Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why Did The First Heart Turn?

Why did the first heart turn,
under jewels and sunlight,
toward darkness? Where did the
first thought come from
that whispered: you are not
doing what you could be doing—
and from there all evil sprouted?
Did he dig up the thought
from inside himself and there
let it germinate into fruition?    
The heart that entices
all other hearts to turn that are soft
to turning and hard to soften;
I can feel mine start to turn
when I agree one boring Tuesday
afternoon, “You’re right, I’m not.”
But then I remember a word
spoken over me by Light, and I
retract  and repent, willing again. 

The first unhappy worker he was,
discontent with his position.
We were all made for something
or another—and each was made as a
puzzle piece in the father’s side;
Not that we make Him complete—
but that he limits Himself, so that we
can be apart of Him, and he must
lose some.

The jeweled one he lost forever—
a puzzle piece bent and wicked
who shifted his own shape never to fit in again.
But to ravage, rape, and wreck the
world and pull the tablecloth off along with
all the china. But somehow in doing so
he became a vessel of wrath
that the Son sailed in on,
and there as a jigsaw piece he fits just right,
scorned even more for fulfilling
a purpose --his rebellion turned to a ruse,
his treachery into a joke, his obstinacy to
obedience, his contention into
compliance, his wickedness into a wisecrack.

What a pitiful thought
it must be to him in the end: he
has become the very vile of dead disease
whose vaccine has become our cure.
biting the Man, he has crushed his own head--
turning into a diligent worker to
build the kingdom that he forsook.
He has become the pun of all puns:
taking the role of a servant as he
refused to be a son.

But before I laugh too hard,
I remember that I am a joke too.
And all my attempts at attempting
are the same as his. And all
my efforts at righteousness
are the same as his rejecting
righteousness, because both
are rejecting the Son (who
is righteousness),
and the only upper hand I
have on him is to admit that
I don’t have hands—but that
the Son has me in His instead.

For all creatures will serve the Lord’s purpose--
either as bent hard pieces, or willing;
for he changes the puzzle as we change,
and how we fit and mingle and the
decisions that we are allowed to make.
But the fragments always work to create the same picture—
it is illusory to think we could serve our own
purpose or make a new image.

Thank God all my ill mistakes
will serve His purpose—thank God
all my great exploits will serve His purpose.
Thank God I cannot thwart his plan—thank
God I cannot help or hurt too much,
but just enough to be called His friend.

What a puzzle this is to us and
all the determined Calvinists.
What questions we have here.  
What friendships and church splits
have been caused from these conversations.
What evil has been aided and
expanded by hatred over the jest.
What baffling of theology
and counseling. Was darkness ever
needed? Was freewill worth
the risk? I will abandon
these questions, for they are
not my piece of the puzzle to answer. 

*Allusions and References:
On "the jeweled one" and his trade: Ezekiel 28:12-19 and Isaiah 14
On Thwarting the plan of God: Job 42
On Vessels of wrath: Romans 9:22 
On biting the man, crushing the serpent prophecy: Genesis 3:14-16

Friday, January 27, 2012

The King

I just finished reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time. Reading it was one of my favorite things I did last year (yes, it took me almost a year...) and totally broke my heart in the best way. Here is a little poem I wrote after reading a portion of Return of the King--I think it'll end up being one part of a larger piece hopefully (if you have read the books then maybe you know where it's from..?):

Day breaks as your bones mend.
Snow falling calls you out of shadow.
You hear your name echoing through
thick air-- from the mouth of one who's
king, the hands of one who heals.

Monday, November 7, 2011


It is a wonder our ribs don't break
as your love pushes outwards--
drawing people in, singing and dancing
toward you. You might see us through
our eyes-- tiny in comparison,
or large when taking the ants perspective,
or shining in front of your throne.
And when you see us crying or begging,
is it from our inside out-- my hands in front of you,
as if I were drying your tears and not mine?
Or outside in, my cheeks flush, your hands
reaching down?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eternity Now

I'm trying to like the idea of endlessness.
Certainly not as I am now-- waiting for
maturity, longing for growth. Eternity
now would be like freezing a Caterpillar in it's
cocoon-- preserved forever in almost-ness.
Or plucking a lily before it's bloomed and
hanging it upside down to dry and display.
Don't pluck me yet, don't display me, don't
hang me out to dry or freeze me in my prison.
Let the bloom break and color come into fruition--
Only then could I bear the idea of living forever.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It's been a while....

It's been a long time since I posted a new poem (almost a year!). I don't write poems like I used to-- it is more rare when they happen. I miss the poems sometimes, but I've been songwriting more. There are a few poems as of late that I would like to share though. Here is one dealing with frustration in not feeling as close to the Lord as I used to. Maybe some of you can relate to periods of time when you feel distant to God-- if so, I hope you are blessed by this.

I'm slipping away,
fading into the sky blue wall behind me.
I didn't intend to hurt you.
I never meant to reject you.
I always ask: "Can you still hear me?"
So, can you still hear me?
Like David, I have searched for you with all my heart.
And found you at times like a child
finding a creek full of beautiful stones--
leaving saddened, dropping many--only able to carry
a few home in my tiny hands.
Sometimes I've found you like a monster in the dark,
full of fire and fury, breathing death on me.
Sometimes, I haven't found you at all--
sitting bored at my desk in the morning, then
deciding quickly to do something else instead--
the emptiness of the scripture on my heart
that's hard and decided already, a silence that
doesn't carry your voice but fear and isolation.
There was a time I went to the monastery
and bowed my head like a monk in the small
quiet chapel, asking, "Can you still hear me?"
Am I an idiot?
And now I have lost the energy to search,
angry and confused. I didn't mean to tease
you-- I'm still yours. I just wish
I were still an idiot for you.

Monday, July 26, 2010


This poem shows my obvious frustration at the time of writing it (probably 2/3 the way through the internship at IHOP) and this particular night I was struggling with just the simple idea of talking to God and being a person that He created. I'm sure I will struggle and rejoice with/in those ideas the rest of my life and more poems like this one are sure to come.

When I read back over it, the emotion I had then is no longer here (but could arise again quickly I'm sure!) but I love re-reading it because it's very honest. Whenever I write a poem in frustration or anger and it accurately portrays that emotion, it takes some of the frustration and anger away-- I feel like I've been heard...haha. And I can't rest until I've spoken:

Our conversation is pointless--
of what can I inform you of?
Am I not a line in a poem you
wrote who is attempting to convey
to you "where I'm coming from?"
What a joke our dialogue must be to you,
certainly my declarations of independence
are laughable to you, for there exists
nothing that does not come from your womb.
What can two friends discuss, the
one knowing nothing, the other:

On what common ground may
they stand? Is this a silly pun to you?
Or a plea for attention? That your greatest
desire is for all that you made to stand in your
presence telling you things about
yourself that you told them
to tell you? Is that the most you want?
A hall of gratuitous praise?
That we would all shout with one voice
the name that came from you to save us
so that we could shout the same name back to you?
If so, then I am confused about your intentions;
If not, then I do not know for what
I was designed. And again, we stand face to face:
You the substance; me, the mirror. I know nothing
but your reflection on my being, and you are always
insisting on your face for an answer.

Is this how our conversation ends then?
With no real exchange taking place? The words
I say forming only to reveal to myself
how much I don't know. The more I talk
the more aware I become of my ignorance.
My words are painting the face of my unknowing.
Thus, the only real sentence I can
give you of my own making is my silence.

Poems from my time at the House of Prayer in KC

I have been hiding away from the Internet for the last couple of months and have missed posting new poems. I did a three month internship with the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I was expecting to write many poems while I was there but I couldn't...poems just didn't happen there like they used to, I'm not sure why. I realized that it's hard for me to write in anything but complete silence. But there were a few times when I was able to get away to some silent places (this was hard!) or occasionally I would write them in the prayer room. The next couple of posts will be from that time. Here is one:

I love you Lord. I'll
love you to the end.
Till the sun sets for the last time
and that big star of death
falls into your hands.
I'll love you till the seas
fold up and the mountains
fall into valleys;
until the sons and daughters
of Adam and Eve
turn their heads and notice;
I'll love you to the beginning.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I was flipping through my journal from when I traveled around parts of Europe this summer and I found some poems I wrote. As I typed it up I edited it quite a bit-- I tend to do that...but it still says the same thing.

I'm dedicating this one to my brother, because while I was there I kept thinking I wished he were with me because he would have loved Oxford so much-- and now he is going to study abroad there this summer! How cool is that? So brother, forget silly trinkets and such, just be sure you bring Oxford back for me...k?

Can I Take You With Me?

Oxford, will you fit in my backpack?
I want to stuff your castle-cut walls
somewhere between my clothes and
souvenirs. I walk your paths
hoping to never find what I'm looking for--
an answer to the mystery
of beauty and knowledge. You look at me
with eyes that see my kind every day:
those who desire to snatch you up like
a jewel thief and sneak you back to Georgia
so I can brake you out at night and
and dance around your muses.
But my backpack is heavy,
and customs are tight.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It Depends on Your Thermometer

You’ve wrecked my internal thermostat.
The cold is hot and the heat is chilly.
I’m wrapping up in blankets and
afghans to the sound of lawn mowers
and fresh-out-of school kids asking
for money. I’m taking medicine
to avoid addiction, and sleeping
in to remember the day—looking
for signs to know life is more
than extraordinary—formed
in the palm of a poor boy’s
dad as he bounces him on his knees.
“Am I just one more mouth to feed?”
I ask as I fast and fast until I throw up.
Ripping off my blanket you
expose me to the humidity.
And now I’m left to eat to
starve myself from you.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I, like a slave,
eat dirt; pull a
cart with my teeth,
pick up worms with
my toes, carry loads
and loads and loads.
I’ve heard of the
Master’s son—
freed all the slaves.
But I’m still plowin' your
fields, I was bred
working this land.
Don’t you tell me go--
tell me wait. My yoke
fell heavy on me at
birth, my feet to the
rows, my hands to the