Jenny

The wind blows and howls,
Causes creaks and strains,
Pushes the porch swing along.
The fire crackles and warms
The old, cold room;
But you wouldn’t know.
I can hear the sounds
Whistling in the air.
Jenny over there, long gone.
Yesterdays linger,
Like campfire smoke
In an old, flannel shirt.
Just as she wakes,
I hear the hinges squeak.
The cold air rushes in
As the door swings wide.
Don’t mistake the harsh winds
For friends arriving at late hours.
Both may push their way in,
And are just as likely
To bring a chill in the air.
But you can close one out,
The other is sleeping on the couch;
Waking now, pushy as ever.
She’ll make breakfast, though.
Eggs fried in lard and bacon grease.
The sizzle and my shirt,
The sight and sound of morning.
Cold nights, warm dreams,
and look what the wind blew in.

Love Can

Love is stronger than it looks. Like Popeye the sailor man and his can of spinach, just when you want to count love out, you better think again. Sure, it may not look like much: a little, bald, smiling, 8 year old, cancer patient, knobby knees, spindly arms, bad hospital gown and all. But, you better not underestimate the power she has canned up in that smile. She can fight cancer with one hand and tie you around her little finger with the other. Might not look like much, but love is a whole lot stronger than it looks.

Love can win
At arm wrestling,
When out matched
And outsized.
Love can sneak goodies
Past nurse Ratched,
The moment she blinks her eyes.
Love can make
a full grown, mountain man
Break down and cry.
Love can.
She might seem puny,
She might seem small,
She might seem frail,
But she’s the strongest of all.
Take on the world
With laughter and grace,
Stop a team of miracle workers
With just a sad face,
Break a stubborn man
with a will of steel.
She will even make him eat
the rest of her happy meal.
Who could do that
To such towering, obstinate man?
You know who.
Love can.

 

Decision Time

The whole world may come against you.
The whole world may say, “No!”
The whole world may say, “You’re crazy!”
The whole world may turn and go.

But you don’t have to listen.
But you don’t have to care.
But you can follow your own voice.
But you can go as you dare.

And when you find you were stupid,
And when you find they were right,
And when you find you should listen,
And when you find your plight,

Maybe, you’ll learn a lesson.
Maybe, you’ll come to agree.
Maybe, you’ll figure it out,
Maybe.

Or

Perhaps, you’re the only one who’s right.
Perhaps, everyone else is wrong.
Perhaps, you know more than anyone,
Perhaps.

If you’re right, you’re a hero.
If you’re wrong, you’re a fool.
If you’re undecided, your hopeless.
If you sell out, you’re a tool.

Here’s where it gets confusing.
Here’s where it gets tough.
Here’s where you have to decide.
And brother that’s just plain rough.

Reasonably Hopeless

Everything happens for a reason.
You don’t always have to look real far.
Some idiot got behind the wheel,
After drinking too much at the bar.
See, right there is your reason,
Plain as it can be.
Sometimes we don’t like the reason,
But nobody likes everything they see.
I saw her bloody body.
The sight was crushing to me.
But I know there was a reason.
His blood alcohol was 0.3.
He lost his job after five years.
He and his wife had a fight.
His bills were mounting.
His hope was sinking.
He made a stupid decision that night.
Stumbled out of the bar,
Made his way across the lot,
Flopped down in his car,
Whether I like it or not.
Too drunk to be driving, still he was.
He just drove away.
Now a family is grieving.
Hearts are breaking.
Too many people have to pay
For one stupid decision,
Made by one intoxicated man.
Yes, their was a reason.
But there surely wasn’t a plan.

Of course, I’m only seeing
The pain, the hurt and the loss.
I have my eyes fixed
On all the things that were lost.
If I’m totally honest,
I’ll have to freely admit,
It was the worst thing that could happen.
Nothing good could come of it.
But when you only see pain,
There is so much you cannot see.
Maybe darkness and despair
Have partially blinded,
Absently minded,
Confused and bewildered me.
There could be a bigger picture,
A perspective beyond my own.
There could be another story,
That to me is still unknown.
What looks to me like chaos,
Could have a purpose I don’t understand.
What seems to me to be random,
Could still be part of a plan.
Maybe everything’s working together
Even the hurt, the loss and the pain.
Maybe there are more reasons
that time can yet explain.

My friends say there is a reason.
Well, I’ve always known that’s true.
But a purpose,
A plan,
A greater scheme,
That I just cannot do.
Unless, out of the darkness,
Out of the nightmare of this grief,
Something good
truly could
Bring a sense of hope and relief.
Maybe, if all of the sorrow
Caused a reaction,
I could borrow
The good
That comes tomorrow
For my own.
Maybe from all this heartache,
Such a tragic awful mistake,
Something else
Could be at stake
And still be shown.
Light could shine.
I could find
In this darkness
that is mine,
A star to lead me
Through the night
and get me home.
If only in this blackness,
This awful midnight sadness,
The sun would rise
with unexpected hope.
And show there’s truly meaning
In all the bleakness I am seeing,
Before I go and finally find a rope.

Rules of the Road

Buckle Up!  On the road of life there are some bad drivers.

The rear view mirror is for glancing not staring.  If you want to move forward successfully, you can’t keep looking back.

If the shortcut speeds you along the journey to your destination but sabotages the development of your character, take the long way.

Take time to rest and refuel.  Stopping for gas may slow you down, but you will get a lot farther down the road if you do.

Unless you’re off road, keep it between the lines.  The road hog and the slaughter house have a long and bloody history.

Call me along the way.  I promise, no one will ever care more about your journey than me.  Because, wherever you go, my baby’s on board.

Won’t You

Today, I stood by your graveside
with mourners and memories.

I heard the prayers and saw the tears
but was lost in the frequencies:

earthly voices, sullen tones,
otherworldly desperate moans.
Between heaven’s call,
and the pain of it all,
and the desire for myself
to fall,
I stood,
as long as I could.

But I can stand no more.

I try to tune my ear to your voice,
as if Heaven gave such a choice
to broken souls on this sphere.

If you could, could you draw near?

I sleep. I wake. I toss. I dream.
I cry. I hit. I yell and scream.
I can’t go back, can’t move ahead.
I wish that I too were dead.

I cannot share this loss and fear,
the searing heat of stinging tears,
the silent regrets of painful years,
with no way to change them now.
How. do. I. keep. breathing?
Sleep… please, come to me.
Let me be a memory, too.
Won’t you?