Drowning

I barely have the strength to keep my head above the waves,
My face bombarded by a roar of driving rain and spray;
The broken hull of my old ship is sinking out of sight,
Flashes from the thick, black clouds illuminate the sky.

I’m losing vital body heat,my limbs are growing numb,
Cries of rage and anguish pour from my embittered tongue.
I’m sure the sharks are circling below me in the deep;
As soon as one dares venture up, I’m nothing but fresh meat.

I let my head go under, the storm is muffled, faint;
My struggle to survive seems somehow unimportant, quaint;
I am so very tired now, why not just let go
And let my body drift down where the mighty currents flow?

Off to my right approaches a patch of light and calm,
Could it be the peaceful eye within this awful storm?
A chance to feel the sun upon my face one last sweet time,
Float a while, forgive the world, then join the glorified.

I spot a pair of sandals on the surface over me;
The one who lost them overboard evokes my sympathy,
But then a strong hand reaches down from between the two,
Grabs and pulls me up into the clear and crystal blue,

It is the Lord of Life, he came walking on the waves
Through this brutal hurricane my puny soul to save!
He rebukes the mighty storm, the sea becomes as glass;
Every cloud evaporates, the sky is blue and vast.

“Take a breath, get back your strength, be healed and be restored
To the role and purpose you were created for;
There’s still so much for you to do before I call you home:
Many tasks and challenges, and skills you need to hone.”

And so he walks me to the shore,
Where life awaits and so much more,
Invigorated, full of joy and hope enough to share.

From this day I start afresh,
Battling my mortal flesh,
Beginning every morning in grateful, reverent prayer.

When we talk at length,
It gives my soul new strength,
To carry out each worthy work for which I am prepared.

Communication

Today is the twenty-first anniversary of the first time I contacted my wife. Here is this year’s poem:

Communication

Communication is so cheap, and yet it brings so much;
How greatly we’re enriched by another human’s touch.
One and twenty years ago, we took our first small steps,
When words were typed and sent with faintest hope in their effect.

Yet as the back and forth went on, a deep connection grew;
An unexpected friendship, something beautiful and true,
That served as the foundation for a life we both now share,
So bountiful and loving that our old selves can’t compare.

The lesson to be taken is to reach out and connect;
The worst thing that can happen is that they will just reject
Your offer of communication, friendship or support,
In which case you’re no poorer, in fact you’re only short

The time you would have spent uncertain, torturing yourself,
To formulate the perfect words to cast the perfect spell
And win them over to your side as friends or something more,
When all that’s really needed is to open up the door

With honesty and openness, being true to who you are;
Few healthy people really want a puffed-up movie star.
Luckily for me you liked the things I had to say,
And who I was inside didn’t frighten you away.

I learned to share my deepest thoughts, my passions and my fears,
Building up a trust that’s served us well so many years,
So let’s keep talking, sharing, as we build our family,
Our lives woven together as a wondrous tapestry.

Childlike

A plastic block’s a mountain, a rubber ball’s a world,
A tabletop’s a nation whose flag was just unfurled.
A robot army marches on a super-powered cat;
His lasers, bombs and megasword will quickly see to that.

Imagination unrestrained, wild creativity
That dances in a thousand realms of possibility,
Transforming mundane objects into treasures, toys and games;
Enjoying tricks the hundredth time and crying out ‘Again!’

Beauty is exulted in and give its due praise,
Basic principles explored in unexpected ways;
Enthusiasm on display for all around to see,
Opinions given freely with no guile or sophistry,

Gratitude so open, it lifts the room they’re in,
Affection overflowing for their dear beloved thing,
Simple and infectious joy you can’t help but admire,
Purity of thought with no twisted, sick desires.

When Christ calls us to be childlike when we join his family,
He grows our hearts to more express our full humanity.

The Dragon

Deep within the mountain fortress of your troubled heart
A vicious dragon guards a more than priceless work of art.
He smothers it from shining in his greed and jealous rage,
Marring its true purpose as a prideful living cage.

“I’m no worse than the others, there’s no need to improve,
I’ll only hear the thoughts of those whose views I preapprove.
I’m wiser than those fools who strive for beauty, depth and love;
I laugh at lofty goals that I know all will fall short of;

“I deserve great treasures more than those who work and build
Because of who I am; it’s their fault I am unfulfilled
Questions of truth and justice are for others to decide,
I’ll wallow in my opulence and drift with every tide

“My appetites alone decide what is worth my time
Hurting others is just sport, depriving me’s a crime!
Today’s appointed devil I will curse and rend and burn
Until my wrath is spent and it is someone else’s turn.”

Another victim wanders in, dressed in robes of white,
Carrying a lantern that gives off a meagre light.
“This treasure’s mine!” the dragon roars, “You have no power here!
I’ll roast your flesh, and as you die, enjoy your pain and fear.”

The victim doesn’t move, and seems resigned to his bleak fate;
He’s bathed in flames from that foul mouth, his robes disintegrate,
Revealing flesh that’s charred and marred with scars of many kinds;
He gasps and shudders with the pain, but does not moan or whine.

“You thought you were so pure, and yet your skin is black with sin;
Your shoulders bear the cause of all of this world’s suffering.
Now I’ll tear you limb from limb, crush out your final breath,
You will meet a pointless and most agonizing death.”

The Dragon lunges forward and pierces the man’s chest,
Then draws its claws back to itself in manifest distress;
The blood that flows from that great wound is poison to the fiend,
Corrodes away the dragon’s form until the treasure’s cleaned

And gleams with a new glory as your soul is born anew,
Ready to be servant to the good and fair and true.
He suffered for you willingly, his love is unreserved,
Go out and pay it forward in a way that’s undeserved.

Sabbath

A day of rest to muse upon your place before your God,
Where you have fallen short and where you’ve gone back on your word,
The many blessings you’ve received you clearly don’t deserve
That fill your heart with gratitude and new desire to serve.

Appreciate the love he shows so far beyond our own,
Recall the recent struggles through which your soul has grown,
Look back upon the path you’ve trod, the progress you have made,
Broaden your horizons to see those that you can aid,

Realign your compass if you see you’ve gone astray,
Deal with a nagging problem that has worsened every day,
Take the time to reconnect with loved ones you’ve ignored,
Put an end to enmities your soul cannot afford,

Gain the wisdom others had to pay a high price for,
Make connections that had never come to mind before,
Free yourself to concentrate, to learn, to grow, to soar,
And look towards the One we rightly worship and adore.

Fortitude

True fortitude has always been the strength to feed your family,
To survive when all around are giving up on life;
Facing trials as they come with one eye on eternity,
Despite your pain and troubles, staying faithful to your wife,

Staying grateful when the hard days come and stretch out into weeks or months,
Knowing that the things you have are more than you have lost;
Not giving in to promises of easy wealth and influence,
Taking time before you sign to truly count the cost;

The strength to listen to a friend,
Admit what you don’t know,
Seek the truth together
In a way that you both grow;

Tell the truth when it still hurts
And gaze at your own flaws;
Revive a habit left inert
That points to higher laws;

Clarify a vague unease
To see what can be done
To stop a creeping vile disease
Before its course has run;

Rectify a thoughtless act,
Redeem a broken soul;
Lead them back into the light
With fresh and healthy goals;

Laugh at unfounded, nagging fears
That held your heart in chains
When their true nature has appeared
And you can breathe again.

Stand strong against each foe and woe,
Defend the light you’ve grown;
Be more than just an outward show,
And know you’re not alone.

Blinkered

Blinkered

Far below the crashing waves
Of what things seem to be,
Are powerful currents that will change
The course of history.

Far above the petty schemes
Down on this squalid earth,
Is a realm where all can see
Which acts have lasting worth.

So much more is happening
Than we can ever grasp;
How much broader will our vision be
When we near our final gasp?

What lessons will the Teacher grant
Before our weak hearts fail?
What glimpses can we share with Man
Of what’s beyond the veil?

What part of heaven can we bring
To life in our own homes?
What connects us to our kin
Besides our chromosomes?

Who will we turn to as our guide
Through turbulence and doubt?
In which good soul can we confide
And know they won’t walk out?

How can we be a solid friend
To those who need our care?
Be faithful with the gifts He sends
And keep them in your prayers.

He Sees

He sees you when you triumph,
He sees you when you fail;
He knows what keeps you up at night,
He knows what makes you pale.

He sees the stands you choose to make,
He sees the threats you flee;
He knows the promises you break,
Wisely or foolishly.

He knows your every flaw and yet
His love is undeterred;
He still came down to pay our debt
And share his living word

That brings new hope, lifts up our eyes,
Outshines our brightest dreams,
Shows us when our old self dies
We’re far more than we seem.

Great heavenly realms stretch out above
The limits of this world,
Where we can taste his full, pure love
Through gateways made of pearl.

When Our King Calls Us Home

Another song I hope to record one day:




When Our King Calls Us Home.
 
Our squabbles over pottage bowls,
That we disguise as higher goals,
Are worthless when our life unrolls
And our King calls us home.
 
The bitter words we spoke in rage
Can haunt us when we reach old age;
We’re grateful for a fresh, new page
And long to be called home.
 
Kindness shown in little ways
Will sparkle like the sun’s pure rays
When we’ve reached the End of Days
And Our King calls us home.
 
The treasures that we store with Him,
That far outweigh our sufferings,
Will cause our hearts to soar and sing
When our King calls us home.
 
When troubles come and blows we take,
When we feel our hearts will break,
We grow in glory for His sake,
Until He calls us home.
 
So now I make a daily choice,
In the chaos and the noise,
To listen for that still, small voice
When my King calls me home.

Perception

Perception

You might think you’re just a tiny speck within a raging storm,
A thousand different voices screaming at you to conform,
To give up hope, blaspheme your God, and join the vicious mob;
Or stand aside, at least, and let them do their hatchet job.

Defeat is unavoidable, what difference can you make?
What kind of fool would stand there when the dam’s about to break?
Then time itself stands still and you are swept before the Throne,
And He reveals you are in fact a vital cornerstone

To peoples you have yet to meet, besides the ones you know,
Your influence, for good or bad, eternity will show.
A thoughtful act can redirect a life that’s gone astray,
Bring broken souls back from the brink, unfounded fears allay,

Give strength to those so weary from fighting the good fight,
Grant the lame the grace to dance, give back the blind their sight,
As they perceive the holy war that’s waging for their hearts,
Step out from the audience and dare to play their part

In the thrilling drama that decides so many fates,
And takes them in directions they cannot anticipate,
Drawing others heavenwards with every step they take
Along the narrow path, leaving blessings in their wake.