something about stars and a baby

•December 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

as i was leaving the office tonight

in the five o’clock gloaming

there shone forth a star

gently but crisp against winter’s blue

it’s chilly always now

morning’s breath freezes

the tip of my nose frosts over

and i wish your hand

could reach from the future

back into the past

and warm mine

i held

— learned to hold —

my nephew last night

through his squirmings

and raucous protestations

i swayed and shhhhed

wondering whether

mothers know that sort

of thing intuitively

but i watched his

beautiful face

his curious blueberry eyes

and thought back

centuries before now

when a black-eyed boy

was born in the dark

and the dirt

where his mother

cradled him with the cows

baby born to die

so i could live and love

the beauty of the blood

that saved me

from myself

did He know who

He was

as His new eyes sparkled

in the light

of the stars

He’d walked among?

fully formed in flesh

He who knit sinew to bone

become like us

to deliver us

as He lay washed and dried

tightly wrapped

newly birthed

did He look toward the future

where He’d conquer

the past

and lay cold

washed and dried

tightly wrapped

with myrrh and balm

in burial

awaiting new life?

why would God

put Himself at the mercy

of man?

to have mercy¬†on man …

little baby, new and fragile

tiny stars, so far and cold

there the foolish find in wisdom

greater hands than these to hold

(reposted from barefoot in pinstripes)


•November 7, 2010 • 1 Comment

“i think that i shall never see / a poem as lovely as a tree.” — joyce kilmer

“i should rather like to be a tree myself,” i’ve often thought,

gazing up the shocking white of a sycamore’s trunk into

the gold-fleck leaves shimmering against a sky of heart-stopping blue.

being an occasionally practical dreamer, i realize

treedom is not always tea and roses

(after all, i don’t suppose trees usually drink tea —

but imagine the sap-drunk blazing maples!)

and gentle breezes turn into roaring winds

that amputate branches and shake loose leaves.

i was told that trees are at a disadvantage

since they lack the mobility of legs

and that it would be painful

to have squirrels racing up and down,

over and around oneself constantly.

the realist in me admits

that trees were created trees

and people as people for a reason,

so in light of literalism it is a blessing

we do not have an army

of earth-bound, arboreal sentient beings

on our hands waiting to wake up.

but we are a tree, to be metaphorical.

we’re a foreign shoot grafted onto precious heirloom stock

and given life through a root we did not grow.

i am a branch, and you are a branch,

bound together inextricably in the Savior-Creator.


•August 26, 2010 • 1 Comment

good night, yesterday

with your big words

and big eyes innocent

still pig-tailed, astonishable

vaguely convinced of things

in pretty language

vaguely lovelorn, perhaps

gauzily grounded

good morning, tomorrow

ripe with old unbirth

decided, uncertain

clear eyes clouded

for now

undecided, parsed and defined

goodbye, today

dissolved in doubt

schlumped in navel gazing

when flew the clouds

of morning?

where blazed the fiery grass?

what did you forget?

to remember, maybe


when this is yesterday

someday songs

•August 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

show me Your face

before i run away again

please, show me Your grace

when i’m overwhelmed by my sin

pull me out of twilight

so i can see Your Son

give me strength to fight

remind me You’ve already won

i’m a kite stuck in a tree

when i should be in the sky

i sometimes wonder why

and how and what i’m doing here

i’m stuck until i fall

stuck, oblivious to all

the beauty only some can see

the arms holding onto me

untangle my strings

let me soar through the sky

help me live like You lived

let me fly where You fly

navigate my course

Your way’s better than mine

if You sever my line …

i’ll soar right up to You

monologue for conversation

•June 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

you impress me, you know

with your large vocabulary of multi-syllable words

as i chart the existence of my ribcage and vertebrae

there is a hugeness in the way you write

a grace and a grandeur not learned

that must come from an everlastingness of thought

transmuted from manic inactivity

i’m whittling down to the bones that hang me together

curious if someone else will pop out

from the shed excess of body i’ve tended

you’re fearlessly good at hiding

although whether it’s concealment

or an unknowing of expressionism

i have yet to decipher

perhaps we are alike in a loss for words

at the crucial moment of confusion

and uncertainty — language betrays

and leaves us mutely blinking, mouthing pleasantries

how can i say something i don’t know

or why does it matter?

life goes frighteningly, blessedly on

in the face of stammering

if you find my skeleton bury her gently

and i will bury yours soft beneath sand

these are already dead, remember

put your words in the mouth of the phoenix

listening to its cry of triumph

pain, rebirth

such are we

so are you

red balloon

•June 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

are you afraid

creeping there on the ground

wondering what’s lost

and forgetting you’ve been found?

come, take my hand

and fly with me

are you afraid

floating high above earth

staring at death

and forgetting your rebirth?

come, take my hand

and climb with me

are you afraid

with the tether lines slack

with the sun in your eyes

and the wind at your back?

come, take my hand

and dance with me

are you afraid?

or can you hear, too

the love in His voice

as He sings over you

come, take my hand

and shout with me

on our red balloon

the adventure’s begun

as we soar through the sky

and sail toward the Son

come, take my hand

and fly with me


•June 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment
we talked about you today
in the way people do
when they assume their hazy dreams
hold the future’s reality
we gave you color and complexes
and made you a heroine for saving
the anti-hero
glaring on his deathbed
later on my own
i remembered you remain conjecture
your tousled brown curls
and green-grey eyes
maybe you’ll be a shocking redheaded spitfire
maybe you only exist
in the reality of dreams
that are summer-thin gossamer veils
still i imagine you there, somewhere
in the hinterland of possibility
hoping i’ll meet you one day
and will read you this
having forgotten the inside joke
the joker and the anti-hero
but thankful the punchline came true
in you


•May 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

it’s funny

two years later

when i read the words again

i still get that

tight feeling in

my chest

like something’s

squeezing out lies

and anger

i feel it again

a microcosm

of a mistunderstanding

mishandled into idiocy

and i know it was my fault

i know what i did

or didn’t do

i know the truth

of the story i

am never going

to tell

to the person who

most wanted

to hear it

oh what a splendid wreck

i made

what a glorious

blaze burned my bridges


but i’m not sorry

for that

i was honest


next time

if it is, off on the horizons

of hazy tomorrows,

i will be honester still

and if a hand is offered me

i might take it

with grave face quiet

and demeanor polite

i still remember the rawness

beat into my back

by the summer sun

any careless coward could kill

with a lie

but i believe

in severing cleanly

dirge for a dead king

•May 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

can you scent the earth on the wind, my son

new life on the warm spring air?

lay down your weapons of wrath, my son

seek healing, if you dare

can you see the stars in the sky, my son

the moon in the wine-dark night?

lay bare your heart with its scars, my son

let anger put to flight

do you see the tears on my face, my son

do you feel the lead in my breast

as i fear the news of your fall, my son?

dead now you lie with the rest

oh absalom, my precious one

betrayal hangs you high at dawn

my love for you was never gone

oh absalom, my son, my son

oh absalom, my son


“and the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. and as he went, he said, ‘o my son absalom, my son, my son absalom! would i had died instead of you, o absalom, my son, my son!'” — 2 samuel 18:33

kim’s redbuds

•April 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

we’ve had a setback to cooler days

as can happen in kansas april

bare toes have purpled to slipper stage

and yet i stubbornly remain unshod

spring, when the impish redbuds shout

‘i’m here!’ in highway, wood and yard

and our fairy ring of lush lily-of-the-valley

mysteriously never blooms

january seems a century ago

while september could come tomorrow

such a strange thing, time, into which we’re woven

we the rebellious, we the redeemed

bound by a concept unstrictured for its Maker

what is time, and when shall it cease being foreign?

in one million yesterdays from tomorrow, perhaps

in an everlastingness of springs, beyond the horizon

somewhere in the neverend of eternity eternal