Tag Archives: Poetry

Three Metaphors at a Closing of a Story: Part 1 Diverging Paths

The story ends, as all stories eventually do
A door closes, a world comes to its conclusion
And I stand watching as the words that conjured it
Sink slowly into the deep sea of memories.
Its characters who became my companions on the road.
I have known their names, I have shared their dreams
I supped at their table and walked their winding way
But they now recede with their world as my path diverges
Their story ends and mine continues forward
And I have been changed on this journey through their world
Rarely do I walk out of a story unaltered by its magic
I’ve seen another world and talked with its denizens
Yet, other worlds beckon from the shelves invitingly
There is a beautiful, tearful, strange magic in these words
Which invoke such vivid reactions in my mind
It’s time to close the book, maybe someday I’ll return
To share this journey once again, to rekindle friendships lost
And rediscover the people and place in these pages.

The Modern Necromancers


Consume and be filled
That is the purpose, for that you were summoned
Up from the depths to view the treasures of heaven
Paraded before your eyes by the modern necromancers
Marketing the latest cure for the emptiness
The emptiness that is an unfilled void within the breast
Calling out to be filled, yet never satisfied for more than an instant
Once they were men and women with hopes and dreams
But through some devilry they were warped into mindless thralls
Enslaved by commerce rather than some dark magic
Yearning for the next item that promises to satisfy the unending hunger
For they are consumers, that is the only drive they know
Consume and be filled

Composed Neil White 2013

The inspiration for this was an article linking George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, the forefather of most modern zombie movies, games and shows, with a critique of the capitalistic drive for consumption. To follow through on the imagery it gave rise to some dark words.

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

Remembering Bonhoeffer: The Powers of Good

Four of the ten 20th Century Martyrs above the west door of Westminster Abby, installed in 2000. From left to right: Grand Archduchess Elizabeth of Russia, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Romero, Pastor Bonhoeffer

Four of the ten 20th Century Martyrs above the west door of Westminster Abby, installed in 2000. From left to right: Grand Archduchess Elizabeth of Russia, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Romero, Pastor Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed at Flossenberg Concentration Camp on April 9, 1945, and at some other point I am sure I will share more reflections since his writings have definitely shaped me in many ways, but today I am just going to share one of his lesser known poems. Many people will share his famous “Who Am I” poem, but this is one of my favorites (and if you look back at Golgatha you will probably see some resonance):

Powers of Good (December 28, 1944)


With every power for good to stay and guide me,

comforted and inspired beyond all fear,

I’ll live these days with you in thought beside me,

and pass, with you, into the coming year.


The old year still torments our hearts, unhastening;

the long days of our sorrow still endure;

Father, grant to the souls thou hast been chastening

that thou has promised, the healing and the cure


Should it be ours to drain the cup of grieving

even to the dregs of pain, at thy command,

we will not falter, thankfully receiving

all that is given by thy loving hand.


But should it be thy will once more to release us

to life’s enjoyment and its good sunshine,

that which we’ve learned from sorrow shall increase us,

and all our life be dedicate as thine.


Today, let candles shed their radiant greeting;

lo, on our darkness are they not thy light

leading us, haply, to our longed-for meeting?

Thou canst illumine even our darkest night.


When now the silence deepens for our harkening,

grant we may hear thy children’s voices raise

for all the unseen world around us darkening

their universal paean, in thy praise.


While all the powers of good aid and attend us,

boldly we’ll face the future, come what may.

At even and at morn God will befriend us,

and oh, most surely on each newborn day!

(Bonhoeffer 1953, 400f)

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Empty Wells: A Poem


When the wells of the soul run dry
From watering and nourishing the fruit of the vine
In the middle of the wilderness
Do we accept that drought is a part of life
That every day, every season, every year cannot produce a bumper crop
Do we migrate to new watering holes, abandoning the old vines
Seeking fertile pastures with abundant water
Do we drill deeper into the will and the spirit trying to wrest from the barren ground
Some new spiritual spring hidden deep within, some reserve that may or may not be there
Digging deeper so that we may truly exhaust the waters of life
Or do we pray for rain?

Neil White 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com


White Crucifixion, Marc Chagall

White Crucifixion, Marc Chagall

Alone, life is over,
Those whom I ask to wait for me enter into sleep
A sleep deeper than death itself
Seconds creep by, minutes last for years
As I wait for my Father to answer me
Yet no answer comes.

Life, truly lived in God blessed abundance
Good friends, those who love me and whom I love
Those who would drink my cup, those who would share my bread
And yet for them I am alone waiting on the Father
Yet no answer comes.

Love, freely given and rarely returned
The religious mock me and the educated despise me
A few closer than brothers and sisters I have drawn near
Yet the same God brings love and separation
So still I sit alone and await an answer from the Father
Yet no answer comes.

Torment, yet it is the cup I choose
I could allow this cup to pass; yet I drink it to the dregs
I take on the curse so others might have a blessing
For those who curse me and those I have drawn near
I sit alone, the answer from the Father
I am the answer.

Betrayal, a brother draws near
With a kiss comes a wound deeper than any sword or spear
One who shared my bread rends my heart in two
I stand surrounded, forsaken by the Father
I am the answer for Judas.

Abandoned, every brother and sister scattered
For the fear of death my name forgotten and denied
All whom I opened myself to now flee as I sit on the altar
Accused, Spat upon, Beaten, a lamb for slaughter
I am the answer for the scattered.

Hated, I bear the weight of Jerusalem
An earthly kingdom I would not claim, so a thief’s death they select
Nothing did I take, only love did I give
Yet in my love I uncovered hatred so dark that hell could not contain it
Marked, Broken, Despised, a Scapegoat
I am the answer for a conquered people.

Disregarded, shown contempt as a peasant
I do not even merit the time of the procurator, only the fervor of the city’s hatred
Places me as King of the Jews before the vassal of Caesar
The power to judge I could wield, yet instead to earthly power I yield
I become the crucified one for the Romans
I am the answer for the empire.

Hung on the mountain, exposed to the world
I bear witness to a kingdom present given my form
I stake my claim as I gasp for air in the God forsakenness of Golgotha
I bear the rebellion of humanity waging war against the Creator
I am love hung on a cross for the world, the embrace of the Father
I am the answer for all creation.

I hang on the cross today bearing the sins of a world come of age
Aging but still turned inward on itself, consuming its own flesh
A world that may know my name, but has forgotten who I am
A world who no longer needs me, but is intent on saving itself at the cost of its own life
Creation is smothered and the oppressed are crushed
The powerful are caught in their paranoia and fathers disown their children
Wives seek other lovers and leaders devour their followers
The blood of the earth cries out for vindication, the desecrated heavens shout for judgement
Yet here I hang, the lamb, the scapegoat, the crucified one, love it self
Forsaken for the world’s sake, and yet I am
I am the answer for the world
Does anyone question anymore?

Composed Neil White, 2013

Updated from a poem originally written in 2002

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

Betrayal- A Poem

Apophysis-Betrayal (1footonthedawn at deviantart.com)

Apophysis-Betrayal (1footonthedawn at deviantart.com)

A friend, a lover, a confidant, the one who I let down my armor to
I accepted the blame for another’s actions
And I slowly let the blade of betrayal slide between my ribs and into my heart
How could someone who once brought such joy cause such pain
And not shed a tear over the ruins of a relationship that took years to build

Were you ever what I saw in you? Or was it all just an illusion
Some spell conjured to confound and confuse
Or did someone remove the heart that once beat within your breast
Did some earlier wound fill your heart and soul with scar tissue
How else can you stand there unmoved as my life essence pools on the ground
Drowning the dreams of the future and the joy of the present
How could I be so blind?

As I journey through the wasteland of broken dreams, a shadow of my former self
To the world I stood strong, withstanding every challenge and melee
Little did I know where the true danger lay, where the sword that would pierce my soul resided
Yet it is not anger I feel, maybe somewhere down the road, but rather I still find myself unable to believe
The wound and the wounder, the blade and its wielder
And within it all my own trust lying shattered on the floor

Composed Neil White 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

The Return of the Robins


The winter winds scream against the walls of the house
Blowing frozen crystals from the sky
But the sentinels of spring have arrived
Their orange breasts foreshadowing the warmer times to come
A time of new life, a season of new colors and sounds

The winter has muted the pallet that the world was painted in
For three months the world has born its coat of white and grey
But the days are coming when new life will emerge from the compost of the preceding year
When greens and yellows, blues and reds emerge in the earth and the sky
Flowers will burst forth, leaves will again cover the naked branches of the trees
The earth will yield the bounty of its life in the fruit of the field

The skies will fill with birds and insects, chirping and buzzing over the lake
The squirrels and rabbits will chase each other around my backyard
And black soil stands ready for the bounty to come
The robins have returned, the advance guard of the army of life that will invade our slumbering land
Spring is coming, life begins anew

Composed Neil White, 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com