If Tears Were Race Horses

If I release tears like race horses

which one will fall into the lead?

 

The gate opens and they’re off!

Anger gets out at the jump,

with Dissappointment a nose back.

Loneliness makes a run for third,

edged out by Rejection.

Grief settles in between

Laughter and Loss,

While Joy brings up the rear.

The track of the tears

comes alive as dirt and dust

rise in and behind the pack.

They are neck in neck,

cheek to cheek

as the backstretch looms.

It’s any horse’s race but

Joy is on the move,

but not on the outside.

Joy is moving through

the thick of it, jockeying,

bumping bellies,

smelling sweat,

listening as the hoofs

displace earth while

muzzles move air.

The movement is hidden

within at first, but down

the wire Joy overcomes

by two lengths.

 

Sunday Two Step

Jesus, keep me from deifying

Gravity with those memories

Of self-pining, pinned down,

Fastened to floors of unforgiving.

 

Lord Jesus, Come help me defy

Gravity, grant moments

Of rising above

With leaps of grace and mercy.

 

When I walk, may it be light

Obedient steps

Morphing into a dervish dance

While gravity spirals away.

Conversations Across The Floor.

Words glided across the floor
and rose on toes occasionally.
Gray hair flew and a white dress flowed.
Father and daughter dancing
a private conversation
in front of everyone.

Winged tips shuffled on air
and crystal slippers clinked
like long stemmed wine glasses.
We a sipped on their conversation
of pear shaped tears of joy.
Water to wine.

Written for John Monroe, Father of the bride, June 1st, 2013.

Don’t Count Me Out

The pill I found

awakened me like

Robert Deniro.

 

The dancing unfurled

with you in hand

and spectrums rose.

 

Nerves had no end

and struck like lightning

and I was blind for a spell.

 

A forty year reverse

to when hiding and seeking

was just a game.

 

Jesus was counting

against the tree

looking for me.

 

 

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” Psalm 139:1

 

Smile In My Pocket

She was thigh high and three.

She turned and saw me stare

and then without warning

handed me a smile.

 

It laid  in my palm

and straddled my life line.

I smiled a ‘thank you’ back

and closed my fingers over it.

 

It was slipped into my pocket

next to keys and some pennies.

There it stayed all day

like a receipt.

 

I forgot about it.

A few days later

I was scooping out the lint trap

and it was right next to a candy wrapper.

 

It was faded a bit and wrinkled.

I plucked it out of the fibers

and got out the ironing board.

I set the iron to delicates.

 

After folding it nicely

I placed it in my drawer

right on top of the kerchiefs,

neatly.

 

It waits there.

 

I will fetch it when

the blood runs

and the sweat beads

and the tears roll.

 

I will wipe her smile on my face.

 

 

 

I have a child named Zoe. Zoe means ‘life’. It was another Zoe at Sam’s Club who handed me that smile. Thank You!

Take some time today to for some handouts…give your smile to someone, it might surprise them later in their lint trap.

It Was A Time.

The dance began with the sun.

It waltzed with the clouds

and yellow was sent in pirouettes

lightly upon the water.

The wind put its arms around us all

and led us to each other.

*

We saw “together.”

When it was “I do,” they did.

Our hearts had become a river dance.

Tears leapt and rolled with joy.

*

Boys, close to the floor,

jumped and jived.

Young maidens freestyled

and painted the room with brush strokes

and furls of color which spun outward.

Oldlyweds stepped in and out

and renewed their vows,

slow and tight and true.

*

This was a time to heal,

a time to laugh,

a time to embrace,

a time to love,

and a time to dance.

*

For Steve and Shannon Lumetta, who gave us good reason to dance!

Take Joy Sister! All Is Grace. Eucharisteo!

Those are the hand written words for my wife from Ann Voskamp.

This morning I finished One Thousand Gifts and wept.

Here, this grown man of fifty one, weeping over a woman’s ability to form into words the authentic struggle and blessing of life. It wasn’t information passed, but a communion of well chosen words arranged in a book vase and set on the desk of this man’s heart.

I love flowers and beauty and poetry, especially when they are placed within weeds and ugly and the flat sentences of life. That is what Ann Voskamp has given to me over the past six months; her heart. It wasn’t her heart only, but the cadence of every heartbeat reverberating off life authentic.

I cannot add words to this book.

Ann summed it up when I handed my wife’s copy to her…

Joy can be taken!

Grace is everywhere.

Gratefulness precedes the miracle. Eucharisteo!

http://onethousandgifts.com/

I will come back to the poetic prose of Voskamp. Have you read One Thousand Gifts?

Sips Through A Straw

Dance, song, laughter,

and tears of frosted glass.

In and through it I remembered.

 

There was ice water and a straw.

Our only duty was to keep vigil on her lips.

Her mouth would motion us.

Silent smacking and we would reach

for the cool cup.

She would sup and the arid places

were moist for a moment

until the cycle turned.

 

I remembered when we shared

our tears and held each other’s

in the bowl of our hands.

The salt water reflection

of Joy.

 

Yesterday I took little sips

through the straw set on my lips.

Thank you for giving me a drink.

 

 

The Verve’s first line in Bittersweet Symphony is one that underlined a day of celebration.

“It’s a bittersweet symphony, that’s life.”

I was overwhelmed with the joy of family and friends in celebrating life!

There were moments when I saw the people who were missing though.

The tides continue whether I hear them or not.

God, grant me the grace to keep sipping as the tides come in and out.