I Close My Eyes (#poem)

I close my eyes and I see the light
Shining into my soul
Who are you this long and lonely night
Lighting my flame with a burning coal

I will not collapse I answer back
I’ve trusted far too long
The road is winding but nothing I lack
Leaning into a shepherd’s arms so strong

Pondering the moments you touched my face
Thumbing through photos in my mind
Reviewing the scenes through eyes of faith
I see your love caressing my life as our story unwinds

I close my eyes and I see the light
Guiding my soul through dark and lonely nights

Moments of Surrender (#poem)

Moments of surrender are the sweetest sound
Love sings softly in a cloud of surround
Kitty calls feeling lost, hears my voice halfway up the stairs
Troubles bubble like champagne completely unaware

Abundant blessings bounce before me on a trampoline
Memories sweet as a summer night on a front porch swing
When those before me say good-bye with a final ticket to ride
Life is shaken sending ripples where kitties once slept by my side

Sleepless thoughts are the norm these long and lonely nights
Abandoned only in my mind, surrender conquers the fright
Morning brings one step forward, nighttime falls with two steps backward
Up and down, down and up, confidence shaken and fractured

Victories, he said, are as sweet as cognac
Laugh, my child, or you’re bound to crack
He lived what he preached for 95 years
Bring on the voices of the chanticleers

The Dawn is Breaking (#poem)

After a long dark night of the soul
I feel the morning skies brighten
No pink streaks of light on the horizon
Just a peaceful feeling lifting me out of the hole

Like traffic quickening in the commute hours
The pulse is palpable this morning
Letting go was a blessing and warning
Preparing me for a new season of flowers

The dawn is breaking without my prodding
Surrender was the final push
Like spring rain caressing the rose bush
My soul awakens anew with longing

Leap of Faith (#poem)

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
When conflicting demands pull you in different directions, too
When the consequences of your choices put you in a jam
One step at a time, you do the best that you can

It didn’t go the way you imagined when you took that leap of Faith
How could you know this time would be different when the other times everything fell into place
Don’t give up when it’s not over yet
Some day you will see that it’s simply perfect

Each mountain gets taller, the pathway gets longer
The wise men disappear, making you stronger
So that you can lend a helping hand to someone down the rung
Man or woman, old or young

This is how Saints are made, it may surprise you to think about
Under pressure you kick and stomp and shout
More like Peter, not John or Mary
What could be more contrary?

You relive it, rehash it, go back to the beginning, wracking your brain
Questioning what could have, should have changed
Not knowing how this story will end
Would you take that Leap of Faith again?

Heavenly Holmes Band (Musical Family Story and Testimony)

I grew up up without knowing my father or my father’s family. It’s complicated. But my maternal grandmother was a staunch Jehovah’s Witness and my father’s family were Baptists and she wasn’t about to hand me over to the Baptists. How ironic I should become Catholic. 🙂

Anyway, when I came into contact with my father and his family in my 40s, my Uncle Don said:

“Now that you know you’re a Holmes, you’re going to want to pay attention to music.”

And he began to tell me the family stories and the talents of the family I had never known.

Along about the same time, my literary agent said:

“Your writing has a poetic, almost lyrical rhythm to it.”

What did that mean? Poetic? Me? Lyrical? Really? But I had heard that my paternal grandmother wrote poetry and my grandfather was a musician, so I started to look at my love of music and this lyrical rhythm I apparently had to see what I might do about it. That was the beginning of my serious pursuit of music, including songwriting.

As the story goes, my great grandfather made musical instruments and, of course, then, he could play all of them. My grandfather played the keys and sang in a band (besides, being a pitcher for the Memphis Chicks), my uncles and dad either sang and/or played various instruments, from guitar to drums to bass to the keyboard.

In school, I’d heard that I had a musical ear. My vocal coach in Las Vegas (who had appeared in Mamma Mia on stage), said I had a great ear for music. Anyway, back to music in school, I sang in the choir, solo’d and played the organ, piano, guitar, and violin in fits and starts. The constant for me was singing – that was my favorite part. And as a modern musician, I’ve discovered that, like great grandpa, I love to arrange an assortment of instruments through music production – I absolutely love that!

All of that family except for one younger uncle are gone now so I like to think that some day I’ll play and sing with the Heavenly Holmes Band. (For more about Uncle Ron’s musical talent, check out his obituary).

Listening to Travis Greene this afternoon, I’m calling on the Heavenly Holmes Band to be my prayer warriors and all play and sing this song together:

 

 

Dark Night of the Soul (#poem)

If life were a novel, then this is the “all is lost” moment
Feeling helpless, feeling the losses
Looking forward, looking back, all that is seen seems broken
So weary of carrying the crosses

Reaching out to friends is a crap shoot
Strangers in line sharing their stories
Cloaked in pain, seemingly destitute
It’s time to take inventory

What is God trying to teach me?
I’m failing to learn the lesson
Is it physical or things I’ve come to believe
Leaning on the things I’ve found success in

The Dark Night of the Soul is a lonely place
The breakthrough is just around the corner
Waiting, waiting, waiting, feeling disgrace
Compassion for my fellow sojourners

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

 

Nighttime Chants (#poem)

The mystical drum of a Native tribe
Raw emotion timed to ancient beats
Touches my anxious soul that’s alive
Rocking me quietly to sleep
The chirping insects of basic life
Making their way in spite of the strife

Fighting change, holding onto the past
Steals our sense of adventure
Our comfort zone quiets the laugh
Discovering nothing is life’s censure
A fate worse than prohibiting words that are fowl
A cry for a freedom misunderstood if allowed

Thoughts running wild are tamed not by words
But musical instruments and nighttime chants are strong
Not long-winded prayers or speeches I’ve learned
But the West looks East in the break before dawn
Down on knees or standing tall
The Jesus Prayer is the secret weapon for all

Identity (#poem)

IDENTITY

Growing up as Kathy B
Who I was I could not see
Searching for the one who made me
Was all about my identity

When my brother-in-law, who has a close relationship with his adopted daughter, visited us in Florida last fall, we talked about how similar her issues are with mine, as a result of growing up with a step dad instead of my own dad. There’s much confusion out there about our motives to find our bio parents, but, in the end, it’s all about finding out who you are and who you came from.