creating me [using words]


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Splashing Over Porcelain

astounded by what comes
as gift to me
how novel
that I could merely receive

will it ever happen
where I no longer give
10x what I take?

did I enable greed
this way, my lavish
love poured like wine
in your alcoholic glass

I bathe alone
in warm abundant bubbles
torn skin
with fragrance

when I give again
may it be

Heal Our Fears

Heal our fears,
the jagged-scar fears
that slice the skin
of our communion,
rip us one from another,
bleed lines of division.

Heal our fears.
Stitch the wound
of misunderstanding,
nurse blistered empathy
back to vibrant health,
dress the sores
oozing putrid hate.

Heal our fears.
Take away
the cancer of slander,
the ulcer of bigotry,
and the arthritis
of love gone stiff
in the joints.

Heal all the places
in our bodies
where we hold mercy
captive, clenched
fists and knotted muscles,
hunched-over shoulders
making heartless hermits
of our souls, refusing
the medicine of
companionship and the
balm of holding hands
and the ministry
of kissing strangers.

Heal our fears!
Make us brave
with the courage
to drop our shields
and expose
our hearts at last,
brave enough to trust
not all will draw arrows;
some will marvel
before our armor-bare bodies
shimmering like mirrored
glass, they will see
in us their own hearts
staring back
from the depth
of our disclosure.

Heal our fears.
May we know
without doubt
we are stitched together,
you and I.
We are meant to be
healed, meant to
dance wildly
upon recovering knees,
breathe deep
from resurrected lungs,
laugh merrily
with repaired lips,
listen long
from unstopped ears,
gaze gratefully
with unblinded eyes.
Oh physician
of compassion
heal our fears!

Slowly Learning

I am learning, against my will, learning
that help still comes
and grace shows its face
though it was another face
I longed for
though all seems lost
and the road too long
and these shoes give me blisters
Despite all the bumps along the way
I did not want
detours I did not choose
broken bones and broken hearts
I am learning, against my will, learning
there is sun and wind
and wildflowers too
even the more desolate trails
gift me with grass and the
occasional green blade of hope
waving singularly amidst dried thistle
I am learning, against my will, learning
that even when some betray,
others move in closer
and I am never alone
some let go while others hold on
and my arms are never empty
I did not want to learn
these lessons, I wanted it
all to stay peachy, but then
it didn’t stay that way–
maybe it never was–
and when I opened my heart
grumpily to let the pain in, pain
entered holding hands with joy
and I found them both company
in my house. I sat them
at my table, stared in wonder,
never seen such a mismatched pair,
but there they were
at home in me
as if we’d always lived this way.
I am learning, against my will, learning
how to keep the peace
in my home between them
how to keep the peace in me–
it’s slippery!–how to notice
the peace as I walk
through the valley of shadows.
I am leaning in to the mercies.
I am learning, against my will, learning.

Child of Mercy

The great synthesizing
free association,
indulgent lingering,
lax borders,
and a wide open heart.
Get inside the sandbox
of your thoughts,
bury yourself there,
throw sand,
build castles,
destroy them—
what I mean is,
Become like a child.
Jesus knew
this was necessary.
Bare feet, storybook sermons
and riding atop donkeys
is how he did things,
that great wisdom teacher.

For the Deeper Sorrows

Have you ever had the sadness that reaches down into your toes and fills you all over, leaves nothing untouched? Have you ever known the sorrow that spreads like a fever and keeps you in bed? Have you ever gotten angry to keep from feeling sad or sad to keep from feeling angry? Have you ever just plopped down on your surfboard and rode the wave of grief, let it carry you, blinked the stinging salt from your eyes, tasted its bitter splash?

This is the only image I am finding helpful: Is this sorrow opening me or am I closing, clenching up? Am I constricting or expanding? Growing or shrinking? I open the very pores of me. Grief soaks in.

Grief seeps out. I keep the door to my heart swinging open. Tide come in. Tides go out. Washing away the broken-glass dreams I’ve been gripping too tightly, washing over the sharp cuts on my fingers. Saltwater sorrow stings. But I know these guests are here to clean me out, heal me, make me wide as ocean.

Reminding Myself

I am chaos

I want to be:
genius even

I will be: All of it.

To Pray In Grief

Mother of God how hard was it
for you to watch what you had labored
and birthed be killed?

We carry such deaths in our bodies.
Even as we serve as tombs for murdered
dreams, may our wombs stay vibrant,
and our love remain warm. May we shower
the burial grounds with incense
and spice, rising early to sit with what
we have lost. May the grief that meets us
in the morning one day lead to an
emptied-out grave and the music of angels.

2014, This Is How I Greet Thee

On January 2, 2014, I decided to become, or to be, a strong woman. I believe I was inspired, in part, by listening to Maya Angelou. To me, being a strong woman means:

  • I will write and I will write from the heart and I will write authentically and I will only write in cahoots with inspiration and I will write bravely and I will keep putting my work out into the world. I will let my own voice speak.
  • I will reserve the right to tell my story in the way I see fit. Someone said you can survive anything if you can tell a story about it, so I will craft story to keep strong.
  • I will acknowledge my needs, even petty ones, even ones that make me feel weak and vulnerable, and with time and patience I will discover appropriate ways to meet every need.
  • I will live the life my soul is asking me to live, and I will not pause for permission though I pause often for discernment, and I will not apologize for becoming who I am meant to be, though I will not shy from learning from mistakes.
  • I will never stop growing.
  • I will stay open to adventure and to surprise. I will extend hospitality to the unexpected and welcome even the stranger experiences and emotions.
  • I will meet heartache with tears, then hope. I will respond to evil with creativity and integrity. I will fight violence with words and kindness. I will take chaos and create poetry.
  • I will learn how to listen well.
  • I will mother the motherless elements of myself, and when called for, do the same for others.
  • I will not insert myself where I do not belong, nor carry anxieties that do not bear my name, nor worry about that which I am not responsible for fixing. I will find where I belong, I will carry what is given to me, and I will be a faithful steward of the tiny portion of redemptive action I hold in my own two hands.
  • I will tell the truth.
  • When I don’t know what to do, I will say so. I will not pretend any answer. When I don’t know what to do, I will light candles, pray prayers, sit still, ask for help, write poems, but I will try not to act too soon, speak too hastily, or force a way forward.
  • I will arrange my pains and pleasures artfully so that my life gets to feel like a masterpiece and my darkness doesn’t get wasted and my light doesn’t get smothered by shadow. When you tell me your pains and pleasures, I will try to honor your colors too, and I will admire the art of you, like you are a museum piece I revere except that I won’t be afraid to touch you.
  • I will make a beautiful home and I will bake my life full of sugar, yeast, gratitude and laughter.

In so doing, I will find that I am very strong.

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creating me [using words]

Transforming the Body

The thoughts and writing of Lucas M. Land


creating me [using words]