happy

so illusive
happiness
(what does it even mean??)
but when
by chance
no, by careful planning
(but whatever)
i get to hear
your laugh
unfettered
joyous
filled with life
and so unique
so contagious

happiness may indeed
be illusive
for me
but if you have found it
pinned it down
embraced it
then my millions
billions
google-ions
(my kids swear it’s a real number)
of prayers have been heard
and
unequivocally
perfectly
answered

be happy
be happy
be happy

snow

nature accomplishes
with ease
with beauty
what i spend
too many frenetic clock-spins
monday to friday
mourning
my powerlessness
to pull off

she postures
our earth-mama
over days
over weeks
clouds surly
sun coquettishly rare
chill needling in
between gusts

men in gray
ladies in lipstick
swear they know
name the jet streams
tenderly sweep manicured hands
over maps
we all know aren’t there
labeling uncontrollable forces
in jovial fonts
trivial diagrams

then it comes
entirely unswayed
by opinion
by science
by aesthetic
softly
fiercely
stealthily
ruthlessly

silence
dropped
on us
all

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mercy

with desperate cries
i waved the Eternal over
to hear
and He answered

from the belly
the place of death
i cried out to Him
and He responded

You threw me
into immeasurable depths
in the midst of
a chaotic sea
water closed over me
the waves broke me
the surf swelled
and i sank
i told You:

You drove me out
away from Your eyes
yet somehow i just feel it –
i will see Your holy dwelling

the sea swallowed me
i melted into the abyss
trapped by seaweed
sinking to the root
of the mountain
to where i would be
forever locked in
by death

yet i was lifted
YOU lifted me
my God
the Eternal
my cries rose to You
while those who worship
stone
sea
turn their backs on You
i will sing
i will sacrifice
i will lift my voice
echoing with thanksgiving
i will make good
on every promise
because deliverance
is Yours alone

jonah2mbv

composing

it’s so cold
one lonely number
gives scientific expression
measurable definition
to the depth
which these scissors
of ice
of wind
are able to
cut
straight through
this tightly woven
fully lined
coat of
not-armor-enough

i long
for this too to pass
but when the layers are many
when the chair
pressed to windowsill
is deep and warm
when the fire
in my bones
thaws
my frozen heart
i can see winter
in all
its frigid wonder

the skeletons
dormant trees
also dreaming
the silver shards
water
clinging imprisoned
the grey canvas
skies suspended
on the brink
of a sob
the tension
pulled between death
and the maybe
of life

these are the pieces
fragile
doubting
beautiful
of my song

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confession

promises are a funny thing
expressions of the heart
stranger still
we say what
in the moment
feels true
but when time passes
when
everything
ripens
when it’s all a beautiful mess
have we lied
or is truth
plural
with black and white
merely as starting points

the things i feel
the words i say
they are true
true to me

society
counter-culture
tradition
the idolatry of convention
even you
so it seems
demand that i retract
pressure building
like steam through that grate
over which i
will pitch my tent
when my stubbornness
rapes my life
of security
but i
will not
deny this heart
that whispers to me
in broken french
in stuttered poetry
in muffled screams

for tonight
i’d rather be honest
than follow
the rules

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lent

dust and ashes touch our face,
mark our failure and our falling.
Holy Spirit, come,
walk with us tomorrow,
take us as disciples,
washed and wakened by your calling.

dust and ashes soil our hands —
greed of market, pride of nation.
Holy Spirit, come,
walk with us tomorrow
as we pray and struggle
through the meshes of oppression.

dust and ashes choke our tongue
in the wasteland of depression.
Holy Spirit, come,
walk with us tomorrow,
through all the gloom and grieving
to the paths of resurrection.

take us by the hand and lead us,
lead us through the desert sands,
bring us living water,
Holy Spirit, come.

©hope publishing

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