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Here I stand

Here I stand
Here I stand forlorn and scared,
Looking up at a face, a grimace;
Here I stand solemnly silent,
At the foot of the cross I stand;
Darkness drives the sun away,
Deathly darkness hanging like a veil;
Not a wisp of wind,
Nor a spark if light;
Just the repugnant smell of flesh…
And blood, and sweat;
Beneath the crude cross, here I stand;
On the blood soaked soil I sit,
My back bound to the root of the cross;
Listening to the raggedy laboured breathing,
Shocked by the shameless shouting of the ‘saints’;
Dejected distraught, alone I sit.
Do you see these arms, stretched out tight?
Do you see these feet freshly wounded?
Do you see I ask, His raw ripped skin?
On my knees I bow, teary eyed,
Weighed down by my sin-scarred soul;
On the blood caked soil I bow.
Bright eyes beneath eye lids black,
Pierce through to the heart of me;
Relief from the sin I bore,
Restored to a grace unknown;
Here I stand at the foot of the cross,
A helpless sinner snatched from hell.

It is impossible to fully grasp the magnitude of the finished work of Christ at Calvary, but for true salvation, it is important that you look up, and see Him lifted up. A righteous God dying for the sins of humanity

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Night out

Night out

Neon lights, light the night;
Noisy pubs plead, please come in;
Within the smoky screen,
Wounded hearts beat, in tune to the beat.
Steady steely heels, of the lady’s stilettos;
On the strength of her step,
Holes on the concrete floor bore;
As she bears down on me,
Besides the pub’s door.
Like a well trained marine,
I swerve from this mine;
And plunge into the vale,
Of all things vile.
Night out till the first light,
Cry out till your voice is burnt;
Night out, beastly and brash,
Brawny and bossy, shifty and shocking.
Send me an ambassador to this abysmal land.
Peddling light to dark knights;
Stilling restless souls, answering the call;
Till the breaking dawn, finds them whole

Night out till the first light,

Night out.

.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Acknowledged

Acknowledge n. 1.to recognise the rights, authority, or status of.

2. To take notice of

3. To recognise as genuine or valid.

A hundred years from now we won’t be here.

A hundred years from now the things keeping you awake at night won’t matter.

It was always my mission to never stir controversy. It probably still is. If I can get away from it all without ruffling any feathers, I probably will. I am not likely to get entangled in an argument, even if I am on the right.

Life though doesn’t respect our preferences, sometimes it comes at us hard and fast.

So yesterday I was looking through my bible in the morning and this single word stuck in my throat.

Acknowledged…

For days and days recently past I had lingered, I had wondered, I had almost despaired just thinking about the futility of this earthly existence. It had started with this old man taking me to task about my marital status… He couldn’t understand how I went on living with a calm exterior despite not having a wife. He couldn’t understand why I wasn’t yet a raving maniac having been tormented by such a malady. He couldn’t understand why I was still smiling at him while he handled such grave matters. I respect the man so I had kept my real thoughts to myself as he went on and on and on about it.

Then as happens with these things, one unsettling thought always nurtures another one. A few days later, I got several texts from HELB, that body that deals with student loans, reminding me that I had not fulfilled my obligations.

Before long, a dark cloud had settled over my soul though I laughed and talked and worked as hard as always.

For a season, it seemed as though there was no hope, no value, no meaning to this existence.

Don’t get me wrong.

I am not complaining.

I know what scriptures say about me, I am sorrounded by a family that cares and belong to a community that gives me a sense of belonging.

There’s however a question that always lingers, an existential matter that hangs over us all when it seems as though our lives were falling apart. There’s always a part of us that worries if we are really worth it, or we are merely living matter occupying space and distracting ourselves with mere entertainments; till suddenly or slowly, gently or violently our breath is torn from our flesh.

We wonder, even if we don’t say it out loud.

Do I matter?

If the things we clothe our souls with were to be ripped off, would what remains be worth anything?

Our successes are a salve for the soul. Failure rips off the band aid. Then forces us to face who we truly are at the core.

Grappling with these thoughts I came upon this word.

Acknowledged.

It is impossible to fully explain the healing tacked away in that word.

Go back up there and read through the meaning of the word again.

A conversation with a friend had led me to read through the book of Titus in the bible and chapter 3 verse 7 in the amplified version gave me pause. No. It jolted me from smooth sailing. I couldn’t read more because of that one word.

The gist of the portion of scripture was that God saved us, not because of anything we had done but because of His mercy, that we might be acknowledged and counted as conformed to His divine will and purpose.

So there I sat thinking.

He saved us, so our status could count for something.

He saved us, so He and the world could see us.

He saved us, and this is crucial for our existential value! So we could be recognised as genuine or valid.

A hundred years from now they probably won’t remember you. But guess what, in the all knowing, all seeing all embracing eyes of God, you are acknowledged.

Your existence counts.

A million failures may lie at your door, and you may think suicide and a quick exit might be the answer…

Pause and think for a moment.

You are acknowledged.

The biggest power and authority in the entire universe knows you and validates your existence.

Marvel at the thought.

Tell me what you think.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Perfect

My heart woke me crying last night.
How can I help? I begged.
My heart said,
write the book.

Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

I remember the first story I ever wrote. It was on a square ruled A4 size notebook that I had bought for a class whose lecturer never showed up. I hated that story. It was a cheesy romantic tale full of sacrifice and pain and courage and all those awesome things a 20 year old dreams about when he thinks about love.

My friends loved that story.

For the life of me I couldn’t tell why.

I had sat down on a rainy Saturday afternoon and laboured into the night writing it, not knowing where I was going with those characters, and yet still trusting them to lead.

When I had finally laid down my pen at around 11 pm, I couldn’t bring myself to read it. An existensional dread engulfed me and I was naked in the market place.

There was relief that it was complete, but hard as I tried to love it, I just could not.

It was not perfect.

I still remember the look of incredulity on this guy’s face after he’d read it.

“You wrote this?!”

I dragged a smile to my face and nodded (I think it was more like a grimace).

“It is awesome!”

Before I could halt the decay, the tale had been passed around and the tag ‘writer’ duly attached to my person.

Something in me gloried. For a moment I had an identity all of my own, and a place to belong. The question of identity had wracked my soul for days on end and here now was a person I could claim. A writer.

Then I remembered how crap that story was and I knew I was a fraud.

I had read brilliant works before, and at that time I had just discovered Tolstoy. His stories were the standard I aspired to and here I was masquerading as a writer and with one story I couldn’t hold up to the sun.

It was terrible.

I walked around in a daze.

A part of me urging me to write another and a louder voice hysterically laughing at my cheek.

I finally made another attempt at the craft with a tale no one read, which I submitted to an online writing contest and duly forgot about it.

I got no feedback.

I wasn’t expecting any anyway.

When my laptop crashed and I lost it amongst other things, it finally suffered the natural death that had been coming.

So I got busy with work and life and an occasional poem and a post on the blog… My heart cried for more but I was able to calm the storms within.

I never got back to writing the long form, God knows how many times i started something and soon gave it up as crap; until sometime this year when I woke up with this insane idea that just seemed to take flight. My blood raced and in the humdrum of daily life I sat down and wrote a brief outline of the story and its introduction.

Then my demon came back.

I started seeing all the possible ways in which it couldn’t work, a chorus of laughter ringed in my ears and for a moment I stopped.

On a bright Sunday morning, when I should have been ushering folks in to the morning service, I lay in bed thinking. Light that shone through my windows pierced to my soul. For that moment I was able to see clearly.

It was there in my relationship with writing.

It was there in my romantic relationships.

It was the reason why I worked so hard and drove my self so hard to please others, and be at peace with them, even if the cost was my joy and well being.

It was the reason why I always pushed myself back into the shadows when an opportunity arose and would be content seeing others struggle with things I might have done effortlessly. If they couldn’t see it, then I definitely wasn’t perfect for the role.

It was the reason for much.

Perfection has always been my Achilles heel.

So I am learning to stare deep into the abyss, and let myself fall.

I am writing.

I am speaking.

And I am living out loud.

It is scary, but I am doing it anyway.

I am learning to enjoy creating for the joy of creating.

I am learning to enjoy my sentences, and to recognize they’re not jail cells.

It doesn’t have to always rhyme to be right, it doesn’t have to glow to flow.

If there’s heart and blood and grace in the labour, then that’s okay. And as we keep at it, one day, without us knowing it gets as close to perfect as is possible on earth. When it gets to that point, and becomes the means through which a life may find grace and healing; then we will not have lived and laboured in vain.

For now….

I keep writing.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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We’re going to live

If there’s sun today, darling ; wear a dress.
If there’s rain today, let’s play some chess.

If tears sting your eyes darling, let them flow;
If there’s laughter in your bones, glow!

If your heart is soaring, go;

If there’s a sorrow burrowing… No.

Demons dancing at your door?

Angels armed ready for war;

Don’t you see?

The babe brother, the babe grows;
That child screaming, don’t you know?

Love, love that ebbs and flows,
Love that’s stuttering with longing,
Someday if there’s hope,
Someday it is strong;

Hunger that gnaws soon is gone,
Anger that growls and growls, be warned;

Lack lasts for little while…
Soon we’ll have a blast.

If there’s sun today…
If there’s rain today;
If tears sting and will not stop,
If laughter grows and overflows;
If there’s a shelter, if its all out of kilter;
Whatever life’s flavour;
Darling I promise you,
We’re going to live.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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I do not know

Was it that her smile was an emblem?
Was it that her mouth burned like a flame?
Was it that our sighs and highs rhymed,
Or that our hearts with longing cried?
Was the arch that my arm curved,
Despite the ache,
And the haze…
The perfect shade say?

When our hearts sang,
To a silent song;
Was that the sign?

The light in the shadows, piercing;
While we lay there fearing,
Cheering.
The light! The light!
Oh that was the tipping,
While the puppies were singing.
Or was I still dreaming?

Oh sun up there staring,
While the clouds for shame hiding;
Sunshine and moonshine,
Laughter in the slurring,
Hazy strides arm in arm,
It was the mark or I am blind.
There was love and there was joy,
There for a day or two I was your boy.
There was.
There was.
There was.
Is love dead?
I do not know.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Pauses and moments

It’s evening and finally after a day of ups and downs, I finally drop my frame on the couch and sigh… I am tired and every muscle and sinew is begging for relief.

I close my eyes for a moment and remember all that is to be done this evening…

Dirty dishes to clean. Check

Ironing a shirt to be won tommorrow. Check.

Food, I don’t know where from… Check

On and on and on the list flows.

I am doubly tired just thinking it all up.

If you’ve watched Shawshank Redemption, you probably remember Brooks.

He is the old guy who, about to be released holds a sharpened blade to one of his mates neck because he is terrified of the prospect of life outside the prison walls.

I have been thinking about Brooks a lot today. The few moments before he bows out have nagged at my psyche a lot. Specifically when he says “the world went and got itself in a big damn hurry”…

That gave me pause.

So I try retrieve the moments in hindsight.., maybe this evening I may live more because of it.

I see how my day has unfolded from the moment I woke up to this minute here. It has been one mad rush to its conclusion. As I reminisce, a thousand moments and miracles unfold before my eyes.

I see me stirring, sitting up in bed and silently sliding off. The floor is frozen beneath my toes and jerks me back to the world of the living. And standing there a moment errupts before my eyes, I am alive to a new day.

The world is silent all about me, except for the gentle tap tap tap on the roof. A thirsty land drenched to excess, filled by His hand.

The sweet savor of coffee fills every crevice of this house. Why didn’t I inhale it all in and let it fill the gnawing void within?

I see us laughing, while we’re selling, sighing with the ebbing; longing, trusting… There is money in the bag, have I been thankful enough for all that I have recieved today?

The child on my lap grips my finger with all his might as though his life depended on his hanging on. He does not know that his safety is not in the strength of his feeble fingers but my sturdy thighs and steady arm. Oh God, how foolish that I thought it was me who kept me! Blinded, I only clutched at straws while You upheld me with Your mighty hand.

Supper was a revelation. Such sweet fare gulped down quickly because there was work to be done. Was I thankful enough for it?

The joy of conversation with a friend who always asked the right questions… And the realization that a million ideas lie in the mind until they are stirred up.

The day is almost done. Soon we go to sleep.

Have you been present today?

Take a moment. Pause.

Live.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2019 in Uncategorized