The Pain And The Poetry

If your pain sounds pretty,
it doesn’t seem so bad.
If you use beautiful words
to describe your sadness,
people may line up
around the block to read it.
See it. Hear it. Fall in love with it.
If people don’t know better,
they might think they want it.”

saintly-sinner

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no melody down here in sight

it was eyes,
everywhere each one
attached to a beak, each beak
trilling so shrilly, chattering
in clakkety chirp-chirruping
in brackish raucous screams

loserloserloserloserloser

this forest was once a place
of wonder and the night
so full of promise but now,
it’s like the stars have fallen
from the sky and become
these birds, these birds with eyes
and beaks and nothing to sing,

just screams in a trackless forest
with a past turned out to be a dream
and a future that’s just a strip mine
yet unzipped, yet undug yet torn open
and a present consisting of merely
the sound of these eyes so sharp
and beaks blunt just like red clubs

and no melody down here in sight

Underneath the Mask

Underneath the make-up, powders, paints, colors bright
there beneath the pretty words and funny sayings light
the blood pools red, the bruises throb beneath my cheery grin
and ruin overflows, and spreads its pain and hurt within

Mama heals, but often heals with pain’s sweet overthrow
She will let the woundings come to deepen healing’s glow
Still, it really breaks my heart to walk alone so long
I must dig still deeper, be brave, and just sing my song.

i get lonely sometimes…

The Crossing

Shuffling back and forth between…

night and day
week and week
(weak and weak,
strain and struggle)
sighs and sorrows

…the pain of this passage
of time and tears
is present always,
palpable still,
pulsing in my yearning heart
gone nova with the memory.n-DEPRESSION-large570I lay awake midst pain and memory,
I neither sleep nor slumber
but instead ache and remember…
I re-member, piece by peace,
arrivals and departures.
We wear memories and longings
like stained t-shirts and chinos
and shod in our torn sneakers
we shuffle down the path,
so pebble-strewn and painful,
so rough hewn, uneven
and inevitable.

As soon as we arrive,
our hearts know we have to leave.
As soon as we leave we burn,
knowing that we must return!
Each journey punctuated
by our songs sung in the night…

songs of lament and longing
songs of suffering and sorrow
songs of remembrance and redemption
songs of deliverance and the coming day

…alas…memory is like a river terrible
that must be crossed.
The crossing…the crossing!tumblr_ni5q4aSy9j1tqunino1_500That’s the common factor present,
primary and consistent,
pervasive and persistent

and it moves,
from background
to foreground and
back again

while it waits its turn to step up and partake
of the Communion Feast, its Sacred Supper,
the Holy Sacrament of our Sojourning Hearts.tumblr_n085xbZFtY1swai75o1_1280I’m decided, I am settled.
I’m on the right side of pain!
I’ll not let anyone or anything keep me captive,
stranded on the wrong side of memory

and out of phase with time!
I intend to feel the pain of others,
bind their broken hearts,
be marked by suffering…
…no, wait:  be marked
with suffering by my Mama!

In this looming collision between
uncomfortable mystery and unyielding mercy
and that suffering, ahh…
I can neither sleep nor slumber
because She who inhabits Eternity
neither sleeps nor slumbers but Is
Awake with those who suffer
and There with those who faint, who fall
and falter in the crossing…

tumblr_nhtxuwxJiv1s3m0ero1_1280She is there (I’ll be there too)
in Her house held up by beams
from that battered rough-hewn Cross,
shining fair with great doors open
thrown wide open to receive
all Her suffering children broken
in the crossing…in the crossing
and Her invitation spoken

Come and rest here at Her table,
there’s a place for every person
in the ending of between
and arrival of the Present
Oh, the greatest Gift of all, the Present!
When the crossing’s done …

I neither sleep
nor slumber, waiting…
pregnant in this moment
and present in
the crossing.tumblr_n5bpl7KAie1rywysso1_500

That Infernal Scale

“On a scale of 1 to 10,
how would you rate
your pain today?”

attempts to understand
and manage dirty pain
only cause more
pain (slivers and shards growing like crystals)

that daily dun-brown inquiry
into ourselves seizes us,
the hot buzz sting
of the growing awareness
of mortality….
aggravates deeply (pain)

more than I could say

and redly amplifies
the original stark question.

what if you answer 10
at 3 AM
but by the afternoon…
what then?
what of the futile measurement?
what of the meaningless guess
and what of the meaning-haunted guesser?
adding mortal insult
to immortal injury (pain).

Morality whispers of a wrongness
to pain
but I have wondered why
we think pain recognizes morality.

That’s the real question, innit?
Why we think there are
floors and ceilings
in the house of pain.

So in the hard and hopeless
of the darkness before dawn
we sit between these moments
when all things are defined
and that infernal scale
is shattered by the triumph
of pain held to the standard
at last made manifest
revealed first on a cross
and then revealed
set free
of scales, of measurements,
of guesses in the night, while
golgotha gasps and grasps
futilely at our cloaks
that we have shed as winter
surrenders to Sweet Spring.

That Spring
That 1 and 10
Ever Spring.

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