Flight

From 2002…

I’m sorry you must read alone upstairs

and calculate an airplane’s course of flight

while downstairs I scan magazines. Who cares?

You will not dare descend to say goodnight.

I will not dare ascend to say hello.

I will not lose my breath climbing those steps.

I will remain here where my breath comes slow

and where my stomach settles in its depths.

A cautious butterfly leaps up instead –

unheard, unseen, soft felt, a beat of wings

too fragile to exist outside my head.

You sit. I sit and think of many things.

To study flight is noble. Study on.

My flight is over. Now I must be gone.

David as an Old Man

July 17, 2010
I can no longer tell my muscles, “Move,”
without resistance to that small command.
The sweetest harp cannot completely soothe
my troubled soul. The touch of a warm hand
is kind but leaves fast-cooling skin behind
where once glowed ruddy cheeks and quickend blood.
What warrior strength I had! How sharp my mind
was once – how true an instrument of God!
Now others sing my psalms; my legacy
is tainted by my lust, murder, and pride;
and my body weakens day by day, but He
redeemed the imperfect heart that beats inside.
Even now I know I am wonderfully made.
My Rock is solid though my own strengths fade.

An Appeal for Fantasy

She doesn’t understand this fantasy.

She just read Uncle Arthur as a child.

Her fears speak of lost opportunity

to meet symbolic truth amidst the wild.

Her world is tied for safety to the real

(which really is not safe), a world so round

it shuns foreign dimensions’ strange appeal.

Is this the Christian life—to kiss the ground?

St. Stephen spoke of Moses, but he died

for his vision of heaven. Daniel dreamed

of beasts; she doesn’t shudder—they’re a guide.

She picks one light. How many might have gleamed!

Man cannot know the things God has prepared.

It is through symbols His wide world is bared.

Edmund and the Witch

From 2005. For The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

——-

She offers

lies that seem so palatable,

sugar-coated:

I a prince,

revenge like honey

in tea

in the pit of my stomach.

Why do I have this warning

in my gut:

– 

Turkish-delight white lies,

blankets over the shivers

when I could go back to summer holidays,

bitterness of a brother

when I should be sweet.

Tasting Sounds

From 2004…

I left your laugh-filled, sometimes scornful face

that cool-light dragged me brilliant-eyed to you

propped on elbows and stomach and the taste

of your words: “Read it again.” What could I do

but feel the rustling flutter take this hand

you never took or wanted, one last sigh

and spark when at the door I saw you stand

and give off laughs for me as a goodbye?

Hard, gemlike dream! I had to close that door

against the whispers rushing up my veins.

Another door stands open, and your roar

is hushed—his “Happy Sabbath” kills your pains.

We smile, half-knowing. Serious joy surrounds

the open doors, and I taste peach-ripe sounds.

For a Southern Gentleman

A sonnet from 2006 of unrequited affections.

How can I give you up when we just met

mere months ago, when I first found the pull

that leaves my life half-empty and half-full,

the joy that wakened. How can I forget

the evening when we listened, spoke and let

sincerity shine through us? I felt whole;

the minutes in your presence seemed to roll.

Now they have slowed, but I am aching yet

to know how your fingers feel entwined with mine,

to hear your drawl call tenderly my name,

see your eyes flash when they reflect my face,

to ride your chest’s rise and fall as I recline

my heavy head there, and to hear your claim,

a simple sigh speaking with wordless grace.

Touch

How do you touch a God whose very Name

cannot be fully spoken, and whose law

you follow, though you cannot brush its ark,

who only lets you see the backside of His glory?

Somehow He longs to cuddle with His children,

a mother hen with feathers overspread.

He hugs the prodigal, welcoming him home,

slings the lost sheep around His shoulders, and calls

us all His bride.

How is the God of Exodus the same

as in the Song of Solomon – I fail

to find the answer chiseled in the stone

or in my body – all I have is faith.