Written for my dear friend Elisa, a women with a heart for authentic relationship and people telling their stories. She was the key person in helping me “come out” as a writer, about a year ago. I see now that poetry and free writing has always been inside of me, but it was a hidden treasure, mostly just used for internal communication between myself and God. It’s been a fun journey over the past year getting to share my poetry with friends and in larger settings, because relating to people in deep ways and exposing truth is so much of who I am.

This poem really is meant to be spoken, not read. So hopefully one day that will happen. In the meantime, here’s a small piece of my story with art and poetry writing.

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I used to think art was for everyone…
You know the guys who drink tea
The girls who like brie
The kids who watch Glee
The adults who live “free”
The people who actually like “The Old Man and The Sea”
But art, it wasn’t for me

Art was the kid who colored inside the lines when I was 4
She was the girl I sang a duet with when I was 8 and got all the compliments after the show
Art was the only class I didn’t do my homework in when I was 10
When I was 12 she was my best friend who wrote angry poems after class
At 14, Art was the boy who got out of class to practice choir
Art was the garage band my friends played in when I was 16
At 18 Art was my escapist dream amidst nursing school reality
At 20 she was the skinny jean, skinny me, hipster look I could never fully conquer

Then at 22 Art walked into my life as woman I could relate to at a point of loneliness and confusion
Her listening ears and open heart built trust and safety
And slowly she began to extend her hand, beckoning me into her world
The love in her voice couldn’t be resisted
So I followed her leading
Entering into to this world that had never been “me”

But something inside began to agree
And connect
Emotion came that I didn’t expect
And I began to reflect on both the intersect and disconnect
Realizing there had been both neglect and reject
So instead of fleeing I began being
Allowing the emotions I’d blocked off to begin breathing
It felting like seeing, for the first time
As I began to climb both into and outside my heart and mind
And the words just began to flow out in rhyme
And I began to find this captivating truth inside
Art was for me, more than that He was in me
He wasn’t for the elite and talented
I found out He’s unendingly multifaceted

See art is the external expression of all internal questions and confessions
She’s a thread in humanity that is meant to weave us together into a masterpiece of truth and beauty from ashes
Helping us to see through different glasses
With a theme of unity that surpasses our clashes
You don’t have to take classes
Just begin to open those boxes inside that you’ve kept closed
Those experiences you’ve said it’s better if nobody knows
Then I won’t be exposed and none can oppose

But let me propose a new idea through this prose
That little girl that dances inside needs to feel the sun
That young man with internal rhythm and rap needs to begin to run
Your art doesn’t need to be words and doesn’t need to be spoken
It’s just those inward realities that need to be awoken
And I’m hear to say you have been chosen
Arise and shine and take my hand
Let’s cross over into that new land
I can see the inner artist across all your faces
He’s trying to squeeze through even of the smallest open spaces
Embrace him
And let Art be the key to letting your inner man and women be what she’s always yearned to be


Last year my friend told me to write a poem about the city. I never finished it. I don’t think it will ever have a true ending, because the city is full of lessons to be learned and more importantly people with stories to be told. “The city” is really any city, though it was written with Lancaster City in mind.


There’s something about you that causes me to think that I can be somebody

Somebody going somewhere

Much like that man over there

He’s dressed in his black, made-to-measure suit

Walking the last block of his daily commute

Looking astute, with no question of his pursuit

His fitted look draws my eyes to each angle of his frame

I wonder from where he came and what is his name

A girlish story rapidly circles my brain

No thought is complete

Just sweet and meek, with nothing concrete

But it’s now obsolete


As I walk through the doors I breathe in the aroma of your being

The warm fragrance of espresso is calming and freeing

The freedom you provide gives me a break from life’s demands

Somehow I’m empowered with latte in hand

Sitting down for a moment to sip in the liquid solace

My eye is caught by a figure almost flawless

Her tattooed arm has caught my attention

Now caught in the tension, looking deep into her complexion

Wanting to stare and compare

But I know that isn’t fair

I just want to declare

“I like you. I like your tattoos. I’m not judging you. I just like you.”

But that’s not completely true

As she picks up her brew I begin to consider her world view

I try to fight the typical questions from first impressions

Are you truly an artist or musician?

What’s caused your break with tradition?

Was this your ambition?

Have your dreams come to fruition?


My inner questions interrupted as he side steps through the door and my view is blocked

His beard a bit mangled and his head a bit cocked

He’s known

Known but alone, surrounded by everything he owns

The barista calls out a hello followed by a first name

He looks around quickly then does the same

His presence makes me feel the ignorance of my youth

With no tools to relate how can I bring truth

This part of you scares me in my smallness

Here I can’t impress and excess only bring regress


Back on your uneven pavement I’m headed in a particular direction

You still have my affection made better by imperfection

Your faded streets signs and aged architecture are somehow refreshing

History’s seasoned maturity is confessing and expressing

While young artist flavoring is progressing and coalescing

Rushed smiles and nods are the dialect of the day

I find a familiar face and follow my nod with a “hey”


As I round the corner your landscape makes a quick shift

It’s then I begin to wonder how your two parts coexist

My eyes find the frame of a boy about six

He’s playing with his firetruck while eating some chips

Your sidewalk is his playground, he knows nothing different

His imagination soaring what you offer is sufficient

His name is called and he pretends to ignore

But that doesn’t last long when she swings open the door

A woman of strength, with streaks of grey hairs stands waiting for compliance

The boy’s pace hasten at her presence, there’s no room for defiance


A loud boom of latino music vibrates through my body’s members

But the sound fades into the distance like smoldering embers

Your diversity reminds me to widen the eyes of my mind

To make this world one color you’d have to be blind

Your design is complex and I’ve just scratched the surface

Maybe that’s your intent

Maybe that’s your main purpose

Easy answers are short lived and quickly outgrown

You provide an open space for my thoughts and questions to roam


There’s something about you that makes me think I can be somebody

That I am somebody

Somebody going somewhere

With a story in session

Deeper than first impression

Likely beyond my own comprehension

Freedom Calls


Freedom calls
Her voice echoes through the nations
Awakening a generation from slumber and sedation
We have been asleep for far too long
Our silence allowing wickedness to grow strong
Blinded by blended lines of right and wrong
Freedom calls
Rippling like sound waves through time and space
History can’t be erased and it’s daily being retraced
Slavery isn’t over
She’s merely gotten a makeover
Meant to keep her hidden with minimal exposure
Freedom calls
Leaving messages on awareness t-shirts and missing child posters at bus stops
Though these actions are needed, isn’t it time we think outside the box?
Maybe we can’t turn back this blackened clock
But we can ALL be a part of making it STOP
Freedom calls
She’s asking for you
Maybe you don’t know what to do
But your voice is needed and your actions too
It’s time to take your stand and proclaim what is truth
The days are over for duplicity and passivity
You need to pursue truth and justice actively
Freedom calls
I have dream
“That one day a woman won’t be judged by the curves of her hips, and the color of her hair, but the content of her heart”
Freedom calls
She’s not quitting
Though defeat looks presumable and the task insurmountable
Evil will not reign, he must be held accountable
Justice commissioners must do more than mere trading of prisoners
We need truth, righteousness, and love distributors
Freedom calls
This war isn’t happening on battlefields in distant nations
It’s invasions, locations, and implications are without limitation
And it’s time to open up that box of reality and depravity
This war’s casualties begin in our families
Freedom calls
She sounds like your sister, friend, mother and daughters
She needs more than popular trends, ideas, and smooth talkers
She needs intervention, and intention through prevention
She needs abuse detection
She needs literal protection and real affection
But most of all
What she needs is sacrificial love and eternal redemption


The Secret of Being Content

Come close
Draw near
Stretch out your ear
And pull these words into that sincere resting place
That space beyond the frontal veneer
Where spiritual truths are all made clear
Where deep calls unto deep
His Spirit dwelling, who never sleeps
Into this sacred space I speak
Because words alone are futile and weak
We must lift up eyes to seek
The things that are above
Realities only experienced in love
See I have learned the secret of being content
Leaving the striving of discontent
The torment of trying to prevent or circumvent the realities of the present
So much of our current lives are spent in lament
Always looking for a person to house our vent
We dream of futures where daily struggle has ceased
With endless happiness unleashed
Fear and agony deceased
But I have learned the secret to being content
And it lies in the extent I relent from creating my own life
Strife is a promised reality
As common as gravity
Meant to reveal life’s vanity and humanity’s depravity
But I have learned the secret of being content
The peaceful assurance I’m called to represent
And it dwells within the space I’m speaking into
Where you begin to be renewed through all that is true
It’s hope
Assurance of things yet unseen
Causing me to lean into my new identity
Heavily pursuing this new reality
Which is Christ in me the hope of glory
He is the secret to being content
For him, to him, because of him my life is spent
For if I am brought low or abound in all good things
If my name is made great among all the world’s kings
If my family turns against me and my stomach found empty
If all my plans succeed and I live in plenty
If the mediocrity of life begins to gnaw at my dreams
Or I find myself living in all the extremes
Still my hope in him remains the same
His lovingkindness not due to change
His redemptive blood coursing through my veins
For by this blood, alive I became
So in all things, I have learned the secret to being content
He is my strength, much stronger than any cement
He knows all my weakness
He knows all my need
He will sustain this life he now leads
My treasure and pleasure is no longer attached to natural and material
For that life is brief and will soon makes its burial
But who I really am is eternal
I am more than merely mortal
Thus, my desire for words beyond verbal and external
Contentment is found in his rest given to us
Our inheritance received through the man Christ Jesus
For all abundance and lack found here on this earth
Can never be compared to his glory and his worth
In him is our life, our strength, our treasure, our trust
He is the secret
He is Jesus

Philippians 4:11-13