bell jar

there is a glory
so brilliant
it eclipses your darkened sight,
so pure
it floods your mind with peace,
so good
it makes your heart feel at home,
so fresh
it sends a breeze through your thoughts,
so sharp
it slices through your bell jar.

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poem writing

abstract thoughts
pouring out and tumbling over
skipping on top of the concrete
making new shapes and colors
and new ways to see things.
taking existence
and making it more real,
using white chalk
to bring out the blue in her eyes,
staring into the west
and finding the lost compass,
molding old things
so that they can be understood
in a new way.
This is what it is to write a poem.

vulnerable nights

evening comes quickly
and we are no longer paying attention
to the outside world.
making more popcorn
picking out a movie.
everyone keeps talking
and the stars come out.
it gets warmer and cozier,
the makeup is coming off
and the hair goes into ponytails —
we are no longer conscious of our images.
barriers fall
and defenses are laid bare.
here, I am home
until I step back
and realize how dangerously
vulnerable
I have become.

wave

wave goodbye
to who I used to be!
the past is a trophy
that tells of all I have learned
wave hello
to what is ahead!
the sea stretches before me
and I am strong,
I will soar with feathered wings
above the trees that used to cage me in

but so soon
the strings twist again around my body

wave goodbye
to the sun,
the darkness came back to claim me
and I can do nothing to stop it,
wave hello
to my old friends,
the tree branches that taunt me out of sanity,
and nothing will stir my mind from its hiding place.
the empty night settles on my body
and I am cold,
I sit in my own thoughts
praying for a crack in the closed door
praying for the sun to come
praying for someone to hear me

and I can feel the wings fall off
as the sea closes in

caring

honestly, I do not care
if your hair isn’t always clean
or if your laugh sounds weird
or if you listen to classical music
or if you spill hot cocoa on your shirt.

class is welcome, yes,
but perfection is overrated.

please, be your imperfect self.
the beauty hidden there
is worth it.
the way you love
is what matters.

dreamer’s eyes

i don’t dream often
but when I do
they are good dreams.
too good.

and sometimes
sometimes
life lives up to my dreams,
just a little bit,
and I get carried away
in the wind that blows through my head

drowning

“Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” — C. S. Lewis

look within yourself —
dig into your thoughts to find truth —
and you will find nothing. Only
an ocean, dark and cold, with nothing to cling to,
nothing to keep you from drowning in the deep water.
suffocating and overwhelming.
you gasp for air, but nothing you do
will save you. You can feel death calling you,
so close, so dark, so terrifying,
and all you can know now is
hatred. you would do anything to be anywhere else.
loneliness. you are alone in a wilderness.
despair. there is nothing more for you.
rage. you cannot do any better than this.
ruin. you are completely disgusting.
decay. you are worth nothing.
and the deeper you look, the more you know
utter terror.
there is nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing,
nothing that can help you.
You are going down.

but turn.
look to Christ
and live.
He stands waiting for you,
reaching out for you,
just wanting you to reach for him too.
In him there is no death, only life.
you gather up all the feeble strength you have
and move upward, out of yourself, into him,
but your strength is not enough.
you know you are dying.
He is too far off and you are too weak.
every muscle in your body screams
— and he answers.
the most beautiful hand you have ever seen
reaches down to take yours
and pull you to safety,
glorious safety.
the water flows around you
and you come up, dripping, to look
into the face of One who loves you
unconditionally.
dark water pours off you —
it doesn’t matter anymore —
you know what it is like to drown in light.

 

both a blessing and a curse (part 1)

it is both a blessing
and a curse
to feel everything
so very deeply.
– David Jones

when the world moves too fast
and you see every color
but have no time to think about it.

all the sounds reach your ears and penetrate your thoughts
but you can’t quite reach them
because there’s not enough time to

but for a moment the world slows, and you catch a breath,
and all the colors and shadows and sounds and smells
are given a chance to mean something,

and that’s when life is its most vibrant.
When you give the world time to soak into you
and color you a little differently.

you are

[to all the people I love.]

you are the light
dancing prisms on the wall,
the green shade beneath
soft maple branches.
you are the deep drum
signaling victory in battle
and the mumble of a coffee shop
on a Tuesday evening.
you are cold sheets against
smooth legs,
the warm breeze of the morning
that brushes away the chill.
you are the smell of leaves
when the air is crisp,
the familiar scent
of a friend’s clothing.
you are the spice of something
hidden deep within cinnamon
and cool water when it’s
most needed.