And Now Do the Shades Rise Up To Praise You

Note: Written five years ago in April 2012, this personal account is still largely true today. Coming quickly now to the celebration of Easter, it seemed appropriate for me to share this testimony with reader-followers of this blog in hopes that you find both joy and inspiration. A half-decade may have passed, but the answer to the title-question still remains the same for me. Blessings to one and all!


Knowing and not knowing. Knowledge without understanding. Wisdom trampled beneath the arrogant feet of folly, led by the blind man I was born, groping along the wall, waiting for the next fall. No not a man, not half a man, but only a shade of what I was meant to be, the image-bearer of God, lovingly created in his likeness.

Feeling my way along in the darkness, surrounded by multitudes of blinded men, I was alone existing in my unlife, haunted by numinous dreams of otherworldly communion, struggling to forge hearts out of stone, draw water from desert sands, and cover the night in unseen light born of imagination desperately searching for some façade behind reality.

And I flew in a thousand directions to escape the anguish of my own haunted soul, dreaming worlds and wars, making love and peace in perfectly controlled imagination, writing my own laws and standing high priest in my own holy temple, all as vacuous as the furtherest reaches of coldest outer space.

Man by birth … Shade by slow death.

So much less ~ so terribly other ~ than what I was meant to be, and why? And I have fought and scrambled for so many shallow honors and recognitions, for power, prestige and popularity. Vainly do I scurry to fill my life with toys and trinkets, grasping at suave success and material gain, gasping for the breathe of life in the dark shadows of a dying world.

And my heart cry is lifted in the awful realization that apart from the Author of Life there is no life ~ authentic life ~ but that I am and ever shall be wholly destitute. No matter how much I shift and change, no difference how many different parts I play or people I become, I am nothing. I am the Shade.

But now stripped bare, blindfold removed, and all fantasy blown away like thin wisps of lingering smoke. Now awakening to the awakened world, and released from the confines of the medical ward back into the streets of asphalt and concreted buildings, flashing lights and delivery trucks, schools and churches and middle class homes…

Now what? More alive and awake than ever I have been before, I am frightened. What now? Fantasy feels safer, dreams more secure. No matter how agonizingly unrealistic, and no matter how disappointing … how shattered. But I hear the whisper in ancient tone, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ And so, ‘awake, o sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ And he who has now begun this good work in you is faithful and he himself will bring it to completion, for he came not only to give you life, but life abundantly!”

What else but to bow down in humble adoration and thanksgiving? After all, did the Light not shine to rescue me from Darkness? Did the Voice not speak for me to hear? Was the Story not told to fill my emptiness with Meaning? Did the Arms not open wide to embrace and hold one so alone and forlorn? Did Life not die and rise again that I might die no more, but live? Live?

The great psalmist, David, once asked, “Will you show your wonders to the dead? Will the shades rise up and praise you?” And the answer is given…

Yes, the shades do now rise to praise you! Lord, make me whole.

Mounting On My Knees

All consumed by you, the tomb of my soul gives birth to its worth;
Where once there was gloom and darkness, there now blooms life,
And I am being groomed for something more in the Womb of Love.
On my knees, my knees, I see the flowered trees of heaven dance
And the hinds prance from one mount to mount ~ who can count?
Bleeding tears from my eyes the size of tidal waves, what saves;
I’d forgotten I’m stronger when bowed low than standing for show;
Ah! Spirit of the Living Life and Light and Love from high above,
Show me now in which way to go, not with haste, but wisely slow;
Now I know, I know, I know . . . I am bended low higher than ever!
I shiver at the flow of Life surging thru my soul, my ethereal veins
Running with Blood not my own, veritable flood of heavenly Light
So bright, who can look upon the sight? And no longer dark blight,
My inner-man shines thru the night, and is there any more fright?
No! Consumed by you, the tomb of my soul gives birth to its worth!


Note: First published in February 2016, now being republished for the reading pleasure of new blog followers. Blessings to one and all!

The Prodigal

Yeah, I remember that day, the day I turned and walked away;
And did I even say goodbye or just fly out into the unknown?
Yeah, it was great for awhile, but I had no mate; I was alone
And eventually chilled to the bone, just like dead cold stone;
Did I hear you calling me back from falling into my own pit?
Ah! but I refused to listen, confused by my own damn idea
Of some great panacea that only proved to be a real sick kick!
But you never took your eyes off of me; you could always see,
And you kept calling while I was curled in the corner balling;
So now will this prodigal return or continue to burn inside
Of himself, where he’s pressed to abide? But you do not chide;
Sweetly, softly, your voice neatly flows in the cool breeze…
It’s been so long since I’ve known what it means to belong,
To be held in your arms, protected from all harms and alarms;
But will I wait at your gate or enter your chamber so great?
Will I, the prodigal, come home to you?
Ah! you knew … you knew, didn’t you?


Note: Previously published in April 2016, now republished for the reading enjoyment of new followers. Blessings to one and all!

Round Two: New Birth (Recast)

Yes, I have ears that hear the words you speak, but do I really listen?
Yes, I have eyes that see but are the tears you cry really visible to me?
You whisper so softly yet deeply in the keep of my soul, but do I know?

Oh! Light in me the passion-fire of intimate compassion forevermore
And let me soar into your soul to be yours alone and nevermore forlorn!

You pain for my gain, but do I appreciate the plain truth of your love?
You wrap tender fingers gently round my hand to direct, but do I object?
Do I reject your kindly leading in bleeding Love that never fails me?

Oh! Light in me the passion-fire of intimate compassion forevermore
And let me soar into your soul to be yours alone and nevermore forlorn!

Am I so insistent and resistant to your calling while I’m still crawling
On hardened earth? No! No, I choose re-birth and wholly renewed worth
In expectancy of ecstasy of unbounded compassion in passion of heaven!

New Birth



Note: Original first published in June of 2016

All is New in You

Did you stretch to pull me back from the edge?
Did you lift your head when I was so harried?
Did you laugh ever loftily when you reached me?
Did you shed tears of joy with me in your arms?

And all is new in you…

Shall we dance now and swoon ‘neath the stars?
Shall we run and play now and ne’er grow weary?
Shall we prance thru fields of green of life?
Shall we rest by the wide-open, golden ocean?

And all is new in you…

Do you see me now in new clothing so spotless?
Do you hear me now in new song sung sweetly?
Do you feel me now in my everlasting passion?
Do you know me now in eternally grateful heart?

And all is new in you…

Watch

Take care! They whisper in your ear, though inaudible
Your soul can hear, and your very heart sheds a tear,
And your spirit quakes in fear as they sear your mind
And bind you to your lower self behind numinous bars

Watch

Images fly across your mental screen, scene after scene,
As the harlot queen stakes her claim seemingly so serene,
And you choke on the refuse of your sordid imagination
In gestation of the summation of every wicked temptation

Watch

Stand tall in your inner-self else you fall to siren call,
And take heed to every need and feed on what is right
And just and bright before they punch a hole in your soul,
And leave you for dead in the dead of an esoteric night

Watch

Who Will Wake These Bones (Recast)

Dark valley, shadow of death, haunt of jackals, rugged stones;
Skeletal remains of a battle fought, cursed soldiers slain;
Pilgrim of the underworld, prophet of God, who will wake these bones?
Journey through the night into heavenly light, and will they breathe again?

And here we lie to say goodbye to earthen treasure, diabolic pleasure,
To rise again, to begin again without chain and the only pain to live

Bone to bone, sinew and flesh, and restless sleep in sand;
Bodies on bodies, row upon row, fallen damned on desert plain;
Sightless eyes, no life in blood, no peace of soul for the warrior band;
Who will wake these dead men now and let them breathe again?

And here we lie to say goodbye to earthen treasure, diabolic pleasure,
To rise again, to begin again without chain and the only pain to live

Thunder claps and lightning bolts, swift wind moves across the plain;
Eyes open and bosoms heave, fair faces in the light of day;
Life rushes in, the Spirit flies, and Death holds her broken chain;
Here now an army stands where before only dead, dry bones did lay.

And here we lie to say goodbye to earthen treasure, diabolic pleasure,
To rise again, to begin again without chain and the only pain to live

We Live…

Note: Based on the story of the Valley of Dry Bones found in the Book of Ezekiel (of the Hebrew scriptures) 37. 1-14

BE

Now you have come full circle to vernal passion
In high fashion, leaving behind ashen dreams,
So walk your talk on the wild side of the sun
Where dreams abide, where none can chide you
For who you are and will become some bright day

. . .

Stay
Don’t stray
Or enter the fray
But seize the new day
With no suffocating dismay
And enjoy a life in this new way
Here in Evergreen there is no decay

. . .

You are the star ignited from afar, shining brightly
In nightly sky;
You are the stream that flows below radiant heaven
To leaven earth;
You are the key for eyes to see the life-giving tree
Standing so free;

BE

Redeemed

Once you were tagged and sought, but you can’t be bought
Or brought about the winding road to sad life unravelling
At the seams, though the dark beams through thick forest
Of your existence in persistence in insistence of undoing
What has been given above mere existence in the distance
From cradle to grave; you are no knave but forever brave,
Worthy for One to save, brought out from the hellish cave;
Stand tall now, and call aloud before the ghouls maul you
And you crawl bloody away to stay forever hidden at bay,
To weigh in the balance and be found wanting to taunting
Of dæmon hordes, who hold cords round about your neck
And threaten to break your back for lack of divine courage;
Awake, O sleeper, and arise to claim your heavenly prize!
You are no longer what once you were… You are redeemed!

A Canticle of Whispers (3-Way Collaboration)

A one-of-a-kind, unique 3-way “cleave” poem with Nandita (in regular) and Joseph (in bold), two very talented poets and friends.  Thank you Nans and Joseph for the honor and privilege of collaborating with you. To my readers:  Please take the time to explore these two gifted writers by clicking on the links above. Now enjoy this “Canticle of Whispers.” 

You see me through my dark; I am your unthethered shadow; stark as Light you shine!
Lift me up when I’m down; bring me down for a sunset moment; dawn on me when the sun goes down 
You are the voice within, hark! You whisper me wisdom as I listen to choice words of love 
You are the smile to my frown ushering the smile of the day in; your smile never really leaves

Beacons will light the way along the path when I stray; every day you’re at my side
Demons greet me in their pack and no sad hate the demons lack; villains but vanquished within a thought 
In the gate that stands in light of day hypnotized, I lose my way; mesmerized in dreams, no loss
I howl for you to find me; you always help me back; you give me a mansion in place of my shack

Silver lining to my clouded eye, a tear falls in the moon’s silvery reflection and to this earthen vessel I say ‘goodbye’
This miracle I’m undeserving of; deserving of a miracle just to be; by grace you have made me whole 
Forever in your debt, am I; you are the one that lead me all this time; try as I may I can never repay
You are my one true love, my complete, my oneness for eternity, crystal clear this reborn life so new 

Note:  The “cleave” in its most basic form is two or three poems:  two parallel ‘vertical’ poems (left and right) a third ‘horizontal’ poem being the fusion of the vertical poems read together. But here, Nandita thought “out of the box” and came up with a four-in-one poem.