Soon, but not yet.

Thanks, Laura Jean Truman.

innerwoven

As you have seen, I am a fish on the shore right now, flipping and gasping for words to write. About anything. I’ve learned at these times to read until my eyes fall out. Others are not in this place. They’re producing page-turning material worthy of my consumption and consideration. 

One such soul is fellow blogger and faith-er, Laura Jean Truman. In a writer cop-out for which I seek neither escape nor make neither excuse, I share her better words here. Go, read in pride as I did, how Advent is a time uniquely prepared for both the prophet and the artist. For the artist-as-prophet.

They speak the same language. Maybe that’s why so much of the bible is poetry? Yup. I think that’s probably it.

Laura Jean, thank you. My readers will too, I believe.

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Arrivals

The soup is better having room to steep

in the deeper time of its own goodness.

Many things unite in one great thing.

We learn hunger.

 

The ground, now patched and sown together

with summer’s glowing refuse, is somehow brighter –

having taken its time.

We learn beauty.

 

Her pleasure, no fait accompli, 

but in a reverence for slow heights.

Climb slowly this peak.

We learn desire.

 

Her tiny immensity, a sacred squalor, protrudes

nose first, dark to light, damp and cold –

one last hurrah of anonymity before donning

the first breaths of vulnerability.

We learn awe.

 

Pulled nose first into the warmth

of kitchen bread, newly plump and rising to greet us

square in tongue and tonsil, teasing

and teaching the crust-browned life.

We learn perfection.

 

Shoes, worn and well-gravelled, grind away

at the miles. A distance made less with repetition –

repetition of repeated renewals of the long

overcoming of road.

We learn perseverance.

 

And, in all of it remains the best of all our waiting.

One arrives, caught in the minutiae of the cosmic unseen.

Here to surprise our own expectations.

Come to convince us of lost remembrances.

The one great beauty in our catalogue of fear.

We learn salvation.

I am not as old

On the occasion of my fifty-fifth birthday.

____________________

No, I am not as old as

the wilting membrane of earth –

the skin of her secrets, too tightly

breast-held and leaky.

 

No, I am not as old as last

winter’s back-porch bread crumbs,

now frozen in cracks of concrete

and flaking paint.

 

No, I am not as old as the clock,

heavy in memory and fingerprints –

evidenced in her calloused hands.

 

No, I am not as old as the long-

faded colour now framing the painting’s

place – a reminiscence tucked in

a reminiscence. The irony of old beauties.

 

No, I am not as old as the tales and

fables, born wild and then loosed

in the telling, fermenting into 

many-tongued song.

 

No, I am not as old as the coughing

farm truck, grizzled metal and clogged

arteries, belching orders under

a hollow back, still unbroken.

 

No, I am not as old as the cathedral

stone, serenely quiet in the preachy

way of ancient things always new.

 

I am just old enough to love, and

to start again.

On Writing a Memoir, Part III

Recently published on my innerwoven site…

innerwoven

It is an odd thing, this whole memoirishness. 

poets-pen.jpegTo read a memoir is to sit in someone’s living room drinking beer and eating Cheetos as someone outlines plans to save the world, or at least make it a little less shitty.

Except for a few cases, their stories are rarely intended for their own self-aggrandizement. Instead, they act as a window, a prism of sorts that divide up a fully lived life into its constituent parts for our amusement and awe. Once we happen upon these parts, it is for us to find ourselves within them.

Although not entirely without a modicum of gravitas, I am embarrassingly unknown. A small-town guy writing for other little guys, but with a tale to tell. What I can offer is a fireside tale told by a friend you just haven’t met yet. A regular guy with a story for other non-luminaries out there.

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Rooted in Tears

Rooted in Tears.jpeg

When the ground gives way to our tears,

it is vetting our vulnerabilities,

reversing the vehemence of treasures, forgotten;

memories, shredded;

intentions, maligned –

just long enough to trouble itself with our footprints.

Soil cracks and splits,

giving itself to the probing intrigue

of life – spacious, new, bon vivant.

Oh, this heart, designed to pound

in the direction of its own freedom!

Why must it refuse the trouble

of this painful newness?

Perhaps what pushes up from suffering

will answer the hard-soiled questions

best left unanswered –

until what once lay frozen

now graces the presence of sky?

___________________________

Painting by Valerie Dodge-Reyna

On Writing a Memoir, Part II

My invitation remains open. Join me in the journey toward a story on paper? Share with me your impressions. What has moved you? Delighted you? Disgusted or enraged you? Your thoughts mean everything to me. As do you.

innerwoven

I love to write. Whether it loves me back is not for me to decide. The jury’s still out on that one. No matter. It doesn’t change the fact that I am compelled to tell people my story. Well, bits of my story. Bits of my unfolding story.

poets-pen.jpegWhy, you may ask? Because stories unite us. Jesus loved them. He had a particular attachment to stories. Parables to be exact. Parables are simultaneously beguiling and didactic. They amuse as they teach. They are immediate in their images and settings. It’s like we get to be in on the joke. And, their disarming specificity is surprisingly universal.

Once a story is rooted in the ground, where we all walk; once there is an address, a face, names, insider talk, maybe a joke or two, it becomes magnetic. They bring us together in ways few other things can. They are the campfire…

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