Face to Face

King in disguise slumming with commoners

Someone who you know, that you know

but know not why?

can’t seem to place

And there’s something about His eyes…

somewhat like the warmth of the sun

and a fresh mountain breeze

What was there to see?

Nothing extra-ordinary.

But the heart speaks and the spirit testifies

of something more?

Eyes cannot adjust into focus, so unsure, it all seems now like a blur?

A prophet?

A theologian?

A physician?

A professor of philosophy?

A son of man with an aura of divinity?

If you know His voice and hear

One cannot help but to be drawn near

“Presence” is all too clear…

To be ignored?

To be contested?

To contend with brother or sister till one or the other bested?

The victor…

The loser…

Both safely “kept” in protective custody anyway.

Hands up against the walls we’ve made.

Legs spread searched for contraband?

Evidence planted by an enemy?

Still resisting cardiac arrest?

“by what authority have You held me up against Your Will?

Who sent You?

And why have I not been read my rights?”

(you have been given every rite to be still and know that I am God alone)


(shhhh…now…stop thrashing, I am but saving your life)


(see…down below, under the bright lights, how they busily obey while you sleep peacefully under the knife?

I am mending your heart despite your protests, I know what is best for you…trust in me once again as you have always, though even as you have not known so)


(shhhh…back to sleep…rest those little “kicky feet”)


This is one of those dreams I had guessed at…?

That I didn’t think, I was ever supposed to be able to remember.

Guess again…


My fervent wish to slumber…

postponed by You, yet again…

You provide the “means”

I cannot even bring “self” to begin to attempt anymore, to guess at the “ends”


A Wish To Slumber (circa 1983-4?)

Through a smoky haze of urban oil-drum bonfires, he emerges

neon blister glare reflects from unflinching eyes to cast an illusion of perception within a vacuous stare

reluctant feet shuffle to an asphalt city beat

he enters a building lobby and is assailed by unsolicited bone-jarring hip-hop bass

elevator’s busted again so it’s up three flights past urine, fecal, stairwell swill

he tip toes , sidles ,sidles ,slides holding his breath to no avail visual mental olfactory sensory override

he proceeds down the hallway last door on the left apt. 4h turns the key steps inside

deadbolt deadbolt police lock chain home free !

he returns to the relative sanctuary of his tenement apt. cell at last his workday is done

as his head falls hard upon his pillow he reasons; “some restless sleep , is still better than none” through the night the sounds of the city streets invade his dreams

the blast of sirens, a gunshot in the distance, profanity rises above the din as if a thunderous crescendo to a symphony of screams

order eclipsed by mayhem as chaos rules the night…

nearby a young girl trades her virtue for a vial full of poison

elsewhere a child reaches for a mislaid gun

two more victims fall prey to the insatiable blood-thirst of urban blight

human suffering is witnessed by eyes which have long forgotten how to weep

his soul is weary…

his body numb…

all he yearns for now

is that one ever elusive

good night’s sleep.


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