NPM: Live Gloriously

I’ve heard that life can be more
And that once you’ve tasted
Once you’ve seen
It’s unforgettable
I don’t think I have that kind of life
A life that is like the smoldering carnelian sun
Setting over the Serengeti
I look up and instead of majestic skies
I see stoplights and electric wires
And fluorescent signs promoting “The Whopper”
I dream of that other life
The one that moves your primal soul
And brings tears to your awe-widened eyes
But I don’t know how to get there
How to live gloriously
So I just keep asking
Hands open and empty
Waiting to receive

NPWM Day 18: Humility

A snake, a lie, a tree
A fall from grace, humility
A gate, a sword, decree
A banishment, humility
Blood from a brother’s jealousy
An outcast mark, humility
Rebelled, enslaved, unfree
A people’s cry, humility
A plague, a death, a plea
A broken “Go!”, humility
A staff, a stone, a parted sea
Deliverance, humility
A gift, a calf, idolatry
A desert path, humility

A crown, a throne, a need
A choice to go, humility
A crown, a thorn, a tree
A choice to die, humility
A stone, a grave, empty
Life over death, a victory

NPWM Day 14: Chestnut

Beneath a giant, spreading chestnut

I found myself on a summer evening

The light hung like streamers from its branches,

pooling among its roots as molten gold

It creaked a windy greeting 

Its leaves murmured about sun and soil

and time, such time

I laid my hand against the massive trunk

and felt the press of years

and the pulsing life that started as a seed

still pushing outward, upward, always

NPWM Day 13: Life, Be Kind

If my heart will be patient,

tomorrow I will see

that life can be gentle.

Life can be kind.

Its hands are not always clenched in fists

to land the next expected blow,

but can caress and soothe instead.

Life can smile,

a real smile that reaches the eyes.

It does not always scold or curse.

It can speak soft words of joy.

Oh life, relent

and show me mercy.

Turn away the crushing tide

that’s pulled me under

and dragged me across the ocean floor.

Have compassion

and show me tenderness.

You and I have been too long at war,

enemies, who were once friends.

Return to me again,

and I will not wish you away.

Life, be kind once more,

and I will slow down for you,

relinquish my defenses,

take your calloused hand in mine,

and breathe.

NPWM Day 11: Tomorrow is Yesterday

I thought love

would help me not to break

but now I know

that’s my mistake.

I beat myself

against your walls

until I’m battered

close to shattered

I never thought I’d be like this

Said I wouldn’t be this way

But here I am

right in the middle of

who I don’t want to be

Every detail memorized

Played on repeat in my restless mind

Unable to unravel

where I went wrong

again

Always afraid

that tomorrow

will be yesterday

and I’ll never get past it

Never get further

Because tomorrow is yesterday

and I’m defeated before I’ve begun

And yet the sun

will rise, despite me

And I can’t help but

feel a feeble flutter of hope

from this broken-winged bird of a heart

that tomorrow can be different

and so can I

and so can you

 

NPWM Day 5: The Architect’s Daughter

The architect’s daughter

sees potential in everything,

envisions a future

of possibilities and promises.

She tears down walls

and reshapes space

and ushers in light through new windows.

She pulls together the unexpected,

the unprecedented,

and a plan takes shape beneath her hands.

She sees results before they’re realized.

She holds the vision in her mind

until everyone else is able to see it too.

The architect’s daughter

overflows with potential,

but she keeps no promises for herself.

Possibilities too painful to imagine

are locked away and laid to rest.

There are some walls she can’t tear down,

some windowless spaces

that cannot be bathed with light.

I am no architect, no visionary,

but even I can see

that she is the dream being realized,

the potential actualized,

the renovation,

the renaissance,

the rebirth,

and I hold the vision in my mind

until she is able to see it too.