Poem: The Silent Places

17_resize.JPG

The Silent Places

You live in the silent places,
the places long hidden,
buried in fear of judgment,
places of punishment in the midst of struggle,
of anger written in stone,
Gods of hate.

You live in the silent places,
you bring me the courage I never learned.
Always before I was wounded each time I stepped forward into battle,
each step forward met with wounds and wrath,
never any satisfaction unless there was blood on the floor.
But you met wound with balm,
a safe place to heal.

I had almost forgotten safety.
Trust in it came slow.
Tentative.
a lurking of disbelief built over time and missteps
and the anger written in stone,
blind and understanding only belief,
losing faith in the seasons’ power to change and grow.
Stone belief. Raised and ready to kill
in the pretense of love.

You live in the silent places.
All the places I used to hide,
certain if I stayed still enough,
no one would notice.
I would be safe.

Now you are there with me.
Your love and patience a product of Paul’s truth,
and strong as God and his panoply of flawed saints,
you hold me up, and I have learned to speak
no less aware of my flaws and failures,
but no longer afraid of them.

About this poem

A love poem (duh).

“Paul’s truth” refers to 1st Corinthians 13:4-8a, the “love chapter” in the Bible, and Galatians 5:22-23. The very definition of love.

Tom

Poem: The Pain of Winter

8_resize

The Pain of Winter

Seven degrees and the quarry lake is frozen.
The snow has become hard
and there are no tracks from the animals of the night.

The few remaining plants are mere stalks, dry and brittle,
dark counterpoints to the snow.

Behind you, down below, is warmth.
the woman you love is there, nestled
in the house you share.

You will go back soon enough,
but for now you need to be here,
where the cold seeps into your skin.

You need to feel the bitter wind,
the hurt of it. You need
the reminder

of life without place or love.  You vow
to never forget the pain of those years,
for in remembering your appreciation is that much greater.

Far up the quarry, you hear a lone coyote.
Its yips echo off the stone walls.
He will not be alone, you think;

neither of us was made for aloneness.
Not for long.  Even an introvert like you,
a man comfortable in empty spaces,

needs.

You stand for a time. You can feel the temperature fall.
You turn and walk down the icy path, back home,
back to her,

the pain of winter raw in your bones,
rejoicing that it is a temporary thing, and below,
spring awaits.

About this poem

I am the introvert’s introvert, comfortable in silence and empty spaces. But even I know I am better with someone. And best with the right someone.

This is a love poem to that right someone, the woman I love and who loves me.

Tom

Poem: Contentment

12_resize

Contentment

I would like to paint you, but
I am not such a fool to think I could capture you
in oil and pigment.

You are too alive for that,
too full of mercurial movement and flux,
to be imprisoned by brush and canvas.

And so I am content
to watch your landscape change like seasons
in the moments we are together.

About this poem

In his novel “Portrait of a Lady”, Henry James describes the central character’s beauty as something that could not be captured because it was her liveliness that held the beauty, not a mere collection of lines and features.

I get it,

Tom