Brothers

I never thought we’d come to this place—

You and me on opposing sides, in a race

Against time, against each other, against freedom.

Never thought I’d be fighting a brother in the kingdom.

Sometimes, I get confused about all the issues.

Hold it now, I need a box of tissues.

Life has taught me to be true to those

Close to me, who’d give me the clothes off their back.

Maybe if we try to make this moment count,

Dig in, and give it all we’ve got.

Can you see the light coming at you now?

Don’t leave me here to just fester and rot!

You mean a lot to me, I wish you could

Accept that simple truth as a fact.

Let’s do the right thing, like eating your favorite food.

It feels good, even to be caught in the act.

Everything we learned yesterday doesn’t come

To mean a thing without love.

Every heart we’ve broke just feels like some

Kind of putting our head in a stove.

But you and me, we’ve been around the block.

We know the rules, and the pain, there’s no going back.

It’s not too late to correct yourself.

Just put those lies on the back shelf.

Hear me say, it’s not the same thing

As going on the first date.

Going steady makes me irate.

Take off like a big spring

That’s all I got, so take it or leave it!

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Communion

Sacrifice justice mercy love tribal watch out for

Those who are like you but even more for those

Who are different pluralism diversity freedom

Encouragement communion fellowship blood

And body bread and wine do this as you will

Knowledge

Do I know more now,

Then I did, back then?

What I know now,

Is how little I know.

When I was young,

I thought I knew everything.

I thought there wasn’t much

Left to learn.

How little I knew!

Much less than now,

And yet, the more I know,

The more I realize,

There is so much out there

That I know nothing about!

I have forgotten a lot

Of what I used to know.

But I am wiser, now,

Because now I know

That how much one knows

Doesn’t really matter.

But wisdom is precious,

And comes at a price.

I do not think so much

Of myself anymore.

I am humbled,

And I have suffered

Quite a bit.

Suffering has a way

Of showing a person

What is and who are

Really important.

Family and friends

Shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Love, above all,

Is to be cherished.

Far Away

There are no words

That come to mind,

Seeing things pass by—

Another day is gone.

My sweet is far away.

I hear her voice,

But she won’t stay.

She has other things to do today.

Many moons will rise and fall

Before she comes back to me.

Many lonely days will pass

Until her face I see.

When she returns,

She will find me

Exceedingly happy,

Joyful, thankfully.

Can You Doubt It?

Pools of blood

Gathering beneath

The hanging body.

Breath goes out,

But doesn’t come back in.

Skin separated from the bones.

What is the truth?

They’ve washed their hands

Of any responsibility.

But can they wash away the blood?

Nightmares come

To remind the guilty.

Can you grit your teeth

And bare this torture?

Can you escape the horror?

This man was truly

From God.

Those who witnessed,

Cannot deny it.

Those who saw him later—

Walking, talking…

Breathing, eating—

Cannot shake the image

From their memory.

Restored but still wounded.

Put your finger

In my wrists and in my side.

He is alive!!!

Starting Over

Leave your heart

At the door,

Slammed shut,

With a thud.

Cover your eyes.

I don’t want you to see

How thin I’ve become,

Wasting away,

In loneliness.

And how I’ve hurt

On this special day.

How I wanted to say

Something cute,

Something caring,

Something happy;

But all that came out was,

“That’s nice.”

All I cared about

Was hiding my fear,

Not starting a fight again,

Over something stupid.

I want to start over.

I want to be closer.

I want to embrace your

Wilting body.

Let’s go down

To the river,

To drown our sin,

And come up again,

And bask in the sun.

Let’s hold each other again,

Like we once did,

When God smiled on us,

And we had not

A care in the world!

Tonight (Take My Hand)

Would you take my hand tonight,

And would you take the lead if I asked you to,

For this once it would be prudent,

To follow our feelings for each other,

Yes, it would be best,

To act on our impulses,

Because we are young and soft,

And we will live forever

In each other’s eyes, yes, and

In each other’s arms,

We are invincible.

So take my hand tonight.

A Reflection on Juneteenth

Crimes unimaginable

Sins unfathomable

Wrongs not righted

With an apology,

A soft word,

Or the stroke of a pen.

Pain to the deepest parts

Of the heart and soul,

The very fiber of one’s being,

A wound that doesn’t heal,

But rather cuts deeper

With every smile,

Every handshake,

On every pay day,

Every trip to the grocery store,

Every night at mealtime,

When they look at their children,

When they look at ours.

Privilege continues

Despite the lip service,

Despite the promises,

Amidst the meager gifts,

The dregs of easy charity

From the tatters of a bursting purse,

The guilt trip laid on thick

To the middle class and even

The working poor.

Those that lack for food,

Clothing or shelter,

Living barely day to day,

Not knowing where one’s next

Meal will come from.

And at the church the preacher

Says try harder, pray more,

Save your dollars

So you can send your little ones

To a good college,

Make them study,

Keep them out of trouble,

Tell them you love them,

That you’re proud of them

For that report card.

What do you say

When the white kid

Calls them the n-word?

What do you say

When you don’t have a job

Because you refused

To kiss your supervisor’s butt

When he would talk to you

Like you were nothin’,

Just a cog in his machine,

A disposable, replaceable,

Optional, neglectable,

Insultable, disrespected,

Used, abused, tossed out

To the street

Like so much garbage,

Black man?

Power

Wrong meets right.

The fight is strong.

Laugh, they will.

Cry out, they must.

Shout, at the top of their lungs—

Justice must prevail.

So many innocent lives

Have been crushed by the fist

Of the oppressor!

So many suffer

Because of the greed

And the arrogance

Of the powerful.

The powerful?

Who is powerful?

What is power?

Don’t you know that

The wind has changed course

On this hot, dry day.

The wind! The water!

The earth! The animals!

The birds! The insects!

The trees! Yes, even the trees!

Look at an old oak tree,

And tell me about power!

Look at a rushing stream,

And tell me about power!

Watch a lion kill its prey,

And tell me about power!

Is a gun, power?

In the hands of a six year old, a gun is just as powerful as in the hands of a grown man!

A gun is just a tool.

It’s what you do with a tool

That makes it useful.

It’s what you do with a tool

That makes it powerful.

And when a thousand voices scream,

That’s power!

When the people speak as one,

That’s power!

Don’t be afraid.

Be excited!

Be joyful!

Be glad!

For power has come to the people,

And they will not be denied this moment.

They have prayed,

And they have worked,

And they have suffered

For this moment.

Listen to the wind blow

Through the trees!

Justice has come like a mighty rush of wind,

And anything that’s old, anything that’s weak,

Anything that’s not tied down tight,

Is gonna blow away!

Those old tricks, old ways,

Cowardly words, weak attitudes,

Straw men beware!

The wind of justice has come to blow you…

Away!

Mercy

Alone, but not alone.

God waits behind the curtain–

Or is it I that wait on God?

We wait on each other, then,

In a sort of waltz together,

Taking one step forward,

And one step back,

Rotating in circles,

Never completely meeting.

Oh, how my heart yearns

To connect to the holy one!

Like a child yearns

To be held by its mother,

So I crave the loving arms

Of my Creator.

My prayers of desperation

Fall down into the abyss.

My prostrate body

Aches with loneliness and pain

Of rejection and betrayal.

I must continue

To remain faithful,

But my soul is so weary.

How my enemies mock me,

Lord of All, please,

Be merciful.