Bend Your Knees!

Do you wonder how I feel?

I want to curl up in a ball.

Go to sleep and never wake up,

Except I don’t live in a vacuum.

There are family and friends,

My wife, of course,

At the top of the list.

If I left the state of things

Would be grim, full of sin,

And everything.

You look so thin!

You look so nothing,

So drab, so flat.

You look like you’re losing

All your fat!

You are mine and I am yours.

Made for each other

In heaven, by George.

We’ll go out together

Or maybe you first.

That’s the way you want it,

On earth.

I don’t know what I’d do

With myself.

Wrestle dust balls from the shelf.

There’s much to look forward to

In this life.

But I can’t remember

Any but strife.

There’s much to hope for,

Much to dream,

But all I want to do

Is scream.

We’ll make it.

Don’t you worry.

There’ll be lots of fun and flurry.

We will gather all around.

We won’t stop for any sound.

Come with me to the holy gate.

Promise I won’t be irate.

We’ll enjoy your company.

We’ll be sure to bend our knees,

Jumping off the side of the boat,

In the castle’s shallow moat.

Making Peace

Miles of smiles cramp my style.

I sing because I’m drunk, I say.

Nothing to worry about.

The same old message, coming clean.

The same old, same old everything.

Can you tell I’d rather be there?

Can you see the when and the where?

I care about her much,

All her loved ones and such.

I am just not in synch.

I’m trailing badly. That’s what I think.

If you’ve got a bit of luck,

You can help me get unstuck.

If you think that there is hope

I’ll be gliding down a slope.

I will trust the good God’s keeping.

You won’t catch me if I’m weeping.

I’ll make sure there is a gift.

It’s such a thrill. My face will lift.

We’ll provide a settlement.

Would you like a candy spearmint?

Both Ways

Sharing smothered thoughts,

Restricted feelings abound.

Hesitation rules the imagination,

Hiding from the truth,

Although it tortures me.

Yearning for stability,

Some kind of consistency.

If only I could have it both ways!

So True

Moving towards you, in a roundabout

Sort of way. I feel the weight of my fear.

No, Mom and Dad didn’t tell me how to

Speak confidently, converse about things

Like interests and hobbies, to discuss the

Issues of the day. So, what is important

To you? I want to know, so true.

Ouch

When I turn my eyes in your general

Direction, and rest my gaze on your face

Or body, just for a moment; and in that

Moment, you catch my eye with yours,

Do you wonder what’s going through my

Head, what I’m feeling, why I’m looking?

I wish I knew. But it just happens. Ouch.

Renewed

Thunder crashes,
Lightning flashes,
Mother Nature
Says hello.

In my quiet home,
I sit absolutely still,
And watch
And listen to the rain.

Funny how,
Sometimes,
Life can be so peaceful,
And yet, so full of tension.

We fight against
The coming tide
Of life as usual, that is,
Pain and struggle

To overcome
The challenges
That come before us
On a daily basis,

All the time
We seek to draw
Strength
From deep inside,

From an endless
Flowing river
Of peace
And tranquility.

And yet,
Sometimes,
That river of power
Becomes blocked

By worries,
By doubts,
By discouragement.
It is in those times

Of difficulty,
If we are wise,
We stop and watch,
And listen

To the thunder
Of holiness,
The lightning
Of sacrifice,

And the merciful
Raindrops
Of ever flowing,
Beautiful Grace.

When we do this,
Our hearts,
Our minds,
And our bodies

Become renewed
With a wonderful
Power of light
And blessing.

We can look
Our pain and struggle
In the face again,
And smile.

Renewed

Thunder crashes,
Lightning flashes,
Mother Nature
Says hello.

In my quiet home,
I sit absolutely still,
And watch
And listen to the rain.

Funny how,
Sometimes,
Life can be so peaceful,
And yet, so full of tension.

We fight against
The coming tide
Of life as usual, that is,
Pain and struggle

To overcome
The challenges
That come before us
On a daily basis,

All the time
We seek to draw
Strength
From deep inside,

From an endless
Flowing river
Of peace
And tranquility.

And yet,
Sometimes,
That river of power
Becomes blocked

By worries,
By doubts,
By discouragement.
It is in those times

Of difficulty,
If we are wise,
We stop and watch,
And listen

To the thunder
Of holiness,
The lightning
Of sacrifice,

And the merciful
Raindrops
Of ever flowing,
Beautiful Grace.

When we do this,
Our hearts,
Our minds,
And our bodies

Become renewed
With a wonderful
Power of light
And blessing.

We can look
Our pain and struggle
In the face again,
And smile.

A Religious Background

Well, let me say first off that I do have a long religious background. I was raised in the United Methodist Church in Miami, Florida. The interesting thing is, being raised in this church did not interfere whatsoever in me keeping an open mind and resisting stereotypes and prejudice, as is possibly the case in some places. After all, Miami is a metropolitan city and a virtual melting pot of ethnicities and an international gateway to people from all parts of the world.

Although I was a child, and like a child, I took part in teasing, cruel jokes, and other immaturity typical of children all the way through adolescence and even young adulthood (and some for the rest of their life), I have learned to think for myself on most subjects, simply by intellectualism, reading a wealth and variety of literature, and by meeting a variety of people from all walks of life, all of whom usually dispel any stereotypes I held onto, even if just a little bit in the back of my mind.

I think we all have prejudices and stereotypes. In some ways, it is a survival instinct. We try to separate the “good” from the “bad” and those who are in “our group” from those who are not in “our group”. It gives us a sense of safety and security, even if this sense is mostly a delusion. I think all minorities and groups who are persecuted by society benefit from “circling the wagons”, so to speak, in order to get support from those who are of like minds, hearts, and bodies, and gaining power from being in a group.

Now, I say all this right off because I really think that, although religious groups can do these things, and maybe some of them do, I don’t think they are really any different than any other group in as far as whether or not they are religious. Now that’s not to say that if they are made up of people who are already very prejudiced and stereotypical, that they won’t reflect those traits in their religious group, but the prejudice and stereotypes do not originate from the religion.

Coming from a religious background as I have, I must say I have learned a lot of very good lessons through the church. I’ve learned to care for the hungry, the homeless, disaster victims, those who suffer from the ravages of war, those who are persecuted because of their race, sex, religion, etc. And yes, discrimination does still exist in our world, and in the church, and this problem is mostly due to one thing: reverence for the canon of scripture.

Scripture contains some pretty harsh things said against homosexuals, and even worse, these things have been blown way out of proportion by our culture in America and across the world. Homophobia is rampant everywhere. That is a challenge for today’s society that still must be overcome.

I want to end with the greatest thing that religion, my religion, has taught me. The man, Jesus of Nazareth, was the greatest man that ever lived. Anyone that has any doubts should read the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These four books will give four different, sometimes overlapping, perspectives on who Jesus was, who he claimed to be, and what he means to Christians. I can tell you in short that Christians believe Jesus to be the Prince of Peace, Holy Lamb of God, Son of God, sitting at the Father’s Right Hand in Power and in Truth. Christians believe that in dying on the Cross in complete innocence, Jesus paid the ultimate price for the sins of the world, thus enabling us all to attain everlasting grace and peace. Salvation is something that is hard to comprehend without faith, but basically it is the attainment of forgiveness for guilt and condemnation that we earn by falling short each and every day of what we could be, what we were born to be, what God created us to be. With salvation and God’s grace and forgiveness, we can come a little closer to becoming his vision for our lives.