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    Poems Read at Synod School

    Fish When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. – John 21:9 Peter dives into the icy morning waters of Galilee,his broad sunburned chest so full of regret,he could not get to the shore fast enough. The ashen sky giving way to blue,when he finally reaches the shore,the sea weighing on his shirt and beard. Peter wipes the salt off his eyes and walksto the small fire waiting for himand when he sits he cannot remember  the words he rehearsed if given the chanceto set things right. How does one beginmaking amends with a friend you denied? He hears the…

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    Death Silences All

    Poem written in memory of Mike Miller and Robina Winbush at the Service of Bereavement Death silences all.Even the most eloquent life falls at the end of a breath.Every sentence eventually arrives at a period. Stories have a deadline or run out of pages. The symphony plays its finale, the music can’t go on,and the vibration of the cello string fades.Death silences all.Death stuns us into silenceWhen a sentence midway in expression suddenly halts,When a line comes to an enjambmentWhen the light suddenly goes off And the musical  never gets to its denouement.These unsuspected stops stun us into silenceFor we come to realizeThat every life is a parenthesis.Death silences the…

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    FISH

    When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. – John 21:9 Peter dives into the icy morning waters of Galilee,his broad sunburned chest so full of regret,he could not get to the shore fast enough. The ashen sky giving way to blue,when he finally reaches the shore,the sea weighing on his shirt and beard. Peter wipes the salt off his eyes and walksto the small fire waiting for him and when he sits he cannot remember the words he rehearsed if given the chanceto set things right. But how does one beginmaking amends with a friend you denied? He hears…

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    Enough

    After hearing Jazebel continuing on her state policy of murdering protesters of her injustices. Elijah sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” – 1 Kings 19:4 I have had enough! Enough of Bullets sprayed on Black bodies and Jewish bodies and any-body deemed a no-body Enough of Hatred spewed from pulpits and pundits Lies promulgated by preachers and presidents Enough of the Apotheosis of White America IT IS ENOUGH Enough of this world where you can get gunned down while shopping, this…

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    How Does a Poem Work?

    i’m not sure but it’s what you look for when your father dies and you were expecting it for awhile, because he had a full life, the pastor says, like a pear, ripe with sun, snaps from the branch and falls to earth, and no estranged child, everyone came and kissed his face the week before he passed away, ain’t that a blessing, amen, the church people say, and yet that emptiness in your 60 year old chest, is so vast even the night can’t fit in it, and you don’t know how to say it, so your hands go fumbling through you old poetry anthology from college, the one…

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    Waiting

    For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. – Romans 8:22 My wife has been in labor for 20 hours but the boy’s not ready for his revealing What’s he waiting for? I shuffle back and forth, from my wife’s bedside to the waiting room, where both mothers are wondering if they should stay put or run some quick errands, they ask, What time does the doctor say? I say, Anytime. A n y     t i m e  s t r e t c h i n g  i n f i n i t e l y.…

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    Silent Night on December 24th, 1914

    German and British soldiers, in the thick of the first war of the worlds crawl out of their blood drenched trenches, rifles slung over sunken shoulders, and shovels across the other, meet halfway in the dead man’s land, carry back and bury the remains of their friends, then return to exchange prisoners and cigarettes, lighting them for each other, like Advent candles.   They gaze at the stars, name them in their mother’s tongue, fabricate stories of the girl they will finally propose to once they return home.   They take turns singing carols their mothers sang to cease their tears, then as if there was a conductor invisible except…

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    Cello

    I heard the human heart responds most to the mourns of the cello because it's range mirrors the limits of the human voice      85hz         to            255hz In the trembling of strings,   timbres of        memories           of longings even the silence quivers with the faintest echo of the desire that never fully came to rest Read the other poem published with this one at Cultural Weekly

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    America, My America

    America, My America Though you say I am not yours, though you pissed all over my front door with your black graffiti hissing “Go back home chink!” you are still my America.       Because I believe in you, not in your greatness but in your capacity to repent. Though you think you are great — drunk with blood, and puke your vulgarity, you are still my America. For when you are sober, you are an inspired poet. Your song of independence is painfully beautiful. Though you don’t believe in your own rhetoric, I believe in the words that constitute you, my doubting poet, that we are all endowed by the…