The Three Magi (Preacher’s Kids)

I was a child on Easter Sunday,
in the back of the family car in my white Sunday shoes, grey vested, and grey pants
the door opened and your father stood there with a smile on his face
he was so tall, and he blocked out the sun
I thought I was seeing God for the first time…
then I’m a little older and the world is frozen and blue
black branches from sleeping trees reached upward and scraped holes in the clouds and caused the snow to fall quietly
on Belle Isle and we were sliding across the frozen pond
you and your brother and I and mine
we traded ice skates for the soles of our shoes….

Time passes in my mind
images on an old camera reel
and it’s pouring down rain
and we’re shirtless
your brother, you, and me
running and splashing and throwing ourselves on the lawn
pretending we’d been struck by lightning
and we laughed until our sides ached
We were the three kings, three magi, from the Bible
and instead of frankincense, myrrh, and gold
we had hymnals, and pews, and blue carpeted runways
where we’d flee between the adults
around the white painted former bar
and across the street from the party store where the Arab man sold us Faygo and hid his girly mags
when your father asked him to.

I remember…
cracking my head on a telephone box
your appendix surgery
long treks to churches where the people were so much more rich than us
but they didn’t know who was in their midst
three magi, three kings, ready to take flight
anywhere we wanted to go…

…and then, it was one last night together
one last dinner
I think that is when I first became acquainted with the concept of loss
there was laughter, adults talking, there was food around my father’s table
and I silently prayed that time would crawl to a stop
but God didn’t hear me or he denied my request
even for magi such as me
and before the night ended I waved goodbye to you all as you piled into your van to go far away…

I remember the time before time knew who we even were
and the years and the miles we’ve trod across
has stooped our shoulders, and added lines to our eyes
just hearing your voice tonight brought all those memories back hurtling back
from the dusty reel I’d had packed away
in some unkempt corner of my mind
my dear Christopher, Matthew,
there really isn’t much of a point to this other than to say…

I know the way life is
the complicated lives of three kings, so different from who we were
time has had its way with us
and the grape juice has turned to wine

My poem has a purpose, though
there’s a method to my prose as the Witching Hour draws close
and the spirits press themselves against the veil
begging for me to go to sleep
so they can whisper their stories to me
and that is, with the simplicity of the little boy that remains somewhere deep inside this tired man’s soul,
to say, “God, I’ve missed you.”

I’ll see you two in that space where we’ve never aged
after all, the pond is still frozen
in that space where
the rain still falls
and the white-tailed deer on Belle Isle
watch curiously
and the blue carpet runway is lit for three wild boys,
three kings, three magi,
to take flight

Filos (Poem)

filios

the clouds drift
in blue skies above my head
pirate ships in silent sailing masts filled
golden sunlight
kisses my body 
in midst of wildflowers and tall grasses
buzzing sounds
as sweet as a lullaby

lay next to me
interpret with me
the holy writ in the stars we can’t see
and let us disagree
and laugh
romance isn’t just for sex
nor for lovers
be my friend first
and be willing to stay here

Water, air
let me breathe
inhale who you are, feed me
and I’ll roar when you need inspiration
protection
I’ll burn away perceived imperfections
be the mother, brother, spouse
to my soul
friend and I’ll return to you

Let us ponder the spider’s silk
inches away from our faces
suspended between blades of grass
and wonder at it
let us write poetry dedicated
to Gaia – mother – the dust
from where we’ll return
there’s no war here
to contest
let us keep each other close
without complications

passion can be pure
no sin
no hurt feelings in golden shafts
of God’s presence
am I selfish?
not when the crickets sing, friend
not when clouds have angels wings
can we map this out?
and laugh at the babbling brook
laying head to head
watching the world pass us by?

the clouds pass by
sunsets come and burn the sky
lightning bugs rise from the ground
and spirits walk
love me – filos
and like the stone, or the tree planted
by the water
I shall not be moved

Life’s Banquet

 

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Who I am here, is who I am in real life
Memes and comments aside
I’m nice to people who are nice to me
and I don’t acknowledge the existence of others who aren’t

It’s not difficult really
its a matter of simply shutting a door
walking away and moving on down the long winding road
to another face, another chance meeting, a conversation
stuck up like a match

There are literally seven and a half billion people on earth
all with varying degrees of wit and humor
surely I’ll find another conversation worthy of my time among them
Maybe a volcanologist in Bali who has an affinity for sharp cheddar

It takes a certain kind of person, really
someone wrapped up inside of who they are
to think that one should starve themselves from sampling
life’s banquet – for a chance taste of you

my odds are better ‘out there’
in this nebulous thing we call the world
and quite frankly although my pallet is easily pleased
I find honesty of character far more to my liking
than pleasantries for pleasantries sake

No, I am no Nobel Prize winner
No Oxford Scholar, Poet Laureate, hell, I barely graduated high school
Yet I have lived a full life, have sipped from the cup of pain and joy
and I speak full throated about the flavors that broke over my tongue

So, if that speech bothers you too much
I’ll take my leave as soon as you think I should
for although my feet are calloused from years of walking
morning will break over the horizon the same as it did before

Heaven underneath the sound (poem)

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I am jagged fears
and raw emotion
nerve endings exposed to the chilly air
wanting to go back, wanting to go back
to a time when the pain wasn’t as painful

But was it better then?
or has time erased the worst of it?
Perception is never to be trusted
so much lust, turned to rust, the wine has all been poured

What I want?
Do you know? Can you fathom?
I want warmth and the smell of a fire burning
I want arms around me – but not a lover’s touch
that’s not what I’m hungry for at the moment
although I often hunger for that

I want comfort of a family, familiar
those I love surrounding me in gentle moments
where nothing has to be explained
where nothin’ has to be maintained
except only by showing up

With people who don’t see the words I write
with people who don’t see my back bent over as I work
Where I am not the writer, poet,
I’m just me. A little fucked up but worth loving anyway

Is this age that I’m feeling?
Is this the begging of what the aged and sick beg for
when to live is too much?
when they yearn for something higher?

I want your company and I don’t know
how to beg you for it
or make the distance close between us
or make time stop so when we are together we can stay
what do I want?

What do I want?
Heaven?
I think so. I think this is what this is.
I want heaven.
If just for a moment.
I can almost hear it underneath the sound of the world