creating me [using words]

Archive for the month “June, 2013”

Eat the Sun

Tell, tell, tell your secrets
until your secrets tell you
the truth you’ve always known.
In the dark, they fed on your soul
but in the light, they feed you slow.

Do not eat yourself; do not be devoured.
You are not a cannibal; you are not prey.
Find nourishment in the light,
Let no false thing hold sway.
Secrets breed in the underground,
birthing feral disgrace.
But in the gorgeous beam
of an outdoor sun
your insides come out to play
while the dreary lies float away
and your pale-faced shame
tans by the bay
and you feel it to your bones:
this is a new day.
So you let your secrets out
to surf the waves
while your hope-filled toes meet
tides and the incoming day,
then you gorge yourself on light and truth
until your soul is fat, your mind intact,
and your courage is here to stay.


A Prayer of Scattered Minds

God, I wonder what you are up to while I exist in this frenetic tetherball activity of heart and mind. So often it feels for sure like I have cut the string (bad girl!), but I suspect instead you’ve loosened the slack so I can really fly, and though I soar so far as to be unsure if I can even see you anymore, you are still the pole that anchors me to the ground, and it is on the far edge out here that I will learn what trust is. I am so afraid and so exhilarated, and I pray the breathless prayer of the free-falling skydiver: “Save me!” and “Wow! Look at this view!”

I am terrified, alert, distracted, and open, and these are the beginning birth-pains of faith. What will be born of all this agony? I do not know, and I am scared. What if I deliver a monster? Or, what if it is a gift, caged inside me–have I the right to deprive the world of God by fearfully clutching and keeping it in? I am merely a conduit, and fly I must, lest I hang limp beside the sturdy pole Who works in conjunction with the Wind to make me a life.

I Do Not Know What Prayer Is and Still I Pray

What is prayer?
To be.
To be in God.

You are more mysterious than ever.
My heart yearns and also balks
at the ephemeral idea of Presence.

Who is God? Do I know him/her?
Am I loved and do I love in return?
These are the ultimate questions
which I cannot seem to answer.
I would run away
from this terrifying void
if only the silence didn’t seem
as if it were speaking to me softly.

Sometimes it is only the silence–
silence only–that holds me here.
How do I explain that?
I could speak a thousand words
and never convince
of the silence that compels.

I enter the darkness yet again
and from inside it, I tell you,
“The water is fine! Jump!” but
really the water is raging.
Jump anyway. Jump anyway.
Drown in the unknowing if you must
rather than stand on the shores
of your false certainties.
God is in the deep, even though
he cannot be seen or heard.
I don’t know why I swim here–
it is cold and dangerous–
but I must or else
die a death of another sort.

Come with me?
The water is fine,
fine for falling in,
finer than fine,
it will swallow you.

I think we’re finally
praying now,
and if the waters
take us under,

Beauty and Bruises

I remember the pride of bruises,
comparing our beat-up knees after games.
“Look at this one!”
meant, “Look how tough I am!
Look what I’ve endured!”
I wanted people to see the bruises–
they were trophies, medals, plaques
that said I had fought hard.
Even when we lost the game,
bruises were victories.

Later in life, pain became shame,
a thing to cover up.
Don’t let anybody see!
Why? Scars still show I’m tough,
that I’ve fought hard,
even on the days I lost,
I put in time and sweat and hustle.

I now reflect on the
beauty of a bruise–
both a point of pride:
look what I have survived
and a point of vulnerability:
here’s a spot that is now
tender to the touch.

An event that leaves a mark
takes on special meaning
because so many hard things
never even show up
on your skin.
Does the heart turn shades
of purple, then fade to
yellow-green? Are there colors
to recovery, in the places
no one sees?

How you interpret a scar
makes all the difference–
is it a defect or a story?
Let your body speak
and tell all its tales!

She made us wear knee-pads,
our coach, in every game,
but we didn’t want them–
young enough to still believe
our knees would last forever,
fiery enough to think
some impact wouldn’t kill us,
proud enough to prefer
the bruises of the battle
to post-game make-up
applied in locker room secrecy.

We wanted it to show up–
our burgeoning tenacity–
though courtside timidity
and adolescent insecurity
ruled our waking hours
here was the gymnasium
of our budding powers,
where nothing could keep us down,
and it was okay
(within reason) to foul,
and we were stars in our own minds
which was sufficient self-image
for surviving and sprouting soul.

And so after every game,
we swapped battle-scar stories
like trading currency,
until the value diminished in our minds.
We learned how to shun our pride,
We hid the glory of our marks,
We shrunk back down
to smaller-than-life.
We added elbow pads and helmets,
What a relief to be benched!
Perhaps I can take a nap over here
and no one will notice.
No newspaper will report my name
and my stats
I can sit and be forgotten,
no announcer to call my name.
I’ll curl my hair and paint my nails
like a grown woman
who didn’t really grow.

But when I fall asleep,
I always dream I’m playing.
I am back and
I am better than before.
Is this a memory that haunts
my sleep? Or a vision?
I stare at my knees,
too smooth, too blank.
Did I really use concealer–
on my legs??
Who have I become?
This manicured figure
is not me.
So I stand up to play with abandon.

Let your body speak
and tell all its tales!
No shame at all
in the fight you’ve fought
all your life to win,
even when the shots don’t fall,
even then, it was a win
of a different sort.
Wear each bruise proudly.



You do not need permission
to live your own life.

Stop listening to the voices
who do not know you.
Stop being afraid of the heartbeat whispers
that pull you into the new.
Stop being an object acted upon.


even if it is tiny

The Inside Demonstration

Why do we turn a cold hose
on our inner protesters?
Those tiny voices of truth
and justice that wildly wave flags?
We are too important to read
the banners of a stomachache,
too rational to adhere to emotions
with their unshaved beards
and long hippy hair that flaps in the wind,
too busy to slow down and listen
to the small guy with the valid complaint,
or, more accurate, too afraid
to discover all is not at peace
inside ourselves.

Bully on past all the signs.
Do not even see them if you can,
that way, you’ll blend right in
with the other bored and butchered lives
of manufactured perfection.

Or, risk the unconventional.
Buy a round table.
Invite the scruffy-faced agitators
who wreck havoc on your body
into the conference room
of your operations.
Then shut your mouth
and listen.

The Gift-Giver

To be given
a gift without
strings, to be
cared for
without demands
to be loved
for who you are
to be liked
just because
you’re you–
such wonders don’t
come often enough
but that they come
at all is miracle,
miracle that sets free
from the toxicity
of loving what cannot
and will not
love you back.

Did you know
you do not have
to wait alone
to be rescued?
You can give gifts
to yourself, free
of obligation.
You can care for you,
love you, and like you
and before long
you’ll have company.

Oh to take these things
we need and lavish
them on ourselves
and then share
them with those
we encounter
and spread the euphoria
of free love
wherever it seems best
to give it.

When Words Fail

When words fail
like the absence of oxygen
this impenetrable chasm between
speaker and listener,
or, more frightening still,
chasm between your soul
and the blank page–
Listen to white space
and see if she speaks
a wordless sign.

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creating me [using words]


creating me [using words]