Archive for category: Poetry

Doulas

A short poem to those who’ve labored with the dying. Yours is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Doulas

I’ve known doulas
of new mothers,
who’ve labored with;
through whispered doubts
and the burning spring
of new life weeping
into this world,
they’ve served.

Their reward is this:
to taste the miracle
of innocence born.

I’ve known doulas
of the dying, too,
who’ve carried spirits
from world’s womb,
who’ve spoken
stories of hope
for dimming eyes
and waning smiles.

Their reward is this:
to taste the miracle
of innocence reborn.

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First Meditation

Heads bowed atop folded, sweat-sticky arms resting on wooden desks,
Mrs. Logan led us past the daily eraser lint and chalk dust,
deep into the imagination of seventh grade boys.

“Meditation,” she said, word unfolding like velvet blanket from mother’s alto,
“is a gift from God. Picture an orb, incandescent bulb over formless void,
bottomless chasm, or ashen open ocean. The orb is Christ.”

Time swung in rhythm–eyes on the watch, we each grew sleepy–
and in mind’s eye the orb drifted over bawdy Spanish beaches,
over the bare myths told in boyhood locker rooms.

“This is the Word not yet flesh, not yet nailed to tree but hanging in sky.
It is greater than sun and moon; it is creating the first Eden. Imagine?”
The first Eden, where all was naked and unashamed,

where mediation was unsullied by adolescent dreams of sex, or hunger, I imagined.
“Jesus, the always hanging orb, or ever present Savior comes to create peace.
See him approaching; feel him pushing past breastbone; know his peace.”

Voice calling into deeper dreams of decadence, of Eden’s perfect breastbones,
of sticky pomegranate smiles, powerful stallions, and multi-orbed skies,
I followed into innocence, into the wide-eyed wonder of time lost to sleep.

“Lunch,” the orb whispered, and pulled arms up from luscious earth, through clouds,
and into the groggy then of a Cheshire smile, the chorus of girlish giggles.
There, the mystic orb dissolved into the face of Mrs. Logan,

and left me to contend with that which was also real.

*****

In the most recent Tiny Letter (my once-a-month, insider newsletter delivered straight to your email), I’m discussing the Lenten season, the darkness of my heart, and the discipline of quiet reflection. If you sign up today, you’ll receive a FREE DOWNLOAD of the song “Train Wreck.” It’s a song I wrote about pain, loss, and the love of God.

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For Troy (Childlike, a Poem)

For Troy (Childlike)

This is the hope of glory:
rebirth with access to doe eyes,
to boyish naivety or girlish glow.
There is a growing young.

This is the hope of glory:
to know the world of monstrous men
who rule by violence, sex, and tricks,
and to remember fear of this dark.

This is the hope of glory:
clomping in creation’s garden,
wobbly-kneed in father’s boots,
laughter spilling into Spring’s buttercups.

This is the hope of glory:
feeling the decadent evening love
rising warm in pinking cheeks,
covering eyes to things not for children.

This is the hope of glory:
the wonder of traveling mercies,
snowy peaks and Carolina tide,
and ever asking “are we there yet?”

*****

In the most recent Tiny Letter (my once-a-month, insider newsletter delivered straight to your email), I’m discussing the Lenten season, the darkness of my heart, and the discipline of quiet reflection. If you sign up today, you’ll receive a FREE DOWNLOAD of the song “Train Wreck.” It’s a song I wrote about pain, loss, and the love of God.

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The Old Man

Each week, I try to bring at least one piece of poetry to the table. Sure, poetry might not be your bag, but poetry is the full-body workout for the avid writer or reader. It hits you where you’re weak, builds up mental muscle. Poetry stretches us in word economy, metaphor, and abstract thought. In that way, poetry makes us more complete readers and better writers.

Today’s poem, “The Old Man,” is a reflection on seeing. Enjoy.

*****

 

“The Old Man”

Among the mysteries of seeing, of knowing and being known,
two are most unfathomable, most improbable, most true:
how aged eyes feel youthful without the mirror’s reflection;
how the soul remains unknown without hushed prayer.

*****

In this month’s Tiny Letter (my monthly newsletter), I’m discussing the idea of resting within church practices. There, I’m speaking candidly about some recent changes in the Haines’ household, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Sign up to read along!

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On the Occasion of Joel’s Wedding (A Collective Poem)

This weekend, I attended a beautiful wedding. This poem commemorates the event.

*****

On the Occasion of Joel’s Wedding

Gather you fires,
awake in the collective;
come to the wedding and see
with most earnest eyes.

Something old:
the timeless way of a woman
in her most beautiful hour.

Something new:
the fear and wonder in
trembling groom’s hand;
the glassy-eyed anticipation
of his mother’s dreams lived.

Something borrowed:
the cloud of witnesses lending
amens to tender shooting vows;

Something blue:
the January sky;
the jays returning;
the handkerchief passed
from mother to daughter,
to daughter again;
the continuity of
metaphors lost
on those without eyes.

 

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*****

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