Trees

I am a sapling, standing, still,
Trusting you to teach me how to rise above the hills.
Brother, lead me to the bright sunlight;
Show me how to reach the sky.
I want to spread my green, see-through arms to catch the liquid warmth.
I learn how you convert the world to sugar-energy.
You speak to me.
You live where I can see.
Your words like fresh, soft breeze.
Like clean, vibrant light washing over me.
I look to you, a redwood in my forestry.
With you I reach above.
Tall, growing quietly.
Your kindness, drooping down to reach me.
You guidance, like whispers rustling through me.

I am a sapling, stooping, chilled,
How could you have taught me how to rise above the hills?
Brother, now you’ve fallen in the dark night storm;
I’m abandoned in the blackness, left to die.
The wind tears through me, numbs my shoots, chokes my roots– I drown in dryness, cold,
Coveting your words, now only bitter memories.
You have left me,
Your silence deafening.
I can hear your dead heart, creaking, groaning, wheezing, moaning, hissing, murmuring,
Or is it only musty misery screaming in my own mold stomach?
Hollow.
You lie down still, a casualty for foresters to clear.
Like sharp, pinched pain smothering me.
I’m fighting to stand straight; Branches crashing off my body. Amputate.
The thunder drowning all my leaves; They’re bowing down.
Your last words whisper up to me.

I am a young tree, standing still.
Still, I’m learning how to rise above the hills.
Brother, the mist shrouds your now dead form.
I understand; you, who I once thought perfect, were also at the mercy of the cold, the same as I.
The last breeze numbed you; as your gnarled, grey skin grasped and gasped to breathe.
I quiver, warming, hushed. Converting starlight into silent, singing peace.
I needed you.
Now I need to live as me.
Dig my roots into the dirt; grow green.
Still. Strong. Free.
Other saplings look to me, a redwood in their forestry.
I also will fail, fall, fear. They’ll grow taller than me. Stronger. Browner.
Learn to leave my musty, leathered lessonings,
As I left yours.
Each must become their own fresh greenery;
The warn, frozen antiquities will only sleep.

Each must become their own fresh greenery;
The warn, frozen antiquities will only sleep.

Remember Me

Today we have a guest post from Drake Jaatinen!

When I get old,
my story told,
who will remember me?

When my days are done,
my years of fun,
who will remember me?

Will I be remembered for metals of war?
My many foes lie slain in scores;
I’ve seen the faces that see no more.
Will they remember me?

When my final breath I take,
and I remember for old times sake,
will they remember me?

Will I be remembered by family and friends;
Will I be remembered for starting new trends;
Will I be remembered for loyalty to the end;
Will they remember me?

When my services they no longer need;
when I am rewarded for all of my deeds;
from their jurisdiction I now am freed.
Who will remember me?

Will I be remembered for doing my job?
Or am I remembered for being a slob?
Or will I be a part of the mobs?
How will they remember me?

Will I be remembered by poppy on chest,
or will I lie forgotten along with the rest?
Will my name be forever blessed?
How will they remember me?

Will my name be forever cursed,
as I lie in the back of a hearse.
Will I be remembered for the worst,
as they remember me.

I must always do my best,
because when I am laid to rest
and in black all are dressed–

Someone will remember me.


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Drake Jaatinen is an 18-year-old, budding writer. He loves any kind of music and hopes to write it someday. He has written a few poems and is working on two books with others and one by himself. He wants to work on his public speaking skills and is attending Bible school in Edmonton with hopes to minister. You can check out his writing at Ocean Ties.


Prayer of a Psychopath

Actions mean nothing,
Everything is empty.
It really hurts,
This reactionless love.
Maybe I deserve something!?

I see a death,
It’s just no breath.
What’s the point?
Please, just one tear,
My time is so near.

Void of love anoints,
An expanse of barrenness.
Can’t I give this world,
A taste of me?

I don’t understand what you mean,
When you want me to empathize.
Try on sympathy for size.

Don’t you get it?
I’m stuck in a pit
Trapped beyond where
A length of love could reach.
Do you think I care?

I’m an empty soul,
A man without regrets for ages.
No one can turn the pages,
Of the reign of lunacy in me.

I am an outcast,
Forgetting every second as it dies
There is no effect of the past

I am jealous of others
Those who feel pain
Dying friends and sick mothers
Can’t I feel a small bit?
Can’t I feel something!?
Anything?
Please
Till my heartbeat cease
Shower the guilt on me!
In my dry desert.

Can’t I just feel regret?
Can anything set?
I’m jealous of those,
Who cry into pillows
With a streaming, wet nose.
I need that.

Give me sorrow and pain,
Let me go insane!
Can’t you see,
That I want it?

Perhaps if I kneel,
At the throne, I can feel.
Surrender the past,
Give up my fear,
Surrender my mask.

Do I really have to keep,
Holding so dearly to this?
Did I really miss,
A chance at freedom?

Maybe I can feel,
And break that tight seal.
Maybe a tiny bit of joy,
Will blossom beautifully,
At the end of today.

Pieces of Me

Today we have a guest post from Judith Conway!

Standing frozen
In a whirl of thought,
In a kaleidoscope of emotion,
Pieces of me cavort around in the wind of my pondering.

Who am I?
I thought I knew.
Not all, but parts of me.
Now, I am not so sure.

Am I a chameleon?
Picking up other’s pieces,
Adapting?
Making them my own?

Pure joy or pure disinterest?
Wonder or disconnect?
Type A?
Type B?

I can’t get a read on myself.
And so I wander.
How can one be so seemingly alive for others,
Championing them to discover their fullest self’s.

…And yet, rarely championing myself.
Why?!
Who am I?
I grab at the pieces swirling around me.

Is this me?
What about that one?
Or is it someone else’s puzzle piece I’ve snatched,
Wishing to be like them?

Is it one of my pieces,
And I’ve simply forgotten…
My emotions flare like a storm on the sun.
Who am I??

Caught somewhere between lies and truth,
pierced by them both.
Clinging to desire.
It is time to stop running.

Too much thinking.
Not enough meditating.
Too much hiding.
Not enough breathing.

And so the Master of all our pieces comes,
the One who created and put together the greatest puzzle of all.
He kneels, next to me.
His smile is huge.

His face delighted.
He leans on his hand as He takes one of my pieces and says,
“Let Me tell you about this one.”
And side by side we put the puzzle of me, together.


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Judith Conway is a lover of Jesus and the director of His Kingdom Come Studio. She processes through writing and has a huge desire to see people became all God has destined them to be. She is thrilled and honored to share some of her work here on the Awkward Truth. Here’s to being an Original of the Master!


Seed

When I look down at the seeds,
Today I see–
I am really looking at myself,
As they fight to be free.
Because, somehow, we are all forever seeds.
We are all forever seeds.

Child, you can only feel the fear-filled rain.
Trickling, dropping, cold, you hear it call your name.
Son, you are a seed; moist mud sploshes, splatters, almost drowns you.
Every particle of you, with deadly drink stuffed full.
“How can I survive this?” You ask me as you sink.
Down in the deepest dirt you were made of, you think:
It’ll only get harder.
How can you breathe when you are chipped, and cracked, though you are just a seed?

Why are you asking me?

Me, I am a tree, stripped of my leaves, slowly dying.
Bending over backwards in the storm. I know.
I have stood where you are once before.

Child, you must learn to catch the rain with faith,
Starting to abide the chilling westward wind.
Son, don’t fear the change; growth only comes from pain.
Every storm that threatens you, all deadly things, cause life.
How can I describe this? To breathe, you must first drown.
Down in the darkest sludge, with no bright sun, you’ll learn to sprout.
It’ll one day be worth it.
How can you fade when you’re so young, so strong? Strong to survive each chip and crack.

Why do you doubt the truth?

You, you will one day be a tree, stripped of your leaves, slowly dying.
Bending over backwards in the storm, you’ll know–
You have stood the test, survived, and are alive.

When you look down at the seeds,
One day you’ll see–
You are really looking at yourself,
As now I look at me.
Because, oh, child, we are all forever seeds.
We are all forever seeds.

Burning Circus

This poem is a little bit different than others we have posted, and the meaning behind it could be a little confusing. If you have any questions about it, please ask us! We will be happy to explain and elaborate on our intentional message. Thank you for reading!

A boy tears through the streets with an exciting new discovery,
He must convince his mother with a flamboyant summary.
Little Danny comes sprinting through his door,
He tracks mud through the carpet and freshly scrubbed floor.

He pants, “Mother, mother, will you take me to the circus?
It’s placed behind the school, between the two churches.
They came overnight, set up in no time,
Everyone is going, please mother, it’s only a dime”.

There are magnificent magicians and men with three legs!
There are pooches, and stooges, a monkey that begs!
His mother looks up from her intricate crocheting,
She smiles at his joy, remembers the old saying.

“You’re only a child once”, there’s no time like the present.
She grabs her coat before Danny becomes incessant,
“Come, come, Danny, we can’t afford to be late”.
They giggle through the town at a brisk, cheerful gait.

There’s a preacher on the corner of Gander St. and Main.
He’s spewing out messages of judgment and fire rain.
Danny laughs at the sight of a short priest perched on a crate,
“Hey Ma, he looks like a parrot. Maybe he’s going insane”.

The mother lowers her head to hide her smile,
But the preacher glares at them as they walk the last mile.
A homeless bum crouches underneath the bank’s awning,
He listens to Danny and his Ma, their joy is calming.

They talk about acrobats, clowns, roasted peanuts,
Their blissfulness distracts from them the world’s pain and secrets.
The family approaches the amber-hued tent,
Anticipation grows with every new sound and scent.

A line grows at the ticket box, where a teller collects admission.
Parents grumble about the cost, but he just nods, listens.
He says, “it’s well worth every cent, the show does not deceive”,
Though quietly behind the counter, he shoves money up his sleeve

Danny and his Ma find a spot on the stand’s top tier.
Though the air feels heavy, the view is wide and clear.
Suddenly, organ music starts to drift around the crowd,
The ringmaster runs onto the floor, his voice isn’t very loud.
He has a shaggy mustache, Danny can only read his thin lips,
His eyes seem dead, disillusioned, cannot come to grips.

Then the ringmaster jumps away, as the first act takes the floor.
A seal, dressed in a vest, waddles on to many awes and adores.
A trainer saunters in behind it, a wad of tobacco in his mouth,
The seal shies away from the man, earning a slap on the snout.

The animal does its routine and applause circles,
Next, come the glossy horses that jump over hurdles.
As Danny watches, he can smell something musty, smoldering,
He tries to tell his mother, but the pleas come through as slurring.

Clowns run out on the floor, laughing, cartwheeling, tumbling.
One of them catches Danny’s eye, he’s trudging, stumbling.
He has a painted on smile, trying so hard to portray cheer.
There are lines traced through his makeup, glistening tears.

Finally, Danny stands up, deciding he has to leave,
He can barely breathe through the smog, he needs some relief.
His legs suddenly feel like butter, blood rushes to his brain,
Dread stills his body as he realizes he’s going to faint.
The ground rushes to meet him, and he just barely hears yells,
“Fire! Fire! There’s a fire in the tent! Get to the churches to ring the bells!”.

Two weeks later, the citizens of the town walk home dressed in black,
They were all at the graveyard this morning to see the bronze plaque,
It has twenty names listed on it, to mark the mass grave.
Twenty people were killed when the circus tent went up in flames.
A dying cigar is what started it all, a result of a careless clown.
The tragedy is a permanent stain, a mar on the tiny town.
Now people are always looking for a different conversation topic,
They try to ignore that pain exists, try not to become psychotic.

Now people are talking about the new theater that is being built,
All of them know that the excitement is only to mask the guilt.
It wasn’t their fault that the tragedy laughed and struck,
A freak accident is all that happened, left to fate and luck.
It wasn’t their fault that they wanted fun, they won’t condemn.
And it wasn’t their fault that Danny’s mom won’t ever see him again.

Please Lead Me

Today we have a guest post from Michael Goddard II!

All that I’ve done, all that I am doing
Where is it taking me? I am indifferent.
All that God’s Word said, that I am reading.
Where is it leading me? I feel no different.

I’ve followed your steps, but it lead me nowhere;
I listened to your words, yet I still feel no reward.
Where are you, God? Where is your hand to lead?
I can’t stand falling; please lead me, O Lord.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
So far from my cries of anguish?
My God I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
By night, but I find no rest.”

Please lead me, my Savior, Lord, and Friend.
I have nowhere to go, no one to free and lead.
I have no choice but to follow you to the end.
You sent me and gave me what I really need.

But I will remember what God’s word tells me:
“The LORD is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name sake.”

I have confidence and trust in the LORD my God;
He will lead me and refresh my soul in hard times.
He will guide me in right paths; I will be awed by him,
All because he has forgiven all of my horrible crimes.
Thank you, my guide and friend; I can sing your hymn.
Saying “Please lead me” shall remind me to read your lines.


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Michael Goddard II is a teenager who loves the LORD, writing, history, playing the piano, being with friends, and traveling to places. He has been writing since 2014 and writing seriously since he joined the Young Writer’s Workshop in 2017. Ever since he joined the YWW, Michael wrote a few short stories and got published on two websites; and is currently writing a novel series.


Lament

A song of Jason.

O Lord, hear me, for my heart is in turmoil within me;
my soul cries to you in the morning.
At noonday, my call is heard,
and in the evening, I cover my bed with tears.
My sins have risen like the floods;
like the floodwaters, they cover me—too many to count.
My heart is as a millstone in my stomach;
it does not breathe as living flesh.
Lord, hear my cry, for I cannot keep silent—
let the talons of shame not entrap me forever,
for I am in great distress.
Be not hidden from me, O Holy One.

How long, O Lord, will you hold my sins against me?
For I am no strong shield,
no warrior, that I should conquer.
The foe has surrounded me with flaming darts all about.
Teach me to rely only on your strength;
for with you, the righteous finds shelter.
You are a light to make all my shadows flee.
Through your power, you have risen David’s seed.
O Lord, I know that your power will raise me from my living death.
You will conquer all my iniquities.
You will conquer me.
Shatter all my chains through your loving wrath,
and I will again sing.
Every day, morning and evening, I will sing.
O chains, be broken down in the loving vengeance of my Lord,
so that I may sing to my savior and my God all the day long.
To you I will sing;
to you, every moment of my days
for you have conquered my sin.
You have been my strong defense.
Amen.

Creator Consumer

When I stare into the blazing screen,
I don’t have to think about other people.
When I think about my intuitive genes,
I build valuable processes, mostly peaceful.

If I focus on entertaining my “deprived” brain,
Do I actually receive less than when I serve?
Can I find what is worthy, sift the grain?
This head is more than muscle and nerve.

Deciding to throw away this glass idol,
Would I see the sun as a stunning piece of art?
What if my daily desires weren’t so tidal?
Coming and going with the cycle of my heart?

My earbuds create a stream of inspiration.
Inspiration to ponder, inspiration to create.
Am I only counteracting my dissertation,
By consuming, eluding, letting myself fade?

Where to go when the music fades to silence?
Where to look when the circus burns down?
We will screech, thrust our fists in defiance,
Until we find the fancy theater uptown.

Technology could be a vicious enemy.
One that hides behind miraculous service.
Arriving with the collective human ingenuity,
But clean and glossy upon its surface.

Are we destroying life with home buttons?
There is only one way to find out clearly,
Listen to the wind and find where it summons.
Find a friend and listen to their pain sincerely.

We don’t have to be enslaved to their devising;
Our destiny is not to be complacency’s fuel;
This future does not rely on flashy devices;
They are only gifts, countless priceless tools.

We Will Go to War

Today we have a guest post from Cheyenne Wray!

With song and storm and
our hearts on our sleeves,
ideals in our pockets,
truth to believe,
come at you with weapons
of healing and harm;
words harshly spoken
let us disarm.
Love is our anthem;
against hate we will war.
Coming together,
each other we’re for.
Let them not tear us
or wrench us apart;
division will hurt us,
tear at our heart.
Our cause will go on,
without or within.
We choose to press on,
and this war we will win.




Cheyenne Wray is a 17 year old poet, and lover of all things yellow. She considers her biggest achievement to be poetry, but also enjoys painting, reading, and walking around the woods at night. She lives in Washington state with her family, mum, dad, and three younger siblings, and finds much inspiration from their collective quirks.


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