Yes, you May.


Even though the first day of May isn’t for a few hours yet, it’s May somewhere. Here’s a poem in honor of the month.

Some folks celebrate May Day, there’s Cinco de Mayo, and don’t forget Mother’s day, but I think we should celebrate the whole month in honor of what its name signifies: permission.

Take a stroll on a sunny, windy day?
You May.
Stay up late before you hit the hay?
You May.
Pluck petulant pansy petals so more will have their way?
You May.
Get deep into Spring cleaning to get ready for Summer days?
You May.
May’s the month with a built in okay for every good thing.
It’s the correct word for misapplied cans. It’s a great time
for early sunning at the beach, be you any age woman or man.
It’s a month for pushing Winter out the door,
and putting Spring flowers to bed.
You might have your own favorite month, it’s true,
but my fave
is that month after April
and right before June
called May.

Thank You

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Just before or after last Christmas I decided to be more consistent with my writing by resurrecting a WordPress blog that had been dormant for quite some time. I had recently received a lot of encouragement and it gave me the incentive to write more poetry. While putting together the new blog I noticed a challenge put out by WordPress to post every day for 2013. I decided to give it a try and let everyone who read my blog know by putting the badge on my cover page. Today will be my 137th post. Accounting for a few days that I’ve posted more than once, that means I’ve posted over 130 days in a row. I’m looking forward to doing the whole 365.

There have been a lot of great things to come out of writing and publishing every day. For one, it has forced me to investigate different kinds of writing. I’ve explored poetry, song writing, devotionals, and humor. Along the way, I’ve gotten to know fellow bloggers who also believe strongly in writing, especially writing that moves them. I’ve had days when I thought I had written something relevant, only to get little in the way of results. But then I’ve had other days when I wasn’t all that thrilled with what I had put out, only to get lots of positive comments. It continues to be a fantastic learning experience and I just want to sincerely thank everyone who has read, commented, and shown me how fun and rewarding blogging can be. God continues to bless it. It’s my prayer that He is honored by what I write.

How Great Thou Art


Tonight, I was listening to Pandora background music as I began my post. I was about to write about another hymn when “How Great Thou Art” began to play. That led me to remember that George Beverly Shea passed away recently at the age of 104. For years his beautiful bass-baritone voice highlighted the Billy Graham crusades. As magnificent as his voice was, the words of the hymns he sang were always the star, because the message they conveyed helped lead others to Christ. He was able to remain humble because he understood what a gift and responsibility it is to represent the gospel to the world. No matter how large or small you may believe your sphere of influence to be, someone is affected by the message you represent. Being a child of God is a gift, privilege, and responsibility. As we begin a new week, let’s all pray a little longer and reach a little higher. God does have a plan for you, short term and for the rest of your life.

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds
Thy hands have made
I see the stars
I hear the rollin’ thunder
Thy power throughout
The universe displayed.
Then sings my soul
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
Then sings my soul
My Savior God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art!
When Christ shall come
With shouts of acclamation
And take me home
What joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
“My God, how great Thou art!”
Then sings my soul
My Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art
How great Thou art
Then sings my soul
My Savior God, to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art
How great Thou art!…

Food Impostors


I’ve come to the conclusion
after how many years has it been,
that the stuff I’ve been ingesting
with the very tiny print
and the multi-syllabic words
that read so scientific
might not be so good for me.

Sure there’re pretty pictures on the package
smiling folks living the life,
so I’m led to believe
they must eat a lot of this stuff,
makes ’em feel better than alive.

Farmers replaced by marketers;
what have they caused us to imbibe?
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Do you think they’re concerned with your insides?
Do you really want to be fed by cookie elves?

It’s years of habits I’m breaking,
no mistaking
the work it would be taking
to put good foods together
instead of relying on my buddy
But no doubt the things I won’t miss
are being tired
and constipated.

Lord knows we can’t predict
when we might go.
He’s the only one who can say when
we’ll reap what we’ve sown.
But out of respect for the vessel
He’s made,
I’m intent on running it better
before it finds the grave.

Position: Independent


Tonight I’m writing a poem using dictionary roulette. It’s like the poems I’ve done where my family picks words I have to use within a specific number of stanzas. Tonight I picked words at random from the dictionary. Actually, my wife picked them because I suck at it. The words I picked were Horne, Lena & National Bank. After that, I let her pick. These aren’t great, but they’ll have to do.

I want a job I think you want too,
because this guy
writes his own job description.
It’s the sort of thing
could qualify for,
a peculiarly adaptive position.

It isn’t the kind of job you’d find
on Craig’s list
or in the paper,
nor is it criminal;
it doesn’t involve capers.
It doesn’t matter your sex,
be it lady or gent.
This job fits all
’cause it’s position independent.

A Grandma’s House


The other day my wife came home and announced something that clearly had her somewhat distressed. We have a pleasant enough front yard, I suppose: a couple little trees, some lawn, a nice flower bed. The house is a Victorian. It’s over 100 years old, and is dark gray with several shades of green trim. There’s a little porch in front of the red door, which has a nice wind chime next to it. Apparently, Lori was fine with everything until I added the hummingbird feeder. That took her over the edge. Anywho, back to my wife’s distress. When she walked in the door she announced, “Joel, I have a grandma’s house!” I asked her if it was the pictures on the wall in the living room of our two granddaughters that provided her with the first clue. If my comment amused her, she made a good show of hiding it. She said that when she parked her car and got out, she looked (apparently really looked) this time. “It’s just all so nice. And now, with the hummingbird feeder, something clicked in my head and I realized that I live in a grandma’s house.” I believe she’s come to terms with this now. However, I may want to run changes by her in the future, just in case. First though, I think I’ll fix her a nice cup of tea, with maybe a few cookies.

Moment Harvest


Think of a day
as a moment harvest,
gathered nuggets of time
nourishing moments you pick from the field
of your day.
Gather them in a big cloth sack,
then spread them out when the sun goes down
put them on a scale
to see what they weigh.

Waking up next to your wife.
Quiet time with God.
A hot cup of coffee.
The sun coming up.
Time spent with men you respect.
Reading a good book.
A drive to work (bonus *with your daughter*)
A call from a friend thanking you for advice.
Playing with your dog.
Admiring your garden.
Dinner with your family.
Time to think and write.
Time to rest, recuperate,
and dream.

If I continue looking at all my days
as moments harvested
just like that,
I imagine the only thing
I’ll ever need
is a bigger and stronger
cloth sack.

Are You Foolish?


Given a fork in the road,
do you take the path
that is worn smooth?

When you get dressed
do you wear what
get you noticed?

Do you lift your hand
in class
if you

God’s eye is on the brave
and brave is different for
every man
and woman.

There’s freedom
and reward
in stepping out
of the skin
you’ve grown used to.

Don’t assume as far
as you’ve come
is as far as you can

God never runs
out of plans for
We just
stop listening.