Respecting the awesome power of words!

inspiration

Dry Sockets

IMG_7537Photo by Dan Tice

 

When the tears don’t fall,
yet you feel their weight inside,
pressing like the weight
of additional atmospheres,
yearning to find
the equilibrium of release,
I wonder if they’ll create
an alternate route of escape.

Might they rise
through the vocal chords,
their savory blend
evoking tender words
of compassion for others
who are hurting?

Could they escape
through fingertips,
forming stories of hope
and courage for those
on and beyond the margins?

What if they caused muscles
and ingredients to merge,
so that comfort food
was prepared and shared
with people neck-deep
in their own grief?

Where else have you
felt them leaking grace
into the world?

© 2018 Todd Jenkins
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Inked Blood

IMG_7269Photo by Danny Kelly

 

When a certain voice speaks
   from within us,
   breathing grace
   beyond our fathoms,

and pouring it
   into the parched cups
   of those around us,
   we sometimes quiver,
   if not quake,
   knowing full well
   the words are not ours.

We see, reflected
   in the still water dimly,
   that we are merely
   a quill through which
   the inked blood flows.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Prophetic Courage

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Without separation
  and distance,
  truth will not
be spoken to power.

When the church’s bread
  is buttered by empire,
  the gospel’s call
    to interconnection
    with those at and
  beyond the margins
  is lost,
as are the church
and its members:

🎼I once was found
  but now I’m lost;
  could see, but now
    I’m blind.
    Dear Lord, help me
  to count the cost;
  prophetic
courage find!🎼

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

 


Held

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Part of the mystery
of faith is that
it refuses to be squeezed
into the box
of our or anyone else’s
comfort, desires,
or understanding.

It contains the paradox
of simplicity and infinity.

It is both easier
and healthier
to be held by it
than to attempt
to hold it;

open hands,
open hearts,
open eyes,
open minds,
open ears,
open dreams.

Open.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Rhythm

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As I watch the clouds spell 
their free-form Morse Code, 
that may as well 
be hieroglyphics, 
against the evening sky, 

I ponder what divine 
smoke signals are being 
puffed across the heavens, 
wooing us toward 
sacred truths 
too deep for words. 
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Having attempted 
to will myself 
into focus 
far too many times, 

I decide, instead, 
to merely pay attention 
to what’s in front of my face, 
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refusing the self-chastisement 
of distraction, 
choosing, instead, 
to nod toward the gap, 
and continue drawing in 
the cosmos’ breath. 

Are you inhaling 
and exhaling 
God with me? 

Such is the rhythm 
of life. 
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© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Blue

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  “Blue” she says,
cracking that wry smile
  of duplicity, knowing
that it’s my favorite color,
  yet the color of depression,
yet the hue
  of the firmament’s glory.

Through yonder hole
  in clouded angst,
an azure sky peeks,
  unlocking its promise
of hope tinged with despair;

  reminding us
that the cosmos will not —
  cannot — be impeded
by confusion or anesthesia
  or anxiety or fear
or any other collusion
  of diminishment;

revealing the truth
  of life’s trough
and peak continuum
  along which we all ride,
sometimes roller coaster-like,
  and sometimes as gingerly
as a Sunday saunter
  across familiar,
gently rolling hills.

  Riding the wind,
be it gale-force
  or a gentle flutter,
I try to remember
  to tilt my gaze upward,
especially when the shadows
  hang long and dark,
and the road tilts steep.

  “Blue”, indeed.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Acts of the Apostles

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When all the xenophobic ooze
has been pressure washed
from beneath the rocks
where it hid for generations
and swept off the streets
where it has surfaced,
there will come a reckoning.

We can’t just stand by,
silent, while all this hate
and fear foments.

We must act
with integrity and courage.

 Here are some
of the questions
that are being asked:

What happened
to our elected officials?
What happened
to our families of faith?

Unless we act decisively
and immediately, our faces,
our names, our reputations
will go down as ones
who sold out our country
and its people.

Is this the way
we want history
to remember us?

Is this the seed
God planted
in our hearts?

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Plowed Deep

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Education is a long-haul plow
  set deep and pulled meticulously
    through many fields,

some scattered thick with rocks,
  some rich with earthy humus,

some as thin and stripped
  as shed snake skin,

all tended equally
  with the care of one
    who dreams
      of bumper crops
        in every silo.

Despite what modernity proclaims,
  the shallow seeds it plants
  in multiple-choice gardens —

like quickly sprouting grass
  in measured rows
    of paper cups
      lining the window sill —

            are insignificant when held
            against the space it creates
         for other roots to one day plunge
            toward the aquifer of love
             in search of nourishment
                  for the flower
             of peaceful coexistence,
                  and the fruit
          of shared respect and dignity.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Which One?

fullsizeoutput_2004Photo by Jennie Roberts Jenkins

     Hate thumps matches
     across the strike-plate,
     flinging infernos
     into a tinderbox
     of anxiety and self-loathing.

    Hope plants seeds
    across the charred landscape,
    sure that love will triumph,
    and grace will resurrect.

   Which one will you follow?
   Which one will be
   your modus operandi?

  #lifeisachoice

 Make it daily, even
 moment by moment.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins

Write the Present

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Only those who can
both see the past
and taste the future,

  are fully equipped
  to write the present
  that God is unfolding.

    I know you wanted
    it to be present-tasting
    and future writing.
    So did I.

      But I’ve had a bate
      of folks trying
      to convince me
      of their flawless
      clairvoyant skills,

    only to be confused
    and disappointed
    by the disconnect
    and ambiguity.

  What I’m hungry
  for now is to feel
  the heartbeat
  of our current story;

to have its rhythm recorded
in rich, lyrical EKG,
so I can trace the peaks
and troughs with my finger,
as my soul relishes
the gift of this day’s life.

© 2018 Todd Jenkins