#39 Not a justification.

Will it always

take sleeping through alarms

to show me I’m tired?


Will it always take unintentionally passing out for 4 hours,

Missing commitments,

always waking up exhausted,

and constantly planning to find time for naps

before I see that I need to do a better job getting sleep?

I feel like a crack addict.

And I know that’s bad, but…

It gives me that much more of a reason not to look down on anyone

Sometimes that’s all I need.


Well, that and sleep.

I’m still working on that one.

#38 Thankful.

I am thankful for
Days with multiple conferences
Rowdy inside lunches
Hard conversations
Bad tasting water
And expensive fast food bought outside my budget

I am thankful for all day lock-downs
And working extra time when I got an hour of sleep the previous night
I’m thankful for madness
Three near-accidents
Approaching thunderstorms
For red, tired eyes
And middle school guys that just don’t get it,
No matter how many times it’s said

For killers running loose,
Full weeks off of school
And naptime sacrificed
To make up for time wasted,
I am thankful

These things may last for a day,
But the character gained won’t ever go away.

#35 What am I attempting to create through this year-long artistic endeavor?

I desire to amass a collection of my own honest feelings and ideas.

I want to display the well of strength contained within the admission of our own frailty.

I want to push the limits of my own notions of poetry and the art of painting spoken and written word pictures along with its perception as an increasingly irrelevant art form.

I aim to tear away the average person’s preconceptions of God, the Bible, and present-day Christianity.

I aim to boldly and unapologetically display the raw, naked beauty of the unexamined and ordinary while forcefully exposing the broken, wretched nature of the facades and systems we create to disguise the faults that keep us ignorant and fearful of our true selves, and the inherent dignity that lies beyond them.

I yearn to make a space for respectful, heartfelt, and honest conversation to quietly carve new ways forward in sensitive and painful topics and discussions.

I will show the world that healing is real and it is available in infinite capacities alongside forgiveness so long as we have the strength to embrace our need for it.

I aspire to tell every person who comes into contact with my work that they are good enough, that they are worth it, and that we are never alone as I strive to learn these things for myself.

I will show that hope is real, and that she will never leave us so long as we are faithful to welcome her when she approaches.

I endeavor to demonstrate that the full divinity of all beauty, truth, and goodness is vain and powerless if not wrapped in and girded with love.

Love is all.

To proclaim that love created the cosmos, and its word binds the universe together. Everything ever created, great or small, was done so for the sake of love, in the name of love, and with the intent of gaining or showing love. Everything.

My wish is that you all know that there is nothing more important than love, and that our lives center themselves on its distribution and reception, because it governs our lives.

May we love well, in both word and deed. May we love others more than ourselves and our dreams, more than things. May our lives be free from the love of money and power. Instead, may they be full of the love of justice, righteousness, virtue, liberty, beauty, and peace, so long as they are for the sake of all.

May everything I create lead to this world, and may Jesus bring it quickly.

[Inspired by Evangelion creator, Hideaki Anno’s essay What are We Attempting to Create by Doing This Once More?]

#34 Sunshine Through Tears

She told me,
“Sometimes I look into your eyes and see the tears you haven’t cried.
It’s like everything you see is filtered through them.
Even when you smile,
It’s like light shining through drops of water.”

Sounds like my favorite days.
When sunrays fill the skies with hope
Even though they know it rained yesterday

I’ve always thought that sorrow makes joy sweeter.

She agreed,
“Mourning may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

When will you climb out of bed with night and embrace the day?”

#33 How I Find Places to Take Photos

Never take the same path home. You will miss seeing many things once. Always take the same path home. You will miss many things if you only see it once.

These words are the culmination of my artistic experience.

Continue reading

#32 {Beautiful.}

These days are scenic breezes
Blow right past me as my eyes fix themselves in the distance
Still, I feel it all and can’t call it what it is:

Waiting ain’t ever changing nothing.

Sick of wishing I was elsewhere

This is beautiful.

I repeat it till I believe it
I see it, but being here is something different
They say spectators don’t really understand,
I’m starting to agree
This game ain’t the same as it looks
Still there’s something to be said for playing…
For the strain of pouring yourself out
Discovering parts of me I’ve never known about
Winning and losing become unimportant
There’s no room for waste
I’m being recreated in stages.
As afraid as I am,
I’m amazed.

This is beautiful, no matter how many times I drop it.
I’ve done my best to make this a mess, but it’s still gorgeous,
Bless the Lord.

#31 For What it’s Worth…

Sometimes, I just need to hear that I can. That what I have is useful to the real world, that it’s worth paying for, that it isn’t just extra, but that it’s necessary. I need to be reminded that what I do is essential, essential enough to sustain a life with, to sustain a family with, if I work hard enough.

I don’t find myself believing that much.

I feel like my skill set is full of extras, things that are “nice” to have, but aren’t important. I know I’m dope. I know I write well. I know that my poems are powerful and that they stir people, I just don’t feel like anyone would call poetry “crucial” or “vital” to their lives. That they would deem it enough so to pay what it’s worth to them. This is the fault of the artist as well as the consumer.

I give my work away… I ask nothing for all the hours I know that I pour into it, and so no one sees the worth of those hours, they see a handful of words, not a careful construction of beautiful, true, inspirational, empowering, life-enriching words images and messages with the power to change their lives, break paradigms, bring clarity, introduce perspective, or facilitate healing. That’s my fault. I enjoy giving it away, but I need to begin seeing the worth of my work, and helping others to do the same for mine AND their own.

I still want to be generous and give lots of it away, but giving is only generous when what you’re giving has an established value. To be generous with my work, I need to establish a value. I have to believe in its value. I have to believe in MY value.