Jazz (An Ode to Medellin, Colombia)

Vibrancy.
Palpitations drum and kick my rhythmic heart
Art pops in hidden realms
Seismic shifts and swells
The keynote speaker is feeling
And we all give consent

——–

Spent from days of routine
We let the jazz run wild
In through our ears rumbling in our brains
Untethered through power lines of nerves
Until it exits the other side

——–

We’re lost in the swirls and colors of painting instruments
Distinct hues of oceans blues
Maroon and cartoon cats in over-sized suits
Flip fifty cent pieces palming pocket watches in the other hand
No land is locked when music lights the path
Imagination is elastic and unbreakable

———

The unorthodox rules the night
Let ourselves take flight from caution
No idea on a destination or distance until an empty tank
We fly blind and just align with the wind
It’ll take us where we need to be and when we need to be there
Care is waiting to catch up and catch us in mayday.

———

Though shaky we land once again
Every piece finds its place in the end

Why…?

Because it’s Jazz
Because it’s life

————

We never fully control who’s coming or going
So the intent is to be unintentional in the moment
Just blend in with what’s moving and make the most of what the mixture is
Before you know it every sound’s profound tune swoons us
We hear how every part finds its place in the Equilibrium
And the liquid noise crashes the canyon walls in a downward rush
Then dwindles with one last pound and thrust of life before it plateaus
Dispersed in unity
We go our separate ways once again.

El Fin.

Lost religion-Freedom Found (Still-born Dreams)

It was still-born dreams
I gleaned for understanding for the discomfort
Maybe displacement,
Maybe I was finally facing what I knew was always there
Now I stare into the eyes of aborted expectations
Passions spurned, deflated
Hope deferred, complacent
In the basement of my mind
No intellect can stretch to the sublime
I was in need of
I ejected from the message
A lost investment,
Time to reconsider.

So I gathered my trust like garments
I boxed up the belongings of my beliefs
Evicted from true reality
I sought solace in sane things

Thinking… if church is simply charity
There’s no cure for the malady of belonging
And if the gates of hell can prevail
Maybe we’ve made our home in a kingdom we don’t belong

Reworded the message
Found security in Caesars incentives and
Fought freedoms that place us at the mercy of a god we can control

What if our Moses’s are Aaron’s in disguise
And we’ve never known the presence enough to sense the difference?

I grew cold from the repetition
 Mixing business and worship
 Love and lust, God and gold
 The service froze my potency

I retracted my expressions
Wounded heart
Guessing where I could fit in
My real was too ideal
An awkward mammoth among men
Extinct in my train of thought
So I thought.

I caught a flight South
Then West
Then East.
South again
Where my pen came alive and
I’d dive into verbs
Word and reword
What I felt
Or failed to feel
As I healed.

This was my detox.

 And I never felt the cold turkey
Nor the remorse of my leave
Just the sound of barren leaves
Crushed underfoot
These were the pieces of me,
Scattered parts
1-A heart too ambitious
2-Arms too passionate
3-Legs too determined for the task
I’d unmask myself in the doing
Then found my face in renewing identity
I never thought pursuing deconstruction
Would reflect a hurt so good

So I stood. Naked, again.

This time more bare than before
This time no care in the world
That swallowed up my ideas of the holy
I was unfolding shallow logic
Deposits of my naive consumption
But I let the scales fall
And I saw like Saul
I had mistaken my enemy
Timidly finding the rhythm of trust
Until I thrust myself beyond the knowing
He was showing me how my glory was assaulted

Freedom came from mountaintops
And I found I could never fit where I wasn’t meant to be
Now I can see the treasures of my heart
I traded pews for evergreens
I abandoned feedback for birds songs
The open air makes things more clear now
And I hear the voice I always needed the most
Trekking through the wood
The unbeaten path of paradox
Inconvenience in adventure
Following the voice that leads me beyond knowing…
Lost-religion, Freedom-found.

All In (The Cross Mount Dora)

Got a chance to work with Lang Film Company on a piece for  The Cross Mount Dora. I was tasked to craft a poem that embodied the Church’s mission statement using material from the Pastor’s messages. All footage was shot by Kevin Lang of the Lang Film Company, directed through a creative collaboration of myself, Kevin Lang and  mainly Mark Crossman of The Cross. This was a fun project, I got a chance to unleash my inner pyro, especially Mark Crossman. Great collaboration.

All In Transcript

If you would like words crafted for a promo, wedding, or funeral, fill out the contact form below and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Feel free to comment below on what you thought of the poem. Cheers.

Explication: I Dreamed My Genesis by Dylan Thomas

 

 

I dreamed my genesis in sweat of sleep, breaking

Through the rotating shell, strong

As motor muscle on the drill, driving

Through vision and the girdered nerve.

 –

From limbs that had the measure of the worm, shuffled

Off from the creasing flesh, filed

Through all the irons in the grass, metal

Of suns in the man-melting night.

Heir to the scalding veins that hold love’s drop, costly

A creature in my bones I

Rounded my globe of heritage, journey

In bottom gear through night-geared man.

I dreamed my genesis and died again, shrapnel

Rammed in the marching heart, hole

In the stitched wound and clotted wind, muzzled

Death on the mouth that ate the gas.

 –

Sharp in my second death I marked the hills, harvest

Of hemlock and the blades, rust

My blood upon the tempered dead, forcing

My second struggling from the grass.

 –

And power was contagious in my birth, second

Rise of the skeleton and

Rerobing of the naked ghost. Manhood

Spat up from the resuffered pain.

I dreamed my genesis in sweat of death, fallen

Twice in the feeding sea, grown

Stale of Adam’s brine until, vision

Of new man strength, I seek the sun.

——–

 

 

 

The most consistent thread in Dylan Thomas’ work is a yearning to return or be transported to a place of youth and innocence. Thomas politicizes the world because he is never content nor accepting of the standards and norms that most adults adhere to, quite frankly his poems are a mockery of the real world. Thomas prefers the ideal. “I Dream My Genesis” is Thomas grappling with re-envisioning his beginning in the thick of a restless night. Thomas’ life story is consistently retold as one of carelessness, drunkenness and irresponsibility despite his incredible gifting and talent. Many critics seem to believe his poems exhibit a sort of drunken stupor, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. I find myself in both beliefs that some of his poems have depth and some seem to me a bit rushed.

However, hearing Thomas recite his poems, I am pressed to believe maybe the poems I do not understand have a depth I cannot quite grasp, at least not until I understand the poet more intimately. Taking into account Thomas’ history; his inability to hold a job, to stay sober, there is something the poet is running from or processing through. And though poetry is a great escape for many, maybe it was not enough of an escape for Thomas. I also ask myself, “where does he want to escape to?” The answer I believe is, to his childhood, or at least a place of purity, of innocence. This drive is what creates such a force in Thomas’ words and makes his poetry so bombastic, yearning, ethereal and youthful. His poems can be personified as a child skipping through nature, chomping at the bit to see over a new horizon. It is as if the poem could fly him away and the more forceful the language the higher he is projected. This is also clearly seen in his poem, “Poem in October”,  where Thomas reflects on his childhood, stating, “his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.” The child’s heart was Thomas’s own heart, even as a man, this heart was inescapable and fantastically fascinated with repainting the world and marveling at nature.

This fascination with repainting the world and returning to innocence is what “I Dreamed My Genesis” is all about.  This is what we see in lines 1 and 2 of the first stanza, it is this “breaking through the rotating shell”, the shell is his body similar to the shell of a bullet. Thomas in this dream-like state is similar to a bullet in the chamber, he is yearning to be propelled, ‘rotating’ as the bullet spins, so he spins in his sleep, and metaphorically piercing into the reality of his dream. This dream we speak of where he re-imagines his beginning, where he questions what life would be like if he had not lost his innocence. This dream where he repeatedly envisions what life would be like if he could choose the circumstance that shaped him. But he couldn’t. Continue reading

Order and Essence

Normally I’m composed
My brain froze through a cold winter
Splintered visions of order and essence


Too much focus on acceptance
I neglected God’s investment
Him in me and I in Him


I let other voices interrupt
corrupt passions of those who cared
I’m scared to trust again. Rewind


I was lying in a lie and then
Truth came, to say
You can’t contain who I am in you.


image

Hinges

Desperation aches deep

Loud creaks screech in my rusted soul

The nails froze overtime


Still hung. Longing for movement

Remind me these nails still hold

Frozen from apathy,


Apathy trapping me between stillness

Where an invisible entropy that entered me sits.

Winter fits, but seasons change. Seasons, please change.


Three nails in need of oil, swing open

Remind me why I hang

Winters passed, the hour glass is turned. I’m open to Spring.

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She Knows Me

Faint flutters in my chest

Unpredictable palpitations of my heart

Lungs… Can’t. quite, catch; their rhy-thm.


Her voice like a sacred tune, I swoon over

Exposure embedded in our tongues

Unsure of her song, but it knows me.


Loathing another goodbye

With soft pleas and comedic cries

We were never meant to separate


She can calm the seas that rage in me

And I can sail the ocean of her heart, yet

It’s only the start. It’s only the start, but she knows me.

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Paradox

Paradox |ˈparəˌdäks|

noun

a statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory

  • a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true

     

A fire.

Shut up in my bones

Barreling through my soul

Breaking, yet making me whole. Paradox.


Continually striving for the death of me

Allowing surrender to have the best of me

Until there is nothing left of me and I am found. Paradox.


Pressing into your presence with all my faculties

Your spirit arrests and tackles me

Releasing and unshackling me from all my past regrets. Paradox.


Illogical illusions naturally eluding my logic with toxic solutions, and remedies of life.

Not the toxic wine of the earth, but filled with the intoxicating spirit of truth.

Truth deemed a paradoxical distortion out of proportion to the endorphins

Within the natural man.


But this wine of the spirit leads me to the cliff of who I thought I was

And bids me jump.

This spirit of truth leads me to the waters edge

And bids me drown to the reflection looking back on the surface.  

Jump. Drown. Surrender


So as a child on a counter top

I jump into the arms of my father’s love

And I drown in the warm security of His embrace

Where I find my identity. I belong.


I belong at the edge of me

Where my known meets his unknown

And I’m shown that I’ve been sown

Apart from that which is fleeting. Paradox


Thus, surrender awakens dormant urges to be fully clothed

As I grown fully knowing

All I desire to be exist outside of me


So I’m relinquishing control of my golden calf

Only to grasp for what cannot be held

But that which holds me

That which molds me

That which transforms and grow me

Into a bush that burns yet is not consumed…Paradox.


Now, barefoot on holy ground

Hearing the sounds of His thunder and lightning

Utterly frightening, yet exciting, inviting me to climb

The reverberating question in the spirit of my mind,

“Who shall ascend unto the hill of the Lord?”


Fear snatching the oxygen from my lungs

Replacing it with His presence

As the essence of his person becomes my survival

As I rival the fear of being afraid. Paradox.


Ascension speaking of the death of me yet,

Remaining at the bottom equals settling for a lesser me

That goes through the motions of devotion,

Dead in the worse way.


Choosing between the shame of role-playing

The equivalent to tattered and holey clothing in a blizzard storm; insufficient.

Or conversely, yet the same

Realizing the shame that I was created naked

And the only warm from this world’ storm resides in Him, so I must ascend.


 

So, in desperation excavating weight to climb quickly

Swiftly, escalating estimating a plan to reach the peak empty.

Created naked from the dust, thus I return to be clothed

I return to known

I return to be shown

That all I’ve been given was meant to be given away!!

…As my earthly man reaches the peak of his decay

While inwardly being renewed day by day. Paradox.


 

The paradox of purposing to live a strategically death

Attempting to mimic the life of;

A lion that came to be a lamb or,

A king that came to be a servant or,

The life giver that came to give His life? Paradox…


O’ Paradox!

Give me your foolishness that I might be made wise!

Give me your weakness that I might be made strong!

Show me the frailty of this earthen vessel I occupy

And then tell me I can be pressed, but not crushed

I can be persecuted, but not abandoned

I can be continually struck down! Yet, I’m made to be indestructible!

Paradox, please…!?


Show me the illusion is not you, but rather

Everything around me is illusory

And that which I cannot see is more real than the tangible.


Reveal to me utter security could never come

Through that which I can control, and gaining control

Only comes through letting go of things I seem to be

Utterly secure in knowing…


 

Help me see right side up, in world so upside down

 


Give me words to tell the world, that no legislation nor occupation

Can appease the insatiable hunger that Eden’s exodus has left in our souls…

 

And Leads us in the way back O’God

Back to your paradise O’Lord

Back to your presence our King

Back to your paradox our love, where we rightfully belong.  


-Travis Thomas

 

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Wanderers

 

Wanderers…Vagabonds

Gypsies glimpsing glory evading our grasp

Fighting to capture the illusions of land

That flee us, as soon as we feel it’s finally ours


So draw lines on this map to make me feel like I belong

Yet all along, I long for something more

But because I wrestle with my displacement

I’ll displace my neighbors at war,

Because at my core I’ve lost the biggest battle.


But give me something to hold or

Something to mold or control

With my own hands

Because I’ve failed to manipulate and impress myself


Internally learning me is like a ship without a sail

So I’ll sell all I can to measure my self-worth

But it’s worthless without a compass or an anchor for my soul


Now I’ll spend myself, and I’ll spend this wealth

And I’ll spin this wheel and go nowhere at all.  

 

The uncommon waters of my identity.

 

I find I’m searching because I’m hurting

And I’m hurting because I’m searching

Working to appease the lurking nomad

Under the surface of myself


And they say home is where the heart is…

 

But rapture is captured in the capsule of this heart

So where I end I start,

Infinity trapped in finite space until the case of this displaced man

Is broken, seals opened, as I’m

Choking on His presence with new lungs!!


Pulling on heaven like an anvil above my head, desiring to shatter

The hollow shell of me, knowing

The substance lies underneath this hell in me

Yet deep groanings of the

Spirit telling me, “endure,

For home is on its way.”


So I’m spreading hope like a contagion

Raging against the temporary gratifications of this life

Telling the nations that displacement is normal

No matter where you go near or far

THERE YOU ARE!


The spirit of adoption cropped in

The frame of us, bucking against

The spurs of the spirit taming us

For greater glory…

And it’s the same old story

A prodigal people searching for Eden’s gates

Displaced and afraid until we come to ourselves

And realize that service in our father’s house

Is far greater


Yet relying on our sight we wrestle our own flesh and blood

Projecting the inner me on an enemy

In futile hopes to tame ourselves

Vanity of Vanities says the preacher!!

Grasping the wind, clutching the waves

Stuck and afraid to admit,

We’re lost in translation


Living life inside a bubble

Books like rubble stacked on our shelves

Yet, the more we learn, we grow to discern that

Nothing can be earned here. Vanities!


 

 Vanity of vanities, profanities of logic

Insanity deposited from men we choose to honor.

Continually Compounding confusion through unfounded solutions

Enduring reasons contusions

Dazed by the illusions that our happiness is the end of all we all!!

 


Failing to see peace is gained in perseverance

That pleasure is purified in pain,

Neither pacifists nor masochists

But activists for a kingdom beyond sight

So, I stretch my mind to transcend time

And go beyond light,

From the light of the sun to the life of the Son

Residing in His presence the essence of home  

No longer prone to wander for significance but resting in his imminence

The photosynthesis of a hidden kingdom

Where the oxygen of life is Christ and,

Christ is life and,

Death is gain and,

Stress and pain are ingredients to see more!

And the reason to see more, is to be more

More of what were created “to be” in I am.  


So I’m Leaving the shadow of what is tangible

For an intangible world I can see more clearly,

I said,

I’m Leaving the shadow of what is tangible

For an intangible world I can see more clearly

Yeah, I’ll go and wander there,

I’ll go and wander there…


-Travis Thomas (Wanderers)

Overwhelmed

 

The thought of you
A torrent tumbling over
Over-turning the bareness of me

I was a parched path
Grooves in my heart had grown dry
Yet, you rushed into places untouched

You brought about a purity
Liquefying, refreshing, bringing life
To a death that I didn’t know died

You’re eroding the borders of me
Deepening the depths. A meandering monsoon,
And I’m overwhelmed by your presence.