Saturday, July 12, 2014

All Encompassing

All Encompassing
Love is the greatest of delights,
the most unconscionable of pains
It rides mighty horses across the universe's plains 
An all encompassing sea of stars and planets and space
Quarks and mesons and trace
Love is the reason why I breathe
The reason why I die
If love was not in the midst of my being,
here In meaninglessness I would lie

But in meaninglessness I am not

Love is the greatest of delights

K, Duane Carter 5/24/14

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I'm Coming Out of the Closet

Coming out of the closet :) 
I have been struggling with whether I should come out of the closet about something.  It’s not what you think.  I still love Melissa :).  Seriously, though I have been wondering if I should publicly discuss something that I see happening in my life.  I have grown up in the “church culture” almost all of my life.  I took a brief sabbatical from it for a couple of years, and then took another sabbatical for about 6 months after Melissa and I were married.  In the last 7 years I have had an incredible ride in my spirituality.  I have learned things that I never thought I would ever allow into my brain, much less my heart.  I have also had something very fascinating happen.  I’ve started to become much more comfortable with ME.  I’m more comfortable in my own skin.  And I’m here to tell you that my own skin is NOT the typical “Christian” that most people in church would define “Christian” as.  I really tried hard to fit into that, but I just can’t do it.  And I’m not going to try to do so anymore.  I’m just not.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I love God.  I love Jesus.  I love Holy Spirit.  I love family.  I love my family in faith.  I do NOT love the practice of separating from people I don’t agree with.  I do NOT love the inability to be myself because I have to worry about who is going to be offended.  I have learned that offense is just way over rated.  Yes, it’s good to have convictions and beliefs.  It is not good to hammer someone else because theirs aren’t the same as yours.  Those that think they’ve got it all right are just wrong, because I don’t think anyone has it all right.  I’m not saying stand for nothing.  What I say is love everyone because love never fails.  And love isn’t some gushy, push over, emotional garbage.  Sometimes it’s very, very hard.  Sometimes it’s very, very determined.  It’s always very, very powerful.  I’m honestly sick of rules.  I’m sick of “nice.”  I’m sick of “powerless.”  I’m definitely sick of the rhetoric and the Christianese.  I’m most definitely sick of the “cookie cutter” people that congregate in a building and their one thing they have in common is what they stand against.  I am not going to partake in that any more.  I’m going to be myself.  I’m going to hang out at the bar and talk to my good friends there.  I’m going to be like a father to the waiter and the waitress and the bartender.  I’m going to be a father to my own children.  I’m going to speak to everyone whether it be the homeless vagrant, the governor, or the homosexual activist, with honor and respect, and I’m going to treat them the way I want to be treated whether that is returned or not.  I’m going to love myself.  I’m going to forgive myself.  I’m going to do those things because I and my fellow humans are all made in God’s image, and we’re all His kids, though many just don’t get that yet.  They simply need an introduction to the Person.  They don’t need ideas.  They don’t need sermons.  They need an introduction.  And introductions come through people who are real.  They come through those who have Dad’s heart, not through those that know concepts.  I believe that was the secret to Jesus’ appeal.  People saw the Father in Him.  He even said it Himself, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”  That was His appeal.  And since the Father is Love, then the Father is exactly Who people see when we love them.  I don’t get this right all the time.  I don’t get it right 50% of the time probably (and I think that is a generous estimate).  However, I know in my heart of hearts that love is the way.  Religion is not the way.  Concepts are not the way.  Incessant talking is not the way.  Knowing something about God or the Bible is not the way.  Knowing Jesus is the way.  He said that also, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”  Want truth?  Know Him.  Want life?  Know Him.  This is my core, and nothing other.  

Not Another
I can't write another poem
Another useless and meaningless meandering conversation of one with one
I can't read another verse
Nor can I hear one more sermon
Quote me another bumper sticker slogan
I might just let the dead bury their own dead
I might just stop asking all these questions and instead
Start releasing all my answers
None of which would ever make it from a pulpit
Many of which would plow your bedrock  bumper sticker slogans
Into fine grains of powdery dust
Leaving both of us coughing and gasping on the floor
You crying out for more
Me feeling the guilt from the lack of clarity, the abundance of confusion
Confusion is what typically comes upon entering worlds of complete unknown
A rattling is what typically comes when new things are shown
There is always quite the rabble
Followed by abundant amounts of ignorant babble
Followed by lynchings and shoutings and cries of “rebel”

Sigh…..

I have known each and all of these before and I know them even now
I often ask why these questions have to come across my brow
Yes, and even that is a question
The questions multiply exponentially like rabbits gone mad with fire
The answers they never come at the pace of my desires
Thus I am always writing like this, like a rambling fool
Like one that stares and barely contains his own drool 
I don’t grasp even my own being
Much less the breadth, much less the meanings
Of the universal One

Yet to grasp Him is precisely why I am here
That is precisely why no accusation, no lie, no fear
Can ever seem to stay with me long
There is this unfathomable ocean of Charity’s song
That continues singing out to me
She continues singing out through me
Charity has made all the difference
Judgment has a steady plot that counts the bread and casts the lot
But love is the only thing that never fails
So I look to the stars and I lift my sails
I smell the salt, I feel the breeze
I forget the pains of yesterday with ease
I simply keep moving toward that Northern Star
Where purpose, where meaning, where reconciliation are
I simply keep moving
Blown by these winds that surround me

I am blown by these winds that surround me

K, Duane Carter 4/24/14

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Skylight

Skylight
I’ve spent this sunny afternoon
Lying quietly on the floor
Right below the skylight
Relaxing in the More
I listen to gentle embers
Humming through the night
I sense the change and beauty
That flows through release of light
I hear the sound of His humming
As He caresses the curves of my face
I feel the vibrations of His throne room
Every atom quiescent with grace
The movement of His Spirit is constant
I feel the warmth of His wind and the chill
I am flattened by the beauty and wonder
Within these moments of just being still 
I see His stories pass by as the clouds move
I see His motions in love and in dance
I sense the immensity of His great loving Presence
I see Life is a growing romance


K, Duane Carter 4/19/13





Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Forgotten Incident

The Forgotten Incident

Lord, call me, call me from this boat, “Come out!”
I hear his call, I hear his voice, his summon shout
I would rather die in this tumultuous sea
Than to live in the place that isn’t me

I stand and go to the edge, the step
Where everything is a heaving and shrieking storm
There He stands, out in the midst of it all
Every voice within me saying to stay in the norm

I cannot stand in this safety here
I cannot be still when His voice I hear
I know that being with Him surely is my life
I step off the edge, I step into the night...

I walk amongst the angel platoons
amongst stars and planets and skies and moons
Water changes beneath my feet
as to my Soul and Life I meet

I have never before been gripped by such a Love


K, Duane Carter 2/9/14

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Alight

Alight
I’m ready to float right out of this universe
Alight onto another 
Far more distant than this one
Yet closer than the breath of my lungs
I breathe the same air as the warlords, the bright ones
That spread love and peace and happiness and battle
The ones that make their swords all rattle
As they drop them to the ground to plant some life into it
Beings placed Deep into the brown, soft earth
Reddened by another’s blood
Watered by a steeping flood
Of submitted will and alabaster

The full moon just fills the fanning window above my head
Reflected light overpowering the lingering autumn darkness
Leaves unchanged as of yet
Yet we know that all is coming
To the sounds of soulful lutes and lyres
The coolness brings the smell of fires
And a thousand drops of rain
I lift my head again and again
To see if there is yet any difference
No matter how many times I lift my head to see 
It is my heart that feels the breezes

I am reconciled, I am reconciled
Like a favorite blanket to a crying child
There is a restoration forming in this quiet soul
That is surrounded by harsh and disruptive raucous
Yet nothing but stillness deep within
A stillness so deep, unfathomable, restless
It’s movement changes worlds
It’s vibration lifts the earth
Setting it, vast, into a different place
Where freedom never dies
An inkling, a nature, a persistent cry
Does drive us into that galaxy wide 
That is so narrow many miss the smile

Could it be that we are all so worthwhile
That on us love alights?
I foresee again, I foresee again
The friendless and forgotten do know a friend
Who smiles again as does a brother
Whose embrace is that of gentle mother
Simply warmth and grace and good and love
A place where I can truly know enough
Where a reality meets my expectation

Is there ever an end to this disrupting frustration?
Or is this simply the fuel that feeds me on?
In all of this weakness, through all of this brawn
I simply seek on for the firelight
Realizing my alabaster wishes have pierced the night
So the sky is overwhelming in its shadows
Clouds so immense they dance
with the movement of the moistures
They grow in ever increasing cloisters
Bringing a realization into the mix

Could it be that we are so worthwhile
That on us love alights?


K, Duane Carter 9/18/13

Sunday, November 24, 2013

In the Beginning


In the Beginning
I do not know where I have always been
I cannot hear what I have always seen
I seek a treasure that is within my heart
This search it binds as it tears apart
with the fierceness of a lion’s grip

I walk in paths known in ancient beings
I sense the unknown in all its past fore-seeings
My heart has known nothing but a great unrest
And all the while it has touched the breast
of a million shining suns

I am thwarted.  Quite unable
to know the one that was found in a stable
By rugged and wandering men
This one that sees me and calls me friend,
bringing the unknown before my very eyes.

I am hungry.  Hungry for the knowing of mystery
Hungry for touching the one who’s the real me
This person I have yet to have known
A thousand seeds of love have been sown
this oak tree is finding its roots

I feel a river deep inside
This river deep, this river wide
Encompasses all that has ever been or will be
Encompasses all that I have never known to be me
Yet it loves me all the same

I seek a name.  I seek a rendition
Of the one that brings all goodness to fruition
I seek a shining brilliance of who I am
a willing heart, a helping hand
These things make the world go around

I hear the sound.  The owl does “who”
The dove does coo, and the skies of blue
All speak of things unspeakable, true
They speak of me and they speak of you
but... we have to listen to hear them
   
I do not know where I’ve always been
I cannot hear what I’ve always seen
I seek a treasure that is within my heart
This search it binds as it tears apart
with the fierceness of a lion’s grip

I cannot slip

But when I do, and when I do
All I can see is the sound of you
so therefore I cannot slip, 
and new, such wonders are wondrous like the ship
that carries all of my treasures

I cannot measure the depths on which I stand
I cannot fathom that in this life, this sand
I have formed many a nightmare, many a dream
I have found what life and love and living mean
in the throes of an untimely death

This life, this breath, keeps moving my entire chest
Filling my cup with this wine, the best
Has always been saved for last, but yet
This one I drink is just the beginning
of a melodious and merry sing-song

I have known this all along

This is just simply the very beginning

K, Duane Carter 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Love in the Stillness


Love in the Stillness
I am longing for the stillness
Stillness,
Like the darkened sky against a September moon
Yet here I am at the tides of noon
With all of hell and water beating down my door

This heart within me does so long for more
yet my head is banging against the bricks
Raised up long ago with clubs and sticks
and a thousand useless apparitions
and thousands more useless superstitions
Have overtaken my nights

So now it seems my only plight
Is how many videos it takes to entertain
How many cells can I kill before my entire brain
Finally comes to the point where I can actually be human again
Finally comes to the place where my heart can pulse
Not to mention where there my soul, repulsed,
comes into the pleasures of the meeting

Time is continual, time is fleeting
But to the birds I make my motions
Greetings high with mixed emotions
I stand on a rusting moonshine still
I hear the sound of a whippoorwill
Yet in the midst I know no distinctions
The old, the ladies, the dark, the tinctures
Have all faded into dust
I must, I say, I must, I must
Travel into the realms of timelessness
To hear my heartbeat revel in the winds

“Dear God, would you please stop this meandering.”
I hear the raucous noises daily, the philandering
It is the only music the dirt can hear
Yet I dance to sounds in the atmosphere
Which is why my soul is in stillness
In places dark and unseen
No shiny, metallic, shimmering sheen
But just an overwhelming magnanimity 
Sewn with deliberate humanity
Brings on a dance that shakes the universe

This I will never, ever reverse
Forever forward will I go
Will your heart and soul and being know
Me in this land of fierce contention?
I believe that I must have forgotten to mention
You were with me all of this time
You were the cadence, the voice, the rhyme
That slathered all of my being
In dusts and dances and darknesses bleeding
yet healing all the same
Was found in one vastly simplistic name
Called love

I have found the stillness

I so long for it....

K, Duane Carter 10/30/13