NPWM Day 2: Dynamite

Why is it that

Our conversations

Are laced with dynamite?

And we strike matches with our words

And hope they don’t ignite?

 

What happens to us

In those brittle moments

To make us take up arms

And grit our teeth

And throw ourselves into

A battle we don’t want?

 

And when we retreat,

Bloodied and bruised,

To lick our wounds,

How is it that I turn to you

And look into your eyes

For some reassurance,

Some glint of forgiveness,

Even so soon?

 

And how is it possible

That I find what I’m looking for

There in your gaze,

Nestled amidst the hurt and

hesitation?

How do you keep forgiving,

Keep loving,

Keep needing,

Even as we stand there bleeding?

 

This is our miracle.

This slow lowering of guards,

This tentative trust,

This tenacious hope

That tomorrow we will start again,

And again, and again,

Until we learn that

Words are not weapons

And we are not at odds.

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NPWM Day 1: Infinite

You and I are infinite

How many times

How many lives

Have we locked eyes

and known

 

Iterations

Variables

Nothing constant but

your hand over my heart and

my head tucked under your chin

 

Worlds upon worlds

Have witnessed our story unfold

Never the same twice

I lost you

I saved you

I hated you

I loved you

But in all, I knew you

And you knew me

And that is everything

That is infinite

The Fight In Me

 

The days stretch on–

a blurred line,

a slow succession

leading into mist

which never parts.

Is everyone’s future

so unfathomable?

Or do some see it

stretch before them

like a bright river,

carrying them, all anticipation,

swiftly onward

to their destination?

These days and days and days

take out all

the fight in me.

I shouldn’t be so tired.

But where there was fire,

there are now only embers

smoldering, cooling, waiting

for some sweet breath

of wind to blow

and coax

them to a warmer glow.

I dare not hope for a blaze.

And yet, in this haze,

this march of days,

I find a quiet, bending strength.

And maybe the fight in me

hasn’t died; it has learned

a steady stance.

Perhaps the fight

isn’t always flame and spark.

Perhaps it’s standing, enduring,

even through the dark.

Even now I find

that day after day,

the fight isn’t a battle.

It’s the will to stay.

A Child No More

I’ve always wanted to be brave

To face my demons unafraid

And yet I’ve always waited on

Someone, something, far beyond

But there are wolves outside my door

And I’m a child no more

 

Throw open wide this shuttered heart

Let in the light till shadows part

Gaze straight into the the truth of me

Embrace the facts unflinchingly

Unlock the gate, unbar the door

For I’m a child no more

 

I swell beyond these strict confines

Overflow my precious lines

Past the margins, I am free

Expand to the periphery

Plummet down or rise to soar

Either way, a child no more

Paths

Inside each heart

there are certain paths

that should never be taken.

Paths which seem to lead

to self-sufficiency.

Paths which promise

that you can become

impervious to pain

if only you stop caring,

if only you pull away

from anything and anyone

who gets too close.

So you leave them

before they can leave you,

and you tell yourself

you’re just playing it smart.

But walk too far down that path

and you’ll forget how

to turn around.

Vulnerability

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In the desire to be strong,

it is easy to become hard,

and vulnerability

often feels like frailty.

How humiliating it can be

to admit that we need–

That we aren’t able to keep going

alone–

That we are desperate to know

and be known.

Even now I hide behind this word:

“We”

when, if I’m being honest,

I mean “me.”

NPM: Nothing Is Wasted

Every day I stumble

On the road to somewhere

My knees are bloodied

My palms scraped raw

But nothing is wasted

Every embarrassment

Every hesitation

Every doubt overcome

Every ounce of pain

And disappointment

It is all transformed

And used for my good

Nothing is wasted

 

Every day I push myself up

On the road to somewhere

A moment of fortitude

An exertion of will

And nothing is wasted

Every unseen victory

Every unspoken hope

Every secret generosity

Every well-done task

And unrecognized potential

They are all accounted for

And acknowledged by God

And nothing is wasted