"The white fathers told us, "I think, therefore, I am" and the black mother within each of us – the poet – whispers in our dreams, I feel, therefore I can be free."- Audre Lorde

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I struggle with communal prayer. Not so much the act of collaborative prayer, but rather with the social aftermath of it. It often leaves me feeling more alone and bruised than I when I started off. When we simply give one-another's burdens up to God, it feels like there's something missing; praying for one-another is becoming more passive than I believe it was designed to be. This is not the fault of prayer itself, but rather with us...as a community who falls short.

I believe prayer should be active. I believe it is OUR responsibility, as a community, to not only pray for one-another as a group, but to truly listen to the requests of those we are praying for. To truly listen is to be present, to remember, and to engage. To be active in prayer is to participate in that prayer, long after words are recited. We are all part of the Spirit, we are all called to be part of this grand narrative of love, and I believe that this Spirit and this love has already given US the power to help meet a great deal of the needs of those we are praying for, and with. The Creator made us to function as a body, to care for and nourish one another as a grand whole. We are body—so intimately connected with one-another that a hurt or a problem in one area, should hurt and affect us all. It doesn't feel this way sometimes when a hurt expressed during a prayer, is rarely mentioned again afterwords.

It involves a great deal of vulnerability to surrender a private hurt to a group --- to share a wounded space for all to see. If a person entrusts a burden to prayer, then it is our responsibility to follow up with this burden-- to live compassion, to show we tangibly care, and work to ease it. Having been brokenhearted and vulnerable in prayer, has taught me that we need to be asking questions afterwords. We need to be remembering other people's pains and struggles-- days, weeks, and months after they've been shared. A simple question holds a lot of power, makes you feel heard and loved, and most importantly makes you feel like your hurt is valid-- is something that matters to your community at whole. We need to be checking in with one another more-- in creative ways that extend beyond formal practices of prayer. We need to SHOW God in how we choose to comfort and support the people we are praying for. We need to be asking, “how is your heart feeling?”, not once, not twice, but a thousand times. We need to go further.

I have been the brokenhearted--I know how it feels to express a need and a fear during prayer, and afterwords have the world continue to exist as if now my pain is done, gone, taken care of.

I have loved the brokenhearted-- I have seen a weary loved one take the risk of letting her church know how wounded she really was during prayer, only to feel incredibly let down and isolated afterwords.

And I have hurt the brokenhearted-- I  have been the person who prayed for someone and never followed up. Who forgot to find the time to ask. Who let life's busyness be a distraction from truly loving and showing comfort to a hurting neighbour. I have been the one to make excuses.

I often wonder what stops us from checking up on people in our community? What stops us from knowing a pain exists in someone we are called to love, but pretending as if it doesn't exist at all?

1- Fear. I think we are afraid of having to feel uncomfortable ourselves-- we are afraid of being stretched outside of our comfort zone. It's hard to empathize with someone sometimes because we know we'll have to DO something and taking that responsibility is sometimes a frightening or difficult thing to do.

2- By stander Affect. People are less likely to offer help when there are others present because everyone assumes everyone else if providing that help. Thinking that someone else will take care of it, lets us diffuse our own responsbility to take action.

3- Busyness. We are so caught up in the choas of our own lives that we genuinly just forget, or struggle to find the time. Caring for someone outside of prayer requires sacrifice in our time, and our energies.

I want to deconstruct these barriers. I want us, as the church, to deconstruct these barriers. I want to someday offer prayer, and with that offer active love and presence. I want us to see the power that a simple phonecall, email, letter, hug, or card can have in providing comfort to those hurting around us. I want us to share eachother's burdens, and in turn, work together with the Spirit, in making them lighter and more livable.

Without followup, without questions, without genuine human regard or action, communal-prayer falls flat. We need holistic prayer-- prayer that becomes living, prayer that becomes breathing, prayer that becomes getting tangibly messy alongside those hearts in our body who are hurting.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I dreamt I put the remains
of your cancer
in my crock-pot over night
and boiled it gently
on low for 7 hours
so that by Breakfast-Time
you'd be freed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


was the last thing you ate.

Not physically

Because never were you close enough
to ever really wrap your mouth
around me.

But still,
despite distance
You devoured me.

Feathers plucked,
Skin boiled,
Body carved

You presented me
On a white platter.

In your presence
I become edible.

 In your presence:

I am the flesh made meat
That becomes sustenance
But not satiation.

The beating heart

That becomes real,
But only in your throat now raw from hunger

The sinking substance
That settles
But only in the morose cavern
Of your stomach, now full—

full, but not pacified
full, but not appeased
full, but not subdued

 because I was the last thing you ate.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012



 To the world’s
You are scum—
Always have
Forever will be.

Unflexible & harsh,
Sharp like
Plunged through delicate flesh
Translucent skin
Sentence on—

Words strung
Like pearls around a neck;
Words come undone

A white marble mess.

Bound punishment
Sanctioned pack-back
For the unforgivable moments
you built your secret world upon.

 A secret world
That makes you now unworthy
Of a human status—

 Unworthy to be
And call
Yourself alive—

 But behind impenetrable bars
Like lines of a barcode
On the purchase of an object—
You become the disposable one.

You are object
Reduced and defined
by the contents
Of your label.
But this is the world—
In you, in I

Exists another


A deep, cosmic reckless Power
Whose justice exudes Love
And whose wise judgment

 Pale colours into horizon
Colliding and becoming One
With the brilliant hues of grace

 A subversive and
Beautifully scandalous grace.

 This Power
-          The quiet ghost—
Defies laws,
And rejection

 Opens up and unfolds into you
Already part of you.

 This Voice,
is the quiet one
Who mourned your secrets,
And ached for a revelation
Of flaws turned ugly under light.

 And here you are—
Sentenced and locked apart

But this Power
This Voice, this omniscient Presence
Pardons you


 A release
An underserved yet richly encompassing love
That gives you back
the humanity that was once stripped away

 And who whispers softly
Through the thick layers of your shame:

 “I have made you beautiful again”.




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Beast

You found me
in the shadow of the Beast

Bloody and trampled
you pulled me from the rutted earth
and slowly dusted off the pain

Though we always sensed its presence
you taught me to live
as if it wasn’t so near

In its shadow was where we grew
where we became
And where we fell

In its shadow
darkness and cool became
a hiding place
from the world and from beyond.

Tragically you became my sword and my courage
the substance of lies
of which I thought were needed
to slay the One whom we could not name
or even fully see

The Beast was so large
It could only be experienced
in looming fragments
Fragments that would make the ground shake
that would make the sun disappear
Like an eclipse to a reality that both mourned and feared
Its presence.

But the courage and the sword
You became
could not take down the Beast: only love could do that.

You told me it was a choice, not a feeling
And I believed you…
Until I felt the feeling

And suddenly “Choice” became
somewhat of a Beast in and of itself
that grew in the shadows
along with us—

A miniature Beast
that wedged itself deep
into the valve where tender sentiment
once flowed freely through the heart
and to the body.

In Its shadows I hid,
fearful and waiting for escape
waiting for cosmic hands to intervene

And take me
Or It

Death didn’t happen—
It rarely does when you expect it.

So you taught me to climb
To hold strong
To hold tightly
And so I did

Instead of living in Its shadows
I reached for the Beast— its incomprehensible enormity
And climbed
The way you told me I should

I said goodbye
And left you far below
Behind and among the shadows
where we once met

I climbed
Until fragments became pieces
And pieces became one.

I climbed
And as I climbed I discovered
that each realm of this Beast’s impenetrable body
welcomed new mysteries
new fears and old miseries—

With every inch of progress
came a fierce longing to be safe
in the darkness of the shadows
I once knew as home.

I held tight
because of steadfast hope
and because of steadfast despair

I held tight as the Beast tore through forests
I held on as the earth trembled beneath Its forceful stride

I held
As my body
was clumsily and effortlessly
thrown about
Like a wavering blade of grass
in the midst of a storm’s wind

But there was no storm
There was no wind
Only the bitter force
of the Beast’s
rash and violent movements.

And then suddenly,
I felt it—
The sun
The daylight the Beast had blocked
for so many years
was now near

Standing on the Beast’s back,
I now hold my quavering arms to the sky
And cry out

Because no measure of courage,
No number of swords
No power of death
No feat of escape
Could have ever had brought with it
Such remarkable and unparalleled beauty

And here on the Beast’s ghastly and unpredictable back
I am somehow both grounded and safe—

Here on the Beast’s back
I have found a home away from the shadows.

Monday, February 6, 2012

like a lazy Cigarette.

Words hung from my lower lip,
Like a lazy cigarette,
And I breathed out smoke
Because we wanted to watch it spiral
Above our heads.

We wanted to watch it dance,
Like a seductive ballerina
Made of Winter breath.

We wanted to dance alongside her,
Desperate and hurting as we were
We wanted to follow her
Until we ourselves knew
The music only she could hear.

This is why I breathed smoke-
To hear the ballerina’s song.

You asked me to hear it.

You asked me
To slowly exhale into your mouth,
So you could taste
the way smoke smelled.
So you could swallow any secrets I might know
Or hold
So you could hear any imaginary music
That a Winter breath
Might catch.

You asked me to exhale,
Into you
So you could breathe me deeper than before,
So that your lungs, could become mine
As smoke floated,
Like an Unholy Ghost
From one pursed lip, to the other
Like a poison
But with purpose.

I watched.
I watched it pulsate through you, like a thick, heavy
dark poison
I felt as it coursed madly through your already aching veins

In mere moments, your eyes began to see
The ugliness my body hid
beneath thin layers of skin

And now, as the smoke escapes my mouth
The very rhythm of my pulse
Becomes almost too painful to hear.

You scream out,
Because I am made empty
And You have become full
You scream out,
Because you cannot bare
To see, or feel
The creeping burn
Of my smoke any longer.

You ask me to leave,
because the balerina has stopped dancing
and the only music left to hear
is too dreadful to remise.
You ask me to leave
Because I have made your insides

And I have,
So I Do.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Of Insignificance among other Things: Part I

When I'm on airplanes, I don't believe in God.
It's not an intentional disbelief, but rather something gradual- a creeping state
I merely find myself in.
God is in the airport,
and then I leave.
I leave in the sky and
that's when
he stops existing...
when he has never existed at all.
And in those moments,
the moments
that make my airplane ride a journey
I feel
I become
I am
and small.
Land is small.
Home, buildings, places, spaces pass
we build and hide in,
work and run from
they become smaller.
Everything is
In planes I feel
until we land
until foot meets land
God meets foot
I am

snail coitus makes me smile