Sunday, November 30, 2014

Season's Greetings

The situation in Ferguson has already stood to reemphasize a lot of underlying ugliness that our society is addicted to claiming conquered and buried in the past. I, like so many others, was particularly stricken by the "Season's Greetings" Reuters photo, as it captured an almost unbelievable metaphor in real life: the proven truth that our shepherds, the ones empowered to protect us, are increasingly capable of instead becoming the wolves at our throats with little to no consequence for doing so. The juxtaposition of holiday warmth and authoritarian wrath is one I can't see myself forgetting any time soon.

Season's Greetings

Tell me she won't forever mingle
the memory of Christmas with teargas.
Tell me that this will dissipate as quickly
as the plumes of Ferguson-sulfur
bottled a useless proof in her nose.
Tell me the night has not spoiled the taste
of Thanksgivings to come with this rotten egg
made to incubate on the back of her tongue,
because here, at Florrisant and Paul,
there's no parsing smoke from the crimson-lit tinsel
strewn a suture over the street.
The season breathes its jingles
under a staccato of glass and teeth, a smolder
of blood too often bruised beneath the skin
to withstand another strike without bleeding,
and I wonder if the holiday will ever be peace to her.
If season's greetings will ever again unfurl itself
without this predatory snarl, this affront
of all its Nativitous star once illumined,
announcing a sleeping king to shepherds
who knew better than to eat their sheep.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Season of Giving

First and foremost, happy Thanksgiving! I'm not naive enough to think everyone will actually be able to spend time with their loved ones today, but I hope, in some capacity, this day finds you in a spirit of peace and contemplative thankfulness. May we all reflect on the ways God has blessed us both invisibly and overtly this past year.

With that said, there is something I've felt God put on my heart recently. One thing I love to do is bless others, with gifts, with love, with words...whatever it may be. I admit to spending more time thinking about how to give than actually giving, but, for a month at least, that changes. I may not have much to give on a financial scale, but there is one thing I have felt my heart grasp onto, and I'm excited to do it. Here's the deal:

I self-published a book of poetry in 2012, called Ars Golgothica (and if this is the first time you're hearing that, welcome to my blog! You're lucky to have missed me in my grossly self-promotional stage.). I know the thing has already saturated my circle of family and friends more than a slice of bread in olive oil, but it's what I have. I bet a few fish and some bread probably seemed an awfully-insufficient dinner too, though.

So what I am doing is this: for the month of December, I'm going to be giving away copies of my poetry book.

This is not a contest. This is a free gift to anyone and for anyone. You tell me you want one and where to send it, and it's yours. If you would like it signed or made out to someone, I will gladly do so (and in my best pen!). Christmas always brings our Christ-borne generosity to the forefront. It's something we all should live in and operate from year-round, but Christmas is just the chiefest excuse to really let loose that monumental, Heaven-rendingly-glorious love. And I want to do just that with what I have. And what I have is my book.

So, you can comment here, or you can reach me on Facebook, or just email me at roquedog504 [@] gmail [.] com (remove the brackets, of course).

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a wonderful season. May it be a time for blessing and encouragement to you and yours. As John reminds, "we love because He first loved us."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Extent of My Thanks

Photo credit: Keira Bishop
The Extent of My Thanks
The table's belabored array
laced our thankfulness with raised flags.
Cinnamon and squash,
a panoply of wafting herbs
and crispened turkey skin
courting tides behind our teeth,
tongues whetted for that perfect brown
as if nothing squirmed behind its ebon apex of thanks…

as if soil never shattered 'neath conquistador prows,
wastes unspooled of cranberry-red roots
by brutes beautified on colonial quills.
As if tradition didn't hide profligates and genocide,
banquets in the place of lethiferous blankets.
So easily immured, these truths,
like spoons plunged into pillowy hillocks
as if my gratitude wasn't another one's grief.

Monday, November 3, 2014


Happy...November? That doesn't feel right, as I distinctly remember it JUST being last November... Time. Oy.

Anyway, I wrote a thing! The world may be diving headlong into the Christmas season (and I love me some Chri'muh), but I'm just not wholly ready to give up autumn just yet. So, I have another autumn poem for you. Hope you like it, and feel free to tell me I'm a seasonal killjoy. I can take it (I think... *preemptive sniffle*).

Photo credit: Ariel


Last week's horror now slumps a mushy countenance,
the triangular pupils and fangs that had cast the e'en in evil
now haunted by the beast of foul impermanence.

Leaves so quick to skitter through each graveyard and dark alley,
to tease demonic footfalls over ears inclined for dread,
exorcised and left a rain-wet tally

while we, for whom the hallowed eve came as an excuse
to court our morbid comforts – all too ghastly to be real –
don instead the horror our mad empires induce:

the undead heart believed to beat, the gaze with inhuman slits denied,
the smile made of fang and fork we feel no need to hide.