bleeding in, bleeding out

Orchid – Josie Koznarek

All the time I knew
you carried weight upon your back
in every tremor when you spoke,
in each “I could never…” disbelief;
as if the sin that you held close
was when you reached out to receive.

All the ways I knew
you bought such shame for taking time
in every conversation held,
how all the grasping proved the need
within a hungry heart undone,
that, reaching out, still could not feed.

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On Poetry

Photo by Robin Spielmann on Unsplash

As a believer in Christ, I struggle often with what feels like the split personality of faith, what Paul described aptly as “a body of death.” I do what I don’t want to do, and I don’t do what I want to do. I am flesh and I am spirit, I am old and I am new. In parallel, as the body of Christ (the church), we are so frequently broken, unloving, impatient, afraid, and reliant on outside systems to provide our security. We know our name but we don’t act like we own it. My struggle to find a place in this often unhealthy body, to love it and call it by name even in its brokenness, mirrors my struggle to accept my name as a child of God in the face of my own daily brokenness.

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the death of fire

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to weep, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to dance…”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4

Image by debowscyfoto from Pixabay

 

Ashes to ashes,
we all fall down.

We are born delicate, by death of Fire,
the flames no longer leaping on the hearth,
nor spinning in embroidered skirts of smoke
to the wild music of a living dance,
to the beat of drums and merry hearts.

No, the dance ceases;
the laughter is an echo.
We repent in rags and bathe in soot
for the sheer anticipation of
the death of God.

Brand your mark across my forehead, Dying One.
Tattoo it here, on mind, on heart, on body:
Forty days and forty nights of
                  remembering and mourning.
Forty days and forty nights of
                  hunger in body and soul.
Forty days and forty nights of
                  judgment by fire and flood.
Forty days and forty nights of
                  silence screaming in my ears.
Forty days and forty nights
                  is not that much to ask of me except that
                               I’m hungry.
                               I’m hungry, Lord:

                  for soot,
                  for silence,
                  for sorrow,
                  for salvation.

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A Couple Dozen Kisses

There’s some sort of ruckus in the living room, involving the theft of a beloved toy he hasn’t even been playing with, so I send Kai to his room. All 2.75 years of TNT with scabby knees, and the only thing that comes of it is more explosions. The bangs and screaming aren’t stopping, so I enter in to do damage control.

My second child is a bruise, all funny colors and tender when pressed. This nonsensical, unfair place we call Earth is just too much for him. Me and my peers tend to accept these emotions by crystallizing our skins until we’re more shell than human. The healthiest people I know are those who have either learned to absorb, or haven’t hardened at all. It’s just that if you haven’t hardened at all, everything else is harder.

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