For my son, on his birthday

He is one who has taken many steps
along life’s road
bearing witness
to the rhythms of time.
He has known the sun’s warmth
upon his neck
and the sting of winter wind’s bite
upon his cheeks.
He has felt the pain of loss
at autumn’s death
but stands in hope,
because he knows
spring promises rebirth.
Life lived in the flow
of days
and seasons
and years
has endowed him with strength.
In courage, he journeys on
protecting and providing
for those battered by life.

Along the way,
he hungers for truth
and forages for understanding,
wherever it may be found.
He was wired with
both reason and curiosity.
Although he knows the map,
he’s not afraid of exploring.
He drinks deeply from wisdom’s spring
and nourishes himself
by listening to others with humility
knowing that every interaction
is an opportunity for growth.

His footprints leave impressions of goodness.
He seeks to bless his fellow travelers.
As he walks along,
he leaves the road
better than he found it.
He tries to live
by the rules of the road,
yet in humility
he knows that he will fall
-repeatedly-
because he understands
the path of goodness
is more journey
than destination.

As he courses on,
he looks not only to the road ahead,
but lifts his face
to the heavens.
He is aware
that night brings darkness,
but he knows too
that heaven’s canopy
is dappled with beauty and light.
He lives with a present awareness
of the beauty of the cosmos.
He appreciates
that all of creation
constantly reveals
a beautiful Creator.
As he gazes in awe
at God’s magnificence
he cannot help but glorify God
with the beauty
of word, form, and song.

Son, my prayer for you on your 13th birthday is this:

That as you journey in courage,
you develop the strength
to pursue justice
and a clear voice for those
who cannot speak for themselves.

That as you journey toward wisdom,
you allow God’s truth
revealed in his word
and in his world
to equip you for a well-lived life.

That as you journey toward goodness,
you look to the ways of Jesus.
This road can be bumpy at times,
but Jesus showed us how to walk well.

That as you journey by grace,
you never forget that
you are one who was made
in beauty.
Whatever brokenness
or pain
or darkness you feel,
it cannot extinguish
the light
of the beauty
of God
that exists in you.

Unhurried Descent

Unhurried descent
flakes as large as lazy bumblebees
float toward the frozen ground.

Unrushed journey
toward their final destination.
Downward, but not without
detours on the breeze.

With their journey’s end certain,
they relax in hope
in this moment.

Fall Headlong Into Courage

November PAD
Day 16 prompt: Write a brave poem

Often the line is hazy between
bravery and recklessness,
courage and stupidity.
Prompted to leap
into the darkness
I can not see bottom.
I stand trembling at the edge
unsure whether to retreat to what is safe
what is comfortable,
or step from the ledge into the unknown.

Maybe we don’t know
whether something is brave
or brainless
until after we jump.
Perhaps even then we are not sure.

In truth, none of us knows
quite when or where we will land,
though we like to pretend otherwise.

But me?
I choose to breathe out a prayer
close my eyes
and fall headlong
into courage.

Private Thoughts

Sometimes I fear
that my private story,
if ever found out
will keep me from glory.

An evil concoction
of anger and lust,
of judgmental thinking
and questionable trust.

Sequestered thoughts
shown on a screen,
in heaven’s courtroom
nothing unseen.

All the assembled
stop singing and stare,
mortified whispers
and looks I can’t bear.

From his holy throne
God shakes his head,
his disappointment
becomes my worst dread.

But I’ve read my Bible
that’s not how it goes,
because of Christ’s blood
we’re no longer foes.

When I leave this earth
and enter heavenly space,
I’ll step not into judgment
but into my Father’s embrace.

Glorious Belonging

November 1 PAD
Prompt: Write a glorious poem

I close my eyes
and descend into light
embraced by love
immersed in glory
surrounded by welcome.

Your voice is a flowing river
powerful, soothing.
“My glory is found in the belonging.
“I am so glad you are here.”

Life in a Fishbowl

Write 31 days, day 20
Writing Prompt: Audience

Life in a fishbowl
Do they know that I am there
Watching them swimming?

For Reflection: Have you ever felt like you live in a fish bowl?

Each Breath, Inspiration

Write 31 days, Day 9
Today’s prompt: Inspire

To inspire is
to breath life.
So often we wait
for something…anything
to energize us
to get creative juices flowing.

But are we paying
to the present
moment?

-To criss-crossed rakes, slumbering
beneath the blanket
quilted leaf by leaf.

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-To a 9 year old
contemplating the rain or perhaps
multiplication’s complexity.

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-To ducks
upon ponds and puddles
contemplating the rain or perhaps
multiplication’s complexity.

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-To a benevolent Dane
enthroned upon
a burgundy dais
overseeing the play
of his loyal subjects.

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Each whisper…each blink
a breath
an inspiration.

For reflection: 
What inspires you in this moment?

Zion’s Comfort

Write 31 days, Day 8
Writing Prompt: Comfort

Day after day
I awaken to the pain
of disintegration,
citizens
hell-bent upon
being right,
which necessitates
someone
being wrong,
and not just wrong
–gloriously wrong–
indeed subhuman.
Our tongues
are uncoiled whips
whose razored tips
rip apart
human dignity.
The shining city on a hill
stands enveloped
in a cloud of dust and ash
that rises from its
crumbling foundations
and society’s conflagration.

Where then is our comfort?
Where is our hope?
Not with earthly powers
that govern the shining city
with inequity,
but with the LORD
of Mt. Zion,
which radiates with
the beauty
and goodness
and glory of God.

For the LORD comforts Zion;
he comforts all her waste places
and makes her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.
(Isaiah 51:3 ESV)

For reflection: 
Reflect upon the goodness of God who is in the process of setting all things right. 

Morning Greeting

Today is National Poetry Day, which is as good a time as any to share one of my older poems, written in 2015.

Black birds in black trees
     wings and branches
     stretched heavenward in morning praise
     silhouetted against the pastel Southeastern sky
A world awakening
     coming alive

Venus looks down from her heavenly seat
     the last nocturne light to retreat

Leaves fall
     crows caw
          squirrels having a ball
greeting the morning with glee
chattering aloud, “Come see! Come see!” 

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