The Forge

The Eternal Smith
Moves hardened hearts
Into the fire
The forge ablaze
By the ignition
Of youth’s bravado
And age’s wisdom
Softened by the heat
And flame of struggle
The community 
Is reshaped 
The Smith strikes blow
Upon blow
Grinds away rough edges
Until a new weapon
A sword that divides
Truth from deception
And righteousness
From desire
To lay bare
The imprisoned heart
Beating faintly
But not yet dead

Soul Food

The taste of sweet encouragement
Lingers in the soul
A friend who serves such hope
Is treasured gold
To set before a loved one
Such rich delightful fare
Is an act of love
And grace beyond compare
So prep the praises
Set the table
Make full and ready
Hope and peace
Tend to details
And the setting
Be a friend
And share love’s feast 

Screw the Talk

I don’t wanna cry no more
I wanna shout
I’m more pissed off
than I am much put out
fighting for what does not give
while sons and daughters cease to live
screw the talk
and your righteous disregard
babies runnin’ free and easy
without hope
daddies praying while they’re
clinging to their rope
but we live strong and ever free
they are them and never we
screw the talk
and the condescending scorn
fear is rising all around
and all about
people huddle closer in
push strangers out
disconnection is their answer
but worry keeps on like a cancer
screw the talk
and the words that sow discord

Stand Up

He said, “Stand up”

After knocking him down

“Boy look me in the eye”

Afraid to make any sound

He knew better than to cry

“You best respect me

And be grateful too

For all I’ve ever done”

The hollow words echoed

In the ears of a beaten son

He watched as siblings

Found their way

With the help of a doting dad

And yet he knew

The times would come

He’d feel the wrath of things gone bad

He then grew into his own one day

And he caught his father’s fist

The anger swelled and broadened

But dad was too weak to resist

The boy now man

Struck a blow

To the man at whose table he sat

The father staggered

And shouted out

“I raised you better than that”

The boy now man

Stood his ground

And said, “You’re reaping what you sowed

You raised me up in fearfulness

But I’d like us to live in hope”

But the father pushed back

And hated this son

For what he showed him to be

He refused to listen

And find a way

For both to live strong and free

The family bonds were fraying

For lack of empathy’s ear

And on bended knee the son would dream

Of a life free of struggle and fear


Why must I bear the shame
Of your hatred and your pride
From birth I share your gender
By DNA my skin is white
But that's the reach of our connection
For you act with such disdain
And yet I live the stigma
Of your torch-lit claim to fame
My answer is to be among
The men whose skin is white
Yet seek to bring the heart of God
To your insipid evil fight
May I be so bold to offer up
The life I think I need to live
And may I find the courage
To regret I have but one to give

Rally Cry

Justice without righteousness
Prosperity over grace
Freedom far too messy
Far too caustic for my taste
Many will rejoice tonight
And rightful toast the day
For freedom is our hallmark
Even as the bindings fray
I pray we’ll find a future
That allows for hope and peace
Guide us on O Great Jehovah
May our angst and strain decrease
Give us love for those who differ
Give us willing ears to hear
Let us not succumb to madness
Let us not live out our fears
For those who follow Jesus
Let us die this day to we
Let us fully give the life we have
So others might be free

Across Town

In the house across town
They sleep uneasy
Love abounds
But food is hard to find
Every day is a struggle
Every dollar is hard won
One step forward
Two steps back and far behind
No complaint makes its way
To the timelines
Never fussing about things
They wish could be
In the homes where life
Is lived abundant
There’s no clue
Of a neighbor barely free

Fires of Fear

Our eyes sting 
From the smoke
From the fires of fear
Stoked by the fuels
Of intention
And injustice
We cannot escape
The acrid vapor
It follows 
As we move
CoverIng our faces
Turning our backs
Only for a moment
The smog of foreboding
Hangs still
All around

We need a fresh wind
Fight fire with fire
The rush of the Spirit
And the clean burning flames
Of Pentecost
Will let us breathe
Come Holy Spirit
Use your Church
To clear the air


What keeps us apart
But our own constructed lines
Construed divisions
Lines painted on the road
No law is written
Yet we stay in our lanes
Never crossing
Never seeing
What life looks like
Over there
We are the makers
And thereby the erasers
Of such imaginary lines
Changing lanes
Sharing the path
Is but a choice
An invitation
A willingness
To travel another’s road
Like towering barriers
The lines hold
We drive on
Moving the same direction
Yet safely in our space
When will we change lanes
Or better yet
Turn highways
Into wide walkways
Where we meander
Without the lines

Anthem of Grace

There is reason to try
And a purpose to work for
As the world all around us
Needs what you bring
For within you is more
Than you might imagine
Artwork to admire
A song we all sing
Together we form
A mosaic of marvel
Together we make
An anthem of grace
Weaving the notes
And painting the pictures
Each one offers something
Each one has a place