Prague in Ceramic

I sit at the kitchen table

Sunday morning coffee

Tomorrow I go back to school

My last first day of school

My cup has a name 

On the inside upper lip

The city depicted around the outside

Matches the name I see with every sip

It’s a city I’ve never been to

Only heard of from movies and stories

My father went there once on business

Hence the relocation of my cup

My parents have many cups like this

The same typeface spells out city names

Across the country, across the world

Each a memory of a trip taken

This cup is a place I’ve never been.

More than half of them are. 

But tomorrow is my last first day of school

And beyond that, graduation looks far.

But one day I will have a cup

From a city I went to and loved

To sip my coffee and to serve cocoa

To the ones here at home that I love. 

First-Person

Today I was pondering
As I do on meal breaks
The ways of the people wandering
This world and the lives we make.

It occurred to me while sitting today
That life is much like a game.
Some play to win, some just happy to play
Much like a first-person video game.

Sometimes people see the path
Set before them by the line of story
They follow that path, they do the math
And the sidequests never them worry.

Sometimes people collect easter eggs
Search corners of maps for treasures
They criss-cross the storyline at various legs
Number of collectibles is a success measure

Sometimes people struggle to play the game
The puzzles can become complex
At times the controller renders their hands lame
But they still continue to do their best.

Life in general is not a game.
People should not be controlled.
But the idea remains in the end the same.
We all have our ways we like to roll.

We all just think very differently
One person’s loss is another’s victory.
We each have our perspective to guide how we see
The world we live in simultaneously.

Don’t judge the Story-liner for his collection of trinkets.
Nor the Collector for her stage in the story.
Do not shame the child learning to play.
For in the end, everyone plays.

 

Interurban Myth

Rain drips down, down, down
Off the eves and down my nose
Fingers clenching in tighter
In the pockets of my coat

Bus brakes hiss to a stop
Probably for the millionth time that day
The city tries to be green and clean
But the exhaust still seems to stay

Point A, point B, back to A again
Classes, work, working class
Spaces between for meals and sleep
Papers and assignments amass

I step back from my schedule
Take my life off the calendar
Who am I after work is done?
Where are the moments of splendor?

Routine, routine, routine is mean
To my social desires at heart
I have few friends because I make no time
Can someone show me how to restart?

Because my life is but a vapor
So I want people to spend it with
To have people say “I know that girl”
To no longer be an interurban myth

Moonlight

Tonight’s the first of the year
I can see the moon shine so clear
Though still partially hidden in clouds
Its beam comes through fresh and loud

I can see it from my room
Shining over the neighbors shed
Sometimes it casts shadows
Of trees across my bed

Of course, those shadows only come
In the beautiful summer nights
When there is nothing blocking its brilliance
When it is ever so clean and bright

Often times I find myself
Unable to stay awake
When I’m looking up at the moon
When I’m wondering at its make

God made the moon, of that there’s no doubt
But the question is why and how
No one knows how God does anything
But as to why, I think I know now

He made it to shine, countering the sun
He made it to gleam and glow
He made it soften the night’s opaque darkness
He made it so His light would show
Even in the dark.

How Far Gone

This is a piece I wrote a while ago, when I was really deeply thinking about some things.

Earlobes twice
Upper ear once
Nose, belly button
And a piece of art on a calf

These are her cries of freedom
These are her painted walls
These are what separate her from them
They don’t know all, but they will.

Afraid of heights, of animals and insects
A child afraid of the dark
Never one to get in trouble
Her brother the rebel of youth

Somehow traded places
He sings behind the pulpit
She hides behind the pews
Hoping to blend in where he stands out

No one knows her name anymore
Mostly, she doesn’t mind
But when she needs a friend
Most eyes turned to her are blind.

So music soothes her aching heart
The wailing lyrics touch her soul
She feels connected in a way
That nothing else has made her feel

Except once, years ago
At a youth conference, she remembers
The touch of God on her heart and soul
A calling to something greater.

She knows it’s her fault
She stands in her own way
No amount of therapy could change it
She is simply paralyzed in fear.

She has asked God for sign after sign
As if something must be proven
Before she can act. But she knows
That’s not how God works.

God gave humans free will
Choice is part of the equation.
He will continue to choose us
But we must also choose him.

My life is now a remnant
Of what it could have been
I have not chosen God
In every circumstance He has given

Why would I throw away something
That I knew was valuable beyond measure?
How stupid must I be
To ignore the Great Creator?

I am simply human.
I want my needs met now.
I want to know I will succeed
Before into the world I go out.

I want to know His plan
I’m a control freak, I’ll admit.
But the thing is, I can’t make heads or tails of it.
And that’s why I get so frustrated.

Time and time again,
My ears bleed to the words
“Trust God”, “He has a plan for you”
“He must care for you since he even cares for birds”

I believe these things to be true.
But somewhere in my heart
I feel like these words aren’t meant for me
Though I so badly hope they are.

I see the broken and empathize
I see the hurting and want to help
I see the lost and I see myself
How far gone am I?

Discovery

There is no manual.
Age 20 has no guidelines.
Parents still loom
Responsibility to groom.

Learning a balance
Difficult when of two minds
Which one is yours?
Which is abhorred?

Socially speaking,
Time is of the essence.
Time given to friends,
Means justified by ends.

Memories to make,
Stories to tell,
Pictures to share,
Souls to bare.

Constant changing.
Transition period.
Moving parts.
Developing hearts.

Windows into possibility
Keep you thinking why not me?
Why can’t I go, do, and be?
I suppose I’m still discovering me.

These Are the Golden Years

This is a piece I wrote in honor of my paternal grandparents on their 50th wedding anniversary. The party was themed in gold, so I thought I would follow suit.

Young and in love
Sweet serenity of times
Spent together at the start
These are the golden years.

Newlyweds and excited
Adventures and new horizons
Learning how to be together
These are the golden years.

Little feet hit the ground
Homes grow, jobs change
Figuring out how life’s meant to be
These are the golden years.

House is full, schedule’s busy
Driving round and round again
One’s here, another there, and somewhere in between
These are the golden years.

Empty house, moving forward
Graduations change the sound
Of the bustling house to silence, and yet
These are the golden years.

Little cries echo in hospital rooms
Hearts expand to twice their size
A new generation to remind us that
These are the golden years.

Pictures collected, and shown to friends
Pride in those you love
Enjoying God’s gifts and the people around
These are the golden years.

The rings on your fingers, older and worn
Show the love you have in your heart
Love for your family, love for each other
These are the golden years.

 

I Can’t Breathe

I can’t breathe.
There are so many things I want to say
To comfort those in pain
But nothing comes out right.

I can’t breathe.
I see the injustice every day
I read the stories, hear the news
But I am helpless to do anything

I can’t breathe.
I keep wondering why I was born white.
Maybe if I wasn’t, I’d understand better.
But I cannot choose the color of my skin.

I can’t breathe.
I know that being silent is just as bad
As being the person committing the act.
But I cannot speak when it is time to cry.

I can’t breathe.
I want to make people understand me.
I do not care what color someone’s skin is.
But no one cares to understand me.

I can’t breathe.
Politics squeeze every breath from my lungs
Forcing every word that tumbles from my mouth
To sound like I am a racially biased person.
The media wants you to think that I don’t care
That I do not understand your pain.
They’re right in that I cannot fathom it
But the fact that I am trying to understand shows I care.
I believe in my heart and my soul
God created each and every person.
He created them perfect in his eyes,
Therefore, who are we to judge who is better than whom?
We know nothing about each other and are unjust and unequal
God knows all and loves all unconditionally.

The time must be near
When God will breathe life back into his creation.
Because right now, amid policy and violence
Racism and injustice
Pain and suffering
We cannot breathe.

The Wall

Written in 2014.

I am the wall.
I stand on the outer edge.
I contain much some days.
Other days, I am empty.
Many people like to label me,
Pin their pictures to me,
Make me look how they want.
Honestly, I don’t mind.
My blemishes are covered.
That hole that’s been there years
Is covered by the paintings.
As long as only one layer is tacked,
Nothing falls, nothing slips.
The outer layers of posters and pictures
Tend to fall first,
Revealing the crumbling newsletters,
Pictures, and posters from years past.
When someone new sees me,
They either tack something on
Or clear me off;
Rearrange to cover my holes,
My dings and dents,
The places where paint has peeled,
And furniture has scuffed.
And honestly, I don’t mind.

Box of Promises

This piece was originally written in March of 2014, but it was an accurate reflection of my feelings at the time that I can still remember. 

I found your box today.
I opened it, for old times sake
I read a few of your letters.
Only one made me cry.

Your poetry was cheesy
But I know I why I loved it so
It came from your heart, but it wasn’t
The poetry that made me cry.

Your analogies were ridiculous
Comparing us to candy and drugs
But they were accurate, and yet I know
It wasn’t those that made me cry.

In one of the earliest letters
Written on pages from your journal
The red ink forever imbedded
And the last line on the last page
Your promise made me cry.