Damascus Blade


She froze rock-hard to grow a spine,

A spur-spun steel stiletto –

The point is, she’d been out of line,

Her heart the merest echo.

Assumption said she’d never do,

The lies were knives she swallowed –

But once she changed her point of view,

A rugged backbone followed.


In the Breaking Place

rudbeckia bud


She raises weary hands high,

knowing that if she aims for

heaven, she just might touch God.


Tendons stretch beyond breaking

point, in the places  where pain

collides with grace; she feels buds


Tear and in the ripping, birth

laughs at the Fall, defies this

gravitational downward


Spiral, dictatorial

dead-weight. Thirsty soul seeks sun

and in the breaking place, blooms.




When Ugly is Simply Overpowering

What happens when there is no beautiful?

When that unrelenting pain masks it in a sludge of ugly.  When the sight of spring sunshine isn’t enough to stir a heart pinned down by waves of overpowering torment…

What happen when simply breathing hurts?  When the rise and fall of your rib-cage can’t mask the nagging terror in your chest, or hide the lump of sorrow in your gut, or dismiss the fingers of tension crawling up your spine and lodging in your neck, those  familiar but uninvited guests?

What if this day has left you orphaned by choice, widowed by whim, drawn and quartered by betrayal?

What then?

Where is faith on a day like that?  Where is God when the sky is empty?  Where is this promised beautiful when the ugly is simply overpowering?

This is where the rubber meets the road.  This is where the choice is made – do I allow the ugly to destroy me, or do I seek the beautiful with my dying breath – with all the passion of a pent-up, bruised, and battered soul?

This is when you cling to Psalm 69.  This is when you choose to remember that you are written on God’s palms.  This is when you decide to live, when all you want to do is crawl into a hole and let this slow, methodical hemorrhage bleed you dry and finally put you out of your endless misery.

This is when you remind yourself that your will to live, your drive to seek the abundant life in the mist of such hopelessness, is an entity slowly standing to its feet within you, drawing you ever onward toward the desire for more.  It takes your breath away in its unexpected holiness.  It is a gift of your Creator, on whose hands you are engraved.

And you realize that – it is something beautiful.