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!

Truth in Love

Heavy thoughts

And sinking feelings

Got me caught up

In a sea of sadness.

I wish she knew,

Only a good friend

Tells the truth,

Even when you

Don’t want to hear it,

Even when you

Don’t believe it.

Someone who cares

Doesn’t lie to your face

Just to make you feel good.

It’s hard to be that

Kind of friend,

Because you risk

The friendship.

But if you lie,

There’s no friendship

To lose.

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.

True for You

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Little trigger happy elf,
Sauntering down the road,
Can you tell me
What life is all about?

Pretty dream girl,
Can you tell me of
Sad stories, but true,
Scars to sympathize with you?

Happy baby,
Bouncing on
Your Daddy’s knee,
Can you tell me

What you will see
In this great big world,
Eventually?
I wonder.

We all have stories
That we can tell.
We all know mysteries
That we can share.

We know things,
From insight
And experience,
And, perhaps,

From God.
What is true for you,
May be true for me, too.
But, then again,

Maybe not.
But, perhaps,
That is another truth
In itself.

The Best of Friends

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I know you,
Yes, really know you.
And you know me,
The real me.

You accept me for who am,
As I am,
Inside and out.
We don’t keep secrets.

Tell me what you think,
Exactly what you think.
Be honest.
I value your opinion.

What have you experienced?
Where have you been hurt?
What works for you?
What have you discovered?

I want to hear your story,
Feel your pain,
And your joy.
I want to laugh with you.

So give it to me straight.
I can take it.
Don’t hold back.
Tell me the truth.

I appreciate that you
Feel free to be yourself
Around me.
We don’t have to hide.

We trust each other.
I know that you
Only want the best for me,
And I only want the best for you.

So, let’s go together
Into this big scary world,
Holding hands,
And holding hearts.

A Second Birth

Crawl down
Underneath the ground.
Bury yourself,
But don’t make a sound.

Fury follows you
Into the unknown.
It fries your flesh.
It crushes your bones.

You try to escape,
But there is no turning back.
You must keep going
On this dark path.

Can you see
The pain in my eyes?
Can you feel
The one I despise?

It all comes down
To one simple thing:
Will you forgive?
You must cut this string.

It binds you tight
To your inner fears.
It ties you up
In knots through the years.

Trying to live
With all of this hate
Boiling inside you
Will drive you insane.

Cut it all loose!
Set yourself free!
Run from this place,
And you will feel glee.

You must tear the truth
From all of these lies.
You must face it now,
You must stop the cries

Of the poor
And the needy.
The world never dies,
Degree by degree.

But instead we will sigh
And forget all our hurts,
Our cold isolation,
A second birth.

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.

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.

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.