Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Night at the Opera

It's Sunday night, and my girlfriend and I step out to hear a friends's band play at the Deluxe, a smallish club in the Haight section of San Francisco.  

Music and sweat intermingle as the boys drive it home, sending frenzied beats of grinding rhythm careening into the eve.  

To my left, hipster zombies feign indifference, too stoned or too cool to care (though I notice their eyes are glued to the screen...), a handful of stragglers park it on the right, seemingly oblivious to the picture, and to my left, a happy couple dances, blissfully unaware that just a few steps away, a small swarm of wannabe's gather each trying to outdo the other with varying degrees of showiness.  

Players include a coquette with a striped power suit and fake laugh, a girl with a shrill voice barking orders for drinks, a tall bleached blond with heavy makeup, and a Gertrude Stein artist type who seems to be their den mother. The only apparently sincere one of the bunch is the drunk guy that stands in the middle and this, only because he is sincerely drunk.  

I observe the scene from my cozy spot behind the half wall, a silent witness to the nasty bits of this adolescent soap opera.  

When it's time to go, my friend and I say our goodbyes and walk into the cool night air.  On the way to the car, I chuckle to myself, recalling the motley cast of characters, and breath a sigh of relief that I'm not one of them (at least I hope).  It hurt enough going through puberty once in high school, I wouldn't want to do it again. Hopefully, they'll get the memo, or grow up.  Whichever comes first.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


She sits on the couch right next to me,
soft, and adoring, yet distant and free.

My dear older kitty, my sweet precious cat,
peculiar, and foreign, and almost fat.

She's the big little girl who likes to repose,
 a 6 year old cali with a pink dewy nose.

Her paws are all white but for tan on one toe,
her reflex is cautious, surprisingly slow.

Her tummy is baggy, I'm sure she's had kittens,
she's never once scratched me nor have I been bitten.

I rub her chest as she sleeps in a ball,
she never resists just hangs like a doll.

My favorite part is when I wake up,
and she's right beside me like the most loyal pup.

She'll wet my finger with small ginger licks,
if I'm lucky and quiet and move not a bit.

These golden moments slip into my heart,
feeding me joy when we are apart.

She doesn't play, never jumps on my lap,
nor rubs up against me, content just to nap.

But she'll let me pet her under the chin,
her obvious pleasure making me grin.

She always cries when I pick her up,
but humors me well 'til my minute is up.

We have a good time Loretta and I,
she trusts me, I love her, it's simple and fly.

"They'll steal your heart" I've heard said of beasts,
and now I know mine would rip at the least.

And so as I bury my hands in her fur,
her eyes lock on mine and she lets out...a purr.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I look up in time to catch a small tuft of fog hover on a hill.  I watch this gentle spectacle unfold from the comfortable back seat of the Wong's Rava as we drive to church.  I  feel good rolling down the freeway on the way to one of my favorite places on earth this Sunday morning, and as the cars whiz by, I marvel at the privilege of being able to express the faith that rumbles deep inside my soul.  I can’t imagine how it would be if one day the chance to give it voice was destroyed.  Facing imprisonment would be awful, like what happened to that woman in Sudan, or worse yet,  what if I was beheaded or even stoned for simply showing up at church?  I shiver to think of it, and yet atrocities like these happen all the time.
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow..."  James 1:2
So what do I do with this information?  How does the fact that people are being murdered around the world every day for the very same things I believe in affect me?  First of all, it makes me angry that my brothers and sisters cannot worship with the same freedom I can.  It is absurd that the most important and true thing, the cornerstone and foundation of life itself has come under such attack through the years and present day.  Don’t we know what’s good for us?  Do we not see what nourishes our soul as opposed to what tears it down?  How can we be so blind?  It is at this point that I must remind myself that we aren't pitted in a battle against each other, but rather against the enemy of our souls and that we would do well to remember to fight for each other instead of against the world.
"For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."  Ephesions 6:12
Secondly, the worldwide persecution of Christians makes me realize we're all in this together.  No longer can I stick my head in the sand, reveling in my quiet little corner of the world, pretending that everything is OK.  I haven't quite figured out yet what I can do to help alleviate the torment many of my fellow Christians are going through, but I know at the very least I can show solidarity by praying for them, and, as much as it scares me, by trying to imitate them as they imitate Christ.  This can translate to anything from sharing the gospel at the gym, praying for someone on the bus, to taking a bullet for a child, and then some...
"For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.  It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes-the Jew first and also the Gentile."  Romans 1:16
And thirdly, it gives me pride to know that I believe in something or someone, rather, that is good.  Someone that is worthy, that people embrace, and are willing to die for the way He died in our stead.  I didn't deserve life, I was still knee deep in muck when He came for me, but He picked me up, cleaned me off and set my feet on solid ground.  I have a new life I live now, a new song I sing.  I have reason to dance!  And even though I take up my cross every day, it is He who abides in me, enabling me to "live and move and have my being".  And that is why I serve Him.  
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  Romans 5:8
 The fog I saw on my way to church reminded me of the splendor of The Holy One, but it also made me realize that not everyone has the privilege or the liberty to gather in His name, and that many suffer every day for our Lord.  We live in a country that enables us to pretty much do what we want.  That said, let us stoke the fire of our holy passion and let us not forsake the assembly of the righteous.  I'm beginning to think it is an honor allotted to few.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Still one night in bed I lay,
the chains of death entangled me.

I couldn't move could barely breath,
 while fire licked inside of me.  

I saw flames leap and felt the ropes,
thick and heavy snuff out my hope.  

Something indeed pulled me down low,
showing me just where I'd go.  

I knew hell came for me that night,
but God pulled me out of that deranged plight.

T'was but a dream because I woke,
though it's memory saturated me like smoke.

At that time I didn't know,
that God himself could save from woe. 

I festered deep inside myself,
while the best of me lay on a shelf.

When God came in and took me back,
I was set free from those attacks.

Since then I've slept not perfectly,
but peace now rests it's hand on me. 

It's wonderful for me right now,
to see to feel serenities vow.

If you linger in the pit,
all you get to eat is, well...

So give your trust up to The One,
who's got your back who gave His Son.

And you will find a love divine,
tranquilities dwelling, a rest sublime.


Friday, July 11, 2014


Crusty, dusty old words come at me like meteors hurling in the space of my mind.  I don't see anything new on the horizon, just some tired, sleepy friends whom I've visited a million times and now come to pay me homage out of some warped concept of duty.

Well fuck you, sirs!  I don't want your duty.  Give me your lives, tense and afraid, dirty and rotting, and I will make something great of them, something to cherish for years to come...  

My stomach roils in it's pit right now, I tell ya, from what feels like years of inactivity and mediocrity.  I languish, perishing in the thought that I have no gumption, no go anymore.  Rather, it feels like my words have training wheels making me/them sound safe, boring, unappealing.  

What will it take to wake out of my torpor, my somnolent indulgence and rise to meet the challenges of a new goal?  For that is what this heady meandering is:  a call to myself to conquer the taboos, and the shortcomings of my existence.  I want to learn to swim and be able to save my life, I want to be there for someone, really be there for them, and pay it forward,  I want to write the story of my life, simultaneously exorcising the remaining debris of the destruction that tore me apart, and bringing joy and beauty to this love-starved world... 

These dreams, hopes and goals are like seeds germinating beneath the leathery, crusty soil of my mind, I see that now.  They invigorate me and give me the vision and hope that life is bigger than what I thought, and that it is waiting to transport me to some magical land further along the path that I was on before should I decide to hop aboard.

I think I will.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bus Stop

There I was with my heart in my hands,
nowhere to go, no pressing demands.

Alone at the bus stop I sat late at night,
discarded and empty, sad was my plight.

The cars they drove by uncaring and swift,
careening towards midnight, while I sat adrift.

My self esteem lay under the ground,
buried, forgotten, and made not a sound.

I was down and out forgotten and blue,
with nary a friend, my soul dead it's true.

But then a man came walking by,
he smiled politely and said ''hi".

He took the seat right next to mine,
and we sat and talked for a good length of time.

I told him my troubles and woes top to bottom,
and marveled relieved when I all but forgot them.

When he got up to leave, I followed him--
I had nothing else, zero to give.

I stayed with this man, generous in heart
and soon came to know we'd never part.

It's been many years since that fateful night,
so much has changed, so much is right.

Eternity now waits for this precious soul,
and all because He made me whole.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


An ever present burden weighing down my soul like an anvil on a feather.
I am stuck and immobile whilst others laugh, play and live it up
(or at the very least, choke and sputter along).

Deaf and dumb to the world around me,
all I see are plagues tearing up my soul,
giving me hives, careening me out of control
(yada yada, I could go on...).

But as I look up to the clouds and the moon, the sun and the stars,
I am reminded of angels and miracles, of heaven and an empty tomb
and remember there is a whole other blessed dimension to this life,
a reality that lends a patient hand to the struggling soul and holds on tight
while they wriggle and worm their way out of trouble...
(that would be me officer)
and so it is.