I don’t understand.
I don’t understand much.
I have to fall back on trust,
cling to hope,
And as I venture slowly out
with trepidation and wariness,
first one foot
then the other,
I find the rock beneath my toes
to be solid
and so I stand.
Three hours ago the evening held such potential.
I kept a mental list of all the things I could accomplish.
Breezing though dinner prep I rehearsed it all again.
After the meal, the washing up, the bathing,
I sit before a blank computer screen
trying desperately to find even the smallest bit of enthusiasm
for even ONE of my important tasks.
After an hour I start scribbling down the mental list,
lest a hostage escapes.
Feeling better now that I have the list in concrete form,
then, after reading each and every piece of email,
I quickly explore the latest on several social networks,
just in case someone is trying to get my attention.
Finally, with droopy eyes and achy limbs
I look once more at the list.
Somehow I manage to convince myself
that everything written down can last till tomorrow
and a month of tomorrow.
Right now, I am going to bed.
just yesterday –
as we trod through Corinth
and committed 15:55 to memory,
as we gathered after service
to celebrate a seventieth,
a huge, heavy truck
crossed the divide
and slammed head-first
into a small family car
killing all six occupants,
leaving tangled metal and grieving hearts
in its wake.
we sang “O Death, where is thy sting?”
“Death has been swallowed up in victory”?
Sometimes this side of eternity
seems to last too long.
Sometimes I am worried
that I will arrive in heaven
with my heart all in tatters.
sprawled over bits of paper –
don’t add up to a life.
It’s the messages left on hearts
which anonymously testify
to your being.
Follow the wrong tree around the bush
Call the bullet and blow the shots.
Beat the mustard and take in the towel.
Face your nose and cut from the hip.
Shoot the bull by the horns and throw a dead horse.
Bark the music and bite your own horn.
Pretend it’s nothing.
It won’t stay.
Hold the hurt
Kept at bay, kept at bay,
such a busy, busy day.
Don’t you stop.
Don’t slow down.
Keep your feet
from off the ground.
Can’t be found.
Start to stop.
Got to rest
this heavy load.
Here it comes -
Stay a pace
ahead or so.
Down you fall.
Begin to crawl.
Final gasp -
Now upon you
In every story there is at least one line,
one sentence that stops time, which captures breath.
A good story has several.
A great story plunges a knife into the heart. And then it recreates.
I want a great story.
I want more than just arbitrary moments of wonder.
I need more than a breath-taking second.
I want wild abandon –
dancing through daisies,
singing with crickets,
weeping over brokenness and parts,
rejoicing at tiny tender fingers and toes,
listening to the earth sigh,
collecting and pressing multicoloured days between pages of years,
– so that when I’m gone
I will have left behind
a story worth reading,
a tale worthy of the storyteller.