By reading now, you come to be
Back to when my hand did spin
Words scratched on parchment soft
Remembrance of my own past lost

In the land that gave birth to me
There was a king who built
Strong walls and fountains fine
And acknowledged the right divine

As all kings, he was not to see
His crown’d son’s failed strife
Where he straightened, son deformed
And what he praised was now to scorn

It seems to common tragedy
Set his sword dark against
My brothers killed most vile
And set me adrift, lone exile

And Suddenly

His energies are without neglect
For nothing divine is partiality
And there is no want for water
No stone in the path of the walker
Or does He more, the king respect
But to all who know the poor
From heaven’s frame bless’d perceive
Earth’s bound waters then set free
For some a cleansing did elect
Other’s feet lost, began to drown
This unexpected tragedy
Hard on them it fell and suddenly


Departing from the homely house,
I started by naming the nameless ones.
Walking with each in his own way,
I became to the world the word of law.
Speaking mighty wonder-whispers,
I grieved into my own heart and shuttered.

I noticed not the smell of rotten
Foaming unseen about my hands and mouth.
I answered not yet secret crimes,
Running long into the night of fell flesh.
I remember how wet the wound
Spilling my pride onto the naked ground.

Ignite my despoil’d rags, ashen me;
I cannot bear the weight of memory.
Give me to drink clearest water;
I have a mouth poisoned of salted stones.
Arise my hope, come to my aid!
I know not one who has ever known me.

Piercing the Mask

Went on down to the man
   Who was sent up to meet me
Told him true my name
   And asked him for the same

“Justice” how he began
   And then moved in close
Asking directly with a nod
   “Doesn’t a fool like you fear God?”

I then recalled how I ran
   From that apparition
But answering from dismal pride
   Within my shame I did hide

Holy Angel’s gazing can
   Pierce that mask we bear
Once you’ve gone and invited in
   That which has always been

Listen now my simple plan
   Waiting there, growing old
To keep the vigil oil burning
   ‘Til I see again the face of yearning

What All Believe Hidden

This keeper of peace feared but
   the Lord and gave to the poor
In evening prayers while others
   would rest, he with eyes beheld
A living messenger clear
   appearing, spoke his name

Bread from heav’n, not as of old,
   but for more than just the day
Eating his bread and drinking
   of wine gives life and living
Firm monument for prayers
   cast into the ages of ages

Hard is this speaking, who can
   hear it and avoid offense?
What would you say if heaven
   parted and you saw yourselves?
Walk swiftly to the temple,
   and hear account of a sight

From the rooftop each looks clean
   and yet nothing is secret
None can know ’til it’s shown;
   once seen it cannot be unseen
Chance to know what all believe
   hidden; rise up, pray, and breathe

Everything Every-when

A servant to his master has bonds
And often it’s the master who responds
The bond makes them one as a star
(I speak not of how things often are
But as they should have always been)
That master and servant are rightful kins

Unequal in station, but bird of one feather
They could walk through fire together
And die for each other, each understands
For a man has a call for those he commands
So much more does heaven watch over earth
And God over all every child’s birth

But it does not seem so. So, I tell you.
Trouble isn’t the worst to befell you
Not that knives do not bleed veins
Or hammers splinter a bone’s bane
But that bodies heal strong of might
And sun rises surely after each night

What happens to those with the long grind
When you have the morning in your mind?
What power does the torturer please
When the Warden approaches with the keys?
Patience has a perfect work on the soul
And by the noonday sun, hearts are full.

Ask brother, for wisdom and believe
He has never been silent as you grieve
But with expectation wheel about into the waves
And so committed you will see what you crave
Everything else is a confusion of mind
Unstable men crumble before pain resigned

O this perishing man of gilded tower!
You have as much endurance as a flower
Pretty are you so adorned with white lace
And so many admirers love your face
But the smallest goat-hoof leaves you slayed
Or a long week without rain and you fade

But hold you to the rail, and faithful stay
Tighten the grip that holds against the spray
Do not be distracted by fame of fools
Nor seduced by fortunes of costumed jewels
Never, and never, let despair steal your name
And everything every-when will be your gain.

Bodies Linger Not Broken

Immediately he spoke, they murmured,
“How can this man we cleaved
Stand before us whole?”

The fractures still showed upon humble face
With sanguine robe-stained still
His waxing eyes were clear

And he spoke, “Bodies linger not broken
While the soul persists whole.
Let this be our feast.”

Be not confounded by the proof of it
Nor be ruled by your fear
But notice comfort

Speaking again, “Animus feeds on spite
But hate will surely starve
By a meal of love.”

Lit the Way

Still breathing threats and murder
With penned letters chilled of hate
Carried bucket of water
For plunging candles into his darkness

He could not see until blinded
Nor speak ’til wagging tongue seized
Only walked foul places
Until the bones of his legs were broken

Some cut themselves by the blade
Else by cutting of others
But all of those bloodied wounds
Find their way to the body most broken

They lit the Way, burning bright
One found another, cast the path
Until it became a road
And together shone brighter than day’s sun

Wanting to Want to

I had been most clever
Such things are the fool’s way
Pretending to be wise

But there’s no hiding from
All the priests tried to bribe
To lay their hands on me

Grant some of that power
Make me you in their eyes
Spill some glory on me

Here are worthless trinkets
Hearken to empty praise
Prepared with food and wine

The crippled heartbeats ebb
To negotiate this
Random grasp in the dark

Perishing with nothing
No other portion piece
Offered this bitter one

If there is no true want
But a wanting to want to
Is that yet repentance?

Should that a starving man
Grown too weak to eat the bread
Die with it in his mouth?