The Race

This race
Is almost done.

I’m last.

Lost.

Bloody, battered, bruised bones,
One lurching step at a time,
Carry me closer.

I want to quit.

I want to sit in the mud,
And weep over the long miles past,
The road behind,
When I ran swiftly and easily. 

I’m last.

Why shouldn’t I quit?

Why not sit in the mud?

Why not?

…………….

“Who do you race? ”

A whisper.

” Do you race the others on the road?
Or yourself? ”

……….

I am weary.
I am worn.
I am….
A fool.

I race…
Myself.

Get up, fool!

Run!

Turn your feet to wings,
And fly.

Sing your song aloud,
With every panting breath.

Run ahead,
Run ahead,
Run ahead…

Race to the finish.

……..

The race
Is nearly done.

I’m winning.

Ocean of Grace

In an Ocean of Grace,

Mercy,

Love,

 

I flail and flounder,

Fighting to keep my head above.

 

Fighting for control.

 

 

 

Fool.

 

Fevered, frightful, fearful fool.

 

I fight to save my life,

My battered, scarred and broken life.

 

Let my struggles end.

 

Let me sink beneath.

 

Let the waters close over me.

 

Let me drift down

To find my truer life,

 

My better life,

 

My whole and unscarred life.

 

Fill my lungs with

Grace,

Mercy,

Love.

 

Fill my lungs with life.

 

Floating in faith.

 

Drowning in Grace.

Imp-possible

Once, I was immortal.
Once, I daily leaped mighty chasms
And tall mountains.
I dug rivers and lakes.
Civilizations were born
And died
By my hands.
I was brother to deer and rabbits
(though the kind of brother you might avoid at all costs).
I was the mighty hunter of the forest,
A young demi-god in blue jeans,
Sweeping through the world,
Bending it to my whim,
Afraid of nothing
(except chickens and dogs and snakes).
Cloud catcher,
Sun dancer,
Explorer of a thousand stars.
I was brought low by a spell
(or as I learned to spell, six of one…it’s all about words).
First word:
Don’t
Then:
Can’t.
Finally my divinity was stripped away
On the day
I learned
To spell
Impossible.

Faith

The mountain  stands before me,

The path rising,

Step by step.

My eyes only see a little way.

 

I wear chains,

Each link forged by me or for me,

Each a judgement.

 

The clink like broken bells

As I shuffle through the dark and cold,

The old and rusted against the smooth and new.

The past rising.

Rising before me

Step by step.

 

I sway and clank as I take the first step.

 

My foot lands next to a feather.

I bend and touch it and the oldest, rustiest link,

So old and worn to nothing,

Snaps and falls off.

 

I take a step up.

I take the feather and lose the link.

 

I take a step.

Take the feather, lose the link.

 

It seems I climb for years

But I move swifter with each step

The path rising before me.

 

 

I stand at the edge of the edge of the world.

Below, the clouds mark the path of the wind.

The path no longer rises.

The last step marks my choice.

 

Stay,

Swaying,

Arms full of feathers,

On the path littered with chain;

Or…

 

The long way up might lead to a swift fall.

 

 

No more easy steps,

Or hard steps.

 

No more steps at all.

 

I put on my feathers,mesa-984500_1920 (1)

And leap….

An Older Man’s Prayer

Lord, let me age gracefully and gratefully.

Let me slip slow and soft into senescence.

Let my age be my age

And my life wrap round me,

Fitting me closely and comfortably like my favorite shoes.

Let me not chase young men’s goals.

The accomplishments of my youth were of my youth.

Let me, instead, know the victories of a life lived to this point, and the victories beyond, as they come.

Let me fight relentlessly and righteously against the ills of the world,

But against the ills not the ill.

Let me grow weaker than I might have been

And wiser than I have been.

Let me savor my earned aches and creaks

As commendations,

Reminders that my body still moves and works and strives to be better.

Let me struggle not to hold remembered shadows of days past

And things that might have been

But fight valiantly to build each new day.

Let me learn new lessons

And pass well won wisdom to those who will hear.

Let the total worth of my life

Be less than it will be

And greater than it has been.

Amen.

Old Boxer Love Song

The old boxer stands in the ring.

 

He sways a bit.

 

Just a bit.

 

There are scars,

Old battle wounds,

And bruises that are slow to heal.

 

Slower these days than when he was young.

 

His skin is rougher,

Thicker,

Than it once was.

 

Many blows.

 

Many fights.

 

Many losses.

 

He’s not as fast

Or strong.

 

Slower these days than when he was young.

 

He stands in the ring.

 

He returns to the ring,

Again and again.

 

He makes his stand in the ring.

 

He knows.

 

He can’t win in the locker room.