Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the 3 mysteries of place [part 2], poetry as comedy, ...& signing my work

...in no order. So, the writing poetry as comedy thing wasn't easy. [I'm not sure I did it write]
but... here 'tis:

Poetry as comedy
funny thing
about poetry
[@ least mine]
the more
raw& honest
it is
the more fear
of sharing but I do it anyway
I am
the more people
with it
I never thought
what I use
to break out
of my
self made
would end up as someone
escape plan [map?]
I also
never realized
writing my
would be
so helpful
[even to me]
I never
how poetry can
be comical
-& yet
in the midst
of the
[or after]
it can
still make me say
"yeah, I feel that!"
still teach
so much

I never realized
that I
could use
to learn
to talk.

So that's the attempt at comedy. [hopefully I'll do better at this in the future]
Now for the "3 mysteries of place part 2"...

The sacred mystery of landscapes

I don’t
Really know
Or where
My love of landscapes
I do know
That the first rays
Of a new dawn
In a park
A chance
To encounter
The Almighty
That when “birthed”
At my church
I looked back
And realized
I had already been
Going to
The Labyrinth
Years ago…
As I try
To learn
To both:
Be comfortable
In my skin,
To live
Into my skin.
I’m learning
But I’m certainly
Not “there” yet
Are a place where
God seems
So much
Than other places.
I feel surrounded
By the
“God who is bigger than air itself”
Surrounded by
An intimate lover
I walk into a park,
Onto a trail…
And it is like entering
The God of the Cosmos
Sometimes I talk
Sometimes He talks
Sometimes we just
Silently listen
To the orchestra of nature.
The symphony of birds.
I take in
The amazing painting…
That I’m standing in.
The living paintings of Yahweh.

by Brian E. Noll

I have to get used to looking at this now. To explain, I have been giving my friend deAnn some poems for some time now. She publishes poems in Inklings, a quarterly publication that is available at the Common Grounds Coffee Bar [@ LWCC]. Yesterday was the deadline for submissions to the next issue. I have been taking photos for about a year now. Contemplative photography, as some call it. Just "borrowing images" [for an explaination go here] of God's painting the Earth. The last photo field trip, I really got cought up in being His kid. Anyway, I was asked to provide photos to be posted on the VC Photo blog, no problem. I [for whatever reason] decided to tell Kevin to use Brian E. Noll. I don't know if he will post them or not, nor do I know when. Don't care. I love Kevin, he's like a brother to me. And I can't wait to see what he writes next [his few posts have been wonderful]. And he's amazing with a camera. deAnn will [I think -don't hold me to it] use a photo I took while at my Uncle's cabin, for the cover of Inklings this next issue. So I told her to use the same name. I don't always communicate very well [especially when I'm nervous]. So between misunderstandings & divine movement in my life, I am [quite timidly, & with much trembling] using this name for my new poems to be published in there as well.

I really need to go for now, but it feels good to be laying this out here..... [pray for a fool, will ya?]

currently listening to Bruce Coburn's "Slice 'o Life" live solo discs online, here.

[Thanks Byron]

Monday, March 30, 2009

the 3 mysteries of place [part 1]

Somehow, as I have been writing emails, & looking at the title of Barkat's post on "Thresholds and Sanctuaries: the Mysterious Power of Place". I got this "trilogy of places".
so, here is "place #1".....

the mysterious [sometimes sacred] sanctuary of music
Is my sanctuary
an aural room
an audio labyrinth
some of it
reminds me
of places
I never wanted to be
some of it
is like a favorite teacher
…or like my Earthly father
never tired,
always ready
to take me someplace wonderful
-just for fun
is a place to rest
a place to be tuned
[or calibrated to the Almighty]
a place to hide
[sometimes from myself]
some music
makes every molecule
sing for joy
to the maker of all things
is my therapist
my medication
or a reminder
that I need to be medicated
by an audience with
The Maker

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Photos, harmony with the season

Well, I'm closing in on a week since I posted last. This last weekend was beyond words for me. I haven't picked up my camera for a while. [at least not in earnest] So, when Kevin "put the word out" that we were having another "VC photo field trip", I was ecstatic. ...on Saturday. Well, I've been revisiting a rather old practice of mine [also on Sat.'s]. So, I thought about it for a while. Then decided I needed to go. So, camera & journal in my pockets, I went. I'm so very glad.
I've wanted to post how this spring I am exceptionally excited for. How the daffodils in the front little mulch bed, have been "yawning" their way up through the mulch. Spreading their "leaves of joyous green". And finally their blooms "trumpeted" the arrival of the first day of spring [right on cue]. Except for the full blooms, they have been a symbol of my state lately. It's been "winter in my soul" for quite some time now. I really feel like I'm mending. There are still things to let go of [...& some things that need started/ re-started/ "picked up" & ran with]. And through here, my journaling, & some other odd things, I'm feeling like I'm moving forward.
Even so, there is much to do. Even impromptu things, like changing a flat. Yesterday was not a "forward" day -in any sense of the word. Though, I wasn't derailed... I felt like I almost was.
So back to the photo "outing". We went to Lake Williams. Ahhh, so very nice. Now, with the mentioning of the daffodils, I'm thinking spring. It was cold enough to frost. We were early enough for me to catch some cool stuff... Like the bristling frost on the grass. I'll have to see if I can link this to my facebook pictures. [I'll also put more up on my photo blog later on]. It also acted like thousands of tiny prisms, as I walked through the grassy parts of trails....

You should be able to click on here & look at a larger view of this, which will show you a bit of what I mean by the prism effect. It gave the whole walk such a magical feel. I kept hearing the song "This is my Father's world" it would wash over my "inner ear" in waves. Growing louder at times & then softer at times. I felt [for the second time this year] like a little kid. Just so, care free, giddy. [which just isn't me -at least not very often] I felt so very "alive in the moment". I took a great deal of pictures. And have been blessed, & a bit overwhelmingly surprised, by the responses I've gotten from my photography friends. Namely, Kevin & deAnn. Mom has chimed in as well. [though, to know my mother, one would not be surprised by her enjoyment at all]
So I really enjoyed my hike, & got to do a "part 2" on Sunday over at Rocky Ridge. Wich I enjoyed as well. I forgot my camera tonight, though. I was out & saw an amazing sunset. [still agree with Doug Pinnick of King's X: "...yeah I watched the sun, setting in the west. Probably a thousand times, & every one was best...". -from the song "67", from the disc: Ear Candy]
Well, I'm kinda outta time here....
currently listening to something other than No Line... ["A Box" from Ear Candy, & thinking of deAnn's post on magnetic poetry -they go together, seriously, they do. -ok, for me they do...]

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a "musical" post

Ok, so I picked up the new U2 disc. I'll get "campyness" out of the way first:
[all blue colored parts are song titles]
We had a snow storm, so I get on my boots, because it's white as snow outside. Why? 'cause I knew I'd go crazy if I didn't get the new U2 that night. As I drove cross town to a meeting I felt like a stand up comedy routine. Gushingly excited that it would take me past a record store. This one seems like another cohesive disc solid as the cedars of Lebanon. It really took hold of me. I think it's magnificent. There seems to be no line on the horizon for their creativity. I was glad I didn't have any interruptions listening to it. [like an unknown caller] As I let the disc birth it's songs into the car, I could hardly breathe. As I listened I felt myself come to a moment of surrender to how wonderful it sounded.
[ok, so I didn't use the whole title of "I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight", & "FEZ -being born" isn't in there either, nobody's perfect]

Well, that was kinda fun. Whimsical, but fun.
In all seriousness, this disc seems to be me, here, now. I feel like I'm soaking it in, marinating in it -if you will. I even hear portions of it constantly running on the "mp3 player in my head". I hear it in conversations. Several moments of our growth group these last 2 times I kept hearing the line from Stand Up Comedy: "...Stand up, for hope, faith, love, but while I'm gettin' over certainty, stop helping God across the road, like a little old lady...". This song has such a King's X inspired groove -love it. As I watched the video of Renee that I posted a few posts back, I was reminded of lines from Get on Your Boots: "...here's where we gotta be, love & community, laughter is eternity, if joy is real...".
The first song to really get stuck in my head, though, is going to be the next single. Magnificent. Just lovely. It is the kind of song that gets in your head. It is joyous, at least to me. I'm reminded of the story of my birth [as told by my mother], in the line "...I give you back my voice, from the womb...". Mom almost lost me in "having" me. So she told me that she gave me back to God the moment I was "out". Never really knew how to respond to that [still don't].
So... what would this post be without a poem? [it's sort of a prayer, really]

Magnificent [from another angle]
thank you for making
Paul David Hewson
thank you for making him
[cause I don't feel as bad
about being
that way too]
thank you that
[all because of You]
he became a singer
thank you for his 3
good friends
for they can be
"real people" together
[& can encourage him]
& help him not to
travel the world
thank you for sharing him
with us
[we enjoy his voice, too]
thank you for making Paul
able to write so well
we've never met
but he writes
like we are close friends
thank you
for all you are teaching me through
this new collection of songs
thank you that
it is helping me to write a lot
thank you
that this one
feels so much
like an
"audio anti-depressant"

[btw Paul David Hewson... is Bono's real name]

thank you again,
for all my gifts.
thank you for showing me you love me
for screaming it from the cross
& for all the little ways too...

Monday, March 16, 2009

a few poems that came from other places

Barkat is still creating these writing challenges [or prompts, as others may call them].
I am also inspired by a commercial over on Vertical Creativity. A Visa commercial is the inspiration for this next one. To see the commercial first, click here. To read her wonderful post on this commercial.


The moment

You here this tiny word

You feel like you should move

By itself it sounds

Like a command

In the military

In an emergency


It can seem

Like an impossible task

When all that is around you

Seems broken


Just maybe

In the brokenness


Means finding the pieces


It means taking steps

To heal

What is broken

…the commercial

Is speaking of a form of

Brand new day

Of starting over


What is starting over

Going to look like

For you?

Does it mean

Dusting off a

Long neglected


Is this instrument


Or a paintbrush?

Or pencils?

Will you

Share this with someone?

Maybe going out your door

Isn’t your problem

Is it letting others in?

Is it sharing

The deepest part of yourself?



Is to the store…

For groceries…

For modeling clay…

A new notebook,

Or sketch pad…


It’s to find your friends

To remind yourself

Your journey

Connects with others

Will He…

Go with you?


Will you


With Him?

…there are many things money can buy….

But what matters most in this world…. Isn’t found in a store…

And isn’t for sale…

[thus proving, once again, God gives the very best gifts. You are one of them –even if you don’t feel like it.]

So that is the first one... [I, for some reason, hear it read by Morgan Freeman]
Now for a [humm..... how do I say this?]
a different angle on a previous poem. [or... I found my soul pt 2, or I found my soul, revisited]

I found my soul

...in a cd
...in the loving eyes
of friends
...in the electronic words
hurled through
...different hands
...different minds
[artist supreme]

So much is being "spoken into my life" lately. I'm at once excited, & a bit freightened, by it. Almost as if "God is my stalker". [now there's an image you don't think of everyday]
Seriously, it's not enough that from conversations, to The Labyrinth, to my lent devotional, to things in growth group, to music, to TV, to movies... but that all this can be speaking to me "harmoniously" on a theme is quite wild. [not to mention nail biting]
I may try to be brave, & post a few variations on the idea of "word painting". From my writings inside the Labyrinth. [it's a bit more of me than I'm used to publishing, but who knows?]
May you have a wonderful day... [or night's sleep]

Take time for quiet moments, for God whispers,

And the world is loud. –Anonymous


Thursday, March 12, 2009

reflections on finding my soul

Lots going on this week. Bad week for my allergies. Got to celebrate one of my favorite gifts this week [my Dad's b-day was Mon. Good food, great conversation. once again I find myself saying: "it may be your b-day, but I got the gift. I got you." People are the best gifts. -I'll post the poem born from this in April] Got home from an evening with Dad, & found out that my friend & neighbor, Jared [& his wife Becky] had a boy. Then bad news, in 2's. Tues. a co-worker mentioned the anniversary of his wife's death. Wed. I found out that 2 friends I'd lost touch with [who are now married to each other] lost their baby boy. [...& an old wound bleeds anew...] I, myself, am fine. I am [as I commented on L.L.'s blog] unfolding myself. Finding my soul. [or, perhaps better said, my soul re-awakens] Things seem different, lately. As though God has started over, yet without "throwing the other me out". I write, pretty much every day now. Some is very poetic, almost to the point where it's an "out of body experience". I almost say "I'd like to meet the person who wrote that". My allergies have me on pills [those who know me well, know how I despise pills]. My skin isn't too bad, right now. [besides hives when I weed out front. I get this itchy, weird, "can't stand to be in my skin" feeling at times.]
I again, swing back to the fact that in spite of the "downer" stuff that is in my life. I am in a mending, awakening, artistic phase. I am also stuck on the new U2 disc. [wrote a poem answer to Magnificent, among about 5 or 6 other poems while listening to it.]

I found my soul...
It seems like I have been looking for you
I'm sorry you got lost
I'm sorry
that the last time I saw you
you were being violated
torn up
beat down
but I'm glad I found you...
[I'm glad you are still here]

I found my soul
whimpering in a corner
not to make
a sound
so worn out
like a three legged dog
a weird
shriveled thing
that I thought
no one wanted...

I found my soul
& I found people
who would pray for it
people who would nurse it
back to health
I keep losing my soul
I found it in a youth ministry
They helped to make it whole
I "refound" it
in an odd place
a church
in an old school building
a living church
a beautiful body
of Christ
that has
[and seems to continue
in new & ever deepening ways]
written love
all over my soul

[...I'm not sure this is finished, but it is for tonight. I will get back on track soon...]

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

thanks [& why so quiet lately]

a quick note...
Thanks to all who have commented on "[for L.L.] Grace found me anyway". I am speechless, and encouraged. I am writing -just not here very much. This is a hectic time of year for me. Complicated by the fact that my allergies are in "full bloom". [meaning I am on med.'s, feeling like I just left a Dead show, & skin problems] I'll try to post "in earnest" soon again...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A wonderful video [I hope this works]

I've never done this before. I'm going to try to embed a video from To Write Love on Her Arms. So I don't even know how this will look/work. I love what Renee Yohe says in this video. About community, about how maybe our painful stories are actually our ministry. I love the title of her book [it's a collection of writings from her journal] called: Purpose for the Pain. The three year anniversary is sobriety from drugs, alcohol, & self injury. To borrow from deAnn [over on Vertical Creativity]. It's her "living into her skin". Renee is the "her" in To Write Love on Her Arms. Hope you like this as much as I did...

Renee, Three Years. from To Write Love on Her Arms. on Vimeo.

I will probably post more on "skin" later. As well as things Renee says here.
Enjoy. Know you are loved.

Thank You, Father

Thank you for the ability to write...
for the way
that writing
is a lost key
to the prison
I've locked me
I don't know
why I put me
I guess
I feel like...
when You made me
You goofed
Like I was made wrong
a "defect" from the factory
A "lemon"
there is no verse
that says
"...& God said: oops,
sorry, I didn't mean to do that."
This must mean
that I am
not one,
is helping me
to see myself
as less of a waste
to begin
to see me
as having purpose
it just hasn't quite
been revealed yet.
Like a new cd
that I know is coming
but I'm not allowed
to hear it just yet.
Thank You
that you would go through
so much anguish
just to shout to me
without words
"you're alive
I love you
I want you"
I'm glad
that You
want me God
cause I need You
[...so bad I can taste it]

Monday, March 2, 2009

[for L.L.] Grace found me anyway…

L.L. I feel like we are kids. Using blogs like little children who should be sleeping, but aren’t. So we write little messages, just so we don’t get caught. These writing prompts are like that.

I feel, as far as grace goes, like it often finds me –in spite of my not looking for it…

Grace found me
Grace found me
When I was busy
Doing something else
Grace found me
When I really
To be found
Found me
In a hospital
When 2 children
Were born
Too early
A sound
Grace found me
In a park
When my friends
Left town
Grace finds me
In a room
Designed by new friends
Who show
Grace to me
When I don’t want
To be found
Grace stayed with me
When I crawled
Out the back window
Of my up side down car
Grace stayed with me
When I couldn’t
Get off the floor

I guess
You might say
“When I went searching for grace”
I couldn’t move
So grace came to me
As a man
Who would heal my wounds
But keep his

A story of looking for grace? Again, I wasn’t looking for grace… I was trying to find words. Words, for my sister-in-law. She had just lost twins, they were 18 weeks old. Words… all words seemed to crawl out of my mouth, ashamed of themselves & hide. There were no words. I would later be asked: “how do you feel?” “…the marrow of my bones ache.” My DNA, the particles that made up the atoms that were, essentially me, were crying out “there is something wrong with this world… & I want it fixed…NOW”

“Brian, are you mad at God?” “No… I know God too well to be mad at Him…but not well enough to know what He’s doing.”

But there… in the hospital… Grace swallowed me whole. Sometimes the best thing to say… is to show up. To sit in the darkness together. Wordless. I had told a friend from LW, who kept others, who would pray for us, “in the loop”. As I left, walking the halls of the hospital. I felt I had walked into a “wall of grace” made of water [for some odd reason]. As I walked out, I felt drenched. Drenched by grace. I felt like it was dripping from me… oozing into the cracks in the floor. Silently whispering for it to search out & calm others, as it was doing for me.

I would later read a book by Dan Allender [the Healing Path] where he mentions [to me at least] the single greatest thing one needs when facing such darkness. When we find ourselves “shattered”, into thousands of pieces.

I asked an Audiologist [a scientist who studies sound], “If a tree falls in the forest, & no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
“No” he replied. “In order for it to make a sound, someone has to hear it.”

This is the one question a heart that is shattering is asking… “did you hear that?”
Grace says “yes, I did.”
Jesus says “I am right here”

May His grace drip from your fingers,