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I stand on the mountain.
Searching for a voice, but
There is nothing.
Only the chattering sounds of religion.

Thundering, crushing, empty.

I seek the voice of God!
The voice and the presence,
Word and Spirit,
Knit together in harmony.

Am I alone in the wind and the storm?

The covenant is broken,
The altars thrown down,
The prophets impaled,
And I am under a death sentence!

Yet nothing!
Even as the earth shakes,
And fire explodes,
I am left empty by the noise of living!

I return to the shadow of the cave,
broken and desperate,
afraid and alone,
I lay in the sudden silence!

Only then,
Silent weight falling upon me,
Do I hear the gentle whisper,
That draws me forward,
In shame, I cover my face!

Standing at the cave’s entrance,
Afraid to move into the presence on the mountaintop,
Hearing the gentle words,
Why are you here?

I’m tired, Lord!
Discouraged,
Angry,
Afraid!

What am I to do?

In soft reply,
The clear message.
Return to the wilderness. Go! Return!
Complete your assignment!

Do all I have spoken!
I am with you in silence.
Always!
Even to the end of the age!

It is enough…

© John A. Taylor, 2015

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An Apocalyptic Vision

Great stress is upon me,
As I pray, as I seek,
Comfort in the midst,
Of darkness growing deep.

Groaning swallows me,
My heart fills with pain,
While everyone in their blindness,
Rushes headlong towards the end.

Great lady of liberty,
Soon you will fall,
In the churning oceans of your pride,
A sign for all.

Yet they’ll celebrate, and challenge,
The wisdom of old,
Mocking truth as they stand,
On avenues of fool’s gold.

But I will choose,
To stand on the Way,
Of the rugged worn path,
Awaiting the Day,

Awaiting the Day.

Then lightening will split the sky,
And Truth reemerge whole,
While all earth will cry and quake,
As judgment unfolds.

Patience will have worn thin,
Evil will no longer reign,
And those who have challenged Him,
Will now bow at the name.

 

© John A Taylor, 2015

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My God,
Oh, My God.

I cry out for my country torn,
Turning eyes,
With hardened hearts,
Of greed and hatred,
Human pride.

When will we turn?
With hearts of love,
Toward one another,
Justice on our mind.

When will our hearts,
Be satisfied?
To reach toward another,
Be reconciled?

To tear down walls,
Put away our guns,
Celebrate our colors,
Recognize we’re sons.

Daughters too,
Of a great Creator,
Crucified,
You too have died.

There are too many shrines,
Too many martyrs,
Too many tombs,
Too many unknown.

Too many names,
Too many stories,
When will we quit marring,
The image of your beauty.

So many have paid,
A heavy price,
And I believe,
You hear their blood cries.

So my God, speak your truth,
Make us face our deep wound.
Show your mercy,
Set us free.

And my God, my God,
Begin with me.

© John A Taylor, 2015

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I AM the shattered pieces
Of a sin-sick life scattered.
Glass-sharp edges
Tearing through generations.

The first Adam
Lingers in my soul.
My flesh screams
For otherworldly satisfaction.

My body buried
In dead ground.
Frozen forever
In ethereal memory.

I AM the tortured price of sin.
Wounded before time;
Punished before eternity.
Dead on a tree others have tasted.

The second Adam
Incarnate in time.
Decaying in a once-empty tomb;
Life rumbling beyond my skin.

It is finished.

Two have become one.
Righteousness unveiled.
Death defeated.
My tomb emptied.

I AM resurrection, life.
Lingering within death’s door.
Present, but gone.
As the revelation of victory unfolds.

Throwing death forever,
Into a grave of its own making.
The last enemy defeated,
As eternity unfolds.

© John A Taylor, 2015

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I take the time,
To write my dream,
Of song upon the page.

To listen to the melodies,
Of peace within the rage,
Of dying men, whose whispering lips,
Shout the cry of war.

To hear the songs of wounded hearts,
Innocent and poor.
Aged and little ones,
Forgotten and despised.

I turn aside from this raging world,
Filled with hatred, despair, pride.

Then I see my heart is stained;
The battle lies within.
I turn and stare at the tree,
And look upon my sin.

Oh wonder of faith, and hope,
I’m free to love my fellow ones!
I turn aside to embrace the world,
In the light of the wounds of God’s own Son!

© John A. Taylor, 2014

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Magic fire, in the hearth
Dance your golden flames.
Warm my senses and weave a tale,
Of love and victory.

Let me feel the heat,
Of your magic tongue;
Bring new language to my soul.
Let me sing–

The Firesong.

Tell me about the ancient palace,
built on the hill, long ago.
About the prince, on his gallant horse,
This royal lover of my soul.

Yes, let me believe that I am his;
A bride clothed in humility.
Soon my prince will return as foretold,
To take me to the royal place, lace-lined, with streets of gold.

Then the old cities,
with temples on the hills,
Will bow to him, as I stand beside,
As together we sing the Firesong!

Please bright flames, sooth my soul,
Burn away the pain,
Caress my agony, with your golden sting,
Make me sing the song of fame–

Firesong!

Let the music arise in me,
Cause my darkened eyes to see.
Burn bright in the hollow tomb,
Turn my doubt into belief.

Carry me quickly, with the wind,
Into the golden city.
Turn me from forsaken promises;
Turn my heart from doom.

Carry me quickly, for I am ready–

Firesong! Carry me from this darkened gloom.

© John A. Taylor, 2014, 1984

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She walks with steady rhythm
Down hollow empty halls
And no one hears her cryin’
No one cares at all.

Oh won’t you hear her cries?
Wants to live and wants to die.

The band plays tear-stained muzak
So deep inside her head
Ancient choirboys whistle tunes
Tellin’ Maggie she is dead.

Swiftly, strictly, madly
Stumbling through the doors.
Outside into darkness
As the Windy City blows.

Oh won’t you hear her cries?
Wants to live and wants to die.

Maggie screams in silence
Trudging through the snow.
Wandering through the distance
Nowhere left to go.

Someone greets her brightly
Stuffs paper in her hand.
Tells her Jesus loves her
Maggie, she can’t understand.

She screams into the darkness
God are you even there!
No one stops to listen
No one seems to care.

Oh won’t you hear her cries?
Wants to live and wants to die

Oh won’t you hear the cries
Of Maggie and other lives?

Turn into the darkness
Shine a light right there.
Open up the heavens
Tell Maggie someone cares.

Oh won’t you hear her cries?
Wants to live and wants to die

Oh won’t you hear the cries
Of Maggie and other lives?

The simple truth is told in tale
And truth it still remains.
One man cared, one man died
For Maggie and her pain.

The message spread throughout the world
‘Oft as it is told
Some hear the tale and don’t believe
Others look toward streets of gold.

Oh won’t you hear her cries?
Wants to live and wants to die

Oh won’t you hear the cries
Of Maggie and other lives?

 

© John A. Taylor, 2014

A note about this poem, and the poetry on this site: Maggie is based on a real person I once knew, a young woman, who like many of us at the time, had lost her way.

I have written variations of this piece since 1982, but have never been satisfied with the results (including the one presented here). For some reason, I haven’t yet found the words to adequately convey what I have wanted to express. It is meant to be a bit kitschy, expressing some of the innocence and ideology of the early “Jesus Movement,” along with the true simplicity of the Christian message. It’s not meant to be viewed as high art.

I share this peace simply to share a part of my inner world.

Most of the poems on this site are really rough drafts. Initial thoughts posted for the world to see. Were I ever to seriously consider publishing a work of poetry, you can be assured that most of the poems, including these would be reworked several times over. Even some of these drafts will surely change over time. As currently written, these pieces are simply one method I use to process a variety of thoughts, which I often find helpful as I’m doing deeper, more serious thinking.