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WoundsThe time when verses flow most freely from my mind
Is not when life has altogether been too kind:
The echoed strains of joy, what words could catch and capture
The speechlessness of laughter, hearts abrim with rapture?
It's hopelessness and sorrow baring wounds through words,
A crust of scabbed emotions daring to be heard;
It itches mightily, and though you want to rip
Apart the hurt and all reminders in one strip,
It stings to know there is no bottom but an ooze,
This awful spring of inspiration, pain-infused.
But give it time to heal, protect it from all harm,
And off it comes. The skin beneath is new and warm
And paler than before, but solid in its form.
Memory #4: The CostIn my sophomore year, we would have prayer meetings every Wednesday afternoon. I would say that weekly meetups and prayer meetings were the times I learned the most that year. On one level, I learned about prayer itself, and how many different ways you could pray. You could pray through the Word (praying through a psalm was a particular favorite of mine), you could pray in one voice with each other, you could simply praise and adore God, or thank him. Along with my meetups I learned more about confessing in prayer as well. On another level, I learned a lot about the many different things we could intercede for. We would pray for our campus, our ministry, our missionaries, and most importantly, our people and the various facets of their lives. It felt that every prayer meeting was learning a new thing about prayer.
But even more than these substantial lessons, I learned a lot from the older people who led the prayers. Seeing their example as prayerful men and women left a deep impressio
UnspokenUntil the day appointed when I stand
And tell you all the hope you fill in me,
I'll tell you naught of what I understand
Within my heart, unseized by urgency.
For in the promise now I see no need
To haste the swelling feeling deep inside
Nor give up hope: to pray and not to plead,
To slowly bridge this shortening divide.
But we are closer than I could have thought,
And in the light of such proximity
The sentiment our interactions wrought
Are all too easy for your eyes to see.
For now, let this reward you for your wait:
The tenderness my actions indicate.
LifthrasirWhose princely air proudly
Passed the sea in freefalls,
Who sought peace, sword flaming,
Striking words like forgefalls,
Pride of Berk, battleworn,
Breathing life where strife falls,
Prized by Líf in prayer:
Their pressed lips, blessed footfalls.
Away at HomeLord, be my home and all my stay
When even home feels far away:
Let my own kin say what they may,
Lord, be my home and all my stay.
For heaven holds me in its sway,
My single passion day to day.
Lord, be my home and all my stay
When even home feels far away.
Sandwich IslandPotato salad and a turkey bacon:
All it took to show me how the days
Have heaped on like a sandwich in the making.
Twenty years now stacked on bright red trays
With food and paper plates and Styrofoam,
Symbols of good taste and friendly ways.
I wonder what had roused her then to roam
And settle in this aging college town.
She heard me speak the language of her home
And something must have moved her heart deep down
To save my weekly order in her mind.
Some turn to comfort food upon a frown,
And yet more consolation there I find
A fullness of a heartfelt， hometown kind.
Memory #2: NinjaIn the final days of APUSH my junior year, our teacher had us write letters to ourselves five years from now. Last week it came into the mail, and understandably, I was curious to see what my 16 year old self wanted to tell my 21 year old self. As it turns out, he didn’t really have much to say (so my memory of not knowing what to write was confirmed), only to talk to a bunch of my friends and to refer to a game we used to play: Ninja.
I don’t remember who brought Ninja into West Ranch High School, but I remember that when it did hit it was the bomb. The basic premise of the game was that everyone would stand in a circle, and you would count to three. On three, everyone would strike a pose, and taking turns, you would try to hit other people’s hands to get them out. The goal was to be the last person standing.
I’ve played it a couple times in college, and hearing of other people’s different versions, I can safely conclude that we took Ninja way too serious
Memory #1: The Perfect BiteI don't remember what age I was exactly when I had In-N-Out for the first time. It was when I was five or six, around preschool or kindergarten. But I can vividly remember what it tasted like, where we were, and how I earned it.
At the time, I had two major haunts: the Duarte public library and the LA Zoo. Now in those days, the public libraries had a deal of some sort where if you read five books, you could get a certificate for a free hamburger. Being the kind of kid who would check out and read 20 or so books a week, I made short work of it. I remember my mom taking me and my little sister to the In-N-Out in Arcadia, the one that has no indoor seating, and I remember she took us to a park. It was quite a nice summer day, and we sat on a picnic bench in the shade. My mom let me carry the bag, and I remember that I was ravenous by the time we got there. It smelt so good, and when I bit into it, I don't think I have ever had a better bite of a burger than that first bite. Soft bun, sau
A Frozen Ballad, Part VThe First Time in Forever
Three years had passed, and all the world
Was sailing on its way
To Arendelle, for Elsa was
To bear the crown that day.
How towering the stately masts
And billowing the sails!
How joyful were the people's songs
Sung over hills and dales!
The castle gates, which once were closed
For thirteen weary years,
Now opened, and the eager throng
Streamed in with loudest cheers.
And yet, against the tide, a maiden
Hastened out the door,
The first time in forever she
Could go out and explore.
Sweet Anna, with her rosy cheeks
And eyes aglow with glee,
Was singing, dancing in the town,
For she had been set free.
Now as she sauntered up and down
The dockyards and the streets,
She crashed into a foreign horse,
And swept right off her feet.
The rider was Prince Hans, who hailed
From Southern Isles' shores,
A handsome face that hid a heart
With malice in its core.
But Anna, captivated by
His warmth and princely charm,
Returned to Elsa with no clue
Of near-impending harm.
CancerI remember the time that you touched the stars
Stark white, skin-tight; they hit you too hard
With a splintered cry, falling from sulfurous Mars
And the Fates ran screaming back into the dark
I remember the sound
The thrum and the pound
I remember the morning you woke in blood
When the lies in your eyes were unbearably rough
And the marks of the hypocrite far from enough
'Til you wept as Moses e'er fires and flood
I remember your song
You thought you were strong
I remember much further than Man ever dreams
You forced out your flesh, and I wept at the screams
The soul and the sorrow to memory clings
A light in the night, like Insanity, beams
I'll remember your cry
'Til the day I, too, die
Go Sing the Night to SleepWhy do you wear a heavy brow
And keep your eyes upon the ground
While wishing rain would come fall down
Go sing the night to sleep
Can't rest, you say, too much to think
Though as you ponder, eyelids sink
Your mind is slipping to the brink
The clouds roll in, gray-blue
I've lost it all, you whisper last
I lost it all, I lost it fast
Theres nothing in the net I cast
Slipping stars, a cover of dew
Rain can't wash away your grief
But can it bring you some relief?
Rinse away your false belief
The night sings through the rain.
It beats your back, bleeds through your shirt
It finds the wounds that ache and hurt
Rinse out the blood, the puss, the dirt
Moon hid to not get wet
Now rest your eyes, and go to sleep
There's nothing left for you to keep
Inside, no point for you to weep
Rain dances come the night.
Express YourselfAn opinion is not a fact,
It’s a way of expressing what you believe,
Some people just overreact,
And they do nothing else, but deceive.
You either concur or deviate,
People’s beliefs deserve a lot of respect,
Everyone has a right to differentiate,
It doesn’t necessarily mean they are correct.
A person’s view could be knowledgeable,
Just appreciate what someone has to state,
An opinion doesn’t have to turn into a debate,
It’s a shame when people are intolerable.
I wish the world could be a better place,
For the entire human race,
A place where we can care,
A place where everyone is fair.
Now before you go on and criticise,
An opinion is not a fact,
It’s a way of expressing what you believe.
StoriesWhen you walk by
and see someone,
do you ever wonder
about the story behind that person?
What put them on the road
to where they are now in life?
How did they gain their fame and glory
or why are they filled with pain and strife?
That homeless man
lying there in the street
may have at one point
served in our naval fleet.
When he came home,
his wife had divorced him
and that is the very thing
that completely destroyed him.
Then there's that secretary
who's flirty boss is her pet peeve,
and you may wonder
why she doesn't just leave.
Her family is poor.
They need the money.
So she is stuck with that job
and her boss's promiscuity.
Of course there's that boy
who sat in the corner
and the girl who spoke to him
despite what they told her.
Many years later,
they are happily married
and have two kids
named Robert and Sherry.
Every person you see
has a story to tell
about how they reached heaven
or how they're damned to hell.
So the next time someone
talks about their life,
UndecidedPandora's box of love's young dream;
Hopeless hearts preserved, pristine;
Airtight nightmares, crystal-clean;
That fall or fly or wait unseen.
In our dreams, we make excuses;
Hopeless hearts with hopeless ruses;
Ballpoint hearts around our muses;
Not to know is what she chooses.
Waiting boxes stand to blame;
She'll never ask, for fear of shame;
To choose one path would end this game
And stake her life on chance's name.
Three words to him she'll never say;
While she can dream, it's all okay.
Preserve a dream for one more day;
Now turn your feet
And walk away.
cursethe glass's sand, to our chagrin,
spills fast away and ne'er again
will life subsist as it has been;
may you live in, may you live in...
we're forced to watch forces align,
to our communal world malign
and lay to waste our plans contrived;
int'resting times, int'resting times...
The fence in my yardThere’s a fence in my yard
My father taught me to build
With a gate in the front
And a back strong-willed
Where the inside and outside
Love and hate of the world collides
Just like my face
It has two sides
One of welcome and safe inclusion
One of absolute defiant seclusion
Both built to last paid with sweat
Nails driven with pounding regret
But isolation has left this yard alone
The laughter of my children echo no more
Because as they all matured
They walked out the door
A Man and His GuitarHe sings of things that were and are,
Sitting in his office chair,
A man and his guitar.
And though his mind meanders far,
The chords contain his every care,
He sings of things that were and are.
Those calluses, like hard-earned scars,
Speak temperance and not despair,
A man and his guitar.
Now syncopate, now by the bar,
Now dissonant, now fair and fair,
He sings of things that were and are.
I caught his music in a jar,
A leaky one. I stop and stare:
A man and his guitar.
A glow too cool to even char,
A brief but distant signal flare,
He sings of things that were and are,
A man and his guitar.
ViolinI remember the day
you told me violins
were strung with cat gut
and that is why
you hated music
(who says that to a child?)
I followed you
all that summer.
I watched you
grow away from mother -
your whiskey held better conversations
and all she did was cry.
We'd sit cross-legged on the porch
and count the horseflies
settling on our lunch.
You would drown tadpoles
in a bucket
surprised they could not swim
and I would dream
of cherry popsicles.
And when night would gather
on the sidewalk
I'd hold my breath
until a star appeared.
Don't bother making wishes
you'd tell me -
stars are dead weight in heaven
and God has cloth ears.
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