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Old 02-12-04, 03:47 AM
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Poetry of James, aka Jimmmaaa-If anyone is interested

I am copying Paul/Wayward Clam in putting a bunch of my poems into a collection. All of these poems have been posted here at ADDForums

Noizz

The rhythm pounds
and the beat goes on.
The music plays
night and day.

Afraid to turn the sound
off and be alone with
his thoughts, the beat goes
on.

Sound tranquilizers,
the music sedates any
thoughts or pain inside.
Pump up the volume to
ear shattering heights.

No thoughts, he just listens
to his favorite song,
until the noise numbs
his mind.

The musical drugs
play on until
being without music is
like going into withdrawls.
He's got to have it,
all the time,
in the car,
in the house,
on T.V.,
everywhere.

Afraid of the silence,
the music drones on.
May 1,1990

You, The Gift


The awkwardness of first being together,
the wondering,
waiting
thinking
planning, not knowing
where this will go.

Oh, but the waiting,
the newness of it all.
As a child Christmas morning,
waitng to rush forward;
leaping, wrapping paper flies; ripping, crumpled in a pile.
The gift revealed, a smile in his eyes.

Oh, the gift of you.
Me, enchanted as you unfold.
Watching,
waiting,
rushing forward
to see what I will behold;
ripping the
wrapping
of fears,
apprehensions,
and vulnerability-
oh, but carefully,
so tenderly.

Looking at you, God's gift, my soul squeals
like a little boy in delight.
Pleased with who I see;
I offer you, me.

Written for my then girlfriend, now wife.
*note, it is not about clothes be taken off.
February 29,1990

The War Within

I can seem perfectly fine on the outside,
but the storms rage within.
People ask me how I'm doing; I
cringe on the inside and
say, "Fine," the pat
answer that many want to hear.
What if I was honest?
It's so hard to share the hurts that I
don't even know where to start.
So I just say "Fine" and bleed to death from
a broken heart, a tattered and
torn heart,
a heart that's been battered and
bombed by the sin of this of world.

A war rages within;
I am a victim of the war.
I am a casualty of my
parent's lives,
lives that were broken too.
They passed on the bomb
to me.
LORD, please difuse
the bomb in my heart, before
I am torn apart.

I need Your help to fight the
war; I am weary,
I am weary.
Please fight for me,
for I have no strength left,
only the stenght you give.

Help me to live.

June 5, 1990

The Hurting

The child in me feels rejected. . . . Again.
But I am not being rejected. A nerve
is hit and I feel insecure. I need to
anchor in the ROCK.

The pain is just beneath the surface,
scratch and it will be found.
Tears are ready to gush out, but so
often they are stifled--
stifled out of fear.

I am afraid to hurt. But You say,
"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will stregthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous
right hand."

Father, help me to trust. I don't
want to be so fearful, but I am. Give
me the wisdom and the discernment to know--
to know when the pain in me needs
to be felt.

O LORD, you have searched me and you
know me; I want to trust in you
for my security. I need to rebuild
on your foundation. Tear down
the shakey straw foundation
I am built on. Anchor me
to the Rock, to Jesus.

Give me the stength I need to
let the pain out of its cage.

7-3-90
Isaiah 41:10

The Calming Of My Soul

Sitting by a creek you calm my soul.
An aching in my heart just tears
and screams to get out.
Release my pain from the cage it's
trapped in. Free me from the
stone that surrounds within.

I want to be remade--
into the man you want me to be.
Surround me with your love;
quiet my heart.
Give me the endurance to
do my part--I give you my grief,
help me to grieve so the
hurting will be
relieved.

Blow your winds of change
and growth and love
through.
Windy gusts that blow through me,
tornados of pain are churning
within me.

Give me a new day;
take away my shame. Build my
life into a castle, yours forever.
Tear down the shakey foudations I
am built on.
Rebuild me on the "Stone the
builders rejected."

The water flows , it knows not
where it goes; guide me.
Guide me now, direct the flow
of the pain.
Bring me into your calmer waters.
"We are about to begin."
"Be still and know that I am God."

Written June 5, 1990 beside a creek in Saratoga, California.
There are a whole series of pain poems that I grappled with my past/childhood through

Paralyzed by CLutter

Sometimes I seem to be trapped
by the things I have to do; I am
paralyzed. I don't do anything as the
list grows inside my head. I
feel overwhelmed by many small tasks--
so I do none of them.

Why do I put off doing so many
things. I procrastinate, wishing
unpleasant tasks will go away--
but they won't.

The clutter fills my head and spills
over into my surroundings:
unmade bed, clothers on the floor
papers strewn across my desk.
What a mess!

It breeds a vicious circle of disarray.
My mind is clogged up by chaotic
environment and my environment is a
product of the chaos within
me.

Father, help me untangle the debris
that is within me and around me.
Give me what it takes to think clearly;
help me to clean up the clutter I live in.
You are a God of order; I want to be more
orderly both in and out. I need a place for
everything and everthing in its place.

Take the burden of muddled thinking off my
head, clear the dust out from under
my bed and help me to see clearly what's
hidden among the anarchy of my life.
Release me from the paralasis that has set in--
help me to just begin. . . . . .

July 13,1990
Looking back on this poem I can see how ADD affected me and had been an unknown quantity in my life.

The Winds of Change

I am sleepwalking through many days;
I am on auto-pilot.
I live my life only half conscious-
I start and end my day comatose-
I am only half alive.

Wake me up LORD!
Blow the dust from my brain and
shake the cobwebs from my mind.
Energize my soul! Explode the stone wall
that has been built around my heart and soul.
Blast through my lethargy with your
Dynamite!
Sweep through me like a
Tsunami!
Burst through the dam,
the dam that holds back my creativity.
Creativity with you.
Creativity with work.
Creativity with my family and all the struggles
that try to stifle and strangle me.

A brain-freeze has
frozen me.
A heart-freeze has
afflicted me.
Melt my heart with your funace.
Cut through my thoughts with you “living and active” word.
Crack the stone that is around my heart
with your power.
Blast through the brick wall that
holds me.
Blast Through
BLAST THROUGH!
Blow through my heart and my mind
with the wind of your Spirit.

The Storm is rising.
The Wind is blowing.
The Brain Storm is happening within me.

Carpe Diem.

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the
gift of God….for God not give us a spirit of timidity,
but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

God lay your hands on me
Blow through me.
Blow up my complacency!

2 Timothy 1:6,7
May 29, 2003
I wrote a poem today after years of not writing. It wasn't like I had a mental block, but rather I did not have the desire to write.
The words just flowed and then I touched it up as I put it from paper into a Word document.

The World Falls Apart As We Watch TV

Crashing, they hurry
the bombs burst with fury,
pounding the ground while
no one makes a sound.
The war rages on
from sunset to dawn.

Missiles and maddness
the world's gone
crazy and jumped the train.
Injustice they cry
we have no right to police the
world. What do they
know, only what
they hear or what they are told.

People march right out of the fold
into the propaganda smear
that puts more fire under our fear.
Starvation and death scourge
the lands while the
western world ties to get a tan.

Racism sucks the life
out us as men die in
other lands. "Don't change my lifestyle,"
we cry. We wouldn't want to
ever sacrifce time, money or thouht so
instead we choose to rot--
while the world slowly goes insane.

But we listen to the drummer play
as we slowly sink away.
Entertained to death
we quietly atrophy in our
living room lounge chairs as
the remote control slips out
of our hand.

Who do we believe in this
confusing time?
Most would decline,
but I choose to follow Jesus Christ.
March 1, 1991
__________________

Anguish and Joy

Words spill out easily some days;
other days they are stuck behind a dam
of mental block. Creativity sparks,
then is blown out as quickly as it
came.

Ideas float in my brain, struggling to
jump from metal images to characters on paper.
Sweat, strain , tired fingers-- the desire is
there but the words resist me.
I grapple with the pencil in anguish
as the muscles in my brain
bulge.

But a flicker of hope shines--
one word, then another and another and
another-- words begin to illuminate my
paper.
Joy replaces the despondency
that hung over my
head moments
before.

Write, write, write, and
write some more.
The words will come;
effort, discipline, and perseverance
must shatter the mental
blocks that sap and
drain all desire
to put words
on paper.

Write!

September 11, 1990

As I am embarking on getting back into writing, I need to remember that it will not always be easy and sometimes there will be times of frustration. But hopefully there will be more times of joy and happiness

_____________________________

The next (LONG) poem is about family brokeness, really screwed up kind of brokeness. I will go ahead and post it. I don't know if it is one of best poems poetically but my sister said it describes our lives very well. It is not cheery!

Raised On Brokenness

We were brought up on brokenness.
It started with our parents divorce,
Christmas that year was not very merry;
I remember sitting on the stairs
hearing the fighting, why so much
fighting?

After the divorce came many men.
First their was Gary, the man who used
to live at the end of our street, Elmwood court,
Surprise! He was living with us when Hill and I returned
from a summer in Massachusetts.
I guess he didn't want to go back to his
family after leaving his
prison home.

Gary and mom took us to Lake Tahoe,
I guess Los Gatos wasn't a good place to
live anymore, too many ties to his past.
He was just the first of the men who
stole a piece of my sisters childhood.
From Tahoe, down to Wally's Hot Springs,
What great place for a boy-building and construction
but that was all that was good.

Goodbye mom and Nevada, hello dad
back in California.
Just a minor detail, mom will be
Now living in prison, mom says goodbye
to us as we make our new home in Santa Clara
The brokenness continues as anything
normal is ripped apart,
blown up and
shattered.

A year of the babysitter becoming step-mom
Because a baby is on the way—more
Chaos crashes in our young lives.
Patty who becomes Susan later
and sometime is patty again,
the schizophrenic in
our lives.
Our lives were stolen from us by
broken adults who didn't care
for the treasures God gave them.
Picket fences were broken down.
Patty dearest also had a brother,
Uncle Charlie another burger of a
little girl's childhood—
Hillary suffers some
more.

Jamie doesn't come back from
summer vacation in Massachusetts
and now Hillary is alone
With a schizto step mom
And a nervous-breakdown-dad, and
wicked uncle.
Little Jamie I didn't know that
burglars were stealing from
my sister, perhaps I could have
helped her,
Perhaps.
Maybe.

Now we are separated:
Hillary in California,
Jamie In Massachusetts and
Then James in Florida, no more
Jamie Summers, the bionic woman.
Mom's back on the outside
But needs a new name.
Morgan it is because it's the Witness Protection
game.

Florida is fun for James after
Terrible times in Swansea—
Just a short year of Oasis in
Years of brokenness.
Friendliness and warmth were found
In Pensacola for James
While turmoil and breakdowns
were the beds Hillary slept in.

Some stones are taken from the wall
as Pensacola was not the place that Mom
wanted to be.
A two day cross-country trek
brings James and mom
back to Hillary's backyard,
Campbell.

Mom's man from Massachusetts
And Florida, Harry, takes a plane ride out to
mom and James.
Soon, Hillary is back with mom, James-
And now Harry.
He was more fun than all
rest, hide and seek and other
kids games he did play.
Only yelling was his fault for his
stay.
Harry, guiltily did run away
After he and seductive, schitzo Patty
Did play.

But wasn't that nice Harry had a
Friend, Tommy, that mom could have.
Back from a weekend at Tahoe, now
They were married.
Another nice surprise.

Tommy, the monster, brutally
Inflicts his pain.
He turns our lives upside-down,
Flinging stones, ripping out boards.
Drunkenness
Yelling
Fighting
Beating
Our spirits were crushed and broken
as never before.
Mom was crushed and beaten
as never before.
Broken fish tanks, black eyes,
and the screams-
The sounds still haunt me.

A section of the fence is knocked down
His brutality knocks mom
into the hospital
and Tommy is put into the
County Jail.
He's gone from our lives,
We move on. . . . .

Six months later the monster returns.
Betrayal from our mother,
Should-have-been-protector,
the madness returns.
More drunkenness
Yelling
Anger and
Fighting.

But I stand up, I fight back,
growing towards a young man.
Finally,
Some how,
Some way,
The monster is gone forever!

But the brokenness has already happened
It takes years and years to repair
torn down fences,
many must be completely rebuilt.
But with God's help the
fences can be mended.
He can rebuild us up.
He has rebuilt us, replacing
boards and polishing some stones
on the walls of our lives.
Like Nehemiah, God is rebuilding
torn-down walls and mending the
broken fences of our lives.

Psalm 34:18
Psalm 147:3
Romans 8:28
2 Corinthians 1:3,4
6-12-03

_______________________________-

His Skin

Sometimes the cuffs of shirts feel like
they are strangling his wrists.
Wrinkles in his socks make him
kick and scream.
His feet feel too hot inside his shoes so
he kicks them off.
Hair falls on his neck from a haircut;
the loose hair really stings his skin.

To be under the weight of skin could be
unbearable.
He has Sensory Integration Dysfunction.
Not only touch,
but sound, sight, balance, taste, and movement are
Out
of
whack
for Jack.

6-18-03

I wrote this for my son.
__________________

Problems!

It’s been said that trials should
Be considered “pure joy” when they come.
Problems seem to pounce on me when
I’m not looking.
They prowl around trying to devour me.
I slip and stumble,
they attack.
It should not be this hard. When
will I be problem free,
it should be easier.

That is not true.

To be alive is to have problems.
They are diamonds hidden in coal.
They are sand that becomes a pearl.
With a heartbeat comes trouble.
Trouble, excitement makes the heart
beat faster. Adrenaline rushes
through me as I
juggle
many
many

problems.
Vitality pulses through my veins
as the challenges

tumble
toward
me.

Help me to crack open the troublesome
Oysters.
Guide me through the coalfields to
The garden of diamonds.
Let me see the pearls in life’s problems
I want to “eat problems for breakfast!”
Mature me through all of life’s
toiling so I am complete.
Thank you LORD, for trusting me with
Problems,
The gift of problems.

When the heart stops,
problems end.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

June 26, 2003
__________________

Missing Person

For many years I was a missing person,
the APB had long been stopped,
the search was over.
My heart was hardened,
my eyes were glossed over,
my soul was darkened by neglect.
But you kept calling.

There were moments I heard you,
then I let the wax harden
in my ears. The molten stone turned
to hard rock. I stuffed
down any hint of my heart.
Busyness filled my days as the
wall was filled in around my heart.

You kept calling, though.

I slept, half comatose
on the inside of my life.
My soul shut down.
No heart
No creativity
No soul
The stone wall surrounded all of me,
almost completely.

Almost

But there was a crack that allowed
You to shine through.
You found the missing me within the
hardness of my heart.
You kept calling until I
heard You.

I am alive, You saved me,
You are saving me from the
hardness of life built around me.
Make me burn with fire for You, LORD.
Help me to fan into flame the gift
of life you've give me.
I don't want to waste the life You've given me.
I am not missing anymore, you found me, and
I let you find me.
I am running to you Father.

You would have found me
in the Grand Canyon;
You would have found me
in the jungles of Africa;
You would have found me
in Outer Mongolia or
even on the dark side of the moon.

I was like the one sheep out of the
100 that was lost and you went
after to find..
Many times I was not even as smart as a sheep,
walking into ditches, falling over,
helpless.
Great Shepherd you found your lamb.

I was lost, and now I am found.


Luke 15:4
"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninetynine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
Luke 15:24
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

June 29, 2003
_______________________

Psalm of 1987

As the traffic on the freeway rages on,
so sin wars against my
soul.
The black asphalt is battered by the cars;
I am battered by temptation,
feeling so weak I succumb
to sin.
Free me from the highways
of sin.
O LORD, paint a beautiful landscape for me
to gaze at.
Cover the sky in red and crimson,
splash the sky with the setting
sun.
O LORD, sing me a song with the voices
of birds,
pull me from the depths of sin.
Give me the peace of quiet night,
bathe my heart with your
love.
Selah
Help me, O LORD, to smell the sweet
fragrance of your creation:
like the smell of flowers,
the freshness of a first rain,
the smell of eucalyptus leaves
by the ocean.
Thank you, LORD, for the aroma of life.
Just as wood is compressed into
paper,
compress me into your ways
O God.

Written in the spring of '87 at dusk while sitting
on a catwalk over San Tomas Expressway in Campbell, CA.
This was the first poem that I ever wrote.
__________________

Deep Waters

Water splashes down as
my soul crashes and smashes against
the rocks of contradictions in this life.
Water flows through me as
I’m trying to rewrite the mysteries of my soul.
Varied complexity, the meaning
escapes me.
I try to fashion something that
does not come.
The Mystery is there within me.
burning to get out of me.
Varied and many, my ways
defy me.
Contradictions abound,
surrounding me like sharks that try to
feed on me.
They try to destroy me.
Please restore me and
Help me to ignore myself,
the self that’s so diametrically
opposed to my true self.

You provide the deep waters that run within me.
Your Water saturates the pages of your Word,
Living Springs there for the
drinking.
But I am so often so thirsty,
so very thirsty,
before thinking
I am drinking
Stagnant
rotten,
rancid water,
broken cisterns of water,
Not the Life-Giving water
You provide.
Then I dip the ladle into the well,
throw down a bucket and
you fill me with your streams of living water.
Help me to be rooted in you, growing
deep into Your caverns of water.
Drought will not kill me when
I drink deeply of You.
Built up in Your love,
rooted in you,
LORD, draw me closer.

Jeremiah 2:13
Colossians 2:6, 7
6-16-03
__________________
Paper Weight

Piles of papers overwhelm,
they seem to never end.
Spread all over my desk I am
suffocating.
The maddening reports keep spewing
from the printer and add to my piles
One week
TWo WEeks
THRee WEEks
FOUR WEEKs
FIVE WEEKS
I am getting further behind!

The boredom of it all
saps my energy until
I am completely drained.
I feel a fraud for the work
I do,
any monkey could do it.
Filling space and counting
my days.
Many wasted moments are spent
before this wretched computer screen
computer SCREAM
I need to yell as all vitality is
sucked from me.

Just work, work, work
instead of wasted time
filling the space between
7am



and



4pm.
The day is finally over with barely
anything scratched off my list.
My many lists,
my wasted lists.
Listless, I feel empty after not
making progress at all

Throw away that list and make a new
one for another day
spent here in the gallows
of my work day.
The crush of the reports,
the many tasks left undone,
is horrendous as
Business goes on as usual.
Air pressed out my lungs,
a giant paper weight
squeezing the life out of me
while papers swirl all around
my desk.

June 26, 2003
__________________

rocketships and dragons

The boy sits in his small school desk tapping,
a rolling of all fingers,
a drumming-marching-rolling motion,
in beat to an imaginary army.
He squirms in his chair.
The teacher’s voice drones on as the boy
daydreams to the moon and back,
visions of little Jackie Paper and his pal Puff,
on billowed wings. . . and other fancy stuff
dance in his head . . . .

“Jamie! . . . . .Jamie, Are you listening?”
“What . . . . Yes Mrs. Jones.”
“Oh . . . . the answer is eight. . . . four plus two is
eight.”
“Yes. . . . . I will pay attention next time”

A ratta-tat-tat-tapping again,
a wiggling-jiggling-shaking, his leg’s
in motion as the teachers voice
fades into the sound of the rocket blasting
off. . . . blasting off to a day-dreamy
journey to the moon. . . .


June 30, 2003
__________________
Our Days

My days are many, yours are few.
We come into the world bright eyed.
You forgot time would slip by you.
My days are many, yours are few.
Your skies are grey, my skies shine blue.
Your light now flickers there inside.
My days are many, yours are few.
We come into the world bright eyed.

June 26, 2003
Response Triolet to Maya Angelou's Passing Time
for a poetry challenge contest. This is the first metered poem I have written.

Passing Time
Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk

One paints the beginning
of a certain end.

The other, the end of a
sure beginning.

by Maya Angelou
__________________

Lost


4th of July celebration, flags galore,
people galore,
fireworks are about to begin.
So many people,
so many distractions.
Where’s Jarod,
he’s not on the blanket!

Heart pounding.
Looking, can’t see him.
Oh No!
A flashlight suddenly in my hand
Running,
can’t see him.
Adrenalin rushes
Running
Fear rushes.
Where is he!!
Running
Looking
Scanning with the light.
Panicking.

Where is our little boy!?

Scanning with the light
Running
Frantic
Scared.

There he is!
He’s Running
I catch him.
Thank God!

My heart’s pounding,
He’s crying.
I am hugging him.
Thank God he’s not lost!

July 5, 2003
__________________

Mr. Majanjo

Mr. Majanjo came to visit today and
he wondered why a bull charged his way.
He could not understand the anger he met at the door
the magnitude of it almost knocked him to the floor.

Mr. Majanjo tried to speak some sense to the boy,
but felt like he was tossed to and fro like an old toy.
He tried to reason and tried to care,
but was pierced with arrows of his glare.

Mr. Majanjo raised his voice in fear
the raging boy just yelled in his ear.
He asked the boy if he wanted a hug,
the boy said yes and fell in tears on the rug.

Mr. Majanjo held his son tenderly,
wishing that he could heal his misery.
The rage and fear faded from his son,
But the mystery had only begun.

Mr. Majanjo wondered what this could be,
The mania sweeping over suddenly.
The son’s behavior was not at all logical,
Might it be genetics or environmental?

Malady of the mind, Mr. Majanjo does not know,
He only wants the best, only to see his son grow.
The quest for calming and tranquility,
Will take time, patience, and agility.

Mr. Majanjo held his son today,
He hopes the troubles will wash away.
Right now the mystery is stilled raveled,
there are still roads needing to be traveled.

Mr. Majanjo came to visit today,
And I know that he is here to stay.

July 8, 2003
__________________
Haunted Heart

The trauma of childhood is a haze in the distance.
Something is there but she can’t put
her finger on it; blocked out or forgotten,
she doesn’t know, but it is there, lurking.
The guilt and the dreams are tormenting
her heart. Like a child that’s lost
her Chrismast list—a list she couldn’t even write,
dropped down the drain of unexpressed
love and acceptance, she waits and wonders.

A part of her is lost or disowned, the childhood pain
forgotten,
left behind because it it too
painful.
Gifts unaccepted, the bus door closes
on her young heart.
Eyes seeing but not showing
recognition,
recogintion of the worth,
recognition of the need to be loved.
Indiffernce, less acceptance—
the parent possibly stunted by her own past wounds.

The child is still waiting in the
empty bus station for a new bus to come.
Ride the bus through the childhood memories,
memories that may be scary,
but can bring healing to a haunted heart.

July 21, 2003
Motivated from a posting on ADDFORUMS.com
__________________________________________
Winter

Her old body is not moving like it used to,
she's lost the spring in her step. Winters
seem longer and colder--bone numbing.
The arthritis in her hands makes her
knitting so difficult, so painful. Will she get
the blanket done in time for Sally's birthday?
Will she even finish it at all? One can
only hope.

Since her husband's been gone most days
seem to drag on, bleeding into each other.
Sorrow has a hold on her still, the grief's so heavy.
She wonders if she will ever be happy again--
44 years together, her life's so empty
without him.

It will be three months this Tuesday since
his heart beat its last, faint whisper.

July 22, 2003
__________________
Because Of You

Sitting on Your fallen Redwood tree,
I examine my life.
I’ve come so far
because of You.
Not in the way the world sees success—
it goes deeper than that.

You have changed me from deep
within my soul,
my heart.
You have been building me into
Your Oak of Righteousness.
The ground I am standing on is
steady and secure,
because of You.
The pain has not been wasted,
it has refined me,
because of You.

The dross has been coming to the surface
as You have been purging the impurities
in me.
I have been on Your anvil,
being pounded and shaped,
into what You want to make of
me.
The hilly, rocky ground I was raised on
has been tilled by
You.
You don’t grow an oak quickly,
but it takes many, many
years.

Some years have been full of
water and happiness.
Some have been filled with
sorrow and pain.
Through it all You are my roots,
roots that will anchor me to the
ground.
These roots hold me steady
through any storms
of life.
When the storms of life come, as they will,
Your springs of life will
sustain me.

Your Oak of Righteousness has grown,
and is growing,
because of You.

July 16, 2003
Written while at Richardson Grove Redwood campground.
__________________
Clear the Dust

My attention span is so short;
life distracts me
from looking to You
as I should.
What will it take to keep
my vision clearly focused on You?

Take my attention span and increase it;
remove the distractions that only
blur my vision of You.
I want to seek after You with a fervor.
Jesus, give me the endurance and perseverance
I need to follow You.

“What is more, I consider everything a loss
compared to the surpassing greatness of
knowing Christ Jesus my LORD, for whose sake
I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish,
That I may gain Christ”

O, Father, please help me to live this way.
I want to live in reckless abandon to you.
Give me the courage to trust You—trust you with my whole life.
I want to live dangerously
in Your hands.

Focus my eyes that I see you
in every corner of my life.
Blow the dust from my face and
out of my heart.
I want to love you with all my heart, mind, soul
and with all the strength I have……

Originally Written July 29, 1990/Edited August 1, 2003
Philippians 3:8
__________________
Abundant Life

An empty vessel, a treasure
in a clay jar, I want to know
you and serve you.
Make me more like the man
you want me to be.
I don't want to live one day
without seeking you and following
you.

Purify me; turn my shaky efforts
into treasures of gold. Take
away any pride within,
make my heart burn with your
fire.
Change my brokenness
into your holiness.

I get so excited about this
and that; help me to
live the life I like to talk about.
Put action behind my words,
knowing grace is my reward.
You don't want me to be a
Pharisee, rules and no
heart.
You want me to love and
obey from the
heart.
I want all of me to be an
instrument of righteousness
for you.

Take me and mold me;
build me; break me;
discipline my life.
You never told me following you
would be easy--just the best.

Abundant life you offer, but
so often I decline and choose
to live a half-dead life.
Be my Shepheard; I want to
"have life, and have it to the full.

Show me how to live
abundantly; I want to
follow your plan and way.

So here's to today:
that I may follow you and not
look away.

I love you, Father.

2 Corinthians 4:7
John 10:10
August 17,1990
_________________________
Pool of Complacency--The Disciple's Struggle

Sometimes I sit in a pool
of mediocrity--stagnating
like old water.
My eyes gloss over with a
spiritual sleepiness.
Why do I become slack--my flesh
resists you Father?

Help me to stir up myself;
I desire to pant after you as
the deer pants for water. Help me
flee the complacency that
rots my soul; I want to burn with
a passion for you, God.

Keep me from settling for the mediocre;
pull me out of my pond of complacency;
it slowly sucks me under while I drift off,
deeper in a sluggish sleep.

Revive me O LORD. Rekindle my
flame for you. Help to seek you
early in the morning; help me
to watch for you late in the watches of
the night.

Make me into your disciple.
"If anyone would come after me, he must
deny himself and take up his cross daily and
follow me."
I tire so easily; please give the strength I
need to follow you, Jesus.
I don't want to tire and drop on the side
of the road.
Help me to keep running the race.

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but
only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last; we do it get a crown
that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running
aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my
body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself
will not be disqualified for the prize."

Psalm 42:1
Luke 9:23
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
May 11,1991
__________________
My Journals

My journals are a door to what I am thinking
and what I am feeling.
I start writing out my prayer and
off my pen goes.
The words pour out of me,
words I didn't know I had inside.
As my pen travels across the paper,
my thoughts become clear,
my emotions crystallize for me.

"How do I know what I think
until I see what I say?"
Was once said by a great writer-
that sums it up for me.
I work out what's been
working in me.

Journals of many types fill up
a drawer in my dresser.
Years and years of precious
gems of my thoughts- my laboring
my joys, my prayers-I treasure them
more than gold or silver.
Some journals are cheap spiral bound
notebooks that can be found at any drugstore.
Others are hard bound books that seem more
honorable and elegant,
but they are not.
They are all the same
in style and manner,
just a different covering.

My journals are some
of my most valued possessions.
It takes effort-sometimes almost sweat and blood,
toiling and tears-to write in my journal at times.
But it is all worth it, bringing my
words, thoughts and emotions-that I often
don't even know how to express any other way-
I give them to God and he
illuminates my mind and heart
and "makes my paths straight."

Philippians 2:12, 13
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Proverbs 3:5,6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

August 5, 2003
__________________
Completion

Going through my days I have said
these things hundreds of times
or more;
resolutions made,
yet unkept.

Saying goodbye to
No more:
No more,
wasted days;
No more,
forgotten promises
to lose weight;
No more,
hollow commitments to finish
tasks left undone;
No more,
shaky vows to get
organized;
No more,
weak-willed
yearnings to be
a better person;
No more,
half-hearted, half whispered,
prayers to change.

Resoluteness of will to bring
about the impossible goals,
climbing the mountains in my life,
to soar on the heights, to be like a
fleet footed deer.
He enables me to ascend the heights,
despite my weak will power.
In spite of my own short comings
regardless of my past failures,
He will finish in me,
what He started.

No more saying goodbye to
what I can not change
by my weak self,
filled with contradictions.

He will finish in me, what He started.

Habakkuk 3:19
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
August 11, 2003
__________________

Oak of Righteousness

Just as you grow trees on rocky
hillsides, so you grow me; I
was built on rocky and hilly
ground.
Grow me into your man--
strong, sturdy, and holy.
Help me to be rooted deeply in you
and your word--
like an oak tree.
Give me the strength to withstand
the winds of the world.
Father, give me the perseverance to
flourish in the dry times,
seeking your living water.

Grow me into Your man; grow
me in the rocky places of
my life.
Make joy well up in me
like a natural spring,
overflowing to all around me.
Nourish me with Your water;
water me with your love.

Give me the patience it takes
to grow,
for You do not grow an Oak tree
overnight.
They take years to grow,
but when they reach maturity
they are the sturdiest of
trees.
Grow me into Your Oak, Father.

". . . .They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD for the display of his
splendor."


June 16, 1990
Isaiah 61:3
__________________
The Sovereignty of God

Shattered dreams in a pile, I
stand before YOU. I feel
sad, angry, jilted and other
feelings words won't express.
I know YOU are control, yet
I find myself worrying and whatifing
until I am a ball of emotion.

Intensity of emotions overwhelmes
me--I need your
peace.
Help me, Father, to trust that You are
in control when I
feel so
lost
and out
of
contol of my
feelings
that
fall
on
me
like
bricks.

Restore the order in my life.
Take the pain in me and use it
to mold me and build me
into your Beautiful creation.

I can't place my security in people, in
a girl--
build my foudation on You.
You've been there to
clean up the hurrricanes that
blow through my life--
calm the storm that rages within my
heart now.

Help me to experience the pain and
keep Dancin' . . . . . Dancin'
in Joy
for You!

August 30, 1990
__________________
Seasons of Verse

Walk in rhyming rains.
Your writing wakes upon
countless strands of lines floating
through shades of verse, written across
restful turns of Winter.
Spot your rhymes anew,
as blades of poetry grow in Spring.

Before the Summer Solstice
new poems sprout forth from your soil.
Summer comes and more poems blaze
out from the heat within you. The trees change,
but the lines don’t languish,
falling down onto the paper as the
colorful leaves touch the ground.

August 22, 2003
__________________
Karaoke Time

You still have some more time
to come and bust a rhyme.
Mabye you like Neil Diamond,
or maybe even some Paul Simon.
If you like Brittney Spears,
We will lend you our ears.
Even if you sing off key
you can enjoy the revervie.
What, you say you like the tunes of Broadway?
You can be like Sinatra, and sing "I did it my way"
Don't you worry about looking like a fool
I've already done that, I made the rule.

August 20, 2003
__________________

Treasure Deep Within

Writer’s block, words are stuck inside.
The ink well is dry, my bran’s fried.
Mental images go untried.
The words have died, the words have died.

Hidden talent, hidden treasure.
Words flow out, measure for measure.
Deep within, poetic texture.
Write with pleasure, write with pleasure.

August 25, 2003
__________________
__________________
-James

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
~Calvin Coolidge

“Never, never, never, never give up. “~Winston Churchill
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Summer Dunking Tank
Come on down and dunk Melissa Crocker,
You don’t even need to be off your rocker.
All you need to bring is 2 single bills,
Then you can see if the tank water spills.
Come on down and you get the job done,
Start dunking her, it starts off at one.

Next in the tank is Kim Clingman,
She makes sure your phone keeps ringin’
Command those thee fast balls her way,
I’m sure you will just make her day.
It’s more fun than a double bidie,
Bring $2 Smackeroos at One Thirty.

Sheri, our Communications Lead,
You can talk to her with the balls speed.
She’s a big fan of all sorts of dragons,
Go show her another kind of welcome wagon.
You know what to do,
Go dunk her at Two.

Next for dunking is a Lead named Tiffany,
You better hurry up and have an epiphany.
Divine leading or needing to see her splash,
Get yourself down there and spend some hard earned cash.
You might be thinking I’m getting a bit wordy,
That’s OK, just show up at the tank at Two Thirty.

Next to walk the plank is Sandy Hayes,
Drop her in, while she’s catching some rays.
Third supervisor to drop into the drink,
Stop and by and let her know what you think.
It’s great fun, I am sure you will agree,
So buy some balls, she’s going in at Three.

Michael and Ken are making a rare guest appearance,
Keep checking so they don’t run interrferance.
Those Cowboy fans may try to make s dash,
Before you ever get a chance to spend your cash.
They may be to the tank anytime now,
So try checking your sources, somehow.

The one lone brave manager, Mary Chung,
Is about to be sitting on the top rung.
Waiting for her chance to take a dip,
Throw some balls at a pretty fast clip.
Heave them balls fast, later give an insaity plea,
What am I talking about? She’s at half past Three?

Gayle may have lost her nerve,
Janet Wilson has fielded the curve.
With a moments notice she steps out into the gap,
Janet's ready to plunge into the watery trap.
All the dunk tank players, what a potpouri!
Nonsense and gibberish, drop her at half past Three.


Larry Leeper, our morning sleeper,
Is now in the tank, it getting cheaper.
No, it’s stil 3 for $2
Show him what you can do,
The Tank is almost through.

August 25, 2003
__________________

Anchor Of My Soul

Father, I have had a hard time breaking
through the surface to meet with you.
Busyness has crowded the hours of
my days.
Deadlines scream out at me, drowning
out Your still, quiet voice. Tasks
have been crowding my days,
crowding You out.
I have not broken through to You
because of tiredness.
Being tired has made we want
to do nothing; cracking open my Bible
or my journal to pray does not take
much effort. But when I am tired,
it seems like running a race,
a Marathon.

It is really only like breaking through
a wall of tissue paper.
The tired and busy times make
the tissue feel like brick,
and I am immobilize,
stuck in cement.

LORD, blow your winds of change
through me; help me to live
a life of growth and contemplation,
instead of complacency and stagnation.
Help me to break through the excuses
and meet with You each day.
Help me to break through the surface,
like a submarine diving down to the depths
quickly.
I want to plunge down,
like a submarine that’s been in port,
going into the depth with
You.

I don’t want to be swimming in the
superficial, shallow water of life.
I want to break the surface.
submerging down into Your depths,
Your deep waters of grace and love.
I can break through the waters by
showing up,
by breaking open my Bible and journal,
drinking deeply from Your Word,
I can sink my anchor to deeper depths
with You, Jesus,
the anchor of my soul.

Hebrews 6:19-20
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.
August 31, 2003
__________________
Why
Why do I write?
Do I pick up my pen for my neighbor
hoping he likes my verse?
Do I want to be famous
then I can brag?
Am I an egomaniac, only wanting to see
my name in print?
Maybe a book will be published—
I could have a publisher!

No, there must be some other reason.
There has to be more to it than that.
I write because the words need to come out.
The writing comes out of me and I see what I think.
Stirring deep within me there's a yearning,
a focusing of my thoughts, a process to clarify
the churning inside.

I can't write to please my mother, my father, my sister.
The words are in me;
I need to be true to who I am.
I need to be true to the One who made me.
He stirs me up inside,
His Word cuts though me
like a sword, a double-edge sword.
Ripping through me sometimes--
dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow--
changing me from the inside out and
demolishing false assumptions.
He's smashing empty, hollow dreams
as the ink flows from my pen to the paper.

When I write I get a deep satisfaction,
A joy that comes no other way.
To squelch that, as I sometimes have,
It debilitates me; I feel crushed,
unfulfilled

So I will write.
I will keep writing
learning who I am;
I won't stop until nothing's
left in me.

September 4, 2003
Hebrew 4:12
__________________

Did Shakespeare Ever Play Football?

To be, or not to be, that’s the question.
No one broke a green chair at this year’s draft.
Serious draft or just a bull session,
Who’s the first person to need a life raft?
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
No way! Smells like old beer, farts and cigars.
Shh, quiet, I pick next. I need to pray.
Tell me, do the Texans have any stars?
Tenth year of the Big Guy Fantasy League,
Only one guy found a magazine rack.
Must be getting football battle fatigue,
Or we might be way off the beaten track.

Internet stats and websites changed us all.
We’ve come far since Matt’s paper updates,
And Thursday night’s roster change up phone call.
What’s next, our draft run by Mr. Bill Gates?
Friends, food and fellowship all around football.
I’m in this with you guys, for the long haul.

September 8, 2003
__________________

Words
Written words can hit hard, like a kick to stomach,
knocking the wind out of me.
The weight of their meaning flattens me.
The words explode off the page,
dynamite shattering the heart
into a million pieces.
Other times they refresh as a breeze
blowing through on an August day.
The words are cool water in a dry gulch.

Your Words are even more powerful
than all the books ever written.
They cut to the bone, undoing me.
They divide within, changing attitudes,
cutting out gangrene thoughts.
Your Commands, God, purify and protect,
renewing all that is on the inside of the soul.
Freedom comes as the Words in your Bible
set the captives free from tyranny in their hearts.
The Precepts in your great book are more valuable
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
You light my way with your Words,
guiding down all of life’s winding, rocky paths.

They bring hope where there’s despair;
They bring light where there’s darkness;
They bring life where there’s death.
“In the beginning the was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”

God, open my eyes
so my heart hears your Words.

Hebrews 4:12
Psalm 119
John 1:1
September 8, 2003
__________________

Dish Routine

I stand at the sink, alone in my thoughts,
as I scrub the dishes clean.
An exercise in rote repetition,
I load the dishwasher most nights.
As no other area in my life,
there is a place for everything--
each dish, each plate, each sippy cup,
each glass, each bowl, each pot, each pan
and all forks, knives and spoons—everything
has its place.

The sound of the watering running commingles
with my wife’s cheerful voice reading bedtime stories.
The mix of sounds is occasionally punctuated by Stripey,
our parakeet—he talks to the water,
as if its another bird chirping to him.
I am asked for water, snacks or walk-ups to bed
for bedtime prayers, in the midst of this dish routine.
Life is good, from where I stand,
dish scrubber in hand.

September 10, 2003
__________________

So Easily Distracted
Father I feel myself slipping
away from you, but its
slow. I want to be close
to you, as a baby is to its
mothers breast. I need you.
I need to seek nourishment
from you; I need to seek
you with all of my heart
because you tell me"When you
seek you will find me when you
seek me with all of your heart.'

I don't want to be far from you, Father.
Help me to draw near you.
My attention has been caught by
other things, and people. I know you
want me to come to you first, not
second, third, fourth or last.
Why am I as I am? I get so easily distracted--
I turn my head for a minute, like a dog chasing
a bird, and my focus on you is gone.

O Father, I don't want to be this way;
draw my attention, I want to sit at your
feet and listen to you.
Clear my cloudy vision, blow away the
fog. I need to cut to the quick, and run
to your throne.

Father, I need you, and you alone.


July 19,1990
Jeremiah 29:13
__________________

Beneath The Surface
On the surface it was a regular day at work.
But there was so much bubbling beneath
The surface, a slow boil sometimes simmering to the surface.
I felt a sense angst and sadness within me that wanted to scream
Out, but I had a quietness instead—unknowing how to
Even attempt to express feelings confused inside.

It has been 2 years since the towers fell,
But there's a huge lingering sadness, pain and anger.

200 children read the names of their loved ones
yesterday at Ground Zero.
Stolen away, they will never get to say or hear
“I love you”
A piece of their lives disintegrated,
like the ash and dust of the buildings.
The dust is still settling,
still blowing through our collective hearts

Words can’t even come close to capturing
the wellspring of emotion—the wounds deep in a nations’
subconscious, running deep like fault lines, splintering
through this great nation.
At any moment the tectonic plates of pain
could move causing quaking of emotion
to shake out of us,
rattling us to the core.

Why do things like this happen?
“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.”
He swallowed over 3000 September 11, 2001.
But he did not swallow the soul,
the heart of this great people.

We’re a people founded on the Rock of God.
The foundation of this nation is secure.
When the earth rumbles and shakes, again,
as it will,
in the end we will stand.

September 12, 2003
1 Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.


__________________

Daring Adventure
"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing at all."-Helen Keller

Daring Adventure

Some would like to have life all neat and tidy
wrapped up with a bow.
I don't want to live like that,
even if it means life is messy,
full of intensity and adventure.
Even if life is tossing me to and fro
like on a stormy sea.
I rather paddle hard through the breakers
than float calmly in the placid pond.
The quiet waters make one drift off to sleep
as the stagnancy slowly creeps within.

Why live a quiet life when you can live
tipped-toed stretching and reaching, at break neck speed,
taking the corners fast instead of slow?
Life lived like this can sometimes be painful
and scary but that's alright too, because with the depths
of pain comes greater joy.
I want to feel more, live more, love more, and cry more.
I want it all!

I don't want to live life half dead, comatose, a dead man walking.
I want my life to be a dancing, running, jumping, skipping
exciting adventure where I don't know what's around the next bend.
I don't want to count my days but I want to make each one of them
count.
I want to suck the marrow out of life and drive it into the corner
like
Thoreau once said.

Things will be better white water raft rafting,
just missing the rocks while going
through the strong currents of passion.
Bring on the excitement and unpredictability
and leave the dead-end boredom behind.

Living with Jesus at the helm will be a
an exhilarating trip through white water rapids.
He takes me through the swelling white caps,
guiding my heart, while I hang on for a wild ride.

I want to live an abundant life with Jesus as
my constant guide.

John 10:10
"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
John 7:38
Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of
anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says."
September 22, 2003
__________________
Falling Leaves

I watch my kids chasing the leaves
falling from the tress in the park.
Only in a child can such joy be found
in catching a leaf on its trip to the ground.
Laughing and running all about,
they are oblivious to all around them.

Looking back to my days as a boy I remember
playing in an orchard near my house.
One day I found some water pouring out of the ground
in a gully near the railroad tracks.
I dug and dug and dug, looking for source of that water.
I never found it, but went home and was
reprimanded and sent straight to the bath,
that lark was over.

How do we let our brightness dim,
as we move from childhood to being a grown up?
The simple pleasures in life can now be so elusive.
The pressures and responsibilities pile up and
can snuff out the light in your eyes, if you allow it.
As the leaves are changing colors and a new
season arrives it gives us time to reflect and
assess the hodgepodge of Autumn’s endings.
Summer is behind us, along with vacations already taken.
Schedules are changing and with that
can come some rearranging of focus and priorities.

See you later,
I’m going to catch some leaves.

September 25, 2003


__________________


Written Fall of 1990

Put Me To Sleep

You have a plan for me
that is totally unique and
special. Show me my
real self; help me to blossom
into your wonderful creature.

She's gone; you have different
plans for each of us.
Divide me from her in my mind;
build me up in you.

Father, I praise you for
what you did in my life
through her, and I praise
you even more for what you
will do without her.

Continue to heal my wounds;
help me to stop ripping them
open again.
It's over and I need
to only hope in you and what you
are going to do in me--just me on
my own.

Help me to press on and forget what
lies behind. I can only live in the present,
not the past or the future.

You are all I need.

Protect me from dwelling on
the past. It's time to move on and
rejoice in you, God.
You've carried me every step of
this dark way; I know you will keep
carrying me when I am weak.

She's not the one for me.

Put me asleep in you, Father;
keep my eyes focused on you.
Take out my rib;
put to sleep so you can prepare
my Eve.

"They that wait upon the LORD
shall renew their strength,"

October 17,1990
Isaiah 40:31


__________________

Hunting Time (Perpetual Motion Rewritten)

I am frozen.
Here I sit in front of the computer
not really doing anything of significance
Going from web site to web site, then
back to email, then back to web sites, counting down the minutes
until it is over, the day that is.

The fraud feeling sweeps over me.
What I am doing?
I am stuck on this treadmill.
Looking like I am busy too those passing by me
It is only a façade when all the true work I have
done today happened hours ago—Before break, before lunch and
before I was stuck to my seat, fingers working the mouse and
pounding the keyboard.

How ironic. Someone just walked by and asks me,
“Working hard?” and I just stammer out.
“Yeah, I am trying to, well not really,”
as I scramble between the many windows
that I have open.
She says, “well it looks like you’re working hard.”
The keyboard is making noise, so I must be working.
Not really.

What happens if the façade crumbles?
What happens if I am discovered to be a fraud?
I am a functional fraud, seeming to be working, but
Not really getting much done.
Maybe I am not a fraud but conflicted inside.
Everyone seems to love me and I get good reviews,
but I don’t like how I feel inside when I am on the hamster wheel,
running through the Habitrail of perpetual motion of conflict inside,
not really doing much at all.
Minutes turn to hours, and I am still frozen within this
many faceted turmoil.
Sometimes there is the feeling of being in quicksand,
slowly being pulled into a sink hole of undone
tasks and obligations. There is difficulty managing my time
in the valley of slowness and boredom


I am creative, yet often so lazy, unmotivated.
I am colorful, yet so many times bland.
I am enthusiastic, and then not much later almost depressed.
Back and forth, it drives me crazy at times. So many conflicting
qualities at juxtaposition with each other.

Maybe I’m not so much a fraud,
could be that this is the way I work.
Waiting for the challenge of deadlines and adrenalin,
waiting in the wings for the hunt to begin.
When will the hunt begin?
Do I need to make the hunt?
Make the spear, sharpen the tip, and track down
my potential prey of projects.
Survey the terrain and track my tasks,
I must begin the hunt each day
searching my target with anticipation, waiting, striving to
pounce.

Will the real me please stand up?
It’s time to start the expedition.

"Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing."
~Thomas Edison

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elemental truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance which no man or woman would have dreamed could have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic to it.
Begin it now."
~Goethe
October 7, 2003
__________________


Glory Days

As I approach my 36th birthday I have been looking
back a lot on the past.
My high school years were almost half a lifetime ago.
Many different memories commingle in my mind,
some bring smiles and some bring back pain.
The overarching desire in high school was wanting to belong.

The first half of high school was marked with the desperate
need to fit in and have more friends than I did.
Many days were spent wandering around campus between
acquaintances that I barely knew.
Lunch could be so long on some days,
just longing to be with people,
dying to be known.

The last 2 years of high years were filled with friends and fun.
I had my wild fun days with work friends from Togos.
We work and then experiment with drinking that kept
us busy most weekends.
Senior I had more friends at school because
of Young Life, fun events, being known on campus—
being looked up to by my younger sister’s friends.

As I look back on my graduation from High School
I think of the Grad Night after graduation.
I had one more Last Hurrah spending all night at my school.
I wandered from event to event , person to person,
trying to soak up those last moments of that time in my life.
As the night came to close, I remember lingering,
not really wanting to go home,
not wanting high school to end.

What waited for me after High School?
I didn’t know. I know every kid,
and every adult for that matter,
wants to belong. The Cheers theme
plays in my mind looking back:
“You want to go where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came.”

I thought back then that I would always have those friends.
Today I keep in touch with less than 5 of them.
Then I had the general feeling that those were the Glory Days
like Bruce Springsteen sings of.
That is not true.

There have been the bounties of friendship
and the valleys of loneliness along the way
God has brought new friends into my life as others left,
and brought me my wife, my life’s best friend.
There have been greater joys and sadder sorrows;
there have been greater heights and deeper pains and trials.
Through it all God has been guiding my steps, and bringing
me to the next place in my journey.
God has given me my greatest sense of belonging
through it all.

The next half a lifetime from now I will look
back and see that God met me each step of the way.
He will bring me many more “Glory Days” to come,
and give me hope in my future

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD , "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

October 6, 2003
_________________

Sticky Fingers

Toast stacked four slices deep rests on the plate
and four more are lying in the toaster,
waiting their turn to be a tasty snack.
The golden bread is gobbled down
by the three kids hunched over the table
for their afternoon snack.
Their lips and fingers are brown and sticky,
crusts are spilling off their plates.
"Dad is there any more for me?"
"Just a minute Buddy, I need to put on the cinnamon."
The sweet smell of toast fills the kitchen as I try to
keep up with the requests of these little
eating machines in our cinnamon house.

October 9, 2003
__________________

I was looking on our old computer and found a poem that I did not know I had that I wrote in the fall of 1999! I love finding poems that were lost!


Light the Fire Again

I have not written a poem since the fall of ’94.
Since then I’ve been falling.
Since then I’ve been in a stupor,
a fog, my mind and heart have been numb, cold, hardened,
blinders have been on the eyes of my heart.

Breaking through, God has caught my attention
again. Slowly but surely.
You have been tugging at my heart.

I want to listen

I want to change.

I want to be renewed.

For several years I have been floating—
sinking down into the pool of complacency
that I so hated and didn’t want to happen to me.
I am drowning in the mire and muck of mediocrity.
Writing feels uncomfortable, awkward,
when once the words flowed from daily.
They poured out of me like springs;
they came readily
in poems
journal entries,
and songs. . . .

Then they stopped!

My heart was walled up,
callused over, unexamined,
I was on auto-pilot.
Like a train moving down the track,
but no engineer driving.
Stuck in the ruts of the track,
the train kept moving, but sliding backward
as in perpetual motion.
The flame in my heart dwindled because
I did not allow it to be tended to by the Magnificent Engineer of Life.
The coals of my passion were
stuffed out by neglect,
by busyness,
by noise that blared LOUDER than
Jesus whispered.
Filled with newspapers, computers, and business
the embers in my heat almost completely died.

But Jesus lit the spark,
You are stoking the coals of passion,
rekindling the heart that was half dead.

Jesus blow your fire of passion
through my soul
Fan the flame,
light the fire that once burned bright in me.

Father, burn brightly in me. . . again.

Amen

2 Timothy 1:6-7
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Originally Written October 22, 1999
Edited November 14, 2003
__________________

Chocolate Milk
Feeding the obsessions
we need chocolate milk.
All three kids in their jammies,
we make a trip to the store.
Feeding the obsessions,
we need to get our sleep.
Milk mixed with Nestles
Chocolate powder, we prevent
the powder kegs from exploding.

Peace and obsessions,
there are three kids in the cart with
lots of milk for 2 days to come.
Only would a dad on his own
load three kids in jammies into the minivan
for a desperation trip to Safeway to
keep the peace.

October 20, 2003


__________________

Empty Canvas

The blank canvas sits before me
beckoning the brush to paint vibrant colors.
Bright crimson and yellow lay on the pallet.
Brush away the dust so the paint can be spread.
Clear the cobwebs out so the picture moves
from the mind, through the hands and to the canvas.

Something holds me back as the paint
begins to dry on the pallet.
Must mix the oils again.
The pain within me holds back
the colors that want to scream out.
What will bring forth all the color of my life
as I sit paralyzed with the paint brush in hand.

Underneath the surface of my psyche
the colors of my past swirl together until
there is a darkness that I can’t bear to bring out of me.
I can’t handle the pain right now
so I bottle up it up some more until I’m
ready to let it pour out of me.

The pallet is cleaned off
and the canvas put away,
the brushes are still clean.
All that is left is an empty easel
waiting for the canvas of pain and
the brush of restoration to paint
the darkness out of my soul.

October 20, 2003


__________________

Little Ox

2 tons of weight is pressing down on me;
boulders have fallen down the mountains
and they are pressing the life out of me.
I can’t breath, I am suffocating under the pressure.
I am like an ox pulling a heaving load,
the weight of the yoke is pressing into my skin.

But you say that your yoke is easy.
I must have forgotten that
still dragging the boulders behind me.
I am weary and burdened,
and You are calling to those like me.
It’s so contrary to my natural way.
“I can muddle through, I can pull myself
up by my bootstraps.”
All the while you are whispering to me:
“Let me help you, I will give you rest for your soul.”

I don’t need to drag around
all the weight of the world on my back.
I can let you lighten my load.
I keep resisting You, clutching my boulders,
stubborn as a mule.
But Oh, I am so weary, so tired, exhausted.

Jesus, fashion for me a new yoke.
For you say, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I am going to lay my burdens down
at your feet and put on the yoke you’ve made for me.
Help me to learn from you,
humble and gentle in heart.
I so want to throw those boulders over my shoulders
and start hiking up the mountain—even thought I am so weary.
Take my load; carry my burdens; help me to cast my anxieties
on you, LORD, because you care for me.

Jesus, here comes your little ox,
show me Your ways.

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

1 Peter 5:7
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
November 24, 2003
__________________

X Marks the Spot
Where did the pirates hide their treasure chest?
Could be filled with gold or silver, the kids imagine.
They have their map and they are looking for the X.
Sailing across the seas of their imagination,
they are on a quest for buried treasure.

50 paces from the shore, past the coconut tree,
they just have 30 paces more.
Past the barbeque that is a giant oyster,
their watery dreams are swimming in their heads.
Captain Hook and Peter Pan battled to find
the same chest that will fulfill their quest.
After digging they find no treasure,
only another map.
Blast!

Across their Caribbean backyard,
they set sail for their new X.
Ahoy there, Matey,
raise the anchor!

January 19, 2004
__________________

Steaming Thoughts Within

Spinning, turning, quietly he is yearning
To fill his soul up with the passion
that is worthy of his God.
He hunkers down, he digs in,
trying to churn up the fire that’s within.
There is a twinkle, burning with just a spark,
Wanting to please but just fighting in his heart.
A heart that can be so lazy that is often so hazy,
like a fog rolling in, covers all that he can see,
but he knows his heart is reaching out for eternity.

Dropping down to his knees, in the dark he can barely see.
Calling out, crying out, “What is this all about?”
He wants to know the glorious riches, the wonders,
that the Disciples knew, but he fails, even
as the 12 so often failed.
Waking up earlier, staying up later, he
tries to shake the malaise that glosses over his eyes.
Shaking and quaking, he tries to break free.
He will run and fight and shake away from what holds him
and run to his God, arms open,
“Here I am Daddy”
catch, me.

January 20, 2004

__________________
__________________
-James

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
~Calvin Coolidge

“Never, never, never, never give up. “~Winston Churchill
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Old 02-12-04, 04:52 AM
waywardclam waywardclam is offline
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Wow. I will have to come back and give that a more thorough read. You have a LOT of good poetry here.

And don't consider it copying... I am happy to spread the idea to anyone else who thinks it is a good one. (I stole it from someone else myself... )
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Old 02-12-04, 11:51 AM
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jimmmaaa jimmmaaa is offline
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Thanks Paul.
__________________
-James

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
~Calvin Coolidge

“Never, never, never, never give up. “~Winston Churchill
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Old 02-13-04, 03:16 PM
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Here are some more poems:

For The Children

Like a howler monkey stuck in its cage,
I scream and wail inside from the pain of my childhood.
Never quite getting past the heartache of a family
taken from me,
I am incomplete.
I try and try to get past it, but the hurt is so
close to the surface.
When your parents throw away their life together,
like it was a disposable diaper,
or some dead batteries that;
it never really leaves you—it lingers in all you
do—like someone standing looking over you shoulder while
you are working, playing, walking or alone in crowded restaurant;
it's like the noise you hear in the middle of the night,
the house creaking, head turns to see what's there,
just the boards settling as the house cools;
it's like the boogie man your closet and under your bed,
haunting you.

You think the pain is gone, then suddenly the scab is
ripped off your wounded heart-again. . . . .
The pain has shaped your whole life.
It's like you are wearing rose colored glasses but these are
more like gangrene covered glasses that
you can't throw away.
You try to shake it, you try to find healing and solace
and at times, you do.
But you know that damage has been
done and at any time or place there might
be a reminder that you are collateral damage
of a marriage tossed away:
a radio commercial for a quick and easy divorce,
Hollywood couples changing marriage partners
as if just changing into a new outfit,
a Blended Families Bible Study at church,
someone you know who has thrown in the towel—"It's just too hard,
we've grown in different directions and don't love each other,
anymore."
All of these things, like little daggers, prick and poke you,
reminding you of what was taken from you.

Two steps forward and one step back
three steps forward and two steps back
one step forward and five steps back.
The hurting comes and goes like seasons
or changing moons.
Sometimes it hits you like a hurricane,
other times it feels like a minor earthquake,
barely registering on the Richter scale.

When will the scream become a roar?
When we people value their commitments?
When will people think hard and long about the cost
of saying I do, and not treat it like just starting some new hobby?
When will people come back to the notion of marriage being for life?
When will people understand that children are the biggest
victims of divorce?
When will people value their children?
When will we give more than just lip service to family values?
It is time we say Enough is Enough!

Until then, the hand grenades of divorce will
still be showering children with the shrapnel of pain.

Father, God, please bring comfort and healing to
Your children.

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
September 19, 2003
_________________________________________

Ode to What About Bob?

My wife and I love to laugh and joke
Whenever we see Dr. Leo Marvin choke.
Bill Murry is so funny in What About Bob?
I love the way he eats corn on the cob.
They were “singing in the rain” while washing the dish,
But what about Bob’s Fish?
Giiillllll!
Quick, quick give me some water, he’s about to scream.
Am awake, is this really all just a crazy dream?

Baby stepping to the elevator, baby stepping to bus
Oh Bob when will you get on and join us?
Bob did have his afflictions,
Maybe they are more severe than some of our addictions.

DOCTORR LEO MARVIN, DOCTOR LEOOO MARVIN, DOCTORR LEOOO MARVINNNN!!!!
Go to that coffee shop and at 4pm I will call you and check in.
Do you think he’s gone, he’s never gone?
Leo thinks Bob’s such a con.

So many laughs have come from Bob’s issues,
Sometimes we laugh so hard that we need a box if tissues.
Dead hand, cold sweats, hot sweats, so many things that Bob implodes,
Oh no, what if his bladder Explodes!
What a great movie it is, showing how psychotic
Many times oh, so neurotic
Things can be in daily life.

Many quotes are used in daily life,
It lessens the craziness and all the strife.
To laugh at people as crazy as Bob and Dr Marvin is fun
It shows us that we are not the only one
Who can be unbalanced and little nutty.
How about some silly putty?

What about Neil Diamond songs?
So you are saying it was not because of those wrongs?
Ouch, that hurts, Ouch!
I better sit down on my couch.
Let me laugh though the hard times
And the pain, then make some rhymes.
To take a break from our problems, their gravity,
We turn to lightheartedness and levity.

July 10, 2003
______________________________________________

His Sheep I am (Rough the Way)

I sit sipping the Apple Cinnamon
Spice tea I bought for her and
I contemplate my life.
Thoughts of the past year swirl
through my head, mingled with
joy and pain.

I am lost now.

Dreams and hopes
have been shattered, but that's alright.
Change.
Sometimes it's looked at
as a dirty word.
The attitude is subtle:
"I want to grow LORD, but
don't change my comfortable life
too much."

I've been turned on my head,
emotions turned inside-out and
my expectations smashed--I know YOU are
with me.

Pain is seen as inconvenience,
heartache is a thorn in the side,
but there is no easy road to maturity.
I want the mountain top experiences,
but I wish to avoid the sorrows of the valley.

Standing in the furnace of pain,
You burn the dross from my soul--
burning with pain.

I don't want to walk the easy road if that
means walking away from you, LORD.
Keep me walking, help me to run the road
that leads to you.

It's a road that's rough along the way--
potholes of pain, steep slopes of trials.
It's a road that's rough along the way--
valleys of darkness, storms of lost vision.
It's a road that's rough along the way--
broken dreams and heartache walk the way with me,
but Joy and Hope are also my companions.

The road I walk is rough but
my steps are made firm by You.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path."

October 20, 1990
Psalm 119:105
__________________________________________________ _

Hurricane Within Me

Crushed down, I will rise up,
Beaten, I will stand--but only
because of Jesus.
Betrayed, I feel jilted. Do I have
the right to feel this way?
I don't know, but I do.
Spend, spending and spent, I desire
to grow.

Change
change
change
that's what brings growth.
Pain, and pain and brokenness
feed on me.
You will fill and renew me God.

This storm sill rages on. My vision
is clouded over by images of her--sorrow,
pain, anger, rejection--I hurt.
Give me the lamp of your word
to guide my steps.
Light my way in the midst of this
dark storm.
Clear the fog.

Thunder of pain rolls through my heart.
My head reels with thoughts--crashing,
thoughts like waves pounding--
pounding, shattering all my expectations--
they
crash
in
a
pile.

Like a glass shattering on the
floor--pieces of my heart fly.
Insecurities exposed
like an open wound--I'm exposed--naked.
Cutting through me like a razor--I'm bleeding
with pain.
My head explodes with thoughts
I try to suppress--anger like a bomb
ready to explode.

The fire rages.
I yell inside my soul--wanting the pain
to subside.
God where are you; when will you cause the
pain to cease--cease fire,
I surrender to you--I don't know what to do?

I offer you my feelings that overwhelm me.

Misery--is that the picture I portray?
Paint me with the love of Jesus.
Calm the storm--calm the storm that
swirls through me.
Churning, whirling, blowing apart any sanity
I try to hold--I am broken.
A shell of man--I gasp for air
as I tread water in the ocean of my life.
The undertow tries to suck me under,
but You save me.
You saved me.
You are saving me.

Bring me into the eye of the hurricane--I need to rest;
give me a breath of air.
Fill me with your Breath of Life.

Jesus, help me!

November 13, 1990

_____________________________________

FREEDOM

For years a red lizard lived
on my back--almost a part of me.
It clouded how I saw myself and women;
I saw through perverse eyes.

Then You came into my life.
You transformed me--except for the lizard--
I wouldn't let you tear it off.
I dragged it around for years--contiually I fed
it the perverse visions it desired--and it grew.
I was captive to it, controlled by it, but still
you called to me, "Let me take it off you."
After a while I could barely hear you calling.

But you were patient with me.

You kept calling me and guiding me to
the right people--people who helped loosen the
lizard's insidious grip.
Slowly, I saw you had more for me than the lizard
had to offer. But, still I hesitated.
Even though I hated the lizard, I knew the
familiar grip it held on me.

Finally I allowed you to bring me to the
point where you could pull the lizard off
my back. You pulled it off--but I acted as
if it still had it claws deep in my back.
I saw myself as dirty, unclean.
You forgave me when I confessed my sins,
but I would still heap the guilt back on my head.
I knew 1 John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
and wil forgive us our sins and purify us from
all unrighteousness."
but I didn't believe that I was purified from all
unrighteousness.

You showed me--you broke through--I am clean.
The blood of Jesus has washed me clean--whiter
than the purest snow.

I am Clean!

You've transformed me; I am a beautiful and masculine
man. You created me and my sexuality. The red lizard
has been transformed into a beautiful white stallion.

O LORD, help me ride the stallion in a manner
that pleases and glorifies you.

Father, I praise you for giving me freedom--
keep the lizard from sneaking up on me.

Teach me to ride the stallion in freedom.

"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit offered himself
unblemished to God, clense our consciences
from acts that lead to death, so that we may
serve the living God!"

"Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to
someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to
the one you obey--whether you are slaves to sin,
which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads
to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though
you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly
obeyed the form of teaching to which you were
entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have
become slaves to righteousness."

January 13, 1991
Hebrews 9:14
Romans 6:16-18
____________________________________

Girl Grieving

A canyon of fear separates;
she hears your call, but she
delays.
Not knowing what lies ahead,
petrified to take a step,
so she sits--
and waits.

Fold her in your arms;
take away her hurt. Heal the heart
that is lost and cries for its mother,
yet is confused.
Mixed and many, the feelings overwhelm.
Anger.
Fear.
Pain.
Heartache-- when will the
hurt go away?

"Weeping may remain a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning."
O Father, the night can seem
so long.
Comfort Kathy; help her endure.
Build her up; shape her
and chisel her with the pain.

Take your precious child in your
arms and rock her gently--
soothe her with your Words
of love--
holding her tightly, eveloping her
in your love.
Tears gently
cascade
down from
your eyes and
wash her soul.
Kathy, "For I know the plans I have for you,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."

The plans may seem dark and painful now, but
the light will come, even
as it now is coming.
September 8, 1990

__________________________________

Goodbye, My Love

Goodbye my love; the"Delightful
Longcut" has been the best.
Goodbye my love, it's been
wonderful "Living Dangerously" in
His hands with you.

I will miss you dearly, more
than I care to think.
I will miss the many walks
holding your hand.
I will miss running my
fingers through your hair.

Goodbye my love, thank you for
being my dancing partner,
the rhythm lessons were great.
Goodbye my love, the sunsets with
you were wonderful; thank you for
helping me to open my eyes more
to God's creation.

I will miss writing romantic
Ga Ga love letters to you.
I will miss our weekly phone
talks and prayers, those
united us so close--
to one another and God.

Goodbye my love, I won't forget
the many "Airport Goodbyes"and "Hellos."
Goodbye my love, your zeal for
holiness and "spurring me on to Love
and Good deeds" will be fondly cherished.

I will miss you picking me up when I
fall down in a pile of emotions; I know
that it was God working in you and he
will still pick me up-- but I will miss YOU
doing it.

Even now, as the tears fall, I miss you
and think nothing but good about you.

Thank you my love, thank you for
being God's best for me during
this year. If there is to be
someone better I can't see how--
right now.
Thank you my love, you've helped me
have the best year of my life, so far--
I know there will be better, but
right now the pain has to come.

There is so much I will miss about you.

I love you , Becky .

Goodbye, my love.
August 22, 1990
Written during a period before my wife and I were married, we broke up for a while then reunited.

__________________________________

Floating Through My Mind

I feel like I’m drifting about aimlessly
on a sea of ideas, washed to and fro,
farther away from You.
Everything screams,
“Look at me! I’m important!”
My time with You further
slips away
from me
as I answer the beckoning ideas.

Draw me back to you;
cause me to be captivated by Your
voice and to
flee the pounding voices of
the many “important”
ideas
that fly
through
my mind
rapidly without
ceasing:
Work,
“Coffee Book,”
School,
and
on and on.

Calm me inside with Your soothing words of
peace and tranquillity.
“Find rest, O, my soul
in God alone;
my hope comes from
Him.”

Release me from the
pressing grip of the ideas
meandering through my muddled
mind.
Thank you, LORD, for being
a God of order.

Please help me clear the
cluttered, clatter that fills my head.
Help me to think more clearly and
follow You.

Originally September 9, 1993—Edited/Completed July 19, 2003
Psalm 62:5

I was going through some of my old journals and I found this poem that I never put into Word, never edited it, it was sort of like finding a lost treasure, in a sense.

____________________________________

Keep Your Eye On the Ball

Ricochet between life’s curve balls.
Climb down the mountain,
run down the highway
and dive into the river.
Always keep going, never stop.

Ask God to shine through the darkness.
Listen to His still voice in morning.
Search for Him in the evening.
Remember to dance in your darkest hours
for mourning will not last forever.

When you stagger home, battle weary
don’t forget that you neighbor may have
bigger troubles than you.
Love a little more, worry a little less.
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

The next day when you climb the mountain of your life
build some monuments to solved troubles.
Look for the olive branches and life preservers to
throw to your neighbor who may have slipped on the climb,
she could be sinking in the river,
he has not been down all of life’s highways yet.
You are a little farther along.

And remember,
watch for life’s curve balls,
sometimes you need to slide for Home.

December 23, 2003

__________________________________________

He Sees your Tears

You are not alone; He
feels your pain too. He watches
you as your heart cries within you.
"He knows your tossing and turning
through the night; He has collected all
your tears and saved them in his bottle."

The pain that has hurt you and shaped you
can either make you or break you--
let it make you into a beautiful child of God.
He says to you, "For I am the LORD your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you."

I know the pain goes deep and
probably makes you want to curl up
and hide in a corner until the pain subsides;
keep looking to God and cast your pain
on Him because he cares for you so much.
He knows how many hairs you have on your head--
He numbered them himself.
His love for you is so great; he says,
"See, I have engraved you, Kristy, on the palms of
my hands."

Cry out to God and he will not
leave you, child. Just as he encouraged David,
so he will encourage you.
"Weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning."
Your night may seem long,
but the morning will come--
do not faint.

Right now, I know Our Father is leaning
over you wiping the tears tenderly
from your face--
don't be afraid to feel the
pain and cry.

Written for a friend 7-22-90
Psalm 56:8
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD , your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.

Isaiah 49:16
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

Psalm 30:5
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

_______________________________________

Marlboro Man

I’m a Marlboro Man,
I can do it on my own.
I’m a self-made man.
I don’t need nobody,
I can do it myself.

Like the cowboy on his horse
I have myself and that’s all I need.
I can pull myself up by my boot straps,
Can’t we all?
I came into this world alone
and I will go out a lone,
I don’t need nobody.
Just me myself and I
And we can conquer the world.

What’s that you say, you don’t
have time to hear my problems,
I can handle them on my own?
You don’t care that I lost my job
and my family has left me?
When the bottom dropped out,
I was really on my own.
I’m the Marlboro Man.

July 25, 2003
Motivated by a poem from Shadow Poetry site called Self Reliance
_____________________________

Quilt of Ashes

On the news that morning the picture of the tower on fire,
the image was burning in my mind as I drove to work.
How crazy, how did a plane get that far off course?
When I heard the 2nd plane crashed into the twin tower
A chill of fear shot through me.

First the World Trade Centers were burning
and there was a surreal feeling of disbelief.
The south tower collapsed at 9:59 am and everyone was running,
chaos in the streets all round the building, smoke and dust everywhere.
Screaming, running and papers were floating everywhere.
The north tower fell at 10:28 am.
Panic struck.

In the aftermath people roamed the streets.
A quilt of ashes covered New York,
as the sky and hearts of a city and nation
were darkened.

November 3, 2003
__________________
-James

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
~Calvin Coolidge

“Never, never, never, never give up. “~Winston Churchill

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Old 04-09-04, 11:05 AM
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Here are a coulple more, mostly with themes that are appropriate for Good Friday and the coming Easter:

Imprisonment

Pain and the bitterness, they can shackle a person.
Blaming and holding grudges can imprison.
The energy taken up by bitterness sucks the life out,
weighing heavy on you both day and night.
Bitterness brings up the bile-like feeling in your throat,
almost choking you, your gagging, trying to catch your breath.
How long can one hold on to the anger, sometimes hatred?

Forgiveness sets a person free, both the forgiver and the forgiven.
The heavy weight is lifted and the burden seems to fly away.
Just let go of the anger, breathe deeply again.
The shackles that bound are now unlocked,
crashing to ground in a clatter,
The heart can smile again.
the prison door is open
and I am set free.

April 1, 2004

_____________________________________

I Drink Your Cup

LORD, I want to skip like your
young calf. Joy flows forth from
me like a sping
I Hear the choir of angels sing,
their voices so sweet.

You are worthy of all praise.
I remember you;
in rememberance I eat and drink
of you. The blood flowed red for
me on that hill, your body broken on the
tree of pain.

You did it for me.
You love me, and I say to you Alleluia!
Hosana in the Highest! Worthy is the
Lamb who was slain!

Joy leaps forth from my heart!

I am clean because of your wounds.
Jesus, O my sweet Jesus who
reigns in majesty--sparkling,
radiant majesty.

I praise you Jesus for your blood
and body broken for me.


12-31-90
Written during Communion Time at Urbana 1990 Missions Conference.

_____________________________________

Leap Day

I want to write a stupid poem
on this Leap Day, because it’s Leap Day.
My son wants to leap on this leap day,
not over a candlestick,
to be nimble or quick,
but from a rooftop.
Self hatred and confusion fill him.
Fear washes over me.

The system of medical bureaucracy will
not save my son, but seems
to strangle him in endless red tape.
A watchful eye and a perceptive heart,
we must fight for him;
we must daily rescue him from himself.
Reckless, crazy running near cars,
his awareness is diminished, judgment impaired.
How can there be such hatred of self
at such a young age?
All this hatred and rage.

Autism?
Tourette’s Syndrome?
Bi-polar Disorder?
More?
His brain and body are in a neural–net mess.

On this Leap day, I must leap
to save my son.
I must mentally leap ahead of his hurting thoughts
I must leap in prayer for
he needs 1000 angels around him.
A window locked, closed
and a speeding mother kept him safe.
A mother’s heart is breaking;
A father’s heart is quaking.
What plans are we making?

My son, we will leap for you today.
We will catch you when you are falling.
My son, leap into our arms of love.

Falling out of sync,
Falling, can’t even think.
Falling into despair,
Please know we’ll be there.
Falling down
Falling apart
Falling into quicksand,
We will pull you out.

My son, leap into our arms of love today.

February 29, 2004
______________________________________________

Somtimes I Forget. . .

LORD, somtimes I forget that
you died and rose again for me.
I go through the day and don't even
think about what it cost You.
I get sidetracked in my thinking;
I act as if you're someone who is
a helper--nice in time of need.

I forget that you are my LORD!
You want to be in control of my
whole life--not just some of it--
you want all of me.
Why do I hold off? I only give you some
of me.

Help me to give all to you.
Change my heart; mold my ways.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all you ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths
straight."

I want to give you all of my heart.


October 6, 1990
Proverbs 3:5,6

_____________________________________

Sunday in the LORD's House

O, Father, I want to love you
more. Give me a greater love
for you. I don't want to
love her, my beloved, more than
you.

Show me your ways. Teach me
how to love and to depend
on you.
Father, change my heart
O, LORD. I want to love you
with all my heart, with all my
mind, with all my soul and
with all my strength.

I want to write love songs to
you, poems speaking of your
grace and love for the world--
for me

I want to praise you with
all my breath, with all
that is within me.


July 9, 1990

___________________________________________

The Shadow of the Cross

I want to live my life
in the shadow of the cross.
I want Jesus to shine through me,
reflecting His glory through me.
I want to become less so
He will become more.

I want to walk in obedience,
obedience to Your Word. Show
me Your Holiness each
step I take.
Break me of willful sin,
bringing me back to
You.

Jesus, I want to walk
in the shadow of your
Cross.


Written August 8, 1990 while sitting in the Shadow of the Cross that is
on a hill at the cemetery on Monterey Highway.

____________________________________________

Royal Priesthood

Build me up into a royal priesthood.
Magnify your name through my writings.
Make a magnificent creation out of me .
Use your wonderful Love in my life.

I want to be your glory ; I want to be
a beautiful fragrance of you, Jesus.
I want to live it all for you everyday
with a passion that will not cease.

Your beauty is so great;
Give me some of your beauty.
Make me into the man I am
meant to be.

I can laugh now. You have
overcome the world and
you will take care of me.

Increase my faith; I want
to do anything you want;
I want to go where you want;
I want to change as you want me
to change.

I want to trust in you LORD,
I want to lean on you,
not my understanding,
I want to follow you down
the paths that you lead me down.

Proverbs 3:5,6
June 24, 1990
_________________________________________________

Ushering


Shaking hands, I put on my Sunday morning smile.
The mask I wear is not what I feel inside.
I’d really rather run out the door,
go home, and cry on the floor to you, LORD.
You are here with me,
even when I am lonely in the crowded church.
When my heart breaks,
You walk with me.
Every day, every moment,
you are with me.
Holding me, carrying me
when I don’t think I can carry on.
I’m so tired, so weary.

But your yoke, you say, is easy.
Your burden is light.
Will you carry my heavy heart?
Will you lift my troubled spirit?
I stand here, heavy hearted,
in Your worship hall ushering,
needing you to usher in your love to me.


Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

March 8, 2004
_____________________________________________

You Save Me

You save me, LORD, from the sea of sin.
The life preserver you offer brings me life.
The one the enemy throws to me is full of
holes and he tries to entangle me and drag me
under the water to drown me.

I praise you Father for the life you give
me through your Son, Jesus; He is the Life.
Change me O God, bring me out of the sin
that I so easily walk into.
Break the shackles I allow around my mind and heart.
You already defeated the enemy and sin;
help me to live that way.

Revive me O LORD.
Flush my mind clean;
remove the pollution I've allowed in.
Cleanse me with your Holy Word.
Purify me.

I praise you for taking me back each time
I choose to turn away and abide in sin.
Help me to flee the evil desires of youth.
I am weary; please take my burdens.
I desire to take your yoke upon me.
Change me O God!


August 27, 1991

________________________________________________

The Indwelling Spirit


LORD, satisfy me;
keep me from barring you
from changing me.
Flood my life Holy Spirit,
rush in Wind of change.

Jesus, make my heart your home.
Throw out the junk--clean house.
Renew me, esckew me, help me
yield to your power. Destroy any
idols that reside within my heart--
smash them, crush them, throw
them out of my life.

I trust you. "I believe, help me with
my unbelief." Take the keys of
my heart and unlock all the rooms.
Flood me with your spirit of love
inhabit all of my heart, LORD.


3-10-91
___________________________________________

Psalm of 1987


As the traffic on the freeway rages on,
so sin wars against my
soul.
The black asphalt is battered by the cars;
I am battered by temptation,
feeling so weak I succumb
to sin.
Free me from the highways
of sin.
O LORD, paint a beautiful landscape for me
to gaze at.
Cover the sky in red and crimson,
splash the sky with the setting
sun.
O LORD, sing me a song with the voices
of birds,
pull me from the depths of sin.
Give me the peace of quiet night,
bathe my heart with your
love.
Selah
Help me, O LORD, to smell the sweet
fragrance of your creation:
like the smell of flowers,
the freshness of a first rain,
the smell of eucalyptus leaves
by the ocean.
Thank you, LORD, for the aroma of life.
Just as wood is compressed into
paper,
compress me into your ways
O God.

Written in the spring of '87 at dusk while sitting
on a catwalk over San Tomas Expressway in Campbell, CA.
__________________
-James

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
~Calvin Coolidge

“Never, never, never, never give up. “~Winston Churchill

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Old 04-25-05, 01:23 AM
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Take Action

Look inside yourself
Think daring ideas.
Hold fast to the truth.
Ask the hard questions.
Debate the options.
Find solutions and answers.
Make changes within.
Bring out your strengths.
Put your fears away.
Give till empty.
Go to your mountains.
Climb over obstacles.
Work from the heart.
Play with the joy of a child.
Walk in the path of peace.
Dance passionately.
Run down to the river.
Laugh at the days to come.
Throw caution to the wind
Take chances once passed by.
Drink deeply.
Remember life’s adventurous.
Fight for your life.
Live with reckless abandonment.
Love extravagantly.

May 24, 2004
__________________
-James

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
~Calvin Coolidge

“Never, never, never, never give up. “~Winston Churchill
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Old 04-25-05, 01:27 AM
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Ebbing Away

Don’t waste your life.
Don’t know when it will stop
Death comes to all, you know not
where your days will
End.
Live life well, don’t waste your days.
One day’s promise unkept quickly
becomes one week
then a month
then years have gone by
unnoticed.
Regrets only Remain.
Heart attacks, cancer, high blood pressure
High cholesterol, overweight, and out of shape
The stress and pressure constricts
And life leaves many quickly.
The endless days of invincibility
Give way to seeming fragility,
Our youth runs away.
Not old, yet not so young.

Never forget:
Love God
Love one another,
People are all that REALLY matter.
Don’t waste your life,
It is slowing
Ebbing
away.
Don’t let regrets
Only remain.
Live purposefully,
Live passionately.
Seize each day.

December 6, 2004
__________________
-James

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
~Calvin Coolidge

“Never, never, never, never give up. “~Winston Churchill
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