Tree in the Shade

3 04 2013

I am a tree, grown in the shade.

My limbs are tiny and underdeveloped.

My foliage is smattered with bald patches,

and I am a dwarf in stature.


Oh, how I desire

long, sturdy branches

that reach towards the sky

and bend in a slight bow

paying homage to the sun.


I covet beautiful, shimmering

limbs of  voluptuous foliage

that house the tiny homes

of birds and squirrels

that I long to nestle in the protection

of my embrace.


A song rises in me,

a prayer

that the wall

that has blocked me

from the nourishing rays of the sun

be dismantled

even if it has to be done

brick by brick.


I am no longer

afraid of the light.

I want to see the real me.

I want to fall in love with the real me

not a dark shadow,

a distorted image

of who I was meant to be.


How Beautiful

4 12 2012

How beautiful it is

to be human

so flawed

so imperfect

so much in need

of grace,

of mercy.


How beautiful it is

to have problems

to not be able to do things


without help.


How beautiful it is

to be vulnerable

to have to trust someone

when you feel

so insecure

so worthless.


How beautiful it is

when we realize

that it is more important to love

than to seek love

to comfort

instead of seeking comfort.


For when we reach out

to help others

to console others

to love others

only then will we feel

that peace

that comes from being united

being a part of something

so greater than ourselves.


How beautiful!


15 11 2012

You are my very sustenance,

nourishment of ambrosia

to my weary soul

hungry for something deeper,

something not of this world.


You are the breath of life

that fills my feeble lungs

with the air of joy and love

expelling the vapors

of anger and pride


You are the drummer

who beats out the rhythm

of my heart

with anthems of

hardships, mercy, and grace.


You are my eyes

that search below the surface

revealing a mysterious beauty

while the eyes of this world

only see misery and pain.


You are my hands

that reach out to comfort

that touch others

with warmth and love.


You are my tears

that flow for the pain of others

the rivers of healing

that flood

everything in my path.


You are my smile

that chases away

the demons of darkness

ushering in sunshine and peace.


You are my sustenance,

my very life.

You are my hope.

You are the purpose

of those looking for meaning.

The Beauty of Silence

11 09 2012

And this too

is how God shows

His Mercy

His Grace

His Love.

This unbearable

burden of silence

is sometimes

hard to swallow

after basking

in His revelry

and being

a voice

of His

Divine Love.


But I have found peace

in this desert

this dryness.

To look for God

only in wonders

in miracles

in sweetness

is to be caught up

in magic

in mysticism.


God is a God

of substance

of strength.

God is a conqueror

but the battles

are rarely won

with such grand

pomp and circumstance.


The real victories

take place

with a quiet but real struggle

that is not put on display.

And the real plunder

is not an open

treasure chest

to be paraded

in front of others.


The real jewel

of your sacred struggle

is a humble soul

that cherishes moments

of spiritual ecstasy

but is fed

is nourished

by the little

drops of rain

on the parched tongue

in a dry and weary land.

One Day

22 08 2012

One day

this partition of glass

will disintegrate

and I will be able to

fall into your embrace.


No longer

will I have to

dream of Your touch

hunger for Your touch

ache for Your touch.


My Beloved,

I know that You live in me

and I in you.

I know that Your very breath

fills up my lungs

and that when my hands

reach out to comfort

that they are just an extension

of Your hands.


But these hands

these very human hands

want to touch

the face of Your resurrected body

to stare into Your eyes

and see my soul reflected.


I want to be wrapped

in Your arms

to stain Your chest

with my salty tears

and leave

an imprint

upon Your heart.


17 08 2012

I thank the Lord for clouds.

Heavy stormy ones.

Light whimsical ones.

All clouds lead me

to Him.


Dark electrostatic clouds

bulging with rain

waiting for just the right moment

to relieve their burden on me

reveal to me

that I can control nothing

and how great

my need for Him is.


The days seem dreary and dark

when clouds cloak the sun

and I am trapped

in a foggy haze.

But how will I

without such days

ever appreciate

the magnitude

of her rays?


Clouds can also be

messengers of Grace

dripping sweet droplets

of mystical, cleansing rain

that satisfy my thirst

and sustain my soul.


Clouds at sunset

tinged with purple

and blushing with pink

send a shock

of sacred awe

coursing through my veins.


I don’t think

I ever want to live

without clouds.


Somehow the sky seems

so vast

so empty

so lost

without a wisp of cloud

floating about.


I thank the Lord for clouds.

Heavy stormy ones.

Light whimsical ones.

All clouds lead me

to Him.

On Living by Nazim Hikmet

2 08 2012

Nazim Hikmet is one of my favorite poets.  He spent 18 years in jail in his native Turkey as a political prisoner.  Even though he was imprisoned, he always wrote with so much hope. That is one of the reasons why I like him so much.  The poem below is one of my favorite poems by him.


On Living

by Nazim Hikmet
translated by Mutlu Konuk and Randy Blasing

Living is no laughing matter:
	you must live with great seriousness
		like a squirrel, for example--
   I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
		I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
	you must take it seriously,
	so much so and to such a degree
   that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
                                            your back to the wall,
   or else in a laboratory
	in your white coat and safety glasses,
	you can die for people--
   even for people whose faces you've never seen,
   even though you know living
	is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
   that even at seventy, for example, you'll plant olive trees--
   and not for your children, either,
   but because although you fear death you don't believe it,
   because living, I mean, weighs heavier.


Let's say we're seriously ill, need surgery--
which is to say we might not get up
			from the white table.
Even though it's impossible not to feel sad
			about going a little too soon,
we'll still laugh at the jokes being told,
we'll look out the window to see if it's raining,
or still wait anxiously
		for the latest newscast. . . 
Let's say we're at the front--
	for something worth fighting for, say.
There, in the first offensive, on that very day,
	we might fall on our face, dead.
We'll know this with a curious anger,
        but we'll still worry ourselves to death
        about the outcome of the war, which could last years.
Let's say we're in prison
and close to fifty,
and we have eighteen more years, say,
                        before the iron doors will open.
We'll still live with the outside,
with its people and animals, struggle and wind--
                                I  mean with the outside beyond the walls.
I mean, however and wherever we are,
        we must live as if we will never die.


This earth will grow cold,
a star among stars
               and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet--
	  I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day,
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even 
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
	  in pitch-black space . . . 
You must grieve for this right now
--you have to feel this sorrow now--
for the world must be loved this much
                               if you're going to say "I lived". . .