Poem Index:

Coat of Many Colors Perhaps…
Death Phoenix
Dream-Maker Promises
Eternally Faithful Reconciling Force
Finding Grace Shape of Tomorrow
From Jesus To You The Blooming
God of Paradox The Hidden Depth
His Love The Other Side of Pain
His Yoke The Passion of Your Embrace
Hope Time and Eternity
I Seek You, Still… Transfixed by Starlight
Masks Wings of Grace
One Step  

*poems with asterisks have been published in my book Reflections in A Clouded Mirror.

PHOENIX*

Sweet sorrow hath a well-worn path in me
It cuts right through the center of my soul
And now I can with clearer eyesight see
Mistakes and sins long passed beyond control
For what was done is done and not a one
Can unsay all the petty things once said
Or take the ashes from the fireplace flung
And gather them to kindle love long dead
But clearer vision I do now possess
With which to take my life and start anew
Like phoenix rising from the flames’ caress
I’ll fly much higher than I ever flew
And place my life within my Father’s hands
Not knowing, and yet trusting in, His plans.

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PERHAPS…*

I cannot see you.
I cannot feel you.
I cannot hear you.
The blackness of my despair
Overwhelms my soul
And I cry tears without number.
I am like a blind man
Groping for the light
He cannot hope to see,
And yet …
I know you must be there.
You promised.
I am like a bewildered child
And I wish for your hand
In mine,
But my weakness is too great.
I bear a burden too heavy
And I am unable
To even begin to give it to you.
I need you
More than life itself.
I feel I must sadden you
In my inability to trust,
But I am broken
Beyond human repair.
Even the broken pieces of my life
Tell me I love you
… Such an irrationality,
But then when did you
Ever fit into my logic?
Perhaps I can trust you
After all …

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* * * * * * * *

I SEEK YOU, STILL…*

I seek you, still…
Knowing I have found you,
Yet wanting more
Than just the knowledge

I seek you, still…
Waiting for your answer
And wondering when
You’ll rescue me again

I seek you, still…
And in my quiet numbness
Wonder…
When you touch me
Can I even feel you?
Will I know your touch?

And yet I seek you, still…
Praying it won’t be too long
And hoping you will break through
All my walls

And, still, I seek you

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* * * * * * * *

MASKS*

Masks
Hiding our faces,
And emotional traces
Presenting perpetual smiles
Hiding cracked and broken hearts
Empty, staring eyes
Lonely people hiding
Behind their smiling,
Empty
Masks

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* * * * * * * *

FINDING GRACE*

In the stillness of this night
I find my heart yearning after you
Sleep will not comfort me
As the yawning chasm of emptiness
Stares into my soul
And I arise,
Looking for some portion of your company
To take away the loneliness
“You are my portion, O Lord?
(And I cannot find you)
Grief…
Deeper than I had ever imagined
Gnaws at my core
Fear…
Of the long journey ahead
Whispers despair into my heart

I have given up the promises
This drowning in circumstances
Is a terrifying thing
I cannot keep my eyes on hope
I can barely keep my eyes on you
All I have left is the knowledge
That you will not let me fall –
Though I wonder sometimes
When doubt assails me
Like a tidal wave

All I have learned
Anchors me to you
Even when I cannot hold on anymore
I am forced to acknowledge
You are sovereignly just and holy and good
And I fall on my face again
Begging mercy…
Begging mercy…
Begging mercy…

Finding grace
Acknowledging again
My inability to live on my own
Without you
“O God, you are the strength of my heart
And my portion forever.?

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* * * * * * * *

RECONCILING FORCE*

Deep inside my heart abides
A Reconciling force
Silent… patient… unmoving in determination
Awaiting my submission to His will
As deep regrets
And deeper longing
Draw me closer in to where
He waits with quiet confidence
To work His will in me
To reconcile my heart to His again.

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* * * * * * * *

PROMISES*

Promises hang in the air
Like the multicolored leaves of fall
So many broken ones
Falling to the ground
Fading to brown
Trampled underfoot
Yet your evergreen ones
Stay alive with fragrant vibrancy
Green though all the other trees
Stand bare in the cold, white snow
Of winter’s sorrows
Until spring returns again
A new season of growth and change
Renewing, revitalizing
The bare souls… alone until
The new life blossoms
Connecting each to the others around them
And the evergreen promises
You left remain still
Forever promises ever hanging
Never falling
Faithful as you are.

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* * * * * * * *

WINGS OF GRACE

Amazing, how you meet me in my vulnerability.
Just when I think I have fallen beyond the reach of your hand,
Your gentle touch surprises me again—
Though I’m not sure why it should.
In my weakness, I feel the tenderness of your mercy—
Your Spirit flowing over me like a waterfall.
I fell off the cliff
And the broad strength of your wings caught me,
Hovering where I could drink in the newness of your life.
I see the depravity of my soul…
You see the hurting in my heart…
Never excusing my sin, always reminding me of your grace,
You pour into my quaking soul
New revelation of your unshakable goodness—
Supporting me even in my stumbling blindness.

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ONE STEP*

Has it come to this?
For all my machinations
I have gone no further
Than one single step of faith
And it simply is…
With all my fascinations
That have made it harder
I must learn to rest within your grace

Your mercy overflows
And with each waking sunrise
I am taking truth to heart
That long I’ve known inside my head
And your Spirit knows
Choices that have been unwise
Are just a chance to start
Anew, to become Spirit-led

I have so far to go
My path seems so long and steep
But one step at a time
I’ll travel toward the goal
Though it seems so slow,
I must trust in You to keep
My soul within the lines
And learn again that you alone make whole.

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* * * * * * * *

HIS LOVE*

His love is everlasting
And when I fail
He loves me still
His love is so forgiving
Outside His will
My life is pale
And time is ever passing
But His love keeps me living.

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* * * * * * * *

THE PASSION OF YOUR EMBRACE*

I love the passion of your embrace!
Nowhere that I turn
Can I find fullness of joy
As I find it in you.

…And you love to surprise me
I feel your gentle touch
And suddenly
I am exploding with emotion
And expression
Is wild, unfettered…
Uncertain
As I try feebly
To let you flow through me.

Help me, Holy Spirit,
To release myself
In your flow
And not to quench
Your love for me
And through me
And not to quench
My love for you…
For I love the passion of your embrace!

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* * * * * * * *

THE BLOOMING

In you I find this place of healing
Everything inside of me opens up to your Spirit
Like a flower opening its petals
To the morning sun or the spring rain
Though the winds of circumstance
Continue to buffet my soul
Still, in the swaying, in the moving and bending,
There is a new freedom that no amount of pressure
Seems to be able to steal away

So I dance in the breeze
Joyfully raising my petals to the sun and rain
Taking the mighty gusts of wind
As proof of your Spirit moving around me, upon me
Letting all the weight of care be blown
Off my shoulders by the very circumstances
Trying to bend me to the ground in despair…

Despair, though, is no longer my companion
You are.
You are my hope, my peace, my rest
You shine your light of love, pour out your living water
Blow your breath of life into the very marrow of my bones
You give me the freedom I need
To be joyful in suffering, patient in tribulation
Enabling me to trust that every movement in this healing dance
Will bring you the ultimate honor and glory.

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HIS YOKE*
Mt. 11:28-30

The yoke of the Lord is lightness and freedom
The weight of his glory gives strength to fly
Because his heaviness is as light as a feather
The chains of his bonds settle gently around my wrists
And free me from all other obligations
So I may follow him without fear
He takes care of all my duties
Showing me just what to do
And just what to say
Sometimes waiting until the last moment
To reveal my momentary and predetermined destiny
Reminding me: He numbered my days
And ordered my steps
…Freeing me from the anxiety that accompanies life
And making my load light
So I may fly on the wings of His wind

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* * * * * * * *

DEATH

Death lies very near to every heart
And as we walk the path of life
Each heartbeat brings us closer to the edge
I walk beneath the solemn moon
And peer at granite headstones in the light of setting sun
Beneath my feet the dust
Of long dead bodies settles into mother earth
And souls long fled from life leave empty graves
I stand beside the living seeing dying in her eyes
From sorrows deeply cut into her heart
And every breath I breathe says,
“This is life and this is death.?
Fragility of flesh bears strength of spirit

Only time can tell
When death begins and living ceases
The moment we are born we die
Until eternity steps in
And we are born again
But frail flesh weeps
For all of life bears little deaths
Until our flesh is gone to dust
And we too flee this temporary life
For angels’ company
Before the throne of God –
Or for eternal suffering –
A breath away from birth and death…
Though fragile as we are
We choose to live or die
With every breath we breathe
We die to self and gain His life
Or die to God and gain His death
And temporary death
Brings in eternal life
And temporary life
Brings on eternal death…

As the grass here is crushed beneath my boots
The headstones lie unmoved by the green deaths.
I tread the quiet earth
Beneath the solemn moon and setting sun
Aware of life’s fragility again.

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TIME AND ETERNITY*

Time’s passage weathers walls
That once were monuments to men–
Fame and wealth passed and fallen.
It dims the eye and dulls the mind
And brings the once steady hand
To a struggling frailty like soured wine.
But time itself will pass away
Ticking seconds bring its own doom nearer
Until unmeasured eternity holds sway.

Time’s not thinned or dried His blood.
It still flows thick and strong o’er me
And all the dirt of time can’t make it mud.
Time and death can’t crumble living bread
And in remembrance I partake His life,
For all of dying man can’t make it dead.
Walls crumble and the body’s weakened,
But time cannot destroy the price He paid.
Thus time fades to forever in the end.

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ETERNALLY FAITHFUL

O Lord, there are many ways I have been faithless
Your faithfulness and mercy continue…
You astonish me in your willingness
To reach out to me
In the middle of my heart’s utter wickedness
And the frail waywardness of my flesh
You sit silently next to me
Waiting for me to remember
Who you are… who you made me to be…
The invisible Comfort when I cannot even bear to turn

Here, in this time, in this place
I am guided to read when I am afraid:
Your truth my shield, not my truth;
Your word, light in my dark heart;
Your law, my delight when I feel I am perishing in my affliction.
I am going back to my roots dug deep
Into your word, your Spirit
When all my leaves and branches wilt
From lack of sunlight and rain still you sustain me.
You hold my heart in your hand through all this dark valley
My helplessness and weakness stare me in the face
Yet in the heart of my heart
I know you are my help and my strength
You are Eternally faithful, despite my faithlessness.

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THE OTHER SIDE OF PAIN

When the crushing blows of life leave you aching with a hunger
and a thirst that never dies;
When respite for a weary soul seems something only dreamed of in the silence of your cries;
When all around, you see no way to stay upon the narrow path;
And when you pray you cannot speak, but only stare with many sighs;

Then know that in the darkest, deepest hole without a light
And in the farthest reaches of the deserts in your life,
A still, small voice is speaking words that you may never hear,
But in the core of brokenness your soul still knows He’s near.

For you can find a place to hide beneath His feathered shadow if
You only trust beyond what you can see and hear and touch;
And know that though the realm you see is beating on your heart,
His truth remains unchanged; His word abideth still;
And though His promise seems to fail, just KNOW it never will.

If you can learn to lean on what you think is never there;
If you can trust beyond your feelings, knowing He still cares;
If you can take the pain and grief, embracing them as friends;
If you can see the One who suffered more than we could bear…

Then on the other side of pain you’ll shine with Supernatural light
And all who look into your eyes will know your Supernatural sight
And every soul you touch will know the love that isn’t yours, but His…
Because you trusted, blindly, staying faithful through the night.

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HOPE

Hope remains loving… ever faithful to her part
In seeking after One who does not fail her
Even though her world around her falls apart.
His love is ever faithful and with whispered prayer
She finds her way through walls around her heart
To surcease and release from every weight of care.
The breath of angels covers every mournful thought
With comfort from the very heart of Deity
His tears fall long before she begs of Him, “Why not?!?
And wind of heaven breathes fresh hope on bended knee—
A reassurance of His purposes divine, though still not plain—
Infusing incomprehensible peace…
Hope remains loving… and the passion in her pain
Still moves her on to seek His perfect will and find His gain.

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SHAPE OF TOMORROW

The shape of tomorrow is undefined, yet definite
Planned out by the master architect
Beyond simple point, line or plane—
Multidimensional and multifaceted—
Beyond the imagination
Of the finite human mind.

The shape of my tomorrow
Lies on the drawing board of my master architect
Every point, every line, every plane
Drawn with an eye toward
The whole rather than the part
Disembodied portion put together
Apart from the place it will
Fit into and bring to completion

All the while I struggle and fret
Over the junction of two planes
They lie in opposition to one another
On either side of a different cube
All the time I throw away
Contemplating how I can bring two lines
Together for a pretty shape
They form the interior of a window frame
Through which the world will gaze
On the beauty of His design in my life.

Totally beyond my control and my imagination
Planned before the foundation of time…
His design, His build, His finishing touches
It is the shape of a tomorrow
I can never hope to achieve
Without the hand of the master builder
In control of my life.

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DREAM-MAKER*

Powdered bits of dreams
Float on the winds of chance and time and circumstance
Every particle bearing a piece of someone’s heart
For every dream crushed
The One who gives and takes
Who humbles and exalts
Sheds tears of empathetic pain
With eyes that see beyond the next horizon
To the greater vista awaiting
Those who lay down all their burdens and joys
To follow in the footsteps
Of the Divine Dream-Maker
And for those who sacrifice self-fulfilling ideals
He becomes the Divine Dream-Fulfiller
Taking powdered bits of dreams
And changing them into the dust
That reflects the light of rainbows.

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COAT OF MANY COLORS*

The unfathomably deep blue sky
Reflects the beauty of Your holiness.
The snow white clouds are flowing like
Your crimson flood restoring righteousness.
The sunset splashes pink and gray and lavender
Across the patient sky as night creeps
Slowly over busy, blinded bodies buried
In the business of their lives.
The pale orange moon with sleepy eyes
Pulls feathered covers over
As he sinks below the trees
And morning once again displays your glory
…And I stand tall, resplendent in
Your coat of many colors as
They’re painted on the canvas of my heart.
The eye beholds.
The heart reflects.
The soul immersed in You
Makes your name glorious!

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TRANSFIXED BY STARLIGHT*

Transfixed by starlight
I stand, head back
Gazing at the wide sky
Awed by the intricacy
In the heavens above me
Calm stillness settles into my bones –
A peaceful reassurance
That you are still God –
And the spinning earth beneath my feet
Is still sustained by your grace…
Truly, O God,
There is no one else beside you
Who is GOD!

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THE HIDDEN DEPTH*

Forever lies beyond the stars –
The hidden depth
Beneath the velvet beauty at first glance,
And clever dreamers peer into God’s soul
To view eternity as stars dance
To cosmic symphony
Unheard by ear, but felt within
The heart of tiny men
(Macro- micro- cosms interacting)
Visible eternity of night
Reveals
Invisible forever in the soul

And dreamers dream
Without the limitations that
The mundane mass submits to
By the light of day.
Aesthetic needs are met
By nothing tangible
And cold, distant stars
Reach out warm fingers
To the one who yearns
For more than just a bed to sleep in.

Visible proves invisible…
Tangible meets intangible…
As dreamers dance,
Night after night,
To the music of
Eternity beyond the stars –
The hidden depth
Beneath the velvet beauty at first glance.

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* * * * * * * *

GOD OF PARADOX

Your holy quiet rules the cacophony of distraction
The utter stillness of your presence overriding every stormy wave
You speak when all is silent—
The mighty roar of your voice shaking the world’s foundations
You are the God of paradox
No one can tell which way the wind will blow next
You are no different
Speaking to hearts in ways tailored to individual needs
As moment by moment dictates change

Beyond scope of human imagination
You imagine, infusing lesser, yet magnificent thought
Into man’s finite existence
Who is God besides you, O Lord?
Can anyone put themselves in your place
Or pretend to know more than you know…
There is no possible way of justifying your ways,
Of explaining your actions or non-actions,
Of rationalizing the reasons behind all that we see

You are the God who speaks into cacophony—or stillness—
All of creation, man included, recognizes your voice
Whether we know it or not
You speak and the stillness of your peace
Invades our restlessness like a mighty force
In the end, we will all give you the recognition
You have always deserved

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FROM JESUS TO YOU*

I value you
Your worth is far more
Than any thing I could name
There is no comparison,
Yet…
You are more beautiful
Than a sunset
Your passion
Burns brighter than a star
And my heart
Longs for you to be near me
Come and sit next to me
Do not be afraid
Let me love you
You will find all you ever needed
In ME!
When the whole world leaves you empty
I will give you satisfaction
I can heal all the wounded places
In your heart
And I, broken once for you,
Can take your brokenness
And shape you in my image
Until all who gaze on you
Recognize my imprint
On your life
And see the value
I have always seen in you
Just recognize this now…
I value you.

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