Headed Down

Flying in circles,

Spiraling down,

Headed straight

For the barren ground.

Screaming for my god

To save me today.

If only have mercy,

A bit of grace.

I see the red flags

Following me.

Everyone knows

My mind tends to flee.

Can you see the remnant

Of my failing try?

Can you see me fall

From up on high?

I’m headed down

To the barren ground,

To dig me a hole

And never come out.

Advertisements

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.

In the Now

Cringe, post a mark.
Laugh, be a tart.
Run, lift, screeeeam!
You’re on the cake and in the cream!

Do you know the secret
Of doing good business?
Tell the truth,
That’s what I always say.

Wars wage out the window,
Behind us, on the front lawn.
We sleep a soundless sleep,
In the quiet of our bedroom.

Catch a wing,
Flutter to the sky.
Try your best to escape
This broken world, or die.

Get a high from joking
Ruffians smoking dope.
Get a wild hair up with
Nothing to do but cry

For the fun you’ll never have,
The love you’ll never know,
The pleasure you will never,
Ever find in abandoned alleys

Where you spend your waking hours.
Shooting up only brings you down
In the sorry end.
So, which way to turn?

Live to the fullest on the battlefield
Of life. Never give up!
Treasure your dreams,
And follow your heart.

Even if you never achieve
Your goals, it is your dreams
And the yearning of your heart
That let you know for sure

That you are still alive.
For without a dream,
There is no hope,
And without a heart,

There is no passion.
So dream on,
Always knowing
That in the end,

You were completely
Here, and completely
Alive and awake,
In the now.

Sometimes I Freak, Part III

Sometimes I freak when I go to church. When you step into a church somehow you feel like you should be on your best behavior. That’s not really a Godly feeling or sentiment, since I believe that God accepts us exactly as we are, wherever we are, but that is how I was raised. In fact, growing up, my mother was ruthless in spurring me and my brother to get ready and stop goofing around on Sunday morning. What was important was looking good by being on time, behaving well, answering questions intelligently and in a spiritual way—basically, putting on a front. Lord knows my family was falling apart at the seams in every way, with my grandmother passing away, my parents’ separation and eventual divorce, and my mother’s undiagnosed mental illness. All was not well in the Bowman household. And those feelings come back to me today as I step through the doors of a church, any church, even one as positive, inclusive and accepting as mine. I wonder what deviant thoughts people suspect me of (well, actually, I am quite the skeptic), what deviant acts I am guilty of that separate me from other Christians and from God, what rebellion I am in that alienates me from the same. Going to church is something I want to do, but at the same time, I do struggle with these things every time, and it compromises my experience on the whole.

Sometimes I freak when I try to pray. Yes, God and I are not on the best of terms—haven’t been for a long time. In fact, except for when I pray with others—my wife at the dinner table and the occasional attempt at a weekly prayer partnership, my male prayer partner, something I initiated this year as an attempt to get closer to God because of my lack of an intimate relationship, and the occasional prayer with my Sunday School class and with the congregation in the sanctuary—I am not on speaking terms with God. I know after that enumeration of instances it doesn’t sound bad, but I guess I am a perfectionist, and I realize how far I am from any kind of daily routine which would bring me into any kind of genuine intimacy with God. Being alone with God is a frightening experience for me. Feelings of emotional and physical abuse from childhood along with visions of an angry Yahweh of the Old Testament conjure a being to be faced that is not the loving, caring Jesus that spoke to the disciples in the upper room that fateful night and told them that when we see him we have seen the Father, because he and the Father are one. When it’s just me and God (and I have to admit it is always the vengeful Father that I envision in my mind, not the gentle Jesus), I just freeze up. Gone are the soothing thoughts of “come to me ye who are weary, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Instead it is a booming God that stares down at me and demands to know every sin I have committed and has come to punish me for them in some crazy sadistic way that makes me cringe and from which I yearn to escape. Not a great relationship, obviously.

Sometimes I freak when I open the Bible. I’ll admit, it’s intimidating. Yes, there is a lot of wisdom there. Yes, I believe it is divinely inspired. Yes, I believe there is potential for healing, instruction, direction, inspiration, grace, forgiveness—all that. But you know what else there is? God. He is there, waiting, behind those words. For what? I don’t know. But the potential scares me. I have read the entire Bible many times over, and if there is one thing I know for sure, there is power behind those words. And the thought of being overpowered, perhaps in a scary way, is what keeps me from those words. I have been overpowered, many times, in absolute terror, and I have run from figures of authority, figures who were supposed to be trustworthy caretakers, symbols of love and support, that have turned on me like a viper lunging for its prey. Is God like that? My intellect tells me no, but my heart, and my body, are not so sure. After all, if humans, blood, family, can be tyrannical, how much more can God? And there is something else—God is all powerful. Do I want to surrender myself to an all powerful tyrant? Do I want his thoughts to be my thoughts? No, not by a long shot.

truth and treasure

drumming so slowing so coming be something
looking so screaming so crawling so being
drinking so lifting so splitting so changing

coming through something closes in and
then a truth breaks free, breaks in, breaks down
barriers are buried and sticks in the mud

are pulled out. so what’s the truth? is there
such thing as truth? is there anything true?
anything trustworthy? is there anything safe?

anything worth investing our lives in?
is there anything worth living for?
can we trust ourselves to make a sound

and clear judgement? is that possible,
in these times? can we break free of media
bombardment and peer pressure?

what other factors cause us to twist our
values, change our minds, compromise our
priorities? where is your heart?

there is your treasure.