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Today is my birthday.  Just after 2 pm (CST), I will be 60.  It was snowing the day I was born, but I don’t rememebr that.  We are having friends over this afternoon and evening.  But now I am going to post my favorite poem, the one that reveals the most about exactly who I am.  I’ve posted it before, so indulge me; today is my birthday.

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Voices

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I want to eat ambrosia,

dine with the gods.  Dance.

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Seraphim at the gate, velvet-winged.

“A plea is not a call,” says the tallest angel.

“One should not taste of success too soon.”

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“Yes.  Wait’s a word to ride the wind,”

says another.  “And who will know the

mind of God?”

A celestial chorus in a quick response.

And I, reaching upward, raise uplifted palms.

A spurt of boldness:  Each—in its own way.

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The voices fade, and things I reach for seem too far.

Then just as silence slices through morning,

heaven’s jagged edge cuts my finger to the bone.

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first published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and later in my first chapbook, Gathering the Broken Pieces, available form FootHills Publishing

Words, words, words. Our society is full of words: on billboards, on television screens, in newspapers and books. Words whispered, shouted, and sung. Words that move, dance, and change in size and color. Words that say, “Taste me, smell me, eat me, drink me, sleep with me,” but most of all, “buy me.” With so many words around us, we quickly say: “Well, they’re just words.” Thus, words have lost much of their power.
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Still, the word has the power to create. When God speaks, God creates. When God says, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), light is. God speaks light. For God, speaking and creating are the same. It is this creative power of the word we need to reclaim. What we say is very important. When we say, “I love you,” and say it from the heart, we can give another person new life, new hope, new courage. When we say, “I hate you,” we can destroy another person. Let’s watch our words.

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