have you ever been the one who everybody loved
but nobody wanted?
have you ever been the one who had everyone’s respect
but no one’s affection?
have you ever been the one who everybody likes
but nobody remembers to invite?
have you ever been alone on a saturday night
have you ever felt the pain of knowing that you’re never gonna make it
to the inside ring?
have ever known the ache of the desire to be cool
but you’re tired of the faking game?
have you ever had the feeling that you’re fighting an impossible battle
(never gonna win this)?
have you ever been alone in a crowd of friends
you never know what you’re gonna get
when you let yourself go
when you’re cold and exposed, and vulnerable
you never know what they’re gonna see
when you set yourself free
from the lie that you need them to like you
you never know what they’re gonna think
when your heart’s on your sleeve
and you ain’t holding back your emotion
you never know how they’re gonna be
you just got to believe
and lay it all on the line
and see where that leads you
out of your river of self
and into the ocean where so many others have been
out of your fear and distress
that no one will understand how much you’ve let them come in
out of yourself and into them
have you ever know the joy of laying down your life
just to profit your brother?
have you ever shown the love that requires no bond
but one human to another?
have you ever seen the fruit of true selflessness
breaking down walls between men?
have you ever known the death where real life can begin
Weeping may last for the night,
but joy comes in the mourning.
The loss surges, a flood
blasting the dam wide open.
The water pulses then slows,
leaving only the dull ache behind
your tired eyes.
The rivers dry up
and the springs are exhausted.
The crying is done and still the morning never came.
They say the sun always rises again.
But joy comes when the embers are cooling
in the ashes of the good thing
Silence is a hard thing
to come by
and when you do it’s rarely
what you thought you wanted.
The thoughts you couldn’t hear yourself think
in the roar of industrial machinery, screaming
children, and the hum of traffic
now seem to bounce off the walls
of your sound proof cell
like so many prayers
hitting the steel-reinforced ceiling
of this modern cathedral.
The aura is more
eerie than peaceful, here in the
sterile vacuum devoid of any noise
to take your mind off yourself
and all the ghosts that haunt
your past, and present, and future.
But mostly it’s oppressive, the void
closing in around you, tightening its grip
with powerful claws that paralyze
with fear the heart that longs
with great intensity to be
Freedom is a hard thing
too; it usually slips away
amidst the clatter and clang of
a million obligations clamoring for
And so you end up still
bound, not really free at all
from the unbreakable chains
that drove you in the first place to seek
solace in the company of yourself.
The problem with silence and functional anarchy
and the same: a lone voice
rejoicing its liberation, a solitary whisper
echoing back to itself, pleading for
an answer from the cold, solid walls
that enclose you in a universe with no
hope of redemption.
Where there is only one
there is only silence; where
there is only silence
is the grave.
creation groans in echoes
and whispers, sighing
and this too shall be made right.
[this poem is a counterpart to “Dichotomy or The Judgment”]
It’s not true, you know,
the two kinds of people:
we are all the same,
only different in the tension
between the brink
of pure insanity and cold earth.
It comes and goes
in phases like the new moon
—or maybe it IS the moon
pulling out the tide
of strong emotion, dangerous
undercurrents sweeping me off my feet
and head over heels like an infatuated schoolboy
But low tide always follows
high, and feelings fade as quickly
as they ebbed, the beach of
my heart as dry as the sandy shore
all specked with shells
that cut and slice—so indiscriminately and unthinking
—my calloused heart
Time and experience
have taught me to build up
a cold and tough exterior
to protect myself
from rejection or expectations
dashed into pieces by the crashing waves
of wisdom and caution
But there are times
when the pangs of beauty
cut deep into the corners
of my heart, pushing past the outer defenses
with an ease that catches me
off-guard, and utterly defenseless
I am left
flooded with feeling, and filled
with emotion, but utterly uncertain
as to what I should do.
For now I’ll just wait out
the tide, still closed up in my prison
until an undetermined day.
[a meditation on Psalm 2:1-3]
Give me liberty
Give me death!
But I say:
I gave you liberty
and you insisted it was bondage;
now death is what you’ve chosen
[reading note: each stanza sort of bleeds into the next, but each stanza is also its own individual thought. basically you should ignore the grammar you learned in primary school to read this poem. also, it’s very philosophical, in case you were wondering—it is my major after all.]
Where I’ve been thrown I always
[based on a true story]
Life is a changing constancy;
Ever a new face, new clothes—same substance.
The wind brings rain, which drains into the ground
til the earth is full—stuffed
—ready to explode
at a moment’s notice, bursting into green
grass and flowers and bluebonnets galore.
You’d hardly recognize that hill
if you saw it now in Spring:
there’s a new wrought-iron gate
over the ancient, rusty cattle guard,
and tall, straight pines now keeping watch around the tank.
The yard’s old barbed-wire boundary replaced
by a vintage white-washed fence,
and the dirt patch pitching mound we wore into the grass
now marked by a sturdy, promising oak.
I have to wonder: what’d this look like a century or four ago?
Would I have known as I stood on this soil
in knee high grass untouched by any man—
this hill, this dirt, this risen lump of ground—
that I was home?
The tides of time and the literal rivers
must have shaped and formed this plot of land
over who knows how many thousands of years.
But it was still this hill,
it was still this place and still this earth.
And this was ever my heart,
this was ever my soul and ever my song
—though I have yet to truly find the melody.
Everything has changed…in a sense
nothing stays the same…in the end
heaven is eternal…in our souls
when all is put to right we’ll finally know:
we are home, and have been all along.
There are two kinds of people:
some are crazy
and some are dead,
and some days
it’s hard to say who
is better off.
Heaven is as sure as hell
and Hell is pretty damn apparent
The earth’s a lake of fire
at its core, its inner nature
with hate and malice
all diseased and rotting
essence oozing out
From pores and fissures
violent cracks spew
out the stench of death
and dying, fractures
in the love that makes us up
It’s not the sky
no, it’s the world that’s falling, fallen
out of sync with how we know
it’s meant to be
Upside down, the sky beneath
us, waiting patiently
until our spiral downward is complete
And we go SPLAT
against the solid air and understand
that all along
the heavens were the grounded ones
the shadows slipping out of reach
Evil has no sense apart from good
the dark is empty–light is full
good deprived, but still
the solid substance surely real
But nothingness means something
is, or can be
one day will be (will we be?)
real enough to fill
this void for good
To dwell within, inhabit
all this darkness
supersede, consume, explode
the veil that lies so heavy on our hearts
was ripped in two