Love is wonder
Intrinsic and powerful
Mysterious in its most
The light inside the shade
I am under
Love hides in secret
Likes seeds planted
In the desert, waiting
For drought’s end
Rain’s nourishing shower
Brings an infinite, colorful palette
Love never leaves us
Lying in our graves
Content for dust to settle
And dim the glory of our lives
Lived under the shade
Before the light luminous
Love lives in thunder
And the cricket’s chirp
Amidst the patter of soft rain
Soaking through soil to thirsty roots
While clouds part like theater curtains
Unveiling the scope of the Master’s love
“To Scratch the Surface of Beauty” is now available throughout North America and Europe on Amazon.com!
A short collection of poems from this blog is now available for purchase in paperback on CreateSpace and on Kindle. If you’d like more information or would like to purchase a copy, just click on the “Shop” page in the menu to the left. You’ll find the information and links you need to make your purchase. I appreciate the support you’ve given me these last few months. I will continue to post new poems and fiction in the the coming days.
Peace of Christ,
You were painting
The room for your son
A first child yet to be born
Then, the call came…
Danger found you awash in courage
Heat from the blaze
Burning up the cool Winter day
A battle you’d won hundreds of times before
Later that night I recalled
Smoking cheap cigars
In your driveway while
Laughing that you knew my cousins more than I
Oh how easily smiles crossed your face
Friends were many and cherished
Deeply inside your heart, faith flourished
Not on your sleeve, in your actions
Irony was absent in the way you died
A church full of hellfire, yet…
Father reached down and carried you
Home on flames, breaking our hearts, mending Heaven’s
Your son drew breath several days after.
His mother named him “Elijah”.
I’m not sure why, but I thought about my friend Philip Dean this evening. He died February 15, 1999, while battling a church fire in Lake Worth, Texas. It was devastating and unfair, but exactly what he wanted-to serve and protect people and their property. My wife and his had roomed together at Texas A&M. I lost the chance to know Philip as well as I’d liked to have. I wrote this not just for Philip, but for my friends Greg Cutler, Rob Pawley, Steve Pierce, and Arturo Montes all firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or policemen. If you know men and women like these, thank them for their sacrifice and the danger they put themselves in on your behalf everyday.
I apologize, but I’m going to take a short break from poetry to rant a bit. I’d love to hear your feedback on what I have to say here.
I’ve often heard the old saying that a person should never discuss politics or religion. Well, I think that’s just code for “I can’t tolerate people I disagree with regarding politics and religion”. Now, I find in today’s climate of vituperation and vitriol a confirmation of my theory. Aspersions cast have replaced discourse in virtually every segment of academia, politics, policy, even comment threads present on any news or propaganda site across the Internet.
A steady stream of zealots and rhetorical talking heads have hijacked ideals such as tolerance, morality, respect, equality, and freedom. We used to hold these up as common values connecting even the bitterest rivals. Now, they are weapons used by one political/religious/philosophical group to eviscerate its opponents. What once united now divides.
This brings me to another of my personal truisms. “There is no such thing as tolerance.” Some have come to equate tolerance with acceptance; they believe if another person chooses not to accept a point of view or lifestyle, that person is therefore “intolerant”. Some have come to equate tolerance with excuse; they feel they are no longer asked to tolerate another’s point of view, culture, or skin color, but accept their lifestyle choices, their “sins” which corrupt the susceptible minds of the young and degrade the fabric of society. As you read this, you probably nodded your head in agreement with one definition of tolerance or shook it in anger at the opposing definition.
But neither view represents tolerance in its purest form. Tolerance means being able to disagree without throwing stones, verbal or otherwise. We’ve lost this art as a people. I fear we’ll lose much more in short order if we don’t shake ourselves of this foolishness.
And so to my confession: I am a deeply flawed, tainted man who also happens to be a Christian, devoutly so. When it comes to politics, I am a moderate conservative. I used to be a Republican, but I no longer understand what that party wants.
As a writer, I suppose I am neither of these. While my faith is present in my every thought, I write the stories and poems as they come out. I try to craft them into art and leave them for the reader to pick up or discard. Proselytizing doesn’t faze me, but I’ve found the subtlest message are most effective. Because of this, I write almost any genre using whatever tools are at my disposal to create something worth reading.
What do tolerance and discourse have to do with my confession? I’ll let you answer that question, but I have a few other questions first. When I identified myself as a Christian, what went through your mind? Did you nod in agreement and kinship or shake your head dismissively in anger or disagreement? One is acceptance, the other is not. Neither is tolerance.