Summer of ‘69 (#poem)

To Kristy

Counting back to the summer of ’69
It was mid June before I was alive
She rode shotgun, feeling alone
Singing “Lord, I’m 500-miles from home”

Growing up, never really going back where
She hovers nearby, close but not there
Starting over each and every new day
Restless heart, restless feet, cannot stay

Singing victory songs morning, noon, and night
Getting closer, feeling empty, running out of fight
This 50-year prayer – is it worthy of a lifetime prize?
Or will her next stop show up as a blind-sided surprise?

Happy Easter (#poem)

I woke up before Easter Sunrise
A smile in my belly
Searching for celebration through the world’s eyes
I found tragedy and hate on social media and the telly

What’s tragic is the world has missed the point
It denies God and, therefore, love
It lives in a Friday night beer joint
Instead of he Resurrection above

Fair warning my good friend, if I may
When you search for “Easter” on the internet
Don’t fall for the suggested hashtag of “EasterSunday”
When “HappyEaster” is what you really meant

Easter Vigil (#poem)

Waiting for sunrise of the morning of Easter Vigil
My thoughts turn to my plight
It’s been a long arduous journey of good and evil
Like a San Francisco to Hong Kong flight

My weakness cannot be hidden in my window seat
Struggling not to squirm
My hair flattens and my makeup dries like overly-processed wheat
Screaming is what I yearn

The clock ticking, the mind racing, reading to quiet my thoughts
Yesterday’s farmer reaps what he sows
The high tech head produces lead like a machine when it’s hot
Fishers of men trust the most when the least is in their control

What lies before me fills my head in an otherwise slumbering bed
Experiential, though, it may seem I feel the nails in my hands
Torrential tears I did shed, I’m now looking ahead
The Risen Christ lift me up, I long to see your loving gaze caressing the sea and the land


Night Friends (#poem)

Night friends are poems lying awake
Keeping me company, keeping me safe
Sharing my bed with those who sleep
My love at my side, kitty at my feet
Quiet slumber, I dare not make a peep

Grandma wrote poems, of this I am told
I even read them not long ago
What would she think of my poems, I wonder
I wish I had met her when I was younger
It would have been nice to hear her cheering thunder

A poem ending is like saying good-bye
To a good friend visiting and then you cry
Returning to your life like before they arrived
But with communion of the Saints they are never really gone
Writing poetry with grandma all night long

Holy Week (#poem)

It’s Holy Week and I’m on the watch
Looking intently for my King
Unlike Peter, I’m not sleeping
Loss unlocks unbounding weeping
I cannot boast; my weakness betrays me
Love comes at such a cost

Searching for answers through constant praying
My playlist culls songs of heartache
Country, Rock, and Travis Greene
Oh the comfort YouTube comments bring
Unlikely comrades share the hard times
When answers seem to be delaying

My heart is touched by my fellow citizens
Hiding in a multitude of cloaks
Running from a culture of shame
Drinking, sexting, playing the Facebook game
“Lost sheep without a shepherd”
A whisper of Faith calls us back again

Like Mary keeping these things in her heart
I recall the miracles in my life
The job that came with perfect timing
Guitar strumming musician with the face of Jesus shining
”I go before you always” sung in a beachside church
My father’s love for my mother spoken like Bogart


Kristopher (#poem)

Kristopher I call you today
Are you the one or is it Kristy?
Not if the little boy who went away
Sweet, loving, and kissy
Was really you in disguise
Would my love have been a lie?

To heal a broken heart, they say
Is not to bury you, but to give you a name
To keep alive since that day
You were identified by your grave
And so today I call you Kristopher
Until we meet in the ever after

Lent (#poem)

Lent can be the most hellacious time of year
One that started for me on Halloween
Filled with hope and trust soon turned into fear
Like the never ending Groundhog Day on the Silver Screen

I’m somewhat new at this kind of belief
One day was like another when I was a child
Watching the neighbors go to church on their knees
Admiring their place in a world run wild

Stories of Missions and Father Junipero Serra
Catholics, Protestants and even Jewish girls
So common yet part of the forbidden era
Were precious to me like a necklace of pearls

The world throws away its treasures from the past
Putting baby in the corner on a stage so round
Now invited to partake of the bread in the Mass
When once I was lost and now I am found

I’m reminded of a miracle when it’s three days late
The timing is perfect you see looking back
The pain and the suffering in the moment so great
Easter Sunrise conquers the nights so black


The Waiting Game (#poem)

I’ve been here too many times before
Yet this time you want even more
Midnight poems turn into prayers
The sweet turns salty in my tears
My shell hardens as I take aim
And play the Waiting Game

I read the line that all is for my good
I should be thankful, yes I should
They may be right but all I hear
Is hurt from a wounded parental fear
The kind you run from to emotionally survive
To keep alive the heart of an innocent child

My mouth is dry in the desert night
Counting the minutes til broad daylight
How many more til the Easter Sunrise?
Before fragile hope breaks and my Faith is just a lie
Anger abounds and I fight not to sin
To let it out when I strive to reel it in

Fighting myself and fighting God
Wrestling again when I remember the odds
Asking “how can I be here again?”
Remember what my surrender cost?
Remember how the loss turned into a win?
How can I doubt when the timing was perfection?

In the midst of the fire, in the midst of the pain
Have I said it all, can I reach it again?
When memories shatter and I’m blinded
by weakness and desire
Will I survive this time, an even higher climb?
And find the strength to play the Waiting Game?

Worship in the Waiting (#poem)

Worship in the waiting they say
These words I recall lying awake
Writing, singing, working all day
Are distractions I welcome but only delay
The peace to panic transition the nighttime obeys

We’re not alone in our fears
In our struggles and overflowing tears
When our strength seems to disappear
When we’re down on our knees
Begging please please

Like writers writing fiction
Seeking love, loss, and friction
Musicians share their heart and their stories
Waiting forlornly
For answers that give Him the glory

Remember the truth and the blessings
In trials, tribulations, and second guessing
As Mary pondered the love of her life
After Good Friday comes the Easter Sunrise
Worship in the waiting conquers the fear in the lie

Sleeping in a Stranger’s House (#poem)

Daytime I see the snow-capped mountains of home in the desert light
Night time I hear screeching and scurrying under the first flight
Consciousness tells me it’s the heater roaring on a colder than usual night
Imagination weaves a story about a monster living underground
The sounds surrounding me startle me awake reminding me I’m sleeping in a stranger’s house

Money and a contract give me the right to call it mine
But my heart remembers a home of a different time
When family and memories made it more than just a mortgage and I knew I belonged
But all of that has changed and everything feels so wrong
Like landing on an unfamiliar planet where once upon a time I sang a familiar song

Living in a stranger’s house is like living in a foreign body
Looking in the mirror at an amusement park or traveling carny
The familiar is distorted, upheaving your orientation, spinning you round and round
Uncontrollable reeling, desperately seeking balance to keep you from falling on the ground
If six months in feels like home, you’re halfway there counting down