i’m calling out to you but i’m
fairly sure you can’t hear my cries,
not as long as i’m dwelling on the
far edges of the earth.
that’s how it is out here:
your prayers bleed out endlessly like
a wound never staunched and never healed,
an ever-rising sun that spreads fire
across the horizon but never
turns night into day.
so until my prayers reach their
destination you can find me here:
tending to my wounds, wrapping and
unwrapping the bandages, watching
the words fly free into the
eternal night sky.
after the dust cleared we carved
up the land and settled into our
strongholds, retreating behind borders,
actually more like fissures that
spread inexorably down into the
ground until the terrible day
the earth finally heaved
and split wide open.
as we tumbled into the abyss
we came to realize your promise was
not a promise at all but rather a
prediction of a fate set in motion
the moment we triumphantly set
up stakes and tore those bloody
gashes deep into your land.
it’s happening again, night is falling
the shadows are returning and
that ravenous stray dog has come
to howl at my door once more.
sometimes i think if i refused
to feed him just this one time,
he’d finally leave for good,
but if i encourage him
there’s always the chance
this unrelenting hunger
will never end.
this time i think i’ll simply
open wide to his song,
maybe i’ll discover it’s not
a wail endlessly devouring, but
rather an exquisite hymn of welcome to
the twilight softly spreading.
so easy to see the wicked around
every corner, living only to conspire
against us, so we may feel justified
in indulging our fear and our
lust for violence.
so if i’m going to pray for strength,
let it be the strength to shatter
my merciless prejudice, to melt away
the judgements that only absolve
me from searching my own heart
with ruthless, brutal honesty.
don’t let me aim my arrows at
some unseen unknown other;
i’d much rather close my eyes
and fire them off into the
raw and burning whirlwind, so that
they may explore at the heart
of my wild and untamed soul.
i don’t want your pity, but i
could use a little of your
mercy, do you think maybe
i could stay here with you
just for a little while?
i’m seeking refuge from a world that
has suddenly turned carnivorous on me,
no longer a home so much as a
bottomless pit that’s opening wider and
wider, laughing crazy laughter
as it ever so slowly swallows me whole.
i know i can’t hide here forever, but
maybe for a night or two, just let me
rest a bit under the shadow of your wings,
where the darkness can envelop my heart
without devouring my soul.
i trust in you when i’m afraid.
i know, i know, but that’s the thing
about trust: by day it lies hidden away
under hard layers of fear and suspicion;
i only take it out when night falls,
sort of my weapon of final resort.
one day soon, though, i’m going to
break that shell wide open, now
won’t that be something to see:
trust unfurled like tears
long suppressed, bursting out
in every conceivable direction,
i can almost see it now:
i’m doing my best not to stumble
as i learn how to walk with
spirit unburdened, you’re
doing your best to guide me along
but all i want to do is run
on ahead in the dew-soaked
when i contemplate the impunity of
the privileged, those who use their
power to endlessly exploit,
i so often become paralyzed by
my own despair, harassed by doubts
that liberation might ever be possible
in a world so thoroughly unjust.
in such moments i confess i’m tempted
to fly off like a bird driven deep
into the wilderness, where i might
find refuge in the shadow of
my own wings while outside the
tempest endlessly rages on and on.
but in the end i know that despair
is a luxury i cannot afford,
i know i cannot hide
from you for long.
i know soon enough i will hear you
calling my name to soothe my
raging soul, to coax me out and
draw me back into the storm where
your unfolding liberation is surging
upward like a thunderhead that soon,
so very soon will explode and
shower down upon us all.
by night we lay awake praying
to you: rescue us, destroy our
adversaries, make them for
their evil designs.
when morning breaks, all i pray
is for you to deliver us from
this crippling dread, to unveil
the illusions that give birth
our unease, to keep us
from the self-fulfillment of
our basest fears.
only then will we be able
to offer most sacred of offerings:
freewill sacrifices of our purest,
most unblemished selves,
sent up with hearts unclenched,
arms thrown wide open
to the heavens
before night inevitably
falls once more.
you are not what you do.
you should probably remember
this when you perform those
random acts of kindness
just get past your
shame/pride and your fixation
that heaven is scrutinizing
your every action, and you’ll come
to realize the real question is not
did you see what i did but
rather so what on earth
am i going to
you’re so quick to boast
of your unwavering faith, to
judge those with whom you
do not agree, to seek
refuge inside a piety
built of hard fought
believe me, i know better
than to scale the walls
of such a fortress,
i’m just not tempted
by a faith constructed
battlements and barricades.
i’d rather plant mine deep
down in the dark and fertile
ground in a place i don’t
fully know, to sow my seeds
where they might take root
and grow freely, isn’t that
the likeliest place of a