An Earthy Consummation of the Love in My Heart

Adderall sunshine lights me up
Before a swift northeastern wind
Cools me under black clouds.
Aqua stains old poems
When Bedouin rain drops
Descend upon us from the dune like cumulus.
The dust and sweat of China
Wash down from the bill of my hat
Mixing in with the Georgia red
Like some earthy consummation
of the love in my heart for both.
Cold curtains wrap around me
Sending a shiver through me.
I was caught up in a poem
When God broke through
With a September ballad of his own,
Emptying the forests of people
With his stormy verse
Leaving it quiet in the aftermath,
Poking holes in the sky
Like punctuation marks
Turning my pages golden in the silence.

A Traveler of the Stars

As long as I’m in pursuit of You,
I can never be lonely, my Love,
For I carry You everywhere
And You infect every crack and crevice
Of my broken being.
I am Your Kintsugi bowl
And it’s Your gold
That has put me back together again.
I shall never break
As long as I’m in Your hands.
Oh love – What worlds will we see together?
What wonders do You have to show me?
I strive after Your mystery
Like a traveler of the stars
Searching for another piece of Your puzzle.
I long to drink –
And You are always there
Giving me sip after beautiful sip,
Leaving me only wanting more and more of You.
Always with me – but a universe apart.

Monday Night Beneath The Towers

It’s a Monday night beneath the towers,
And for no particular reason,
I’ve decided to get drunk.
Maybe it’s the city
Maybe it’s that sucking sound
Coming from my innermost being.
Daoist tears from a thousand years,
Collected in the taste of a beer.
I drink to Li Bai,
I drink to lovers from another time,
I drink to those nails
Which put Christ on the cross,
I drink to all I’ve given up,
I drink to all that’s lost,
And I drink to the hope,
The hope that warms me
In a world gone cold with decadence.

How Necessary Is It To Have Opinions

Yes! No!

How necessary it is to have opinions! I think the spotted trout
lilies are satisfied, standing a few inches above the earth. I
think serenity is not something you just find in the world,
like a plum tree, holding up its white petals.

The violets, along the river, are opening their blue faces, like
small dark lanterns.

The green mosses, being so many, are as good as brawny.

How important it is to walk along, not in haste but slowly,
looking at everything and calling out

Yes! No! The

swan, for all his pomp, his robes of grass and petals, wants
only to be allowed to live on the nameless pond. The catbrier
is without fault. The water thrushes, down among the sloppy
rocks, are going crazy with happiness. Imagination is better
than a sharp instrument. To pay attention, this is our endless
and proper work.
~ Mary Oliver ~

May I Learn To Love You Like This

Too late I loved Thee,
O thou beauty of ancient days, yet ever new!
Too late I loved Thee!
And behold, Thou wert within and I abroad,
And there I searched for Thee;
Deformed I, plunging amid those fair forms which Thou hadst made.
Thou wert with me but I was not with Thee.
Things held me far from Thee which,
Unless they were in Thee,
Were not at all.
Thou calledst, and shoutedst, and burstedst my deafness.
Thou flashedst, shonest, and scattered my blindness.
Thou breathedst odors, and I drew in breath and pant for Thee.
I tasted, and hunger and thirst.
Thou touchedst me and I burned for Thy peace.
When I shall with my whole soul cleave to Thee,
I shall nowhere have sorrow or labor,
And my life shall live as wholly full of Thee.
-Saint Augustine

“Oh my God, sweetness unspeakable, turn into bitterness all my fleshly consolation, which draweth me away from love of eternal things, and wickedly allureth towards itself by setting before me some present delight. Let not, oh my God, let not flesh and blood prevail over me, let not the world and its short glory decieve me, let not the devil, and his craftiness supplant me. Give me courage to resist, patience to endure, constancy to persevere. Grant in place of all consolations of the world, the most sweet unction of thy spirit, and in place of carnal love, pour into me the love of thy name.”
-Thomas A Kempis

December Days Under The Trees

When you get down to it,
Life is two friends
Sitting by a river on a cold day
Reading the words of dead men
And basking in the glory.

………………….

There are times
When your body shakes
From the pulsing blood,
From the conscious thought,
That this is your life.
There is nothing you can do
but shake – mouth open wide
sit and shake and breathe
and be filled with awe,

Under the leafless trees,

Under the setting sun.

………………..

I admire the tree in silence.
The way it clings to the rock
And works its way down into the river
Down into the earth.
I think about the knowledge of man.
All the things that men have told me
about the tree – about botany or biology.
They have said this
They have said that
Words whispered into the air and gone in time.
Knowledge is worthless in comparison to beauty
This tree is magnificent
And that is enough for me.

The Prophet and The Wilderness

I watch the people as they pass by my island
Not one stops to look out on the water,
Not one puts even a foot in,
And that’s all fine and well,
But I wonder quite distantly,
What meaning do they find in life?

………

When I am alone in the woods,
I am not alone,
I think of the caves
And canyons and rivers
That Elijah sat in,
Just him and God,
Talking back and forth.
What kind of friendship
Did they form
In those desolate hours
That made God sweep him
Off the face of the earth
In a chariot of wind and fire.

God Would Kneel Down

God Would Kneel Down

I think God might be a little prejudiced.
For once He asked me to join Him on a walk
Through this world,

and we gazed into every heart on this earth,
and I noticed He lingered a bit longer
before any face that was weeping,

and before any eyes that were
laughing.

And sometimes when we passed
a soul in worship

God too would kneel
down.

I have come to learn: God
adores His
creation.

…………………

He Asked For Charity

God came to my house and asked for charity.
And I fell on my knees and
cried, “Beloved,

what may I
give?”

“Just love,” He said.
“Just love.”

-Saint Francis of Assisi

Bugs in High Def… Things You Might Have Once Thought Ugly

Dig on this beauty…. Hope it makes your day brighter. Photographers credited below each pic.
CLICK TO MAKE LARGER!

alone_by_missflykt-d5vl5lq
By Missflykt

Modified by CombineZP
By Smederevac

colorful__actocetor_indicus__by_alhabshi-d5p912m
By Alhabshi

cuckoo_wasp___portrait_by_alhabshi-d58nxo1
By Alhabshi

damsel_by_colinhuttonphoto-d5vpyon
By Colin Hutton

dragonfly_with_diamonds_by_zulus77-d5v4cx1
By Zulus77

eristalinus_megacephalus_by_alhabshi-d5ovjat
By Alhabshi

eucharitid_wasps_by_melvynyeo-d5pbvrl
By Melvyneo

fly_with_water_drops_by_evirgen2008-d5kljsh
By Evirgen2008

hornisse_by_martinimal-d5qagh3
By Martinimal

long_horned_bee_by_colinhuttonphoto-d5v6yk1
By Colin Hutton

long_horned_beetle_by_alhabshi-d55kagd
By Alhabshi

physiphora_smaragdina__loew___by_alhabshi-d4pzr7c
By Alhabshi

rhyncomya_flavipes__jaennicke__by_alhabshi-d5zq8wt
By Alhabshi

solder_bee_by_alhabshi-d50ud4c
By Alhabshi

waved_sphinx___ceratomia_undulosa_by_colinhuttonphoto-d5rvjpd
By Colin Hutton

6796203638_48d77ce6cc_b_by_colinhuttonphoto-d5u0j3c
By Colin Hutton

leaf_cutting_bee___megachile_albitarsis_by_colinhuttonphoto-d5w3sha
By Colin Hutton

pandorus_sphinx___eumorpha_pandorus_by_colinhuttonphoto-d5s82kw
By Colin Hutton

Intellectually Honest

Intellectually Honest

For me…

It’s God
In my heart,
Or
A gun
In my mouth.

………………….

The End

My mother always said
Just focus on your own life
And forget about the rest.
But I can’t just close my eyes
As civilization
Crumbles around me

………………….

The longer we are apart, love,
The deeper my sorrow grows
And I wonder if I’ll have the strength
To make it across this divide.
The longer I sit idly
The wider it grows
And my heart looks down into the abyss
Dizzy with fear
And trembling at the thought of its existence.

………………….

Pulled From The Sea

The bird chirps its worship song
The bird chirps its worship song.
The bamboo knocks together,
A living wind chime.
I drink my black tea
Hot and earthy.
It tastes like the goodness
God spoke of when He
Pulled the land out of the sea,
I sit,
Quietly awestruck.

Some people
Some people,
Are like the fish
Which swam over the waterfall.
They will never find home again.

Desolation
Play your flute Shigeru,
Strum those strings,
With your eastern hunger for truth,
And your eastern sorrow for not finding any.

Chinese Christians
What might it be like
To meet God
After six thousand years
Of atheism.

Help me remember
Help me remember
Your love.
Help me remember
The sweetness
Of Your water.
Help me remember
The invigorating joy
Of walking in your light.

Parking Lot Philosophy

Parking lot philosophy
Steel table science
Cool breeze spirituality
And a forest fire religion

………

Flame does not catch
On concrete and steel and glass
How cold and safe we live
Tearing out the beauty
Before it has a chance to grow
In fear it might move us
To a place slightly more dangerous

………

Walking through the Cohutta
Down winding narrow paths
Toward the hidden jewl of Jacks River Falls
Is much like my walk in the truth
Tough sometimes but worth it in the end
Swimming in the cool pools of redemption
And eating good food at the great campfire of God

………

When it comes to the knowlege of God
I am still just an infant
Looking out on the world
With curious, hungry eyes
And He picks me up sometimes
Putting me on his shoulders
So I can try to see through His eyes
All the wonder and excitement
Of what He has made
And I cling to Him in desperation
When I see the darkness
Crawling slowly over the horizon
Like it always does
Until He casts it down below forever.

Why Are You Here?

Within 15 billion years
The odds against
These words
Having come into existence
When they did
Are as high
As the odds against
The eyes that are reading them
And yet
I don’t feel like
Any of this
Is just a cosmological accident

………

Mathematically:

The odds of this universe, perfectly suited to sustain life, arising suddenly out of absolute nothingness?
Zero

The odds of this universe, arising out of many other universes in some quantum accident?
One in trillions of trillions(If there even is some weird superspace beyond our universe)

The odds of all the laws of physics being at exactly the right state to sustain life.
One in trillions of trillions

The odds of all the ingredients for life arising out of non living matter, and then, without direction, coalescing into a living cell, and that cell then multiplying and evolving into all the life that we know today, all within 15 billion years?
One in trillions of trillions

Then, out of all of human history (wars, plagues etc) and ontop of all previously stated improbabilities, the odds of you and me being conceived, and me writing this, and you reading this…
N/A

Coincidence? Probably not.
Why are you here?
Do you think there is a purpose to your life?
Is it REASONABLE to believe otherwise?
Would it make sense to logically assume, according to mathematics, that there may actually be a God?
 

Hidden In The Holes Of The Waterfall

The sun, pours over the trees.
Who lit its flame?
The moon, pulls at the tides.
Who placed it in our sky?
The water, quenches my thirst.
But who is it that gives me life?

They tell me
While standing in brick boxes of human thought
That all of this
Was by accident.
And yet,
I feel the sun warms my face
With the same degree of purpose
As this ink which stains my paper.

……….

I am hidden
in the holes
in the wall
of the waterfall.
I struggle through its mouth
as the water pounds my back
and my feet slide on the rock.
In this moment
in this shallow water
on this beautiful day
I emerge from the cave
and I cannot die
unless the true author
of these words
pulls His pen from my heart
and from my mind.
I wait for death,
but I continue to stand,
immortal,
for these few minutes
happier than any man alive
as the sun
and the water
beat down beautifully
on my head.

……….

On: Worship

Why would we ever think
Singing the same old songs
Over and over and over
Was ever a worthy form of worship
For the omnipotent creator of the universe?

There Are Places (Poetry)

The heart of Eden
Has lain in my arms.
A spirit of peace
And childlike satisfaction
Has kissed my face.
The vain frivolities
Of our age and kind
Seem to have no grip
on her
I lay weary
I lay broken
And she strokes my head
Stroking my misery
Into the void of time
And her touch speaks
without a word
Saying,
“Why worry about
What you can’t change?
It’s out of your hands.
So rather,
Why don’t you fill your hands with mine,
Wrap your fingers in my fingers,
And lay your heart
On my heart,
And wait for the day
That God makes all things right.”

………

There are places and times
When for a moment,
Evil does not exist.
It’s just you
And the heat
The clouds
The water
And a little boy with his grandfather
Marveling at the geese.
The whole world
So large
So new
So exciting.

Haikus

#1

You lie on God’s bed,
Which is a soft grassy field,
A sweet young flower

#2

I love all God’s fruit
Especially if it’s yours,
Sugar in my mouth.

#3

The goose has courage,
More than most men I’ve met
Standing guard its nest.

#4

My spirit is here,
Floating within this river,
It quenches my fire.

#5

I pray for the seed,
That’s buried within your heart,
That it grows up strong

Courage in a World Full of Darkness – A Short Story

The darkness had come for her with determination,
and he had destroyed it without mercy and without question.
He had drenched himself in the blood of evil men, for her.

………

We could make a good life here, Hezekiah thought as he sipped his morning tea on the veranda of the old Dutch Mission. An early morning rain was smashing against the tin roof, and the sound brought a deep peace from a source Hez could not pinpoint, but he basked in the moment none the less. From the veranda, Hez could see the lagoon clearly, and it was grey with sheets of rain falling in patterns above the surface. A loud crash of thunder came rolling in from the sea, and Hez watched as some of the younger kids danced around in the rain wearing nothing but their underwear, and having a fantastic time in the mud and water. After a few minutes of content musings, Hez went back inside the house, and as he walked down the hall, he peered inside Saori’s room. The door was slightly open, and he could see her sleeping quietly in her bed. Her jet black hair lay all over the pillow, and he could make out the outline of her young brown body through the white flannel sheets. Hez pushed open the door and walked quietly over to the bed. The two glass doors leading onto the veranda, rattled behind the curtains as the wind pushed up against them.  Hez sat down softly on the bed, and lightly stroked the hair from Saori’s face, and he smiled to himself as he marveled at the delicate beauty of the woman in front of him. Saori slowly opened her eyes, but seeing Hez through the haze startled her, and she let out a slight gasp as she sat up quickly, covering herself with the sheet as she did.

“Chill out girlie! It’s just me!” Hez said putting his hand gently on her arm.

“I’m sorry… I thought you were someone else…” Saori said softly as she rubbed her eyes, and looked around the room.

Who? Hez wondered.

“What time is it?” she asked

“Around eight…”

Saori collapsed back down onto the bed. “It’s eeearly,” she said drowsily.

“Well I am heading down the road to help some of the locals cut literally tons of banana’s out of their trees, and I was wondering if you wanted to come? Oh and there is hot tea in the kitchen.”

“Bananas? I don’t think I want to go watch you cut down bananas at eight in the morning… but you have fun.” Saori said as she buried her head back in her pillow.

“Ok… Well I guess I’ll see your lazy ass later.” He said giving Saori a loud slap on her backside as he stood up and swallowed the last gulp of his tea.

“I’m not lazy… I’m sleepy…” Saori reiterated softly as Hez walked towards the door.

“Whatever you say girlie,” Hez said entering the hallway, “I’ll see you in a couple hours priest!” He yelled as he walked past the office at the end of the hallway.

“Alright my son. There is a machete you can use by the gate. Have one of the children show you where it is.” Father Lewis replied loudly.

………

Father Lewis ran the mission. He was an ex English journalist turned priest. He had ended up in Malaysia after Vietnam, and he spent several years drinking heavily and wandering in and out of the brothels of Kuala Lampur. His predecessor would minister to women in the red light district, and found him one night in a drunken rage. Lewis had been determined to kill one of the girls he was trying to buy for the night because she had whispered something to one of her friends, and it had sent his intoxicated mind into a frenzy. When the pimps intervened and started to beat Lewis to a pulp, his predecessor broke up the fight, and talked them into letting him take Lewis back to the mission where he would not bother anybody else. Lewis was not too keen to go with the gracious priest, but did so anyway because it certainly beat dying. It was a long road but the priest finally got through to Lewis, and ever since his decision to become a priest himself, Father Lewis has been helping whoever he could from the locals, to the women in the red light district that he had once used and abused. He finally took over the mission on his predecessor’s deathbed.

After the tsunami, he turned the mission into an orphanage caring for almost twenty children. The mission was an old Dutch Estate with several old houses, and was self-sustainable in the sense that they grew their own food, and brought in money by selling what they could of the small crop of natural rubber that they produced and the fish that the older kids caught in their canoes. He did what he could to try and educate the orphans, but mostly he tried to teach them basic trade skills. It was a hard life, but it was a fulfilling one, and when Hezekiah and Saori sailed into his lagoon, he welcomed them the same way he welcomed all strangers in need on his doorstep.

………

A few nights earlier a handsome and wealthy Chinaman arrived on his Private Jet in Kuala Lampur. To anyone who did not know better, the Chinaman looked like your typical wealthy businessman, but to the men waiting around the limos on the tarmac, he was a dark hero, a man who demanded their respect and commanded their fear. His name was Tao Sun III, and he was the son of one of the most prominent and feared traffickers in South East Asia. He was consumed with greed, lust, and violence. Rumors abounded about him having killed body guards and girls on a whim because of his temper, and many girls had been seen bloodied and bruised on the mornings after his “visits”. His family owned brothels all over the region, including Hong Kong, Phnom Phen, and Tokyo. His family was extensively involved in the trafficking of drugs, weapons, and people, but Tao had been appointed to manage their red light district accounts. He had arrived in Malaysia to find fresh girls for their brothels in Hong Kong. In order to do so he would travel to the outlying towns of the cities he was staying in, and seduce the girls and their families with promises of education, jobs, and a monthly income which they could send home to their families. He was eloquent and charming, and it did not take much to get these families to trust him. Every trip he would find dozens of girls from their early teens to their early twenties, and load them into suv’s and fly them out of the country. It wasn’t until they reached Hong Kong and were relieved of all their travel documents that they suspected anything was wrong, and by that point it was too late. The monthly money made the families assume all was ok, and within weeks the girls had completely disappeared in the maze of Asia’s criminal underground. Tao Sun would keep whichever girls he chose, and sell the rest to the highest bidder, whether it be wealthy businessmen or other brothel owners. After a couple of months the money would cease being sent to the families and they never saw their children again. Most of the girls never lived passed three years because of the constant drug use and incessant raping. The Sun family made millions annually off of human trafficking alone. There was an endless supply of trusting families, and an endless demand for girls.

The night of his arrival, Tao Sun met with all of his brothel owners in Kuala Lampur’s red-light district to see how business was, and to collect his money. During dinner several of the brothel owners, who hated Father Lewis, suggested that Tao visit the old Dutch Mission for his first batch of girls. They told him of the priest’s love of the children and how he would do anything to better their lives, making him the perfect target, not to mention that all the kids were orphans which made it even less risky for his family. Tao Sun liked what he had heard about the mission, and decided he would head down there first. The idea of stealing children out of such a sanctuary of safety appealed to the consuming darkness within him, and the thought of it made him feel powerful.

………

The rain had stopped and Hez had been gone for about four hours. Saori walked over to the hammocks by the beach, and climbed into one with her poetry book. She opened up the book having already made up her mind that this day was going to be one of relaxation. All the chores that needed to be done could be done tomorrow she reasoned. The clouds gave the mission a much needed break from the heat, and a cool breeze blew off the water and flowed between the palm trees. Father Lewis came out of the house when he saw her lying in the hammock through his office window. He had been writing all morning, and decided to rest awhile. He had not spent much time with Saori during their time at the mission, and he wondered if it had anything to do with the story of his past. Hez however had taken a strong liking to the priest, and they would often stay up late at night to talk about philosophy and the war. Hez felt he could relate to Father Lewis because the priest had been in Vietnam and seen war as he had. Saori would sit in the kitchen and listen for a while, but often would head to her bed early to read. Her new freedom instilled a strong hunger for knowledge within her. She would read Hez’s father’s poetry book and had read it all the way through several times since her emancipation. Hez had given it to her after he had seen how much she enjoyed reading it, and she would read herself to sleep as the men continued talking in the kitchen well into the early hours of the morning.

She turned to a small poem, that she had come to love because it reminded her of Hez. It read:

What chance does beauty have
In a world full of darkness and fire?
Beauty, fragile like a flower,
Stands defenseless and alone,
And the dark ravenously pursues her.
Waiting to tear away her innocence,
Waiting to crush her spirit,
Who might stand up to the inferno?
Who might pluck her from this night,
And plant her back down
In a fortress of peace and love?

 “Who might pluck her from this night” She repeated to herself quietly.

“How are you doing my dear?” Father Lewis called out as he approached the hammocks breaking her train of thought.

“I am doing fine!” Saori responded, closing the book as she twisted her head slightly to look in his direction, “It’s such a beautiful day!” she said smiling.

“That it is! I don’t blame you for staying behind by the way. I remember when I was younger, harvesting bananas was hard and painful work, though I suppose Hezekiah would not have made you actually do any of that.”

“Yes, today is a day to relax. Hez loves working with his hands, and getting all dirty. I just can’t do that every single day. Every now and then I have to take some time just to lay here by the water.”

“I understand.” Father Lewis said smiling as he leaned up against one of palm trees. “I think that boy fancies you quite strongly…” Father Lewis said looking out on the water, “He is always talking about you, when you are off with the kids somewhere.”

“Really?” Saori asked surprised.

“Oh yes! He told me the story about you two. I did not realize the extent of what you both had been through.”

“He told you?” Saori said looking away with a slight hint of shame.

“Yes. I have to say, I admire your courage. Many women who have been through such trauma never recover. I have seen it time and again in my visits to Kuala Lampur. I understand there will always be pain, but I admire your willingness to love despite the injustices done to you in the past. The ability to love despite the darkness of this world is a precious and rare gift.” The priest stopped himself before he got carried away and began a sermon.

“But anyway,” Father Lewis continued, “I see how you two are with each other. I can tell that he loves you very much.” He paused, “Life is too short to keep your feelings hidden from one another. You should make your heart known to him because you never know what tomorrow may bring. He’s described the night you both met several times now, and every time he brings it up, he keeps coming back to you, standing in your black dress in the doorway of your friend’s hotel room, as though it is an image that his mind can’t let go. It seems to me that God brought you two together for a reason, and I am very glad that He brought the both of you here. It has truly been a blessing.”

Just then one of the older kids came up to Father Lewis and told him that a well dressed businessman was at the front gate and wished to speak to him.

“Well my dear. Think on what I have said. Don’t be afraid to open your heart to Hezekiah. He is a good man. I suppose I have to go and attend to these unexpected visitors.”

Saori lay there swinging quietly. Hez loves me? she thought. She had known for weeks, subconsciously that Hez loved her, but it never really surfaced in her mind or became real to her as it had in this moment. It was probably because it was still difficult for her to comprehend how any man could love a woman like her, and yet, she felt great joy at the thought, and she locked her joy away, deep within her heart. She smiled and gazed out on the lagoon and the boat which had been the vessel of her escape. Life can be so beautiful… Saori thought, surprised by her epiphany.

Saori heard cars pull into the mission, and she sat up to see who was pulling in. When she saw the black Suburban, a shiver immediately shot down her spine. Three men got out of the Suburban, but Saori could not see their faces. Father Lewis welcomed the men inside, and the younger kids who had not gone down the road to harvest bananas all gathered around the windows peering inside to see the well-dressed men.

I wonder what they want. Saori pondered as she got up and walked toward the kitchen window with a quiet anxiety. Something inside her made her uneasy, but she had to know who these unexpected visitors were.

………

“We can offer your children the opportunity to have a great future. Our schools are the best in all the region, and when they are done with their schooling, my organization has connections throughout Hong Kong and Tokyo which will make sure they find good jobs.”

“I would love to be able to give my kids a great education, but I could never afford to send them to your schools.”

“Well it wouldn’t be entirely free, but it would cost you no money. The kids would learn trade skills by working between studies, and in effect they would earn the right to be at our school. Our system of education was developed by the best philanthropists in all of South East Asia, and I guarantee you that our organization cares first and foremost about the well-being of all the children under our care.”

Father Lewis liked what he heard, but something inside him urged him to be cautious. Father Lewis could sense a sinister presence in the room but he could not put his finger on its source. The Chinaman was well spoken, and seemed to know what he was talking about, but the priest felt slightly troubled.

“Give me some time to think about it.” Father Lewis said, “How long will you be in Malaysia?”

“We will be leaving by the end of the week.” Tao Sun replied.

“Ok, well I will discuss it with my children and get back to you. I am doing some work in the capital on Thursday so maybe we can speak again then?”

“I look forward to it.” Tao Sun replied with a smile that bordered on menacing. As Tao Sun shook the priests hand, he looked out the window and spotted Saori in the courtyard.

It can’t be Tao Sun thought, struggling to keep his composure.

“Is everything alright?” Father Lewis asked when he saw the strange look on the man’s face.

“Who is that girl? She is beautiful.” Tao Sun asked trying to sound casual.

“She is a guest here at the mission. She is a very sweet girl, but gentlemen, if you don’t mind, I have to get back to my writing.” Father Lewis motioned towards the door.

………

Saori was gripped with terror. She had not heard anything that the men were talking about, but she knew Tao Sun’s face as it had been seared into her memory.

How did he find me? she thought frantically as she walked hastily around the corner of the house.

Tao Sun exited the house and looked around the courtyard for Saori.

“Mind if I have a quick look around the mission?” Tao Sun asked.

“I think it would be better if you go.” Father Lewis said calmly, as the sense of urgency grew stronger within him.

“Watch him.” Tao Sun commanded his men in mandarin, and began walking.

“Where are you going?” Father Lewis asked loudly as he began to follow Tao. The priest had not moved two feet before both of Tao’s men stepped in front of him and pulled out their handguns.

“Back in the kitchen!” one of the men exclaimed, pushing Father Lewis roughly, and sending him tumbling into the door.

As Saori rounded the corner, her whole face turned white and her entire body was overcome with fear. Tao Sun stood confidently in her path, and that all too familiar smile came to his face as he saw the terror in her eyes.

“No!” She said breathlessly with a hint of devastation, and she quickly turned around to walk away. She did not even know where she was going to go. All she knew was she could not bear to fall back into Tao Sun’s hands.

“STOP!” Tao Sun shrieked in mandarin as he pointed his gun at her. Tao lifted a cell phone to his ear.

Saori froze, and her eyes widened when she heard Tao say,

“Tell my father, I found Saori.”

Tao hung up and walked angrily up to her, grabbing her roughly by the wrist and yanking her around. “I can’t believe my luck…” Tao said as he pulled her in close. “You still look like my number one slut.” He said cruelly, “I never thought you would stoop as low as an old priest… You always were an unpredictable girl.” Tao snickered. “I guess I will have to teach you a lesson!” he yelled as he pulled her violently towards the house.

“Please Tao! Don’t!” Saori struggled and pleaded as He opened the door to the hallway which ran through the center of the house and dragged her behind him. Tao flung open her bedroom door and threw her inside. Saori let out a scream as she stumbled, reaching out for the bed in an attempt to break her fall.

When Father Lewis heard Saori’s scream, he stood up quickly from the kitchen table.

“Sit back down!” one of Tao’s men said angrily, pushing him violently back into his seat.

By this time Hez was approaching the mission with a big bushel of bananas balancing on his right shoulder and a machete was held loosely in his left hand.

………

“I’ve thought about you every night since you ran away.” Tao said, struggling to hide his lust. Saori sat on the bed and cringed at every word he said. She looked at the floor because she could not bare to make eye contact with his lustful gaze. “I always thought you would reappear in some brothel somewhere, but I never would have guessed I’d find you here. And yet, here you are.” Tao said with a hunger in his voice, still pointing the gun at her, “The things I’m going to do to you…” he finished in Mandarin.

Saori was now shaking. She looked desperately at the door, hoping there would be an opportunity for escape. All the hope drained from her heart, and she reflected painfully on Hez. She hoped he would never find out what happened to her, and that it would not be too hard for him if he did. The thought of what was about to happen to her overwhelmed her and she could no longer hold back the tears. She knew now, in this moment that she loved him too, and she wished she could tell him one last time. All the talk the priest had done about God and purpose seemed overshadowed by the injustice which was about to befall her and the world now seemed more than ever to be ruled by cruel chance.

“Tears? What is this shit? I haven’t even begun to do anything to you yet. You’ve never bothered shedding tears before. You used to be so defiant. That is what made you my favorite. What’s happened to you? You’ve become so pathetic.” Tao locked the door, and began to unzip his pants, “Now I will give you something to cry about.” He mocked.

Tao had not even gotten his pant’s button undone, when all of a sudden a man came crashing through the glass doors to his right. Tao let out an agonizing scream as a machete came down like a hammer on the arm that he was holding the gun with. The machete was slightly dulled and it got lodged in Tao’s arm.

“FUCK!” he screamed, dropping to one knee while looking at the blade stuck in his arm. He looked back up in horror at the man standing over him.

“Hezekiah!” Saori screamed.

Hez unflinchingly dislodged the machete raising it back into the air violently, and bringing it  swiftly down a second time upon Tao who tried to block the blow with the same arm, but this time the machete cut all the way through, spraying blood all over the floor, and sending Tao’s arm to the ground with a thud. Tao was now screaming incessantly, and Hez did not hesitate, the man’s screaming drove him to continue for fear that the noise would alert somebody outside the house. Hezekiah mercilessly brought the machete back down on Tao’s head splattering blood all over Hez’s clothes and face, Tao continued to scream as his eyes began to roll back into his head. Hez landed several more blows to Tao’s head, and by the second one, Tao was silent, by the third and fourth his body collapsed lifelessly to the floor. Hez quickly picked up Tao’s gun as he heard the pounding footsteps of men running on the hardwood floor in the hallway.

“Get on the floor!” Hez yelled at Saori, with blood dripping from his nose and chin. Hez kneeled down by the wall on the left side of the room and focused all of his attention on the door. After a moment of silence, the door crashed open violently as someone kicked it in, breaking the door jam in the process. Hez did not see anyone, but squeezed off two rounds blindly, aiming for the center of the door. The bullets passed right through the door and hit one of the men; sending him crashing to the floor. When Hez saw he had not killed the man, he let off another round, hitting the man square in the head. Silence came over the room. Hez motioned for Saori to crawl under the bed, not once taking his eyes off the doorway. The door creaked as it swung slowly on its hinges, tapping against the wall and then swinging back until it encountered the man he had shot, and it came to rest there. The silence and tension was immense. Hez waited for the first sign of movement, but none came. He then heard the sound of the Suburban’s engine starting up.

“Shit!” Hez yelled as he scrambled to his feet and ran out of the room. Hez sprinted down the hall and crashed through the door at the end, rolling on the ground outside the house. When he got his bearings he spotted the Suburban reversing towards the gate. Hez stood up and took aim at the driver’s side. He let off two rounds which hit the glass to no avail, the windshield was bullet proof. Hez knew he was going to have to move quickly. He bolted towards the Suburban sending the driver into a panic. The driver hit the accelerator, but was not looking where he was going and he slammed into the outer wall of the mission. Hez got to the driver’s side door, and noticed that it was unlocked. He opened the door quickly, and the china-man inside shot frantically, hitting the bulletproof window which Hez was taking cover behind. The man quickly put the SUV into drive, but Hez aimed his gun from behind the door and unloaded the entire clip into the driver. The driver’s body, out of reflex, pushed down on the accelerator and the SUV took off rapidly. Hez was thrown to the ground by the impact of the door, and he watched as the SUV sped up and crashed into a large palm tree, bringing all of the violence to an end. Hez sat in the dirt in a daze as the dust coagulated in the blood which covered his arms and legs.

Saori! He suddenly thought getting up and running toward the house. God Damn Bastards! He thought as he approached her room. When he got there, even he was shocked by its appearance. Glass from the doors littered the floor, and there was blood covering the walls, the floor, and was even dripping down from the ceiling. Saori sat on her bed in a state of shock. She looked up at the bloody image of Hez with glazed over eyes. Hez stood over Tao, and then glanced up at Saori who had a mixed expression of relief and fear on her face. Hez turned to peer into the mirror on the dresser by the wall, and was stunned by what he saw. His whole face was red with blood, and his hair was matted with it as well.  Who was this man who looked back at him? He had just killed three men, and not even stopped to think.

“Hez…” Saori said quietly, breaking the silence, “Where is Father Lewis?”

“I don’t know.” He replied, still looking in the mirror.

“Maybe we should go find him?” She suggested, as she wiped the tears from her face, and stood up shakily.

They found him on the floor of the kitchen in a daze. The men had hit him over the head with their guns before running to check on Tao.

“Wha?” the priest let out in exasperation as Saori kneeled down next to him. Father Lewis smiled when he saw Saori’s face, and he brought his hand up and patted her gently on the cheek… “How did you?” Saori motioned towards the doorway with her head, and Father Lewis slowly looked over, his head propped up on the cabinets next to where he fell. “Hezekiah?” Father Lewis asked, not recognizing the bloody man standing in the kitchen. Hez knelt down next to Father Lewis, grabbing a napkin from the counter and ironically wiping the blood from the priest’s forehead.

“It’s ok.” Hez said gently, “They are all dead.”

Saori watched Hez gently wiping the blood and sweat from Father Lewis’s brow, and could not comprehend what had just happened. How could someone so gentle, do something so frighteningly violent? She thought back to the merciless way Hez had ended Tao’s life, and yet she felt no fear, she felt no disgust. He had become to her, justice incarnate. The darkness had come for her with determination, and he had destroyed it without mercy and without question. He had drenched himself in the blood of evil men, for her. Hez looked up at her and put his hand under her cheek, rubbing her face lightly with his thumb, and smiling a smile of relief.

“I don’t know what I would have done if I had of lost you.” Hez said softly, his white teeth contrasting strongly with the now dried blood on his face.

“I didn’t think I’d see you again…” She said putting her hand to her mouth as she again tried to hold back her emotions.

Hezekiah nodded lightly and continued to look into her eyes.

“Are you going to be ok?” Hez asked.

“I am now.” She said softly then pausing for a second, “We have to leave this place…” she continued sadly.

“I know.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Taken as an excerpt from the novel I am working on, Courage in a World Full of Darkness

Looking Back: 12 Months of Poetry

Here are Poems that I wrote in the last 12 months or so (not as many poems as you may think) and have been in posts on this blog and on facebook. So for those of you that haven’t read my poetry, here is a ton of it in one place to get a feel. Those that have, I assume you enjoy reading it or you wouldn’t be here, so I hope some of it is new to you that you may have missed.Some are titled, some are not uniformity doesn’t really matter does it? If a poem isn’t doing it for you move on to the next, if several don’t maybe my poetry isn’t for you =)

Enjoy (at least the cynics will.)

Scarlett

It’s been said
That I am a romantic
And this, from time to time, may be true
But tonight
I am a cynic
I am Bukowski
Driving around Los Angeles in the rain
With tears in his eyes
And a broken heart
Searching
Searching
But it’s hard to find anything
When it’s always dark
And always raining

Like Atlas

Every time I go it alone
I end up on my knees
Crawling helplessly through the night
Looking for my bed
Where I can brace myself
And whisper words
Toward my heart
Toward the sky
Toward Jerusalem
Whispers of desperation.
I foolishly act like Atlas at times
But I am just a man
And the burden is always to much to bare
I need a divine hand

The Wild Within

You are like the wild
Dangerous and vast
And I wish to get lost in you.
You are a river
That flows around my heart
You sweep me away
You make the banks of my heart
Spring forth with life
And in the wild
Or within you
My head and my heart
Are made new.

…….

Every heart broken coldly,
Every love trampled upon,
Every infidelity,
Every hurtful word,
Every little stab taken,
At the divine dignity of humanity
Is all just a prelude
To the end of the age.
And the end will come upon us
Swiftly and unexpectedly
Because we have forgotten
How to love one another
The way that God had first loved us.

…….

The young girls of today live in a world
Where the odds are stacked against them.
The world stands waiting to devour them.
From pornography, to diets, to abortion, to T.V.
They are forced and molded into pre-packaged commodities,
And those that aren’t are thrown out,
Discarded,
Disowned.
By fourteen years of age
Boys expect them to perform like pornstars,
And by eighteen they have become them.
All the while, modern society wonders,
“Where did true love go?”
Did it ever exist?
Does it go by another name?
But the truth is,
Society has fucked true love into oblivion.
And only the few who stand in contrast
Ever have a chance of finding it.
What chance does innocence have
In a world consumed with hunger and guilt?
Babies produced to be pop stars,
And pop stars produced to make greedy men rich.

……

God created each of us,
Even the most dysfunctional,
More beautiful than the universe itself.
All people were made beautiful,
It is us who have made them ugly.
It is us who have deemed some
More worthy than others.
And us who have destroyed the world we live in.
Suffering is man made.
Inequality, racism, genocide – man made.
We are the mediums used
In the dark arts of the occult.
We are a beautiful painting,
Covered in the ash of a great inferno,
Waiting for the waters of redemption
To put out the fire
And wash the canvas clean once again.

…….

What chance does beauty have
In a world full of darkness and fire?
Beauty, fragile like a flower
Stands defenseless and alone,
And the dark
Ravenously pursues her.
Waiting to tear away her innocence
Waiting to crush her spirit.
Who might stand up to the inferno?
Who might pluck her from this night,
And plant her back down
In a fortress of peace and love?

On: The Existence Of God

You say my sweet
That you can’t see
But God is love
And I love thee

My Love, I Long For Thee!

My Love, I long for Thee!
Thou art The Guide of history
Thou art the champion of my soul
And renewer of my heart.
Thou art the Truth
In which I long to dwell.
Thou art the Air
That causes my lungs to swell.

I can be,
Because Thou art.
And I am naught
Without Thee!

Oh Lover of my soul!
Defeater of death,
The Life in every breath,
May I always walk in thy light,
And finish strong thy good fight!

That Is Grace

I long for rest
I wish to be alone with You
To sit with You and the sea.
You are my heart’s desire.
Though I am a whore,
Spreading my love amongst petty nothings,
You continue to love me fully.
You call my name,
And I constantly turn away,
For I can’t bear to show my face.
Yet You tell me
“That is grace!”
This world keeps trying to drown me,
And I keep on trying to climb out
Of this poison reservoir,
But the arms of darkness grip me tight.
I need Your might!
I am weary
And long for solace!
I long for it to be,
You and me,
And the spray filled sea.

Broken Bones
Broken bones don’t hurt
Like a broken heart.

Self Righteous
Standing outside the clubs
These people think they are the shit
And I want to tell them
They are…
They really are,
The shit.
But I am tired of being the cynic
So I keep my thoughts to myself

True Lonliness
Dignity
Lost to bluntness and desperation
“Is there a chance I’d get laid tonight?”
He asks her.
Awkwardness surrounds
And I just sit and stare
Quietly in disbelief
Of his desperate attempts.

The World
Television
Sleep
Alcohol
Bills
Gasoline
People I meet,
All cheat
All steal
All tear and destroy
The passions that’s within me

Tell me…
How does a passionate man
Make it through
This modern life?

The Heart Of Man
There’s a blackness in the hearts of men
An urge to bloody our swords
To kill one another and betray our friends
A blackness that pervades history
A mar on the face of the universe
A black hole larger than any dead star
The size of God, absent within us.
A black hole which consumes all it can
All the alcohol, the sex, the broken beauty of nature
And yet it only grows larger till it consumes
Our soul, and from there, the world.

Self Pity
On this dark night
It’s as though all the violence
Of nature and man
Came solely from my own heart.
O Sorrow!
Deep rooted sorrow!
Bring forth the tears of frustration and hurt
Make wet the ground you stand on
Till the mire takes hold and pulls you down
I’ve reached my limit
I am not Christ!
I hate the world
Everything and everyone
My love is not unlimited!
My forgiveness is all dried up!
I hate the world,
But I hate myself more.

……

This temporary sorrow
Cannot find me
When I am with You.
When I sit by Your river,
In the light of Your sun,
In the whispers of Your breeze.
I am free to be content,
Free to smile.
Leaving man’s world,
And entering into Yours,
A taste of Heaven.

……

What magnificence there is to life
Not just intelligent beings
But even the silent life
From grass to the tallest trees
So simple, but so complex
The way they cling to the earth
Soaking in its nutrients.
The oak tree cares not
For philosophy or politics or the frivolous things of man.
The oak tree cares not
And within that there is a beauty.
It is alive
It lives for summer and spring
And sleeps in the winter.
It has character in its branches
And kindness in its shade
Hints of a premeditated design
As though it were created to shade lovers on a summer day
And yet
Whether in the park or in the wild
It sits in magnificence
As a monument to someone greater than man.

……

Thoreau had it right
Peace in the midst of turmoil
God’s presence clearly felt
In the cathedral of His creation.
Away from the darkness of men.
For when he stood against the machine
All they could do was imprison him
Where else could God’s word
Sink deep
But away from the world in solitude and silence
Just God, the pond, and His peculiar little geese

……

The people I see along the river
I would judge harshly
If I saw them on the street
But here, they are the same as me
And it is clear,
We all need solace and silence.
Not a word is ever spoken
Except a rare and polite hello.
The world makes you self righteous
But here we experience our equality
Unless of course
I see someone throw something in the river,
Then I am all fire and brimstone
And wish the worst on them
Until love brings me back.

……

Supernatural
This word implies there is more to what we are
Something more natural than our current state.
As though our senses have been dulled
A natural state with a connection between mind and heart
That has been lost
The bridge has been swept away.
The further we stroll from God
The more open we are to oppression
From an enemy we can no longer see
Except in the darkness
And man’s predicament grows worse
With light almost absent from the world
Apart from where Christ lives.
The strong eat the weak
And the image of God is blurred,
Replaced by ugliness, darkness, and hate
And value of men’s lives become worthless,
Innocence is lost
And war reigns.

……

You’ve taken root deep within,
And you are growing like wildflowers
In my heart.
The prairies are covered with your beauty,
And I am always longing,
To be covered by it as well.

…….

If the weight of what’s been lost
Outweighs the weight of glory
Then what we’ve gained
Is greater
Than the splendor of all the stars
In the consuming sky above me.

…….

It is a planet of sorrows that we inhabit
Where everyday men kill themselves,
And everyday, men kill each other.
Some in the most fallen and literal way,
Others in  more subtle and devastating ways
Deep within the abandoned temples of their hearts.
If Adam only knew what he was about to do to his children
Maybe we’d have been spared the pain.
The future brings hope, and hope brings joy,
But the present is full of bitter fruit
The spoils of Eden lost
And it sours in my stomach.
My heart yearns and my heart overflows
For what I’ve only seen shadows of
And until redemption comes
My pen shall move in search of peace
And tears shall stain these pages.

……

Madness!
All of life is madness!
All of life is sorrow,
If this is all of life.
If when our flames go out
Its just darkness,
Madness, not reason!
Madness and sorrow
For there’d be no tomorrow.

……

Violent sparks burn inside my torso
Hints of spring enrage the inferno
Drunk on life and the eternal summer sun
I’ve stopped living just to have fun.
This desire is etched into my spirit
A longing for freedom and meaning
Amidst the directionless and dying
The cynics rule the night
But hope wins with daylight.
Don’t give me man made philosophy
Its just endless people who disagree.
Don’t give me science
Its just unreasonable beings trying to think reasonably.
Give me faith,
And you think me mindless
But it’s the only true fire
Which engulfs me.
When I walk from the fire,
Sorrow painfully turns me back
And I wonder if I ever knew
What life really was in the cold dead world
Before His sacrifice gave me God
And God gave me life…

……

People would die for pleasure
Before they would die for truth
And it’s exhausting
All this apathy
All the innocence lost to pettiness
And beauty replaced with emptiness.
I’m looking for the source
Of all the shadows.
I have no more tears
To shed for darkness
And no more time to give

……

Teacher! Teacher!
Listen to me!
Isn’t this what you want to hear?
Isn’t this what you want to see?
My thoughts are not my own,
But my words are.
Indoctrinate me!
And I will tell you what you want to hear
Regurgitate the propaganda
And find no peace
Because the truth continues to torment
Those who live in lies
And foolishness fills my days.

……

America was built by savages
Or so the scholars say.
Look at all the blood!
Tasteless, cynical critics
Unable to see
We’ve been up to our noses in blood
Since Cain killed Abel.
The world is drenched in it,
Yet no man has been freer
And no dream by foolish mortal men
Has ever been grander than this liberty
Til all the world comes to an end
No greater country will there be
Than this land of the free.

……

He gave us eyes
So we could comprehend color,
He gave us hearts
So we could see beauty,
He gave us the stars
So we’d know His greatness,
He gave us music and canvas
So we’d create portraits of our souls
And pictures of how our souls see the world.
He gave us all His love
So we’d know He’s real
And He gave me you
So through our love
You’d know it too.

……

Sometimes these words
Are the words of a madman.
Maybe since our fall
We are all a little mad.
And the only way to stay sane
Is to realize
It’s not about cars,
It’s not about sex,
It’s not about science,
Or the pursuit of our “rights.”
And they dismiss order
To embrace dysfunction
And live as though they won’t die
But they always do
And I will too.

My Heart

My heart is in Carolina.
Where do I go
If my heart is not with me?
A part of me is missing.
I feel as though
It’s a struggle to get through the week.
Where is she?
Flying over Mississippi
New York,
Or Tennessee?

Water

Water
Always in my dreams
Crashing through the walls
To take me from my love
And sweep me out to sea.
Love and water
Standing on the shore
With lightning on the horizon
And wind in her hair
With quiet smiles in the sand
And a longing in her heart
But the water
Always there
Before I wake.

The Rocks Of Heaven

The sun beats down
Upon the rocks of heaven.
The water flows through the center of Eden
But I have no desire to hide.
I’ve longed for this
Though it is still shadows
If only I could open my eyes
To see what’s truly there.
So close to God
And yet so far.

Fighting

What is this world
That men have to spend their whole lives
Fighting and then dying
For one ray of sunshine
For a slight glimpse of justice?

Outrage

Lets get outraged
Lets get together and talk about injustice
Lets all yell and be angry
But don’t ask us to take action
Don’t ask us to do something
My outrage excuses me
From having to fight

………

I can see the smoke of civilization
Rising just off on the horizon,
Black smoke,
And though it rains all day
The fires don’t go out.
Yet all the smoke is on the horizon,
It is still a ways out.
Don’t bother trying to evacuate
Don’t go back inside to get your things
It will be here soon
And you won’t escape it.
Prepare yourself to the depths
Because in the end
The depths are the only thing
That you’re going to have left.

………

The cosmos
Had a beginning
But they exude subtle references
That point toward a sense
Of Eternity.
A timelessness within time
As though they had been before
Trapped or stored in the back of your mind
Like a painting finally painted.
Divine scarring in our spirit
That lets us know the answer
is discoverable,
For it was once our pleasure
Once within the palm of our
Spiritual hand.

………

Unless you know death,
You can not know life.
Unless you are awake,
You are asleep.
Unless you’ve seen light
You will not know darkness.
And unless you’ve awoken from the dream
You will not know reality.

………

I live
In the darkness of night
With open eyes
And cautious feet
Until the embers burn me
And I awaken
From this dream

………

To say you don’t know God
Is to say you do not know yourself
For He created you.

Out of the rock,
He sculpted your soul.
Out of the water,
He wrote your story.
He took his love
And placed it within your heart.

To say you don’t know God
Is to say you do not know love.
To say you do not know God
Is to say you don’t know anything at all.

………

Are you certain?
What is there to be certain of
If all you draw from
Is the finite faculty of your human mind?
All that is known
Is all that has been revealed.
To say there is not something deeper
To the mysteries of life
Is to say you know all things
And that is where proud men fall.
All have to face the truth
That we are infinitely finite
And all that is known
Is what has been revealed to us by God.
We are,
Because He told us we are,
And we are not
If we are all that there is.

………

What is the point of philosophy,
What is the point of science,
If all we know is mere chaos?
Why do men who mock spirituality
Claim they’re looking
For the reason we are here?
If the universe is chaos,
If all is random,
Then there is no answer.
There is no reason.
In a very real sense
We don’t even exist.
We are but a spark
Ascending from the fire.