Prayer About What’s Bugging Me

Look what the locusts have eaten

with their bellies distended and all.

I pray for anorexia nervosa

on the whole lot of them.

May their regiments

hold fast to a fast.

May they retreat from treats.

May their locus lose its control.

Lord, command them to cease and

desist as I turn to You.


Low Grade Depression

Jesus’ hand pressed on my chest.

I woke and made eye contact.

Sweat saturated my neck and shoulders.

He performed CPR.

The breath of life at all angles.


“Listen, are you listening?”


I nodded.


“You aren’t dying.

Your heart is strong.

This deep press on your heart

is waiting for a response.

I am acquainted with grief.

I am a man of sorrows.”


I could feel heat in my eyes.


“I wept

over Jerusalem

over Lazarus.”


I blinked tears that burned down.


“Things do get complicated

and the sorting out and attempts

of nailing those things down wearies you.”


I looked away.


“They tried to nail me down too.

I was too complicated.

I still Am to many.

Even you try to secure Me with nails.”


Eye contact.


“Yes, even now you try to manage Me.

You aren’t the only one.

But you are the one I am talking to now.”


His hand kept pressing in intervals

and pushed blood through the chambers.


“I am.”


I nodded.


“I Am.”


Tears flowed unhindered

and drenched His hand

while the compressions continued.

I so wanted to nail His hand

to my heart.

Return of the Prodigal by Rembrant

New Year’s Blues…”Woke Up This Mornin’…” Thoughts On A New Year.

Cliff diving any one? I am not saying go jump off a cliff. While Congress clenched their fiscals we came to the end of the year surrounded by life, liberty and the pursuit of happenings. There is evidence lying/laying everywhere including teenage girls strewn about on our basement floor. Our house filled and emptied over night and fireworks could be seen just over the distant tree line as time and space birthed a new year. I thank God the Mayans weren’t the only ones who designed a way to keep track of our earth’s laps around the sun. For breakfast I drank dark Cafe’ Verona roast and consumed beans & franks and a miniature spice cupcake.

My finger tips now rest lightly on the keys here and I wonder if I will have anything in 2013. Gathering words from the swirling brain cells (Both of them.) and pushing down the plastic squares to form sentences worth reading seems a bit scary of late. I have been taking strolls around the writer’s block for months now it seems. I read much though and experience life here in the revolving door of our house of happenings. They say write from your experience. There is experience everywhere I look. So, what do you want to read about? Or rather, what do I want to write about?…or both.

Snowflakes drift down just far enough apart that if I tried really hard I could count them.

Bacon sizzles as a zombie daughter stands over it.

Buford the bloodhound snores on the couch…

New Year’s Eve, in the midst of convoluted conversation noise, I heard a blues riff in the corner of the living room. Over and over two guitarists laid down the well known ba dah dah ba bum… I sat betwixt them and waited on my muse to lyric the music. Nothing came. No words. They kept laying it down and I sat on me duff.

I am determined not to come up empty in 2013! We all have something to say. In fact, we say much with or without words. Like I responded to a text from a long time friend’s wishes of ‘Happy New Year’…”The world is still spinning and we are hangin’ on!” There were many times in 2012 in which letting go flashed across my mind. The world seemed to spin faster and out of control with Innocents killed, wars and rumors of them, fallen leaders, economies with faint pulses, and not to mention my own faint of heart self. Hmmm.

I am still here. You are still here. Ever ask why? Don’t spend a lot of time with this question, but do ask. Maybe when your eyes first peel open as you lie on a new day is a good time to ask away. I ask with the expectation of a still small voice response. The other day I said a short prayer: (My prayers seem to be shorter and shorter, but more to the point.)  Lord, touch my heart.

The day went as expected. Lisien, my special needs child, asks every evening when I arrive home “how was your day daddy?” My standard reply is “Long and arduous.” That night she even answered the question herself with a smile…”I know, long and arduous, right?” Hmmm. What is my family catching from me with these words? Better change the conversation even if each day IS long and arduous.

My wife and I planned a date to see the movie Les’ Miserables that evening. I almost backed out because I was kind of whipped from a day of grannie stepping deliveries to each door because of ice and snow. I tend to nod off in movies anyway and I heard Les Mis was stellar. I didn’t want to miss any part of it. We went with my oldest son. My heart was deeply touched and I remembered the morning prayer. After the credits and music stopped I thought: We need more Jean Valjeans in this world. Can I become one? Can you?

Short Prayer: Lord, mold my heart. May the choices I make today be the change for a better tomorrow.

I mean it. This isn’t a Hallmark commercial…:)

Perch, Hmmm, Fish Sounds Tasty, But This Isn’t What This Is About.




See. There. Quick.

The hummingbird


on the dead spruce branch

above the bee

balm flame.


She is no blur

of wings.


And look.

Her long nectar-

loving beak—

She has tucked it

in the feathers

of her breast.


John Leax

Recluse Freedom Poems


I read this poem aloud this morning. Never have I seen a hummingbird perched. Surprise would be my response as well. No time to reach for a camera. Just enough time to file a few words.

Anyone who knows the life of the Barrett house knows it is like a hummingbird. Much movement. Little perching. Twelve chickens, eleven children, five ducks, three dogs, two cats, two turtles, a bass, and one mom and one dad make for a lot of molecule dancing. I imagine a butterfly deep in China’s interior being pushed around by our movement here in Michigan.

I have been thinking about focus and purpose and time management lately. Some of these thoughts come from Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Listen to this:

“I speak it to God: I don’t really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done—yesterday…who actually knows how to take time and live with soul and body and God all in sync?

I just want time to do my one life well.” Pages 67 and 68.

Did I just see you nodding? Yeah, I nodded too. Come here a sec. Let me tell you that I perch every morning. The first thing I do after I wipe the sleep out of my eyes and put on a pot of coffee is sit out on the back deck. I have three or four books. A bible, some books of great inspirational writing, and a book of poems are set on the picnic table. It is there I ask God to come to speak to me while my wings aren’t flapping. I read out loud to quell any A.D.D. tendencies. The reason I share this with you is because we aren’t designed to hover around this gift of life of ours. We need to perch on a regular basis. Hey, even God took a break after six days. Rest. It’s in the design.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

“Lead me beside the still waters.”

“Restore my soul.”

Are you making time to perch? The flitting will come soon enough, eh?


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?”


“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.