new years resolutions: a step back

I am hesitant to make new years resolutions, because they focus so often on deficiencies. They tend to focus on some form of self improvement that, somehow, would cure our insecurities.

You see, I am happy with who I am.

I am happy with where I am going.

Do I have room for improvement? absolutely

Therefore, I want to step back and look for the things that got pushed aside;

circle back to old passions, just because I enjoyed doing them:

1) write a hand written letter to a friend in another town.

2) read a philosophical book from a different point of view

3) write poetry and be brave enough to submit it to a publisher

4) Simply, having coffee with a friend and just enjoying  the conversation, without worrying about what I need to get done.

Here’s to 2015,

Enjoy it my friends

What’s your next step?
Like a stranded guide
Resorting to the pale candle light
Amidst whispers, following the running water
Footfall on the bank, whispers again in the night
The unsettling movement in the thicket
And unmentioned sentiment
Between the branches
Stalks the back of your mind:
We’re lost.


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Detachment, severed clouds send their disregard
For anything and everything below,
But I had no other place to go.
She never had to deal with such pain, because
Her garden in a house of glass,
Never knew the rain.
Disregard my complaint
Disregard my goodbye
My ideals never had a place in your world

There’s drainage gutters for a reason.


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Our hands, then

The day sky,

The rolling cloud grey,

Left me empty,

I hear the cars outside,

But I have nothing to say.


I think of you,

Skyward, then, was a looking glass:

The crescent moon,

The spinning stars

Danced to a silent tune,

And dark in between,

Was not in between,

Your hand and mine.



Winter Grey

Winter grey, lent

             A few snowflakes,

Intermittent, drifting where they were sent,

Between, lost in between,

The voiceless air, and sleepless ground,

Together, accenting the scene,

We call reality.

             Never say,

You were walked alone this way,  and did not notice,

The winter grey.



New Years Resolutions: 2012

1: Find a girl who still believes in fairy tales, even if it just a little.

2: Find a job that requires courage.

3: Encourage others to eat healthy.

4: Try not to be the biggest hypocrite about resolution number 3.

5: Start translating the Gospel of John

6: Help one person at great expense to myself.

Can We Talk: A Short Story

 “Can we talk?” Sarah’s text turned Mark’s stomach inside out. It has been at least a year, and it seemed to him that he had just gotten over her. He sat down on the bench, outside the campus library. A few moments, and his mind was overwhelmed. The wind picked up, and several leaves blew off the tree he was sitting under, but he didn’t notice.

        The levy in his mind broke, and that night, the last night he saw her, flooded his memory. It started with his best friend Frank, and a difficult conversation that no best friend wants to have. Frank broke the news: Sarah had slept with her ex.

           There, at times, is an irony to relationships. Mark felt as if he was drowning, in fact something in him died that day. Yet Sarah didn’t want Mark to leave; she never wanted to hurt him. It was as if, her ex lured her out to sea with the sweetest song only to let her drown. Mark did not know that she hated herself. It was a mistake, but in her eyes, she was the mistake. After the break up, she spent nearly a year concealing the cuts underneath her shirt sleeves.

        Still looking at his phone; he tried to make sense of this intrusion. Now what? What could he do? If he texts her back, then would he fall again for her Siren song? He should tell her to leave him alone. She has done enough damage. With each passing second, he grows more resolute. He is not going to let her in. He will cut this off right now, and he types, “I don’t want to talk,” and he hit send. It was done.

      It was thirty seconds, maybe a minute at the most, and his phone buzzed: “Please, I’m so sorry.” He was irate; he started muttering, “If she wants to talk, okay, I have a few things to say to that bitch!” He could hardly control himself. It was no ordinary rage. It was the rage of emptiness, the rage of betrayal, and the rage of fierce loneliness, that to a half closed eye, could be mistaken for something entirely else. He could hardly slow his fingers down slow enough to type: “fine go ahed talk! better yet how bout u go ahead and fuck urself.”

      She didn’t reply.

      It was four days, before he realized. Four days of sickness. Was it an ulcer? He didn’t eat. His stomach did feel better when he drank milk. His best friend dealt with the brunt of his frustration on the first night, and they both agreed, that he will absolutely not talk to her. He threw up twice. It had been a year since the breakup, why is he sick?  

       He had been hurt before, so what was so different? It was a new kind of hate. However, he is not a contemplative, and certainly not a philosopher; he is just a college freshman. It question was more like an intuitive whisper, as distracting as a repetitive drip-drop in the basement of his mind. A whisper, this week especially, he was content to ignore. Between classes, he filled his head with screaming rock music, and kept his I-pod head phones in with the intent of ignoring the world.

        It was Thursday night, Mark went to bed early. His roommate would be studying at the library to roughly 1 am.  His roommate left his computer on, and the screen saver was just enough to keep him up. He, half curled on his side, faced the wall next to his bed. With the covers half over his face, he embraced the quiet in his room. He knew pain almost unreal. He actually missed her.

           Friday was a blur of classes, projects, and even eating more than a few bites. In fact, it was right after dinner. Alone in his dorm room, in a moment of weakness, because he wanted to be weak; he sent her a text. They would meet at the park in an hour.

           When he got into his car, he cut down with the thought: “you are falling for this again?!” He pushed it aside by giving him the excuse that he was going just to talk. He slowly turned the music up. With each red light and with each turn, the tension grew. He thought of what it would have been like; when her bastard of an ex pulled Sarah close. He thought of his hands unbuckling her pants, and he remembered why he was so harsh. She gave herself so easily to him, and after he was the one who put the time in. He was the one who listen to her problems. He was the one who bought her flowers and gifts, and he even bought her prom dress, because her parents couldn’t afford it. After all of that, she cheated. He needs to be mean, he reasoned, because it is good boundaries. She is just going to hurt him again.  She is a cancer, and he knows he needs to cut her out of his life. She is a flashing lure, which this fish will swim by. She is song on the crescent wave, which this sailor will ignore. It has come down to this; she is a grave, and today, he will leave a flower and walk away.

            He hurried to the spot, and he was there alone. The sunlight was fading, and its tangential touch covers the grass with gold, yet this is the spot where he will say good bye. The quiet wind carried a flame red leaf and softly laid it before his feet. This is what made him look up. This is what made him look skyward to see the mural of dying leaves burning bright and letting go!  When he looked down, she was there.

          Her eyes were soft.  She looked wore out, and ready to hear the worst, ready to feel his hate.  She didn’t say anything, because in this quiet, all excuses and apologies fail. In her silence, she gave her heart to him, because she wanted him to crush it. Anything to make up for what she had done.   In this quiet, Mark saw her, for who she really was. A passivity in her downward glance that signified change; Sarah was different.  This time, in the fading evening half-light, they both knew that the other had held on. He felt why his hate was different, because in that moment, he cared. 

       She was statue still, with the grace of a ruined angel.  He moved to her, and brought her head to his chest and his arms pulled her in. His hand, for the first time in over a year, felt her hair. Her hand clenched the back of his shirt, like she never would let go. And, the silence was broken with healing, when they realized that their hate was love, and together, they wept.


A Thought of You

OK. This is a different style poem then I usually write. I hate explaining my writing, so i’ll leave it up to you to find what the imagery of the hoarder means.

“A Thought of You”

The cerebral cortex

Is a house with no back door,

No back yard with a dog on a string,

No neighbor kid

playing on a swing,

No morning light

No touch of mythic night.

No weeds growing by the fence,

Or flowers in spring’s suspence.

Just walls,

Corners and corridors,

Walls entending, walls peeling

with a thin layer

of faded compassion.

I keep the front rooms cluttered,

Receipts, a crumpled submission,

And yellow nespapers scatterred,


Broken spine books and dirty dishes,

Magazines stacked crookedly,

The floor creaks

But the past rests silently.

A few pictures

Of you:

With broken

Disjointed frames

Asymmetrical shards of glass

That I cut my fingers on,

_________That is,

_________If I ever clean over there.


Love, spacial distance of where you are

and my front door,

Conmtemplation  of your cold starlight:

But i don’t visit the window anymore.

Time, scar tissue thought,

The electrical burn of

What memory brought,

Into the dim lit prison

Extending endlessly

Into the chasm:

A house decrepid.

Blue walls, you liked blue so much.




Yet the Wind

Wind rattles the worn shutters,

The sound bothers him.

Snow speckles the grass

Just like the weather man said,

A picture of his brother before his tour in Vietnam

On the desk beside the bed,

Annoyed, he leaves the radio on and heads outside

He has work to do.

Crooked arthritic gait, grass stiff under feet

Mixed with half glossed mud,

A half a mile from the paved street.

A humbling chill

Fifteen miles per hour

From the west, 

Turns his face red,

Breathing in burns his chest,


Sets his face downward,

Like the day he prayed

In the chair beside her bed,

At the conclusion of her mortality.

Different now, indeterminable to know when,

Gradual as the rot of his barn,

A realization as he bears the work

With the flannel shirt, wool lined jacket

And worn leather gloves,

many winters as such, many winters…

  ——-yet the wind.

When did life lose its warmth?

So I am finishing up my last undergrad classes this week, and it is kind of nerve racking, because I still don’t have a job.

I have often been asked what I want to be after I graduate, and I usually respond with the career path that sounded good that week. lol. And I do have a general idea of what I want to do, but that’s just it, a general idea.

But throughout my last semester I came to realize something. When someone talks about who I am, I don’t want them to label me by my job. “oh I know Joe, he worked at campus security…” Or, “he went to LeTourneau and went on to do this *insert job title*” That is really lame to me. Because, my job does not = who I am.

I want people to know me by who I really am and want to be.

I am follower of Jesus.

I want to be a good man, a just man, and a loving man. That just seems a whole lot more meaningful to me.

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