Words Fall

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Words, syllables, inflections,

breathed and yelled, soft and loud,

mouthed and thought, heard and not,

written and spoken,

valued and ignored, but so weighty for the one who owns them, for that one desperate to be treasured.

When we begin, words tumble out in disjointed digraphs and stutters,

cheered and encouraged by proud parents who imagine brilliance with each blurb; but

with time and teaching, the excitement diminishes, and like with any drug, the content needs to be more potent to illicit the same reaction, from spelling bees to grad speeches to wedding toasts and dissertations.

The audiences change, and the stories get retold; successful soliloquies get notched on the belt of significance as the words ebb and flow with the rhythms of life. But then

those who are really listening grow fewer, and more and more voices fill the air, diluting, refuting, and polluting

the airwaves,

the pulsing megabytes,

the pixelated opinions that fill our moments, competing with our aging soul-words.

And it is that—soul.

It is as if we start to live a little less, feel a little less, when our words fall to the ground just beyond our lips, buried in the myriad messages that surround and clutter the unnourished imagination.

And I wonder if all this noise will be forever the way of things—if loss and longing, poetry and song, description and discerning will lose their distinctiveness in the throes of hashtags, vlogs, and all the literary litter that swirls like gnats.


May the Words

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Where are the days when I sowed into your life and you into mine? It meant so much

in that moment, but

is that harmony  lost to the multitude of noises in the universe—the ever present drone, earth to star. Or is the moment captured and catalogued somewhere in a file called

“Meaning”—memories of things that really mattered and were not lost to time and distance and division.

When you complain that I complain too much or criticize my being critical—

when you accuse me so harshly for not using words that are pure and edifying,

is it not just an ever-turning. never-ending circle, and

what we hate in others,

we hate in ourselves, and

what we judge in others is our own pernicious crime? But how does it stop?

If you stop judging me, and I stop voicing pain and discouragement, does it fade away?

Does it disappear just because it is unspoken?

How to cleanse a heart before the word is thought, let alone spoken; how to cleanse the word upstream before it ever is formed on the tongue—

spilled out to damage those on whom it would fall?

From mind to mouth to wrecking ball.

It is good to stop the word before it is spoken; but even if it is bit down between clenched teeth, it still exists to poison. And

if words don’t come out the mouth, they sneak out the eyes, clenched fists, and fixed jaw.


Let the WORDS of my mouth and the MEDITATION of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.  ~~Psalm 19:14


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healing and breaking, making, remaking, destroying in a moment—

once out, forever formed in mind and heart,

dimmed with time—perhaps, but always available for recall,

whether good or bad.

So easy to throw out these innocent syllables, lost to the wind,

but not.

They bounce back and back, forever seared

in time and space with power to uplift or with independent life to corrode the broken soul.

Powerful in the mind, more powerful on the tongue.



Like apples of gold in settings of silver
is a word spoken in right circumstances. ~ Proverbs 25:11