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Showing posts from November, 2017

these bones (a poem)

these pains made manifest 
in my being 
in these bones 
the result of the tear in my soul ripped open,  laid bare for all       to see,      to mock,      to sample,      to taste,      to take. 
the me I believed myself to be; the one I was led to believe must be me; now exposed.
these bones dried by overexposure to the unrelenting       rays,       stares,       glares; bleached by the hot dry winds       of self doubt; cracking under their own weight;      the should have beens,      the could have beens,      the wish I was,      the wish I weren’t,      the if onlys,      the only ifs. where am I? where was I? there is no memory. 
can these bones live? only you know;      or do I know;           I hope someone knows; someone has to know. 
sinew,  tendon,   muscle,    flesh,     breath,      spirit  the coming together, the remembering,  the essence of the one I have been since beginning      and will always be born in me, filling me, bringing me  life again.
these bones live.    — b…

Repentance Perhaps (a poem)

. . . for the ways I treat myself, you, others, God, creation 
          as objects to be used, misused, mistreated, and dismissed . . . 
. . . for the times I allow insecurity and fear 
          to drive my behavior . . . 
. . . for the manner in which I have not recognized you 
          as fully you . . . 

. . . for the moments I hide in the shadows 
          instead of walking in the light . . . 
. . . for the instances I stay comfortable in my silence 
          instead of speaking up . . . 
. . . for the days I remain seated 
          instead of standing up . . . 

. . . for the missteps . . . 
. . . for the misdeeds . . . 
. . . for the mistakes . . . 

. . . for commission . . . 
. . . for omission . . .
. . . for acquiescence . . . 

I repent.

Perhaps that is how we begin 
to repair the breech 
          both real and perceived 
between 
     me and you, 
between 
     the who I pretend to be and the who I am created to be, 
between 
     a constrained understanding of God and the freedom of the Divine…

We Give You Thanks

(a prayer for Thanksgiving)
For those who have taught us...
For those who have given witness...
For those who have risked it all for others...
For those who have ended their earthly journey...
For those who have spoken up...
For those who have helped us discover our true selves...
For those who have stayed with us when it would have been easier to leave...
For those who have asked for forgiveness...
For those who have worked for justice...
For those who have walked courageously into their own uncertainty...
For those who have given us life...
For those who have born our becoming...
For those who have learned our soul song even when we have grown hoarse...
For those who have the strength to be with us through life...
For those who have called us friend...
We give you thanks.
Amen

In the Midst (poem)

So smart
     with all of our           big thoughts,           lofty ideas,           fancy words —                all of those words.  Then it happens;      the unexplainable,      the inexplicable,      the unimaginable           and                those thoughts,                those ideas,                those words           are exposed            for what they                always were,           for what they                always have been; powerless,      vapid,           empty,                void. All that remains is      presence           in the midst, and that is      enough. It has to be      enough for it is all      that has ever           been — this presence      of you,      of me,      of us           in the midst.   — bshivers

Freedom (poem)

Freedom
     isn’t freedom            if it only fully applies to one.  Freedom       isn’t freedom            if it favors one over others.  Freedom       isn’t freedom            if it oppresses one to ensure the rights of another.  Freedom       isn’t freedom            if it fears the full freedom of all others.  Freedom       isn’t freedom            if it requires the subjugation of another. Freedom       isn’t freedom            if it’s only freedom for some.  Freedom       isn’t freedom            unless all are forever equally free.    — bshivers 

Counting On You (poem)

Stand up...
     even when your knees shake;
Speak out...
     even when your voice cracks;
Take action...
     even when your nerves freeze;
Stay put...
     even when your pulse races;
Do something...
     even when you're unsure.

The forgotten,
The marginalized,
The outcast,
The othered,
The dispossessed
     are counting on it.

This Moment (poem)

This moment,
a pebble tossed into the river. Ripples radiate out gently changing the river’s course. This moment, a pebble.   — bshivers

Celestial Body (haiku)

That body of yours,
it's celestial in nature.
You're made of stardust.
   -- bshivers

The Choice of Love (a poem)

Love draws us near;  fear drives us away. Love compels response;  fear demands reaction. Love unites;  fear divides. Love sees humanity;  fear despises others. Love is selfless;  fear is selfish. Love leads to life;  fear brings death. Love advocates;  fear antagonizes. Love acts;  fear waits. Love seeks unity;  fear breeds division. Love drives out fear.   — bshivers

Answers and Questions (a poem)

It must be convenient
having all the answers.  Yet, here I am drowning  in these questions. And every answer discovered leads to still more. They never cease  their endless ebb and flow. This is life.  The world and its magnificent ambiguity; its colorful shades of grey; its ever-present uncertainty.   And this life is beautiful.    — bshivers 

The Sound of My Name (a poem)

I thought I heard your voice speak 
my name, but I wasn’t sure if it was you. 
It may have been the creativity of my own  imaginings betraying the longings of my heart. 
Perhaps it was only the sound  of the wind whistling past my ear. 
Or was it my own voice projected outside  myself aching to be heard, at least, at last,  by me?
I hope it was you. 
I turned my head to catch a glimpse of you, and what you might look like. Yet what I saw was the people whose souls   and bodies filled the room. 
I did not see you . . . unless . . . unless you were present, right there, in their midst, in their presence,  whispering my name on the breeze of their every breath reminding me that I am remembered, that I am loved, that  my name is a song worth singing. 
Yes, today I heard your voice speak my name  silently  in the depths of me.    — bshivers

Humanity (a poem)

Humans are not
problems to be solved; issues to be addressed; crises to be managed. Humans are not black/white; either/or; this/that. Humans are complex organisms; intricately composed; beautifully whole. Humans need to be seen; to be heard; to be honored.   — bshivers

Take Care (a poem)

Please,
be careful with me.
When cut, I bleed. When struck, I bruise. When insulted, I fight. When moved, I cry. When surprised, I gasp.
In passion, I flush. In embarrassment, I blush. In fear, I shudder. In joy, I shout. In grief, I weep.
Of course I do. For I am human. As do you for so are you. Indeed, even those we call other are, too.
Please, be careful, take care of each other.   — bshivers

Become Flesh - spoken word video

Image
Are we not more than an odd mixture of stardust and words? It is from dust we were formed and it is to dust we shall return. The inbetween is full of words, some spoken, some thought, and many forgotten. There must be something more. Perhaps the purpose of this life is to become flesh, to become fully human. This is the real riddle of this thing we call incarnation: the absurd mystery revealed in the life of the nazarene. Incarnation, this flesh becoming, is more than a theological concept spoken of with grand words and in lofty tones. It is a messy work, a beautiful, murky, lived realty of blood, water, and bodily fluids. This is where we find life. The question is, do I have the courage to become flesh? And in so doing acknowledge the value of the life that is in front of me. My own wonderful mess as well as the magnificence of the one standing, sitting, kneeling, lying with me. Through the incarnation we have been freed — freed to be present in our skin and with one another, freed…