Night drips down my back,
as I face rebirth’s dawning.
Death comes before Life.
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.
This silly world of ups and downs,
grasping for earth and clouds
in disproportionate measure;
fiening for frivolous work and
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
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.
What does it matter –
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.
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.
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
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
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
my inability to Know God
in my inherited affliction known as
Here’s the bind I’m in:
charged at birth with past, present and future
of the flesh, heart and clouded mind;
I face a darkness the sun’s brightest rays
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
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.
Not a day,
but a way of life
centered on You
No feast greater than
the filling up our Creator has
placed at my table
But for You,
I was never able to overcome,
persevere, survive… See
quite where it needs to be
because I’m human
Thus, eyes You’ve sewn
in this heart – Your part;
Master’s giving tree
Eternally praying it forward,
loving how You love me,
and I can’t help but share it
Spared it at times,
as recovery takes time
from the hands of man
Pain is fleeting;
not this beating of Truth, though
Your embrace never dies
Never too wise,
compromise binds the fragile spirit
veiled with flesh and ignorance
Still, where this soul fails,
Your faithfulness prevails
and – if nothing more –
All of my being
to whom it shall give thanks
Laying here scattered, thoughts tattered
Like a newborn ripped from the womb
Wiggling in this goo of lost comfort
Unable to seize enough air to bellow my angst
Confusion bustles around me
Thoughts run frantic in an
Effort to wipe away fear
Only, it smears instead
This bed does not swaddle my insecurities
No, it illuminates impurities I no longer hide
And I can’t scoff because – I made it
I made it, but I won’t lie in its prickly sheets
I mustn’t, I can’t
But will I…
Eve is already drifting into awakening
Pinching dreams into fruition
Status no longer petitioned, no longer new
This soul doesn’t know how to recant
The scant of its flesh in epic fail
No retake posted, no longer hosted
Culpability envelopes me, tucking me
Tighter into these rags, lower into these throes
Eyes baring secrets I shouldn’t yet know
Essence nude in compromising layers of contemplation
Bartered salvation for sensations I’ve
Already almost forgotten
Those piercings of the night sink in deep
With no space to bleed out in the morn
If I could not save myself in the dark
Who will I be come dawn
Breaths drawn strain through constricting reeds;
inhales ache and exhales bleed the unknown.
I become savior, martyr, motivation and devastation
all in one.
He severs the hand of Yah
while reaching for the serpent’s tail,
introducing me to the addict’s living hell.
Life and death weighted
falsely on my shoulders…
a broken heart’s boulder to carry ‘til the end.
Beats of hope in the void,
now his target practice,
are too wounded to pulse for two anymore.
Hours on end of loving him are
sacrificed in blind devotion to the
deception and desperation of his demons.
Sights solely on the spawns of their semen;
he’s chopping down trees of life for no reason.
Truth sprouts open pores which whisper,
if you maintain.
his creatures are manic and wild,
but it is I who is insane;
holding hands with the universe pulling in vain
to rescue man from adolescence when the
nightmare is his preference.
Chasing unforgiving darkness into a world
hopeless and loveless;
he watches every tear fall pointless
from my shattered olive branch.
Cold winter chill blows hard into my fading garden,
and warmth escapes my nature without pardon.
What is this fatal blow?
Why was this for me to know?
I was not created for this death,
nor prepared for such a loss.
Must this be the cost?
Oh God, the burning in my core,
a pain I’ll feel forevermore,
how will I bear the letting go…
the deepest mourning of my soul
In the shallow depths of my heart
He allows me to break
That I am nothing
In this world
A fog of emotions
A scurry of thoughts
A mound of failed intentions
Into the carved out hollows of my soul
He allows me to fall
That I am helpless
In this world
A constant winding of anxiety
An ongoing landing of disappointment
An endless outpour of confusion
In the steady enfold of His arms
He allows me to breathe
That I am more
Than this world
A shining light
A humble servant
A rising angel
In His eyes
Springs of Life
from this artery.
Again I’ve failed
the only scripture
written just for me…
“Above all else,
guard your heart”
Gift of Love
is the package
wrapped within me.
And every drop
that falls down my face
reminds me that
all I need is His Grace.
Purposed for more
than any embrace,
any sweet word,
any false hope
of united worlds,
any deep kiss,
or dreamy gaze,
any stirring in my depths
for loving ways.
Nothing I feel is ever meant for me.
The longing in my veins,
ripple in my blood,
tingle in my pores,
all tools of service,
mercies from Above.
Forever in His Will
to live outside myself;
I’ll cross the line no more,
dream of nothing else.
Sinking into the dusk,
what must be locked away.
Rising in the dawn
rediscovering my way.
Obeying every word
of His Proverb
as I start…
Above all else,
I will guard my foolish heart.