Old Earth Blues

It’s for the blues I sing ole’ boy,
It’s for the blues.

Six string’s outta tune ole’ boy,
Six string’s outta tune.

My momma got locked up Friday
Man, I know her patients be empty soon.

She looked at me and cried ole boy,
She looked at me and cried.

Pistol’s outta bullets ole’ boy
Pistols’s outta bullets.

You better believe something man
Be sure that I’m gunna make em’ pay.
You simply don’t mess with my old earth like that
You don’t mess around with her
and get away.

To give away

Thank you for the gifts.
I hope I can give something back,
in return.

My feeble attempts at repaying
Turn into a battle for love.
You don’t ask for gifts,

You ask for me.
Wholly and completely,
Yet I only want to give away a part

I want to give you a piece
And you want to give me peace.
If someone can see me now,

Let them see you.

If it weren’t for second chances, we’d all be alone?
I am alone.
I’m asking for a first chance.

I want to know what that feels like.
I might even be asking for failure,
Bitter, broken failure.

If that means, I’ll feel.
Be careful what you wish for.
Be even more careful with who grants your wishes.

I don’t want to be alone.
I want to make a house a home.
And I want to build it with you.

Hear me, both of you,
Through the void.
Through the expanse of time and space.

My heart is yelling.
It is crying. It wants to know your name.
It wants to make your pain,

My pain.

Responding to an Open Letter

For you who never wanted a response,

Some people don’t like to be touched. Others received a superlative in high school for “Best Hugs.” I am the latter. But now I feel this pressure. Like my embraces will be graded by elementary school teachers. Not with letters, but with plus signs and minuses. Maybe it had more to do with the fact that I am a big guy. Maybe my peers saw no superlative for “best overweight happy man” so … ”best hugs” fit the bill.

Sometimes I am deprecating, actually most of the time I am deprecating. But not right now. Not as I write this. I ask, “Why don’t you want to be touched?” You who penned an open letter to those unlikely to respond. Is it because you were touched too much? Is it because it’s safer to remain at arm’s length?

Or maybe you reserve your clutching hands for someone who loves you and understands. If it’s that – then I understand … with my pen in hand.

I don’t think we touch enough.

The religious are fearful of sparking some premarital or extramarital fire; perhaps with very good reason. We are all afraid to be hurt and maybe if we never touch, we’ll be distant enough and keep on doing nothing more than text too much.

I think we all want to be touched.

But not everyone wants to be hugged by acquaintances. If you don’t want to be wrapped in the arms of your hairdresser, coworker, parent’s drunken friend or neighbor’s kid, I get that.

But by someone who knows me deeply, I want to be held and I want to hold right back.

So, I guess you wrote an open letter to someone unlikely to respond only to get an unlikely response by someone like me. But don’t worry. I could have written this letter to myself and wound up with something very similar.

With Love,

Eugene Peterson Quote

Peterson said that God’s story is a “Sprawling, capacious narrative.”

Sprawling meaning ungraceful, which I take to be you and me.
Capacious meaning roomy, which I take as God’s story being big enough to fit all our subplots.
And Narrative, which is an account of events or a Story.

We are Storytellers because our Father is the grandest one.

We connect with story because we are in one.

I have to ask myself all the time: what kind of story are you telling?

Then I have to ask: How can I make it better?

The Eternal One

You are the Source.
You are the Beginning and never ending.
Steadfast like granite or asphalt.
I am saved by a rock.

You are Worthy.
You are my stronghold.
My immovable.
My unstoppable.

You are loyal to those who are loyal.
You are the tallest point and the deepest depth.

Even the night is day to you.

You know the things that haven’t happened.
You know the things that I forget.
You know my struggle. You tailor-fit my pain.

I confess I don’t think you understand.
I don’t grasp the gravity of the world’s sin.
I don’t know what that feels like,
though sometimes I claim to.

The mountains shake at your voice.
The heavens call you The Eternal One.
You hate sin. You stand for none but the righteous.
You wring out pain until all that’s left is beauty.

Make me more like You today.
I am a believer, please help me believe.

To go insane

They gone tie you to a bed
With handcuffs and leather straps
This ain’t no fetish fed
Just how they think you should act

Pump you full of medicine
Run a mindful marathon
In all these ways you could go
In all these ways want you gone

The needle slips slowly in
You forget what year it is
You sweat worse than stinkin sin
That’s the nature of the biz

Rope burns around your neck
A loaded barrel to your head
In all these ways you could go
In all these way they want ya dead

Ooh ooh

That’s what it’s like to go insane
What it’s like to lose your brain
What it’s like to lose you mind
What it’s like all the time

Ooh ooh

If by sky or by sea

The stars are weightless to you. You hold them.
Spinning and swirling in concentric circles.
You pull it all in. We gravitate.

When were you not? When will you cease?
Everlasting to everlasting. You speak of infinite.

Where the sky meets the sea, that’s where you’ll be.

Your voice is fluid. It rushes and spreads. It fills every void.
In places where I am weak, you flood.
You drown me. You are not efficient. You do not measure out.

You are overwhelming, encompassing.
I have fallen in. I have choked on your salty waves.

When you meet us in the sky, will i see?

I am

I am spray paint on a stop sign. I am a dollar in the ditch. I am the abandoned, broken windows.
I am the light that never turns green. I am a broken emergency brake. I am no ac in the summer and no heat when it snows.
I am the cigarette ash on the lobby boy’s lapel. I am the burnt down Baptist church. I am right where it hurts.
I am the flickering florescent light tube. I am the gas station toilet key. I am you and you are me.
I am the empty bottle of whiskey. I am an empty pew. I am that missing key the organist avoids.
I am the crack in your plumbing. The ice on the steps. The broken Christmas ornament.
I am a snapped guitar string. I am off key when I sing. I am me and so are you.
I am the glass that shatters. I am the talk of the town. I am a firm “no” on issue 8.

I am faster than you think. I am faster than you can build. “Keep mixing your mortar with bones.”