A Needy Place

“On the turning away

From the pale and downtrodden

And the words they say

Which we won’t understand

“Don’t accept that what’s happening

Is just a case of others’ suffering

Or you’ll find that you’re joining in

The turning away…”

—Dave Gilmour, Anthony Moore,

Song by Pink Floyd

I’m on my fourth week of volunteering with the Salvation Army. It’s become abundantly clear that not everyone is cut out for that line of work. Some, who may have begun with idealism, are now burned out. Some want to help, but not become too close with those who are in need. Perhaps they’ve been burned too much also. There are always those who are going to seek to take advantage, those who ask for a little too much, those who are dirty, smelly, or ugly. So, it takes a special kind of person to embrace such as these. It takes a special kind of person to see them as just like oneself, another human being. To treat them with love and respect, not as a problem. Maybe one day I can be that special person. For now, I’m just starting to learn about this place, where two very different worlds meet and dance a beautiful dance together.

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An End

Looking down

Into a hole

Oh,

To drown!

To be released

From daily stress!

To escape the chains

Of all this mess!

To cozy up

To a sharp knife,

Or blow out my brains–

But I couldn’t do that

To my wife,

Or my family and friends.

It all depends

On the foundation

Which I’ve built my life.

No experience

In this nation

Can compare

To the values and strength

Inherent in how I’m made.

Or the sacrifices

Of those who love me

Time and energy,

All the money,

Invested in

Making me free

From this disease.

Yes, so much

It would be a shame

To come to

A premature end.

I must confess,

It’s not likely.

Another Way

Stepping up,

I listen

For your story.

I wait

For a sign

That you are ready

To go with me.

Cringing back

I feel the sting

Of your rejection.

Slowly, now,

I understand.

You don’t want

Another lover.

You just don’t want

To be alone.

So maybe there

Is hope for us

In the end.

Maybe we

Can make it work.

Another day,

Another way.

A letter to my wife

Remember playing cards in your

Apartment, going on long walks together

At night, remember me sleeping all day,

And me blowing up like a balloon,

When I ate tuna casserole? Remember

Me being admitted for suicidal thoughts?

Remember the med changes, the visiting

Hours at the hospital, being mad at me,

Not believing that I would do it, and

Maybe you were right. Remember the

Tears, the arguments, the

Disappointments and heartbreak?

Remember the good times, with family

And friends? Remember the parents in

The hospital, your surgeries, my

Procedures, shock treatment and vocal

Cords? Remember the trips to Shands,

The Sunday school mornings and church

Services, music and children and

Candles and sermons? We’ve been

Through a lot in 21 years. And I wouldn’t

Change a thing, if I could! Love, Bonch

Ho ho ho.

Christ mass time is here oh ho ho ho!

Jingle bells are ringing in my ear.

Can you feel my enthusiasm?

Really, I’m happy about it, but

It is stressful with all the expectations

Of joy and merriment.

Carol all your bells and all that, but

Don’t expect me to join in.

Yeah, I know, it’s the season

Of peace and love, giving and getting,

Snow and fireplaces and hot chocolate.

I can’t wait to celebrate and I’m glad

My shopping is all done.

Now, bring on the cookies and candy!

Stars Smiling

Speed collects beads

Of sweat on the seatbelt

Wrapped around my body.

Likening your smile

To a Star streak across the sky

On a mellow night.

The sun is bright this morning

As it rises above the hills.

See the birds fly

From the trees so frantically.

I bet one of them saw me

When I told you I loved you

In the tree, smiling, ear to ear.

A Miracle

Gliding along the currents of air,

I’m lifted by the light that shines on me.

Love permeates my being,

Like a spear piercing my side.

The nails are hammered through

My ragged wrists. I cry out,

My God, my God, why?

Have you forsaken me?

The dusk descends and they lower

My cross, loosen my body

And carry me to my tomb.

I stand on a mountaintop.

Throw yourself down!

God’s angels will save you.

Turn these stones into bread.

You are hungry. Go ahead.

Freedom! I am set free by God’s hand.

Risen at last and the tombstone

Is rolled away.