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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Unraveling





Unraveling

Some days I do not make it, say something stupid      
  
I almost keep it together then boom, a burst of errant irritation
Some days I do better and thoroughly pat myself on my own back
  
And percolate a smugness that smacks of self-congratulation.


I wish I was a better man and didn't fail so much
  
To keep my temper, to hold my peace when irritated
I wish I prayed a little better; saw my way a little clearer,
  
Self-control and gritted teeth, I find, are vastly over-rated.

Walking day by day with open soul, listening still and small
  
Seems to unravel the threads that bind the muscles of the heart.
Walking day by year, ahead the footpath stretches, God illuminating

   The shabby condition of my tarnished soul coming all apart.

© 2014 by Tom King




Thursday, August 7, 2014

Committing a Write



Photo - Nick's Writing Blog


Committing a Write


When did "write" become a noun?
Instead of the verb it was when I was young.
"Nice write," someone said the other day,
As though the act of sitting down at my desk
And bleeding onto paper were the thing itself
Regardless of the thing that's left upon the paper
When the bleeding is well and truly done
And I hold it up for others to see and judge the result.

It's not a "write" for heaven's sake.
You might as well say "Good typing."
I do not write to win the praise of others
For the act of spilling words onto the page.
I write to make a story or a poem or a remembrance.
To praise the "write" is to grant the writer
A consolation prize for showing up.
For perpetrating words to indifferent effect.

One might as well say "Good build" to a carpenter
Or "Good paint" to an artist when what they want to hear
Is "That's a beautiful house," or
"That painting takes my breath away."
God help us when we so fear to tell the truth
We forget how to see the beauty in a thing complete
In tune with itself and its creator.
Lest someone lesser gifted be offended.

How in the hell that we are building for ourselves,
Can we mortal men and women, carved in the image
Of the Almighty, His children, each, himself, a small creator
Forget that it is not that we have tried to make some thing
That's beautiful, but that we have in some small way succeeded,
And in those things that we have made, be they life or song or story,
We have left behind a bit of glory, however ephemeral
That casts a smile of joy across the face of God.

It is the song that is beautiful.
Sing it to the heart that wants uplifted.
It is the story that is heart-warming.  
Tell it to the one that needs to hear it.
It is the gift that is given freely.
Give it to the child who wants it.
It is the image in the stone that sings to us.
Sculpt it from the living rock.


To try is not itself reward enough for any soul
In which eternal God sets up his habitation.
To do, to finish every line that must be writ or work complete
Is all there is that is worth the effort that's required.
It's not the writing, the building, the working or the trying
That makes a life worth all that effort; that makes us want to see
More treasures that a man might yet complete,
Should God grant him better tools and access to eternity.

© 2014 by Tom King

Shadows Along A Moonlit Path

Photo by Dave Candler - used by permission

Shadows Along A Moonlit Path

I don't remember when first I noticed,
   That shadows follow me in moonlight, pale and spectral,
Shimmering silver puddles and among them a ghostly image
   Swirling along behind me in the darkling wood.

I find myself shouting at the moon sometimes,
   But the words fall flat and leave no echo behind,
Absorbed and dulled by trees along the path,
   Drawn up into the satin, sable sky and into silence.

The moon does not often listen when you cry.
   It pats you on the shoulder, "There, there child."
The way an aunt would comfort, not revealing,
   But obscuring, hiding that which gives you pain.

They're beautiful the shadows all along the moonlit paths,
   Useful when you only want to see in muted colors.
Reflections of the sun tamped down and muffled;
   When open weeping cannot be permitted.

I waited till the sun came up to pray aloud,
   I needed dawn to feel if God were listening.
To complete the long unreality of the night,
   And the poor comforts of the misguided moon.

© 2014 by Tom King