Tag Archives: poetry

The Day Noah Left

2001 was 12 years ago.  What’s up with that?

To put in perspective how this concept has blown my mind, here are some things that happened way back then.

  • Steve Jobs introduced the first iPod

  • A gallon of gas was $1.46
  • Dale Earnhardt, Sr. died in a crash at the Daytona International Speedway
  • The XFL was launched and subsequently flopped

xfl

  • The most popular movies included Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Shrek, Ocean’s Eleven and Pearl Harbor
  • Dharma & Greg, Everybody Loves Raymond and the Drew Carey Show were still on television
  • Terrorists attacked the US on 9/11 killing thousands of people

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  • Oklahoma Sooners beat the Florida State Seminoles (sadly) 13-2 in the Orange Bowl
  • Baltimore Ravens won the SuperBowl 34-7 over the New York Giants.  Ray Lewis was the MVP.
  • This was the top song of the year:

In 2001, I was entering my junior year of college.  I was enjoying waking up late and eating food from the cafeteria.  That year, our lacrosse team was 4-7.  That year, I broke up with someone for the first time.  I like to refer to that day (October 3, but I’m not keeping track) as my Independence Day.

So much has changed since 2001 both in our culture and in our lives.  I was a happy student, surrounded by impressive grades and great friends.  But, I was missing something and didn’t even know it.  God was doing a work in me that I wouldn’t see for many years to come.

During my junior year, I started taking the first of a couple semesters of poetry writing.  I recently remembered the following poem illustrating where my thoughts were at the time.

 

Today I watched Noah sail away

everyone in town had been helping him build

they’ve been working for weeks

I’ve been sleeping for years

but I heard he wasn’t going by himself

so I washed in the best stream, put on my best white suit

and brought my tools, even though I’m not a very good carpenter

 

As I walked up to the side of the ark

I was pushed aside by a pair of antelopes,

two beavers followed, damn, and some camels, too

even a couple of doves flew overhead. I didn’t see them though

but I knew they were there.

they seemed to have dropped a little something on my shoulder

 

So I took off my white jacket, hung it from the branch of an apple tree

and then the skies turned from friendly to mean, light to dark,

I heard a heavy thump at my feet, it was a ladder

and Noah, his wife and sons and their wives, and hundreds of animals

looked down and waited

 

Looking at the bottom rung of the ladder,

I realized all I had left were some problems

and a black umbrella to hide me from the rain.

 

It’s very humbling to look back at this poem and see how God was filling my thoughts and convicting me about how I was missing him.  It would be another couple years before I would make a decision to commit my life to following Christ, but the Holy Spirit was already working on me.  Poetry has always helped me understand myself.  The subconscious creeps in and lingers.

The loneliness, abandonment and disappointment I was feeling when I wrote the poem is completely different now.  God has accepted me.  Christ has redeemed me.  The Holy Spirit guides me.  The emptiness I felt has been replaced with hope.  The desperation I felt has been replaced with joy and satisfaction.  The shame I felt has been replaced with love.  I thought I was completely unworthy, but Christ showed me my value.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.  -Ephesians 1:7-8

 

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Use me now (a poem)

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Lord, I am ready now
Come and take this life
And use it for your glory

A passion for the nations
A love for the lost
A heart that breaks like yours
May I possess these things

Change me now
Change me now
Strip away the filth
Scrub away the stain
Use me now
Use me now

I try to hold on to
All these earthly treasures
But none of them can compare
To your heavenly pleasures

Release the weight of all my greed,
My pride and selfishness
And use me now
Use me now

Lord I am ready now
Come and take this life
And use it for your glory

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A stain on your shirt (poem)

People don’t treat you the same when there’s a stain on your shirt

They look at you funny or not at all

Empty stares, no one cares

Avoidance is the action that does the most hurt

 

With flying colors the first impression passes

Until the stain reveals itself

Crimson stain, burdened pain

It’s hard to win after the doubt amasses

 

The rest of the shirt is wrinkle-free and fresh

But the blemish on the left is all that is seen

Big and dark, question mark

Take off the shirt and stand in the flesh

 

Not sure where the stain came from or how it got there

If one sees it, they all see it

Filthy clothes, now exposed

Some bleach is needed, you’re in disrepair

 

I’ll take care of it myself and make is less perverse

Cleaning and scrubbing, cleaning and scrubbing

Make it white, make it right

Oh hell, now I just made it worse

 

One strolls by who knows how to restore

Maybe the stain might finally come out

A shadow crosses, no more losses

Don’t pay me for the shirt, it’s been spoken for

 

People don’t treat you the same when there’s a stain on your shirt

With flying colors the first impression passes

The rest of the shirt is wrinkle-free and fresh

Not sure where the stain came from or how it got there

I’ll take care of it myself and make it less perverse

One strolls by who knows how to restore

 

They look at you funny or not at all

Until the stain reveals itself

But the blemish on the left is all that is seen

If one sees it, they all see it

Cleaning and scrubbing, cleaning and scrubbing

Maybe the stain might finally come out

 

Empty stares, no one cares

Crimson stain, burdened pain

Big and dark, question mark

Filthy clothes, now exposed

Make it white, make it right

A shadow crosses, no more losses

 

Avoidance is the action that does the most hurt

It’s hard to win after the doubt amasses

Take off the shirt and stand in the flesh

Some bleach is needed, you’re in disrepair

Oh hell, now I just made it worse

Don’t pay me for the shirt, it’s been spoken for

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Doubt kinda sucks. (A poem)

Ok.  Here I go.  I’m off.
And I won’t back down.
I won’t back down.
I can’t back down.

There is no way that
I’m going to back down.
But, I might back down.

I should back down.
I’m gonna back down.

I turn around
Around and around
and a voice makes sound

Turn that smile upside-down
back into a frown
And always look down

Look down, take cover
go underground

That calling you’re following,
isn’t right for you
You’re fine right here,
here in your wallowing.

And there’s that voice.

Oh, a different voice.
A whisper, a shout.

Wake up.

Wake up!

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