The Judge

Forgiveness not granted!
Petition denied!
I turned away from the judge
And I sighed.
So hard, so unfair!
Why is he so cruel?
Or is it just me?
Am I just a fool?
I wondered why
He had no heart,
Why forgiveness to him
Was not an art.
I turned back to ask him,
But as I drew near,
I found the judge glaring back
At me from the mirror.

When At Last

I once asked a wise man
What was the path to life.
He told me I would find
It was death if I was wise.
I did not like that answer
And set out to prove him wrong
By finding the happiness
I’d been missing all along.
My mission was defined
My goal was crystal clear
With wealth I can have it all
And buy what I’ll hold dear.
T’was then I lost my honor;
It was the price of gold.
I had everything I’d wanted
Except what I had sold.
At long last, I regained it
And then set out to find
Women who would pleasure me,
Sex to ease my troubled mind.
With each one, I grew worse
And my joy here soon faded
Leaving me empty inside,
Just bitter, cold, and jaded.
Power then was what I needed
With it come honor and fame
And everyone likes everyone;
At least, that’s their little game.
But they were all so shallow
With masks they could hardly bear
Too afraid to show the world
What was truly under there.
No gold, no sex, no power;
And now I had no clue
Of what there was left in life,
Of what I was supposed to do.
I gave away what I had
For of it I’d grown tired
And wanted to do some good
Before my time expired.
Finally I realized
That there was indeed a way
That I could actually enjoy
Each and every day.
The wise man was correct
And now I truly see
That I only found my life
When at last I died to me.

Before It’s Over

Ten years left before it’s over,
Ten years left ‘til I die;
But for now, I’ll watch TV
And laugh until I cry.
Five years left before it’s over,
Five years left ‘til the end;
But for now, I will waste time
Wishing I had more friends.
One year left before it’s over,
One year left ‘til I leave;
Now I ponder my funeral
Wondering who there will grieve.
One month left before it’s over,
One month left ‘til I’m gone;
Now I look back and I question
Is it enough what I’ve done?
One week left before it’s over,
One week left ‘til I pass;
I smile now at simple things
Like dogs and clouds and grass.
One day left before it’s over,
One day left ‘til I go,
I pray now I’ve taught my children
All they will need to know.
One hour left before it’s over,
One hour left ‘til we part;
Now I’ll say goodbye to my wife,
You are the love of my heart.
One minute left before it’s over,
One minute left ‘til I die;
Now I’ll prove I’m not immortal,
Somehow time has passed me by.
No time left before it’s over,
No time left and I know
My lone regret is I didn’t start
Living like this ten years ago.

Friday Poem: The Author

Quill Pen

As the author picked up his pen,
A thought ran through his head:
“How will they remember me when
My life’s spent and I’m dead?
Will they read the books I’ve written
And mourn the loss to art?
Will they say, ‘With work was he smitten;
Too bad he had no heart.’?
When they reflect back, will they smile
At each witty anecdote?
Or will they put my works on trial
And condemn all I wrote?
I trust the small things I do will tell
My love for people then,
And hope to be remembered well
When I set down this pen.

All That Was Needed

“I cannot do this!” I cried out,
And to this I heard no reply.
“I failed again!” did I shout,
But God did not answer why.
Angered now and so full of shame
That not good enough was my best,
I stormed off cursing my name
And knowing I’d failed God’s test.
“What you want from me I don’t know!
Nor do I think I have it to give;
I need to let this burden go
For this way I cannot live.
I tried to live, God, by your rule;
I failed, I sinned so many times.
And being human, hence, a fool,
I repeated one by one my crimes.
I tried to witness but cannot speak
Your truth in a way they would hear;
I’d be on missions, but am so weak
And crippled still by my fear.
I cannot do this!” I cried out,
And this time my cry was heeded.
“I know,” God said, “Without a doubt;
But your heart was all that was needed.”

On the Waves

Is this goodbye?
With waves so high,
A night on this stormy sea;
The night so dark,
Hand me that – Hark!
Is my King now calling me?
Lord, I can’t tell
Through thunderous hell
If it’s really You out there;
But tell me so
And out I’ll go
Whether weather’s foul or fair.
I step out now
Beyond the bow,
And if it’s not You, I’m done.
My foot gets wet,
But then I’m set;
With each step, I feel I’ve won.
But storm howls still,
Am I in Your will?
Did you call me out this night?
Long for the deck
When waves I check
And am overcome with fright.
Sinking, falling,
To You I’m calling,
Please come save me just once more!
I hold my breath
And wait for death
Wond’ring why I ever left shore.
A hand comes down
Before I drown
And pulls me above the waves.
“Did you just think
I’d let you sink?
Am I not the One who saves?”
Though storm’s now calm,
My soul needs balm,
For this trial I’ve failed again
Is this my best,
To fail each test,
Doubting always my King’s reign?
For me a smile,
We talk a while,
Then I’m put back out to float;
Waves start to climb,
Yet I know I’m
Safer with Him than on the boat.

I Was Right

A few years ago, shortly after enjoying the best God time of my life, I wrote a poem about forgiveness. I was struggling with literally dozens of grudges then, and writing this was the first step in the process of letting those go.

“I was right!” I shouted,
Alas to no avail.
The night dark and unclouded
The moon, still smiling, pale.
“Answer me if You’re there!
Or have You gone away?
They were wrong! It’s not fair!
Do You hear me when I pray?”
Softly rustled the leaves
And as I turned I spied,
As though between two thieves,
A flanked tree with branches wide.
“I was right then as well,
More than you’ll ever be,
But love saves more from hell
Than right or law or creed.
They were wrong, it is true,
But does that matter now?
Life became unfair for you
When blood dripped from my brow.”
“I was wrong,” I gently wept,
The pale moon smiling still.
Then heard as in the clouds crept,
“That doesn’t matter, either.”