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Showing posts from September, 2012


Good beginnings are only
exciting because of the
beautiful endings
they promise,
which an author sets up
carefully, so the reader
will be satisfied in
some way. 
Funny that something so
simple as an ending
can be so very
satisfying the writer as
well as the reader,
setting down
her pen,
saying to herself, yes, this
will grasp their hearts
and hold them
yet only the best tales can
transfix us like that.
I think I know
one of them:

It is finished,
wrote one author,
just beginning my story.
I'm reading eagerly until the end.

Can't Remember

Last night's dreams seem
to sleep in my pillow
as the sun runs
from dawn to dusk--
then reenter me as
I lay my head in bed.
For fleeting moments they
cast their last

dim images
across my closed 
eyes, then die.
Come tomorrow, they'll be
swept away in the day,
when tonight's dreams
lie silent in my pillow, too.


If Scripture is God-breathed,
then maybe as we read,
our souls are mirroring His action.
Do you doubt the power of that air?
Remember: His breath brought
the first man from dust to life--
from simple earth to life!

Breathe in, redeemed one,
breathe in until you taste
His words sweet on your tongue,
filling your lungs and mouth with
His life and love,
so you may rise from the dust
with His strength in your feet
and His mercy glowing in your hands.

contrived nonsense

I stand and watch the growing gloaming
glowing bright, more brilliant than a fig.
Imagine: somewhere beaches foaming;
elsewhere, pigeons balancing on twigs;
still elsewhere, elephants arising
early, when the sun's still cherry-red--
and last, a spiky fruit surprising
some poor soul by dropping on his head.
The world is split up much like pie,
and you may only have one slice for now,
but that's why I would like to fly,
so I can see it all at once. Look, a cow!


I know the fire hurts you,
when the flames are gnawing
on your flesh, like red-hot demons
clamoring to devour you whole.
It burns your skin and clothes
away, until you're left
completely bare before me.
You're crying for someone
to save you, but
I have not forgotten you.
I know the fire hurts.

O golden child of mine,
keep walking through the flames.
They shall not touch your soul,
but only dance across to polish
and to purify--
then leave their brilliant shadows
pressed upon its surface,
and you will come to me
shining brighter than the fire itself.

True Friend

You and I have always known,
and we are both aware
that Father brought our spirits close,
and Father knit them there.
So then, together we will grow
with love and grace and prayers--
and of His light our souls will glow
within His sovereign care.


Above the night, hazy stars
are gazing down at me and you.
This wide dark widens my eyes,
holds me still, and consumes my heart.
Do you feel as small as I do?
Perhaps we are not real at all.

running out of time

If the world would end tonight,
would you be coming home with me?

If the sky was pulled apart
and stars and moon fled
to farthest corners and trembled there,
would you be frightened
to find what glory lay behind?

If you saw a King coming down to us,
would you want to hide, or
would you want to run into his arms?

I'm shaking with the promise of
eternity, and you'll be shaking too.
I hope you know if it'll be fear or joy.

When you stand at Heaven's gates,
will you be looking at your home--
will you be going there with me?

In January

deep greys and blues
snake cold and bitter down
my open throat, tails scraping
where the slender starlight
cut my tongue in two.
grey-blue swirls into my lungs,
poisoning the warm fog inside
until frozen feathers barely tickle
at my heart,
which swells in the chill as if
it'd shatter my bones.

I swallowed valiantly,
silent and wide-eyed,
or perhaps it swallowed me.

dusty white creeps slowly
through my toes and soothes
like honey, though I know cold
could never thaw itself.

cold drizzle

From Death in Winter's cages springs
a bitter twilight weeping--
and freedom once taught you to sing,
but like a dove with tar-tipped wings,
you're silent in your Sleeping,
so Death in Winter's cages brings
a bitter twilight weeping.

get your gun!

A ghost came to your window
very late last night;
I don't know why you let it
give you such a fright.
That ghost was really just the
other half of me.
(The disembodied half, you'll
understand.) And we
together make up one old
person who is dead,
but she has got the "heart," and
I have got the head.
She is more like Granny dear
than I will be again,
because she'd rather talk to you,
and I just want your brain.

Haiku Conversation

This happened on Thursday night.

Haleigh, 9:20pm:
The night grows short and
my patience grows shorter still.
Post, you poet, you!

Me, 9:35pm:
i'll write a poem,
but i have one calc problem
left for me to do.

Haleigh, 10:24pm:
that wasn't a hai
ku. If you'd said "I will," it
would have been one, though.

Me, 10:30pm:
what? Haleigh Swansen
says that word as "pome" instead
of "po-em"? how strange.

Haleigh, 11:02pm:
people who say it
that way say "poe-UM", my dear.
That's not right, either.

Me, 11:10pm:
I stand corrected
on that second syllable,
but there are still two.

Haleigh, 11:16pm:
I just read the link...
OK. I'm the faulty one.
You are free to mock.


He shaped me before I had form;
molded me with great eternal hands;
taught me how to breathe
and my heart how to beat.
He took my little soul up
by the arms and showed me how
to walk; fed me, gave me strength.
He loved me like no other
ever would or could,

and still I ran away. I learned
to worship at another altar. Turned
the mirror into my sky and forgot
he stood behind it. Said
"My Lord," to the things I had done
and looked to them for all my help.
Loved myself and only me.

What a child you are, he said.
The more I call, the more you turn away.
I loved you, and you lusted after
everything I gave to you, though
you deserved nothing. Therefore
my anger burns, and justice
must be made,

but when I roar, take heed:
come trembling back, because I
love you still.

And like a lion he devoured and
poured his wrath until that righteous
burning anger ran completely dry.
Not one bit of it reached me.
I stood and watched, because
another took my place
that I might tremble
and return.

Come child, he said,
and do not fear. What have I
to do with idols? It is I
who answers and looks after you,
and I who has healed you,
and I who will make you grow
strong in my shadow.

Come to me, he said.
I love you freely.

A/N: Hosea 11-14


Hello to all the dear readers of this blog!

As you may have noticed, the title has changed. This is because it is no longer the lives of three in poetry; instead, it has become the poetry of one. Ellie and Mia have officially resigned from contributing to this blog. From now on, all new posts will be mine. (Although, if you've been following for a while, you will realize that this isn't a particularly large change in posting schedule.)
Thank you all for following TLOTIP through the years. I hope you will continue to read and enjoy my poetry in the future!

God bless,


Sometimes When It Rains

Sometimes when it rained,
they turned the lights out,
sat and stared up at the ashen sky,
lost themselves in shadows
and the earthen smell of ancient
wooden floors and windowsills.
They savored every ache
of cold and dark and
clouds between them and the sun.

Sometimes the heavens
wept so much, they thought
the world might end.
Alone, they might have
wept along for fear, but
as they were, they sat and stared
and let it come.
They never spoke a word
because the rain was singing
loud enough to wash
the rest of life away.

Sometimes when it rains,
they steal away together still,
and hold hands in that
darkened sanctuary where
the shadows draw them in
to rest beneath
the water's gentle melody
that plays across the roof.


the river's
cooler than the air,
but not as clear.
the dirty darkness might be
a little heavy in your lungs.
rivers were always
for crossing and everyone does,
i wonder what mine is like.

(have you heard the sound
of a star exploding,
because i think it
could be magnificent.)

white cracked like toothpicks
between his powerful jaws;
stuck in his teeth like them too.
he didn't mind because that reddish
life was warm as it went down
his throat. brown feathers lay
crushed under his paws.

(i heard it's like sleeping,
only the dreams are better
and the nightmares are worse.)

autumn holds more significance
than it should. after all,
new leaves arrive every year.
consider the ancient oak
that stood tall for years, but
withers in the summer heat,
finally falls across

rivers that were always
for crossing, and i will someday,
smiling. my house and father
are on the other side.


1867. Important, new,
communication revolutionized.
Flung joyously in the air.

2012. No one even
Fallen, trampled,
left in the dark as we all
rush to 'the next best thing':

technology's brand-new shine
never lasts for long.


credit to: my dear blog-stalker, who faithfully reminded me to post today and gave me inspiration where i had none. i use some direct phrases from that inspiration in this poem as an act of homage and true gratitude.

Yard Sale!

Born free of conformity,
yet into a world of rule -
a land of regulation
I open my eyes,
I see the shadows
My mind, once a vast emporium
of thought, of concept,
of idea,
now advertises only falsity and fear.

Could Have Been

I never memorized
the stretching of your mouth
in either direction,
up or down;
quiet couldn't find a
comfort in the gaps between
our speeding words and laughter;
my breathing never
missed its rhythm,
just to match itself with yours.
Your absence tore
no gaping hole into
the fabric of my heart...

yet a tiny corner tingles
bittersweet as I remember
meeting you next to
that open door, when I
first made you smile,
when everything inside me
spoke of what could be--
but now,
what only could have been.


Butterfly found Moth on a bush,
just waking up at twilight.
"This is terrible," she said immediately,
fluttering up from the ground. "I can't
fly well at all,
and nobody will help me.
I tried talking to

Bee, but she was too busy.
Gnat was scared of my bigger wings, and
Dragonfly was jealous of them.
Wasp didn't care;
Mosquito just made fun of me."

Moth said, "That does sound terrible."
"You have no idea," said Butterfly.
"I'd help you," mused Moth, "but
we're hardly awake at the same time."

As if to prove his point,
night fell and the moon rose.
"It's time for me to go," said Moth.
He patted Butterfly on the shoulder
and flew away.

Butterfly felt abandoned.
She settled in the bush and
closed her eyes, but didn't sleep at all,
and she didn't move when morning came.
The whole day went by as she
huddled in that bush.

She would have
stayed there forever,
but twilight brought the gardener
as it arrived again.

"Butterfly," he said, bending down,
"what are you doing out here?"

"I can't fly," she sniffled, and began to cry.

"Oh, one doesn't learn to fly
all at once," said the gardener, smiling
and wiping her tears with gentle hands.
"You must keep trying."

Butterfly frowned and said,
"But nobody will help me. I'm
beginning to think that
I will never fly like the others,
that I will only ever flutter along
in the dirt."

"Come to my garden, then," said
the gardener. "I will teach you
how to fly. I have a special place
for you to rest when you get tired,
and I will always be there
to catch you when you fall."

He lifted her in his palm
and looked her in the eye,
waiting for an answer.
Butterfly drew strength from the warmth
of his skin and thought to herself,
Perhaps I will soar in the sky

So Butterfly got up,
shook her wings out,
and followed the gardener home,
one faltering flight at a time.

More Midnights

These bluey grey-toned memories
were quieter than how I wrote
of them, but also more intense.

My breath kept catching in my throat.
My back assumed a crooked bent
beneath the starry heaven's weight.

A wind assaulted every sense,
my insides curling tiny (wait!)--
I looked into eternity.


A light switch might just be
itself--that is, until you filled the
room with stories that turned
real before you even told them.
Then darkness was not for sleep,
but for mysterious worlds built
to be explored by spirits almost
like you three, yourselves.

A lightning bolt might strike
men and trees, or it could strike
up memories of slippery grass
and sleepy laughter. That was
not the first time you spoke, but
when secrets were shared in
low voices, trust put out a root
in an unlikely place of places.

A light-hearted comment might
so easily be dismissed, but you
saw the clockwork of a quick mind
beneath the words. As you slept,
you remembered, and had an
answer ready on the morrow. No
wonder you, on equal footing now,
said 'twins' with such a smile.

A light touch on the shoulder
might mean nothing. But after all
these years, it might mean that
some part of your soul crawled
its way into somebody else's
ribcage and sits there. It might
mean that you are precious, so
I whisper: sleep well tonight.

see you at christmas

My back yard will be
carpeted twice: once with fallen
fragments of Autumn's brilliant death,
and once with blank and quiet hush
of Winter's soothing blankets,
before we meet again.
I wish you all the blessings
that a quarter-year can hold,
and hope to know you
just as well,
when you and holidays return.