Casting Colored Shadows

I found them in the street

on hands and knees

among strewn colored chalk.

 

Children chattering on

about keeping the shadows

filled in with the scrapings.

 

The spindled silhouettes

of barren trees crawled

slowly over the asphalt

 

and the artists tried to stay

within the lines.

Thin branches grew

 

in density and color

as the sun moved

across the day.

 

The half-light

of sinking yellow

stretched the chalk

 

down the road

and they held stubs

of pastel and primary

 

between finger and thumb.

Now the shadow of night

is like a canvas.

 

The street light flickers on

and there is no evidence

of asphalt or the cracks

 

of time tucked in it.

They sat on the curb

powdered like doughnuts

 

and slouched in satisfaction.

They promised to

color the shadows forever.

 

Field Notes

In the field

among varied grasses

she waltzed with her palms

brushing the buds bowed in prayer.

 

The late summer wild flowers

dipped in heated color.

Indian paint brushes

dabbed the sky

on the edges

of towering cumulus.

 

She lay

down

in embroidery.

They neither toiled

nor spun

around the edges

of her skin.

 

Sleep planted innocence

once again

and dreams fell on her

like a steady rain.

Beauty forgave

and golden hair

brushed by the breezes

painted the bottomless sky.

Birds of Pray

On top of the pines

they spoke in tongues

and redressed cycled days.

They walked upon the sky

and intersected with wings

aflame by the sun.

It is an aviary of prayer

of limitless tone.

I am not alone.

 

The field is an amphitheater

catching and throwing

the sounds of mourning.

A duet of doves seize the day.

Carpe diem tweaks the dew

and lifts redemption again.

The blackbird’s night song

fades into light.

Slip Knot

They say tie a knot

and hang on.

He did and he

choked himself.

 

He prayed for a slip

of sorts, maybe Fruedian,

so someone might see.

Pulled tighter

 

maybe this ball of tension

will be easier to swallow.

His throat had seized,

not the day

 

but the disparity

of what was and what

could have been.

His own finger and thumb

 

pinched his Adam’s apple.

The forbidden fruit

stuck in his throat.

He swallowed it whole

 

and it lodged tight,

like a sorrow suspended,

it blocked both passages

of air and water.

 

Bulimic finger pointing

and wretched denial

heaved up nothing.

Rotten to the core

 

it sat and the seeds

were insulated, unbroken.

Would just a bite been better,

quickly chewed,

 

never to touch taste buds?

A piece of skin in the belly

for a three day stay

to be purged

 

through body and blood.

He drank some wine

to wash his sorrow down

and a piece of bread made it palpable.

 

Fall: They Fell For Fall and Colored Me.

The kid in the leaf pile

The other night, the wind and rain

slapped a lot of beauty out of their canopies.

The rain fell on the leaves,

the leaves fell like rain.

The colors lay dead.

 

I tried to rally my kids to pick them up.

I gave them Elmer’s glue and a stapler.

I had a few ladders, too.

 

The sun was out and how much

I wanted to see the colors against a cool blue sky

rather than on faded green and asphalt and gravel.

 

I prayed for a resurrection

and imagined the maples bending,

gathering leaves like fallen feathers.

But then, my kids dropped the glue

and staples and the disbelief

their faces had shown me.

 

They ran for rakes.

 

With their faces flush with autumn air,

they piled up the leaves on the runway.

They carelessly overlaid color on color,

like a scribbler with crayons.

 

Their excitement rose, as did the pile.

I saw the clear blue sky in their eyes

as they lay laughing in the spectrum.

I smiled as their redemptive act

fell on me like cool rain in the night.

 

 

Photo by Dinolms

Redemption: The Hope for Transformation.

Abused freedom holds within in it the seed of redemption.

Depravity holds within it the seed of redemption.

Redemption’s necessity is only because things go awry, mostly humans go awry.

I think it was in Ravi Zacharias’ book Why Jesus that one communist/atheist country is allowing Christianity in to quell the instability and in fighting. The concept of redemption was the catalyst they put their stock in to stabilize their country.

The more that time goes by, the tighter I embrace the concept of redemption. Without it humanity is in utter despair; not to mention utter disrepair…I am humanity. Christianity’s unique element is redemption. The absolute center of the faith is the hope of redemption. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ continues to echo off the mountains, even though the characteristic of echoes are their fading decibels.

I recall a time in church years back where a young lady was singing “I Know My Redeemer Lives”. This girl started the song with the charisma of Nicole C. Mullen herself (The artist that sent this song to the top of the charts.) and as she continued she either forgot some lyrics or went off key and she struggled to get back on track and ended up stopping. She apologized. I shouted from the back “No! It’s okay. Keep going.” This was in a pretty subdued church where cat calls rarely or never happened. My passion got the better of me because of the huge epiphany. She was singing about redemption and I saw that God could even redeem her situation. He already had, in my heart anyway.

Is there a situation that you feel is irredeemable? Let me throw some hope your way. Redemption is more than an idea. It is emanating from the Christ. Jesus oozes restoration. Without Jesus the redeemer I am a man most miserable.

This song remains one of my favorites and gains more depth as my earthly journey continues…

Birds of Pray. May our prayers take wing and perch in the heavens.

On top of the pines

they speak in tongues

and redress a cycling of days.

They walk upon the sky

and intersect with wings

aflame by the sun.

It is an aviary of prayer

of limitless tone.

I am not alone.

 

The field is an amphitheater

catching and throwing

the sounds of mourning.

A duet of doves seize the day.

Carpe diem tweaks the dew

and lifts redemption again.

The blackbird’s night song

fades into light.

Back Seat Love: Come on, it’s not what you think.

I know,

is the back seat really a place for love?

In one respect, I think not…

But hold on a minute,

I’m talking about love.

 

I dreamt I was a taxi driver,

in and out of traffic and jams.

My light was on, waiting for a whistle or a hand.

She got in and sat in the middle back.

The rear view cropped her face.

Her brown eyes caught mine in the mirror.

 

“Just drive a bit,” she said calmly.

I nodded and pulled back out into it.

She smiled her eyes and

I think I smiled mine back.

 

“So, any destination in mind?”

“Life.”

“Ah, sure, is that near West 42nd Street?”

“You never know.”

“Well, I will never know if you don’t tell me.”

 

She winked and fully opened her eyes,

briefly exposing the whites like teeth.

Somewhere, I heard the eyes are the window to the soul.

What a beautiful window.

I thought I saw her soul…even more beautiful.

She leaned forward with her chin

nestled in her forearms.

 

“Don’t worry,” she said, “I am not in a hurry.”

“I’m starting to get that.  What about the meter?”

“Keep it running, where I want to go is priceless.”

 

I took one hand off the wheel and relaxed a little.

“A taxi driver not knowing where he is going…”

“…is a nice diversion,” she whispered.

“Wait a minute, you just hinted at a destination.”

“I suppose I did, but you are the driver.  Without you,

I am not going anywhere,” she sang with a smirk.

“What kind of Jell-o logic is that?”

“Oh, let’s not get strapped too tightly into logic.”

 

I took a cleansing breath.  “Jell-o,” I said flatly.

 

She sat back in the seat and stared in the mirror.

“What?” I said.

She brushed the band of brown hair from her eyes

and tucked it behind one ear.

She said softly, “Look into my eyes.

I know you saw it the first time.

That’s right. It’s the beauty beyond the eyes.”

I did see it.

I pulled over and the tears in my eyes magnified

the beauty I saw in hers.

I felt something jump into me.

“That’s where I was hoping to go,” She said as she

handed me the fare and walked away.

 

God is love and is closer than you think.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;

I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”  Ezekiel 36:26

Pull over, out of the traffic for a moment and look into the eyes of the lover of your soul; Jesus.