Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Stranger

The Stranger
Grief is such a stranger to me
That might sound like something magical, wondrous
But it is quiet and dead and dehumanizing
The lack of grief is a very reason to grieve
The lack of capacity to grieve 
Signals the presence of the monotonous, the mundane
I guess I need to set aside a coffee date
Maybe it is time to meet with grief
See all that I’ve missed over these last 30 or so years
Not so I may dwell in death or despair
But rather that I may dwell in life

I don’t want to be a stranger anymore

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Little Feet

I found this poem in my journal and I wish to dedicate it to Isaiah on his "gotcha day" today.

Little Feet

I love these little feet
They have walked across African soil
Now they rest and sleep
These feet have seen the women weep
They have seen the men’s great toil
In the dry and barren streets

These feet have stepped on paths of death
Yet they thrive now in the light
These feet have known what hunger is
They have known the darkness, known the bliss
They have known the agony of the night
They have felt the wonder of the breath

I love these little feet
These feet that come from African soil
Now they rest and sleep
And in my heart I sense the deep
And the pleasure in the tumultuous toil
That brought him from the barren street

And now he rests at home

Each Life

I'm posting this poem today in honor of our son Isaiah's "Gotcha Day."

Each Life
This is what it’s all about
These are smiles of heaven’s shouts
This is life that sets one free
This is life as it’s meant to be
This is a picture of the kingdom of God
A picture that was taken on this earthly sod
This is a picture of heaven on earth
This is a picture of what love is worth
This is a sight of the look in God’s eyes
This is the cost of the most priceless prize
This is the world in the way it should be
This is the way that we set the world free

Each life makes a difference


I wrote this poem for a patient of mine. She was an infant with a terribly progressive terminal disease. I guess you could call this poem a "statement of faith" if you wanted to, but as a physician I despise when it seems that illness wins and my patients and their families lose. So in light of what most would call a hopeless situation, I decided to do the only thing I could do: write hope. 
I read this poem again tonight as I was going through my journal, and I felt like I needed to share it. I feel like there are lots of people who need hope, and if you are one of those, then this poem is for you. If you know of someone who needs hope, then please share this poem with them. I think it makes the world a better place when we take something born out of great tragedy and pain, and then help to turn that around for great good. Thanks :)   . 
The very things meant to destroy your hearing
Will be used to spread the sounds of heaven everywhere
The very things meant to destroy your vision
Will be used to reveal the colors and the beauty of God
The things meant to destroy your soul
Will bring healing to the nations
God has spoken, it is true
Those things brought as destruction against you
Will be the very things that lift you higher
Higher than one has ever been before

So keep looking for the door

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Angel

The Angel
There is an angel outside my window
Standing amongst the trees
Standing amongst the remains of the giants
Always looking to the gates
Standing, watching, in silence he waits
Watching the entries, the exits
The comings and goings

His head lifted slightly toward the sunsets

He reminds me often that my life is up to me
Yet there remains a guardian
Not a guardian to keep fear and pain away
No, a guardian to allow fear and pain to play
In the midst of my noisy din,
In the midst of my normal day,
Along the paths of chosen friends,
I find I live in the presence of my enemies 
While drinking the choicest of wines
Breathing the breaths that are most sublime
All the while my guardian keeps watch by the windows
What he knows no one knows
What he’s seen, what he’s heard
The gusts of the wind, the songs of the birds
The cries of my heart, the darkness of my eyes
The stillness of my soul that has been mesmerized
By the things he can see and hear every moment
But there are no moments in eternity’s scenes
Space without time, movement within rhyme
And without
I swallow pride, I swallow doubt
Nodding slightly to my silent guardian
Who still has head lifted toward the sunsets

Who can I be?
Who is this that is me?
He sits there quietly 
The gusting spring winds scattering flowers abroad
So that it appears the snow has fallen once again
A snow of pinks and purples and whites and yellows
Stories of newborn sullen fellows
Whose lives were a scattered glance
Yet in all their beauty, all their romance
The yearning lingers on
A light, a stroke, a sing, a song
The angel still keeps his watching, long
As the seas still swirling
The shoots unfurling

This life is just a whisper away

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Isn’t it amazing
That in the midst of nowhere
God places his nicest beauties
In the places where feet trod, unbeholden,
Stomping the life out of it all
Completely unaware, uncaring, of the life being crushed

Yet right there is where His beauty lies
Right there is the place where I can decide
To keep on crushing with these weather-worn boots
Or to stop and cherish the moment

I think I’ll stay right here for a while

Monday, February 20, 2017


This is amazingly intricate
Accidental it cannot be
Every tiny fiber making it’s small contribution
Every contribution critical to the mass
I refuse to see through a looking glass
Whose lenses are shattered by mere reason
That is why even in the deadliest season
One can see that beauty exists
Beauty lives
Beauty speaks in the loudest of voices
In the quiet intricacies of our human choices,
In the fallen leaves of winter
It only takes the size of a splinter
To open the heart to reality
Reality that goes beyond our dark winters


Sometimes living poetry
Is like looking into a deep, dark chasm
I see nothing
I feel nothing
Yet I know something is out there
In there, within the darkest depths
And suddenly and without any explanation
There I just step
Falling, falling, falling
Into a place I know not
To a destiny I know not
Yet I feel the air around me growing thicker
And there is a slowing of my descent
And I feel my wings getting stronger
Strong enough to simply put them forth
And the air builds up below me
And now I am headed back up towards the lights
Able to see where I just journeyed
Seeing creatures and creation like never before
Seeing myself like never before
And it all started at the edge of a dark chasm…


That time between the worlds, secession
Where sleep is dream and wake is a question
Where our souls get closer to where our spirits dwell
And oceans wander and the deep does swell
Where light and life and echoes cease
To be just yearnings and are released
There the call of wonder comes
It beckons for the light of sun
Yet is saddened by its appearance for
The soul does long and cries for more
Of the time between the worlds in slumber
Worlds where what is not is number
Worlds where what can be are living
Worlds where what we need are giving
Everything our heart desires
In living waters and spirit fires
We step into a flowing river
That brings us warmth and makes flesh shiver
Until it seems it is no more
Where last week’s sky is this week’s floor
And all of this wrapped up in time
To walk along in slumber’s rhyme
Is to be so close to heaven we can taste it

Sunday, February 19, 2017

To Be Continued

To be continued…
I have embraced everything meant to destroy me
I’ve shunned everything that gives me love
The recognition of it all isn’t helpful
I think I might just need a death, a burial
In order to see something new
Maybe this blind man needs to view
The sunshine that starts the new day
I’ve been told to believe and pray
This I’ve done ten thousand times
Ten thousand times ten thousand
Yet here I am
On the opposite side of the universe
Floating along as the missing link
I sense my soul and body sink
Into the fires of some distant nebula

I have searched for answers
I have searched for gold
I have humbled myself
To gain riches untold
But all I have is dirt and grime
And emptiness surreal

As I sit here amongst the dirt and sand
I sling the particles of dust from my hand
Not realizing this is the very substance of magnanimous creation

I must have a new imagination
I must see things as they really could be
I must enter into a regeneration
I must plant my being beside the great trees

I must grow right where I’m planted
I must trust the farmer when it is time for uprooting
These pains, these doubts, these questions are shooting
Quite the snowstorm amongst my brain

I embrace the process

I embrace the pain

I embrace the love

I embrace the mystery

And I realize this story is to be continued…

Friday, February 17, 2017


I’ve noticed that the earth is brown
It seems that it could be the color of down
Yet I sense it carries something much more
A place where there is an opening of a great door
Where earth is a gate to heavenly places
Joyful gatherings and beautiful faces
simply spring to life and come to be
Where acorn grows into the tree
Where man grows up and begins to exist
The place where light and love does kiss
From dusky dawn to gentle breeze
From moving waters of hearts in peace
This is the place where heaven does grow
This is the place where I always know
That brown was simply meant to be
To show it’s not always the ways that I see
There is often more, there is more that’s hidden
There is strength in weakness, more when given
I see now more of what brown does show

It’s the lower I am, then the higher I go

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Kissing Sun

Kissing Sun
Everywhere I go
Everywhere I see
People moving, walking, enjoying life
Why not me?
They seem to know who they are
What they’re made to do
Just saunter along through the morning dew
Until you sleep at night
Every thing is all right
But not with me.
Maybe the problem is I’m not sure who I am
I’m not sure where I’m going
I’m not even sure where I’ve been
I’ve lost the memories in the day-to-day battle
Of simply surviving to see another listless day
Maybe this is me
Maybe I am right where I belong
Walking slowly to a wanderer’s song
With my eyes always turning back to see what I might have missed
The shadows long, the sun I kissed
The light has faded out the memory

The wind does blow a gale today
The lake waves hit the shore, the spray
Goes flying by in desperate adoration
Of the stillness in which I sit
Surrounded by the gentle wings
Of love and life and simple things
Wondering why I have this ache about me

Even nature can plainly see
That I have the heartache to be set free
So we can join together in a passionate song
And sing the night and through the whole day long
Until we’re both so drunk we don’t even know it
We can only live a life that shows it
But there I go again in fantasy
Wondering why I have this ache in me
Knowing it is there for a reason
Knowing there is coming a fruitful season
When life does spring up from this ground
The breaking of the soil will release a sound
That all the earth will know and hear
The life of love, the death of fear
This will be great reality, this will be the death of me
And no one and everyone will realize the difference

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Can you sense new dreams arising?
Can you feel a radiant hope anew?
Don’t you feel there is a new day dawning?
Can’t you hear the morning dew
Singing a new song?
A song your heart has been singing all along
Yet it seemed there was no one else to hear it
But now it’s been heard
It has risen to the heavens like a hummingbird
And has fallen to the earth like an eagle
Powerful and windswept
Magical and momentous
Your hopes and dreams have come alive again
The colors and lights and sounds are friends
That have joined with you on the journey

I am glad to be watching this happen
A river from heaven overflowing its banks
No longer will we walk the planks
Of harsh and bitter judgments


No, we will walk through meadows of poppies
Baby’s breath
Fields of lupine and gold
A greater story will begin to unfold
As we walk on through the color fields
No sword, no vine, no thorn, no shield
Will keep us from the heights
We will dance and sing with all our might
For all our might will be easy
The sounds, the lights, the smells all pleasing
Will be the order of our days

So won’t you join me in this fray

This raucous celebration?

I’d really like to be with you for at least another hundred years…


Wednesday, February 8, 2017



Sometimes I wait on inspiration to write
Sometimes I can’t wait any longer
That’s when it is called “work”
And work it is
Grimacing over every word and idea
Fighting off the demons of criticism and lack
Wishing that the winds would come
Lifting me into the heavens
Where everything is easy and light and free

Or is it?

Could it be that work is where we really find God
Instead of all of those angels
Could it be that in the wrestling
We meet the greatest One of them all
He might cripple us for the rest of our lives
But He just might meet us right in our need
Teach us something new
Give us something bright
Something no one else will ever understand
Nor will we ever want them to
Because it is ours

So keep moving along
Keep writing the words of your living song

You are making a world of difference

And it is very, very beautiful


Dedicated to my wife, Melissa, the hardest working person I’ve ever met.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Daydreams in Nightmares

Daydreams in Nightmares
Sometimes I just stare out the window
I get into a place where there is nothing at all
Nothing permeating my mind except what is in front of me
Even that slips off into a surreal mist
I see the birds sunning themselves
Drying off after a good bath
Finding the crumbs from last night’s outdoor dinner
Cleaning the porch more thoroughly than the children have ever done
A dancing web, the rising sun
Is the only framework this vision will ever need

The morning routine chases the birds away
The children stay inside to play
In the realms of entertainment and imagination
I seek an end to this daily frustration
While the birds are trying to alight again
Trying to find their place back in the scene of things
I walk in lands with golden rings
Every single one of them a strange distraction
Distorted views and a dark refraction
Seem to be the norm 
But my hope is warm
To the coming of the seas
To the faithfulness of the trees
Standing as they have always stood before
A beacon to an open door
Which leads to secrets of the universe

These poems of a post modern man
Seem so difficult for me to understand 
When they are grappled with the mind
Unleash the being that sings beyond all time
Enter into the vision of rhythm and rhyme
One will then know the dark from the difference