Deuteronomy 1-2; Mark 12

An Uninspired Verse

Awakened to the dull
Unending lull
In slogging daze
Of this blasé life
Prompts to mull
Hueless blossoms
In the clueless gardens
That shoeless I wander
Seeking the romance
Of this trance
Culled of chance
Bored of control
The cored soul
Finds shades of grays
Betray the jade
As unexplored monotony
That got in me
This very month of jejune
Festooned with pallid plaids
Turned another page
Another age now gone
The victory wan
This is not the stuff
Of poetic fluff
Drawn from the dawn
When the palette is complete
Replete with inspiration
Imagination has taken vacation
Gone to see reality
Not as the cessation of creation
Just a station of duration
A fascination with routine
Freed from pontification
It does not mean
Intoxication is required
To survive the mire
Furthering the numb feelings
Dumb of articulation
This is the only time I get
No more then and no not yet
Embrace the empty space
Grind the mind
Start the heart
To appreciate simplicity implicitly
Being at its base element
Content with the endowment
To be spent with intent
Duty in modest loam
Beauty in monochrome
At home in my rambling tome
The artistry of delight
In photographs black and white

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Numbers 34-36; Mark 11

I Know You’re Out There

I scream at the thief lurking out of sight
Walking silently
Stalking fiercely
Daring my steps
Wearing my strength
Rob me and take my every last mite
Reaving my idols
Relieving my freight
Naught to cling to
Caught in your grip
I ache to be stabbed with a dagger of light
Killing the dark
Filling the void
Healing the vice
Sealing my fate
Here I am in this desperate plight

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Numbers 32-33; Mark 10

Composed

Who writes the poems?
Who writes the songs?
Poets and musicians
Or mercenary throngs?
Is it their hearts
Poured out on the page?
Is it their hips
Hopping to get paid?
The colors of emotion
Scrawled on a measured canvas
With meticulous craft,
With splashes of chaos,
Uncontrolled in its rhythm,
Exploring the wilds beyond within.
Ink on their lips,
Intangible, incomprehensible
Soaring aspirations
Made murky by our plight;
Souls inflamed like ashes
Stuck in my head beating, flowing, blowing,
Almost in reach of my knowing.
What is this excitement?
Why am I inspired by this?
Shaking and can’t shake it,
The catchy catching me,
Captured, enraptured,
Like I’m set free for the great unknown
Where I can’t be sure,
Where I can be pure,
Where I am.

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Numbers 30-31; Mark 9

Plain Jesus

Jesus has never been that dazzling to me
In a bleached out, freakishly colorless purity way
Standing above the hoi polloi on the mountaintop.
Metaphorically radiant, yes;
As a theological descriptor, sure.
But what makes Jesus so Jesus
Is not that he is extramundane
Like every other dollar store god;
Jesus’ name is above all names
Because his name is simply mundane
And he wore dollar store clothes.
He didn’t move among us as a hovercraft mystic.
There was spit and grit in his work—
His work that wore him out so much he could sleep through a storm.
The small town boy kept small-minded friends
And inspired petty enemies,
As he told earthy stories
That hinted at something more that you couldn’t quite put your finger on.
Only a carpenter,
Only Mary’s son,
Only a rabbi,
Only an only.
Nobody could figure out how he could do what he did
And be so normal.
Maybe too normal,
Exhibiting unprofessional behavior for a messiah.
Who needs enigmas in their lives,
Leaving dirty footprints on their religion?
Confound it! he had to be stopped,
Arrested for the public good.
When he was beaten there was no doubt how ordinary he was
As the whip shredded his back,
The nails tore through his sinew,
His last breath escaped him, like it does everybody else.
Even he said he was finished.
Dead.
Buried.
Done.
Then not.
Then resurrected.
Not spiritually;
Not allegorically;
Really;
Bodily;
Eternally.
Like everybody else who puts their trust in him.
And now he is still among us
Physically,
Authentically,
Touching the world with average dirty fingernails,
Keeping the same kind of friends and enemies,
Still not fitting the profile.
People are as confused as ever why Jesus isn’t transfigured,
Why his body is so bent out of shape,
So plain.
That’s just Jesus being Jesus.

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Numbers 28-29; Mark 8

Dog Collar

My dog has a collar
Because she has a caller.
The neckband is not a choker;
It shows her master’s identity:
She belongs to somebody,
She has a home,
Someone will be looking for her if she gets lost.
Otherwise she would be mistaken for a stray
And end up locked up.
Maybe the collar doesn’t look like much
But it is my way of saying I love her.

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Numbers 24-27; Mark 7

From the Heart

There’s a pit in my heart
There’s a worm in my fruit
There’s a serpent in my tree
There’s a lion in my world

There’s a lion in my world
There’s a blossom in my tree
There’s a seed in my fruit
There’s a spirit in my heart

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Numbers 21-23; Mark 6

A Tale of Two Donkeys

It was the best of donkeys, it was the worst of donkeys.
Two from the same hometown,
An east burro and west burro,
Astin and Braylon.
Most people couldn’t tell them apart.
“All those donkeys are the same,”
People said, as if the donkeys couldn’t hear.
Statements like that pained Astin
Because he knew how different they were.
Astin considered Braylon a pain in the asses,
An embarrassment to their kind.
Braylon was always making a scene,
Hee-hawing and kicking anyone he found disagreeable—
Which meant anybody who didn’t think like him
That he was God’s gift to both man- and donkey-kind.
And he carried on his protests with such a self-righteous attitude.
Folks rolled their eyes,
“Typical jackass.”
Astin’s heart was broken.
He didn’t see himself as God’s gift to others;
He was God’s gift for others.
As it happens, he had actually had an encounter with God,
Or, at least, with an angel of God.
The whole experience brought him to his knees,
Humbled him,
Changed the way he lived.
Now if there was work to be done
He helped, whether man or beast.
Astin gladly carried other’s burdens,
Instead of defiantly squatting down.
He loved to offer his back to those who needed a lift—
From a pregnant woman to a dignitary in a parade,
It didn’t matter to him,
It was all for the Lord.
The only frustration he had in life was trying to tell others about God.
He tried hard
But few comprehended.
It was like he was speaking another language.
At times he felt like he was making an ass of himself.
He was foolish to believe he could be a steed of the Lord,
Bearing the Word of God.
Astin was not equipped to be a percipient elocutionist.
That was okay.
He was faithful and once in a while someone heard and believed.
Usually it was another donkey no longer satisfied with chasing carrots.
This is the tale of the two donkeys from the same hometown,
An east burro and west burro,
Showing even you that when you have a divine moment
You cannot be unchanged and sit idly by;
You are not the same ass you once were.

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