Wednesday, October 31, 2007


eu-pho-ri-a (yoo-fohr-i-a) n. 1. feeling of general well-being; 2. the feeling one experiences after attending two nights in a row of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. euphor'ic adj. Doah is having a euphoric Wednesday!

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Indian Summer

Here's one that is not mine . . .

Indian Summer

With her hill-slope pipe
October is an Indian squaw
Who smokes all the leaves of the summer.
The air is hazy with poignant fragrance
Of dusty leaves,
Brown leaves,
Smouldering, burning.

All year
My dreams are like dry leaves
Poked in a pipe;
But when
October puffs upon my soul,
My dreams begin to burn.

With her hill-slope pipe
October is an Indian squaw
Who smokes all my fancies and longings.
There's some elixir in the poignant fragrance
Of gothic dreams,
Old dreams,
Smouldering, burning.

~Miriam Cassel Matthews


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Talking Ass

Ever read the story of Balaam's donkey in Numbers 22? It's a great story, the Lord uses Balaam's ass to speak directly to Balaam. That's right, God speaks to a man though his donkey.

On a side note, I love the time Chrisy and I took our four kids to The San Diego Wild Animal Park. On the tour, the guide pointed out the donkeys on the left side of the tram and said, "Those are wild asses. And, yes, it is totally appropriate to call them wild asses." Of course, Wes was cracking up and said, "I'm going to go to school and tell the class that my favorite animal I saw was a wild ass." Chrisy and I were like, "It's not that appropriate." But, I digress.

After God speaks through the donkey, he uses an angel of the Lord, and the angel tells Balaam that, in fact, God is going to speak through Balaam. Balaam goes on to deliver an oracle to Balak. The point, God can use anything or anyone to communicate a message to us.

Just yesterday I was having a conversation with a friend wherein I was, once again, arguing my point that God can be found in an R-rated movie or a secular song. I brought up some points and I my friend said, "So, now you're the talking ass." I took that in the best way, meaning, maybe God was speaking to her through me.

Today God really, I mean really, used a U2 song to speak to me. Thus, I guess Bono was my talking ass.

I so wish that I could communicate just how holy and sacred my in-car experience was, but no words could tell you what God did to my heart through the U2 song, "Walk On" this morning. In short, I would have to say that God shouted at me: "Doah, love isn't always easy, but I love you so well through Jesus, that truly, none of your days since that day you became mine are bad days, son. You need to let go of all the stuff you're worried about and just love well. YOUR love is NOT dependent upon how others are acting either. Go and love well."

After that, like Balaam, I went and took God's message and gave it to others. Yep, other people, my wife, my kids, my co-workers, and even randomly called a friend. My message, "I love you." Then I got to thinking my church and my small group, has me asking, "How can I be more like Jesus today?" At least for today, the answer came: Just love well. Here's the song that taught me that.

Music: U2
Lyrics: Bono

And love
Is not the easy thing
The only baggage
That you can bring
Love, not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on
What you got, they can't steal it
No they can't even feel it

Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

You're packing a suitcase for a place
None of us has been
A place that has to be believed
To be seen

You could have flown away
A singing bird
In an open cage
Who will only fly
Only fly for freedom

Walk on, walk on
What you got
You can't deny it
Can't sell it or buy it

Walk on, walk on
You stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
You can only take so much

Walk on
Walk on

Home, hard to know what it is
If you never had one
Home, I can't say where it is
But I know I'm going
Home that's where the hurt is

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
You can only take so much
Walk on

Leave it behind
You've got to leave it behind

All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you feel
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason

It's only time
And all that I feel now on my mind
All that you sense
All that you scheme
All you dress up
And all that you see
All you create
All that you wreck
All that you hate

Anyway, if you want to watch a really amazing performance this song, you should check out this clip from the "America: A Tribute to Heroes" that aired just after 9/11. I have this DVD and I've cranked this up at home so many times. I adore how he starts with blending another song of theirs, "Peace on Earth" and I especially love how they add the worship at the end of the song, screaming, "Halle-Halle-lujah." Alleluia! Praise God! Go here: Walk On.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Summing Things Up

I'm held up in my classroom right now, overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do. This was one crazy day, a true whirlwind, testing, formal observation by my principal, I've got only 25 minutes to tie up my lose ends before I have to bring in students for the after-school program I teach. And, I've got a staff meeting at church before it's all over. I had to reduce my stress somehow so I've thrown on BORN TO RUN and I've got it blasting in my classroom.

I think I've actually taken this record for granted. In particular, the title track is pure genius. Honestly, I think this one line may sum-up all of what rock 'n' roll is about and maybe life in general:

Will you walk with me out on the wire
'Cause baby I'm just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta know how it feels
I want to know if love is wild
girl I want to know if love is real

Well, at least I feel better now. It's hard for me to believe this record is 32 years old. Thank God for music.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Magic is

Full band, big sound, nine members, and additional musicians on many songs, The E Street Band is back! As a few of you know, I've been obsessing over Bruce Springsteen's new release, MAGIC, since before it came out last Tuesday. Well, it's worthy of the attention. This is one of Springsteen's best albums. And, no, I don't always say that, not all of his albums are "5 stars" for me. This one is. Aside from wanting to roll down my windows and cruise PCH with it blasing, the motif behind the album really speaks to me.

Here are a few of my favorite lines:

My faith's been torn asunder,
tell me is that rollin' thunder
Or just the sinkin' sound
of somethin' righteous goin' under?
--"Livin' In The Future"

Now our city of peace has crumbled
Our book of faith's been tossed
And I'm just out here searchin'
For my own piece of the cross
--"I'll Work For Your Love"

I was driving through the misty rain
Searchin' for a mystery train
Boppin' through the wild blue
Tryin' to make a connection with you
-"Radio Nowhere"

Now your death is upon us and
We'll return your ashes to the earth
I know you'll take comfort in knowing
You've been roundly blessed and crused
But love is a power greater than death
just like the songs and stories told
--"Terry's Song"

I really could write a post on each song and what it means to me. But, to make things shorter, I'll just say that the related themes are faith, love, loss, redemption, contending, community, friendship, and longing for connection.

As of this writing "Long Walk Home" is my favorite song. It's probably not the best one musically and it may not be my favorite Bruce voice on the album (he has many), but I love the sentiment behind this tune. Here's my favorite verse:

My father said, "Son we're
lucky in this town
It's a beautiful place to be born
It just wraps its arms around you
Nobody crowds you,
nobody goes it alone.
You know that flag
flying over the courthouse
Means certain things are set in stone
Who we are, what we'll do
and what we won't."

That really packs a punch for me personally. I love the image of a father relaying these words to his son. Even more, I love the image of this community, a place where "nobody goes it alone." It's the place I want my family to be, it's the place I want my church to be, and it reminds me of Acts 4:32-35. I'm drawn to the lack of moral relativism: Things set in stone, a purposeful mission, an unwavering character. In the video, when he sings that verse, it's the first time the images of his bandmates, friends, and family appear. We see the people he is doing life with.

You can check out the video on Amazon: Long Walk Home

FYI, Target is selling this CD for $9.97, a smart move to compete with iTunes, and still put the real deal into our hands!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Trabajar en el hoyo

Reeling them in was the clean part
Then the chubby Americans would
Drink their light beers and
Snap pictures with digital cameras
Not one of me preparing their catch
I never cared because I don't work
For weekend fishermen
Papa always quoted Expesians six:
“Servid de buena voluntad,
como al Señor, no como a los hombres”
More than gutting fish
This body serves its creator
Down below the landing I
Expressed my manhood by
Earning a dirty wage
Enough to feed Junior and his mother
More than a job
I squared things with God in the sun
In the pit I face my sins
The Lord rips them out
Of me like the heart
In the marlin I strip
As sure as the stench of the fish
Will follow me home
The baggage of my flesh
Is always left under the dock
Along with the blood of the dorado
The gringos have their filets
I've got my reckoning

--Shenandoah Lynd
(Inspired from Jon Hall's mixed-media artwork
and post, "Cabo, sportfishing" pictured above)

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Saturday, October 06, 2007


What is it with you and me?
What's inside that I can't leave you be?
We said our goodbyes
. . . moved on
Suffered the hurt
Even tried new loves
It comes full circle
. . . and around
Like a drunk and his drink
An addiction
One obsessed
Out of control
A play unfinished
An unwritten verse
I return to the paper
. . . another attempt
Cursed by your beauty
Bound by the hope of what could be
Doomed to suffer more injury

--Shenandoah Lynd



My heart aches
Colors divide us
Lines society has drawn
Not by what's inside of us
Where the things that matter linger
--the heart
Our love for each other
Longing for companionship
Values from others
They do not understand themselves
Hate was all they found
It brings us together
Will their scorn divide us?
We will face it
Only to each other
Solely to ourselves

--Shenandoah Lynd


staff meeting

screeching sound waves
damage my soul
the way fingers on a chalkboard
tweak the eardrums
your "umms" are like
salt on a snail
and your face
reminds me of when
an infant sucks on his first pickle
the remedy to my pain
your demise
silence is golden
a sock in your mouth
my lottery
a bag on your face
my day in the sun

--Shenandoah Lynd


Bacchanalian Rhapsody

Wow, time flies. I cannot believe it's been almost two months since I posted. A friend just called me on it and said "Farmhouse" was getting stale. So, I thought I would post something even more stale, or is that staler?

Here's a poem I wrote in January, 1992, almost 16 years ago . . .


Bent over kicked to the ground
swimming in my sorrow
could be dead tomorrow
locked in my room
can't hear a sound
bell is dingin' for another round
where's my hope?
what's my glory?
just another nine to five story
got up late, went to work
hit the bottle, went berserk
got arrested cop's a jerk
joined AA still stuck in the dirt
sober now one more day somehow
still feel the pain
standing in the rain
waiting on a woman who never came
called her up, phone just rang
hopped in my car
tracked her down
asked her why she don't come around
said she don't need me
gots two more at home
one looks just like me
but don't drink alone
I could care less
so I hopped on a train
ordered up some Jack, drank away the pain
spent all my money, fell off the train
back in the dirt
lost my self-worth
scream to the world:
"Ain't I a jerk!"

--Shenandoah Lynd

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