Psalm Sunday – Psalm 5

I love form poetry. I love the discipline of restricting my words to a set meter and rhyme, and so I rarely write free verse.  I was hoping to write a rondeau for Psalm 5, but everything seemed too forced.  I started writing in other forms too,  but nothing seemed to come together (hence why I didn’t post anything last Sunday).  The fact that nothing would come together caused me to believe that God wanted me to meditate more on this particular Psalm.  So I ended up going in the free verse direction so you can see some of what came to me in my reading and rereading of these words of David’s.


Was David speaking of himself
when he spoke of his enemies?
Was he, himself, the wicked one
that God must surely hate?
Were arrogance,deceit and malice
vices that he struggled with?

I wonder, Lord, for when he asks
to be led down straight paths
he says to you that it’s because
of enemies he faces

And I, oh Lord, like David know
that you detest all forms of sin
and sin abounds within me Lord, and yet…

Because, oh Lord, of your great love
I can come bow before your throne
and though my sin is as a grave,
yet still Lord, I can come to you
and sing for joy…
…for you give me new life


I could not abide your inflammatory words
your writings that went against the status quo
and so I took your pages and painted over
all the objectionable verbs, nouns, adjectives

I redacted you down to “ifs”, “ands” and “buts”
to snuff out each spark of revolution
not knowing what you were trying to teach
and not caring to understand

So now I stand back
and watch a conflagration
of my own making

too late did I learn:
my Wite-Out® is flammable too



This whole piece was inspired by looking at a bottle of Bic® Wite-Out® correction fluid and seeing a label indicating “Danger: Flammable”

Ode to my Son

you are a glass vessel filled to the brim
with the glow of liquid knowledge
that pulses within you in brilliant flashes
of amber and green and crimson and blue
and other colours too wondrous to name
you are not wood or steel or other substance
that would hide what is within
you are glass and I rejoice that your
inner beauty is exposed for all to see

What’s more, you are a vessel without a cover
and when you move you cannot help
but splash those around you with
the delicious warmth of your fragrant wisdom
while at the same time
you love to drink the refreshing rain
of new knowledge

you are a vessel made of glass
beautiful to behold as you scatter
rays of sunlight through
the prism of your personality

and every time that life
throws a rock at you
I feel as though
my own soul of glass
is shattered
into a million shards

I don’t understand war

Written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of The Armistice:

I don’t understand war
I’ve never pointed a rifle at an enemy
Nor faced the barrel of an enemy’s gun
I’ve never felt the impact
of a nearby bomb explosion

I don’t understand war
I’ve never been forced to scramble
For a mask to save myself
From mustard gas
I’ve never felt shrapnel
Bite through my skin
From a hand grenade

I don’t understand war
I’ve never fought hand to hand
Knowing that the victor would live
But the loser would not
I don’t understand war

I don’t understand war
Because there are men and women
Who have faced bullets and bombs
Hands grenades and knives
Gas attacks and more

To those men and women who understood war
So that I don’t have to
Thank you that
I don’t understand war.

Psalm of Supplication

The wicked walk with heads held high
rejoicing in the destruction of the righteous
They delight in inflicting pain
on the ones who would
do all that they can to
alleviate the pains of others
they gather in secret councils
to plot ways to do more evil

How long O LORD
will the wicked have their way?
how long will You allow them
to glut themselves
on the misery of the upright?

Come near O LORD
expose the wicked for who they are
expose their lies and bring Your divine justice

Restore the righteous
who have been unfairly trampled
for You are no lover of evil
but You take pleasure in those
who serve you


written for my friends SH and DH…and for their friends KR and KR, PR, GR, and LR…and all others in their community who are suffering right now.  God knows the details better than any of us.  He holds you in his hands!

Napowrimo 2018 – Day 16


I went into the library
And thought it just a room
Until I spied upon a shelf
A book

I picked the book off of the shelf
And though it just some words
Until I started reading and I found
A world

I started to explore the world
Forgetting it was merely words
And soon I did not even know
That I was sitting in a room

I went into the library
Again another day
But this time knew that I would find
The universe inside!

napowrimo 2018 – day 9

If the whole earth hears of a nation in famine
but no one hears of the unfed child down the street
is the hunger of the one any less than that of the many?

If the whole earth hears of a mass death tragedy
but few hear about the girl who died of cancer
is the grief less for the family of the one than the families of the many?

Oh sure the nations weep for the many who are known
but known as numbers and not as names
but the one is a name and not a statistic
is the pain any less for the named than the number?

Weep indeed for the known multitude
But realize that of the masses, each number has a name
Each one is known and loved
And don’t forget the smaller tragedies

For somehow
the small tragedies and the large
are exactly the same size


this past weekend, my province was rocked by the news of a tragic traffic accident involving a hockey team. Of the 29 people on board, half are dead. None walked away uninjured…at the same time, however, our family has been touched by the death of a young girl who died of cancer. Her death will not make front-page news, and yet her family hurts just as deeply as the families of the kids on that bus

written for


there is a fracture
where the bones won’t properly knit

bandaids and tourniquets have their place
crutches and canes have their uses
but for breaks, the bones must first be set
or they will join askew
and the pain will remain

the worst of it is
that each fragment of bone
blames another fragment for the break
and they refuse to be set
and they refuse to heal
and they refuse to be whole
for they think that the pain
of being set
would be worse
than the pain
of remaining fractured

there is a fracture
where the bones won’t properly knit
and the ache is intense


a few rambling thoughts on racism and how it fractures a nation. My nation. Your nation too. It’s easy to heap blame or to say “suck it up…those hurts were in the past”, but without understanding…without compassion…without reconciliation, the pain will remain, the pain will worsen, and the pain will cripple.

Dotted Line

A border is a crossing/division/barrier
a dotted line on a map that says
this side/that side
a dotted line that says
mine/should be mine
a dotted line on a map that gives
an excuse for hate
a dotted line that says


“Border” is the theme of the day over at dVerse

Psalm for Times of Peace

You are quiet
Your voice I hear not
And in silence I suffer
Longing to hear you once again

O why do you keep your lips pressed closed
When I am drowning in the quiet
And a word from you would be
Breath in my lungs to sustain me?

It is not so much your reticence that
Has doomed me to suffer this disquieting quiet
But my own foolishness
For when you have spoken I have not been keen to listen
Release me from this hostile peace
And I will open my ears to hear


a free verse sonnet for dVerse