Found Object Poetry

Credit to the brilliant found object artist Michelle Stitzlein

I collect pieces of thoughts
On cocktail napkins
Like old hubcaps
Snippets of words
clipped out in my virtual brain
Make note of the humanity of pain
Scraps of my heart
Found on the sidewalk
And dirty thoughts
Dropped by passers by
Tiny words
That come in the twilight
Between sleep and wake
Loud words that you can’t even say
Picked up along the way
Cobbled together
In dreams and poetry


Your Existence Gives me Hope


So I woke up today with a strange feeling of hope; hope that the tide is shifting; hope that the conversation is taking a new shape. Hope in the face of setbacks like a female attorney who bows to the will of her client,  by wearing a burqa; a client, who if he had his way, would have prevented her from becoming an attorney in the first place and who would strip her of her freedom to practice law and even from leaving her home unaccompanied if given the opportunity. Setbacks like the state of North Carolina passing an amendment that robs fellow Americans/humans of enjoying the same privilege to marry their beloveds and not to be alone, that is why God designed marriage, remember? It is not good for us to be alone, we need someone who is a perfect fit for us.

But like I said, I am feeling hopeful today. Why?

1. The existence of Kent Krabill; Proof that God loves me.

2. The existence of my children who live and breathe and change the world with their love.

3. The existence of Novitas (aka the island of misfit toys) who continually challenge me to love more and judge less.

4. The existence of the countless new friends I am discovering daily.

5. The existence of inspiration. I finally feel like I am learning who I always was.

6. The existence of the Holy Spirit who continues to lead me into the truth and to change me.

7. The existence of the amazing Rachel Held Evans (who inspires me over and over) and her new article.

8. The existence of Justin Lee and his 30 confessions.

9. The existence of magical moments. I mean did you see Josh Hamilton hit 4 home runs in one game? Have you been to Disney World?

10. The existence of Sixty Percent and people who write such things.

11. The existence of Kathy Escobar and The Refuge, Alise Wright, Amanda Miller Garber and RISE church and Pam Hogeweide and all the other UNladylike women of the church.

12. The existence of Brian McLaren, Wade Burleson, Rob Bell, Jay Bakker, my husband and every other men who supports the UNladylike women of the church.

13. The existence of Bert & Evelyn Waggoner and the influence he had on my life and the seeds of change planted in Kent and I at the Sugarland Vineyard.

14. The existence of Derek Watson  who set in motion the tectonic plates of our lives.

15. The existence of Laurie Watson and the work she does as a sex therapist who happens to be a follower of Christ.

16. The existence of the parents I know who are trying to teach their kids to love people, all people.

17. The existence of a shift that has begun in our country and the church toward freedom, equality and acceptance.

18. The existence of people who fight for these things every day.

19. The existence of groups like Christians for Biblical Equality.

20. The existence of the Marin Foundation.

21. The existence of common ground: President Obama and Vice President Chaney both support gay marriage.

22. The existence of Matthew Vines.

23. The existence of people who refuse to stop loving or believing better of people; even the ones who disagree with them.

24. The existence of my parents and grandparents and all the people who have helped to make me who I am.

25. The existence of art, music and poetry.

26. The existence of my God who never stops loving, never stops pursuing, who will one day make EVERYTHING right, who loves all and gives everything to bring his children home to him.


Chasing the Wild Goose.

The 2012 Wildgoose Festival from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.  8WR3B6XAKWCY

The Wild Goose Festival is so named because of a belief that the Celts used the wild goose (an geadh-glas) as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit.
The Festival‘s web site puts it this way:

The Wild Goose is a Celtic spirituality metaphor that evokes unpredictability, beauty, and grace. The festival resonates with this image because we recognize that in the current climate of religious and political division and lack of civility, embracing the creative and open nature of our faith is perhaps our greatest asset for re-building and strengthening our relationships with each other, with our enemies, with our stories, our questions, and the other. In that spirit, in an informal setting, and in the context of creative and respectful relationships, we invite you to imagine a new world with us.

The Festival’s creators envision it as an intersection of justice, spirituality, music and art. They welcome everyone and they do not censor the conversation. They like to say they ” invite respectful – but fearless – conversation and action for the common good.”

Last year in a blog post he wrote just before heading to the first Wild Goose Festival, Jim Wallace (who will be one of the conversation starters this year) wrote this:

Too often, it feels like we need to make a choice between the work of this world, and the work of the Spirit, or between a personal focus, or a social focus of the gospel. “Either/or” marks how some churches present the Christian faith. Often, however, this is a false dichotomy. Early in the days of the Sojourners community I remember that one of our favorite words was “and.” We would talk about personal salvation and social justice, prayer and peacemaking, faith and action, belief and obedience, salvation and discipleship, worship and politics, spiritual transformation and social transformation. These were things that complemented one another and deepened each other instead of being in opposition.

He went on to refer to the Festival as “an “and” kind of space. I like that. It feels like a deep breath of clean crisp early morning mountain air.

Today the organizers announced this years line up of speakers and musicians. The soundtrack will be eclectic mix of rock, worldbeat, hiphop, spoken word and folk protest. (Including, one of my best friend’s brother’s band Damion Suomi and the Minor Prophets).

The conversation will begin with many voices:

Brian McLaren
Alexia Salvatierra
Rita Nagashima Brock
Shane Claiborne
Lisa Sharon Harper
Vincent Harding
Tema Okun
Tim Tyson
Jim Wallice
Leroy Barber
Julie Clawson
Dave Andrews

The dates for the festival are June 21-24. The event is held at Shakori Hills, a 72-acre farm owned by a community arts center known for hosting several regional blue grass festivals each year. Shakori Hills is approximately one hour from Durham, North Carolina. There will also be amazing locavore food vendors from Durham’s food truck culture. You can get all the cost info and register here.

Unequal Time

make slow the clock

that measures out the time

of life I make with the partner of my heart
of love made, and songs sung, of laughter and the relief of being totally understood

of fleeting moments when magic exists and my breath stops
of heart swells that bring waves of love and the desperation to wring every glistening drop of life i can muster from my tininess
of enjoyment and experience of all made right and love that wins no matter the darkness it faces

make swift the clock

that measures out the time

of separation from the ones who comprise my heart
of hard talks, and hurt feelings, and the pain that comes from hearing hard things

of moments that make me feel like hope has lost
of hearts breaking because of injustices suffered, innocence lost and the discontent of brokenness
of hatred and the gulf of separation between us and them, you and me, heaven and human