Twisted Words That Shimmer…

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 7:50 am

Twisted Words That Shimmer…

Sunset with Twisted Oak
(photo: Scott Jungling/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)
I so enjoyed your show with the poet Ms. Alexander. It emboldened me to forward one of my poems. “Twisted” is a biographical and personal reflection of God’s grace unfolding in the life of someone (myself as well as others), who with the benefit of years of hindsight, can agree with those before them who said, “My soul looks back and wonder, how I got over!”


        By Empty Tomb
A bastard born,
Not meant to be,
No concept of my father’s tree.
Without a compass, adrift at sea,
Another brother … twisted.
Roaming the streets at an early age,
79th street binds me like a cage,
A steady diet of fast food and rage,
But that’s all they’re serving the twisted.
Domestic violence shatters the day,
Kids scared and screaming, enter the fray,
I’ll put an end to this shit one day!
Cause … kids shouldn’t be this twisted.
School’s a joke, just a holding cell,
Preparation, I guess for Cook County Jail.
Trying to stay focus, but catchin all kinds a Hell.
But, who values the minds of the twisted?
Girls, they come, no strings attached,
Pride follows conquest, but I now know for a fact
That sex without commitment inevitably tracks,
To further the legacy … of the twisted.
One day while walking on China’s Great Wall,
With my new bride, feeling 10 feet tall,
I began to feel like He’s heard my calls,
Does God hear the calls of the twisted?
Then holding my man-cub in my hands,
He hears my voice and understands,
With him I pledge to take my stand,
Still, I wonder if he knows … that I’m twisted.
Looking back on all those years,
All those struggles, all those tears.
All the relationships I’ve had,
All those kids, good ones turned bad.
All those nights spent in the streets,
Dodging bullets, thugs and cheats.
All the predators on the hunt,
Dope fiends, hustlers, all those drunks.
The financial struggles and juggling bills,
The hyper-tension and poppin pills.
All my wayward schemes and plans,
Ill-conceived in the wisdom of man.
Dinning on a plate of shame,
With a side of pride and pain.
Neighborhood bungalows forever burning,
Brothers hearing, but never learning
While at war against powers unseen,
Always fighting, but on the wrong team.
Wasted years and wasted speech,
Like poured out sand on Venice Beach.
Only now do I see one unchangeable truth …
My Lord, He loves the twisted.
And if I suffered for a million days,
To bring Him glory a million ways,
I’ll never approach the price He paid,
To abide … inside … the twisted.

Dana JamesDana James is a 51-year-old husband, father, deacon, and insurance agent living in Libertyville, Illinois.

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as chief content officer and executive editor. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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