Tuesday, December 29, 2015


It's just a set of shelves.
Cobbled together of scraps
Left over from any number of projects.
Remains repurposed.
A little sweat and careful measuring.
Pulling pieces from the pile,
Examining them for suitability,
And joining them with purpose.

It's just a set of shelves.
Standing in a corner of the garage,
Now piled with boxes.
Desiderata deposited.
Stacked with intent on plywood ledges.
Rising straight above the floor.
Squared and plumbed with care.
Strong enough to hang a beef.

It's just a set of shelves.
They hold more than meets the eye.
A prophecy of order enacted.
A life repurposed,
With love and considered intent.
Security built from the scrap heap.
Stability freely offered.
A gift of permanence.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ghosts of Christmases Past

Silver birds and shiny bells,
Tiny hand blown figures
More fragile for each passing year.
Tenderly wrapped in paper,
Yellowed and crackling of age.
With each solstice, another is crumbled dust,
Fragments remaining as testimony
That before was an ornament,
Handed down four generations.

Canning jar lids painted clumsily.
Handprints on colored paper.
A clothespin cowboy with a pipe cleaner coil.
All crafted in wide-eyed love for Daddy.
Hung each season with pride.

Baby's first Christmas.
Two of them,
Purchased in the joy of initial sharing,
Kept to be shared in the passing down of generational remembrance.

Tattered angel,
Beneficent gazer,
Her once white robe yellowed and tattered,
Announcing the joy of the season from the highest height.

A star once brightly painted
Now scratched,
Dulled with age,
Treasured still for its beacon of light.

These are the ghosts of Christmases past.
Not lost.
Tossed aside as valueless.
Victims of a tumult of change and ending.
The M.I.A. of a war not of their choosing.

Innocents killed in the fury of vengeance?
Casualties of the last act of control?
Silent symbols with pointing fingers?
Life and of love flung away as though their matter meant naught.

And now it is Christmas again.

My bitterness could know no bounds.
My sorrow could be inconsolable.
You cannot destroy the love with which they were saved and crafted.
You cannot remove the blocks of heart they filled.
You cannot force me to never love again.

They live in the bright laughter of children.
They exist in the exultant lift of carols into the night.
They exist in the joy of a newly heralded celebration.
They continue unabated,

The Ghost of Christmas future has no terror for me.
The Ghosts of Christmas past only serve to remind me
That the Ghost of Christmas present lives and laughs and celebrates,
 Despite you.

Memories abide not in things,
But in the things those things represent.
The glass may be shattered.
The careful crafting may be thrown aside.
The very messengers of heaven may be flung to the far corners.

Faith abides in hope.

Hope flourishes in love.

Love overcomes all.

In the end, that is the meaning of Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


The only thing you've ever stolen from me
Is my heart.
The only lying you've ever done to me
Is in my arms.
The only thing you've ever broken in me
Are walls.
The only thing you've ever withheld from me
Is unreasonable anger.
The only prying you've ever tried with me
Is the loosening of chains
The only control you've ever attempted with me
Is of yourself.
The only dashing you've ever proffered me
Is to my side.

I trust you.
With my life, my mind, my hopes.

So why does the voice whisper "Wait for the other shoe to drop?"
So why do I linger in the thought "The Hellbitch will unloose herself?
So why do I anticipate imminent abandonment?

It is that somewhere,
Deep inside myself,
Resulting from my history and experience,
I do not trust myself.
To hope brightly.
To dream rightly.
To choose wisely.
These I fear to believe are within me.

The deepest deception I have ever known is my own.
The basest treatment I have ever realized is mine.
The greatest infidelity I have ever experienced is to myself.

Because of these,
I fear me.
So I diminish what you offer so apparently and freely.
God help me.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

I Chronicles 21:24

Why, a rock?
Mineralized carbon, no more valuable than a common pebble.
Except it is rare,
Sparkling with the light of a thousand suns.
Why, metal?
Refined  and shaped, silver in its gleam
Yet less dazzling than chrome.
Except that difficulty and effort define its acquiring.
To make a pledge,
A promise,
A decree,
A covenant,
Requires no more than an honest heart
Willing to begin but unwilling to end.
Requires no more than a committed spirit
Obedient to  voluntarily undertake
The warranting a lifelong journey.
This obligation could be met with a signed document,
A wax seal,
A simple avowal.
So, why a stone held firmly in alloy's grasp?
Because this rock reflects the lights of truth,
Of love,
Of the promise of God.
Because this metal,
Reflects the circle of life,
The perpetuity of love.
The continuity of performance to its conclusion.
Because this gem,
Stands hard like a warrior against the enemies of love.
Because this ore encircles with the promise of protection and constancy.
As David once said,
"I will not take away what is yours to give to God.
Nor will I make an offering that costs me nothing"
It must cost for to achieve this will cost me something.
This must be a sacrifice to assent to the sacrifices to come
Before God and these witnesses,
All I can give to you is exchanged for the privilege of traveling side by side.
For life.