I walk tall

On open green hills,
in glowing city streets,
I walk tall

not because I am cocky,
not because I am strong,
not because I write the best poems,
because I do not.

I walk tall
because I once walked
through an evil land
with no sword in my hand
with nothing,
nothing to give,
no strength,
no courage,
only weakness
and trembling fear.

Yet, strength came to me.
The harder my battle,
the stronger I was made.
By the hand of the Almighty,
I was made powerful!

When I had nothing to give,
he overflowed me with gifts to share.

I only had the will to do His will,
to be just,
and that was all I needed.

So now, on sunny shores,
in damp forests,
I walk tall

not because I am wise,
not because I am experienced,
not because I am strong,
because I am not.

I walk tall
because I believe
in His Grace.

The Quintessential Evening Bike Ride

Cool enough to stay dry
Warm enough for a t-shirt
Fingernail moon in the open sky
Fragrant woods like free myrrh

Time stands still
But goes by fast
Lost on the way
But we made it back

Gentle like a lullaby before bed
I wear a helmet on my heart
And a mask on my head
Most days

But an evening ride
Rolls the truth out straight
Puts it all in place

Life is not a race
It’s a song and a dance
And a face

Life is a bike ride
At the end of the day
That sums it up
It’s all gonna be okay

A Sound in the Woods

angled trees
tangled and squeezed
full of colored leaves

and leaves falling down
to the ground by the pound
i walk brisk in the yard
to their crunchy, crisp sound

and i’m astounded by the whole world
the blue sky beyond pines
the blue sky beyond orange oaks
and red maples wound in great vines

i’m astounded by the scent that is not just a scent
it’s a lingering sense in the air
a spirit’s descent
smoke from a chimney

i’m absorbed in the present
leaves decomposing
apple crisp baking
harvest moon glowing
i spent my saturday raking

fog from my breath
yet i’m warm and content
in my long johns and flannel and jeans

…until i heard that sound in the trees

it was short like breath
but deep like the sea

i started to run away, but thought,
“maybe someone needs me
maybe they need my help”

so in i ran to the forest canopy
the woods were cold and damp
like an unfinished basement
it gave me chills as i ran

deeper, darker
then the sound came again
louder, uglier and unintelligible
though, it sounded human

my heart beat hard
my hands couldn’t steady
as i approached a meadow
my soul wasn’t ready
for what i was about to see…

…to be continued
on the next All Hallow’s Eve

Walking at Dawn

Suburban Autumn Night

Looking, as I walk, from the street
Looking at people watching glowing TVs
Looking at a lonely man, with a nice car, eat
Looking at porches decked for Halloween
Looking for the wind that is shaking the leaves
Wondering who might be looking at me