Is This All We Are?

I feel the familiar pressure move in,
An unwanted embrace of awkwardness that lingers;
Their heated, rancid breath strokes my face;
It reeks of standardized rebellion and petty lies.
The light is dim and faded; they’ll hide here for as long as it takes.
They’ll sit in their holes while the world’s fire rages.
Their empty laughs echo across the sky,
A blissful symphony of unanswered attention.
This is us and we have been spoiled.

We want what we want, and we want it now.
All the pain we face can be blamed on an object.
Technology, religion, free opinion–pick your scapegoat.
Ignore the person behind the black ski-mask;
Secret identities are supposed to remain hidden.
We’re our own superheroes.
Even though we tell ourselves we’re strong,
All there’s left is clothes, hay, and a stick to steady ourselves on
Left to be tossed and thrown by the wind of circumstance.
Life isn’t good when everyone hates us.
Let them oodle and gawk while we giggle and screech;
We don’t see where we’re going but we don’t care.

We like what we like, and we like it now.
Our backs are broken and shattered continually from the weight;
We must be strong for those who are spectating.
Our elders look at us in grief and agony;
They regret how they raised us.
If they could take back those angry, spur of the moment screams,
If they could have listened to us and nurtured our dreams…
They might have, maybe. . .
We blame our ceaseless anger on them.

We hate what we hate, and we hate it now.
It’s their fault that everyone hates us.
Parents, grandparents, teachers, bosses, neighbors, politicians,
Those who have abandoned or fled us.
Did they think they were not good enough for us?
Were they scared of that tiny, dirty baby?
Some of them were deceived and lied to,
Told that there was no life in their wombs.
They didn’t know what to think, and were convinced to cheat.
These are just blobs of cells, not their child they will never meet;
We continue this twisted tradition, live for love and kill the product.

Is everyone just here to watch you fail?
Check your phone again; you’ve got mail!
A message you get every single day–
It haunts your sleep and scares away the sheep.
It reads, “You are the generation of devastation.”
“The world is falling apart and you sit alone;”
“All you care about is opinions and sticks and stones;”
We listen for a second before putting our music back in.
The world tells me to be myself and nothing else.
What if I hate myself and want to change?

I hear You whisper:
“I AM who I AM, and I AM now.”
In the schools and colleges full of desperate youth,
They are taught to deny that I AM is.
We are sculpted to have inquisitive minds and free hearts,
Taught that it is impossible that I AM exists.
A omnipresent being who really loves His creation?
Crazy. Bizzare. Ignorant. Bliss.
We might be Israel in the desert, America in the year of the millenials
But He always was who He always is.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”–1 Peter 2:9

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Baby, here in the waning light
I can feel you breathe.
I can feel the feeling of your teardrops stopping when they touch me.
Don’t even realize it’s just in my mind.
When you give me compliments,
I feel more myself.
If I can be enough for you,
Maybe I won’t feel unworthy.

But I still curl up, when you leave, staring at the ceiling wondering what all your words actually mean.
I’m not strong.
And I still feel alone,
Even though you were right here just yesterday.
I know we’re both so broken—
Falling, flattered fragments.
So unfocused.
Breaking, battered bits of black and blue.
The broken can’t heal each other.

I’m screaming.
How can I be a leader,
If I am not first led.
I just follow the bleating lambs.
Who can end these conversations in my head?
How can I point to the Savior if I don’t know that I’m saved.
My hands slipping from this rope, bleeding.

It’s all in my heart, soul.
Not just how I behave.
Change myself so I don’t only crave me.
I guess I’m only in the grave, see.
Need your resurrection power.
Life—flooding through my veins.
Not some irrelational dope. It’s you holding me in your hands.

She will drop me; lose her hold.
But these hands won’t.
When I blow it, you keep waiting and you blow me
Father, be my father so I can be your son.
And know I’m not the only one.

I tried to fill the void.
Tried to cram my sister in the middle of my soul.
Tried to pour my pain to my brothers.
They taste the sweat in the ripped pages of my soul and try to still it.
But they only pour more fire.
We can’t heal each other.

You bind me.
You find me.
Like a bird hovering over deserts.
Come down. Carry me away from loneliness.
From myself.
Unbind me.
Unblind me.
My head knocked against your chest, somehow comforted.

Teach me respect, sonship.
Your hand on my shoulder. Eyes locked. Knighted.
Like my gender’s more than my body
Or mistaken stereotypes.
More than attractions. Hormones—out of the corner of my eye.
You don’t change. You are the potter. All others broken reeds.
You’re forming me—holistically holy.
Holistically me.

I’m pleading to be a son.
Because you call me to be a son.
I was created for you.
But in so many ways I still don’t get it.
Help me get it.
That you’re different—not just another one.
You’re everything. You’re reaching me through them.

Dear Lord, the one thing left to say is forgive me.
Forgive me for looking everywhere but you.
For trying to be saved, but not looking to the Savior.
And rejecting your blood.
All in the name of love.
I’m sorry!

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What Is Your Name?

I watch Creation as it works, a seamless masterpiece of love.
How can I fathom what the sparrow knows?
Or the timing of a spring time shower?
How can I understand the inner-man; the desires, raw and unfiltered, of humanity?
How can I fathom the galaxy’s treasures, Your blessings upon the forsaken?
How can I believe in an invisible God? All there ever was–faith.

How can I see through the suffering? Mine, ours, his, hers, theirs.
We seem to be trapped within our flesh and brainwashed into broken logic.
How do you expect me to love you when all around me is pain?
How can I push for a deeper relationship when the door seems to be locked shut?
How can I see Spirit and life when my eyes just see a Book?
Why do I flirt with death when all I have is this life to live?

Where is everyone when I feel alone?
Where is the goodness in today when I only feel failure in these bones?
How can I spread a fire among the world when everyone is doused in Satan’s wisdom?
How is there a possibility for love when all I see is persecution?
How can I trust a God when He is only a name?
How can man escape his fears? Is it my sacrifice or ritual?

No, but only one man’s sacrifice. A man that sweats blood and heals children.
A man whose questions were deeper.
Why did He take the cup upon Himself? How could He deem us worthy?
He did it because we are not worthy. He took our filthy blood on Himself; And drained it.
He fills us with Himself instead of our questions.
How great is our God of heaven, earth, and my own forgiven soul?

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Dear Sister

You tell me your heart is breaking.
You tell me you’re tired of faking.
Why do you have to be the tough girl?
Your world’s falling apart, and you can’t remake it.
You feel like God left you when you needed Him most.
You know your babe will leave you, though he’s promised he won’t.
And you’re a wreck.
You’re sick of it.
You swear that you’re all alone.
Death creeps closer to home.
All your friends turned to stone.
And your family won’t stop fighting. No!
You think you’re a mistake.
And you hate.

Don’t run to me;
The hot heroes on your screen;
They can’t save you.
I can’t stop your inner crisis.
I can’t be who only Christ is.
I was blind.
There is one who can bind up.
There is vision.
I still feel lost sometimes,
But we were bought so dearly.
He never let go—not for a moment.
When you say you can’t feel Him,
He is still holding you.
The clouds don’t blot out the sun,
Or even dim it.
He didn’t go anywhere.
He can take your shattered pieces.
Make you new.
You are worth more than you could ever imagine–
Than I could ever see.
Go to the well and drink—-
Not from broken cisterns.
You don’t have to be the tough girl.
In His strength, you can be weak.

Let Him see you—
Bare bones.
The pain. The screaming.
Let Him hold you.
Kick against Him till you feel His arms.
Run as fast as you can.
Planted as deep as everything
That you could never have from me
Or anyone else.
Go away. Go,
Seek Him.
He’s waiting.

I’m saying this because I love you,
Not because I don’t.
But love is the opposite of codependency.
You can’t find it in me.
So run. He’s holding out His arms to you.
Can’t you see Him?
He wants to hold you so tight.
It’s what He breathed to me one night:
“My love is deeper. Better.
I weep over her,
Like my flesh is being torn again.
I love her more than you could ever.
Only I can fill her.
Trust me.”
He’s telling you to trust Him.
Please, trust Him.
He never ever breaks His promise.

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Standing Here

I’m frozen while standing here
At this lonely curb that everyone hates
My hands are shoved deep in my pockets–
I’ll shuffle my feet and grunt and groan,
But I’m still here and still stuck

I see others pass me by
Some are in the slow lane
The rest are speeding ahead
There are no tickets given to the confident
Inside we are the same though,
Unsure, unfaithful, unused
Our plastic faces are sore from smiling

Here comes the first one that I knew
He walks with confidence and purpose
We’ve come a long way from Play Group
His future is set by his own determination
He’s found companions in his passion
Our similarities are guided by the past-
Inside jokes, ridiculousness, memories
Is this what holds us together?
Will the glue deteriorate?

There’s the one who I thought was true
We laughed and joked and had fun
Then I found out how much he cared
Now he walks and does not look at me
His steps are sloppy, all over
Where is he going?
Even though I should care, I don’t
I lie to myself and say that I’m not angry
There’s no bitterness in my head
Make sure you look both ways before crossing

I see someone across the street
He hides behind lamps, cans, other walkers
Is he afraid of what I’ll think?
I see frustration, pain, shame in his eyes
Is he shutting me out from his walk and life?
Am I not trying hard enough?
He’s lived through more turmoil than I ever have
I won’t understand everything he’s going through
We cannot relate on our levels of life
He might be running away,
But I can’t stop him

Then there’s the man who stood by me
We’ve grown closer as we take this trek slow
We’ve both learned the danger of distractions
This road isn’t so lonely when we run
He’s walking away from worlds and eyes
Now I see him growing inch by inch
My mind tells me he’s inching away
I don’t know what to think, throw, thank-
Will he remember me?

Thousands of people are running around,
Hands clamped around their ears and eyes
They don’t want to hear, see, or live
Inside they’re hurt, misguided, and warped-
Until they can’t fit anywhere
Lost with nowhere to go

My fortune is a hidden one
I can help a select few in their long walk
These people have been placed in my life
Regardless of how they treat me
I can be the light on their dark street
And while I am standing here,
There is more than just companionship
I can reach for deep, true friendships

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A Poem I Think I Wrote

I need to write a poem,
Not because I need to.
Not because of scrolling words a non-existent audience needs to read.
Not because the music in my head is so loud, I have to bleed.
Maybe there’s a song in my heart or I want to plant a seed.
I’m bored at 10pm when I should be asleep.
I want to fill pages when I don’t know what I’m feeling.
Not the not knowing that means something’s wrong and the ink turns to goop.
But the still not knowing, when nothing is particularly wrong or right, and you’re just tired
Yet you know everything is wrong and right, and you just feel inspired.

Take out the notebook.
Is it just to fill pages?
Just to hear yourself think?
To spill ink?
To feel legitimate?
To stay up one more hour because you started it?
Or is there more?

Cuz yesterday you wrote a love song, then scrapped it.
You’re writing more because you’re learning to write when you’re happy
Or when you just feel normal–
Even though you know there’s no such thing.
Writing happy, normal, tired
(Anything other than sludge and slime and more goop)
Is a challenge.
But you’re ready.
Cuz that nonsense was normal for too long.

You’re tired of it.
Your general state is happy now–
When you don’t think too hard,
Or you think hard enough.
It’s a paradigm shift.
And the poems you write should reflect it.

Like you’re a different person,
But you’re the same you’ve always been.
You just like yourself better
And thank God for making you you–
And giving you a crazy, normal, wonderful life.
And friends.
And family.
And self-respect.
And all the things you can let go of.
Including poetry.

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Welcome to My World

Horizon shakes in my vision—
My steps feel like… responsibility;
The weight of maturity—
It makes me tired and lazy.

All I want to do,
All I need to make me happy,
Are my computer and earbuds.
I can sit here for hours,
Lying and saying that I’m actually trying.

There goes another wasted second.
Adios to my passion for hard things.
Arrivederci to my righteous dreams.
Guilt drips in through the gutters;
I groan and sigh reluctantly.
I should do something productive.

Blare the rap music to drown out real life;
Let the sweat run down my face,
Lift the weights and push the pace,
Aching body and numbed mind—
It makes me feel more worthy.
Make exercise the priority.

I’m always tired and sluggish.
There is no connecting with my characters.
My mind has no emotion for poetry.
Coffee is my elixir of life.
They say “Go to bed earlier!”

But then I find excuses—
Excuses are what push me.
I don’t have time for this,
I don’t want to do that.

Education is a wasted effort.
I’ll never use Algebra again!
When will Chemistry formulas ever be useful?
Learning another language is pointless.
I have no life!
I don’t have enough friends!
Why do I care about being real?

I lay in my bed and stare into darkness.
Today was another failure…
But isn’t every day Yours?
Does that mean You don’t care about my feelings?
That You can’t possibly see all my struggles?

The evidence against my assumptions is clear.
What about Job?
He was compensated for his suffering.
What about Corrie ten Boom?
She saved lives through her secret room.
What about Jesus?
He could see beyond the pain.
What about me?

My complaints and trials are so minuscule.
I’m still alive and I still believe
You are alive and still speak.
We are still one forevermore;
Your Spirit still shocks me to the core.

My monotonous days are only opportunity,
A chance to love others with Your truth.
Please help me to live in your peace,
And to make the most before I leave.

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