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.

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Perseverance

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?

Closing In

Crawling under, torn asunder.

Beloved stolen, booming thunder.

Please excuse the mighty cry.

Nothing proven, when you died.

Angels gliding through the air.

I won’t suffer. I don’t care.

Vivid memories closing in.

Wasting away, growing thin.

What’s the difference if I go?

What’s the point of to and fro?

I just want a soothing moment.

I just want a second chance.

Only we can see the answer.

Only you can keep the balance.

Trial Size

Sloping down and then back up, like a speeding truck, I am searching for your love. Transubstantiate, lift then push, then go all out, a mystery solved, doubts soothed, memories calmed, nightmares called what they are. Do you dream at night? I do. I fly through the sky on my back, steering with my feet. Trial size.

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!

Family Friction

Picture of graves decorated with flags at Arli...
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Two of a kind,

One that used to be,

And one that is now.

Time in a flip,

The old are young,

And the young are mature.

 

Then, darkness falls.

A deep depression and

A bit of dementia.

 

I tried to barricade

Myself in a room

In your house,

But it was your room,

Your house.

 

I had become an outsider.

We had grown apart.

The jolly trickster that

Was my grandfather

Had become an unhappy

Old man.

And I had hit a wall,

Fallen into a deep pit.

 

We butted heads

Until we made it home.

To the end, you were true.

And I would not appreciate

Your love and loyalty

For many years, long

Past your time to die.

 

As I sat in the car,

Listening to the 21-gun

Salute, I remembered

The stories you used to

Tell me about the war.

 

And I realized that time

Had taken its toll on a

Wonderful man, a man

That provided for a wife

And family and then

For another generation of

Five grandsons, all of whom

Adored you.

 

I know that despite

Our differences, you look

Down on me from

Heaven…and smile.

Loving

Sometimes people float into

Our lives, and they stay a while.

 

You don’t know how long

They will be there.

 

Sometimes you become friends,

Due to common interests,

Or common experience.

 

And sometimes that friendship

Blooms into something more.

 

Sometimes you really care

About each other,

 

And sometimes, you fall in love.

 

From there, at least for a while,

Things sometimes go nicely,

 

But often, one or the other

Brings the sting of pain

 

Into the relationship.

And from there,

 

The relationship is tested.

Can the love withstand

 

The pain, or is there

Reason to break?

 

Such is the path,

That some tread lightly,

 

And some go through

Full-force, future-be-damned.

 

Either way,

Sometimes love is fickle,

 

And sometimes love

Turns into war.

 

One never knows

What to expect,

 

When one falls in love.

 

 

 

Carry on Tuesday #110

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.