I’m Justin, Here I Stand

Heart’s in a panic;

Beating quickly;

Thump, thump; they’re voting Trump.

Don’t get political;

Turns hypocritical.

Temper your opinions;

You are just a minion.

 

No confidence,

Lack competence.
And these are the lies,

That catch me by surprise.

 

Because really, if you knew me.

You’d see the mirage right through me.

 

Bravery and intellect,

Inquisitive, that is correct.

I’m smart and unapologetic;

Communicate without the rhetoric.

 

More passionate than Romeo;

Come to me and your troubles go;

A counselor to and fro;

Not afraid to go deep;

It’s in the shallow-end, I’d likely sink.

 

So what causes me to come and drink?

These lies from the bitter sink.

 

A broken mirror I see into,

Wondering what to do.

How to become the better me,

Because me isn’t enough,

But he’d be – he’d be tough.

 

Through and through, a winner.

Respectable, with accolades,

A house with lots of shade,

Married and pretty great;

Crises averted and problems dissolved,

Justin – Evolved.

 

But I am what I am,

Sam I am.

 

An overcomer,

Not a bummer.

 

Strong and relational,

Rarely confrontational.

 

Come to think of it,

I like who I am.

I’ll write my name in this sand;

I’m Justin, here I stand.

 

#BeatKU – A Wildcat Poem

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

No one really likes KU.

 

Their arrogance

Isn’t happenstance.

 

So full of it, they’re bound to leak.

Perhaps that explains the big, yellow beak.

An outlet for when their head pops,

When the Hometown Heroes 3’s drop.
Welcome to the Wildcat Land,

Purple, black, silver brand.

Have you seen our band?
If not, you’re in for a surprise!

After all, that was The Enterprise!
Pride comes before the fall,

That excessive dunk Trump’d them all.
Faithful to our colors we shall ever be,

At least we’re conservative and free.

 

Keep your quidditch and your liberals,

Stay in Lawrence with its fake hills.

 

Keep your Crimson and your Blue,

But first, travel through the Flint Hills so K-State can beat KU.

Darkness

Hidden behind the veil of humor,

Lies the man in life’s stupor.

Couldn’t take a picture,

Without an elixir – I mean, filter.

Paranoid with perception,

Obsessed with perfection.

Always running from feeling;

Because if you sit in it too long, the world would be reeling.

In laughter,

Like the mad hatter,

It is only a matter,

Of opinion’s touchy bladder.

When dreams fall and shatter,

Or more likely, clatter,

To the ground,

When anxiety leaps and bounds.

People can’t see the darkness,

It’s heartless.

But it’s time to admit the journey,

You’re nowhere near a gurney.

Yet is not doubt something to pout about?

In a round-a-bout way,

Debate the theology of the day.

And politics. Liberty or socialism; even the pastors need justice.

Interesting the way we act.

With tact.

Filter this and delete that.

Do you even recognize the man in the mirror?

With his angry sneer.

It’s as if he forgot where he came from.

And that the church has named him.

Retreated to slavery because it was familiar,

Freedom’s taste was forgotten and hope had grown rotten.

But he won’t leave your dreams at night;

Won’t leave without a fight.

So as we sit tonight,

May we see the light.

Dreams tell me it’s quite the sight,

And that your journey is quite alright.

Roses Are Red (And Gifts & Things)

So I was driving mindlessly down the street toward the car-wash. Marvin The Martian, my handsome¬†2013 Toyota Camry, wasn’t looking so handsome. It was time for a shower. As I hit the gas in my powerful new car down Santa Fe, I remembered that she was in Price Chopper. A mixture of whimsy and a longing to surprise hit my chest as if Cupid, himself, had just set free an arrow that penetrated my tired, asleep heart.

Recounting all the sweet-nothings, countless gestures of kindness, cooked meals, free drinks, and hugs that still the choppy waters of my life – if only for just a moment – I realized aside from writing letters, ¬†I’d yet to DO anything for her.

Excitement crept into my heart as I found Trudy, her 2015 Corolla. She was still there, picking up groceries for dinner that night. Awesome.

Goofily, I jogged into Price Chopper, power-walking like my Mom might down the front aisles. I kept a steady pace and kept my head down, hoping she wouldn’t spot me and the surprise would be ruined.

Arriving at the floral section of the store, I found the last dozen flowers worthy of her beauty. Roses are red, her eyes are green. Chameleons of shade and ever-changing, they’re constantly serene.

Hurrying to the register, I pay for the roses and head out to the car. There was a family parked nearby, probably waiting on their mother to return with groceries. And in true Justin fashion, I awkwardly looked through the drivers-side window to make sure the peace-sign pendant she has hanging from her rear-view mirror was there (how disappointing it would be to brighten the wrong girl’s day!). I’m sure the kids in the car were becoming worried I was a car-jacker.

But to their surprise, I didn’t steal the car. I took a dozen roses and secured them underneath one of her windshield-wiper blades.

“Mission accomplished,” I skipped off to my car like an excited high-schooler that’d just taken the leap of faith necessary to ask a pretty girl to Prom. And then Marv and I headed to the car-wash…

So why is it that I share this story with you? Well, it’s fun to tell. Also, she’s gorgeous. Her name is Allie. And she’s my girlfriend. Hallelujah. But there’s more to it than that.

You see – we all have a gift. My gift is words and encouragement and letters. Hers would would be random acts of kindness, being a source of comfort, and giving all she can to her friends.

I’m a terrible giver. Gifts are not my gift. For years my poor friends have received letters, while I’ve received probably a thousand dollars worth of Starbucks gift-cards (my bachelors-degree thanks you for your caffeinated blessing). More often than not, I’d rather spend that money on a night at the movies or a couple beers at my favorite bar.

But my world is evolving and I decided to stretch myself, and it felt great. I’d highly recommend it. Perhaps you’re an excellent giver. This is true of many of my friends. They are just naturally gifted in not holding onto their riches for their own sake. They’ll pay for you to join them on that trip, or to keep your caffeine-addiction alive one more day.

But maybe they’re naturally introverted and reclusive. They love to give gifts, but they get uncomfortable when it comes to quality time. What if they spent that extra hour of awkward face-to-face time and invested in seeing where the heart-to-heart conversation could lead that evening with the friend they don’t see that often?

Or maybe they’re naturally very affectionate and affirmative. They love people. They’re the “I just love you, man” guy when they’ve had a few too many drinks. And they’re hugging all the bros in the dorm. But they’re terrified their words aren’t good enough to actually impact another’s life? What if they wrote a letter? What if those words lit a fire within their friend’s heart again?

You may not be good at it now, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck there. I’m learning that we are not defined by our failures. I’m bad with money and not incredibly disciplined with my diet and exercise. But these items do not define me and I can overcome them. I’m bad at gifts, but I’m giving better (see what I did there?). Your level of intelligence and skill in a particular area is not forever-decided-upon. If you stretch yourself, you will grow. If you get a little uncomfortable, it’s a sign you’re learning. That’s great.

So roses are red. And her eyes are green.

Let’s use our gifts and acquire some others, if you know what I mean.

(Up next – a better poem than that ^ in the near future.)

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Have You Seen The Leaves?

Have you seen the leaves?Fire flies born from trees.

Light up the earth and make me sneeze.

O the allergies.
Really – have you seen the leaves?

Reds, oranges, browns flee,

Rustling wind that frees

These leaves from the trees.
Majestic autumn,

Overlooked too often,

Beauty that doth soften.

Revives those in coffins.
Rest.

Feel it in your chest.
Smoky scents rise,

Fireplace surprise.

Cool, evening walks,

Long, cotton socks.
Something so small,

Yet I sure love Fall.

  

Into The Son

She stole my heart and walked away,Into the mist, into the spray,

Turbulent shores and ocean waves.

My body cold as the grave.
And I saw that light,

The one that wakes your soul at night.

Big, bright, white.

The hope that gives flight.

Lifts up the lost and gives them sight.
I saw her walking late at night,

Down the street, away from me.

With eyes that said playfully,

“Why don’t you come after me?”
Time stood still,

What a thrill.

Challenging my inner will.
Heels clicked down the street,

Heartbeat in my feet,

Warm cheeks, no longer cold.

Wild at heart, forever bold.
Staring down the lion of lies,

That I’m worth less than those eyes.
So I shout, “Here I come!”

Pick up my feet, and I run.

Chasing after her, toward the Son.

  

Beauty & The Beast

Behind those crystal eyes
Lies the real prize.
Porcelain skin shields a fierce heart.
A smile that could tear night apart.

You’re Beauty, and I’m the Beast;
Dreaming of that fellowship feast.

Is there such love to call out the prince?
The one that’s trapped within.

A rough and callous heart
Wishes for love to drink.
Thirsty for the glow you hold.
Gentle, yet bold – what a mold.

Time will heal,
Renew my zeal.

Bolstered confidence,
Assured competence.

Waiting – until I’m sure it’s obvious,
Love is right for us.

Jailbreak

Never thought I’d escape,

Walls so thick; shackles and gates.

Fears had its hand on me,

Kept me from traveling.

But now I’m unraveling.
Freedom’s mirages,

Despair so bottomless.

Then I got caught up in this,

Forgot I’m an optimist.
Broken hearts shatter,

Millions of pieces; all of which matter.

Yet they’re separated,

Corroded, deteriorated.

Clean and sweep,

Fight and wheep.

You’ll never collect all the pieces,

That’s not where the peace is.
So insanity beckoned and I followed,

Called me in deeper until it swallowed.

All of the light within,

Where does this life begin?
I see it now – breaking through,

Streams of light, bold and true.

Like a sunburst through the clouds,

A peace comes down and surrounds.
I look down and there’s the key,

Pick it up and now I’m free,

Captive and prisoner to only me.
No more can this heart take,

Fists clenched and longing’s ache,

I’m running now – Jailbreak!
Hold me down and I’ll break free,

Can’t contain the fire in me.

Love Is Weak

Sadness to confusion,

Was it all a delusion?

The silence is deafening,

What word does heaven bring?

Closure is a luxury

Apparently.

Frustrated jabs at shallow seas,

Once hallowed greens.

And yet I still cling,

For heart’s Spring.

Foolish me.

What I’d do for one more dance,

Another glance,

One last chance,

At a first romance.

O to hold your hand,

See your eyes and understand.

But time passes swiftly

And passion leaks.

Like tears on cotton sheets;

My love is weak.

Weary Heart

The mess when hearts collide,

Pain and loss, come with the joyful side.

Flirting with insecurity,

Praying for assurance – see?

Want control and outcomes guaranteed,

But all you can do is water and plant the seeds.

Watching as this flower blooms,

Beauty out of dust – no gloom.

But weeds can come and clouds bring doom.

Yet I’ll seek a sunny forecast with you.

Weary hearts inside our chests,

Bleary eyes find rest.

It’s the beginning of the rest,

Praying we pass the test.