to live

Here
Forgiveness for us
who did the very thing.
Love for us
who hate.
Refuge for us
who wander, who flee, who are lost.
Mercy Compassion Joy Rest Healing Strength
Presence Welcome Trust Friendship
Healing Peace Reach
Life
all the things
breaking through
the stone
“Now go and tell and do
likewise”
Here in the darkness,
dawn
Him
We to live
this HOPE

My Galaxy

The imaginary lines
I threw out – foolishly,
impulsively – must be reeled back in
Some filament I spun
to create a cloud
hiding the real
picture from view
– unhooked –
by your words of clarity.

I float off into space

looking for another meteorite, planet, satellite, any object … until …
I’ll realize … eventually, finally … the truth
dives in

I’m Venus,
the North Star
I don’t need cobwebs or lifelines
dust motes of broken dreams
I am the Milky Way I can let
you float through
unseen
(uncared)
by me.

Life

torn limbs
too wrecked to reach
the little chance for life
in a bombed out womb of rubble
covered in shrapnel
dripping in suffering
[let the images explode your heart]
bleeding
broken into pieces
(remember these?
BELITTLED
into a RIDDLE:
a 140-spaced tweet
compared to a candy)
now a dust-bowl of skin and bones
almost nothing left (of Aleppo’s
last hospital)
but wounds and a loud cry
suffocated by our own
life pulses and throbbing fears of the unknown
“If I had a bowl of skittles”

The Purge

Through the mask
of the screen, device, closed eyes,
you are not a face
I have to care about
or know.

Only words that have offended
my beliefs. My values (character!) questioned,
as I stand scrolling on the bus
or lie in bed

you could be next to me
but your vitriol only
clashes mid-air with mine
fist first – like two villains –
as I hide
behind my rock
cheering (not knowing if you are too –
or if you’re weeping)
I’m right
I’m right
I’m right
I’m right
I’m right

If

If this heart is cracked
I apologize
It’s seen and trusted
and broken

If these eyes
look away
I apologize
They have forgotten a steady gaze
of love. that holds it
locked

If these lips are closed
I apologize
they’ve allowed unmentionables
and revealed deep secrets. and lost all access.

If these feet walk away,
That’s all they’ve ever known.
That’s all they’ve ever known.

The other

across cracked stone
the river runs
pouring
prideful
rubble red and
cold the sky
a broken reflection across
words in flames and placards

the people stand against the banks
in ranks
a rising stench
the sticks and stones that conquered bones
have built with rhetoric
a fear
begun years and thousands ago
summers of sweat
and placing bets

my hand – I win –
just because I was born
here and now and with this
not yours, not you

I am not
at ease with my own evolution
through no fault of your own
but some one rolled the dice
and I came up
able to breathe out of the river
un-drownable.

American.
Straight.
White.

others
maybe not

birth order and color and status and passport
all seem to make a difference
perception and expectation puts a powdered wig
on truth
a spiraling simplification

by them. by us.
by ‘we the people’
and I have the choice to care
or not care

wall

The Euphony of Baltimore

Inspired by Pastor Chris Dreisbach’s sermon at Old St. Paul Episcopal and a good man on Eutaw Street:

A step over cracks and chicken bones on
Eutaw street
I pass the flock of Raven-decked men in
deliberation:
“You don’t know what…”
but I never find out as I keep walking
and “Loose ones!” drowns out
all else
in my ear

A wide U-turn by an MTA bus spurs an angry honk
by a yellow taxi cab
The doors breathe open
letting out umbrellas, tired faces, a hope that today,
Tuesday, may be a little sunnier, a little
better, bring a little more money, maybe that
check will come in today, maybe one day…
…there will be less maybes

I can’t ignore the silent man sifting
through the layered cardboard
packed tightly in Tito’s Vodka and
stereotypes
and an aroma of sour loss
And I can’t ignore that just last week
Lexington street taped in yellow warnings and
flashing lights frightened mid-western visitors
from crab cakes in Mrs. Faidley’s.

But one,
one grizzly bearded small man
steps back up the curb toward me,
looks up from under his purple hat
nods and casually says
“Good morning, Dear Heart, good morning.”

makes me smile, simple as that
and I can’t help but think
Baltimore is beautiful
Baltimore is beautiful

lexington market

Gratitude

Now
You
Surrounded
Close your eyes
Let it flow
all
down
around
you.

run like you can
run like you have

fast
like you don’t get tired
like you’re barefoot
nothing weighing you down
like there’s no one on the beach
like the sun has just come up

like it’s so new
like it’s been forever

Like you just
feel
ALL
of it
On your skin
In your breath
Through your soul

Til you stop.

And you’re
heaving.
panting.
soaking.
weeping.
laughing.

Weightless

and overflowing

IMG_5977

At My Worst

Wrote this last fall – it’s a little raw, but I’ll share as is:

I will wear my casual like an armour
I refuse to be a casualty of you knowing me
I will cut my feelings under skin
You will never see me bleed
And if I cry – IF that is –
I’ll lie. To you. To me.
I will keep you free of any
burden to comfort me
You will never know my fears
(And in turn my passions probably)
I deny that I’m afraid
There is no secret to this shield
No pin to this grenade – it’s done.
Blunt. Mute. Numb.
I will protect you From causing me
Disappointment
Hope
Restlessness
Pain
Leaving
From needing
to protect me.
Don’t.
No worries.
I don’t need it.
I can’t
Fall.
This is me
At my best