The Sad Truth About Lent

Composed 4/2/14
Description: (Day 2 of NaPoWriMo) I tried on a dress a few weeks ago. It’s a nice dress; it looks good on me. But how much better it would look, I thought, if I could drop five, ten pounds! So, naturally, I begin thinking of all the crap I could cut out of my diet which would, of course, make the fat just fall off me! And as the list continued, I realized they were just about all the same things I thought about giving up for lent… but decided against. How lent has a way of exposing our priorities! I wouldn’t give up food for my own GOD, but I would for my pride! Ugh!

I laugh when they ask

Forty days
Without chocolate, french fries, steak?
I shove it off
Tell them
I could never do that

But I’d do it
For a size six dress

Seven in Balance

Composed 1/25/14
Description: I have this friend. He’s pre-law with a biology minor, and, basically, he’s exactly how you’d picture him.  He comes from a town that is mocked for its wealthy populace, and he fits the stereotype. His father is a businessman who’s done well for himself (though, at the cost of missing many of his son’s early years), and they live in a gated community.  It’s therefore not surprising that my friend is wickedly ambitious and more than occasionally pompous in his mannerisms. Don’t get me wrong, he is very intelligent. His great loves are debate, philosophy, and science, and he’s not one to do anything halfheartedly.  He’s also one of the most ethically minded politics-aimed individuals I’ve met. And I’m not just saying that — for sure he’s got the actions to back the title of “dedicated Christian” up.

Therefore, after knowing this logical, science-dedicated dude for sometime it came as a surprise when he began excitedly describing his dear love of Eastern medicine to me. Now, remember, this guy is a biology minor; your assumption would be that he is 100% pro-empirically-supported Western medicine. Not so. If the guy gets a cold he pops some colloidal silver or thyme into his tea. Having trouble sleeping? The guy will invite you to his apartment so he can dab your temples with lavender oil or one of his other 10 varieties of jar-clad medicine. But most surprising to me and my other friends is when he gave us an informational lecture and demonstration about chakras — the “circles” of energy that are located at seven hubs along the human body. 

He described how each chakra had a color and distinct personality trait that could manifest in each of us to varying degrees depending on our personalities and situation. In addition, each chakra had a tone that activated it, and, guess what, there’s an app for that. Since then we’ve spent many-a-night listening to tones, trying to FEEL the chakras in those places along the body, and discussing which one manifested in each of our personalities the most. Of course, the main thing about chakras is that, in order to be healthy, they need to be in balance. Some can get too big, some can get blocked completely, but it is when they are all active and balanced that we receive mental and physical benefits.

Now, if you think my friend has totally lost his mind, you’re wrong. Not only has my friend discussed the evidence he’s witnessed to scientifically support the chakra theory (including his own personal experience with bad childhood asthma and his contact with a legitimate 21st century doctor who specializes in this kind of thing), but he also strongly believes in the spirituality of them. He believes our Christian God has given us these chakras, and we can use them to meditate and become closer to Him. He sees it as a very Christian thing — not something for the typical American Christian to be wary of. And if you have any questions for my friend, don’t hesitate, leave a comment and I’ll get you in contact with him; I’m sure he’d be MORE than happy to discuss his thoughts with you. He’s done more than one informational chakra session with those who have heard about his interest and have asked about it.

Anyway, all of this is to say, ever since I’ve been exposed to this information, I’ve wanted to write a poem about all the chakras and their respective characteristics. (You can look these up; there’s a lot of information online about what characteristic each chakra represents). I did this by using the color for each chakra and making an anagram poem out of it. Even if you don’t buy the chakra thing, I hope you enjoy it.

Whisper the
Hidden truths of the
I AM that
Take us to
Enlightenment

Probe the minds of the
Unsuspecting
Reach out and feel the
Purpose of their steps
Listen and see to
Excite the mind

Burst forth from your
Lips the
Underlying truths that
Excite your heart and must be expressed

Generously love and
Reach out to
Envelop them in your
Embrace
No matter the cost

Yearn and
Electrify those who
Laugh
Let them cower beneath your
Overwhelming strength that
Washes over their doubt

Overwhelm me with your magical
Reckless passion
Adorn me with the sweet
Necessity that are your raw
Great words that fly from your
Ever exposed sleeve

Recognize you are
Expendable and
Defy death

Ease of Creation

Composed 2/19/14
Description: Inspired by wdbwp’s prompt, which says: What say you of creation? How do you see creation? What does it mean to you? Is it something that is the sole domain of bearing life or can we all be said to be creators in our own right?

In just moments
He cupped the darkness in His hands
Twirling His finger just so
That purple galaxies spun into life
And jettisoned into the oil air

Violet streaks themselves spinning
Gave birth to pricks of round
Waxing lights
That whipped into place in endless rotation
Melding blue and red and green

And on a speck of blurring light
A hand swept over
Summoning bark and leaves to
Twist up in glorified mass
From the earth

And with a scoop leftover
He molded limbs and chest and head
Until we were left standing
Upon one crumb
Of creation

And all of it done so
Thoughtfully
So easily

And yet here we are
Struggling to create something
Of meaning
Centuries later still
Ignorantly assembling nut and bolt
Gears, cables, conductors
Failing to see our place
Failing to see that we can only create
What has already been given

All we can give back
Is love

Slaying Monsters

Composed 2/11/14
Description: Something I put together today, and my last entry to AU’s literary arts magazine for this semester. Got to say, I think I’m the most proud of this one.

At six she hid under pillows and sheets
And let out whimpers building to screams
Her mother, with weary tired grace
Arrived to soothe the crying face
She plucked the monster from her door
And stowed him in her sweater drawer

Sixteen brought parties, boys, and fun
And a punch bowl spiked with too much rum
But a monster crawled from the upstairs bed
And grabbed her wrist til it was red
But her other fist was free to crunch
And with his cool he lost his lunch

At twenty six the doctor called
And posted grim pictures on the wall
With heart on sleeve and urgings great
She prayed to God and all His saints
So He swiped the monster from her chest
And allowed her health and blissful rest

Honor

Composed 7/18/13
Description: My response to We Drink Because We’re Poets’ Thursday Poetry Prompt #12: “Honor.” What is honor? In response I recorded a  scenario I’ve imagined many times. It’s short, but, I hope, powerful.

A door beat down
A gasp
A gun
A snarled question
A yes
A shot

The most peaceful way
To die

True Happiness

Composed: 7/15/13
Description: I wrote this in response to We Drink Because We’re Poets’ Prompt “Happiness.” The prompt challenged us to write a poem about what makes us happy; so naturally, I immediately scribbled down perhaps the most depressing verse ever. Ha, but it does get better, I promise!

True happiness?
How can one know?
I’ve rarely seen that thing
The glow
Not here
Not on this stone cold earth
We are doomed to sorrow
The moment of birth

True happiness?
I’ve just seen a gleam
In a mother’s bright eyes
A toddler’s glad scream
And then in a book
That speaks of a man
Who loves me so much
When no one possibly can

True happiness?
No, not here
There’s too much sadness
Shame and fear
But the book is a key
To a skyward bridge
True joy awaits
Just beyond the cloud’s ridge

And that joy I can taste
When the clouds rain down
And the man holds my hand
So I will not drown

Divine Intervention

Composed 4/27/12
Description: While much of this is inspired by an actual walk I had on 4/27/12, most of it is made up; this is simply a scenario I
imagined happening while I was walking back from class one day. The scenario stuck with me so much that I wrote it down. This is the result. After about a year after it was written, this piece had the privilege of being published in Anderson University’s 2013 Spring Literary Arts Magazine.

A boy whizzes past me on a bicycle, close enough for me to be justified in a feeling of rage or the utterance of a curse word. I don’t even flinch.

It’s just a normal day, and I’m heading back to the dorm, just like always. People are walking all around me, and I couldn’t now report to you any of their faces, even the color of their hair. I’m lost in my own world, in my thoughts, which are so incomprehensible and muffled that I could not accurately report them to you. The only thing I’m really aware of is the sun, which is shining brightly, and campus, gorgeous on this spring afternoon. However, even this is more of a matter-of-fact observation than an emotional revelation. It’s like someone just told me about that beauty of the day, like I’m not actually here experiencing it.

It’s hard for me to get out of this fog, this numbness of going through the motions. Even though my classes were interesting, even funny, I still can’t break out of this blah-attitude that I seem to be enwrapped in nowadays.

I stop at the crosswalk and let a few cars pass me. When there’s a gap large enough for me to pass through I step into the road and cross. Crossing the street always feels like a gamble to me. No matter how long I stop to look to see if cars are coming, I always accept the possibility that I missed something, that a car’s going to come barreling at me at eighty miles per hour. My heart rate stays constant today though; even that irrational fear isn’t enough to get me motivated today.

I make it across the street without incident, and this is when I notice I’m actually very cold. I can’t help but roll my eyes. That’s Indiana for you – sunny and gorgeous and somehow still thirty-five degrees. I pull my hoodie closer.

I’ve stopped by this point, and I look down the path. I have two options: I can take the shorter path that curves directly alongside the dorms, or I can take the longer path that lines the road. It’s cold enough I choose the long path, which avoids the shade of the trees, so there’s a slim possibility that it will be warmer.

I am cognizant that this is odd immediately. I never take this sidewalk, and I am a notorious creature of habit. Walking this way feels weird to my body, unnatural.

But I go with it. Hey, I could use a little rebellion. And it was warmer this way.

I have to pass two other dorms to get to mine. As I walk pass the first, I start thinking about this fog I’m in. I really want to get out of it, but I don’t know how. I see all these other people who have all these passions; they know exactly what they love, what they want to do with their lives. Those are things I really lack in my life. I just wish God would give me a sign, throw something at me that I was really passionate about.

I feel myself starting to get back into my mind fog as I pass Ricker, the next dorm. And that’s when the building exploded. Continue reading