Marker Stone

This weight, a sandbag, an undertow.
My heart is thinned by a marker stone.
A cold white stone on living grass
Black arrow etched in distance past
The grim sight gives the traveler’s stead
Ability to decide if its ready
To take the path he journeys on
Or rest in pasture’s green warm song
But city’s distance furrows his brow
His character is not in this wasteland sown
Birds pluck the shelled life untold
From gutter’s refuse, from cracks in boulders
How weighty on his thoughts that rock
That monument to what lies locked
Behind the wall of city dweller’s face
Where Devil and Angel wings are traced.
What wealth the poor are beaten to take
On what poverty the rich have all things staked
Forbearing all this with a heavy heart
His tired feet have sorely smarted
A friend passed this way once before
If only he had not swung so loosely his sword
That his restructured and suggested way
Be hollowed out down the highwayman’s main.
Danger crouching in every shifting dark
Wherein this flattened warrior shaves with sparks
The blade which leaves its scabbard clean
But heavy in the arm the mother weans.
Such steps he takes collapses him despondent
His map suddenly seems of no assistance.
The mile marker helpful for the length
Does not reach into limbs of lead to strengthen.
Broad ways lose many progressions each day.
Only marked paths reach a safe place.
Returning from the desolate wild land
Where his fingers came to clutch the Father’s hands
Finds a quiet soberness in face once glad
To tell his tale in the presence of all lads.
The reason: by this tombstone, he is low.
And feels the greatest distance from his home.

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Ache

Earth groans– the roots of oak trees find them out
~     In secret seeking cool sustaining streams
The air feels thin while splitting on the flout
~     A piercing cry of music from my dreams

How old the marrow grows in once strong arms
~     Anticipating touch without remorse
Still waiting for beloved tender warmth
~     Returning swift received without recourse

Two dandelions blown in stormy breeze
~     Are stripped of new beginnings as they wilt
Believing sure their children earth will seize
~     Creative soil unseen new lives rebuilt

So short cruel time to sever love from love
~      Its wound agape awaits the Gard’ners glove

A Return to Rest

That kindness we do ourselves
When we echo what reality serves
In etching out the dream-eral* expanse
Of a sort of discovery you don’t know exists

I enjoy games like Myst: Riven
Where the puzzles all make sense
And where the hours tick slowly clicking
To find my way back home where I belong

It’s what my soul wants most of all
To see Him, to be held in His embrace
And every time I attempt to scratch the page
I feel it scratching back with honesty exchanged

Can a canon fire into the night
And not explode where it landed?
A thousand voices echo in one chorus
While my own voice must remain authentic.

A brisk and dismal wind tears comfort far away
From the ever watchful peace that guards my heart
A wind of many swirling truths all clamoring to be heard
When one speaks louder than any strange or English word.

Alas the earth does moan beneath me
It’s song, a dirge that still rises up in hope
A hope that sees the beginning and the end
And indefinitely shoots at that target He intends

Can wings bear aloft this coil?
Can dust breathe life back into itself?
Is there any way life can still continue on
Unless the way is paved with living stones?

The Devil knows the power we underestimate
The power of the good coming to those who rest
In the faith-full assurance of the kindness of a Savior
Who calls, “Be yourself. It’s all  creatures of I AM can do.”

A burning bubbles up from satisfaction
Rejecting too much pleasure without rest
The soul must find its peace in One who works
And who took a day off to enjoy what He had made.

*Ephemeral and Dream are combined here into dream-eral

The Column

Deep and dark in the cave time carved
A sprinkling sound skipped off cold stone walls
A spire that hangs from the high ceiling calls
Down to the answering stalagmite love-starved

Wishing quietly for gravity’s haste
To break his prison bars which anchor hold
The dripping rock that has grown in the cold
Weathered only by water’s mineral taste

Iteratively aching to loose each drop
Truncating his comfort for the love for which he longs
Translating his care into stories, deeds, and songs
Interpreting echoes growing nearer every stop

Night how cruel to cast sun-hiding shade
Recalcitrant to tell the story of the lover’s act
Return my Love who from me love attract
Never-ending lest I dwindle without your aid

Dampness felt as calcium splats the tip.
An answer echoes close in the stalactite’s ear.
Again! Could it be the cherished one is near
Devoted to respond to his steady drip?

Lips moistened by the fall and growth of love
Come now to lightly touching until at last
Connection! As the two rocks now stand fast
Lodged as one: a bridge from below and from above

Enter now, O climber in the cave
Transfixed by this monument to faithfulness
Telling the power of earth’s fruitful thankfulness
Enmeshed with Heaven by all the gifts He gave.

Outcry: A Venting of Poetic Anxiety

AIEE! A shade, a shadow, a block
The sun is bright, but I cannot see
My eyes have seen into the depths
Of what can but must not be

I retch and heave, the asphalt black
Has scorched my feet with trepidation
My riven side is cracked with fever blisters
My tongue is aching with the stomach’s refusal

How brisk this scattered search for light
That my eyes will light on a single star
And pray that it rise like a morning sun
To light my day with hope and life

But here I sit swallowed up with strings
They strangle me with the impediments of actionless-ness
They bite at me like a siphoning stringent strain
That leaves me beleaguered

Except for when I’m with her.
The light of favor in another’s eyes
The buy-in that requite Heaven’s treasures
To see them reflected in the pure pools of a beautiful soul.

But alas should that pool with mud be thick
For then the ways of my feet cannot be quick.
I move like a drunken man, and make myself sick
I strive to break my stride of one man carrying the weight of bricks.

The echoes of a heart that long to be begotten
Lest all its treasures that once fell ripe off the branch might be forgotten!
Nay, it shall not be . . . the light of day comes to make a planet new
But how am I to face the sun, without a bead of dew?

So happens when the eye is drawn to split his view
Between Heaven and Earth to dig the old for the new
To partner with the souls that seek a home
And find a place to rest from life’s torpid foam.

A stirring deep within me centers quietly
Tis goodness to be wrought from His seed planted.
The tired steps I take toward Eve’s bower.
When I do not know if she is even there.

Will I the man find a place for my hand
To till the ground and serve the land
Or will the earth not yield her strength
To make the seed bear fruit again?

A risk to walk one path with Him
And then to join into one way two
Shall I well-serve His pleasure here
And give water to she who still misses her home?

A Reckoning

From the deep chalice of my memories
I imbibe in the elixir of youthful life
While agonies breathe cries in muscles strained
By the ever-present struggle to master the day.

The soul’s tongue is fueled by that strong drink
So as to cast the shadows of pains far back
Against the wall with dark streaks overcome
By more than their present significance.

Oh to days long to be remembered
That lark in my throat that sang to the clouds
Carving pictures only the child’s eye can see
My wand’ring heart must not be loth to frequent.

And let this heart not soon forget
That moment when all days were a single breath–
Each breath, a gift of the whole of my life
No breathless dust of earth could ever tell.

ATM — The Ache of a Day Lacking in the Word

Ah to me a drink so cool and refreshing greets
A weary wand’ring soul with burdens cumbering
All fractured by the similitude of shackles on his feet
After breaking step of march to cast his stride by lumbering

The sigh that lifts his chest to float downstream
Through shifting currents of his patterned thought
Trace several eddies fraught with what may seem
Tantalizing directions to follow but all for naught.

My Carowinding roller coaster plunges
(Through which state: North or South? I often wonder)
And shakes my spirit with what my past expunges
Made perplexing by the present clove asunder.

At the moment I am lost in life’s hard way.
At the moment all this ache has had its say.