Youth Retreat

Just thirteen, and I was at
What’s called a “youth retreat”;
For some, it was a “youth advance”
For others, “youth defeat”

We had a good time swimming and
Both boys and girls were there;
It was exciting times for me
And yet – in times of prayer

I found my mind was restless, and
Upon the girls would be;
There was one in particular –
She had no use for me –

And whose rebuffs had got me feeling
Stupid and alone;
Couple that with being placed
Within the brain-nerd zone

By most of my compatriots
And you see where I was.
I felt unfairly treated,
Though I don’t know why, because

I wasn’t all that wonderful
To other people, either.
But one day, as the kids “paired off”
I took a little breather

And walked around the lake to see
The camp from far away;
I still remember clearly what
I thought about that day

That faith was getting harder
As my mind focused on me;
And so I started down a path
Of holy absentee

I wanted things I couldn’t get.
Grew bitter with the thought:
And before long, beside that lake
A pitched battle was fought

So I gave up on many things
And thought I understood
That maybe I could get the girls
If I was not so ‘good’

It’s shallow and it’s stupid
I retreated from my youth
Thinking that faith had weighed me down
And that’s the honest truth

I had to test the waters, and
Swim out to where it swirls:
I wish that I’d been noble, but
I did it for
The girls


In Good Faith

Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.

To Dance

I always wished that I could dance.
It really irritates me
How stupid I look doing it
Because my body hates me

It won’t do what I tell it to;
I call but it won’t answer.
Of course, I married somebody
Who used to be a dancer

I’m game to try it, though, in spite
Of being kind of spastic:
But if I could be good at it?
Now that
Would be


The Disunion

She loved a basic country boy
With all her ardent heart:
Then she grew up but he did not,
And so they grew apart

Their courtship brought him all
He ever wanted – maybe more –
Then marriage and a child brought
More than he bargained for

At least, that’s how he sees it now.
She’s worked successfully –
He’s bitter, feeling left behind
Which doesn’t have to be

She loves him still, and if he would
Still love her faithfully,
She’d give him every thing she has
But he’s
Too blind
To see

Country Drive

Whenever I need time to think
To marshal or revive:
I like to get into my car
And take a country drive

I live in a small city, with
The country all around:
So any way I hap to go
New prospects will be found

That I have never seen before.
A sight for searching eyes –
To look upon in wonder as
Things start to crystalize

Inside my restless, probing mind:
That grateful I may be
To get to drive on country roads
And free

= = = = =


A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.