Monday, November 12, 2012


Last night I hung out with my parents while Michael was at work. As we were eating dinner I started telling my mom about a conversation that my sister (Naomi) and I were having on the phone earlier that day, about being poor. Naomi was telling me that she feels more poor now than she has ever felt and I one up'd her by saying, "you know nothing about being poor until you live in Michigan making $340 a month." She agreed that at one point, I had it way worse. 

Anyway- My mom basically stopped me in the middle of my story to tell me what it was really like to be poor. 

She told me that when she was younger her parents and her older sister lived in a very tiny apartment. My mom had to sleep with her parents in their bed and her older sister had to sleep in the kitchen. She said that her sister had just enough room for a small bed to fit in the kitchen. The bus fare was too expensive for my Oma to ride to work, so she walked over three miles to work every day and had a family friend watch my mom. My Oma worked in a factory jarring pickles, and some days when her friend couldn't watch my mom she would let my mom help tighten the lids on the pickle jars. 
She told me that they only had an outhouse- no restroom inside. She said they only had two sets of clothes each-one set for the week and one set for Sundays. Each week they would fill up a plastic tub and bathe in it and that would be their shower for the week. In the summer times they would pay to use the showers at the pool after swimming. She grew up poor and I am sad that she didn't get to have a childhood. 

The reason why I am saying all this is because lately I have been thinking a lot about my childhood vs. the way kids are growing up today. I am so glad that I grew up when I did. I had an imagination. Kids now don't even know how to "play pretend" because they have to have a iphone, ipod, or ipad to tell them how to have fun. It's sad. Those kinds of kids will never know what it is like to not have anything- granted, neither did I. I didn't get everything I wanted, but I had a great childhood and I thank my parents for not sitting me in front of the TV over making me play outside. I am glad I got my first cell phone at age 17 and my first car at 22. 

I think I have it pretty good. 

Found some older poems...

Passenger Window
i look out
on the top of the clouds
at angels leaving traces
of their footsteps
to remind us

oh, god, i wish
i could go back to that time
innocent, youth
god, bring me

i don’t want to be here
i prefer angels
to turbulence

the past was so...

bring me

to that time
i look out
on the top of the clouds.

November 6
the wind screams
and smothers a leaf
to the ground.
a past-life waits
to be found. But,
it won’t.

it will be a life/
heard, but unseen.
heard, but forgotten.
and before long buried
under fallen snow.

the sun will come
in the spring.
to melt the snow,
to bring new life.

it will reveal the ground
where the leaf once slept
amongst a bed of leaves. But,
now they’ve vanished.
Like the years before and,

who knows where they’ve gone?

It’s like
the wind stores air for death,
so it goes.

I drive
in places of old
places of my youth
glory days

I miss you
I ask you

Does familiarity breed contempt?
or idealism?

I miss the sacred home
the home of ages-ago
short ages

I hate that life
goes so fast

I wish I spent time
enjoying what I had

and what I have

all I have is
contempt and
an idealistic future
of bringing up the past.

Listen to Me
to the teacher.
I am not.
"There are no teachers,"
says One.
"But, there is One teacher,"
says the same.
What do you do
if that One hates you?
What can you do?

Naked -- I came.
Lusting -- I saw.
Greedily -- I conquered.
Clothed -- I died.

I conquered nothing.
Something conquered me.

42-32:1 semaJ
I looked in the mirror,
and said:
"Mirror, mirror,
you contain the law,
who's the most righteous
sheep of all?"
My reflection shone back.

I left to do my Lord's work.

When I returned,
I looked more intently.
I saw something else looking
back at me.
It mimicked my every move.
"Who are you?" I asked.
The goat and I locked eyes.

See, know evil. Hear, know evil.
You came that
the blind may see,
the deaf may hear.

may I always see,
may I always hear,

Dear Reprobate, Heaven is your Hell
I knocked on the gold door to enter Heaven,
the heat of Light
scorched my hands
burned my flesh
and blinded my eyes.

The sound of thunder
roared like a lion
shattered my ears
burst my flesh
I tried the doorbell.

The door opened.
I left Heaven to enter Hell.

Golden Calf
My heart used to ache longing
for more.
I thought you cured it with a longing
for your return.
But then it ached over what I've done
Crucify you,
again and again.

And now?
Now my heart is cured
by my being numb to you.
Or is it you
who is numb to me?

I call you every morning,
noon, and night.
I haven't heard back
in a very long time.
I remember playing phone tag.
It has turned to hide-and-seek.
But, now, I wonder if you're even alive,
or else found a spot I'll never find.
Like on the other side of home safe.

This numbness won't leave.
I remember you said
people forget how to love
as the end draws near.
I haven't forgotten.
I love the you I've made You to be:
created in my own image.
Maybe this is why you won't respond.
You're nothing but a golden calf.

Please send my calf
Send Moses down from Sinai
and stop that noisy thunder.

I've heard it said,
"I do not exist,
only You exist."
But in my world,
only I exist.
And while I may be here today,
and gone tomorrow,
You told me not to worry
about tomorrow.
Besides if a flower will wither tomorrow,
even today it is dressed in glory.
How much more can I?

Thankful for Oppression
We thank the Lord
for our wealth.
By what means
have we attained this
Is our thankfulness
like a cursing?
Is our comfort better
than the pain of the poor?
Is their suffering
What does that say
about us?
I wonder.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

From the Orchard

Michael had the great idea of taking my photography and his poetry and putting it together into one blog. Some will be new, and some will be old, but ultimately they're things we want to share with other people. So, here you go- Enjoy.