Monday, October 23, 2017

Snared by Introspection

Snared by introspection, with no thought of a way out

paradoxically, you find yourself finding yourself

Your thoughts focus more on you

Your problems and flaws

A mess that is now beyond your control,

but you see how you could have played out each scenerio differently

The stupid things said and done  reversed; or erased by apology

Speculation has you  ossified by what you could have done,

But you know it's too late, the moment is gone.

Your recalcitrance won, or got the the best of you

And right on queue, the thought of what to do.

In this psycological world of yours, where you were the solution,

You are also the problem, the variable that let the world down.

The consequence gone if you were not to be found;

The question becomes, to flee from what you are responsible

or are mearsues more drastic what is called for?

So you plot, scheme, connive, the how to

on eliminating this problem of you.

As this crescendo of thought begins to spill into action,

"Excuse me" comes an interjection.

This self-centered place that you built is a fantasy,

and you don't belong here, you belong to Me.

You see, I formed you from My heart

You are a priceless work of art, carefully wroght by My skilled hands.

And while it frustrates your plans,

I came tonight as your redeemer,

So put the fantasy down, and cling to Me.

I have for you still plans and destiny.

And while elusive is  an explanation,

That night I was freed from the snare of introspection.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


To win your love

I wish I had words to say

That pulled heartstrings like Michael Bible.

Or I would just hold your hand on a warm summer day. 

I would twirl you around as the swing music plays. 

Oh, to see your sweet smile as we talk face to face. 

So why is it I just turn Away? 

I'm afraid you'd reject me, and leave me ashamed. 

And my stupid pride doesn't want to lose face. 

To confess how I feel leaves me vulnerable. 

And the scars of the past say that's intolerable. 

They tell me a fall is inevitable. 

I'm sorry to be so cynical. 

But love unrequited is all I've known. 

I apologize this piece is not really uplifting.  I have had the beginning of it stuck in my head for some time,  in various phrasings.  I wanted a kind of cute romantic poem, but reality  let me know that all I have known is delusion when it comes to relationships with any girl I have had a crush on.   I either shut up, and become very serious with everything,  or I act like I'm in 2nd grade.  I find it pretty much impossible to "be myself".  It's remarkably frustrating to deal with,  so I let cynicism run its course and then I don't have to change. 

 More apologies,  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Place called Home

You say you want to go home,
as if it were a location.
You make the place the affiliation of an affection that you hold.
But if I may be so bold.
A place called home can't be put in physical parameters,
the scenes you know, or the bed you hold so dear.
If only it's definition were so clear.
But home is more from the associations you make,
and a love that you take with you.
And to many or few, that love that you show will carry your home
beyond borders, cultures and customs.
For your heart may lay in many a place
for while you were away you embraced something bigger than your own creed.
And I pray your path lead you in such a way,
that your faith grow, to carry the love that you have known
to those without hope,
And among those you find
A place called home.

This piece, without fail takes me back to the feeling of lostness and depression that comes over me when returning from a missions trip. I wrote this on my return flight from being in San Quentin, Baja California. I had been there to help with KFN Mexico, and I left a little bit of my heart there. 
Part of the inspiration was being irritated with the people on my team talking about how ready to be home they were, to have their own bed again. I don't understand them, and admit I make little effort to. I feel like life is best lived beyond your own culture, when you learn to see the world through a second cultural lens. It's not an easy road, but the sheer beauty of it makes it worth the hardship.     

Friday, January 20, 2017

My dear...

Sometimes you just have to make a public declaration  of how you feel.

When I see you in the morning,
It fills me with joy,
a boyish giddiness overtakes me
as I hold you,
your body the work of an artist,
I hold so close the aroma of you fills my lungs.
I fall in love again as I feel the warmth of you.
It's like each day you give me strength,
a day without you I shudder to face.
Even now, I miss the taste of you on my lips,
that comes from every sip
of that dark delicious drip.
Coffee, you are my friend.

Yes, I am an unreformed coffee enthusiast.But that is perfectly acceptable as I am a barista,and long time coffee snob.
 I did break from my normal rhyme and metric that I  have. But that's okay,I break rules when they get in my way ( although I am trying to stop my soft core rebellious ways). I also couldn't write in my traditional style while avoiding the object of my affection to the end.   

Dear friends, stay caffeinated.


A Thousand Paper Shreds

You want to leave this place behind,
be free,
to escape to a place of fantasy.
To leave the life you've led in a thousand paper shreds.
Documents, diaries, pictures too,
deserted so you can start anew.
The things you thought protected you,
kept you alive, like your 9 to 5,
suit and tie, and that car you idolize,
and the search for a trophy wife or Mr. Right;
but it's left you uptight, this uphill fight,
this is far from what you thought life would be.
Monotonous, desolate, a death to your dreams.
While money came in, hope was drained out,
This shouldn't be what life is about.
The lights, the scene, the cityscape,
it's something you just want to escape,
and chases the dreams you were meant to chase.
Because deep in your soul,
you know you were made for more...

This piece came from a conversation where a friend of mine was saying she had to change into something else because she was covered in a thousand paper shred. I thought that made a great line for a poem, so I took to facebook to see what directions people might take with that. After a lot of fantastic feedback I took the direction of a man who has been following what society dictates happiness should look like, and finding it's emptiness wants to leave it all and start over somewhere new, really chasing his dreams and purpose this time.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Worlds Apart

I am questioning if I should post this, even now. It seems so private, yet the thoughts and emotions that percolated around it's inception want some form of escape. The indelible image that is referenced  in here was a friend of mine, who while having been really stressed on another's behalf was driving one day, and a song came on; I watched the stress disappear as she looked to Jesus in worship. The complete change I saw in her amazed me, and formed much of my opinion concerning her character.
It's unfortunate that our paths lead in such different directions.

While catastrophic planetary impact is something I would rather normally avoid,
It made me really happy to see our worlds collide.
The grace and beauty you displayed,
in the midst of tumultuous days
So polished and debonair,
while another's burden you did bear.
The inexplicable strength you got,
when the Great King's strength you sought.
When eyes and heart you did upturn,
I saw you released from the burden.
If you looked you would find
the indelible image left upon my mind.
So to tell the truth it hurts my heart,
                                                      to see how we are still worlds apart.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Monument to Failure

The pain is too great,
the stupid mistakes,
that keep me awake at night.
Mistakes, shortcuts,
leaving me tortured,
unable to lift my gaze.
The things that were done, and can't be undone
have driven me here to this place.
So erected here,
overshadowed by fear
this monument to failure stands.
This work of my hands so amply demands,
my authority be resigned.
Now unable to raise
the bar to it's place for those who would come behind.
Unable to guide, I leave them now blind,
searching in vain for hope.
But held by my past,
this charade can not last,
or their fall will be just as mine.

This was more of a concept piece, taken from a line in the book "The Supernatural Ways of Royalty"
where Kris Vallotin is talking about how forgiveness restores the right order of things, otherwise we wouldn't be able to hold the people we lead to a bar any higher than our lowest point.  I have been  the leader that should have come with correction at times, but was aware of my own shortcomings and so I didn't  correct the wrong. 

* There is hope beyond failures, but unless it is addressed and brought to the light, you undermine your authority. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

War Zone

Pray for my city,
for this week it became a warzone.
For you it may be agendas and news,
But this place is my home.
I walk these streets, often alone.
The violence seen is not condoned.

The lives of my neighbors taken,
has left my city's people shaken.
It is our hour of need, we must awaken,
and see our God has not forsaken.

Heedless of ethnicity,
I ask you pray for my city.
For from this tragedy hope can arise
if we will lay down our pride,
and look to the One who paid the price.

For what will end this war, only love.
And that as which is from above.
For while still in the wrong we have done,

is when God chose to show His love.

I wrote this piece in the wake of the Downtown Dallas shooting last year, where the sniper was in a parking garage and started shooting police officers.  2 days before this happened I had been walking the street it was on, enjoying my day. Needless to say I was shaken up by this attack. But it was during this time that I realized that Dallas was no longer just the city I was going to school in; Dallas had become home to me. 
All the media spin on this tragedy served only to irritate me, either right or left. This was not an event to be seized for political influence, my neighbors were killed.  

Jeremiah 29:7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
I may not be in exile here, but it was the city God brought me to , and the context of this verse was a setting for framing your life for the long haul (in Babylon) and setting up your life where it prospers the place you were sent to, to "pray and seek it's prosperity", not just treat it like you are passing through. Granted I am still a vagabond, but  Dallas is my home. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Not all fish can climb

As you look around you'll find
not all fish can learn to climb.
It's not part of their design.
So could you tell me why,
when it comes to you and I,
we are told we are confined
in what success looks like?
The methods that we use,
at times become abuse,
that in time will reduce
those deemed anomalous
to a place of irrelevance.
But just because someone is different,
it does not make them insignificant.
Anxiety, depression, dyslexia, schizophrenic
these are all labels my friends have been given.
But if you would get to know them, you would find,
these labels don't define their lives .
Instead what you find is often times,
unbridled creativity,
because their non-conformity,
has given them a chance to be free.
So I ask you pause and think,

before you call it disability.

I really enjoyed this piece, at first I thought it sounded Dr.Seuss-esque. It started from reflection on a conversation I had about not being able to paint ( as I am a word person, my mind doesn't really use pictures, save for utilitarian purposes.) and the counter point to it being that everybody has some ability  in painting, even if you aren't good.  As I thought about it, Einstein's quote of "Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by how it climbs a tree, it will spend it's life thinking its a failure." seemed fitting. As I continued it morphed into something more akin to my stance of not discounting anybody. I find issue with a system that will disregard someone due to their inability to learn in a specific manner. I realized that most of my friends have been labeled with either a mental disorder, or a learning disability, but have moved past it, or learned how to handle it and succeed. Often times though there is a social stigma attached to being different, and in not understanding it we label it as "wrong" and effectively ostracize these people. But from what I have seen is that due to being different, they make natural leaders (as you can't be part of the crowd and lead them).  So, please be more understanding of people, you never know the genius you are discounting.     

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Am I Icarus?

Am I Icarus?
Seeking to leave a world of indifference,
Or am I just being belligerent?
Seeking a way that is beyond my ability,
choosing to obstinately ignore the warning of those who went before me?
Destined to crash back into this world of my abhorring?
Or is it possible to escape his plight?
And avoid the ruin of his wretched flight,
to leave this place and reach new heights?

Am I Icarus?
Destined to be remembered for failure,
when I sallied forth for adventure?
Not content with the life most endure,
but assured that from life I could find more,
and in my delight, I would try for the stars like a kite.
Only to have it wrenched from my hands due to pride...

Am I Icarus,
whose route of escape only sealed his fate?
Whose wretched dreams, and meticulous schemes
are what ultimately shipwrecked his destiny?
And if this is me,
how can I be free?

This piece came from sitting around and listening to Jars of Clay. In their song "Worlds Apart" there is a line: "Soaring on the wings of selfish pride, I flew too high, and like Icarus I collide, with a world I tried so hard to leave behind."  This line got me thinking on how I tend to disdain what many hold to be living, the American dream. I see it as death on the inside, and living without real purpose.  So I decided to roll the dice against an uncertain future and try to follow what I saw as purposeful living. But seeing the warning of those who have shipwrecked dreams at times make me question the wisdom of my path. From this I came up with the question ," Am I Icarus?"

- Esteban 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Cynicism and Scars

The lessons you learned
From the times you got burned, and
the scars that they leave behind.
You find, has tainted your heart,
poisoned your mind and left you
unwilling to love.
Because, in naievity
you let your needs
lead you into vulnerability.
Looking back, it was stupidity.
As a result of the pain
you decide to refrain from opening up again.
But then, you begin to go numb inside.
You want to hide from the light.
It seems your plight is destined for solitude,
the hope you once knew obscured by
scars on your heart,
its hard to reach out ,
you have become plagued by doubt.
Disillusioned by compucation ,
where day by day you face frustration.
In the midst of life's complications,
you see the need for transformation.
So let me tell you about,
How to escape the cycle of doubt
that left you out, in the cold of this world.
For there is one who still holds you close,
Yes He chose you,while you were still astray,
off seeking your own way.
But in His mercy He would say, I see Your pain,
No sweet child, I am not ashamed of you.
The things you have been through, do not have to define you.
For even when you were in the midst of all your sin,
God saw the time fit, to send his only son
to pay the price for all you have done.
And He is the only one that can set you free,
restore your peace, and destiny.
So take heed,
through Jesus you can be who you were called to be.
And you won't be afraid to show your heart
because you know who holds it all.

This piece came from seeing a friend posting a lot of things where I could tell she was done with relationships. She had embraced cynicism, and was only willing to reach out in relationships she could get something from. This was from going through a series of relationships where she had put hope into people and been seriously disappointed, taken advantage of, and subsequently rejected. 
This cycle led to depression and a lot of trust issues. So I wrote this piece to say, I recognize the pain you are in, but it's not the end; you can still see healing. 

This piece also drew from me in that, any time I had an interest in a girl I would get rejected shortly, and had to learn the painfully hard way to let it go and be okay with being friends. As a result of this I embraced cynicism about relationships. I don't know that I am past this, nor that I can move past it alone.  So I recognize scars on the heart, and an unwillingness to reach out, I have lived it; But I can look to the one who is the author of my story, and say I don't know what you have for me, but I trust you and trust that it is good. 

- Stephen


I have started this blog more as a page for my poetry, where I can give authors notes on the inspiration behind what I wrote and the significance of chosen nomenclature at various points within my writing. The blog's name, Snippets of Conversations, is chosen as a lot of my inspiration comes from a conversation I had with a friend, or random stranger. There will be bits of the conversation playing in my head later in the day and I will think of implications, or profound truth from a phrase used, or just thinking, I could use that term in a poem.

Me, being a Bible school graduate, with intention of going to seminary for Master's work as soon as I can, you will probably find that theology leaks over to my writing most of the time. The reason for this is, my mind is usually a dark place; I tend to be melancholic, and lean toward depression often.
But, with that I know there is always hope, so I try to not end on a dark note.  We go through terrible things in this life, but that is not the end.  So I try to be real with a lot of what I write, while keeping in mind ultimate reality; That God cares for you and me, and will not abandon us.*

*1 : While we were still sinners ( actively rejecting God, and at enmity with Him)  He saw fit to send His only Son Jesus to take the punishment for our rebellion. Making the only way for us to be made right with God, through trust in Jesus