five

happy five years, love.
we made it. 
somehow, on paper,
we made it,
and on this day, i'm out
with someone else
who listens to me
and hears what i say
and hears what i mean
and doesn't infer a silent rebuke.

we made it five years,
and if money's enough
we won't make it six. 
what do we have
to show for this mix?
the child who screams out my name
as i'm trying to rest?
the child you put to death in your head?
what head do you live in,
you sick child (too)?

i loved you and wanted
to love you, my dear,
and the hardest part was
realizing i had to deny
not only my own wishes
but also yours, love.
i had to say no because yes wasn't right.
my overtly optimist self thought it might
but you didn't ruin your last chance,
you are ruining it. now.

your warm body pressed against mine,
i remember.
i gasp and i cave and i shake
with the tears,
with the memories i'll have of you, dear
of the you
i imagined existed somewhere.
i think it still does,
but whether or not,
the choosing is yours.

who else will invest
in this child of ours?
i thought you would but it seems
you will not.
you're giving him less
than your parents gave you.
or maybe, it's more, dare i say it?
at least
you are letting him go to be loved
as i can.

who else will invest
in loving me, too?
i thought it was you but it seems
you will not.
or maybe did not, because what
kind of joke
were these five years i waited
grasping for straws, and looking
and waiting and hoping for you.
well, that was a waste.

i can't see a way
to get out of this dark.
don't flatter yourself,
it isn't for you.
i hoped you might be there,
my person, my friend,
but you're not, so depression is mine
to battle alone.
peace out, darling, and fight yours well, too.
be happy, my love, if you can.

the half-life of love
should be 2019.
by then i'll stop crying and screaming each day
as i fight all the memories
and mealtimes and budgets
assignments and weight loss.
the loneliness, job search, and school
that i'll do will one day resolve
and i'll be happy, too.
i'm happier now than when i was with you.

loved

i loved you
eight years, ten months.
i loved you
seven years, two months.
i loved you
six years, five months.
i loved you
five years, two months.
i loved you
four years, seven months.

four years, five months, three days
i loved you.

i loved you
three years, eight months.
i loved you
two years, eleven months.
i loved you
one thousand, six hundred seventeen days.
i loved you
one day.
i loved you
one minute.

i love you.
i loved you.
the end.

homage

this is an homage
to what could have been,
what would have been,
what should have been
when we were young
and hearts were wrung
by charm we'd flung.

this is an homage
to what seems to be
but may not be
and might not be.
we play the game,
somehow act tame,
but it's not the same.

this is an homage
to love we've lost
and paths that crossed
with icy frost.
where we will go
we do not know
until we show.

this is an homage
to what we see
uncertainly;
to breaking me
and breaking you
by what we do
in hurting hues.

skeleton

i came to you just as a child:
my bones were soft; my heart was wild.
i opened up myself to you
and gave you all i knew was true

but truth was not enough for you.
just as i was just wouldn't do.
you opened me, began to cut,
leaving your mark in scars for what?

the sutures healed eventually;
my porous bones began to be
stronger, taller, more mature,
affection became more obscure.

what makes you think you have the right
to touch me only when we fight
to edit, snip, trim, and backspace
with one-way entrances to grace?

but still i loved and still i tried
to keep my heart a tender bride,
and still i love and still i try
to keep the promises that i

have made to you and make to you.
i pray that God will make me true.
you come to me, explosively
i'm wrong, and comprehensively.

you angrily erupt (i quake):
“why did the surgery not take?”
or silently abandon me–
leave me right here in the debris.

my tissue's gone, stripped to the bone.
i am left speechless and alone–
unseen, unheard, unloved, undone–
just when my healing had begun.

and yet i rise, still beautiful,
unchanged after the crucible.
my tenderness is still within
the morrow of this skeleton.

  

[one] why can't i run away?
what will come after this?
what will you have to say?
will what is said and done
turn hope to yesterday?

[one] why can't i run away?
what will come after this?
what will you have to say?
will what is said and done
turn hope to yesterday?
how will things change from here?

[two] where do you think i lie?
where did it all go wrong?
who are you? who am i?
what if i don't believe
in any of this? why
is home so hard to find?

[three] will you listen to me?
what did you think i'd say?
what are you asking me?
is there no other way?
who do you want to see
when everything breaks down?

[four] did i disappoint you?
do i need forgiveness?
what do you want to do?
will you abandon me
unless the lie is true?
until our love is through?

[chorus] what do you mean?
what can i do?
can i go home?
what can i say?
must i be flawless?
or can i just be?
will you be there?
will you hold me?
why? why?
how will things change from here?

[two] where do you think i lie?
where did it all go wrong?
who are you? who am i?
what if i don't believe
in any of this? why
is home so hard to find?

[three] will you listen to me?
what did you think i'd say?
what are you asking me?
is there no other way?
who do you want to see
when everything breaks down?

[four] did i disappoint you?
do i need forgiveness?
what do you want to do?
will you abandon me
unless the lie is true?
until our love is through?

[chorus] what do you mean?
what can i do?
can i go home?
what can i say?
must i be flawless?
or can i just be?
will you be there?
will you hold me?
why? why?

  

Do you hear the crickets?

Do you hear the crickets? Does the silence sing?
Do you see the beauty in the smallest things?
Do you feel the ripples from the dancing rock?
Do the daisies call your name along your walk?

Oh, stop and thrill in the quiet whisper!
There are stories lost at sea:
These are just the outskirts of His glory;
Listen for His gentle plea...

Do the thorns distract you from the blooming rose?
Does the drumbeat drown out the Author's prose?
Do you miss the rainbow because there is rain?
Did you think that love's cost would be free of pain?

Oh, stop and thrill in the hint of heaven;
Welcome morning as it speaks!
Take a moment to discover gospel:
There's redemption if you seek.

Do you realize mercy is in every breath
And that God is gracious in life and death?
Have you tasted goodness from His faithful hand?
There is only love for you in all He's planned.

So stop and thrill in the faintest glimmer;
Joy will come as moonlight fades.
There is hope despite a heart that's breaking;
Find a refuge in the heavenly shade...

Do you hear the crickets?
Do you hear the crickets?
Do you know His love for you?
Do you hear the crickets?

It wasn't that long since I was lost
And not long ago that I found
My righteousness alone
Would quickly exhaust
Unless I saw the Christ on the cross.

Despising Him for dying in my place,
I tried to do it all by myself.
I did not understand
That this would erase
The very definition of grace.

My self-wrought righteousness finally failed
And led me to the edge of a gulf
I knew I could not cross.
My sin was unveiled
In sight of the Innocent One nailed.

But all at once my vision was glossed
And all I could see was glorious light.
The bloodied wood shone bright
Highlighting the cost
Of the bridge that looked like a cross.

Yet it was for me that Jesus died!
And His arm is never too short
That He cannot save
Or ransom His bride
And bring her safely home to His side.

 

Oh Jesus, take me to the cross
and point me to the wood
Your Father's will commanded should
be built to bear the weight
of all my sin--but in my place:
a sacrificial Lamb.

Oh Jesus, take me to the cross
and point me to the nails
that men had shaped and put on sale
for one night's decent meal
unknowing that their scrap of steel
would pierce Your hands and feet.

Oh Jesus, take me to the cross
and point me to the sign
above Your thorn-crown to define
the reason that You died;
but Pilate's accusation lied:
my name should have been there.

Oh Jesus, take me to the cross
and point me to the blood
that's pooling in Golgatha mud
but cleansing every stain.
It was my sin that caused this pain
but You were killed instead.

Oh Jesus, take me to the cross
and point me to the One
who breathed a sigh and said, "It's done!"
enduring to the last
and demonstrating unsurpassed
the glory of such love.

Oh Jesus, take me to the cross!
What mercy! Oh, what grace!
The Father turned away His face--
a momentary shun
so one day I could see the Son
in heaven's timeless bliss.

Go, Child, Go

Day by day
every ray
seemed to say,
"Grow, child, grow."

Nurtured by
mid-July's
sunny skies:
"Grow, child, grow."

I was one
of Sun's sons
not quite done:
"Grow, child, grow."

In a word
the world blurred
and I heard,
"Go, child, go.

Time has passed
rather fast.
Now, at last
go, child, go."

Blow by blow
here I go
apropos.
"Go, child, go...
    ...and bloom."

Alone on the park bench
he hummed monotone
a song of the faces
he saw march along
parading as memories
he hoped wouldn't fade
like down-falling leaves that
are wrinkled and brown.

The lining of silver
that clouded in sign
of years full of hard work
and heartbreak and tears
was swept on his brow like
storm clouds yet unwept
and swayed in the autumnish
dance-masquerade.

The time flew unnoticed
as well as the chime
inviting the final
bus riders that night
to clamber aboard and
"Here, have a seat, ma'am!"
Escorting the passengers
to their resorts

away from the park bench's
dismal display:
a monochromatic
of days long past gone.
He sat on the parkbench
a hand on his hat.
It's numb and frost-bitten
and soon will succumb

to death on the parkbench.
He's gasping for breath.
It puffs from his nostrils
and forms vapor fluffs
but soon they're not seen by
the light of the moon.
He sits still and cold and
no one can admit:
He died on the parkbench
alone and outside.

Stargazing

The same God who, long ago
Gave command that stars be made,
Saw your substance yet unformed,
And wrote your life: a serenade.

The same God who counts the stars
Sings with joy in love toward you.
He, who calls each star by name
Guides each step that you pursue.

Look beyond the stars for hope;
Beyond them is destiny.
God has plans that will amaze.
Beyond the stars, a guarantee:

"In a moment, soon to come,
I will do My sovereign will.
Everyone who hears what's done
Will leave with their ears tingling."

No sin is unforgivable,
Iniquity so bleak,
But that my Father’s tender love
Erases every streak.

His grace is like a bloody sea
To drink I often go.
It satisfies my deepest thirst
And washes white as snow.

I pray this Living Water might
Create my heart anew
And may see fit to give to me
A spirit fresh and true.