Standing Out

Stand back, look where you step,
Watch out, or else!
That dogma is flyin’
Around these parts,

And it might just
Hit you in the heart
Or the face.
Condemnation is waiting

Around the corner,
Behind the pew,
Or the smirk.
Judgment sleeps

With the preacher,
And hypocrisy is cheating
With his wife.
Who else thinks

Sadly of you,
Depends on your claims
Or your profile.
Who will be watching

When you sneeze,
Is only a matter of
Second look.
Who will think

You’re against their own
Depends on your cheek
Or your chatter.
Longing looks

Don’t go unnoticed,
And searching eyes
Cry desperation.
“Just the type!”

They say to themselves.
“Looking for trouble!”
Is on their mind.
So consider this warning

Before you step
Into the doors
Of any institution,
And look both ways,

Before you cross.

Making a Connection

A cue, a call, a reaching, a bit of desperation.
It pulls us from our normal routine,
Rocking us to consciousness of need and situation.

How do we respond? Do we ignore it?
Do we deny it, pull back, hide from those urgent people
In our lives, who could use just a little bit of a helping hand?

Sometimes I pretend I have better things to do,
Other interests that fit my personality or even my “values”
Better. Isn’t that ridiculous? But we all do it, sometimes.

In some ways, it’s how we survive the chaos of our lives,
For if we responded to every need around us,
We would go mad with our consciousness of our own

Powerlessness to change the tragedies of the world,
With its corruptions, devilish plans and abuses.
But what can we do? What little things can we do

To do our part, no matter how small, just to help someone,
Somewhere, with something? Can’t we stop for one moment
Every day and consider someone else’s needs besides our own?

Certainly that is do-able, without causing our own chaos
To increase or adding to the millions of needy voices
Crying for help, searching for someone else to do their bidding.

We can do a tiny bit, just enough to give us a sense of contact,
Compassion and participation in the hurts of those around us.
That’s not too much to ask, is it?


Dreams wake us from the dead for not so brief moments in time,
Coax us into the netherworld where ghosts and goblins smell our soul,
In its complexity and corrosion. They smell the blood of guilt, shame,
Secrets, pride, greed, envy, murder—yes, we’ve all yearned to do it—

And infidelity—we’ve all thought about it, fantasized of what could have been,
Or what might be, and as we gnaw at our own flesh and bone in a cannibalistic,
Seething desire to consume, conquer, take control, we leave the helpless,
The hopeless, the homeless, the hungry, the lost, the innocent and the gullible
In our wake.

We have sucked their souls and bodies dry like spiritual vampires, regardless of the pain and suffering they must endure. It is ourselves we praise, in our inner focus on improvement and domination, it is our body we worship, in the energy and time and money we spend to look attractive, it is our freedom we guard like a vicious animal, and it is their freedom that we prey on with a death grip of a constrictor.

How do you spend your day, deep down, and what to you dream about, secretly yearn for, more than anything else? That, my friend, is where you stand.

ding, dong, there goes my head!

bring a bath drink with you when you come
I have been waiting all day to see you live
are you awake? I am dead to myself but
alive in another dimension. Capiche?

ding, dong, here goes my thread,
ding, dong, there goes my head,
ding, dong, here goes my thread,
ding, dong, there goes my head!

are you watching? listening?
can you feel the wind blow in your head?
there is never enough bread to go around,
wouldn’t you say? that’s what I’m told, anyway.

there is a lot here in my country,
but not everyone shares it.
only a very few have it,
and they don’t share, usually.

some do, but the others don’t care.
they want to keep all their bread to their selves.
is that moral? is that spiritual? is that Christian?
I don’t think so, which leads me to conclude that

we are not a Christian country, not really.
we help people sometimes, but it is very selective,
and only when our own interests are at stake,
whether it be here, or abroad.

ding, dong, here goes my thread,
ding, dong, there goes my head.
ding, dong, here goes my thread,
ding, dong, there goes my head!

what do you think? comment.
let me hear you sing!!!
shout! louder! c’mon, that was not loud.
you can do better than that.

let’s hear it! loud!!!
at least sing with me when I sing, okay!
I will help you, for a while,
but then you have to sing by yourselves, deal?

okay, it goes like this:

ding, dong, here goes my thread.
ding, dong, there goes my head.
ding, dong, here goes my thread.
ding, dong, there goes my head!

well, that wasn’t bad, but
I think you could do better,
if you were motivated by something.
not sure what to motivate you by, though.

God isn’t working for you, right?
well, I don’t blame you.
sometimes, it doesn’t seem like
God even cares about me.

But good things do happen, occassionally, right?
why is that? why do good things happen?
I suppose you have decided that it is all just
a matter of chance, luck, what have you, right?

I don’t think so. I think good things happen
for a reason, just like bad things happen
for a reason. I know that is hard to accept,
especially if you are not “Christian” or some

type of member of an organized religion,
but, really, aren’t you?
aren’t you in some type of group?
don’t you have friends?

don’t you have people around you,
no matter how few, who care about you,
and agree on at least some things?
well, that is the organization part.

so what is your religion?
ha, now, you say, I’ve got you!
I am not religious, you say.
I have no religion in my life, at all!

ah, but you are wrong their, too, my friend.
for if you are alive, you have religion,
even if your religion is a religion that
does not have a label, a category,

or a mission statement.
well, hell, you say. what is that supposed
to mean? okay, let me level with you.
I think a religion is living your life,

according to a truth, some truth,
that you have decided for yourself,
by yourself, that is worth living for,
or dying for. dying for? you say.

I don’t think so, you say,
I’m not willing to die for anything!
ah, but you are not willing to die,
see, there I have you!

and if you are willing to die,
even if you are planning it right now,
I have you there, too.
for you still have decided that something

is true, something is worth doing something
about. you “believe” in something.
you believe in life, or you believe in death,
that, my friend, is your religion.


sting a thing, be a thing, try a thing, fly a thing
do it now, around, into, all over, inside, about
create, connive, diatribe, rant, real self, not fake

truth, personal and espoused, conflicting and connecting
just be, who you are, what you are, when you are, now
be anything, in any place, that self you were meant to be

created, not known except by God, down deep, hidden
is that where we all live on a daily basis, set yourself free
be that part of yourself that is raw, uncut, unspoiled

be you now, be the best that you can be according to
your own needs, feelings, thoughts, interests, goals
be what you want to be, on a page, on a stage, in a room

be it, do it, feel it, find it, search for it if you have to,
research it, connect with it, dig deep down to the bone
really, who are you? where have you been, and where

are you going? right now, tomorrow, next week, not
yesterday or last year or last decade or last anything
who are you today? what is deep down inside of you,

aching to come out? crawling the edges of the chasm
that is your identity, reaching, clawing, gaping, climbing
let it penetrate your consciousness, find out who you are.

you and me and him and them

being here being there all you all me all below all above
we are everywhere we are everything we are you you are me
we are together we are each other we belong here we belong
everywhere we are all connected in God and in each other and
ourselves we were created to live together with each other us

you are beautiful I am beautiful I am dreadful I am scary
we are afraid we are proud we are strong we are weak
we are into everything we are into nothing we don’t care
we aren’t interested we will be better we will lose we will come
back together we will defeat our enemies they will defeat us

we will die we will live we will be here forever we will live in each
other we are a part of the earth the earth is part of us we are
a part of God he is a part of us God cares God is here God is
watching God saw you lose he saw you get hurt he was there
when he said that he was there when you broke up when you
got divorced when he died when she died he was there and he

cared he loves you he loves me we can have hope we can believe
we can care about ourselves we can care about each other we
can be good we can be better we can be the best that we can
be we can be what God wants us to be we can be found we are


Smooth, edging along the chasm
Tripping once, slightly
Then getting a toe caught
Then a cramp

Tipping over the drop,
Wondering, “How deep is it?”
And “How hard will I land,
If I land at all?”

And “How much will it hurt?”
Will I break any bones?”
And maybe “What about my family?”
“They won’t know”
And “What will they do without me?”

Keeping cool, dragging the other toe
Frantically searching for a crevice
A bulge, something to hold on to.

Gravity starts to do its work
On the body,
And dread pulls down the soul.
“Will there be a tomorrow?”

And then a slip, and another
It all happens in a second
Head dips below knees,
Then below the feet

Into nothing,

The desperate fingers catch
On a bit of rock
Along the cliff wall.

The brisk descent
Starts to slow.
Dangling for a moment,
Then the feet catch.

Seized by relief,
Even if temporary,
Darting a glance
To the left, then the right.

How did I get to this place
In my life?
How did I abandon
Everyone and everything
Around and underneath me?

In the end

Cast about by tides and whirpools
Of shouts and screams and echoes,
Deep down inside the heart, mind and soul.

Sounds of seemingly endless suffering,
Bursting forth from this bulging edifice.

Bruises on the body are nothing compared
To the tears and scars left by the raging bull
Of the inner need to connect, to find meaning
In the endless routine and monotony of life.

To find someone who understands,
To find something to do that really means something.

What are we left with,
After our life is shattered by the uncaring stares
Of passers-by and tension of a heated argument?

Is there love left in this little world,
Is there faith and hope
In the greater soul?

Where do we turn
When life grabs us by the neck
And drags us out
Of our sheltered habitat?

Who do we call
When no one seems to care,
No one hears our hints,
And no one sees us in our loneliness?

What do we have when it’s all over,
When the end comes around,
When the clock expires,
And we’re all alone?

And then, are we left?


Bringing you to a place you never went before,
Discovering new thoughts, new identity, new ideas,
Inspiration for a brighter outlook on life.
Finding out who you really are.

So, what do you really believe?
Not your professed faith, doctrine or philosophy,
But day-to-day, how do your actions bear out
What lies beneath the surface?

In the heart, there are doors
That we keep shut, barred, barricaded.
“Nobody’s gonna get in there,” you tell yourself.
But then it happens.

That crisis.
That worst of all days,
That you never thought would ever come.
He or she leaves, or dies, or rejects you.

You lose your job.
You get a divorce.
You lose a big investment–your car, your house, your reputation.
What is left?

Who are you, now?
What is your purpose in life?
Where are you going?
With whom? And why?

It happens to all of us,
Sooner or later.
That day does come.
But when it does come, and it will,

Are you ready to face it?
Are you ready to say,
“I can do it!”
“I still have me.”

Is that something to stand on?
Do you know who you are?
Are you living that out?
Are you following your dreams?

And, if those dreams don’t come true,
Are you ready to give them up
For another dream?


Stand! Feel the gusts blow,
Hard against your naked flesh.

Stand! Feel the wind whip
Your hair, chap your lips,
Cramp your toes.

Stand! Feel the ground grow cold,
The grass dry up.

Stand! Feel your head start to ache,
Your stomach start to rumble,
Your legs start to tremble.

Stand! What are you waiting for?
The horn has sounded!
The cry has gone up from the masses!
The general is at the front, ready to fight!
“Wait until you see the whites of their eyes”,
Then… charge, charge like a soldier
With only fear as your strength,
And dignity as your conviction,
Full of fury, full of death,
Full of no tomorrow,
And fight! Fight like
Satan is your only adversary,
And hell is your battleground.

Darkness sweeps you into its
Cradling arms and whisks you away
In a great storm of deceit.

The real enemy has been discovered!
The man, that has betrayed us all along!
The traitor has been dragged,
Kicking and screaming from his secrets,
Hidden in the farthest cave,
The deadliest land.

This most dangerous man has been named,
The scourge of the wasteland,
The disease in the midst
Of a cause so true,
So crucial, so angelic,
The one who ruins it all,
And that man is you!