A Matter Of Life And Death


A Matter of Life And Death

Everything pointed to life
(Doesn’t it always, at death)
As I watered the wall-to-wall carpet
I don’t know the color, but it soaked up my grief
Strange, the mind can find solace in stained glass and wood and the smell of Methodism
Trace the patterns and grooves to avoid the casket in front of the grieving widow
The windows bled pink in the April sunlight
Hat tip to last Sunday
He died on Easter, oh Jack

And afterwards there is so much life
Every bite of food explodes in your dry mouth,
Starving for more from the sweet Earth
Family feels warmer, blood pumping fast in a panic, white-knuckling life
Praying you’re not next, not just yet
And you could swear you heard him whisper from the grave
Odd how the breezes blow by your cheek like any other Tuesday’s breeze
But it is Thursday and you don’t know how many Thursdays are left
But you count it a matter of life at all costs
To gobble up the Wednesdays too
All of it like he did

But of all the tributes
And all the testifying
The greatest part about this man who loved Jesus
Because he did

The mold was broken after him
And the mold was broken after you and me
And that is a matter of life and death

This, loving people, as they are
Who they are
Mold breakers everyone
In grief life is clearer

My eyes took a poll of the room
They loved him
Well, oh so very well
His daughter held his hand in death
(I vow to hold hands more Mondays and Saturdays in my life)
And he wasn’t like you or like me
He was just Jack

Go live life now
I heard him “loud” whisper from his new life,  as I left a trail of regret in my wake
And please remember to laugh at all my jokes, through that precious impish grin

My heart took a poll at the graveside


The Delicate Task (Plus One)

Orange Truck, puddles and clouds

On Your Leaving

If I were to write of your goodbye, it would sound something like this
(I dreamed of loss last night, stammered the haunting memory of the nightmare
Over coffee in the kitchen with your father, I spoke of a baby left behind in the snow)
And so in fact, it is nothing like that, but more of a chilly release of you into the cold
While I am still so warm
(And yet, the dream still haunts me)

In the knowing that you will change
And truly
I always loved you just the way you were

I am numbed by the pain of void
You were you
And I am me, plus you
Sounds so simple, perhaps it always was
You will forgive me I trust, for everything that occurred
Before your leaving came upon me
We were two, close to one
On occasion

I wept
But then you know that, I am sure
You have known me, well
In all the small goodbye’s that have been said
You quietly studied the lines on my face
Tear tracts tell good stories of what lies beneath

Please read between the lines
Knit together were we, not as womb and child
But by a deep love
The thread of which is unbreakable

In the Spring, when you return
Change will have visited me

Because you left
Me loving you
Just as you were
(Because the dream still haunts me)
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall
The snow is heavy on the trees where you are


Honored to have a poem of mine,The Delicate Task, over at a beautiful new community of words, The Mudroom Blog (click here to go there). I would be honored if you would join me there to read this piece of poetry in its entirety:

The Delicate Task

I watched his hands, a gentle blend of weary

Each line, earned, every callous worn like a medal of honor

The request, brave and earnest

His response breathed through his fingertips, whispers waft and billow

Through the labor of his hands

His yes, a gift of patient, steady love

I look away, the chore asks for silence…..

(click here to continue reading The Delicate Task at The Mudroom)


Joining Laura today for Playdates At The Wellspring


Begotten Not Made – Guest Post: Seth Haines

I have gathered a few writer, poets, friends for a series of guest posts. Today I am  privileged to have a writer whose work I have marveled at for a little long while.

I could tell you a few things about this fellow Southerner, father of four boys who practices law, writes poetry and oh, is a musician as well. (He left a few things out of his bio, so I added them here. Host’s prerogative.) But his words tell well on their own.
Welcome Seth and his poetry.



Begotten Not Made

And though he birthed the star alight,
he took to manger underneath
the humbled cry of stifled speech,
of own begotten form.

He suckled there at woman’s breast,
the mouth of God on human skin
he spoke before the world began,
to birth begotten form.

Confined to flesh and swaddled limbs
restrained his own eternal power;
the starry hosts in witching hour
announced begotten form.

And when the kobalt sky was new,
with blushing east and rising love,
creation ceased its groaning song
and held begotten form.


Seth Haines

Writer: sethhaines.wordpress.com

Editor: A Deeper Church

Contributor: Tweetspeak Poetry

Curator: Mother Letters


Joining Laura, a Monday tradition.

On Second Thought

wpid-20140118_161227.jpgThough forward is the best way to ride this pony
She is a bucking bronco these days
Going through it, not around it is the new black
We wade through mire and muck, almost daily
To get to the other side
Crossing that River Jordan, against the tide
Hope is our water wings
Wearing hip boots and waders
Given to us at birth, we
Redemption’s froth and foam
Splashing us, reviving us, saving us
Oh Lord my strength and my redeemer.

On second thought
It is all about the journey
It is the wading and crossing
The pluff mud soiled garments
That say
I got down and dirty
I lived
Not high and dry
Not Clorox clean
But travel weary and worn out

Traveling, still
Facing forward
No milk toast Kumbaya’s
But rather
A raucous rant and rave
Of an old spiritual sung from the
Laborers in the field
That’s our battle-cry

And Gloria Gaynor’s
“I Will Survive”
Played on repeat with those soulful
Spirituals from back in the Southern day
Not hanging on, surviving
But thriving, surviving
Running the good race
Well and good
Knocked down
Got back up again

On second thought
I am in the belly of the whale
But safe in His arms
I am on the roadside, loved
By the Samaritan
Man he is good
And I am writing from prison
As Paul
Yet I am free

Oh journey you teach well and good
Oh journey
I am in the saddle, saddle sores and all
But I am facing ever toward the Cross
Wearing my water wings of hope

Your Rod and Staff comfort me
And I am humming Gloria Gaynor
And the Hallelujah chorus
And those cotton picking ballads from the
Painful places of our past, down South
Banjo on my knee
Harmonica in my mouth.

At the fork in the road
Go straight toward redemption
And don’t look back.


Joining Laura Boggess for #playdateswithGod and Michelle at Michelle De Rusha dot com