NPM: The Naming of Things

The naming of things

is the chief aim of writing

To articulate the ineffable

feelings and thoughts of the secret soul

To gaze into the inscrutable workings

of the mind and heart

and to describe whatever is detected there

This is the essence of expression

The “why” behind the struggle

to put pen to paper

even when the words don’t flow easily

To put a name to something nameless

so I know what to call myself

A Broken Gate, A Stolen Key

Hell, you once had the power
To make your home in each of us
To smolder in the pits of our souls
And make us wretched

Hell, you once grew like a flower
Roots tangled through our thoughts
Poisonous blossoms making our air
Thick with sulfuric fumes

Hell, you once stood like a tower
Proud and vicious against our skies
Looming over us, a constant threat
Keeping us in terror and tyranny

Hell, your power is broken
Your flower withered
Your tower shattered

You’ve been plundered, ransacked,
Emptied by the one
Who went willingly through your gates
And obliterated them as he came back out

[1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 1:18]

NPWM Day 16: Yield

When I get angry,

My whole body goes rigid.

My shoulders stiffen.

My jaw clenches.

If standing, I grow very still

For just a moment,

Then I may break loose and pace,

Or simply walk away,

Or stomp away, depending.

And I can feel this stiffness

Settled in my soul,

This unbending, proud, angry heart.

I have been holding my shoulders tense for so long,

Holding my grudges and my offenses,

That I’ve forgotten how to yield.

But oh, how I long to yield again:

To bend and not break,

To sway and not stiffen,

To forgive, to forget,

To lay down sword and shield

And simply yield.

How Does A Heart Break?

 

How does a heart break?

Is it a glass falling to the ground?

A scatter of shards and

the irredeemable sound

of fractures, too many to repair?

Is it sudden, complete?

Is one left standing

in the circle of glittering pieces

staring at the refracted light,

trembling hands empty, and empty inside?

 

How does a heart break?

Is it the slow shifting of a fault-line,

a grinding pressure, a bit at a time?

Does it compress and harden

under all the weight?

Collapse in on itself, until a great

seismic shudder of energy

surges and presses out

and throws everything around

into chaos?

 

How does a heart break?

Is it a stone in a river,

silent and still?

Letting the persistent waters of grief

wash over it, years upon years,

until the river’s tears

have worn away any definition

and it is smooth and unresisting?

Little by little, day by day,

does it give itself away

so there’s nothing left to take anymore?

So it can’t be robbed

by the constant throb

of pain or loss or longing?

 

How does a heart break?

Is it a glass, a quake, a stone?

Does your heart feel these things?

I know only my own.

 

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.

If You Fall

I’ve been trying to write for days,

And I keep erasing every line.

My words feel so trite,

so flimsy,

so weak.

Why do they abandon me

when my need is greatest?

When my heart swells and trembles,

When my spirit cries and shouts,

Then my pen runs dry

and my tongue falls mute.

I know that words can transport, transform.

I’ve felt their latent power humming on the page.

Why then when I feel deeply

are these letters flat and dull?

I’m desperate to say

whatever this is

that quakes and roars and whispers

through my dreams and into my waking hours.

We talk with our eyes,

and maybe that’s best.

Maybe they say what I can’t.

Look in them and see

that if you break, so do I;

if you fall, I fall too;

and if I rise,

I’ll rise with you.

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