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2017 Poems
January - April

Jesus Far Away

Jesus Far Away         Print this poem only

You were someone I’d heard of
there on the crucifix above
but you were carved wood or painted
or smelted bronze on the wall untainted

I heard the priest sermonize
on your Father so old and wise
and your mom in visions and chant
at Lourdes, and my Louisiana aunt

you were an infant in the manger
but really you were a stranger
up there, out there, far away
to whom we were told to pray

your cross - blue neon or on white steeples
your name on billboards with other people
like pols, sexy women and housewives
you were sold like candy, rifles and knives

you were storied in scripture and song
if I wasn’t good like you I was all wrong
I knew you were too perfect to imitate
your life was too sterling to undertake

Jesus here Jesus there Jesus everywhere
not a real man with sweat and nails and hair
you couldn’t laugh or belch or touch
we couldn’t chat or play or buddy too much

you were a king and even a superstar
in carols and ballads played with guitars
they said and sang you were a friend to me
that seemed to me an impossibility

but now I’m glad you’re not far away 
or someone I knew about back in the day
I’ve found you my brother and you are free
and loose in my soul, I’ve got you in me.

Written 1-9-17








Crystal         Print this poem only


Her jewels are designed to impress

the bourbon in the crystal she holds

swirls as elegantly as her dress

its willowy hem laced with gold.


I see the way the light is bent

through that crystal clear and bright

and the rainbows in the glint

intoxicate my sight.


But I’m afraid I don’t have the class

to prize crystal and its heavy feel

I’ve got shelves of ordinary glass

with no sophisticated appeal.


They say that real crystal rings

and shines with a silvery sheen

but you can’t hear the angels sing

or see them in my goblet unclean.


My simple vessel is made of clay

its rugged story might give you pause

or its contents scare you away

with its tale of error and flaws.


But… I’ve heard a higher voice speak

and explain I am crystal of precious worth

with a blameless soul and wondrous mystique

He says: “You are a drop of heaven fallen to earth.”


Written 1-9-17


Upon the Waters         Print this poem only


Oh you brash God.

You call me out upon the waters,

me in my fears and inadequacies.

But beyond human understanding

you have faith in me. 


I am Peter.  I step out of that boat

then when things get rough

I panic.


Like Peter, I call upon you:

Save me from sinking,

rescue me from my dimming faith

and vanishing courage!

I see you vaguely

hear you faintly

I am not saintly,

just an ordinary man.


But they were 12 ordinary men

you called them

they followed.


So here I go

because I know you are there

to calm the waters - if I but reach out to you.

You are here - to help me into the boat

for this journey

across the waters…


I leap


You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my…


“Oceans” by Hillsong United


Written 1-18-17


Beyond the Crooked Trees          Print this poem only


I walk among crooked trees

its leaves wind-thrown

and gone to ground.

I feel the cooling breeze

stop and lean close

run my hand across the ragged trunk

its pulse now loving deeply.


On the baseball field dad hits

to his boy who leaps

tips the ball

retrieves it

and ably slings it

to an imagined catcher

at the backstop.

And dad shows him a better arch

for his arm.


Ah! what a sweet scene

this simple love of father and son.

I smile sadly

no such memory inside

to warm this wintry day

but somehow healed

by the peal of that bat on ball

a splendid father’s swing

the smooth lope of his child

across that field

just beyond the crooked trees.


Written 1-30-17


New Package         Print this poem only


I know I'm aging.

But I am new too

a freshly-arrived-today

unopened package

with a mystery inside.


Each morning you unwrap the day

with your light

and here I am with this present

this mystery before me.

What poem will I find hidden here?

What new creation?

Because it is all new.

I am not my past

but a package full of you

and here I am

ready to unwrap it. 

Written 2-11-17

Yeast         Print this poem only


I feel you rising you yeast 

you’ve brought your land inside

and increased - wonder if my death’s at hand.


Or is this just a taste of heaven 

calling like groom to bride

kneading in me your leaven

is it you exploding inside?


It seems this you I recognize as if you

and I've been here before yet this

you in me’s a surprise this rising

I can't ignore.


I've asked for you in prayer and song 

and here you are in me expanding

my soul - this can't be wrong its all beyond



I'd rather not leave this earth

just yet if its ok with you but

keep on with this rebirth

keep on coming – it feels true.


Wherever you want me I'll go

deeper, farther, west or east

if you say come I’ll follow for

I know it’s you my Yeast.


Written 2-7-17


The Pursuit         Print this poem only


Nothing can separate me from you

not when I’m a darker shade of blue

not when darkness comes calling

nor when my spark is falling.


When I open the door to temptation

give myself up to frustration

you are whispering in my ear

that voice I don’t want to hear.


Like a puppy tied to my leash

or a burr that will not release

its grip on my running feet

you will not, you cannot retreat.


Like a poet blocked in deadly boredom

you are the muse running toward him.

You are a father with a telescope

looking for me with eyes of hope.


When I completely gave up on you

left home for reckless rendezvous

gave in to desire and pleasures

your zeal was without measure.


In my deep and wallowing guilt

you don’t give up on what you’ve built

what you’ve known from the start

that you’re right here deep in my heart. 


Written 2-24-17



Daylight Saving Time         Print this poem only


Hello morning

open my eyes

pull open the blind

from this darkness.


I need saving

from this blinding night.


What’s your shadow?







I’ve fallen into these dark goblets

crowded, muted - howling their darkness,

misguided by the misguided -

friends, kin, lovers,

all the screaming screens.


It is daylight saving time.

Written 3-21-17


Dragonfly         Print this poem only


Dragonfly lights on the lily   
her veined wings translucent 
morning sun on the shimmering dewy grass
seeps through seducing my eyes
drawing me in to this delicious glory.


Author’s Note:  Looking at a stained glass dragonfly plant decoration in our garden room I was reminded of one of my favorite poetry books, Ode to Common Things by Pablo Neruda who is one of my all time top poets.  He could inhabit the essence of a chair to make you think you were friends if not intimate with it.


Written 4-4-17


Buttercups         Print this poem only


The clock was running and the hour late

my mind was racing at a crazy rate

the traffic on the road oh so dense

big trucks roared by, their drivers tense.


My mood was blue but I looked up

and saw a sprinkled wealth of buttercup.


And then I knew even in delay

the fate awaiting later in the day

would not be something I had to fight

for I’d remember this splendid sight.


By the road bluebonnets ablaze

swaying in the wind giving praise.


If on my path misfortune I cross

when I encounter pain and suffer loss

I hope I can recall the glory of this drive

give thanks I too am alive.


I hope on my journey I’ll look up

and see the sprinkled wealth of buttercup.


Author’s Note: Driving this morning on Texas highways April was bursting with joy. The wildflowers are magnificent, especially the buttercups, also known as pink evening (or showy) primrose, or pink ladies.


Written 4-11-17
Revised 5-10-18

Ever There         Print this poem only


You are never never in any land
where you cannot reach my hand
never never in any space
out of my embrace.

I fly between the windmill’s blades
in the rainbow and in the shades
in every corner of your anxious room
even in your desperate doom.

You and I have walked together
when you knew not whether
you would make it through the day
and you took your mind faraway.

But I was in your every hair and breath
where I will be until your death.
Your heart is full of mine
a vessel brimming with Divine.

So when you think you’ve crossed
into the desert and are lost...
Stop.  Fill your lungs with air.
And find me always and ever there.

Written 4-13-17 (Revised from previous version)

Constancy         Print this poem only

I woke up adrift today

not knowing If you would be

close to me or far away

my mind was an angry sea.


Do you lead to waters still and clear

through the valley of the shadow of death

to green pastures where no evil I’ll fear

where you’ll be in my every breath?


Oh Lord,  sometimes anger overtakes

and I’m chained by my ego pride

or a sadness breaks and shakes

the fabric of peace that’s inside.


Sometimes it seems an evil descends

invades the very rooms of my soul

and I feel lonely and devoid of friends

yearning and burning to be whole.


They say you never change

but down to the river I go

I see you move from range to range

I hear the rush of your vibrant flow.


It matters not how far I feel,

if guilt and shame bow me to knee

you’re here inside and really real

and I know its your love that’s my constancy.

Written 4-16-17

How have you risen today?         Print this poem only


The sun rose again at dawn

lilies opened blasting praise

I found a road to walk on

to face my fear and malaise.


How have you risen today?


A son forgave his errant dad

A father forgave his son’s sin

from their chains they got unclad

and found a way to begin again.


How have you risen today?


My wife and friend came with me

to church and sang and listened

were open and willing to see

the light and my eyes glistened.


How have you risen today?


Confused and lost I’d gone astray

and thought I was dying inside

gave up on finding the way

learned I could still come alive.


How have you risen this day?


Today I found a new truth

that if you are really inside

I’ll always be in my youth

and when I die I too will arise.


That’s a few other ways you’ve risen today.

Written 4-16-17



Spring         Print this poem only


I heard you singing

oh what a melody

awakening me

to cool clearness

to a fresh nearness

and peaceful resonance

with the preciousness

of Earth.


Contrast the days of anger

creeping and seeping into me

in such stupid little things

as an unscrewable top

a dirty fork dropped

a page that wouldn't turn

a candle I couldn't burn

talking, barking heads

fomenting darkness

and dread.


But last night

I saw your sympathy and sadness

as I poured out my madness

into the bowl of your heart,

threads in me torn apart

dangling jangling my nerves

and knotting my stomach

but there you sat - calmly listening

your eyes glistening

full of understanding and love


oh what grace

what a delicate lace

woven of affection 

through you - from above

to cure my affliction

to settle me

into my soul

into that sacred soil

where heaven is sprouting

right there below my doubting


And so this morning

from the tendrils of my sleeping

I heard singing

the larks and love

God and Earth are bringing

and dancing behind my eyes

until they opened

and beheld

an ever burgeoning

ever startling



Written 4-17-17

Upon the Waters
Beyond Crooked Trees
New Package
The Pursuit
Daylight Saving Time
How have you risen
Ever There
crooiked trees.JPG
river in autumn.JPG

Raisin in the Sun            Print this poem only


This play tore me and wore me inside
watching the Harlem family beset and battered
by their lot of poverty, bias and pride
watching one by one their dreams shattered.


These actors shedding real tears
on the small community stage
pulled me back over the years
to the anger and rage of a younger age.


Older’ comfortable and white
still I wonder how I was so touched
by the story of those souls that night
how my heart was so firmly clutched.


Yet at times I too feel worn and tossed
trying to follow Jesus in my weakness
then I remember him weak on the cross
and am pulled from my pitiful bleakness.


Recently reborn I’m only a child -
will my dreams too be deferred
will I find the grace to desert the wild
or will this green Christ-follower be deterred?


Thank God I know strong Christian men
I hear some long journeys of faith
of places of light and dark they’ve been
their struggles and victories small and great.


Still I wish from an early age I learned to love
the Gospels and Paul’s letters one by one
and sang and clapped, and raised my hands above
I wish from the start I had raisin in the Son.

Written 2-17-17

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