Jeremiah (a poem)

It is a strange thing
to realize one day
that you see yourself
as pastor.
 
All that awkward timidity,
the cloudy questions,
have somehow given way
to comfort, presence, place,
to call.
 
When did this shift occur?
When did my leaves turn?
Sometime, I suppose,
while I was praying, preaching, caring,
too caught up in the work
to feel myself change.
 
It is a strange thing, but good:
to know I am appointed,
to finally see
what God sees.
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Questionable Philosophy (a poem)

Sometimes I wish I was brave enough
to love only the ones who deserve it.
But mostly I am grateful
other people aren’t that brave either:
I so often don’t deserve it.
 
Some days I fear
I will never fully recover
from all the love I have given away.
Some days I suspect that
life isn’t something
we’re meant to recover from.
 
After all, eventually it kills you.
 
I want to learn how to live
in the pain of always
lacking a little bit more
of myself.
And how to soak in the grace
of all the pieces of others
that flood in to fill the space
left behind.
 
When it comes to love and life
I don’t know about deserving it
But I don’t want to reach my end
without at least trying to earn it.
 
When I drink my morning coffee,
too often, I let it get cold
trying to hold on to each little drop.
And I don’t want to live like that.
I don’t want to turn cold.
I want to run hot.
 
I want to be only brave enough
to give myself away,
to make every mistake.
I want to drink to the dregs.
I want to wear myself
completely out.

Small Comfort (a poem)

Some days are just hard
for no good reason,
other than that you feel lonely
and maybe lost or sad
and a little small.
 
I think of these as mouse days:
when you wake up,
shivering in the cold cave
inside you where fear lives.
 
On mouse days, this tiny hole
seems like a perfectly good
hiding place, even though it’s
a pretty inhospitable space.
 
On days when I feel this small,
I am grateful for a God
who lets me be a little mousy,
a little pouty,
but doesn’t leave me
alone.
 
I am grateful for the tiny
mouse-sized comforts
that life offers me:
a good laugh,
a kind word,
a soft breeze,
or a warm ray of light.
These simple gifts
are like a gentle kiss
that doesn’t take,
but only gives.
 
They are crumbs
God sets at the mouth of my cave
to say: Stay as long as you need.
I’ll be just out here, waiting,
and whenever you’re ready
we will feast.

Power and Truth (a poem)

Did you know
that lightning is born
from the ground
and the sky
at once?
 
Like two sparks of new life,
of energetic truth:
Risking, revealing,
reaching out
for kindred spirit
and colliding in a flash
of electric light.
 
When God created the universe
this is how She dreamed
that power would be made.
 
Yesterday I sat in a space
and heard my sister
speak words into the shape
of the hole in my own heart.
And all around me
were a few hundred
simultaneous sparks.
 
We leaned in close
to drink deep from that
same well of realness.
We were all so thirsty, see,
to feel less alone,
less powerless.
 
The air in that holy room
crackled with honest energy,
It lit up with earnest synergy,
that meeting place of vulnerability,
And let me tell you what:
It was powerful.
It was electric.
 
God knows what She’s doing.
Amen.

The Irony of Womanness (a poem)

A month ago I bought boots
with two inch heels.
I did it on a dare.
See I don’t wear heels often
because tall girls should
surely not try to be taller.

I decided not to care.
I liked they way they gave
my step an automatic swagger.

Today I wore those heels
out into the half-hearted rain
and down the city street
for coffee.
I felt good in my
black jeans and
red blouse and
leather jacket and
those swagger boots.

I held my head high
and smiled to myself.
Until I heard the catcalls
of three men working
on a building and
ogling me from the roof.

So then:
shoulders hunched,
head down,
arms crossed, and
quick, tight steps.

Do you have to take
everything?

Can we ever just be
for us?

Frenzy (a poem)

There may be no
other problem in this world
I’d rather drown in
than too many
friends to see.

This day held
my favorite kind of
frenzy
And I am now
my favorite kind of
exhausted.

A flurry of hellos
and long embraces.
The rush of recognizing
an old familiar face,
unexpectedly present.
Shared memories,
new stories,
and common hope.
These are my bread and cup
today and I am full.

I wish I could always be
this overworked
with loving.
Maybe I can.