Poetry


TRASHCANS AGAINST CURB

These poems have been used on such diverse forms as street sheets, syndicated radio, posters,
T-shirts, lyrics, magazines, numerous websites, books and art installations. Some of them are nearly 20 years old. Hopefully they still have some impact.


Society of the Broken
City of the Damaged

Our world is broken. Our culture is in a state of decay. As a result we have introduced a new terminology into our vocabulary...Throw Away People. Somehow our advanced society has found it appropriate to refer to some of us as nothing more than human garbage. If we don't fit in then we are kicked out, isolated, ignored, mocked and rejected. It may be because of the way we look, the way we dress, our tattoos, piercings, hair or attitudes. It may be for no reason at all. One way or another we have all ended up out here looking for hope, answers and peace of mind.

Our basic needs are simple. We want love, acceptance, affirmation and forgiveness. The ways we try to meet these needs are many. Some of them will kill us. We often find ourselves doing things just to blend in. It's not really for the high, the thrill or the excitement...we just don't want to be rejected again.

We are like black roses in a sea of reds, yellows, pinks and whites. We are different from everyone else. We are a society of outcasts. Very few people understand our pain, frustration, anger, fear and loneliness. Some of us cannot bear the pain so we drown in drugs, sex, alcohol and apathy. Unfortunately some of us will even attempt suicide. There has to be a way out of this darkness.

Imagine the light of a candle held by a hand with a nail scar in it. He whispers your name softly and tells you to follow Him. He doesn't want to hurt you, steal from you or mislead you. You follow Him to a safe place where He begins to cleanse the wounds in your spirit. He makes you feel whole. His mere presence gives you hope and life. This is not a myth or a fairy tale. There really is a way out of your personal hell. Someone loves you and doesn't want your flesh in return. He only wants your heart. His name is Jesus Christ.


Darkheart

in the shadows
cold
and silent
behind the music
and smoke
you see them there
leaning against walls
arms folded
black mascara
capes and boots
hoping
that the pain and fear
subside
long enough
to enjoy the night


Pneuma

God breathe on me
i need to feel the warmth
of love that does not steal

Jesus speak to me
i need to hear a voice
that does not crush
Father comfort me
i need to be held
by someone who cares


Bondage

what holds you down
dark and cold
frightening
life draining
what chain can't He break
if you ask for help?


Teardrop

He sees the stream
down your cheek
the crystal drops
salty and warm
He hears the echo
in your soul
explosions of pain
and isolation
He hears your muffled cries
for rescue
He pulls the spider webs away
He releases the claw
He destroys the lies
Jesus
noble king
radiant guide
supreme power
purest love
Saviour
of the shattered


PIC OF SKULL SHOWING THROUGH CHAIN LINK FENCE


Addiction

this needle in my arm is not filled with drug
through my veins ~ through my veins run memories
and i am addicted to pain
and who will come and take this sorrow
upon stronger shoulders
and cut this ball and chain
and cut this ball and chain
can i sit on your padded pew
can i bleed on your carpet
or do you want me when i'm clean
and not now
and not now
can i take my addictions into your theology
is it big enough to feel my pain
or will i stain your glass
with street smells and sweat
and where can i go
and where can i go
when i'm addicted?


Cutter

in bed alone
you don't want to die
you just want to bleed
so you grab the blade
and slice some flesh
crimson drops
slide down your stomach
and you feel release
but the pain always returns
always


3 Nails

we pushed the nails
through His hands and feet
and He died
sweet red drops
shed for junkies and thieves
cutters and huffers
victims and victimizers
a perfect flow
for an imperfect world


Reasons to Die

she thinks about death/often
she imagines an exit shaped like a gun
or a handful of pills
it's not because of what's been done
it's because of things not done
the words never said
the face never stroked
the shoulders never hugged
she doesn't really need
a reason to die
she needs a reason to live


Waves

the first wave buries you
maybe it was a word
or someone ignoring your cry for help
so you tumble on the sand
rolling in a watery grave
but you don't die
the second wave is lost love
broken promises 10 feet high and cresting
your heart pressed against the ocean floor
by blue/green hands
liquid fingers named pain and suffering
your skin turns to porcelain
your heart becomes a stone
you die inside
but your heart keeps beating
a drummer to remind you
of the loneliness
and cruel rhythm of this world
there is another sound
that awakens you
a voice still and calm
like the beating of dove's wings
in turquoise sky
the words are love
the message is hope
the Son of God
gathers the shattered pieces
of your world
and makes a new creation
but only if you ask.


She Cries

a tear drop forms
then flies away
before anyone sees it
inside
inside she weeps
tough girls
have to be strong
while they die
on the inside
a tear drop forms
then disappears
water and blood
wings and sun
a tear drop
for everyone
of the big girls
whose eyes are gates
that hold back the flow
moon and cloud
stars and wind
a tear drop forms
and blows away
down the hall
down the street
to the feet
of the Saviour
wet with tears
to the place
where the tear drops flow
to the place
where wounded girls go
to cry


BLUR OF LIGHT AGAINST A 'STREET CLOSED' SIGN


Release

He calls your name
He opens the loop
and you fall
into His hands
peace for madness
an unfair exchange
you cannot pay


Healing

the tears pool
as He reaches in
deeply
the mind
the heart
the soul
transforming
absorbing light
you do not understand
but you know.


Bodybag

somebody
put my heart
in a body bag
but it kept beating
for love
for love
for lack of love
no one knew
i was already dead
only You
could see inside
and if not for the touch
of Your nail scarred hand
i would have died completely.


JAIL CELL


6 Shades of Black

can you understand
the spirals
that some people live in
black circles
black circles
black circles
spinning like corkscrews
the healing voices
cannot be heard
the love
does not penetrate
the depression
God love
God love
God love
is the only thing
that breaks the spiral descent
into arcs and shadows
walls that grip and twist
6 shades of black
only shattered
by the crimson glow
of Saviour's blood
can you understand
can you understand
can you understand
when people disappear


Scars

is there a body count
for those who die
on the inside
there are wounds
that no one sees
it's not the bullets
that kill me
it's the loneliness
and fear
the only blades
that scar me
are pain and isolation
the noise you hear
is the explosion
of a broken heart.


Therapy

these are the things that make me scream
these are the things that make me scream
these are the things that make me scream


WHEN MY HEART TUMBLES IN THE SHADOWS
WHEN HARD WORDS CUT PATTERNS IN MY SOUL
WHEN THE WEIGHT BREAKS MY SPIRIT

these are the things that make me scream
these are the things that make me scream
these are the things that make me scream

WHEN MY MIND EXPLODES WITH FEARS
WHEN ANGUISH BURIES MY PEACE
WHEN THE DOOR LOCKS BEHIND ME

these are the things that make me scream
these are the things that make me scream
these are the things that make me scream

WHEN THE CAGE BECOMES SMALLER
WHEN THE CLOUDS DESCEND
WHEN YOU LEAVE ME IN SILENCE

these are the things
these are the things
these are the things.


BARBED WIRE FENCE


(Untitled)

Jesus
run your fingers
across the scars on my heart
and read the patterns
that describe a past
haunted by pain

Jesus
trace a circle
around my soul
and try to contain
the things
that have been done

Jesus
build a fence
around my mind
and try to keep the thoughts
from penetrating
stop
the shadowy beasts from entering

Jesus
catch the hard words spoken
knock them down
before they pierce my skin
be a shield around me

be my protector
healer
saviour.


American Jesus

republican Jesus
right wing Jesus
military Jesus
nationalist Jesus
special interest Jesus
power broker Jesus
red white and blue Jesus
conformed in our image
conformed in our image
i don't know that Jesus
and the radio shows proclaim
conservative Jesus
politcal Jesus
created in the image
of those with microphones
and TV shows
and constituants
and voters
and weapons
and agendas
and hard hearts
and closed eyes
and they wonder
why no one wants their Jesus
false Jesus
trophy Jesus
president Jesus
senator Jesus
CEO Jesus
general Jesus
and they lie about Him
and create mythology
and close their eyes
and close their eyes
to the poor
and the naked
and the hungry
and the broken
and the wounded
and the addicted
and the shattered
and people like us
who are not looking
for a God
with a rifle
in His hands
we only want to see
the nail holes
we only want to feel
the breath of compassion
we only want to see
real Jesus
we only want to see Him
as He is.


Jesus is Not

900 feet tall
broke
in need of your VISA card
dishonest
unconcerned
dead


JUNKYARD


Cranial Expositors

OK let's take a very direct easy to understand message
and dress it up with theological terminology
dry it up in seminaries and Bible colleges
disguise it with churchspeak
hide it from people who don't fit in
and maybe no one will ever know
that God loves us


Pop Quiz

do you condemn prostitution
or tell a hooker about unconditional love
do you chain yourself to abortion clinics
or teach a scared 13 year old
how to love a baby
do you mock the AIDS patient
or hold a trembling hand
do you even care?


Cross the Street

He walks across
to the other side
where the sidewalk smells
where hookers stand
where junkies nod
where runaways beg
where the real world grinds
where the hearts explode
where marriages fail
where bank accounts dry up
where harsh words pierce
He is not locked up
in a seminary
in a church
on a TV set
in a separate world
He is not afraid
to touch us as we are
to pierce our darkness
to break our chains
to catch our tears
and hear our screams
He crosses the street
to where we live
He carries the weight
that drags us down
and does not run
when we rub against Him
with our pain and fear
sin and shame
death and decay
He crosses the street
He crosses the street