Poetry

Little rich white girl
in a little white town.
Destine for poverty
were the black and the brown.
Slur and sarcasm
built our impressions.
Deaf to our tongues
condoning oppression.
Lincoln freed the slaves
in 1863.
You’ve had plenty of time
to catch up with me.
Nothing did I know
of legalized lynching.
Failed to ask 
why so many in prison.
My heart is covered
in sackcloth and ashes,
purge me with hyssop,
forgive my inaction.
Lord, drag my heart
through stories of color,
until I join hands 
with black sisters and brothers.
In Memory of George Lloyd 2020

Born under a law
I could not keep.
Desperate for a father
to just love me.
I stumble about the earth
unable to find
attention, direction, protection
for my mind.
Bound by lies
I hate myself.
Void of value,
I forfeit wealth.
Your word stoops down,
grabs hold of my soul,
executes my past,
revives me whole.
Up from the grave,
and into Your Son.
No more a prisoner,
You and I become one.
Each new day
is my chance to see,
who You are…
reveals me.
My mind above,
my shame died.
My life now hidden
in Christ with God.
(Dedicated to the graduates
of the Life Learning Program,
Cook County Jail. 2018)

Where doubt ends
and faith begins.
Where regrets die
and forgiveness lives.
Where tears stain
and the soul is washed.
Where weakness is torn down
and strength built up.
Where dreams are born
and laughter breathes.
Where hatred is bridled
and love set free.
Where battles are surrendered
and peace is won.
Where hopes are shared
and miracles spun.
Where pride decends
and humility climbs.
Where the Holy Spirit dwells
and the human soul flies.
(1996)

I came to tell you, Thank you,
for that priceless gift you gave.
I wanted to finally meet you,
and touch your noble name.
I sense your heroism around me,
as I walk the long still wall.
Pausing at the sound
of the trumpet,
as it plays its sobering psalm.
The sacrifice will not be forgotten,
how your life was cut in half.
I am not the first to mourn you,
nor will I be the last.
(For all those who have fought for freedom 1995)

What is this thing, grace?
Is it a prayer, a sacrament,
a religious mandate?
Someone said it was free,
a gift of some kind.
Hard to believe
something I didn’t work for
could really be mine.
They said
that’s what makes this gift
like no other.
Offered to any human soul
in need of a Savior.
It’s written, God came to earth
just like I did.
Offered Himself as payment
for my sins.
They say there’s nothing I can do
to deserve such a prize.
Only by believing…
God opens my eyes.
Perhaps this purpose I search for,
this emptiness I can not name,
is found in this Jesus,
and the gift of His grace.
(2000)

Thank you, Lord
for making me see
that You are
the beauty in me.
No makeup, or hair,
or latest fashion
can satisfy
this misguided passion.
To have and hold
the perfect self
is not obtained
upon a shelf.
But by my hope in Christ
I inherit
the unfailing beauty
of a gentle quiet spirit.
(2004)

When a promise is planted
in virgin soil,
and the hope of a harvest
is firmly coiled.
The willingness to sit
so the other may stand,
exposing our frailties
with open hands.
When unforgiveness
is finally retired,
and the vows to self
set on fire.
How the ridiculous
splits our sides
when all modesty
begins to hide.
Ears collecting
our daily words,
lips extinguishing
momentary fears.
Broken vessels
becoming one work of art
on a stage that models
the Creator’s heart.
(For Jacob and Kelli 2014)

Cradling you
I’ve come to know,
I’m not who I used to be.
You have seized a corner of my heart,
and made a mother out of me.
Now, forever,
I look toward tomorrow
to see what life holds for you.
Planning to catch
every tender smile,
and bandage every wound.
We’ll hold hands,
and sing songs,
and you’ll tell me all you want to be.
As for myself,
I’ll never be the same,
since you made
a mother out of me.
(1998)

I’m sorry I went so soon today.
I left without so much as a kiss.
I am told,
though my stay was short,
I am already missed.
I want you to know
I’m safe and sound,
that my spirit lives on in peace.
I am grateful
for the chance you gave.
I look forward to the day we meet.
My gifts
were the purest paths of life,
never having stepped foot on land.
Arriving in
the warmth of your womb,
departing in the palm of His hand.
(1997)

One day You will come to my rescue,
steal me from all sadness and grief.
You will whisk me away
to Your kingdom,
dress my spirit in relief.
The love that was received and given,
will be my only belongings brought.
The most important possessions
I had,
were the simple things You taught.
The perils of this land are temporary.
Through each one
Your armor more bright.
Until, at last, on that appointed day,
I am embraced
in the arms of my Knight.
(1995)

Keep writing.
Work your words out,
like a lifetime relationship
to an immature spouse.
You’ll start out with lies,
cause you’re new at this,
shooting for gold
and all that bliss.
They’ll start to turn
and anger will form.
Don’t give up,
they’re building a storm.
They have to come,
have to blow,
have to break,
need to flow.
You’ll get to the door
and want to leave.
You’re done with them all,
sick of their grief.
Let go of those drafts,
rewrite the view.
You’ll love them all
when they’re nothing but true.
(2018)

God delivered me to earth today
in the form of a tiny seed.
He heard you could not carry me,
so He disguised me like a weed.
He said I would bring many tears
of heartbreak and delight.
He said I was the prayer
of a chosen man and wife.
Your eyes are the source
of my unveiling,
the rose I was meant to be.
I was born for you,
and you were joined for me.
(1995)

Help me Lord,
that I might see
all the man I was intended to be.
Give me hands
that reach toward others,
never to hoard or betray another.
Give me legs that bend in gratitude,
remembering all I have
comes from You.
Give me feet
that children can follow,
each tiny step
toward a better tomorrow.
Lend me a voice
filled with truth,
a tongue driven
to bear good fruit.
Give me a spirit
that climbs above the earth,
when the world mocks
an honest days work.
Give me a heart
which beats a song,
to Whom I depend,
to Whom I belong.
(for David 1996)

Half a heart
won’t ever be enough,
to grasp the reach
of My love.
Come back this way,
you’re not that far.
Seek Me first
with all your heart.
I am He
Who gets demons off your door.
Come, sit
with the word of the Lord.
I am here
every hour, every day.
I destroy foes,
wipe tears away.
I AM WHO I AM,
the first and the last,
the bread of life,
the sacrificial lamb.
My word is My love.
It’s all written down.
I heal the broken.
Let’s start right now.
This is gonna hurt.
Truth bends, it breaks.
But I’ll carry your burdens
every step of the way.
I know it’s been hard.
You’ve suffered and lost.
I saw it go down
up on the cross.
But sky and earth
are passing away,
and the words of My mouth
are power to save.
Repeat after Me,
“Be still and know”
Let it sink in.
Allow it to grow.
“I am God.”
will rest your soul.
Your heart will fill,
your enemies will flee,
when you stay the course
and trust just Me.
(2021)

Though our hands can’t always hold,
our spirits surely do.
God has gifted a way
to bring us to you.
Closing our eyes, we pray,
open pictures of your face,
remembering our time at play,
and there you are,
not far.
Maybe closer than flesh,
nearer than hugs,
held inside,
cheering our hearts,
laughing and rolling
in sweet spirit skin.
Time and space
cannot separate us.
Any moment we can celebrate us
in the unseen luxury
of God’s holy touch.
(for Fred, Paul, Martin, and Jane 2019)