The meaning unfolds and ebbs downriver
to the banks of a town that I faintly remember.
I’m not in a woven basket or nothing,
it’s not so biblical and serious,
but I am more buoyant than I would have imagined.
Every thought in my life is swirling underneath me,
the bad ones and the good ones.
I’m glad they kinda even out for the most part;
and the water is a pleasant temperature for the day.
I’m sorta suspended there, hanging, by the banks
of that town, so I decide to get up outta the water;
inspect the downtown and ya know … people watch.
There’s a lot of people I remember and some I don’t,
They’ve got other things on their mind so they pass me by.
The metaphor for life and death is a river, I always thought it’d be a train station.
Here we go again.
The truest sentences.
I am more content in this quarantine than I ever imagined I would be.
I am finding some rhythms within social distance and ways to keep from feeling alone.
I am talking to A LOT of people on the phone haha.
I am afraid of the unknowns in this unprecedented situation.
I am getting kind of tired of the word ‘unprecedented.’
Losing an old friend to this virus, admittedly, there was a long pause in communication between us, is scary and deeply sad.
He was unfailingly kind to me.
It feels like there is something always in my periphery; a lingering sense that things are not right.
However, there is also an optimism that through this, I will cherish things more deeply on the other end.
A touch on the shoulder.
A crowded dinner table.
I am struggling less with depression right now.
I am not ‘desiring things to end’ or to die right now.
My conversations with God seem a little bit more authentic.
There are times that I make bargains with him.
I tell him that I don’t think this is my time to go.
I wonder about ‘his timing.’
Sometimes, I feel that he is very distant and cold like a big scientist conducting the ‘human experiment.’
There are other times when I call him “father.”
Sometimes, I wanna run as far as I can from my “christian upbringing.”
But, still, I find myself writing worship songs.
Every poem seems to bend toward faith matters also.
I am so blessed with friendship.
I would also like to be blessed with a marriage to a wonderful woman.
I do feel that is coming.
I worry too much about my own physical appearance and sometimes I project it on to women I am interested in.
I would like to make money off my creativity and also feel money can cloud the art.
There are areas of my life that lack stability and I am afraid to bring another person into the mess.
I can see every person as a human being right now.
I see everyone as a brother or sister, the body of God – his church.
I also see how frustrated and hostile we become at slight differences in perspective.
I am calling you to love anyway.
I enjoy this practice of writing my truth because it forces all the bull shit out.
I am on a journey to find peace.
My reservoir of hope seems more full.
Thank you for what you add to my life.
Our connections are even more deep than we realize.
Your friend Ty
There’s a song called ‘Hazelnut Butter’ by Medium Troy. One line says, “I want everyone to call their mom right now and let her know that she’s the shit.” The first time I heard the song, I called my mom directly after. “So, you think I’m the shit?” she said laughing. My mom passed away last year. All I’m saying, is every chance you get to tell someone that you love them, do it. I’m glad I did that day.
I am gone away, in part, since your passing.
I have no beginning without your home,
and in your end, I am gone away.
When you would sing, I would listen and look
up into your eyes before I had the word
‘beauty’ to shine up at your face.
All my words came from your first
“I love you.” The foundation of my language
is your embrace.
I know the meaning of the word, not just
in the breakdown of sounds, but by your
relentless pursuit of my heart.
You were a force, and the wind has not died
since you’ve gone. The trees are permanently
bent from your crushing blows.
You dared me to love greatly; you lavished me
with praise. Everything I am is you and you are
everything to me. A home is not a building,
made of wood and nails. A home is not this place
or that place where we lived. A home is you,
my mother. You are my home.
My perspective is real wide now,
but my vision is like way narrow.
The word “Love” sounds like
when you shout into a bottomless well.
Well, maybe there’s a bottom,
but how would we know, ya know?
We keep seeing you everywhere.
I saw you a whole lot today in the
back of the TJ Maxx on Madison.
There were those peppermint-bark tins
that you used to get, I was gunna get Miss
a picture frame, but I couldn’t wait in the line.
You waited in every line for us.
I don’t know how ya did it.
You said every Christmas would be small,
but that was always a lie.
I don’t think you meant to lie.
I think you genuinely thought
you couldn’t pull it off some years,
but oh, man you did.
I don’t know what I’ll miss more,
your Christmas village magic –
or the thought of you waiting in all
those lines; a big smile on your face
when you began to realize … that year
was gunna be bigger than the last … again.
I stared at all your faces
Sombre, though bright alike
They came from all your places
Some drove through the night
I recited poems and sang
The worship songs you’d want
My bright guitar strings rang
Hid my tears all nonchalant
It was impossible indeed
To see your daughter cry
Our simple family creed
Is try, then give, then try
Many wished they’d’ve spoke
Too hard a thing to do
I tried to calm them with a joke
And head back laugh in lieu
In pictures, young I saw
Your face lit up with glee
God’s gift of grace and awe
For many eternity
I know I did you proud
Don’t have to wish a thing like that
Your people sang real loud
I acted as diplomat
I closed with that poem
I read to you that day
Not ever a time alone
When that poem I hear you say
When that poem kneels down to pray
We got everything in order for you.
The disability benefits for your final months.
The life insurance so we can pay off the house.
The automatic payments for the energy bill.
The files are in order.
The mail’s been checked.
The cars are paid off.
The radiation is done.
The chemo is through.
No more doctor’s appointments.
We got everything in order for you,
“Right down to the urn.”
When you’re gone, return to dust
I’ll be alright, You’ll have to trust
You’re only boy, your “favorite son”
I’ll be fine, when your day is done
Miss has my back, and I have hers
Thick as blood, more than words
The joy of friends, I’m sealed with love
Only good comes from above
Think of the place you’ll get to be!
Golden courts for eternity!
A place of rest, for a body worn
A Savior king, the curtain torn
Peace forever! Not for a time!
A whole new body! A whole new mind!
Cancer is a forgotten word!
It’s name is never, ever heard!
You’ll run and jump and maybe fly!
And never, ever say goodbye!
Only love, that’s all you’ll know!
You and me, we know it’s so!
No more bad, no more pain!
Two more completely forgotten names!
All your words get whittled down
And somehow “Love” is the only sound
You’ll see your dad, you’ll see your mom
And all the others, who have passed on
Run into – your daddy’s arms
And gaze upon his million charms
A loving mom, ‘til the day you die
But we keep it here, with us inside
I think what I’ll remember clear
Your steady saying, “I love you, dear.”
I love you mum!
An angel appeared, swift in the night
A warrior tall and full of light
Said don’t be scared! For God will come
You’re son, Mary, He’s the one!
The family traveled to Joseph’s land
Bethlehem town in God’s own hand
A little stable which held the least
So they nestled with the friendly beasts
Newborn babe in manger slept
With Mom and Dad safe they kept
God came down to bring us near
Great joy to all the people here
All the while a star shone bright
And Shepherds all beheld the light
Angels sang behind lowly hills
He’s come! He’s come! You must be still!
The shepherd’s ran to see the One
And gasped when they saw Heaven’s son
Wise men traveled on camels far
All because that lovely star
A rescuer! They whisper soft
Child on high from Heaven’s loft
A king they say he’ll grow to be
One side of the Holy three
A palace? No a homeless man
Poor of spirit though not of plan
The blind will see, the lame will leap!
To rule with service, our hearts to keep
Sad will perish, hate will cease
All the world will know is peace
What fear of death we oft live by
But he says this! Death too will die!
Born to rags though really king
Heaven fell soft and earth did sing
His name decrees he’s God with us
A Prince of Peace, his sword is just
God came down as little child
Be careful though, this lion’s wild
The world will know his boastful fame
And all will bow at Jesus’ Name!
The world will know his boastful fame
And all will bow at Jesus’ Name!
You and me, will bow at Jesus’ Name!
It has come again –
It’s creeping in
I don’t mind it
It’s really not that bad
So, I let it in
It comes whether you want it to,
You can’t will it away
The dead doesn’t work like that
It is concentrated power
It’s consecrated too
The dead is a valley
In between two mountains
You must journey through
What is the difference,
Between the dead and winter?
Is a coat
The dead wears.