed to be, I have to abandon everything comfortable to me in order to run into the center of all that threatens to burn me, and do so with a peace of spirit which relies on refinement over demise. I have to dance in the fire, be the fire, and spread its flames to ignite others.

Holding to the Flame… 

Had I thought about it with my head, 
I’d have likely put the thought to bed; 
but, lo, it’s set within this heart, 
emerging labor into life’s art. 
Thus, though the ash will leave its stains, 
I’ll cling eternal to the flame. 

By no means does such passion and faith shield me from the other elements. I have been smothered with tainted soils, doused with unforgiving floods, smote with overpowering brass, and incited by false airs. Being committed to affecting takes its toll. And since intentional living comes from a hopeful place, a center focused on producing the best outcomes, influencing positive energies and believing in the power of nurturing wounded spirits; it can create a veil of overzealous naivety. I’ve discovered that people tend to react to me with two extremes; they either view me as “too good” to interact with from a place of truly genuine expression, hiding who they really are based on their assumptions regarding who I am; or they view me as susceptible to manipulation, providing an opportunity to be taken advantage of based on my determination to identify the greater value in those I encounter. Not too long ago, these labels bothered me and I could feel myself walling up… taking a protective stance against the lens of the world. But I’ve realized that the greatest misnomer is making oneself accountable for the misperceptions of others, if they simply choose to see what they want to see. This is undoubtedly where intention gets a little tricky. While I can control how I approach the world, I cannot control what the world chooses to do with my efforts. As such, it is quite easy to feel defeated.   

Familial relationships, romantic relationships, professional relationships, service relationships and daily exchanges with passersby have all deeply challenged my commitment to walking out intention from a “glass half full” perspective. Of particular note, tremendous strength has been poured into managing the disappointment associated with dealing with those who propose to be of equal measure, professing to intend well and desire good, only to reveal that they either have no concept of what that means or have tritely attempted to take me for a fool. 

Ironically, I find that even in the worst of these cases, a positive effect still emerges somewhere down the line. Something supernatural transforms the base composition of most human beings when, in spite of their ignorant, malicious or decidedly passive contributions to the discontentment of others; they are intentionally met with grace, mercy, forgiveness and hope. As painstaking as it may feel in moments of dealing with combative energies, holding to that inner flame which compels me to burn truer, brighter, and longer to achieve a higher end is more than worth the struggle. If this is a foreign concept to you, you must test my claim that anything you do – any end you seek out – in love will bring a mysterious calm to your senses, a far greater peace than avoidance, than denial, than defensiveness… than blindly navigating throughout life. This choice offers a deeper peace because it stabilizes one’s center – one’s point of reference – with good roots, and constantly strives to spread that goodness into the hearts of others, regardless of their state of being. The resulting effects may not be clear, may not be immediate, and may – in fact – never be witnessed by you, but you have engaged and influenced in good conscience, with undeniable intention and, if nothing more, have deposited something beautiful and productive into the universe.

Here I stand, the lioness lamb, 
roaring aloud 
my tender heart. 
I’ve hunted through the wilderness, 
seeking out 
the sacred parts. 
As I approach the journey’s end, 
I know 
what sets apart; 
one who not only finished well, 
but intended 
from the start


Paper Thin

I wear this skin with a warriors stride,
shouting to the world, “I’m alive, I’m alive!”
Rock with me, roll with me, know this passion;
taking on the world in indestructible fashion.
Sifting through the universe
Gifted with the mental verse
Roaming with the chosen lot
Feeling like the pulse is hot
Stopped all the doubting to feel between my toes
the cool grains of wonder on the path of He knows.
Flowing through the drama as the element of water.
Beyond any containment, I’m the daughter-woman-mother.
Runnin’ with the sharpest blade
Swimming while the others wade
Dancing in the blazing fire
Cutting through the world’s desire
Taking all I’ve seen into the fold of understanding.
Peering past the layers of humanity’s demanding.
Knowing there’s a balance in the mix of “me” and “we”
Intending through the universe to meet my destiny
Every moment close to me
Focused on the victory
Reveling within the win
Even though I’m paper thin
Covering the cuts that hurt too deep to let ’em ride
Avoiding all the strings attached to lovers in the night
Retreating from the voids that seek to taunt my soul
Tasting my defeat when I have hit too many walls
They will never see me fall
Only that I give my all
Rise above the torn apart
Pushing on with all my heart
Hurting in the secret parts no one can invade
Searching down the healing path to help the others fade
Counting every blessing at the wake of every day
because I know the end is just a paper tear away

I – 111

“I”
Protected
heart under tattered sleeve
gently peeking through
Open and closed to the world
even the Heavens
til God made me new

Born
from the thoughts of the stars
unto mortals who never knew
the nature of my soul
Blooming in the grunge of
addicts, thugs and whores
empathetic folds into the whole

Never
belonging anywhere
daunting judgments haunting
every move… thought… prayer
Poured into myself
making my own existence real
deep beneath the superficial layers

Taken
captive by the darkness
Filling voids with false remedies
Telling eyes behind each veil
Until heart allowed no more
breaking spirit’s core
setting free the love which now avails

Freedom
Faith
Love

“Me”

For Dungeon Prompt: Becoming You in 111 Words

Failure to Destroy

Deep-seeded eruptions mark your intent,
delivering limits to the fullest extent
Your stint has run its maximum course as
submission transcends the depth of your force
Remorse will settle in the cracks of your pride,
and flip the perspective down memory’s ride
Leashed up charms – bait and switch for your harms;
no alarms, but I remain suited up in these arms
Can’t farm out true missions with half-baked renditions
of tyrants and warlords without ammunition; ‘cause
fruition comes calling and players start falling when
formidable hearts withstand all the mauling
Uprising rides on the bows of love’s archers;
bondage – crushed beneath vigilant marchers
Battles are won through clarity’s tears,
when fears turn to courage as enlightenment rears
Opportunity seized in the learning of your soul
Righteousness choked out the means for your goal
Redemption, high-perched, gazes on your crawl
to witness your everything is nothing at all
And there goes the head off your body of evil
And there stands the shed of your crimes disheveled
Self-induced prisoner of irony’s fate
Self-imposed reaper of karma’s next date
Twisting and turning, for now it’s too late
You toyed with the heavens; got purged from the gates
What waits down the path on the road now chosen?
A fire which burns in a land now frozen
Cursed by the prowess of mortal seductions
Failed in the charge of this soul’s destruction
Coming redone in the peace of my mind; as
you’re left undone at the end of your vine

Shades of Settling

They can’t wrap their heads around it
No one can quite put a finger on it
Everyone’s a little bewildered by it
A few are very frustrated with it
But I have settled right into it

Such is my life… a joy seemingly straddled by sacrifice and solitude.

Why do I go it alone? This lifelong interview has one question and no one understands my answer. It’s organic, defeating and empowering…

I am cooling in the shade of settling.

Settling begins as a means for playing it safe; facilitating one’s fears into a logical discourse. In its midlife emerges a short-changing of sorts; realizing there should be more, you feel trapped with no clear way out. As settle matures, however, it becomes a tool for navigating towards a greater good, shaping the journey to the bittersweet end.

I traveled many fields and climbed many trees before choosing this one.

At one time, I ventured for the bitter bite. Eve – reborn – I settled for the subsequent fall, not understanding redemption’s power. Initially, terror strikes the heart of the virgin eyes upon the scarecrow illuminated by the beaming heat of the unforgiving sun, which will shine even if you melt away. Melting is easy. Disappearing into –this is it– feels brave, but is only a succumbing. Getting past it is paramount. So, I did… every time.

Spiritual sophistication evolves, if you let it. Winning over others, as well as “winning” in and of itself, loses attract-ability if you play the game long enough. You begin to measure the opportunity cost of your life. How much have I paid to be a part of another’s destruction? Why am I only part of a team when someone needs a quarterback to get sacked? When will the all I give be returned to me in like kind? Hmm… well, the benefit here is discovering that something greater is deserved; something better than what you’re getting, something grander than a muddled spirit. The lesson, however, is that one turn does not earn another. The resolved heart and soul must execute their being with exception.

How the rest is walked out is essentially a measure of comfort and culpability. What am I okay with giving away freely and what am I okay with being accountable for, because knowing makes you fully accountable for your choices. My choice grants me acceptation and frees me from expectation, but the caveat is a devoted hopefulness. I have settled into a joy unaffected by failing reciprocation, loneliness, personal injustice and the chilling atmospheres of temperamental circumstance. It is a settling because it is not a natural choice, but a selective one… a peaceful one… a discerningly intelligent one which challenges my heart and its proclivities, occasionally on the surface and constantly in my depths. But I am settled.

Yes – I am sufficiently settled, cooling in the shade of my scarecrow and grateful for its inability to consume me.

Still… there is always hope.

Dungeon Prompts: Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zone

By the way, this is outside of my comfort zone because it is a free thought piece. While it is thought-out, I tried my best not to sensor or rhyme or scrutinize it too much. It feels like more of a journal entry than a “piece” to me, which is definitely a bit uncomfortable. 🙂

All in a Day’s…

These days,
I’m amazed when
work isn’t life and
life isn’t work; when the
dollar that I earn fuels
more than the daily churn, and
the air that I breath is more than
a means for concern. This burn gets
lost, vacating definition; who has
bandwidth to petition the “why” that
substantiates today’s existence when
yesterday’s fog and tomorrow’s blur only
leave room for reason’s resistance.
Toil evolves into an ever-give;
ever-give amounts to the way I live; living
gets forsaken by the cost I pay to grind, but
since that’s always been, I guess I shouldn’t mind.

For Dungeon Prompts: Live to Work or Work to Live?

Reigning in Humility

Daily futility tempts the soul
Nights and days unfold in vicious layers
So many players try to take hold
of a stayer by turning blind ears and
numb hearts to the truths imparted
Therefore, it’s best to just end where it
started – in silence
Deeper than physical, verbal violence
is a game changer at the core;
no good in store for forbearance forgone
Right or wrong, it is better to mend than
get caught up in the bend that
can send away a spirit to mix
in the depths of a fix fixed on destruction
Such eruptions cripple ties, forge spies,
breed despise and leave eyes cutting
through blinks of rebutting and, well,
there goes the neighborhood because
did didn’t equal should and
all that’s left is not for the greater,
but just no good, and
silence rules…
A tool meant for use before
disassociation was the excuse, leaving
circumstance as the dominant state
Reevaluate the stakes of loose tongues;
the rungs on ego’s ladder that leave you
high strung and choking, evoking life’s
standards when you could’ve been
exceptional, leading the processional
of those risen above, intending
in the love and lifting up
with dignity a reigning in humility

For Dungeon Prompts: Humbling Ourselves

Stay with Me

Distance deceives this heart.
Lands apart, it beats beneath your breaths,
stopping when it doesn’t feel you.
And so, I gasp, wanting to draw in the world
for you.
It is yours if you can hold to this prayer.
I’ll meet you anywhere, if you stay.
All the parts are failing in this
earthly prevailing of “here”…
so, Dearest, surrender all else into
the gentle breeze that wraps my spirit
around yours.
In this place, we will dance until
pain fades and pasts fog under
love’s brilliance; our hope has
always been resilient.
Fashioned from the furrows of your
magnificence, I am steadied
in God’s benevolence towards any end.
But, to transcend this is torturous and
joyous no longer defines my being. My
peace is bleeding as
time comes alerting, even flirting, with
my ability of stability.
Departure’s messenger weakens my knees,
and I need you to brace myself.
How else will I be complete;
who else will be your half of me?
Do see, through all the wills and meanwhiles,
the walls and life trials of yesterdays…
Always, I’ve been with you, longing
for our days to come.
And now, they want to leave us, parched
in the noon, thirsting for more… while
eve’s lullaby comes your way, tempting you
with heaven’s sway for quiet rest.
Resist her test, and know with no uncertainty,
I will send all of the universe away, if only
you will stay.

Despair’s Veranda

I’ve been holding it for an eternity…
this breath, in this moment.
How does a frozen heart ache
so deeply, through so many layers?
Why do numb eyes still drip
oceans of feelings that simply
have nowhere to go?
Can only I see the hypocrisy
in life’s continued flow?
This armor of responsibility
gives no shield, only an
undeserving, selfish distraction;
an annoyance between the
air forcing my stance and the
ground begging my company.
I wish to fall.
I want to curl.
I long for abandon.
Resolve imprisons and reason squawks
at my need to just fall to pieces.
When will the universe
permit my exhale, authorize
the release of fate’s weight
from my cavity?
For, it is not mine to claim, but
it owns me in the places
I cannot protect.
Freely exposed to be tortured within
and impenetrable without;
where then, am I able
to walk it out… what then
can serve as the distant soft place
at the end of this
weary mind’s journey?
How can there be an end, if
it’s never allowed to begin?
All that exists
is this keeping… this
smothering of my being… this
push to release the melancholy
in between the broken parts…
this need to fall apart,
even though I cannot.

Hard Lessons


28 years later… this song still breaks my heart… and inspired this…

Searching crowds for angels…
in this fusion of heaven and hell
Lost in want’s illusion,
taken prey to trickster’s spell
Reaching for fool’s gold,
falling into murky rivers
Gasping for deeper breaths,
which only truth delivers
Warming in the heat of
closing’s settling sun,
just to watch the stars fade
before the dawning comes
Dancing in jubilation for
the might of almost right,
then drifting into the chill
of abandon’s empty night
Closing eyes to fade into
the fog of “it’s okay”…
waking from the folly,
in the tide of tossed away
Losing frame of reference
in the catch of just belonging
to sacrifice each freedom
worth the soul’s believing
Wagering heart’s peace
for the sake of one more try
Earning one more lesson
at the end of love’s goodbye

A Sleepless Night

Beauty slipped out of her shoes
and had nowhere left to dance
All the course had lost its groove,
as feet bled the cuts of chance
Light had dimmed the room
with the creep of starless skies,
’til only shadows loomed
in the presence of her eyes
Almost turned to never, upon the
death of youthful dreams
Each moment – a new forever
for hollow to be deemed
Bones shouldered worlds where
salty seas stripped her flesh
In the bare, a belly full of
all the mortal emptiness
Body, mind then spirit numbed
with the constant piercing rumble
Sacred heart abiding hushed
beneath the leagues of rubble

Above

Licking the icing on the lower things in life
Flipping childhood memories on the edge of Newton’s knife
Calculating gratitudes against the scales of strife
Pondering the lessons gleaned from being darkness’ wife

Talking relativity and loosening up the scope
Walking out the seeds of faith to harvest greater hope
Reliving through the tragedies to prove I didn’t choke
It’s not about the bloody breaks, but how you choose to cope

Nice to hear the vibe is raw, though it lives in spite of praise
These words are not a work of art, just a thought that’s been delayed
Wounds may heal, but I suppose, it depends on how they’re made
The strength of a wall that will not fall lies in the brick that’s laid

Suited up, defenses ride out layers of the heart
Crossing finish lines just so I can press restart
Dragging all this laundry ’round, but I won’t play the part
Flip the script and roll the film, the horse trampled her cart

Running free, these strokes unleash the all that I’m made of
Unyielding ox… cunning fox… gentle fleeting dove
Holding nothing firm accept His universal love
Dropping rhymes below, so I can keep my head above.

For Dungeon Prompts: Why do you blog?

Will I…

Ever know how to backwards dive

Free fall in faith with open eyes

Unwind my soul to open the door

Drop this grip onto trust’s floor

Release the net that drips my heart

Let broken pieces compose the art

Shake the angst within mind’s ear

To have love swallow the depths of fear

Walk on waves to taste the foam

Sink and drown and know I’m home

Melt in the corners of what I feel

Waken from that dream and it’s still real

Fold into the mold of someone’s truth

Blend with the seeds which bore the fruit

Fully surrender to the edge of bliss

In between my sun and moon’s quiet kiss?

When…

Silence was my best friend;
unseen… unheard…
Not knowing which shade of consequence
at the end of a spoken word

Losing self in distant dreams;
unreal… detached…
Finding lessons through daunting means,
while ends remained unmatched

On shaded grounds I nestled;
away… at peace…
Hidden by nature’s camouflage ‘til
heaven’s moon stole my reprieve

Longing for my tomorrows;
not now… not here…
The life I’d rule with love and wisdom,
instead of rejection and fear

Listening closely to the world;
this heart… no wall…
Absorbing all of life’s dark hues,
seeing light within them all

Time was ever slow to move;
so still… so stale…
But change – a rabid thief in the night,
ran rampant as a fleeting gazelle

No one seemed to measure up;
not them… not me…
No portion or package good enough;
how could we all just be?

Holding my breath as I marched;
in place… alone…
The rambling mind of a drifting child
whose knowing was her own.

For Dungeon Prompts: What did you forget after growing up?

The Heart of the Matter

In and out air flows,
with this pulse blood goes;
head to toes, I am the proof
of the matter.
Flesh and bones,
within me roams
the good and evil that swells
from humanity’s clatter.
Kissed by Glory,
the center of my story;
a smoldering river running
through life’s winter.
And there is where
all the power reigns bare;
a ball of flames igniting
weary travelers.
Disarming, spin of wire;
discharging mystical fire,
rolling out the very stuff
we must unfold.
Unassuming overcomer,
universal spirit lover;
walking out mercy and grace
as scripture’s told.
Magical essence,
blessed quintessence;
spilling over into worlds who
want the drinking.
From here all words,
soul’s thoughts be heard;
unleashing love, the deepest root
for all the living.
Cast about,
self-regard left out,
braving the path for
anonymity transcending
to where my earth
meets Heaven’s hearth
and Holy hands commence
the gentle blending.
Without an ear,
but still it hears;
and though no eye nor mind,
it still believes.
For all it knows,
His Will imposes;
and in surrender, with one voice,
rejoices and grieves.
Nothing earned,
however discerned;
I’ve a force in my depths
which sets me free.
Along the way,
others too, I sway;
by way of this supernatural
heart living in me.

For Dungeon Prompts: Our Magical Powers

Wings

Come float upon the breaths which gift the spirit’s flight
Weaving through each finger the feathers of hope’s delight
Knowing not what lies beyond horizon’s reddened light
Still a worthy venture, clawing past despairing night

Flying high on faith, within the broken heart’s cocoon
Landing on the Rock to bask away life’s deepest wounds
Wading in the glory, for every midnight has its moon
Dancing with the story, for every note reveals a rune

Compiling pieces of the journey into a span far and wide
Watching soul begin to soar as all but joy will soon subside
Casting light between all clouds, on these blessed wings I ride
Ensuing peace, for everything a rightful place beneath God’s eyes

For Dungeon Prompts: Using our Words for Spreading Joy

Snap…

No one heard it;
the way my inflamed soul crushed
its gentle spirit
Loosed from Heaven’s cradle,
submersed in this rancid pit,
freeing roses from my grasp as I
inhale life’s constant shit
Granted breath amid the remnants
of tainted hearts and tattered loves
Sleeping still among the blackbirds,
while dreams nest between the doves
Fate has never known my heart,
desires – too small for this will, hope…
has yet to render goods worth the
balance of sorrow’s bills
Conforming child of fluid girth,
lucid mind without a voice;
maturing youth misunderstood, as
inner worlds escaped the noise;
misguided lass breached into being,
ridiculed for the light in seeing;
locked away the depth of self just
to glean conditional heeding
From a time of unconditional ceding,
a chronic mask of nod and smile; a
sacrificial traveler en route to redeeming
ankle-strapped to unyielding meanwhile
Accumulated breaking for a lifelong bend,
slow-flame burning at the stake;
rendered full-circle by the stretch which
stirred myself into awake
Selfless mission now aware, my
deeming mind makes no mistakes;
only, healing circumvented this
lowly heart still on the take.

For Dungeon Prompts: Breaking Point

Anew

Drifting into tainted places
Swallowing the world’s disgraces
Falling with the empty faces
Longing for Your Heart

Landing where the earth caves in
Bankrupt from invested sins
Ending where You must begin
Running back to start

Employing only one solution
Reckoned into absolution
Overcoming life’s destitution
By way of Love’s new mark

Giving up the walk alone
Unchained from all the darkness sewn
Here’s a life that’s not my own
The All redeems the part

Proof is found in the belonging
Celebrating its homecoming
Surrendered… held… still unmoving
This soul – Your work of art

Knowing you’re the great Creator
Stirring up the heart of nature
Drawing creature to the Maker
Now Your Will imparts

Redemption

When the beginning of the end opened my eyes,
life capsized for the drowning of my soul.
Swallowed whole into the belly of darkness, this
starkness of disillusionment made me fold.
Distant and cold, I drifted through space
unlaced from the purpose of my being, not
knowing the needing in my displacement, the
torment of existence without redeeming. The
seeming overwhelmed. Meaning lost in sacrifice –
a constant price for the deeply seeded seething.
Then, seeing pierced my heart to restart
and apart fell my context for breathing.
The receiving – a reconstruction of my worth:
Love’s rebirth into eternity’s foundation.
Spirit awakened and inflamed to the core,
now adorned with joy, spitting game to nations
by way of salvation through mercy’s open door.
What’s more, with this sifting comes a granting
to hold the ranting and give the lifting – a
daily gifting of hand and hope, an expanding
prism scope of the brilliant shades of faith; just
a taste of the depth of deliverance, displayed
with reverence for God’s illuminating face. Wasted
no longer – self salvaged by everlasting grace.

For Dungeon Prompts: We all have a redemption song.  What is yours?

Fingerprints

Impressions more than linger
in the complex layers of my heart
From start to finish, your threads dominate
this fabric of being, scripted in love
I see only so much, and in that portion;
not nearly enough of what I should
Ignorance and folly abounds, and still,
you dance on my breaths and
glisten from my eyes; gifting
my presence with yours
Anything I adore is child’s play
beside the infinite trembling of my soul
within the reverent contemplation
of your affection for me
All these broken pieces giving meaning
to my tenderness, the language of your
tongue on despairing ears; and
purpose to my pores, which
whisper understanding,
often beyond reason
because you need none
In stark conflict with self, I bleed you
through worldly wounds beyond
my comprehension; and am warmed
knowing grace is your answer,
when mercy is mine
Veins empower insubordination, but
a child of Light can never fall far;
spirit-bound, I am trussed to your
essence for eternity
Every moment on the scale of forever,
I will rest in the center of your hand,
folding into the lines of your everlasting
fingerprints, from which I was formed.

Now

One moment feels like forever;
a lever stuck in ‘up’,
a failure to flip the switch

Time holding to its bosom;
as you suckle in your full until
fate tears you from its tit

Reaching for what has been;
delivers fool’s dismay, for
yesterday has gone astray

Retreating back in sorrow;
to the cursed land of ‘should’
that paves the coward’s way

Tomorrow wears no better;
stealing time to tease desires,
but never once fulfilling one

For fruition is a killer;
feigning passions of the heart
until the final deed is done

Who cares what might’ve been;
or even what could be, as
neither holds a truth it can endow

What, then, of destiny…
how can one know eternity when
walking deaf and blind within the now

Indestructible

Perhaps my heart will fall apart…

Each restart is a higher climb, a
broader sea for my mind to find
those pearls worth working hard for
I guess I’m here to be adored, but
can I spare another exit from my soul?

Never a part, always more than whole;
I surrender everything needed,
freely or conceded, but
unquestionably intentional…
for what is love, otherwise?

It is not wise – it is not worthy;
unequally yoked, lacking survey,
more than whims, but not infinities, a
source of strength that will destroy me
– nothing resolute.

Standing astute, I carve the edge
where charms fall short and hope is bled,
knowing that distance plays my hand
with shield and sword, nonetheless…
Life is my prison, and Faith – the ward.

This light that shines also betrays,
drawing nearer all that sways, and
though I run, there’s no escaping the
unexpected beau in waiting, no matter
how intensely my eyes are shut.

So, what the hell, I let it go…
release myself to feel once more
the rush of all divinity on earth;
pour out the brilliance of my worth upon
the end of a thorn that says “this hurts”

No, not a fool, though it may seem;
rather, a dreamer with titanium wings
All these blows that crush the tepid mold;
all these screams inside that won’t be told
– a greater means for love’s unfold

A process filled with many leaps; a
vast containment with tiny leaks; and
though I lose, victory has peaks, so I
swallow hard and brave the ride,
praying somehow I’ll survive…

this ebb and flow of tragic beauty;
finite space for eternal duty; taste of
forever with nowhere to start;
indestructible force within my heart;
the deeper knowing I long to impart

before it all just falls apart

For Dungeon Prompts: Only for the Fierce of Heart.

“Analyze This…”

Two words my mentality will never dismiss;
from the twist in the tragedy, to the
depth of the bliss, to the
tremble and the breath at the edge of a kiss.
I exist in this head;
know the bite of its blade,
ride the curve of its arc, while I
bask in its shade.
Every moment that lives –
replay the end to the start;
a sliding scale of B-Sharp that
falls off at the heart.
Oh, and there won’t be trust;
ledger’s full, ink is dry,
etching each of the truths
which fed my soul lies.
No flow can exist behind the
pain in these eyes, for as
lips murmur love, the
deeds call out spies, and
the whispers they share
dam up nature’s rise ’til
fertility’s numb and free-spirit is wise.
Wearing no more than the
face I’ve been given.
Knowing no more than the
weight I’ve been living.
Grasping no less than the
hope I believe in.
Faltering faith from these
thoughts that I swim in.
“Analyze this…” is the
mantra I dwell in, but
I’d rather be void of this
compulsive affliction.
Conductor of rhyme with
bullets of reason; every
marker of time – my own open season.
Firing off because
there’s just no pleasing
a mind that won’t stop and a
heart filled with treason.
If for only a moment, I could
hold to the seeming;
I’d rather be void than
driven by meaning.

For Dungeon Prompt: I’d Rather be…

By Way of Brooklyn

Blew in on a Cajun breeze,
warm and easy by way of Brooklyn
Free-flying spirit with no plan of
getting hooked in, but here I am
This breath you delivered
gives my heart a different labor,
enveloped in your savor
I am destined into change, a
rearrange of contextual mind frame,
as this pulse simmers between
reality and potentiality
Your exhale has enamored me
and now I can barely swallow
Memories should follow, but
instead run ahead,
leaving streaks of distraction for
my tiptoes to tread, while I
continue this path of living
My prayers…
answered with forgiving,
and still – I know – the
sway of these emotions just might
grant a sin to grow, and so
the floor will bend more tender
beneath my knees,
as I reflect on these few notions
Please and thank you, I
secretly imparted, not knowing
how all this started, but feeling
somehow there’s a need
being fulfilled
Neither of us fish to be reeled,
concealing more than revealed,
and yet, the seeing was enough
to bait delay
Though without stay,
convictions play back to the
moments when we swayed
upon the beats that wooed
our ways into one path
This aftermath is bittersweet,
without a win, without defeat;
just a linger in the soul
of possibly
Free-flying spirit with no plan,
no end game, no sleight of hand; now
pondering this gift of man
who came my way,
drifting by on shifting winds
over the swamps where Orleans bends,
blowing kisses across my grins
by way of Brooklyn

The Fallout

The Fallout3

War continues…
different missions,
different weapons,
different venues
Life under fire,
serving up its menu, as I
struggle to swallow substance
from there to here
Engulfed by fear saturated in measure;
judging self by the breaths of others
My brothers…
still on the line or six feet under
Pride wavers while dignity wonders,
who… what… why… now?
God knows I can’t begin to fathom the how
‘Cause at the end of “I am” is a pause;
the brand across my heart is
– enlisted clause –
but my time is done, and
here in the void is an army of one;
a sailor afloat,
an airman left grounded,
a guard without post,
a ‘hoorah’ unsounded…
a spirit at arms still carrying weapons
for a soul out of place, whose
worth has been lessened
Much more than the balance of
PTSD; the
cost of my mettle is the
balance of me
Sights that won’t leave
Sounds that won’t hush
Memories of then fulfill today’s rush
Living in the shell of a product of war
Abandoned in the mist as the
battlefield’s whore
Composition compromised, and
sanity with it
At the end of the line, this badge was a ticket
to freedoms and valor and victories strong…
to death and terror and nowhere to belong
They call me a hero; even write for me songs,
thanks for my service, then move right along
A hollow in my eyes,
a gravity of loss,
no cure in a pill nor pity-filled thoughts
My flesh has survived; honor its seal
Death in these veins; the struggle of will
“Lucky” because I’m the one left alive to
grieve evermore for those I watched die.
Never to be as I was before
No longer equipped to even the score
Unknown by those I was just fighting for
Adrift in a land that wants to ignore
In faith –
my heart bled for red, white and blue’s glory
In hell –
I now dwell, praying mercy finds my story.

Averted

Crushing this rushing of desire; this
thirst of a heart on fire… running renegade,
compromising empires where altruistic gains
fall lame to crippling wants; where
the weight of sacrificial tithes daunt ’til
all feelings become numb.
Suppressing the stressing of the
center of one, when grounded loses to
dumbfounded in the fog of disheveled sun –
no longer shining in the twining of rays
misdirected, beams affected by the
neutralizing force of energy’s first clause;
there’s no applause for lost place.
Course correct to brace oneself for the
race of all time; floating soul against
sprinting mind, with pace car labeled
“I want mine” always perpetrating its cause.
How will eternity define one’s presence;
the cost analysis of one’s essence…
Captured in the rapture of self set high, or
Freed upon the wings of an angel’s uprise?
There’s no surprise in tempered living; only
seeing and forgiving; only
ends and new beginnings inside
this perpetual cocoon, where soon is
relative to temperament and doom is
realized through sentiment and formidable truth is
the echo no one wants to hear.
No more fear masked in its vices, wearing
shades of our own devices, hoping
next time ’round the will won’t be averted.
In and out these breaths are measured,
holding fast to spirit’s treasures; knowing
life by way of desire leaves much deserted.

For Dungeon Prompts: Desire.  I’m a week late on this one (sorry). I’ve been traveling (still am), but had a window of down time at the airport. 🙂

Loading Zone Only

Loading Zone Only2

Burdens aren’t so hard to bear
when you’ve always lived there;
on the upside of the yellow stripe,
where all the extra piles on.
Taxi confessions turned on and
I’m taking them for a ride
to the other side of heavy, as the
broadcasts stream
beings from seemings
into the skin of my universe;
where I feel each pitted verse
along the grooves of my pulse.
This is a one-way conversation.
Regulations won’t carry my story
to the news.
I can’t be the muse when blues
only belts in the sound room
of my soul. And so I roll.
But the backseat chauffeurs
breaking headlines – the stuff
others’ dreams are made of – from
stations to pit stops,
bottomed-out alleys to rooftops;
these lids folding with the flipping
of every page, watching each dance
take its stage in the heart of my
playhouse.
The seats are stacked and I’m
pumping the brakes for another
thumb on the run…
capacity won’t fill in this expanding air.
Bring on your weight and the
luggage to spare.
I am your right here, and the
meter goes black until we find there
because everywhere
someone’s got something to give
and no room to take, but I will
relive the stakes with you;
carrying these fragilities within
the armor of my mobile fortress,
until I find the key to my exit door.

For Dungeon Prompts: I’d Still Like to Learn…

As someone who always takes on the burdens of others, refuses to share my burdens with anyone, and seemingly carries the heavy load effortlessly; I think it will be wise for me to eventually learn to move out of the “loading zone” and, perhaps, even unload some of the pile up already sitting on my shoulders… just sayin’. 🙂

Holding Composition

The Unknown Righteous_Jerusalem Square of Remembrance

Resurrected bits and pieces resist the crumble,

while vices mumble in these halls, leaning

hard against these walls.

And though I’m home,

I feel alone,

listening for answers my heart can’t hold.

These scenes aren’t foreign,

but I am…

not fitting this skin I’m held in;

needing new form and parcel

for this breath of partial

blowing through my frame.

Reaching for fulfilled me,

tripping over empty;

vacant lots where impressions stayed.

Wanting Him to have His way, while

salted sores impose delay;

how can I rinse away these stains

from nature’s stone?

On my own, fighting in faith,

as demolitions swing their fates;

this foundation feels the quake

… something is lost.

But for the cause, I stay awake,

vigilant for watching’s sake; a

lighthouse beaming hopeful refuge

through these eyes.

Unwelcome spies casting shades,

by this prayer eclipses fade;

flailing forms dissipate as dawn comes nigh.

Structure abides for one more ride,

but I confess this space confines

and, with it, time defies me;

pinching corners in the sphere

of my timeless here.

I just want to be –

without then or there or them or he…

free of now’s dichotomy.

Newness in a soul’s rebirth,

dropped face down in yester’s dearth;

how the pressure closes in on will.

And still, I am the pillar rising high,

holding form and sowing life, while

all the holes beneath the worth

keep me tethered to sinking earth.

The Other

And then there were four…
maybe more.

An angel dipped in vixen’s smile
A pixie lodged in Heaven’s meanwhile
When I am we and
we are she, and
all these truths are simply me,
fighting pasts so future’s free

A hidden heart upon my sleeve
This wounded soul without reprieve
Baring little and
giving all, and
smiling as the guillotines fall,
turning oft’ from the wretches’ call

A fallen spirit which bounces back,
still laying low neath doubt’s attack
Letting go and
holding tight, and
though I’ve won, I lose this fight;
a day’s victory that weeps at night

Looking out to go which way
I mustn’t pause, and yet I stay
One foot out and
one foot in, and
every end is where I begin,
losing sight of enemy and friend

I cannot measure; I am no judge,
but at this core is always a nudge
I know right and
I know wrong, and
still I question this depth of song;
an ego so weak, a passion so strong

Quietly pacing sophistication’s floor
Clinging to beats ‘til sound plays no more
Shish this mind and
scream this soul, and
bite this tongue to shield my core,
while spirit runs wild forevermore

For Dungeon Prompts: Introducing the Alter Ego

I have a rather diverse personality, and am not one to necessarily “hide” who I am, other than for the relevance of context. I won’t be the dancing wild child at work or the rigid supervisor during service or the reclusive loner in a close relationship or the sensual partner without a betrothed… and, still, I am all of these and many more dichotomies. Perhaps the thing I always am is a nurturer… a fixer… the one who wants to make all things right; but I even tire of that innate calling, at times. Sometimes, my “kum ba ya” becomes “go over there… please!” Ha-ha. Well, I don’t know if I’m necessarily revealing much. As an all or nothing person, my “all” isn’t necessarily everything and my “nothing” is far from empty… so, make of it what you will. 🙂

Teeter

teeter_n2pub_credit

This silly world of ups and downs,
grasping for earth and clouds
in disproportionate measure;
fiening for frivolous work and
intensified pleasures.
Where is the weight of existence
when hearts are heavier than
the feathery disposition of mind-kind?
Man is but thought and flesh,
losing soul in the center,
casting out his Inventor for the
adulteration of both.
Full scope narrows as the
cascading of false joys smother;
tethering one lie to another, and so
we suffocate in the smokescreen
that holds our baited breath.
Drawing in deeply upon the
staleness of – this is all –
and there life falls into the void.
Who is left annoyed by this
emptiness of being, this
looking without seeing, this
thinking without knowing, this
taking without needing, this
acting without feeling?
Treachery is breeding, while
balance flees its cause, leaving
today’s teeter in the shadow
of tomorrow’s cost.

Image credit: n2pub.com

Unto You

Bellows burst open the careful seaming of my soul,
as I lift up my being to the Lord.
Wearing this offering best with abandon; if I
arrived clothed, soon I won’t be anymore.
Love rises from these faults and failures, like
the trembling chords of freedom’s first cry.
Your embrace unfolds all my secrets,
taking death to renew this child’s life.
Out loud, You shine through exalting’s stance;
in palms’ submitting, face’s illuminating,
eyes’ pouring out of your proof, while feet
dance in the rivers of Glory’s wading.
My tongue swells with praise, and these days
fade with moments of profound Presence.
With the salted wet pores which seep my wear, I
wipe away this playground’s dust from my senses,
leaving room for your restoration only.
Cleanse my spirit with angels’ harmony:
the blistering fire; the smoldering flame; the
gentle flicker… all the same, engulfing me.
The sound of your grace cannot be named;
the depth of your mercy to no phrasing belongs.
All I can offer in the surrender of my all –
the float of my voice upon the heart of my song.

For Dungeon Prompt: Take Me To Church

Abba

Never as forgiving, and still,
your shadow casts a light.
The might of your tone always
lured my spirit home, wishing
to meet in the secret of night.
In our essence is the fight;
your entitlement to authority
and my self-preserving right
to be free of such.
Neither of us wanted much, but
your ruling hand was heavy and
the needs I missed were steady,
causing both of us to run from
what we loved.
Only He above understood
the bond within the distance and
every instance of my life that
felt not quite right because
your impression was incomplete.
All these spaces searching
all those faces and shallow hearts
in lonely places, hoping
there was one who held
like your embrace.
How could I refill what I didn’t taste?
Both fathers out of reach,
neither afforded the royal seat –
no palace in these ruins
to host court;
only singe and rubble,
the tumbles and fumbles
that knocked the solid grounding
from my grip.
None of them were passing ships,
but hollow shells that felt like crypts,
as I tossed and turned and tried
to make them fit.
No one wears like you…
So, in your final hours let me
slip into your power and melt
into the nature of your hold.
Leave what’s written in ago;
in this moment here behold,
you are the only man I’ve loved
with all my soul.

He Laughs

He’s tickled through the seasons…
and I’m the reason.
Sometimes, He laughs so hard, He cries;
especially, when I am wise and
rest assured that tomorrow’s figured out.
What is that about?
He grins;
wiping His eyes from winter’s night
to spring’s daylight,
shaking off all those tears.

But summer bore my soul…
and I’m gifted in this role.
I can talk the talk
and walk the walk, taking
troubles with an easy stride.
Is that right?
He shakes His head;
letting summer’s streak turn up the heat
‘til every feat
feels like scaling the Himalayas.

Now, really, how hard can it be?
Recovery is a breeze…
I’ve fallen hard with autumn’s blow, and
at this age I ought to know just how to
pick up all the pieces and move on.
Oh, girl, come on!
His insides chuckle;
while He watches my knees buckle,
posture truckled
low beneath the changing winds.

I say, “Look, God, let’s get this straight!
Through all your plans, I bear the weight,
weather storms and give you praise;
yet, mysteries compose my days.”
Roaring, sparks and rolling seas…
Well, I’ll be!
He slaps His knee;
catching breath for words with me.
Lovely child, do see…
you project for just one life; I, for eternity.

For Dungeon Prompt: Making God Laugh

Traversing Wonderland

What space do you inhabit?
Is this Wonderland your paradise…
Does it vex your soul or sit just right…
Are you Mad Hatter or racing Rabbit?

To run amuck in a timeless place;
scurrying about these painted lands,
swimming through these wetted sands,
and there – the Chester wears my face.

What is not false here?
I see demons on the thrones,
angels’ shadows on the gnomes;
courageous hearts crinkling in their fear.

Breathing in the tawdry saga;
fixing words to tell your truth,
until the tale starts telling you.
How will the skew escape nirvana?

Only tainted eyes can see…
cracking shades to peer at night,
wiping lids to shed some light;
one good blink is all we need to be free.

Down the rabbit hole of life,
leave the top hats at the table;
quite enough here reigns unstable.
Run the course and let veracity be rife.

Juxtaposition

I am over this underwhelming

Reclaiming what was never lost

Feeling the depth of unfeeling

when payments don’t cover the cost

Wearing nudes to dress my soul

Invested partner in the walk alone

Hidden in what’s been exposed

Giving up notions of “my own”

Flying highest among the fallen

Where I’m broken, His love has sewn

Now I sink into the heavens

as a stranger where I belong.

Heart Strumming Haiku

Beyond baseline beats
this treble defines trouble
shredding flat-line streaks

Worlds catching fire
serving judgment with disdain
The outcome’s dire

Name dripping from lips
where shifty frames lost their games
Shame’s leaving its tips

I’ve lost love and time
breaching steady vibrations
toeing heart’s fault line

Stability screeched
as reality broke in
leaving hope impeached

Retreat and mourning
granting gentle spirit’s rest
til healing’s dawning

Regret fell on steps
making their way toward peace
Only none was left

Fate mocked in her way,
“You never loved a man who
you liked anyway”

Waking

Waking Image

Step by step, I’m taken
Pulled deeper into awaken
Would’ve slept sounder had I known I’d rise to this.

Without remiss, I own the barter
Served the sentence for the charter
Becoming new, I’ve grown to breathe inside the bliss.

To feel the bursting open
To hear what’s never spoken
With every sigh, I serve the universe my kiss.

Letting go and taking in
As it all gathers within
With certainty, my eyes now pierce the groggy mist.

Unfathomed warmth surrounds
While I chill upon these grounds
Amidst the noise, my heart’s bound to the cosmic hiss.

Thank you Lord for the stirring
Every stretch in this emerging
Dawning way, stay my will at high noon’s tryst.

Next Lifetime

I promise him next lifetime.
He escapes me in this one.
Love wears no dimension,
and I’ve already fallen
for his present; knowing
nothing of his yesterdays,
except…
they were imperfect without me.
Sharing only a seventh sense;
our belonging is beyond intuition.
His presence would be indulgent.
Ghosts in waiting –
our spirits haunt each other,
feeling the fruition of all things
imperfectly splendid
merging together
in our inevitable future.
These paths and planes and distant steps
seem disparaging; only, they are
intricately aligning our souls.
One day, we’ll be introduced
in the form of pure light,
and we’ll create
a moment in existence
which shadows anything of the past
and everything in the future.
Arrival is coming.
Don’t rush.
I’m patient.

Entrusted

What does it matter –

Inheritance scattered,
equality tattered;
who am I to be flattered by this portion I hold?

I sit to keep from falling,
sometimes run from the calling;
if I stand up to the mauling, will I fold?

Whipping out this tape to measure,
scoffing at this so-called treasure;
why not ride out life until the days grow old?

Hands stretched out, feeling about –
no straight line for this account;
how can life amount to more than what unfolds?

Right or wrong, we’re of one song;
each note unequivocally belongs,
as we strum together throngs to form the whole.

Every sound can be laid down
or lifted high with great resound,
only bound by those convictions of the soul.

With deep regard through darkest nights,
search the stars for Heaven’s lights;
embrace birthright for therein shines divinity’s role.

Entrusted by the hand of God,
all lives bear seeds to feed the sod.
Harvest the fruits to spread the love which bore your mold.

For Dungeon Prompt: Myth Making. The life lesson I share is that although we all are granted unequal portions in life, it is our onus to realize our worth through God’s eyes; and in accordance with His living trust for us, multiply and distribute our fruits abundantly for the good of all who dwell in this time and place and beyond.

This Labor

Heart to the grindstone…
There’s no void to fill,
only the struggle of human will.
Levitation is heavy in this
soul-dropping plane of existence.
Beyond any repentance –
the unforgiving gavel of
the daily unravel.
Sizing up situations with the
skins I tailor:
dressing down victories and
dressing up failures, but these
shoes never change.
The tread is long and light.
I wear this fight
in the ease of my stride, while the
bleed of my tears tell me
I’m still alive.
From the gritty beginnings, to the
forums of scholars; from
praying for ends, to the
giving of dollars; from the
shelter of nana and her teachings
of Zion, to the
innocence of love lost in the
dens of the lions…
This rounding out of “here”
drives my spirit to “there” and
I feel, but don’t flinch anymore.
What’s more, my falls don’t sink,
even when death seems like
more than a blink –
I linger in the quiet place,
‘til rise reintroduces itself by grace.
I work hard at this balance;
this artful toil of being present
where my body belongs, but
the rest of me doesn’t.
Lowly peasant teetering
beneath this diadem of glory;
like Hephzibah’s story –
Desolate form lost in this world;
evoking a light only God can unfurl.
Wielding His beacon, as darkness I roam;
this labor of life paves the way to my home.

In response to Dungeon Prompts: Hard Work, What Does It Mean To You?

To me… physical labor, service to others, motherhood, spiritual growth, career development, and living with integrity… are all necessary, valuable, “doable” elements of life. And by “doable” I mean… very manageable for me, without too much difficulty, given my natural inclinations toward each area. The “hard work” comes in when one must balance everything meaningful to one’s life without cracking under the pressure and breaking into pieces of uselessness that no one else can be held accountable for because… well… all the pressure came from myself; my own desire to excel at everything and let no one down. We measure ourselves constantly… in our minds, in our circles, in our societies. We size up our intellect, cleverness, humor, brawn, adeptness, victories, failures, likability, uniqueness, sameness, and so on. Even the lazy have a slothful scale of comparison. No matter how much or how little you do; how much or how little you have; and how much or how little you care, I believe life is contextually challenging. Life itself is the hard work; the adding and subtracting of the relevance and impact of experiences and circumstances through the tunnel vision of human eyes. And for those of us who relish in spiritual elevation; life is all the more intense, but in a peacefully centered way. I have been fortunate enough to walk down many trails in this lifetime. The culmination of societal extremes rests squarely in my mind’s eye and my heart’s understanding; and I would be a lesser person if I didn’t embrace this blessing. So, while I do complain often about the injustice within my bubble… it is only dust babbling. My soul can’t count high enough to tally all the good I have known. I am ever grateful for this labor of life.

Untrustworthy

“It is better to give than to receive,”
so don’t judge my reprieve
Gifts come at a cost, labeled
-my loss-
The bait and switch, the okie-doke
The puff and pass that made me choke
I’ve tasted freedom laced in smiles…
abandoned judgment at their trials;
fled the fort to feast with these;
welcomed dawn in the arms of thieves
All that binds reveals a price
rolled out on the weighted dice
Cloaked in love, dressed with care,
toting hope inside charm’s flair
… none of which resided there
Gripping to the slippery hand
Drowning in foundation’s sand
Holding breath on wavering words
Chances flew, as itinerant birds,
high and with purpose…
‘til the crap hit the surface
The greatest of all, I’ve given so free
Donning these masks, it returns to me
No room is left, save a wee sacred place;
tender, yet shrewd, doubting each face
No forfeit of compromise
No relinquishing trust
No fanfare for promise,
as pain makes its thrust
Not one shall transpose, attesting your glory;
knowing the book is just half the story
Save me the savor of bitter seeds sown,
staying their peace until they are throned
A crowning that rides on dignity’s fall;
I want but a piece, while you claim it all
Take what you will – consider it profit,
but please keep your treasure locked in its pocket
The sum of its docket will spoil these fruits
My heart’s not the key for unlocking your truth

For Dungeon Prompt: Fear, how do you use it? … What are you afraid of…

I fear untrustworthy people; the ones who spend copious amounts of time camouflaging their true character in an effort to take advantage of others. If you are a brute, be a brute. If you are a player, be a player. If you’re a womanizer, drug addict, alcoholic, chauvinist, pervert, non-believer, or simply lost – not knowing what you are; do me and the rest of the world a favor and stop pretending to be something else. Whatever you are, just be real. As a person who tends to give others the benefit of the doubt (to a fault), I know all too well the pangs of disappointment and betrayal. Fortunate enough to have not developed a bitter heart, I do admittedly feature a notable level of cynicism and (probably) excessive discernment when approached by pursuers, as well as almost anyone offering “something for nothing.” True kindness, care, concern and, especially, love is so hard to come by because this society promotes and mass produces the element of smoke-screening. Whether the purpose is hiding, protecting, blending or manipulating… I think most people fail to realize that whatever your vices are – there is someone or a group of others out there who can relate to you and will embrace all your beautiful drama. I don’t know anyone who appreciates a liar, a fake or a user. Even thieves and tyrants have a code of ethics (however minimal). I am a free, loving, selfless spirit, and it’s a shame to always have to wonder… is this person for real? … is she sincere? … is he genuine? Do you know who you are… and do you wear that face publically and privately with integrity?

More Than

Here I stand
in the recesses of self-worth,
quantifying the number of deaths it took
to reach this birth.
Hello,
my name is This Hurts,
and I’m a recovering Lover of Less Than.
Always been a fan of mysterious man,
maybe because father was a late bloomer.
From the rumor mill to the toxic pill,
to the “something about his eyes
makes my breath stand still”…
Whatever “it” has been to draw me
beneath his will – was ever just enough.
Just enough to
strip these layers to the buff.
Hidden worlds within my bosom
ran amuck, starved for a taste of love.
Wading trenches drenched in mud,
losing ground every time…
Grasping hope to rise above,
falling deeper down the line…
Never a blind eye, just
a heart asking why, making room
for shifting skies.
But clouds give shade, then
regurgitate rain over fresh tears,
drowning optimism in its own fears.
No part compensates for the whole;
foolishness plucks the single yellow rose,
expecting the thorns not to
bleed their nature.
This nomenclature of “half-full”
runs its course and leaves one empty.
I’ve spent years in recovery;
the first step, that is.
Perched in this corner,
nothing more’s required; if only,
love would just retire.
I could free my soul to play, but
Vice’s reach is a pinch away and
I must survive its touch.
Lovers of Less Than lose too much,
so I will stay behind these
cautious eyes and pray
I somehow recognize
when More Than comes my way.

In response to Dungeon Prompt, “I Am A Recovering (fill in the blank)” http://theseekersdungeon.com/2015/04/09/dungeon-prompts-i-am-a-recovering-fill-in-the-blank/.

Insanity Measured

Sanity –
the vanity of disillusioned humanity,
sewing threads of reason through mental fabrics
forged by the hands of mad men.
Which world are you in, besides your own?
Pretending to be known by the gods
by whom you measure your stature,
as though you are any more real than they are.
Illusion is the afterschool crack house
where self-righteous misfits play house
with dreams of grandeur…
where pockets are lined and
wills move time and
hearts crumble like coals over open fire.
Ruled by desire,
wrapped in excuses for the abuses
that line their souls; each one unfolds
fiction in self-worth scripts.
Tales float from these crypts where
dry bones frame the flesh and
anthems raise up from the depths
to pierce the soundness of existence.
All this nonsense in the air; it’s only fair
someone stands in defense of truth.
Under this roof of complex notions,
strained emotions, swimming spirit in
faith’s love potion; I sit alone…
a single presence in this ocean,
succumbing to my rule over this realm
in parallel to others who know
we exist in our own
self-conceived worlds of insanity.
Crossing hairs over and under
the teeth of reality
combed from our roots, we
swallow the substance gleaned
through those chutes, and settle our appetites.
A respective mold of “my” rights
rest justifiably in every twisted frame of mind,
subconsciously aligned with all that ever was
or ever could be seen with “my” sights.
Beyond the eyes of the vain,
outside the breadth of the sane;
the very breath of insanity
is the essence of life.

Writer’s Block

I enter these exits expecting tunnel’s light,
crashing into circular halls instead.
I’ve lost my head in thought’s arena.

Chased by words that miss the meaning;
second glance confirms the seeming.
All the darkness comes a’ beaming in the stead.

Subpoenaed to the stand,
I’ll only float where I can land.
In these cuffs, innocence remains a crime.

Can’t break the code to get a deal.
Won’t sell out heart to stack the wheels.
Could never rollout half a meal to feed this mind.

The chimes are ringing.
Fate comes stinging, listening closely for the
singing of the whispers to all my quiet joys.

Priming hard, I know it’s coming
-disregard for all the loving-
and the haters… they will dance outside my cell.

Laughter stretches hairs on end;
all that push and still no bend.
Gentle frame will crush your game out on the yard.

Go ahead and grip me tighter;
siren sounds, but there’s no lighter.
Here’s a flame that always burns into the night.

Don’t need a door, ceilings and floors
blown out by words no one ignores;
even though, a single one I’ve yet to write.

That’s right, I’m in your face
’cause only I control this space and
I am flexing for the breaking of your hold.

Perilous lyrics soon to drop,
leaving you cold beneath these rocks.
My pen is cocked and, writer’s block, I see your soul.

Reconciled

Such is life…
a series of bandages
across wounds that swallow you whole.

Breathing beneath this gauze of disappointments
that feel like cotton – warm and comfortable,
familiar to my heart.

My tongue is dry from these salts,
and still I lick each grain that’s poured.
What is this taste I have for bitter ends?

There is no wallow.
Far from the steps of pity’s invitation,
I sit on solemn hill, biting back the betrayal of seepage.

It’s not about pride, it’s about tomorrow.
I will not disgrace the newness of dawn
with traces of dusk on my face.

Survival needs grace to smooth its edges,
and all of mine are sharp with these
riotous remnants rushing to the surface.

These evils clamor to ooze from
who I am trying to be, so I bind them up with rags
and drape my skin in silken sheets.

They stand there with their needles – not knowing,
lofty threads make for ill-conceived stitches,
and who wants the prick of growing pains?

Patches suit me fine.
When ready, I’ll peel back and re-examine
the transformation of these contents.

Or perhaps,
I’ll just lick these wounds, cover them,
and resolve that this is the earth of my soul.

Postulation

It is only a thought…
but nothing is more powerful.
This sigh rides on notions
yet to be expressed,
ideas which may never
extend beyond my surface.

I wear this face
sometimes with shadows,
but mostly in the light
because I am too old for masks.
None seem to fit very well,
and my currency is too valuable.

There is no sleeve.
I only wear pores,
and they tend to breathe out loud.
If you feel what you do not hear,
you are a great listener.
Greatness often stops there.

While these concepts dance
around my heart,
shaping its comforts and anxieties,
my knowing grays.
I’ve compromised reality with
my internal experience.

For decades, I’ve tried,
and I predict for decades more,
to seize this assumptive power
so impassionedly lit by my
innate prowess in calculation.
With genius, sums emerge without parts.

I am brilliant, I tell you!
A creative mastermind of what-if…
I bet… no doubt… and why ask…
this sage of life’s prescripts
does not require outside input.
Out there is the air where deception breeds.

In here, I am safe.
The drawbridge is aptly manned.
My secrets and yours are hidden,
innocently composed in speculation,
where we both can rest easy…
until thoughts seep beyond my surface.

The Struggle

How troubles find me in these fields
wrapped in petals, among smothering weeds
Deeply inhaling fresh damp earth, as I
dig deeper to sow these seeds

Like freckles lost in newborn skin,
each blemish quaintly smoothed
This face reflecting every end –
A profile still unmoved

Knowing all a heart can know,
yet seeking so much more
Praying for death as I chase new life
Self-abandoned for the One I adore

Holding steady to a centered peace
while I heel-toe on the ledge
Begging for a safe reprieve, as I’m
drawn closer to the edge

So much lies within these walls
where windows threaten to shatter
Taking cover amid hallowed halls
to escape the earthly chatter

Sirens call out with their charms,
flickering moth to flame
Darkness woos with candied tongue
Now, thoughts are dipped in shame

Herein lies the shifting lever
to this tug-of-war inside
Can compromise buy out my fervor
and gently cloak these eyes?

There is no price that can be paid
to resurrect the Light
But treasures bartered in the lay
intensify the fight

Steadfast is the soul’s one cry
while dust drifts towards the sea
The sun and moon in this spirit lie;
my struggle with humanity

Conundrum

Caught in these throes of freedom
Playing to win what I was born to lose
Shallow causes mark the depth of the fall
Holding less than a pause for the passions I choose

Led by a tip-toe spying the fault
Growing crass in the stride of these deeds
Sinking into steps not meant to be made
Until I finally own the stampede

Mud on the soles sticks deep to this soul
Though it bathes in the flow of the Light
Floating in clouds that swallow me whole
Setting darkness aglow in the night

Perilous stardom flickers about
Illuminating for all corners to see
Out creeps tempters behind angels’ cloaks
Now I’m dancing with the enemy’s breed

Chiseled from the center of spiritual war
Each hand adept at yielding its sword
Consorting with slaves of the devil’s hoard
Posting shields with the armies of the Lord

Affixed in a mix holding firm to the spoils
Heart gripped by Blood’s mercy and grace
While fire in the veins of my jubilant flesh
Ensure the drawing of temptation to this place

Every element of life represents the great divide
Averting eyes from the nature of the sum
Luring spirit out to play whilst the soul toils away
Existence vexed within its own conundrum

Sustainability

Quiet truth lies in the belly of the unturned

where spoils fed fester then pass on

like roughage for the soul.

What lies in your movement?

Can you taste forbidden fruits and still

dwell in the house of reconciliation,

knowing virtue doesn’t lie in the exception,

but in the Promise?

Or does the threshold give you pause when

contemplation of the forsaking of your path

overcomes your taste buds and

your next steps fall short?

Where are you going?

None are righteous, whether in flesh,

tongue, mind or heart…

remnants of tainted plunder swim

through veins and singe pores –

our Common Base.

But something exquisite lies in the

banquet of faults and virtues served

in the balance of a being.

Can you taste glory without seeing?

Eyes wide open and blind to the bite of

worldly morsels succumbed to by our mouths;

our stomachs remain unnourished.

Like rain, these drops of time and consequence

hit our thirsty tongues, drowning our ability

to discern the sweet from the bittersweet;

and we are lost in the wash of indifference.

But Salvation lives and springs flow

for the cleansing within… so drink.

For the greatest feat is drawing sustenance

from one’s life source; and not

from the death we incessantly swallow.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award… Thanks, Karuna!

sister-hood-award

Karuna at LivingLearningandLettingGo chose me as one of her nominees for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award. I am humbled and honored to be held in such regard. I feel like I am growing a WordPress family, and it is quite rewarding to the soul.

Award Rules

  • Provide the link to the person who nominated you.

  • Add the reward logo.

  • Answer the questions your nominator has asked.

  • Nominate five other bloggers and let them know via comments.

  • Ask your nominees five questions.

My Answers to Karuna’s questions:

1)  If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?

This is difficult because I love to travel and still have many places I have not yet been. I have not been to India, Australia or Africa. India and Africa would probably be at the top. Different parts of the Caribbean would be nice to visit as well. I resist just saying Israel, as it is my favorite place so far… 🙂

2)  Which of your belongings do you feel most attached to?

Probably my cell phone, as it is my main source of information and communication. I navigate from it, perform spoken word from it, research on it, reach out to family, friends and work associates with it, check the weather with it, store my contacts, schedules and pertinent information on it… Yep, it’s pretty important as a tool. Funny thing is I seldom actually talk on it. Lol

3)  For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

I am most grateful for my relationship with God and my relationship with my son.

4)  What words of wisdom do you have for yourself?

This life is temporary. Do not become consumed by the little things that busy you to the point of missing the big picture. Keep perspective that there is a place for everything under God; a season for all lessons; and a greater purpose to be fulfilled far beyond my sight and comprehension.  Just breathe and have faith.

5)  What words of wisdom do you have for others?

Hmm… well that depends on what they’re going through, dealing with, and believing in. My thoughts towards others are usually very specific to their state of being. If I had to say something general, I guess I would say that no circumstance, condition or person is worth losing your joy and peace of spirit. Sometimes, you must first lose them to realize they should not be compromised; but once you have your bearings, very little should shake your core. This is easier said than done, but well worth the long-term sustenance your soul will gain from being prioritized.

The Blogging Sisters I Chose as My Nominees:

1. Theodora Zheng, http://theodorazheng.com/ … (You are so adorably transparent and real!)
2. Nezra’s Opiate, https://nezrablog.wordpress.com/ … (Every read ends with “wow” and my mouth dropped open!)
3. Words On A Blackboard, http://wordsonablackboard.com/ … (In a nutshell… intelligent, meaningful thoughts artfully strewn together.)
4. Anawnimiss, https://anawnimiss.wordpress.com/ … (Everything you write makes me laugh and shake my head!)
5. Sheila Sea, https://sheilaseapoetry.wordpress.com/ … (… a more recent follow, whose work I deeply enjoy.)

Five Questions to My Nominees:

1)  If you could have any super power, what would it be?

2)  What is your most captivating quality?

3)  Which element are you most like: earth, air, fire or water?

4)  What is your next biggest goal?

5)  If you could ask God one full-disclosure question, what would it be?

Reflection

Held up to the light, but
strands of truth fail to unveil clarity.
Snapshots of divinity mistaken for
serenity, as your concept of heavenly
shakes down reality to its very core.
Adulterated and skewed, your
perceptions leave me speechless.
No reach can achieve this plane you
cleverly claim is etched into your brain
with Kinkade fashion.
Admirable – your passion, though
ill-conceived. What you see is
only seen in the dark
by way of a twisted spark.
Cleared eyes and abandoned heart
look on… on to where the feet touch
the ground and levity is deposited
as a fallacy of spirit.
We were never near it.
The barter and bind that snapped
my handle also cracked your shadow
in my rear view. When this blink ends,
there will be no you.

Of Heart and Perfection

This work…
encumbered by its beauty,
facilitated and disabled by
its very means for progress,
restricted in capacity and efficiency
for the fuel and the mold limit limitlessly
the fulfillment of the passions which drive
its very cause

My range falls short…
because perfection is a farce,
though I cannot accept that reality
Divine love swells my cavity and, well,
isn’t that perfection? Isn’t that my core?
So life lives on in sheer foolishness, mocking
the very center of my existence

This heart…
was carved from God’s
He made it no secret, but alas
left little instruction for its operation
How reckless a recipe am I for consumption,
carrying this showpiece of perfected devotion
inside this armor of unachievable standards,
driven to do and get and be what is right

My measure…
Which holds the greater weight,
the virtue of spirit which clings to
the perfect phrase, the perfect action,
the perfect conscience, sacrifice and love
or the stagnant condition of a soul in waiting,
never grasping its share of illuminated stars
because it is busied surmising the quality of their edges

Inspired by the question, What negative “gifts” do you indulge in as if they were your birthright?, as posed by http://theseekersdungeon.com/2015/01/21/a-legacy-of-self-destruction/

Reality Check

Pausing rock-paper-scissors

while I pull this trigger

setting surety in the place

where games once raced

Chance is child’s play

imagination gone astray and

I’ve outgrown rubbled streets

that trip my stride and cut my feet

Behind this barrel, no peril waits

no drawing straws or cheating fate

no pinning tails or swinging sticks

This aim means that my target’s fixed

Save those spin skills and your tricks

My record turns with no remix

Not even in youth did I keep play dates

Life’s too real to bite off that bait

Only true hearts can step to this temple

So let me post notice, keep it real simple

Pack up your toys and be on your way

Like ma always said, go outside to play

Sailing

Setting sail ever so often

Expecting all aboard to be on board

With the nature of the journey

Not the vices of their nature

Still, each succumbs

Unequal in stature to the

Depth of complexity and weight of

Naivety which carry this faith, this

Abundance of unrelenting hope

Surpassing the abysmal waves of reality

In a sea of loose ends, failed dreams

And lost purpose… all of them

Fallen asunder, not separated

But never knowing…

Never knowing the strength of love,

Enchantment of imperfection,

Will of truth or beauty in sacrifice

Dismounted from planks of insecurity,

Graciously, false lovers dismiss their

Feigned presence from the sights

Of my heart, freeing me to cling to

This anchor, this artery, this life source

Of divinity, where the unknown

Embraces my soul with a gripping

Tenderness unmatched by any

Vow of adoration ever deposited here

Emptied out, but not void

This chest is open to the Universe,

Readied for all the treasures which

Exist beyond this earthly shore

Anniversary

Ten years and counting

since I learned to bleed

Wounds no longer festering

inside this shell of broken dreams

Time redeems the hollowed spaces

while the hand of God replaces

the varicose traces of those imprints on my soul

Embraced in the Whole that gives me freedom

Losing bondage for the Kingdom

Eternity’s gift the day it saw the shackles fall

I will never look the same

a different cause, a different name

The knowing abandoned at the end of my glance

No reflection of your brand upon my heart

just one stroke in the beauty of this art

Now I dance in the comforts of chance

in a world divinely made for me

Thank you for the time you couldn’t spare

for stealing moments of my air

for breaking down all the good I tried to see

So grateful for vacant dinner tables

silence when all was unstable

unheard cries through darkest nights

heartless acts with scornful might

That smothering absence of any heed

whenever my spirit couldn’t breathe

was exactly what I needed to survive

Never was a fall so low until your kind

I came to know and still the rise so

ever high once failure resurrected hope

The scope is immeasurable

this growing into self in spite of self

by way of self’s ability to overcome the impossible

You crushed the innocence of my love while

laying the stepping stones for my ascension

And at least in this dimension I am compelled

to thank you for all the wrongs that fueled

the heaving throng of miseries which freed me

Ten years and counting the ever mounting

sea of blessings which hold my being

in a depth of seeing that guides my path

since the day I walked away from you

Amen

Amen.
I start with the end
because it is the only known
in a reality blown to pieces
by shades of gray explosives
planted by the pretty faces,
strong arms and warm embraces
of false prophets with the dirtiest of hearts
in the purest of places.
If I’ve found a resting place,
then I’ve lost it – my grip on what this is.
Chalky blue skies whisper life’s secrets
as told by the stranded children
of a forsaken Lord,
leading generations of non-believers
down paths of misfit tragedy.
Yes – if I’ve found a resting place,
I have been misled.
For I am not my Father’s miss-gotten child,
and in this foreign land
amidst the back-stabbing nature of man;
I must not tarry.
Diligent is my soul,
harnessed with irreparable spirit that
stares blaringly into the eyes of the wicked,
not with a beseeching plea for reciprocity,
but with an inescapable love
and spine-bending tenderness.
Still, no less …
my compassion and understanding are
deftly limited by my
humanness –
my inability to Know God
in my inherited affliction known as
original sin.
Here’s the bind I’m in:
charged at birth with past, present and future
crimes
of the flesh, heart and clouded mind;
I face a darkness the sun’s brightest rays
cannot lighten.
Even enlightened,
I fall short of His righteousness.
But knee-deep in His grace,
I navigate the abysmal conditions of
a race gone mad
– called humanity.
And in spite of its insanity,
I break loose its chains,
letting the blood of Yahweh’s brow
run eternally in my veins,
so through the Lamb’s pure stains
I can see the spark of hope that reigns from
Heaven,
which is my home.
Thank God His path is known.
For I must end up where I started
as the Holy Spirit’s beloved departed,
bringing death unto the dead
and walking new into my stead
with my Dear Heavenly Father.