Blood Stains

Swallowing the last gulps
he set down the now empty can.
Balanced precariously on the corner
of the old dark coffee table.
There was the hoped for solace
that drink normally brought.
This night it evaded him,
drifting away on the wind.
The exhaustion remained
as the eternal night dragged on.
And sleep resided on some
far away distant shore.
The silent darkness of a house
that used to be called a home.
Persistent voices screamed loudly
driving him into the black of night.
He stood next to the tree
barefoot in the cold grass.
Houses dark lined the street
the world asleep in peace.
His right hand on the baseball bat
as if an old man in need of a cane.
Thought of why flashed in his mind
and were just as quickly gone.
This bat she had placed near
the front door in case of need.
A weapon close at hand she argued
just felt comforting and right.
Holding the handle with both hands
enjoying the feel of the wood.
Fingers curled around the handle
as he felt the violence rise within.
His heart beat loud in his ears
blood coursing through his veins.
Surges of energy careened in his body
his muscles tensing in silent expectation.
The world slowly faded from view
and before him stood only the tree.
The trunk stretched upwards yet anchored
by roots hidden deep in the ground.
Branches of leaves alive others dead and dry
stories of a life’s experience and dreams.
Each branch and leaf a turning point
of moments cherished and regretted.
The leaves held tight the emotions
accompanying each memory remembered.
Lifeless branches revealed little
of faded memories over the years.
He stared up into the tree’s canopy
branches morphing into memories of a life.
Built on hope and desire for the future
then wholly lost as fate conspired against.
The frozen silence was then shattered
a loud crack as the bat struck the tree.
He swung the bat over and over
as each memory blazed before his eyes.
The tree quivered so slightly at each blow
strong against the vicious onslaught.
Each swing fueled by grief and rage
over what was lost, never to return.
Memories flashed as the bat sliced the air
until his shoulders began to ache.
The repeating collisions of shame and loss
blows of wood on wood slowly splintered.
Continuing as the fury rose inside
a volcanic eruption long held in check.
From within the depths of the earth
driving him past the limits of exhaustion.
The cascade of blows finally slowed
the strength waned as the bat fell.
Gasping for breath his head down
the bat lay motionless in the grass.
The tree silently mocked his unsuccessful
and feeble efforts at destruction.
He fell to his knees in despair
before resting his back against the tree.
The trunk had willingly absorbed the blows
of the merciless rage and anguished attack.
He sat quietly through the night
a husk of a body physically shattered.
Fatigue blunted the throbbing pain
a small respite from the voices.
The sun soon began its ascent
as light crawled out of the dark.
Revealing the dawn of a new day
he sighed and moved so slightly.
Shoulders throbbed, hands and fingers
stiff and aching clenched in claws.
His mind and heart laid naked
to nonsense questions with no answers.
The mornings light grew brighter
unhindered by a sorrowful heart.
Looking down at his stained hands
covered in murky crimson of dried blood.
Staring he heard the angels whisper
of innocent blood that was once shed.
The ultimate sacrifice long ago
to revive the crushed hopes of man.
A small smile played on lips as he raised
his face to the warm glory of the rising sun.blood-stains

~Mark Schutter ©2016

*This was originally written as a short story or flash fiction if you will in October 2011 and I have revised it into a poetry format. Thanks for reading. (The original story can be read on my previous blog > Tree of Memories – Maleko ©October 2011) 

God Is Awake! – 2016 Election

god-is-awake

As we hopefully conclude this seemingly never-ending journey of election drama and the fate of America and every American supposedly hanging in the balance, tonight I will lay my head on my pillow and rest. For I know that whatever tomorrow brings,

I will continue to believe that God is awake!

No matter which candidate wins, whether America wins or loses in the words of the philosopher Annie,

The sun will come out tomorrow

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow

There’ll be sun

Silly? Maybe. A false hope? I don’t think so. We never know what tomorrow may bring but every hope and dream is worth saving. This is your life, here and now, each moment of each day. In the words of the band Switchfoot,

Every breath that you take is a miracle

Life is short I want to live it well

And we never forget that kings and princes are ordained and toppled, while seemingly ‘ordinary’ people may be born for a time such as this. We are strong and despite circumstances that may cause us to doubt, keep the faith and just believe.

God is Awake!

PS – Go read a great blog’7 Things I Learned This Election Season‘ by BeautyBeyondBones, she nails it and encourages us all to prayerfully consider our vote. It matters! Have a great day!

Discarded Myths – What is truth?

discarded-mythsWhat is truth?

Can you answer that question for yourself, or if asked by others?

I so often struggle with the question, for what is truth? Is it based on our feelings, our emotions, our circumstances? The things we can see with our eyes, hear with our ears or smell with our nose? Something we can hold, something we can own?

Or is truth something more?

To paraphrase the Grinch, “… maybe it doesn’t come from a store. Maybe… perhaps… it means a little bit more!”

I believe there is a reality beyond what we can always see. It lies at the intersection of the physical and spiritual worlds, and then sometimes, when the veil is thin we are allowed a glimpse. A glimpse into the truth of reality. For now we must rest in the assurance of myths that hold an element of the truth and the narrow path upon which it lies.

For truth is still truth: whether I, you, we or anyone else chooses to believe it or not.

For now we must listen to the voices of myth. Those myths of a God, a power greater than ourselves, that is what I believe in. Legends of a God who became man and walked among us with only love. He weeps for the lost and the evil in the world but the tales hold the truth in the words they speak. May we each be strong, help one another and stay on the path to the truth, for he and a greater future awaits us, if we dare.

 

 

I wanna know…

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“I wanna know, will you remember me when forever comes and goes?”

We have all made promises to do this or that. Promises we swore we would keep forever.

In the end forever comes and goes.

We are left alone, holding onto the empty promises made by others. Or perhaps we broke our own promises with our own hands.

Either way, I believe the question remains that haunts each of us.

Will you remember me?