12-25-20, a poem

On this eve when we’re looking up

to the sky

for stars to guide us,

or angels to sing to us,

or bells in church towers

to ring clear,


Take a moment to look down

at the soil beneath you,

stand still

feeling the earth turning.

Keep your head in the clouds

where your holiday wishes reside,

and your feet planted

here in the world where

we all live together.


Yes, even after the tragedy

of a year

wasted on that which is ill,

those who still live

are all here together,

our next breath

the most precious gift of the season.

Perspective (a poem)

I used to be the person

to see the glass as

half-full.

But I don’t remember

what it was like to be her

anymore.

I never really became

the person to see the glass as

half-empty

either.

Instead, I just see

half a glass of water

with the potential to remain statically

half-filled,

the potential to be drained dry,

the potential for the fragile exterior

to be shattered,

the potential to be filled to the brim,

or the potentional to be abudantly

overflowing.

With the glass in my hand,

I’ll decide

what comes next.

Invisible (a poem)

(inspired by Agoraphobic by Corpse)

Cover all the mirrors

and hide from the horde

because I can still see myself reflected in their eyes,

and I just can’t bear it. 

I don’t understand this skin I’m in

or the veins pulsing beneath.

So I surround myself with haunts

because I see through the ghosts

and they can’t see me.

Maybe it’s because I am one of them,

part of the family?

Families scream at each other,

and these phantoms wail.

But there’s an ache the accompanies the role

of Invisible Man.

Unfettered (a poem)

What is life unappreciated?

Do not hand me a box

and tell me to fold my joy up neatly

and place it inside.

Let me celebrate unfettered.

The human life, 

the human body

is too beautiful

not to shout from the rooftops.

Instead I will lift myself up

standing on no one’s shoulders but my own,

and in my rising

I would like to bring you with me.

The Middle Place (a poem)

The middle place is

where the old self has died

and lies cold

staring up at you with empty eyes.

The middle place is

where the new self has not yet

been birthed

ready to roam the earth.

The middle place is

where the ghost of you

floats unseen with nowhere to go.

The middle place is

where transformation can

only happen in solitude

because the isolation of death

propels you forward,

deparate to pursue new life.

Better (a poem)

Something agitated has quieted within me.

Life can rip you up

and leave you with ribbons that don’t 

weave

or tie?

back together

the right way.

But there is no right,

I don’t think.

They just ache to be together.

So I let the ribbons fall down

wherever they wanted to.

Then the churning turmoil

soothed and cooled.

Post-Election Poem

Being good and being nice are not the same.

One enacts and pursues, the other performs.

Being a peacemaker and being a peacekeeper are not the same.

One stirs up and creates, the other lies still.

Who is it that you think you are?

Whole (a poem)

WHOLE

You don’t have to return

to the hands that broke your bones

or to the words that manipulated your mind

to fear for your next breath

or to the people who dripped poison

to rot your heart.

You don’t have to make nice

or pay your respects

or explain yourself

or justify your existence 

or reconcile

to be whole.

If you love your body,

mind, and heart

the way they didn’t

then your soul is whole

in and of itself.

Publication Updates

It’s an exciting time when all this quiet, lonely writing finally gets some traction and sees the light of day! On November 30 I will have 4 poems appearing on the “Academy of the Heart and Mind.” I will post a link when it goes live!

Also, my book is here! Breath for the Breathless has finally been published after I wrote it 2 years ago. Here’s what I posted about it on Facebook:

Clergy friends, I wrote this for you. I wrote this book of liturgy 2 years ago when my life was beginning to unravel. Writing this book was a lifeline for me. I hope it is a lifeline for you too! “Breath for the Breathless: Liturgy for Life’s Difficult Seasons” is the book you want on your shelf when a natural disaster happens, when violence strikes, when you need a prayer regarding mental health struggles or child loss. There are prayers and entire worship services written in here (with hymn suggestions) so that when disaster strikes, you can focus more on pastoral care and less on worship planning. If you’re struggling to find the words to say, my hope is that this book helps.

I am so excited to have gotten several publishing opportunities over the past couple years! Here’s to many more.