Oh Monday

Hello Monday, Oh Monday

Oh how cliche, Oh what a day

How many poems are written about you?

How many complaints do you receive every week?

You must have low self-esteem Monday.  For that, I’m sorry 

I’m sorry for how I treat you

But this relationship is a two way street

You show up unfashionably early and you linger around longer than you’re welcome

You ruin my hair and you make me late

I try to like you Monday, but you keep me strung up so tight

Please don’t bother me anymore Monday, I’ve got things I need to do

I’ve got things I need to do.

 

The Greatest Hindrance

The Greatest Hindrance

In the quietest hour

when my soul is left alone with itself

when the hurricane of entertainment is left for tomorrow

And my heart is set on friendship

The River is before me, beside me, all around me

Tis then when the wastelands seem so distant

As beauty caves in on all sides

A melody emerges, a sweet aroma flutters by

The call to come forward is strong

Tis then when the heart leaps with anticipation

A longing to be nearer, closer, higher

And the mind gives in as the heart becomes the lead

For this is the moment that the search hoped to find

Yet in the midst of such company

A shackle of sorrow remains buckled, weighing down the worshiper

Arms heavy with the pains of yesterday

And the waves of love not felt crashes in like a scream

Wrecking the moment and again bruising the bruised

And the resolve to move forward fades like a fairytale

With the prince stuck in-between the pages of the book

And with a sigh, the highest heights are traded in for today

Compromised by a weary-weathered soul

And the resolve that maybe tomorrow’s travel will be different is received

Because the River keeps flowing and calling out

Until the cross abolishes what hinders the saint

For His word accomplishes what it was sent out to accomplish

And the promise for a future is secure   

Lift high the friendship of him who became flesh and dwelt among us

He will surely rescue us from our failures

and treat our pains and troubles with tenderness

The bride will be brilliant

And until our hindrances can hinder us no more

We will entrust him with our fragile, trodden soul.

She Took One More Step

She Took One More Step

She took one more step.  As soon as her heel lifted out of the sand the winds blew and covered her last track with the fine, tan particles.  And so with every step it was though she had never taken any steps before.  The progress seemed nonexistent, even though she knew very well she was moving forward; towards the somewhere she knew in her heart existed.  Yet her inability to see her own tracks in the sand made the journey appear bleak and uncharted.  Her blood, once hot with passion, had cooled enough to where she felt twinges of numbness come over her sporadically. 

She took one more step.  As she breathed in a deep breath she glanced down at the small, purple desert flower she still held in her hand and she thought of his name.  An explosion went off in her heart like a sonic boom.  He was undeniable.  And it was true that at the mention of his name something inside her leapt with joy and desperation; a longing for new life to permeate her very being, for even the rocks cry out.  She smiled, though she tried to resist the outward expression of happiness, for it contradicted her chosen posture for the moment.  But she smiled for a moment and then she pressed on with resolute seriousness and took another step. 

There was nothing glamorous about this part of the journey, but as he kept reminding her in small whispers and nudges, it was absolutely necessary to the master plan.  She knew it was true too, but for some reason she continued to fight against the very hand that held her up.  Her stubbornness was either her jewel or her sackcloth, depending on what she used it for.  Right now it was her sackcloth for she refused to wear a smile in the desert.  She refused to pretend and saw genuine contentment as a far off notion, a silly idea of the optimist’s diluted imagination.

She remembered how just a few weeks earlier he’d surrounded her with thornbushes, a byproduct of her own request.  But she hated it.  The sharp shards of disappointment stung her with every slight movement.  She tried to get out, but quickly accepted her momentary fate. For the scriptures say,

“Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;    I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.    She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;    she will look for them but not find them…

Therefore I am now going to allure her;    I will lead her into the wilderness    and speak tenderly to her.  There I will give her back her vineyards,    and will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth,    as in the day she came up out of Egypt.”

 

She tried to speak to him but her murmurs were faint.  She knew that he would not respond until she learned how to smile in the desert and trust from a place of unfamiliarity.  She knew this yet she tarried.  She wrestled with her own ideas and decided today was not the day. 

But she knew in her heart that she’d get there because of His faithfulness.  His kindness can melt even the most brick-laden of hearts. 

She took one more step.

A Story of Sentiment

A Story of Sentiment

I needed a reason to change
And you gave me one when you left like a power outage
I waited, but the air turned to fall and things got cold
And I couldn’t take the waiting because I missed everything about you
So I moved out of the room that painted pictures of us on the ceiling
And I put the letters you mailed to Colorado in the trash
Packed up a box of memories and moved
Didn’t really move on, but tried
And my heart took a siesta from all things beautiful
I listened to songs about places I’d never been
and people I’ve never known
and tried to want those things,
Tried to want anything but you

I needed a reason to get over you
And he gave me one
With cheap charm, he said he was content to talk
He took my trust and then everything else,
We made a cave of covers and built a city of secrets
Among the curious and their questions
We wrote lies like poetry and read them aloud to one another
Paid a price for the applause
He told me love is what he felt
But we got lost in an ocean of disappointment
because there’s danger in the dreamer
who forgets who he is
And we sold our souls for the company
Too frail to be alone
But too lazy to try because change needs a reason
It was a cold winter
like his room that never felt like home with only a poster on the wall
Clinging to the space heater and the fire of sin for warmth
but never found any
I took showers to wash you away

I needed a reason to leave you behind
And you gave me one
When your lips for lying forgot their lines
And your self-proclaimed faithfulness failed
I heard about her, heard about the movies and the park,
Heard about the part when you held her hand
And I heard the truth pinned up against the door of a dorm room by the hands of two angels, who spoke softly as reality and clarity finally had to collide
But you made it an easy ending
The sun shot up from the horizon’s hiding
And I don’t miss you, because it’s over now
Our Atlantis is lost at the bottom of somewhere
And pretty soon I won’t even remember that its there; that it ever existed at all
And I won’t ever go back to find it
I’ll build a new one without you,
with streets that never feel frozen
I’ll send you both a postcard from somewhere sunny

I needed a reason to start over
And I went looking for one
But caught myself before the fall
before another hook became my bait,
He was everything noble and right
And from his mouth came words like sweet tobacco smoke
that capture your cares and drift them heavenward
Words that quietly make sense of things
But his soul is a sanctuary and my hands are dirty
And he’s leaving for the coast again soon
So I’ll do what’s right for once and leave such quests to girls with softer curves and soft voices; girls with character and clean sheets
Who do quaint things like work at coffee shops and study too much
She won’t be like artwork that’s hard to understand

I still needed a reason to start over
And He gave me one
Like He had before
Because the promises He makes never fail
And He wakes up the sleepy sinner with a bang and a cup of tea for comfort
I hopped in a car with new people, looking for new life,
Found it in the friends and the faces, in the bright lights and the beats
And in a familiar River I forgot is always flowing,
Because His sky-scape never stops covering my head
And His universe spins on without hesitation
I told him I want Him now, but only if He’ll have me
Only if He will hold my hand
Because I hate it when He feels far away;
Hate it when I can’t feel Him at all
And I’m still learning to trust
So I think I’ll stay here at the well a while
soaking up the stars,
Making plans and making way,
I’ll try to avoid the roads that leave again
Try to avoid finding another
Because He’s so good to me.

I’ll sing a song of sentiment and rejoice in my reason,
because I love Him more than all the others,
I still need Him the most.

Dreams of Dancing, Times of Trial

Dreams of Dancing, Times of Trial

It was the dance we planned on dancing, on the crowded wooden dance floor, underneath the bright lights and broken disco ball. It was the twirling that would have been; the spinning that could have been; the dips and flips that should have been and the Thursday night I wished would last.

It was the sturdy build that held me in place, the one that felt so familiar, so right. He was taller than most. Enough to strain my neck at times from gazing up for so long, my eyes locked on his dark eyes, speaking certain things I was too shy to say out loud. But his height was handsome and my heels helped me reach his kiss. Besides, I liked the way I fit snugly at his side, tucked beneath his arm.

It was the fifteen minutes spent outside on the sidewalk bench shivering from the cold, wiping the warmth from our brows, laughing because that’s what we liked to do. He took my hand and then my heart. But I let him because it was real. The music playing inside shook through the glass windows and reminded me we weren’t alone and that the panoramic of our storybook scene was something only in my mind.

It was the eight mile ride home and how he took the long way, keeping his foot light on the peddle. It was how he thought I didn’t notice. And the choreography of the night that came to a close as he walked me to the door where he spun me around one last time and kissed my cheek for charm. And as my face hit the pillow and I closed my eyes for sleep, I had dreams of dancing, uninterrupted by trials.

It was a night worth remembering. A night to go down in the vaults of our minds. Like starlight it was sacred. And it was perfect; or at least it would have been. Because hope is a healer, but waiting is suicide. It was the danced we planned on dancing on the night that never was.

We Said A Lot of Things That Night

We Said A Lot of Things That Night

We said a lot of things that night. Curled up on the worn, green sofa with a blanket and a chipped mug full of ice cream. Things that at the day’s end are worth living for; things that matter. We said a lot of things that matter; whispered words that took off like shooting stars and seemed warm enough to melt the cold of night. We shared both a pillow and our momets of defeat. It was hard, but humbling. It was like repentance and it felt right.

We said a lot of things that night. We thought that maybe we didn’t really know what we thought about things. We decided that words like “maybe” are scary. And phrases like “I don’t know” and “only time will tell” are even worse than maybe. We decided that loving other people is scary. We thought that maybe the glory was in the effort. We decided to try.

We said a lot of things that night. Parked the car on the side of the road. Stood still in the quiet for more than a moment. The skyscape was bright even through the papermill’s foggy blanket. He took my hand and spun me around. We danced utop that hill like it meant forever. We said a lot just standing there, wishing things were different.

We said a lot of things that night, in the dusty parking lot behind the bright lights and beer stands. Things that keep people from trusting again. I yelled and cried and demanded to be taken home. He took me home and drove away. So I said a lot of things that night. Asked God for help, but felt alone. Decided to forget about the things we said and threw his hat into the river as I sped across the overpass.

We said a lot of things that night. I tried to tell Him everything, but I couldn’t remember how to be honest anymore. So I tried my best to fake a smile. Wondered what it was like to not be so complicated. He knew that I was complicated. But I was exhausted so I just clung to his side and listened for His steady voice along with the symphony played by a rickety old house and the lullubuys made by the wind.

We said a lot of things that night. He told me that it seemed like pride was the real problem. I told Him that it seemed like people are just really scared to love one another. I said it, but I didn’t fully know what I thought about it. I was just talking. It seemed true though. And he didn’t argue. So I kept talking until my heavy lids imprisoned my weary eyes and I reevaluated our agreement once again before morning came.

We said a lot of things that night. Figured out that we were all that was real. That everybody else would come and go, but we would last forever. And I believed Him. He told me to stop telling the others so much and expecting them to understand. He said to trust Him. So I did. And then we said a lot of things that night.

The Restoration

The Restoration

I left my pain in Portland
Spilled it out on the colored carpet floor
Like a glass of wine I poured it out
Like a leather briefcase left on the Tram

I left my pain in Portland
Let those grave-clothes hit the floor
Let him rip it off like a prom dress
Threw it in a wrinkled pile at his feet

I left my pain in Portland
Unclenched my fists that gripped the shards
Felt the sweet breeze of freedom come and
Blow strongly across my face