The Distress (Letter to the Editor)

My eyes peruse the abuse

from the tip of an unbeliever’s pen.

 

We shall counter that blade

with flaming swords

holding back

their tide of triumph.

 

The enemy shall not overcome.

 

Funny, how quickly I run out to the paper,

funny, the faith I have

that He will do as He says

as I meet Him at His word…

 

Yet I can’t remember

to read the daily Bible passage

on the bottom corner

of the same page.

 

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Fairest

The mirror’s glamour

gloomy shade

reflected not

what he thought:

 

the sleep on the road, on the run

prisons of papier-mâché

monsters of men, martyrs

wearing crowns of thorns.

While the tales have all been told,

and the lies

behind the eyes, as

crow’s feet peck and hop

and four and twenty black birds

murmur across

dark waters

and oft-forgotten woods

where dreams once dwelt.

Cauldrons scald of stone soup

made with love by

those Bremen Town magicians

visions of beasts, eat

and as they feast, their eyes

on the throne of bones

dragged away by their own

evil desire and enticed

their animal natures, rut, rote

reign forever in this world

atop a hill of beans.

 

He forgets his face

until the next time he looks,

gazing at the grays

that weren’t there last time.

Homecoming

This predilection

to malediction

diseases, such as these, if it pleases:

mad cow

hog cough

chickensick

 

bold wives tales

in old folks’ tomes

three, the number

of your destiny.

wishes, fishes,

cowboy creamer

spoons and dishes.

 

the prophecy

naught but a fallacy

whispered in the wings

over moonshine

and dandelion wine

in our cups

under the table.

 

the forest council

all but forgotten

spun from straw

the golden fleece

fooled, pulled

the wool over our eyes

thrown

to the wolves in sheep’s clothing

PYRE

‘tis only right,

but we ain’t got time

for a proper burial.

 

Even a cairn

of unbridled possibility

stacking up to cover up

bodies

we pray you’ll never have to see.

 

We don’t want no animals

poking ‘round the remains.

The scent of fresh blood on the air

will drive ‘em down the valley

…and we want to be long gone by the time they get here. 

WORTH

shuttled through the tunnels

like so much spoiled meat

snuffling and a’snarling

this beast upon two feet

 

Minotaurian presence

half-man, the body shared

double the size of mere mortals

if anyone dared care

 

he had no strings to tie him down

or keep him on the path

this city was a festering sore

‘twas dim, and dank, and daft

 

it was another of their tests

the smarmy, grim cabal

gave no twine or map, no lights down here

as he felt along tepid tiled walls

 

cast about into the depths

naught much more than thoughts

how it was he got this far

how much he had lost

 

find his way somehow, he would

these subways built to last

also ran quite systematic

he’d be out before much time had passed

TE&S on ‘On Lock’ Podcast

Not only does my band have a CD release and 10-year anniversary on 2/17, but we now have a website!
Check out this really great interview by one of my good buddies.

The Echo & Sway

Last week we were guests on Ryan Douglas Rose’s ‘On Lock’ podcast, discussing our past 10 years, the upcoming album release (including a track by track breakdown of the whole record), plans for the future and much more.  Listen below!

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Slippery

The least of these

beasts, please,

twisting under trees, aiming

for your Achillies

daughter of Eve

 

danger in the dirt

just enough until it hurts

stock still, stone cold

statue coming at you

 

diamond-shaped head

she strikes until it’s dead

the knowledge

that the groveling

empty promises

 

silver-tongued

backhanded balustrades

propping up their foundations

sidewinding

side-of-the-mouth

 

fork-tongued devil

Commonplace Church: Advent 2017

Once, it was foretold that your son would be conceived of a virgin.

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

God was silent, for four hundred years, before the birth of your son.

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Amid the struggles of desolation and loneliness, Mary kept the faith.

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

We wait humbly, patiently, in reverence for you this Christmas season.

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

We wait for you to come again.

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

reading based on Isaiah 7:14


Like Mary this Christmas season, the Lord has come upon us.

We are highly favored.

 

Like Mary, sometimes we are troubled at Your words. Yet so unlike she, we hesitate to unabashedly follow You.

You are highly favored.

 

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, may we find time to be quieted and humbled enough in Your presence to listen to the promptings of Your Spirit.

You are highly favored.

 

reading based on Luke 1:26-38


Lord, you direct us in the ways we should go, as servants for Your word.

Lord, seat us humbly at your feet.

 

Lord, you wear the crown of the coming King, yet we are usurpers to your throne.

Lord, seat us in Your courts.

 

Lord, You are the bread of life, and we are hungry for You.

Lord, seat us at Your table.

 

reading based on Luke 1:46-56


Lord, like Mary, we travel as outcasts both unfamiliar and unwelcome in this world, country, city, home, and self.

Lord, we look to You to make straight our paths in the wilderness as we prepare the way for the coming of Christ.

 

Our feet are swollen from walking paths You have not called for us to walk.

We await Christ’s birth.

 

Our minds are clouded with fears, doubts, and worry.

We await Christ’s birth.

 

Our backs are stooped and broken, carrying the burdens we were not meant to carry.

We await Christ’s birth.

 

Our bellies crave that which appetites cannot suffice.

We await Christ’s birth.

 

Lord, we are pregnant with dreams and desires, thanks, and praise that belong only unto You.

We await with faith and hope the coming of the Christ-child who will be our salvation

reading based on Luke 2:1-7


 

Gabriel brings the news

Joseph takes on Mary and the baby blues

We treasure up all these things and ponder them in our hearts

 

She carries the baby on the donkey’s back

animals offer up shelter, it’s an inn that they lack

We treasure up all these things and ponder them in our hearts

 

heavenly hosts’ light show — do you see this?

shepherds open hearts to witness

We treasure up all these things and ponder them in our hearts

 

wise men bringing gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh

let them know Herod’s sniffing ’round, got to get out of here

Christmas is not about the cacophony.

It’s about Jesus, about clarity.

Help me to see thee.

 

reading based on Luke 2:19


 

What began at the garden

to the book of Revelation

and all points in between

 

beginning and the end

on the cross, and up to Canaan

and all points in between

 

the birth and the death

all in his hands so you can rest

and all points in between

 

reading based on Luke 2:7, John 19:26-27

P.P.S.

These apparitional jaunts, haunt

these halls, taunt

these tall

tales

I tell myself.

 

Face the facts:

 

Paul Bunyan swung his axe

still failed to fell the trees.

Paul Sheldon, tied up on his back

fumbled at the keys.

Saul was on the learning track

till the light brought him to his knees.

 

Humbled, bumbling fumble:

 

If it causes you to stumble

cut it off.

Do not let your left hand

know

what the right

is doing.

 

Some day

I’ll write that letter.

 

Blinded by the thought

as light is shed

on another

path.