Stretch Me


Stretch Me

It would not be a stretch
To say
There is a world of hurt
On the other side of the
The table
The pew
The world
This screen
That page

Or that for centuries
We have mastered the fine art
Of turning away

So I
Stepped off the curb
And ran into a couple of hurting
At church today
Touched the tip of the iceberg

And I swear for all the world
I want to get my Masters in the do-over

People there are organs needed
And prayers needed
And children in the middle
Who are scared to death
Of families split apart
People walking, dragging, seeking

And I want to go pray myself into a frenzy
Enter a convent
And make up for lost time

I waited in line today
For prayer
And the prayer
Weighed heavy
He knew my story
Served to bear my burden
Because it was his too
Strength in numbers
We need each other
Body of Christ
I am the root canal
You are the hip replacement

Somedays it is a heck of a lot easier
To hide
And hole up
Hide from the busted
Put a Hello-Kitty Band-Aid on it

But man we are needed our there

I am blown over by the gentle winds
Of conviction
And mercifully
Yes mercifully

Tomorrow I can wake up
Hit my knees
And get a do-over
Get in line

Pray to be stretched

Pray to be moved to tears
Moved to action
Moved to see
Every hang nail, heart ache
Busted lip and broken leg

Stretched at two a.m. for a sister
Soul in need

Finally awake
At last
Fully alive

Stretching arms to heaven
Like the rattling riggings on the Mary-Elizabeth

Dry bones arise, dry bones awake
Dry bones, rejoice.

I Was Just Wondering – Because I Am Weird That Way

 ame churchI Was Just Wondering – Because I Am Weird That Way

If every church, every where, literally not figuratively
Of church
Do you think every pew in every town everywhere
Has the quiet griever in its midst
The stranger suffering in our midst
We are too busy singing from the old blue hymnal
Traditional words could, no
Would help the one who has the quiet thoughts
I really miss my wife who died last month
Everyone is facing forward looking straight ahead
Of me
And behind me too
well, and to my right to be exact is one
Who has the silent prayer trapped inside
I hope my friend with cancer doesn’t die

But we watch our watch and wonder, tea or diet coke
At lunch when will this sermon end
Is it too much
To ask
The lady hunched over in her chair if she knows how lovely
She looks today
Barely hanging by a thread
Beside the man sitting worried in the pew
His insides churning
It’s hell, this recent divorce
Keeps him up at night
If you’d just ask he’d be happy to tell you
And if you even spoke in church
He might ask you to pray
I was just wondering because I am weird that way
Maybe the church
Could close the hymnal every now and then
I love music more than most
But let’s
Seek the hurting, silent ones in our midst
Faith without works is dead

Could pray and say and love
I don’t know anymore but somehow I don’t want to miss the boat

Perhaps a  little more love would
Cover a multitude of sins
And I was just wondering

Maybe we should love our neighbor

Mine wept in church today

Quiet never saying a word until he was spoken to
And then he cried
And so did I
Strangers we until he voiced his pain
I am weird that way
I was just wondering.


blue lelandHoist your sail
Raise your white flag
Launch your boat, your small craft
Warning, the seas are rough
And sail away
Into a sea of deep
Blue deep
In the air of healing grace
And drift away from the land of the raging wars

Drop anchor
Land on an island
Of He is Peace
Inhabited by the olive-branched dove
Sleep by the light of the waning moon
Wax not poetic
Let go of
Words laced with sarcasm,
Speak not biting bits of sharp edged words
And bury your hatchet deep in the sand
Pick up your brother’s hand
And walk to the edge of the salty
Shore, step into the
Sea of healing
Water, wash
Over us
Lord have mercy
God reign mercy.

And sleep in heavenly peace
Dream long of a place where the banner over all
Flies high, Love
Lives strong
The greatest of these
Grabs hold of tongues and hearts

And wake in a world of
Living in His love
By the light of new dawn, new day
Pale, twinkling stars set high
Set in the heavens by Him
God and Father of all

And wake to a symphony blowing
Waving notes of peace
Gently, washing onto
The sands of time
It is
Us to live a life of peace
No banging, blaring, discourse or hate

But Mankind
Men and Women
Who know His love
To love and live

May it reign.
joy boat leland
Heading off for a brief writing sabbatical. Very brief.
Enjoy this one day. It is a gift.

Women At The Farm

In the sharing of this place

We gather by reflective pond.

And share the past, the hurt and pain.

While cobb webs break by hand with broom,

Not knowing what tomorrow brings.

We curl beside the waters edge

And wrestle with a gentle breath,

The unknown places yet to come.

Smoke fills the air from grill and burn pile

And all the while

Grief shared is grief diminished

On the lips, of the women at the farm.

No ride of whimsy on the road

With men in search of folly in the wood.

A vigil held by weathered chair

As if the words can heal a soul.

The weathered chair bears  burdens well

Of words flung through crisp fall air.

Words of women woven on the porch,

A tapestry of trials.

Worn grease coat feels but  feather like

When compared

To the heaviness of the words,

That fall as jet-propelled autumn acorns on tin roof,

Like heart bombs dropping from azure blue


And won’t His Words heal our souls?

Proclaim the women at the farm.

This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.

John 15:11-15

I am joining my friends Sandra, Deidra and L.L. Barkat.

Have you discovered the beauty of Its delicious. Courtesy of the folks at Tweetspeak Poetry.