Never To Be
for my niece
Unblossomed leaves of flesh
Blasted to smithereens
By the deadly vacuum's
Satan's stealthy calm
Mesmerizing our society's
"Our Bodies, Our Selves"-
God's Body! God's Creation!
Though your radiant face
Forever now reflects Our Father's glory,
I can't help wondering
How youd've grown
Whether youd've inherited
My sister's rosy birth-marked cheek
Or my peculiar thumbs,
How I'd hold you in my arms
Or dandle you on my knee-
Never to be.
Yet the unconscious scream
Of the suctioned mother
Is not the last scream satan
You wretched cobra
But the joyful cry
Of creation in travail,
Welcoming the Returning King!
God opened not His mouth in anger
Upon the cross
So how can I voice a word of complaint
The Holy Word's sinless nail-scarred flesh
Dumb as a frightened animal yet
Fearless, unrecognized and crucified
By His own creation?
Lord Jesus, may I ever be so dumb
Amidst deserved inadequacies
And failures- till with further trust
Your divine calm
Stills these troubled waters.
Some gods are made of stone
Some men have stony hearts
But the stone the builders rejected
Of these stones has no part
That stone is never-changing
The same for past and future
That stone is eternal truth
And a mighty fortress of refuge
A cornerstone of life
Begetting living stone-
That stone's a lamb to take our sins,
Our Savior, Jesus Christ.
To Hollywood With Love for Pendleton Brown
An actor is flexible
An actor has faith
As to where his next meal
Is coming from
Or the evidence of things unseen
In the conceptualization
On an invisible reality
A child's sense of play
Those whom Jesus loved so much
A zest for life and camaraderie
A spiritual acuity
By the occult, drugs
And sexual perversion-
But most of all, an actor acts!
Like that famous book
He exudes a propelling force
Kineticizing stodgy existence
To memorable miraculous moments
Of theatrical incarnation-
Oh, may the electrifying Holy Spirit
Fall on our community
Transforming gifts given without repentance
To living sacrifices for His Glory!
Song of the Pilgrim
for John Bunyan
I'm keeping my eyes on the Horizon
And not on my car
As I drive I am not driven
My course is fixed
By a guiding Star
And by His blessed light
I run my race
And herein lies a mystery
He soon will appear in Victory
And yet He's sitting next to me
Alpha and Omega
The author and finisher of my journey.
Oh glorious Hope that eschews the evidence
Of the eclectic, motley, contradictory sense
This immediate landscape of pain and anxiety
For the unspeakable joy set before me!
Oh indomitable Love that allows me to forget
Once-cherished wrecks of a sinful past
By an all-encompassing healing forgiveness
That pardons as freely and totally
As East from West!
And this Love and Hope impel me.
I have a wondrous home you see
Prepared before this world's foundation
And therein lies my primary allegiance-
So to that mark I must progress,
So to that Star I cling.
Give me the faith to scan uncharted seas
To reach and dream where none had dared before
To influence the World on bended knees-
All for Thy Glory, Lord
All for Thy Glory, Lord.
Give me the strength to push and persevere
Though all of Hell attempt to impede my path
Through testing and temptation most severe
In awe of only your most Holy wrath-
Let my path always lead and hold
Enthralled unto thy Shepherd's fold.
My child, that faith and strength are always thine
Eer since your lot and heart did with mine entwine
That day you chose to render all to me alone
The full and entire catalogue of my sustaining grace
Became yours to own-
And every precious drop of blood I shed
Has sealed my Spirit's power oer your head.
On The Road To Damascus
The hot Mideastern midday sun
Could not hold a candle
To the light of Christ blinding the eyes
Of a recalcitrant and rebellious Son
So he could finally see
"Why are you shedding the blood of my body?"
"Alas, Lord, is it truly You I slay?"
"Yes, but I forgive you
From now on your journeys will not be for death
But to enlighten blinded eyes
As yours were
And to partake joyfully of my suffering."
Fourth of July(A Vision from the Lord while on "Campaign '85" with Jews for Jesus in New York City)
The masses are plunging toward the fiery abyss
Eyes fixed forward for the fireworks by the river,
Enslaved by the siren blandishments
Of the god of this world-
And we are standing in the gap,
Passing out our gospel tracts.
Don't look back!
Don't drop the baton,
The slender buoy of life
Despite the accelerating thrashings of the drowning
Before the time-
- for Dad and Mom
The loons are skimming
Over the pure gray water
Of the rocky-bottomed lake on Mount Desert isle,
Booming their ancient wail-
It's time for the daily swim.
They've been there every summer.
There's a quaint rented cottage,
More expensive over the years,
Just down the road from Bar Harbor.
The hummingbirds and chipmunks visit-
But I haven't, for at least 20 years.
You see, I have come to know the God
Who created the leaves and stones
And His Son, Y'Shua the Messiah
(Which is sort of embarrassing, since my parents are Jews
Who do not yet know Them, and would prefer
Me not to share my knowledge with their friends,
A tempting condition in smoggy L.A.)
But then I'd be betraying my Lord, not to mention
That namesake Joshua and his 20th, who charged so bravely
On a Pennsylvania hill in July,
Bayonets fixed! So I must take my stand
Looking forward to cool walks with them
Hand in hand at Jordan Pond and by the sea in 20 years-
Or eternity, whichever comes sooner.
An oral contract
With both subjective and objective proof
"If you believe in your heart
That God raised Jesus from the dead
And confess Him as Lord
You shall be saved"
An irrevocable unilateral contract
A will without written requirement
Sealed by the precious blood of the Lamb
For love, not legal duty or compulsion
Eternal life and freedom from sin
With the bare consideration
Of submission to Christ's loving Lordship-
A gratuitous promise of Amazing Grace.
The Spirit Walk
Tis not nails in my hands,
But tis something;
A fast, an extra prayer,
Some hard-spared time to help and care;
Just a little crucifixion day by day,
But that your joy would stay complete in me-
To feel your presence near.
To An Old Love
New York is in blindness
The lusts of the mind
Outweighing even sensuality
The devil has lied
To Catholics and Jews
That Christ is not alive
My old radical buddies
My old loves
On the guttural
The Old New York
Fall on New York!
On the radio
On 2nd Avenue
They're lined up
In the park
The jungles are
Fall on New York!
For Patricia of Hartland Avenue- A Birthday Poem
Dear Hart, why do you run away
From all I'd ask or all I'd say?
You skip and murmur like a bird
Imprisoned by the keeper's hand
And newly freed on God's preserve
You're living in that land wherein the blood
Of Jesus beats and cleanses all impurity,
Disease and pain- oh know you not
That others be that dwell therein
And they would romp and play with thee?
But yet perhaps I'm not that dear,
That sweet soul-mate whom God intends
To tread with you life's mortal sphere
Before our earthly frolic ends
And we ascend to perfect pleasure-
Then let me love you as a friend,
A little treasure-
Yet give me back my heart!
To take up the cross
Is greatest joy
The greatest joy of my soul
To cast aside
All selfish care
Encumbrances of flesh and time
Shouldering the rugged wood
That Jesus bears, my Savior divine
Sharing His passion for the lost
And lonely plagued by satan's host-
This above all fulfills my soul,
This above all I need.
There are wounds inside my core
That God may choose to leave
His grace is sufficient
For all who believe
His power made perfect
If my heart be broken now,
What sublime opportunity
To replace it with yours!
A new dependency I vow
On thee and thee alone
To be sustained and succored;
In thee by whom all things consist
Consists my progressive sanctity;
Outside the shelter of thy wings
Lies utter depravity.
Keep the reins close, Lord Jesus!
Let my strength be perfected in weakness
Let me crawl in fallen pride
To the crucified
Bathe my brain
In thy blood!"
To Pen and Jan on their Wedding
A pauper's gift
Was not refused
By the Master Himself
So please don't abuse
This meager script
On the occasion of honoring
Of two becoming one
Under Christ's benediction
As you humble yourselves
At the foot of His altar's cross
When dire or mundane trials
Would strain the bond
Of your united joy
That the intent of that mite
Offered by the lonely and bereft
Swayed the heart of mighty Deity
And did they crucify the Lord of Love?
And did they nail Him to a tree?
And did they pierce His hands and feet
For everyone to see?
And did His side pour forth blood and water?
Then unashamedly I will go forth
To the world's heartless market
Though my innermost parts
Be speared by its callous derision
Proclaiming Love that chose to die
That we might live with Him forevermore.
God created blood-
So He would sacrifice.
God allowed debt-
So He would pay sin's price.
God is Love-
So one death would suffice.
The Story of Purim or "It's a Hamantashen Thang"
Let me tell you of a story of a man named Mordy
He couldn't remember when he'd turned forty
He had a pretty niece whose name was Esther
(or if you prefer you can call her Hadassah).
He brought her up in the ways of the Lord
Although he was a servant of the Persian court.
The man he worked for was King Ahasuerus
(It's a name that could make you a little embarrassed)
As our story opens Ahasuerus is feastin
(The wine that he drank was way beyond reason)
He called for Queen Vashti his favorite dame
But she was a woman's libber- no way would she come!
To make her an example he sent her out of town
And arranged for someone else to wear her crown
A beauty contest was now decreed
To choose the lucky queen-to-be
Mordy got word of Vashti's fate
And persuaded Esther to participate
With her shayneh punim and cosmetic art,
It wasn't long before she won the King's heart.
Now the villain of our story, his name was Haman
To be worshiped and honored he was daily claimin
All the King's servants- bowed when he passed by
Except for old Mordy- you understand why!
This so enraged that dirty skunk
It put him in a colossal funk
From which he resolved not to kill just one Jew
But to wipe them all out- Shades of you-know-who!
So he cast the lot to determine the day
His dastardly deed would be put into play
He went to Ahasuerus and with words deceitful
Talked him into giving his official approval.
Then he built a gallows- 50 cubits high
On which- to hang- old Mordy in the sky!
When Mordy heard- of Haman's wicked scheme
He said, "Vay is Mir! It's like a bad dream!"
In sackcloth and ashes- he hung out at the palace
To fill in Esther- on Haman's plans of malice
"Dear niece somehow you must intercede in time
With your old man- to stop this monstrous crime
"Dear uncle don't you know
It could mean my life?"
"Dear niece, if we're all killed
You won't be spared the knife!
And perhaps God called you
For such a time as this
Be strong and courageous
And you'll pass the test!"
So after three days of fasting and prayer
Esther went to the King- and touched the golden scepter
He was pleased to see her and granted her request
For a banquet with Haman- on the day next.
When the King arrived at the banquet of wine,
He asked, "Queen Esther, what's on your mind?
I'll give it to you- to the half of my Kingdom"
"Honey, all I want is for you to spare my doom
And that of all my people, destined by decree"
The King said, "Who's the rat that would dare convince me
To do such a thing- to such a worthy nation?"
Esther said, "The enemy- is this wicked Haman!"
The King went speechless, left the room to #### a fuse
And Haman saw he had nothing to lose
So he begged for mercy on the couch where Esther sat
But the King would have none of that
"Hang him on the gallows that for Mordy he prepared"
Thus may all evil villains fare
Who dare to hurt- God's chosen people
For what you sow you soon will reaple!
The Two Fires
There are two fires
One is pleasant
But leads to eternal torment
The other is purging and refining
And leads to eternal life
Henri chose the former
Of alcohol and ######
On his deathbed he sneered
"So, you've come for the kill"
To his absent father (the hunter)
As the flies bit his sores
He could never forgive
His stunted little body
But Christ was waiting
"A Short and Concise History of the Great and Exact Science of Evolution", or "I Think I Can, I Think I Can"
The universe felt barren
So it created atoms from scratch.
Then atoms got lonely
So they bonded into molecules
Which, suddenly attracted, were compelled
To link in huge complex chains.
Narcissists, they proceeded
To replicate. Out of the blue,
They added genetic code
For their surrounding cell structure
Which was soon to appear.
The cells began to congregate also,
Producing ever more complicated life.
For example, a fish had an itch
And when it scratched it,
Legs were formed, so he or she figured
It might as well crawl to land
And lose those unsightly gills.
Then reptiles, not to be outdone,
Desiring a birds-eye view, grew wings and flew.
After a sudden chill and a few broken eggs,
Warm-blooded mammals emerged,
Which, after a number of thousand millenniums,
Deciding to kill more efficiently,
The killer asked if you believed in God
You made an adult split-second decision at 17
To sacrifice your life
And bravely answered, "Yes!"
(Christ's blood's Love to you more important than life,
To enter Eternal Life without denying Him)-
And he shot-
Trailing blood from your head
I have not yet resisted unto blood
Help me to display the same courage
As that young girl
If called upon!
"Your light in me constrains me"
Your light in me constrains me
From all that I would do of sin
Ever growing brighter
Unto that Perfect Day
When I will see Thee face to face
Oh glorious transformation
Proceeding ever upward
Unto a greater Glory
Than we can eer imagine-
Predestined to Your image!