Everyone has a love –
something they love
or something they love to do.
I have a niece who
loves animals beyond measure
and the art of animation too.

I have another niece who loves history.
And I have sons who are athletes
with a love for everything baseball.
If I ask them for a reason, I might
just get a shoulder shrug or an
“I don’t know. I just do.”

And that’s enough.
Your love never needs a reason
or a defense –
it’s yours.
All we can do
is support each other
finding who or what it is
we love.

[copyright 2012 Darren King]



Everyone has one –
the churched, the unchurched,
the atheists too –
because it’s a spiritual decision to be an atheist.

We’re not talking about vocation,
or career, or making a living.
It’s about your life’s work –
your life as purpose
your life as revolution.

[copyright 2009] Darren King



Not all are violent.
The good ones, the really good ones,
are quiet, unassuming and take place

when no one is listening, while no one is watching.
A man sits, he mediates, he prays –
and the world is changed.

A young girl hears her teacher’s words,
sets her life on a new trajectory –
and the world is changed.

A mother prepares her canvas,
paints a metaphor for time and space –
and the world is changed.

[copyright 2009 Darren King]


Carrying On

Carrying On

By Darren King
[copyright 2009]

During difficult times
we are sometimes told to move on –
to move on and get on with our lives.
But moving on is synonymous with denial.
Moving on is an attempt to escape
the full effect of events
that unfold in our lives.
I don’t know how to move on –
I only know how to carry on.
Please don’t push –
I will not be hurried, thank you.
I will not be rushed.
I will not move on
and ignore my grief.
I will not move on
and deny my grief.
I will not move on
and deny the lessons
to be learned from it all.
I am a soul.
I need time.
Time to absorb what has happened.
Time to think, time to reflect.
Time to pray, time to listen.
Time to realize I have been changed.
Then, and only then, I will carry on.
Taking with me the memory
of what has happened,
never to forget where I was,
what I was doing,
listening to how my children’s
world had changed.
And when my oldest
asks me,
What happens now?
I say kindly,
We carry on.
We pray, we give, we remember –
we carry on.


Sheep Not of This Fold

Sometimes I wonder if at the end of the day
it all comes down to love, nothing more –
love was enough to correct the sins of this world

and yet set the world on its head too
as telling from well-written, pragmatic doctrine
acknowledge the concept, ignore the application –

                  my brother’s keeper, love my neighbor

cloak personal responsibility with compassionate conservatism,
an oxymoron if there ever was one
keeping us from the core, the root of the message, the root of the vine –

                  When branches become bold and grow too far
                  they become heavy under their own weight –
                  and break.

If, as my friend says,
all theology is autobiographical
then he is right: love be the answer –

my biography, my choice, driven by one question –
what force guides my hand in this world?
One question. That’s all.

Do I have to name-drop Jesus for everything I do?
How much bad theology can I fabricate
pimping Jesus as means for my transparent and mortal ends?

                   Justify my greed. Justify my worldliness.

Must I say His name for others to know I am in this fold?
A fold seemingly that has become a twisted marketing scheme
propped up by bad theology and simple answers?

And sermons finely crafted to wiggle my way off the moral hook
sermons that all end in John 3:16
and an “amen” yelled from a popular elder

leaning against the back wall of some
gymnasium-converted-into-worship center
who asked the prayer chain on Tuesday night

to pray for his doomed 401K after betting on China
and lead-painted toys and designer knock-offs made by children
like the purse his wife carries to class on Sunday.

They’re godless communists, look where that got ’em.

Go ahead Brother, as you like to call each other,
drive your SUV into the city where you are completely lost
if it helps your conscience –

tell your friends if it makes you feel bigger
the next time you’re downtown
for a sporting event. Take a boat into a remote village

on your mission trip shouting His name
over a malaria-infested river so all know
who it is, who sent you.

Hold your stale cracker up
to the dry mouths of the poor
make them mouth the words Brother

say you love Him, c’mon say it
say you are saved –
and eat.

[copyright 2009] Darren King


Today, Here, Now – Listen

Today, Here, Now – Listen

I wanted to write something positive.
Tell you about the weather –
how blue the Michigan sky has been,
how green the grass in our yard,
the slightest cool breeze during our evenings.
I wanted to tell you I have healthy children,
a loving and supportive wife who’s also a friend,
a home and plenty of food –
like missing a doomed flight,
born on the right continent at the right time –
spending the rest of my days
converting survivor’s guilt to thanksgiving.

[copyright 2009 Darren King]




Today is a day of turning pages,
turning corners.
We watch our boys carry
a bucket of baseballs, mitts,
a couple of bats and a cooler
with waters up the path from our house
through the woods and up to the meadow
where some kindly neighbor mows
a baseball diamond.
They’ll throw down the
polyeurethane squares I found
after I cleaned out a stockroom
at work, use them for bases
and measure out the distance
sixty-feet apart like so,
arrange teams using a
variety of criteria like
player size, age and skillset
to be fair and start the summer right.
You and I
we read.
You a novel.
Me, a book of poems.
I sip a beer and smell the pines,
new mown grass, something sweet,
flowers perhaps.
I hear the sounds of healthy children
playing in yards adjacent to our’s.
I hear the squeaks and tweets from
birds and hear the hijinks from the chipmunks
in the woods and others who stay on
our patio, playing in our landscaping.
And turning a page to another poem
in a book by another Michigan writer
I turn a page in another chapter
of my life, see it is blank,
clean and ready to be written.

[copyright 2009 Darren King]

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