Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two Halves

These are two views of the sky on the same evening. West and East.

A Child's Prayer

"Heav'nly Fadder

Tank dee for my fam-y. Tank dee for my fends. Tank dee dat we can stay and Gramma and Gammpa's house. Tank dee dat we can have a pace to stay when we need help. Tank dee for my Mommy...and my sister...

Please bless Daddy in Afghan'stan. Keep him safe and so he can come home... and so I can see him again.

Bless me to have good dreams.

Name of Jesus Ch'ist, Amen."

(Actual prayer I overheard spoken by my nephew one night.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Solace in True Paradise

I remember standing in the hall where the art hung. I remember being awestruck at the announcement of the winner. Many did not understand. I was among them.

The contest had begun weeks before. We were to create a piece of art to bring to life paradise, to create a work of art that perfectly depicted where one could go to find solace or a perfect place of peace.

That day I went there to see all the entries. So many sunny and beautiful pieces of art hung on the walls. I had a few favorites, among them was one of rolling green grassy hills, with black-and-white cows speckled across it, grazing peacefully in the sunlight. The colors were so bright and beautiful. I felt it would be such a tranquil place.

Another was a beautiful and spectacular sunrise glowing on purple hills. It captured a beautiful moment the stilled my soul as I looked at it for many moments before moving on to the next piece of art.

The winner had stuck out to me in a way, yet not the way I thought would make it a winner. I was shocked to hear that it had one. Because when I had looked at it, I had thought it looked completely opposite of what I would have regarded as paradisaical. Its dark sky proved menacing with its rolling grayish clouds and smears of wind. I hadn't spent much time speculating on why the artist had entered the piece. It obviously had been a mistake.

But it had won!

The announcer went on, "Unlike the other entries, this piece truly holds a wondrous paradise." I couldn't believe my ears.

Then I saw it.

Back within the trees, hidden from the angry storm, was a cabin. It's warm light emanated from within. It was subtle, but true. What the perfect tranquility one could find in the depths of the angry world around them: a shelter from the storm, a paradise within the realities of the world.

I left with a new perspective that day. New ideas were sprouting within me from that painting: the one that depicted a true paradise.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Lotus and You

Flower so pretty
When caressed behind your ear
Is a humble bud


The Dancer

I hide.

Behind the woven colors that caress my body,
Behind the beautiful fan I hold before my face,
Behind the frills of fabric,
the shine of my hair,

I hide.

They see a princess before them,
The beauty of a God.
They see a gentle dancer,
Celebrating their honor
Celebrating their kingdom-

But I hide-
my hand on my sword.

I will avenge you, father.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Cemetary


We're born.
We live.
We die.

Each cross set in remembrance
One for each life
Each one the same
Only set apart by writing
Marking a different date
A different life

Diversity? No.
In death we find ourselves the same.

Conformity? No.
In death we are set free.

Equality? Yes.
In death we are seen as equals.

We all were born
We all lived
We all died.

Living on only in a memory.
Keep us.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fantasy Land

Tabatha looked around herself. The classroom was meant to be bright and cheerful, but it took her into an unknown world. More children her age began to fill the room as 8 o'clock drew nearer. She stood next to her desk and watched the others as they gathered together and chattered a little bit. Their voices made a hum of whispers, sounding like wind. The wind took her flying back and she thought of home and her backyard. The journey through the clouds was so exciting! From the sky, she could see so many beautiful things! The wind was rather cold and she shivered a little. When she landed in her backyard, the leaves rustled around in the breeze beneath her feet to clear and opening for her to stand. Her mother would be angry to see her home from school, so she decided to hide in her hidey-hole which she built within a burrowed out opening inside the largest pine tree. The smell of pine seemed sweeter than usual.

"Tabatha?" the voice was her new kindergarten teacher. "Would you like to take off your coat and put it in the closet over there?" Tabatha looked up into the woman's face. She had kind eyes and she showed her perfectly white teeth through her pink lips when she gave Tabatha a compassionate smile.

Tabatha took off her jacket and walked toward the closet. The light had been turned off inside the closet, and Tabatha walked into the cave. As she stepped inside, she could hear the drippings from the damp ceiling as they hit the floor. She saw two white circles with black dots in the center, looking at her. It frightened her, but she didn't want to seem like a chicken by running away, so she whispered, "What do you want?" The eyes didn't answer, but got closer. She noticed a knothole in the wall of the cave and hung her jacket on it. She held her lunchbox tight in her hand. She didn't want whoever this was to eat her lunch. Slowly, the eyes got lower to the ground, and smaller.

"Yeeow." The sound was soft and high. The cat crept into the light for Tabatha to see. "Meeow."

"Oh, hello." Tabatha said, happy and relieved that it was only a friendly cat.

"Hello." Said the cat. "May I ask what you would be doing in my cave?"

"Oh, I didn't realize this was your cave." Tabatha said, as grown-up as she could. "I guess my curiosity got the better of me."

"I must say," said the cat, which seemed quite proper, "have you heard the saying: Curiosity killed the cat? I would rather it said: Curiosity killed the little girl." The cat smiled slyly and motioned for her to come into the cave farther. As Tabatha came closer, she could see a little fireplace with two chairs close by. One looked quite comfortable with a large pillow on top. She headed toward it, but the cat leapt on top of it before she got there. She sat on the not-so-comfortable-looking one instead.

"You are an interesting girl." Said the cat, "I have been watching you for some time now."

Tabatha was aghast. "Really?" she said.

"I would like to give you this." The cat said, handing her a rather pretty necklace that glittered in the firelight. Tabatha took it and examined it carefully. It was silver and had circles and swirls on it. There was a small, purple gem on it that seemed to glow magically.

"Hold it with care." The cat said importantly. Tabatha decided she should go and politely dismissed herself. She put the necklace in her pocket.

"Tabatha, do you wish to join us?" her kindergarten teacher whispered into the closet. "We are about to sing my favorite song."

Tabatha set down her lunch box and came out into the light of the room. The children looked at her and whispered to each other with little snickers. The teacher didn't seem to notice and led Tabatha to her seat in the front of the class. When the teacher turned her back to gather papers from her desk, Tabatha felt something cold on the back of her neck. She turned to see a boy with a big mischievous grin on his face. She smiled back and touched the back of her neck. There was something wet and slimy there. She pulled it off her skin and saw that it was a lizard! She couldn't help but gasp. She treasured it in her hand and turned to look at the boy again. "Thanks!" She whispered, happily.

The boy stopped smiling and looked shocked. Tabatha couldn't stop smiling. It was the neatest gift she'd ever gotten! She set it on her desk and rested her chin on the desk in front of it. She focused her eyes on it and found that it was looking at her too. Its little tongue flicked and hit her on the chin. She giggled a little and felt the grass around her. She rolled over on her back and looked up into the sky. A cloud that looked like the lizard rolled about and became the little boy and then turned into her kindergarten teacher. It's mouth moved a little like she was talking and then her perfectly white teeth showed again in her compassionate smile. She reached out as if to touch the sky and the cloud resembling her teacher held something out to her. She threw the object and it came floating down to her. When it met Tabatha's hand, she found that it was a paper. She looked up and saw her teacher smiling at her again.

"Tabatha, what is this?" her teacher asked, pointing to the lizard.

"It's a lizard that I got as a gift just now." Tabatha answered. She turned to look at the boy again. He was crouched over the paper with a crayon and did not look up at her.

"Did Tommy give that lizard to you?" the teacher asked, kindly.

Tabatha looked back at her. "He did. Is his name Tommy?" she asked. Her teacher nodded. "Then, Tommy's my new friend." She smiled up at her teacher. The teacher looked back at the boy whose name was Tommy.

"May I take this lizard and put it in a jar on my desk until it's time for you to go home?" she asked Tabatha, keeping her eye on Tommy.

Tabatha nodded happily as the woman took the lizard gently in her hand and walked toward her desk. Tabatha looked back at Tommy. He was now watching his teacher with a look of despair on his face. Tabatha grinned at him. He glanced at her and began to draw on his paper again. She looked down at her own desk and saw that her picture was of a cat. "Hello." She said quietly to the cat as she got the necklace out of her pocket and put it around her neck.

"Hello." said the cat.

Simply Pretty Daisy

Tossing in the wind
A little yellow hat with white fringe
Gently sways in the breeze' sweet caress
Amongst swaying green ribbons
It smiles into the clouds

Hold My Heart

I once held my heart in my hands
Wishing to give it to someone
Hoping to find a warm place
Where I could share it
Where I could offer it up
Without any worries or pain
I once held my heart in my hands

I once held my heart in my hands
And offered it up for you
You took it gently for awhile
Then simply said, Yes I will
Your lips parted and
The words slipped, like rain they fell
Yes, you'll hold my heart in your hands

I once held my heart in my hands
But now its kept safe and warm
For I found that warm place
Where I can share it
Where I can offer it up
Without worries or pain
I know its safe in your hands

Friday, August 14, 2009

Water World

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Windows to the Soul

They say eyes are windows into the soul. How is it that something so small on the body can speak so much? In a simple glance, you can see thoughts hidden behind them.

No need to see the mouth, the nose, or any other part of the body.
All you need to see is the eyes, or just one eye, to understand an emotion.

One can see shining in the eye,
A gentle glisten of happiness,
A sad, downcast demeanor,
A curiosity,
A shocking surprise,

All can be seen in the eyes.
The windows to the soul.


Wisdom Beyond Years


Green ground sprouts up
Stretching into the air
Pointing upward
Thrusting colors shoot
Yellow and pink lips
Open and kiss the sky

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I remember that day the door was closed. It seemed it was closed forever. She had whispered those words to me through the telephone. Those words that burned me through to the core. The words that I didn't think I would ever recover from. Then it seemed that my life was over. The door was closed. Slammed shut tightly, right before my face.

Yet today I feel another door has opened. It breaths fresh air into my soul and I am lifted up with exhilaration like a soft warm breeze blowing in my hair. I am lit up with the natural light from what lies within. Love has returned to me, if through another form. It is different. Yet it is better.

The door is opening and she breaths life into my heart once more. It beats; it pounds. I am revived by it. I now can walk through bravely, for I know this time it will not swing back. It will not slam in my face like it had once before. For this time, she holds it in her hands, beckoning me forward.

So I enter.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Waters of Life

I hadn't expected it to feel like this. Many times I've floated out into the water at daybreak just like today. So why was today different?

Well, today is different because I'm leaving more behind. So many times in the past I've set sail out into this open water, looking forward with so much longing for the sea, looking forward to the many adventures that could await out over that water.

Today I look back. I feel the shore pulling at my heart more than before. I look within myself for the answers.

For so long I've loved the sea. I've gone out with no other desire in my heart, no other place I would rather be. I look toward the watery horizon and the rising sun. The air is crisp and touches my face, as it has so many times before. It is beautiful. Yet it has changed somehow and I am drawn back.

The birth of my daughter changed many things. It made me a father. It made my wife a mother. But that is just what happened on the surface. That is just what other people can see.

My friend comes up behind me and rests his hand on my shoulder with a smile. "Excited to get back out on the water again?" He said. I could hear the old excitement in his voice. The one we used to share.

I gave him a small smile, but I knew that after this last time on the water together, I was ready to do what my wife had suggested: stay ashore and watch my daughter grow up.

Hummingbird Nest for Two


It was the same. Yet different.

I was back at the home I grew up to the age of 10 years. I remembered running around the wrap-around porch on summer days with a bubble wand, watching them shimmer and float in the light. Feeling invigorated as my young dog chased me around and snapped at the floating spheres.

The home was different now. Yet it was still my home. It was still the same shape that had been etched in my mind since the time I left it. When my parents had passed and I was taken away to live with my aunt. I didn't like to remember that part.

Now other people lived within those walls, but I found myself drawn to return. To see what had become of it. This home was mine, in spite of the years I spent away. It was mind, in spite of the new white siding now covering the old lovely brick I remember. It was mine, in spite of that black dog- instead of the white mutt with the brown and black spots I remembered standing on the porch last.

I approached, knees trembling a touch, and stepped up onto the first step. Everything seemed fresh and new. I was pleased. The home, although now different than how I remembered it, had been well kept. I knocked.

The woman who answered allowed me to walk through what was now her rooms, her walls, her furniture, and I told her stories about the way I remembered the place.

As I departed, I was again invigorated from the experience. Time goes on. People grow up. People die. What is left behind either can fade or bring new meaning and memories to others.

That's what made this house a home, not only to me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Innocent Dreamer

Soft sounds of silence
Moving air before the face
Chest rising softly, slowly
Eyes twitch gently
Watching intently the magic of dreams
Lips puckered slightly
Soft, damp, and still
An innocence held in moments
An angel sleeping in the clouds
A baby, precious and perfect
Steal a moment to hold forever

to pair with this photo

Flying Colors

Colors float around me
Lightly flutter in the air
Wings, each different
Unique in their own flair

Bright and cheerful
They smile in glee
In gentle happiness
They comfort me

They whisper to me
From all around
A pleasant dream
I have now found

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Butterfly Love

Awe, your beauty astounds me
Your colors
The way you move
I want to come closer
I want to be near you
To feel the air's movement around you
To feel your slight warmth
To hear your sweet breath

Awe, my love
You are everything to me
The joy you bring swells within my breast
And I am overcome
Please turn to me
Please hold my heart
Put me out of my longing, this miserable yearning

Awe, my love
You make my soul fly
It soars above us, as we nestle here in the grass together
It leaps amongst the clouds
And lands amongst the sun
My sweet

My butterfly


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