Stop

Such a collosally beautiful
creation we’ve been dropped in
we should all be at easels
capturing the details of the grandeur
the grandeur of the details

but we’re too busy
with worries and plans
striving to get something
to fry in our pans
too afraid of too many things
we cannot control

Either we know too much
to be happy or we haven’t
yet learned to be sad
still somehow embarrassed
to be caught stopping
to smell the flowers

Too many serious things
to attend to and that
is our tragedy

Bottles Cast

In the midst of the tragedy
prayers went up
like startled quail
like balloons at the party
like fireworks on the 4th
desperate petitions for God
to align His will with our own.

But we are again left trying
to understand what cannot
be understood, looking for
some seed of future good
in the scorched earth of our lives

Learning for the umpteenth time
that Faith is aligning our wills with His
being grateful for blessings we’ve had
holding on to the ones we still have
believing in the promise of someday
believing there will be some gain in the pain

and our prayers are notes
in bottles cast into the sea
Lord, we are still here
make us what you want us to be
show us how to go on
without the ones you’ve set free

Ambition

With a mind unclouded
by any ambition
beyond a certain envy
of the flowers’ condition
toiling and spinning not
turn your face to the sun
breathe the gentle breeze
hold out your arm
standing still as you please
then wait to see
just how much older
you are before birds
build a nest on your shoulder

Guilty

Guilty as hell about looking back
to check on the progress I’ve made
guilty of ignoring unpleasant facts
that might rain on my parade
guilty of holding on too long
to things that burn my hands
guilty of abandoning
numerous dreams and plans

None of these things
is a chargeable crime
but they make me guilty
of wasting my time
I don’t even notice
til it’s already wasted
but I still remember
exactly how it tasted

Since time has wasted me
I guess I’m evening the score
and if God is willing
I’ll be wasting some more

What I have been has created
what I have become
sometimes I’m guilty
of just playing dumb
I cannot return
to where I came from
I can’t have it all
so I’ll settle for some

Since time has wasted me
I guess I’m evening the score
and if God is willing
I’ll be wasting some more

Half Open

The demons dropped by
for a visit
to tease me
incessantly
about my failures
and weaknesses
I tried to take it for awhile
with my customary smile
after all, the truth that hurts
has been know to set you free

So I’m looking at the world
through half-open blinds
wondering what happened
to my peace of mind

When I’d had enough
I reached out to Clarence
(Jimmy Stewart’s friend
from the famous old movie)
for some reassurance
that I’m not all bad
and to help remember
good times I’ve had

We loaded up both
pans on the scale
it was a pretty even balance
until we added
the Love I have known
the mysterious Grace
that God has shown
then the demons got mad
took their ball and went home

Still looking at the world
through half-open blinds
humbled but thankful
for a small peace of mind

John

Three sixteen
gets all the signs
but nineteen and twenty
are powerful lines
hearts in darkness
the Word and the Light
an exhortation
to fight the good fight
so let your light shine
against the night
the promise of sixteen
will make it right

Afterthoughts

Standing in the debris
of what you once believed in
scattered like afterthoughts
among bruised feelings
there will be promising shards
gather them up to rebuild
what’s left of your life
on a molecular level
eschewing the hierarchies
you have watched crumble
strive to keep your hopes
and dreams humble

The joys may be modest
but so are the pains
there is much we don’t wish
to live through again
still should a shard swell
like a hot air balloon
don’t fear letting it
carry you to the moon