•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

song for an ode to spring

•April 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

this is not an ode in the formal sense

a lyrical piece of wordsmithing to an urn

but it is my quiet song of morning

when the spring-sharp breeze bids me wake

to rain-darkened suburban streets

bud bloom

•April 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

i feel mildly incensed

when i find someone’s

locked my window

and i have to get up —

all the way out of bed! —

shuffling my feet an

inch-long mile

and tugging at the sash

to let night noise in

spring takes me by surprise

the wintertime long

i cultivate it in my mind

picturing tiny vine tendrils

and delicate buds

it creeps on, like a mist

then its bright calamity arrives

before my mind’s been fully

sun-warmed and soil-tuned

what lavish finery the earth wears

in unexpected revolt against winter

the parrot hues of tulips nodding roundly

flowers bursting from the life-blood sap

all the world’s at riotous play

letter no. 1

•April 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

there is a 5% to 6% chance

something could go wrong

and life would not be the same

or death could, perhaps, succeed living

and the hyper-correctness of AP style

while i am alive and lucid, therefore

i wish to ask you a question —

what will happen when you die?

we all do someday, you know

whether freshly reckless or time-worn

i’ve cultivated our relationship carelessly

so you’d cease surprise at my queries

why do you act like God isn’t there —

or do you? this didn’t come on suddenly

i’ve been wondering for 566 days

does your homage go to long-locked rabbis

the prince in his red-flocked slippers

or the God before time began?

i will ask you one day, i will

because it scares me

because i need to know

because you shouldn’t die

a rebel and deceived —

you were made for the greatest thing

the greater glory of God, fully enjoyed

you’ve heard that droned on like bees

waxy wafer and wine on your lips

haven’t you? and forgotten, disillusioned

you don’t have to die while alive

so if something does go right

i hope you’ll finally see freely

easter sunday

•April 4, 2010 • 1 Comment

oh, we were busy

martha and i

preparing the feast

before Him

busy in the background

with others still inside

‘don’t You care?’

we asked, indignant

‘don’t You care

i’m up on my feet

while she just

sits at Yours?’

martha complained

‘don’t you care

i didn’t have time

to meet You

this morning?’

i whined

we were run


onto our last nerve

on the verge

of calamity


He said

the red pits fresh

in His outstretched hands

‘I did not die

for your slavery

your good works

your approval

I rose for

your freedom

your joy

your humility

there is really

only one thing

that matters

quiet, calm yourself

and listen to Me’