Join the Flock!

31 Jan


Join the Flock!

“Join the flock!” the Christians plead, “we love you and do care!”
“Join our little clique and join in worship and in prayer!”
Friends and family have all offered this kind invite
They all seem driven to recruit more ranks to what is “right”

No thank you, I’ve been in the club and know what is involved
I do recall how not one challenge under Christ was solved
I do recall the fear, the dread, the stress, the angst, the pain
Both in myself as well as others with Christ on the brain

For many years I have now walked the path of Warriors
Believe or don’t, I know MY truth: no worry now occurs
No stress lingers upon my brain when desire’s unmet
No dread befalls when “problems” come, I don’t “have to,” I “get”

I get to face my challenges with vigor and resolve
I get to conquer fires which don’t burn me, they evolve
I get to rely on my will, my strength, my courage, daring
No longer do I wait on Christ’s deaf ears, waiting and staring

No longer do I leave things in “God’s hands” like some weak whelp
No longer do I look past my own mighty hand for help
And no more do I tolerate the invite of Christ’s sheep
Who try to “save” this Warrior while they all stress and weep

Who offer keys to God’s kingdom while fretting over bills
Who claim to know the “right way” but are fat from their weak wills
Who worry what the future holds despite the Bible’s chimes
To FEAR NOT as per God three hundred and sixty-five times

Thanks, but no thanks, not my style, and some day you will see
That deity you praise and worship’s a Warrior like me
You’ve been polluted by your ego’s desire to “win”
Rather than choose empathy, you fear and call things “sin”

You get upset in name of God and claim you’re beckoned to
You have the ignorance to claim each Muslim, Hindu, Jew
Will “burn in hell” simply because they do not wear a cross
How misguided to think that fashion sense will prevent loss

How misguided to think that sitting in a pew each week
And listening but not FEELING the words will stop the bleak
How simple minded and obtuse to offer this invite
While crying, “Only human!” while you fear through every plight

Just as Alexander sliced through the Gordian knot
This Warrior does slice through that invite to fear and fraught
Laughable, that invite is, and it just goes to show
That misery loves company and I’ve had enough woe

I do not offer an invite to walk the Warrior’s path
Because I know they can’t withstand their own iron will’s wrath
So pray and beg and fear on but don’t save a spot for me
I once was lost and blinded to my OWN strength, now I see

No heaven’s needed, and no flock, no shepherd, no salvation
By weak-willed hypocrites who waste the present on frustration
A Warrior is just fine on their own without such tripe
Kneeling down with both hands clasped? No thanks, I’m not the type


Way of the Warrior

6 Jan


Way of the Warrior

When Shinrai came of age, time came to plot out his life’s course
Naturally, he looked to his parents and their path’s source
Among the many maps laid out before the strapping lad
Were designs and directions taken by dear mom and dad

Which were passed on to them as well by grandma and grandpa
Passed for generations, morals, rules, beliefs and law
He glanced around at other maps laid out for his young peers
More safe and easy, beaten paths, more familiar frontiers

Many maps with many names, all promising great peace
Each one claiming to be the one way to make pain cease
As all his peers chose the same path that their parents did take
Something seemed off to Shinrai, it seemed like a mistake

Though those who drew these maps had best intentions for their kin
“Following” to Shinrai meant the quest would not begin
“Why,” Shinrai asked a colleague, “do you desire a guide?”
“‘Cause I don’t know the way!” his frazzled colleague did confide

“Perhaps not now,” Shinrai replied, “but where is all your trust
That you will find your OWN way if you are bold and robust?”
The colleague chuckled, grabbed his map and waved young Shinrai off
Belittling, dismissing, disrespecting with a scoff

“Coward,” Shinrai whispered, “EXCUSE ME?” the colleague yelled
“Coward,” Shinrai said again, “your spirit has been quelled”
The colleague spewed words of defense, but Shinrai did not hear
Just background noise like all the rest, words laced with dread and fear

As Shinrai scanned the laid out maps, one old parchment he spied
Dusty and untouched in years, all weathered, torn and dried
He picked it up and heard the warnings of his dreading mates
“Are you nuts?! If you take that path, only pain awaits!”

He dusted off the cover, “Way of the Warrior,” it read
He looked at all the cowards clutching their designs with dread
He unfolded the dusty map, but nothing was inside
No rules and no instructions, no advice to be applied

Some laughed at the sight but Shinrai understood it well
Though no direction was given, the old map did compel
He folded it back up and placed it with the other ways
“That one inspires more than all the rest,” he did appraise

Empty-handed he did leave while others warned with fright
“How will you know what to do?” Shinrai replied, “With might
With focus, with resolve, with faith in myself, iron will
By honing, training, awareness, with patience, poise and skill”

The others searched their maps for all these words Shinrai did preach
But all they found were words like “pray” and “hope,” “desire” and “reach”
They called him crazy for a time, but after many years
All of them, despite their detailed maps, shed many tears

While Shinrai blazed his own path, in control of destiny
Never frazzled by maps vows which never came to be
Good or bad, it was HIS choice, and revel it he did
Trusting and following only what his OWN heart bid



The Storm

30 Oct



25 Oct



You’re always reaching for more joy, more hope, more patience, strength
Your parents and your teachers taught it’s all just past arm’s length
They took the innocent child and did indoctrinate
A constant sense of desire in order to feel great
They taught that child to want more nice things, experience
They taught you have to be elsewhere for your life to make sense
They taught that the word “fools” was harsh and mean, not very nice
So anyone that dared to question their foolish advice
Would be dismissed as radical and should be scorned and feared
They taught you how to be soulless and that “soulful” was weird
Some taught you to reach for God, or Jesus or Allah
But those who claim to make contact are met with a guffaw
“Insane,” they’re called, “not right in head” because they claimed to reach
That which was designed to not be grasped, those things they preach
Awareness of what is was not instilled because your teachers
Are not aware of what they have, they’re wanters and they’re reachers
They dress it up with fancy words like “enterprise,” “ambition”
They teach you to not trust your instincts and your intuition
“Hold on just a sec, that’s not what the experts did teach!”
The sheep with no faith in themselves do warn as they all reach
Always “working on it,” “getting there,” never content
Always reaching for something which was always present
Reaching for their scripture or their toys or drugs or booze
Reaching for a hero or a savior or a muse
Here’s the part of the poem where I won’t seem so nice
Because I call your parents and your teachers “fools” and “mice”
“Cowards,” “spineless” and all “sheep” because they have no trust
Within themselves which would have put an end to all their lust
Here’s where the term “Warrior” becomes very off-putting
Because a Warrior is one who has earned secure footing
By reaching deep within and being oddly satisfied
With who they are and what they’ve done without having a guide
Here’s where all the reachers cast their stones at those who walk
With confidence and do not need to brag or boast or squawk
“Desire,” a great Warrior once said, “is the dark root
Of suffering” but his wisdom is always in dispute
With those who reach for who they want to be to find their peace
Ironic that it’s your reaching that makes what’s inside cease
Reaching for that job or car or home or weight or Lord
Unaware, unaware of where your peace is stored


So Be It

5 Oct

So Be It

There was a farmer named Nintai who grew corn for his town
Nintai was an even sort, he did not smile or frown
No matter if the sun did shine or if hard rains did fall
The farmer went about his work and never did he stall

While others danced and sang because the sun shined and birds sung
Nintai simply said, “So be it,” and his sythe he flung
When storms would rage and all would cry, Nintai would leave his house
“So be it,” he would say and work while the torrents did douse

When skies were grey with overcast and sapped the will of most
Nintai put on gloves and boots, “So be it” he would boast
In time, the farmer would marry and she would bear two boys
Amid the cheering, Nintai said, “So be it” with calm poise

Five years later, one son caught a fever and he died
The mother, brother, grandparents and aunts and uncles cried
Everyone except Nintai, “So be it,” he did say
As he grabbed shovel and buried his youngest son that day

A few years later, overcome with grief, his wife died too
The people came and sobbed and said, “Nintai, let us help you!”
“So be it,” Nintai simply said, then buried her beside
His youngest son, and then they asked, “How do you take in stride?”

“How do you not show any heart? How can you be so cold?”
The townspeople admonished him, but Nintai stayed controlled
“So be it,” he said and returned to work with his young son
That is when the people tried to warn the little one

They grew irate and told him how his father had no soul
“Never smiles! Never cries! His heart is made of coal!”
The young boy pondered as he watched his father plough their land
“So be it,” the young boy replied, “but coal is not his brand”

“Iron flows through father’s veins, it forms his bones and will
It keeps him strong and sturdy and provides focus and skill
The iron gives him clarity to see what is and know
Acceptance and action are more effective than just woe”

The boy walked to his father and the two worked ‘till the night
While others sat and talked about poor farmer Nintai’s plight
Every time they saw the two, they’d shake their heads and jeer
“So be it,” both Nintai and his son said year after year

In time the boy grew to a man and married a young bride
They had three boys and two girls, but old Nintai showed no pride
“So be it,” he said as he held each child and did admit
“Beautiful,” he whispered to each one, “Yes, so be it”

Not long after, Nintai grew quite tired, weak and frail
The town’s doctor tried remedies but were to no avail
“So be it,” Nintai said and gave his eyes their final blink
“So be it,” he repeated as he gave his son a wink

“So be it,” the son did reply, no tears welled in his eyes
Because he had been taught too well to be controlled and wise
All the children wailed because their grandpa went away
But one of the young girls chose to not her iron betray

“So be it,” the young girl said calmly and held daddy’s hand
“Yes,” her father said and then returned to work the land
Sunshine warmed and storms ravaged but always she did see
That nothing lasts forever, good or bad, “And so it be”


Hero Worship

13 Sep


Hero Worship

Strange days these are, my friends, in which the “nerds” proudly proclaim
To worship costumed heroes without timidness or shame
“I love the Batman! Spider-Man! The Hulk and Man of Steel!”
And countless other heroes with such zest, vigor and zeal
They buy t-shirts adorned with the visage of all these greats
Some go so far as to “cosplay” but many of the traits
Like courage, selflessness and confidence, self-mastery
Sense of honor, duty, understanding, empathy
Are nowhere to be found within their elaborate suits
Empty, selfish people with fancy masks, capes and boots
I’m speaking from experience because a year ago
I started doing charity events for kids with woe
I donned a superhero costume, covered toe to head
And learned that real world superheroes are not that widespread
Many of the “cosplayers” in town did not come out
Seems when there is no reward we have a hero drought
They only go out to conventions to try to win prizes
And get their ego stroked while wearing their detailed disguises
Many will take off their mask or helmet so all see
It’s not the hero that you think, instead, “IT’S ME! IT’S ME!”
There was one who did come out to a few children’s events
He too mugged maskless for the camera and tried to make cents
On a visit to the hospital’s sick children’s wing
Instead of focusing on kids, this selfish man did sing
About the “cosplay” things he could sell me to help fight crime
Shilling wares while kids around were dying ‘fore their time
It’s so bizarre how all these heroes with muscles and abs
With steel resolve and iron will who throw punches and jabs
Whenever challenges arise don’t do much to inspire
Seems their fashion sense is what fanboys and girls admire
The t-shirts, hats and tattoos all proclaim, “I’m on their team!”
But when their feelings do get hurt, “You bullied me!” they scream
“You bullied me,” is not a phrase a true hero would speak
“You bullied me,” are words spoken by egoic and weak
“You can bully me but there’s a price you’ll have to pay”
Is what a TRUE hero would calmly, strongly, fiercely say
The sacrifice of heroes has been lost amid the suit
Unfortunate that it’s the fashion that most “nerds” salute
And fail to mimic how these heroes respond with great grace
It takes more than a costume change and mask upon your face
To genuinely feel the traits that make heroes adored
It’s gained through service, sacrifice, not applause and award


Let’s Roll

11 Sep


Let’s Roll

It’s been some years since terrorists
Hijacked the planes and crashed
Two of them into buildings
And left our spirits dashed

I’m not going to focus there
The news is sure to dwell
On the sorrow and heartache
Of that pure living hell

Instead I want to talk about
A Warrior that day
Named Todd Beamer who kept his cool
Amid all the dismay

A husband and a father of
Two boys, David and Drew
And Morgan Kay, the little girl
That Beamer never knew

On 9-11, Todd was on
United 93
The fourth plane that was taken by
The terroristic spree

He made a call on his cell phone
And somehow he got through
To someone and informed them of
What he was going to do

He spoke with Lisa Jefferson
Recited the Lord’s Prayer
And then spoke of Psalm 23
To make us all aware

That he was not afraid to die
His faith gave him the strength
And the courage to fight back
To go to any length

To walk through the valley of death
To endure through its shadow
To let go of the fear of what
Awaited him below

He rallied other passengers
To stand up and reclaim
The aircraft from the terrorists
When he did exclaim:

“Are you guys ready?” he asked them
And then he said “Let’s roll”
Leading them up to the cabin
To rush the console

I wonder how many there were
Just paralyzed with fear
Who stayed there in their seats and wished
That they could disappear

Beamer and the ones who rushed
The cabin showed to me
That every single one of us
In life is a trainee

They showed that we do not rise to
What expectations are
Instead we fall to level of
All our training so far

The ones who stood up with courage
Were Warriors before
They set foot on that plane that day
And it took off to soar

They didn’t have a sudden transformation
And become
Heroes, the reason that they
Did not to fear succumb

Is simply ‘cause they didn’t fall
To fear before that day
They dealt with problems with courage
Which is the Warrior’s Way

They trained to deal with turmoil
And that’s why Todd kept calm
We’re told that he sounded at peace
As he recited Pslam

Every single thing you do
In your life greatly matters
It decides if your resolve
Will hold or if it shatters

We must remember not just that
He was a hero there
We should recall what made him that
What gave him strength to bare

It should inspire all of us
To try harder, to train
To bring along that courage as
We set foot on that plane

Todd’s words inspired soldiers who
Were sent to fight the foe
“Let’s roll” became their battle cry
To let the rivals know

That they had trained to have courage
They trained their strength and calm
They’ll keep their cool with whizzing bullets
Or a ticking bomb

Do not dwell just on the death
And two buildings destroyed
Although so tragic, this story
Of hope is not devoid

Focus on the hero who
Stood up to take control
The courage to fear no evil
And calmly said “Let’s roll”

                              for Todd Beamer and the heroes
                             of United Airlines Flight 93


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