Sunday, February 15, 2009

week two


i’ve been trying to reach you
climbing a tower of words.

babbling words-
dead ink-

my heart
cannot speak this language,
so it smiles politely and nods its head,
and pretends to understand.

but your words are not like this.

you opened your mouth
and creation said “yes”
and appeared from nothing-
day and night
oceans and land
and me-
all this with a few words.

i want to hear you this way.

i want to hear you in
flesh and blood
and blinding colors
and music that carries me to you.

can you carve your meaning
into my heart?

will you say to the motionless ink
“rise and walk”?


  1. Sometimes I just want God to speak so loudly, so profoundly, so undeniably, and so uniquely that it just "happens" for me. It's hard when there is relative silence, or something that seems mundane.

  2. i know what you mean nate. it is hard. i'm glad you're still wrestling with it though.

    it's good to hear from you. i hope you're well my friend.

  3. I keep coming back to this poem and re-reading it. I love it. I love the description of trying to reach God with a pile of words, but how the heart doesn't speak that language and so it just nods politely. (How many times do I nod politely when I don't understand -- or don't even value understanding -- something I've encountered?)

    My favorite line is, "Can you carve your meaning into my heart?" Oh, that gets me right here.

    I love that you're doing this for your church. And I love that you're giving us a peek.

  4. "...and me" sums it up for me...God's words reach through space and time to create even us, and what do ours do? They reach him if he reaches out and picks them up.

    There's so much here, and I love it!

  5. christianne: yes, this comes from personal experience for me. my heart doing that whole pretending to understand thing. i've been trying to learn its particular language, and speak it more often. thanks for taking your time with this. i knew you'd like it.

    sarah: that means a lot to me coming from you. i love the thought that he is speaking me into creation in an ongoing way. so powerful, and it somehow gives me permission to be in process.

  6. I heard your poetry via podcast of Greg Boyd's sermon series at an Ignatian retreat, and I kept listening to your "Words" poem. It actually made me cry--I hear your passion to reach God and I am able to understand more about God's power: "with just a few words." Thanks for writing it.