You may feel some discomfort

Photo: ceramic dome

(Inspired by a Learning Channel video about a Canadian surgeon who taught brain surgery to doctors in a tiny Russian clinic. The patient was required to be conscious in order to participate in the procedure.)


You May Feel Some Discomfort

Perhaps I had my eyes closed when your assistants bashed

my horizontal chariot through the swinging doors.

I didn’t see that sign.

Just as well.

If I had known

the surgery you intended to perform

(removing the run-away tumour of mal-formed thought)

required me to be awake for the procedure

I may have searched for an alternate practitioner,

one who would anesthetize me

with framed platitudes hung beside

hand-penned personal testimonies

of painless probes

and joyful function (temporarily) restored.

I would have,

at least,

googled the back pages of ancient pdf-ed medical knowledge,

or youtubed reports of accidental new age discovery,

or followed the links to a parallel universe of  pharmacos deliverance.

I confess to some disrespectful misuse of your name

when the raucous drill began its breakthrough,

(can you really buy those at Walmart?)

but once my thoughts lay open before you

I merely concentrated on

raising my arm

and opening my hand.

Thanks for letting me rest

as you reassembled my humbled dome

(and for being careful to leave room for expansion).



Invader gone.

Mind renewal.

Thank you, God.

You’re good.

Very good.

Letting Go

And Forgive Us our Debts

Nothing left to give.

Look into my empty sack,

my empty jar.

See my cold black torch.

How am I to live?

I cannot pay back what I owe

‘til I get payback for my lack.

And they took it.

They squandered it.

They spent my joy on riots.

They spent my innocence on games.

They threw my peace on the bonfire

and danced around it.

Let go

I’ve squeezed my eyes until they bled,

I’ve held my breath

until my heart pounded on death’s door —

still I cannot disappear

into the disheveled dirt bed

And here you are

–and you want more.

How dare you?

How dare you, God?

How dare you?

How dare you shove

your saber hand into my chest

and divide spent spirit from sullied soul

to reach the hissing python.

Let go

I can’t let go!

It’s only anger —

it’s only hate

that coiled around my crooked spine

enables me to stand up straight

and curse them!

Let go

Aren’t you gentle Jesus

meek and mild?

Go take your love to some purer child.

And stop that!

You’re hurting me!

Let go

They poached my song!

They caught my rhyme!

They raped my soul!

They took my time!

They grabbed my mind

and jammed it on a fearsome pike –as a warning.

They took my gates forever.

I’ve damned the light

and sealed the sash

with dark green plastic meant for trash.

What good are thickened walls of stone

when the door’s been burned to ash.

Let go

The bill’s right here;

I have kept track.

My hands will tighten ‘round their necks.

My hands are strong —

they’ll not be slack

‘til I get everything I lack.

Give it back!

Give it back!

Give it back!

Let go

You let go!

I’m offended by this “loving hand”

that feels more like a gunshot wound.

Let go

I can’t let go!

I won’t let go!

I don’t want to let go!

They owe me!

Let go

Help me.

Let go

You know if I let go it will kill me.

I know

It’s hard.

I can’t fill your hands until you empty them.

Who is going to help me?

I am.

(This poem was written about one of the toughest steps in healing from chronic depression  –forgiveness. To me forgiveness is about letting go of legitimate debts owed me and allowing God to supply my needs.)