Dark out There

you said I’ll hide it all away, and bury it, and so you hid it away, and buried it. you said you knew,

you knew that is was already dark out there. that light fills up the body like water in a glass, light fills up the body like water in a glass, but it’s all dark out there.

you said you knew. and if it’s all dark out there? then the darkness is filling us up.

our hearts are full of ink, and we gawk at overflow, but a glass only spills what it holds. so what should we be expecting?

our hypocrisy is in our tolerance. and yet we ask ourselves when improvement will show up. and we write these songs to sing: “I can do it!” as if we could will this black ink in our souls to purity.

like the veins of a dead leaf, we are dead leaves and every drop of ink is spidering out from us onto the pages of our lives.

and each of our boldfaced autobiographies tell more stories of hate and hurt than love and life. even the best of us are not exceptions. and our voices drip with the bitter tastes of guilt and pain from all of it. of course they do.

life is hard.

but when we blame ourselves for that pain we end up like we always end up retaliating with more of the same. trying to fight fire on us with fire on others. and we try. sometimes. to do what good we can on our own, but it fades. as we go on the offensive and we flick our tongues and spit to stay alive.

inflicting every damage that we can, if we go down in flames, we think, at least we were noticed.

at least we’ll get even! we say, and we mean it. our enemies need some of their own bitter medicine about now! and when we say it we believe it.

if revenge is so sweet, where went the flavor? but still. we want to throw back every injury put on our bodies, every bruise and cut and tear in our weak and precious flesh. but by this hostility we’re cursing ourselves into damnation.

the first loop in the perpetual cycle of fanning the flames and inhaling soot to exhale hate. and it’s killing us. no matter how hard you try, you can’t sear out a burn.

we tried.

though we were already cinders. we are ash. dust to dust we pass and learn along the way that we don’t need demons when our own shadows are just as good at choking us when the light is fleeting.

and what sense of it?

draw close now, and take hope in my savior’s piercing. that for each of us, finally, the first scar for us was stitched by cutting deeper in him.

all of the burns from others
and the shame from ourselves
that come out of us in overflow like a flood in this endless firefight of anger are put to rest.

ink bleached out by the willing arms of christ, murdered for us—a bloodbath turns into a blood bath to wash us clean.

you said you knew it was dark out there. you said, I’ll hide it all away, and bury it. and so you hid it away and buried it, buried it as deep as the grooves of your scars that wait for a salve like love that’ll ease the pain, or at least understand it. at least understand it.

a love that understands the pain we’ve felt and that’s strong enough not to spread it.

come to understanding in a man, tempted but not overcome, killed but not defeated, hurt but not vengeful

christ  took the pain into the pit and came out without it to make things right. and when we look upon his holy light we know that death and pain have lost the fight.

and our chance to break our shadow’s throttle hold around our throats is displayed before us in a choice: christ and love  or  pain and hate? and so is posed that age old question, which will we perpetuate? while he waits, our precious savior, with his arms open at the gate.


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2 thoughts on “Dark out There

  1. Hey Marty, If you’re wondering if you should do an audio version of this one… you should. Seriously. I love listening to your poetry when I’m feeling pensive, and this one is really, really good.

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