Nine Judges

Old trees stood nervously, swaying as one

arboreal chamber with walls of dismay.

Tarnished and yellowed, archaic and shunned,

limbs hanging tired in decrepit decay.

Bark fell off mangy and scabbed with disease,

rough like their voices, still churning out sneers.

Saplings and creepers, young scandalous trees,

sarcasm, ridicule, showing no fear.

Then all the trees to the bramble in scorn,

smiling and smirking, “You come be our king!”

Barbs, spurs, tines, points, prongs, spikes, prickles and thorns,

each red with tenderness after the sting.

Woven, suspended, intending no harm,

Thornbush fell wordless and stretched out his arms.



Adam, Eve, and snake

share a fruit snack from the tree.

Find figs in fashion.


Big hair meant great brawn.

Lost in lust, Delilah lied.

One blind act redeemed.


Prayed three times each day.

Pray, to avoid lion’s lunch.

Prey not, for Dan prayed.


Shad, Mesh and Abed:

Forty foot idol of gold.

No bow–fire–no die.


Minute man, big foe.

One choice stone properly placed.

Fought well. Believed well.


One Man, once for all.

His death exchanged for our life.

He lives, so we live.

Mr. Clean Jeans

My creases gone, my knees sore and stained with grass,

I embrace the kneading purr–a delicate setting at last.

With bleeding reds of ketchup, blood or wine,

the singe of one-hundred-forty degrees purifies

and lifts the spots, now soaked, washed and laundered.


Harsh detergents, new and improved, promise a deeper clean.

My fabric burns, naked and immersed in the ammonia chlorine.

Starched encounters softened by Downy blue

retain the garden stench of potpourri perfume.

Fifty-five minutes of tortured agitation squandered.


My world spins, dizzy. My mouth opens, watering to retch.

Then I rest, thirsty. The filtered rinse preparing to drench.

Gray water discharges to the long-awaited drain,

the evacuating reminder of a darkened disdain.

As my fleshy garment emerges afresh, I ponder–


the wash cycle’s cruel kindness.


How would I paint suffering?

I’d choose a palette infused with browns and reds.

I’d squeeze onions to wet the watercolors,

warpaint under my eyes to battle with the canvas.

I’d paint with acrylics in an airtight closet

and one fifteen-watt incandescent bulb.

No smiling scratch-n-sniff.

No fruity tones.

No bouquets.

I’d lick the spongy tips to moisten them,

the venom of pepper-vinegar affixed to my tongue.

I’d whip bold, plucky, cutting strokes,

hurrying to finish and flip to the other side.

I’d not use paint at all, but spread gritty chalks on a new, black board,

screeching as they give themselves to the art.

I’d look away, toward the finished image of perfection,

the box-top of a jigsaw puzzle.

I’d finger-paint, boiling the colors to singe my fingertips,

adding blood to the red

and body to the brown.

Then I’d hammer nails in its hands and hang it high for all to see,

the beauty redeeming the pain.


Rage relents to the taste of copper

Originating from my own bite

Yawning now, the red masks my anger

Gazing blindly through my eyelids tight

Bellowing incoherent utters

I gag on the tang of words so yuck

Violently I start to stutter

Colorful language seemingly stuck


Ranging from the vile and vulgar

Or perhaps changing before my lips

Yelling morphs instead into whispers

Growing softer as my foul mood shifts

By the time my terse tongue needs taming

Involuntarily my fit folds

Victory over tantrum flaming

Colored stories thankfully untold

a rose

a rose bud is tight
wrapped upon itself
a potential yet to unfold

the blossom opens
colors and petals
revealing a beauty untold

once blooming in full
the fullness of joy
evident for all to behold

opening is through
the center exposed
its story is somehow not whole

the torah’s a bud
alluding to more
unseen fullness yet to unfold

then prophets unpack
more of his truth shown
a glimpse of a story untold

this testament shows
the Glorious One
a Savior for all to behold

epistles complete
the truth known throughout
a story that’s finally whole


there are armies of foes lined up to attack

marching in a rhythmic drone of dread

life’s warriors opposed to my chosen track


they’re towering before me with intimidating stares

wrestling my faith from my feeble grasp

each one worthy of the ensuing nightmares


their arrows and darts mean to wound and kill

the awareness of my inadequacy i cannot evade

so before His glory and power i am quietly still


i cry out to Him to fight on my behalf

to rescue me from these worries and ills

to comfort me with His rod and His staff


shoes of peace on my feet, His armor’s in place

with a belt of truth, and God’s righteousness on my back

the sword of His Spirit and a strong shield of faith


now prepared for this battle, i rest in His love

the shadow of his might overwhelms me with grace

and i quietly and expectantly await victory from above


Jesus Calling – Sarah Young – 8/18 – Anticipate coming face to face with impossibilities: situations totally beyond your ability to handle. This awareness of your inadequacy is not something you should try to evade. It is precisely where I want you — the best place to encounter Me in My Glory and Power. When you see armies of problems marching toward you, cry out to Me! Allow Me to fight for you. Watch Me working on your behalf, as you rest in the shadow of My Almighty Presence.


Armor of God – Ephesians 6:13-17 “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”