[I wrote this after my grandfather died in 2010 after a long battle with throat cancer. It really affected me, and I wrote this to redeem this moment for him and me. You’ll find a recording of the song below. It’s simply a piece of cathartic lament in light of pain, and is not meant to be “high art”.]
I here your footsteps coming
The floorboards they scream
I pray to my Father
to wake from this dream
I’m tired, so tired
when will this end?
I’m tired, so tired
Your strength, won’t you lend?
Oh Death, here is your sting Oh Death, I hear your voice ring Through echoes and ages and days gone past
Oh Death, here is your sting
This breath, you can take it
This body, is yours
This voice you have stolen
My eyes are now dim.
Oh this sweetness you’ve taken
I taste life no more
This life, I release now
But this love you can’t have!
But I’ll rise….
But I’ll rise…
I’ll awake from this nightmare as daylight draws nigh
The tension of ages breaks before my eye
This breath I’ll take back. This life will be His.
That body, you can keep; I’ll get a new one from him
Like daybreak it’s new and as strong as fired steel
The demon like dew is gone, ’cause I am healed.
His vict’ry now better: of this conquest we’ll sing
Your vict’ry now bitter:you will taste it’s last sting.
Oh Death, you’ll taste your last sting Oh Death, I’ll hear your voice scream Through echoes and ages and days gone past
Oh Death, here is your sting.
taste it and weep,
for oh Death,
I no longer sleep.
Because, Oh Death,
I’m no longer thine;
And, Oh Death,
The vic’try’s now mine.
[read my other Holy Day poetry here] all writings licensed:
Not of flesh nor will of man
But of heart by will of Him
Walking weary and steering stares
Casting glances and lots to those who do
Whispers spoken from around
Make silent the shouts cast from within
Because deep within a shot was cast and burrowed in the bow
The fine line of ecstasy and horror homoousion‘d among
For obedience was found on worthy lips, blessing bestowed for ages come
And this joy was found as a bell in the mist
Meaning: it was not
Now looking through the glass not dim, Coltrane all around;
he sets a tone of dissonance, rightly now it seems.
For as the beauty clothes me in, a tragedy is found:
woodchips below – a resting place – long for love supreme.
For there he lies with outstretched span, stricken by a car;
afflicted by our fallenness, and smitten by our thorns.
He struggles with the weight of pain, not getting very far.
To stop, release his spirit’s breath – give way to Death’s dark door.
I prayed a prayer, and thought some thoughts, and something in me burned.
Oh I see my Savior, the pains he took! For me: protect,
for prone to wander, weak I am, to that which I once yearned.
Until you did in me and Him- my soul: You resurrect.
And thus to show He heard my prayer and strengthen my weak frame,
up pops the bird, into the air; and now my soul shall do the same.
You’re stronger than Scotch, though that’s not what my throat urgently screams at the moment. Ah, the struggles of an artist, a mystic, one whose deep cries out for yours – to express the inexpressible. To package in words that which can’t be contained. You’ve caringly — lovingly, even — taken me, torn open my chest, pulled out my heart, and have affectionately run my broken body into your knee such that I am torn in two _____– one spirit, one flesh:
All of reality stands at this heralding moment: _____Wide-eyed, eager – youthful _____anticipation abounds. Hands on knees looking forward, rocking back _____so on and so forth they watch: _____smiles ear to ear. Continue reading →