Tag Archives: mourning

Poetry Drips Like Poison


drips like poison
from his fingertips
and passion
seizes his mind
until there is no more hope.
is found in the most unlikely places
and freedom’s price
is a life well lived.
safety, anonymity and assurance,
good intentions
may rob your soul
of its open window
may close out the light
until your love wastes away
in a dark cellar.
The prisons of our minds
are no more dangerous
than the eyes with which we see.

And I wanted to love you.
But you took away my voice.



when the busyness that consumes my life
is hiccupped by some strange interruption,
I hear you whispering to me—
Sometimes I hear your voice and I smile
but often I blink back tears
hating myself for having ever forgotten
for letting silly distractions steal you from me

you say
and sometimes I try to push your voice away
too comfortable in my self-made world
to want your memory creeping in
interrupting my plans

you cry
and you call me back
and the memories wash over me in waves
and I am all alone in an ocean of

“I remember”
I whisper.
“I will remember.”

A poem for lost fathers: Raising My Voice


Today the world is short one more amazing father, husband, friend, and follower of Christ.  Brett Cannon was an incredible man and it’s so tragic to see his life ended too soon.  Tonight my prayers go out to his wife and children.  They carry a heavy weight.  This poem was originally written for another amazing father, husband, friend, and disciple–Raja Nweiser; whose story reminded me so much of losing my own father.  Today this poem is dedicated to Brett’s family, and to all of those who are grieving a father ripped away to soon.  I’m raising my voice for you.

(Note: baba is the Arabic word for daddy.)

Raising My Voice

I’ve been here before –
nearly twenty years ago
I stood beside the wooden box which held a man
who had only seen forty-one winter chills
only forty-one spring thaws
only known a few years in his children’s lives
I stood looking down at his strangely tinted face,
held his cold fingers with my warm ones
my mind unable to comprehend what this meant
we stood in a line—from toddler to eleven year old
and said goodbye to our “baba.”

I’ve been here before –
but with someone else
this time the movie plays through my mind,
a continuous loop
of you laughing and smiling
joking as we climbed to Herod’s palace
telling me of your beautiful girls as we drove through the desert
narrating stories as we wandered through the siiq to Petra’s great Treasury
encouraging me  as we hiked up to the Monastary—
(never letting me give up despite all my protests
without you I would never have known the view from that mountain’s peak)
caring for every detail when I fell like a clumsy child
and each memory that washes over me brings a fresh wave of sorrow.

I’ve been here before –
but this time I see things with my grown-up eyes
I see the world without you, and it seems empty somehow
where once stood a loving shepherd, now stands a grieving flock
where once was a respected mentor, now sit confused students
where once was the love of a father and husband, now is the heartbreak of a wife and her children
and my grown-up eyes weep
for the dreams you’ll never fulfill
the potential that lies unreached
the friend that I have lost
the wife whose love was torn away
the children whose baba will never again tuck them in at night

I’ve been here before –
and so I offer up my prayers
For all those who have lost their pastor, mentor, colleague, friend, loved one
For the days when you feel overwhelmed with sorrow
For the nights when sleep is chased away by memories
For the moments when grief chokes back your breath
I stand beside you
and I raise my voice
to the One whose comfort will carry us through

Poetry Friday: “Father”


So, gentle readers, I promised you a variety of posts here at Murphy’s Law Translated and I think it is time to deliver.  I solemnly declare that henceforth and forever after (or until I change my mind), Fridays shall be known as “Poetry Fridays.”

Today we shall kick things off with a poem fresh off the quill . . . or in this case, the ball point pen.


hidden in the nighttime shadows of this present world
are you watching me?
can you hear the tremor in my voice?

Do you remember that cold winter morning
you called a taxi to take me the mile to school?
While others sent children trudging through mountains of snow in search of that brick schoolhouse
You ordered up a taxi—delivered on a silver platter to our front door
(An absurd luxury when you were out of work)
And I knew your love.

I miss that confidence—
love as tangible as bricks and mortar
or your hand in mine
sweeping me into your arms as you
killed the mouse
calmed the fears
sang me sleep every night with your magic charm:
“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.”
As if I could fear bed bugs with my champion sleeping down the hall.

Do you remember that cursed night you first knew?
I hope not.
I hope it is wiped forever clean from your memory.
That night our world changed
I’ve never known such fear.

There are so many things I want to tell you . . .
How thankful I am for the years we had together
How sorry I am for all the ways I failed you

If I could go back to that night
I swear I’d do it differently
Our last chance to be together
I chose myself over you
If I could do it all over again . . .
But there are no “do-overs” when it comes to death.

Do you watch us from the shadows?
This lost family you left behind
Or is it too painful?

Can you hear me crying out for you when I think no one is listening?
Longing for a shiny yellow taxi to come deliver me to you