But He Can Always Speak

From here
on the floor
with the grains of the wood
and the stains of blood
and whiskey
from here is where I rise.

Splinters in the wood
and scratches all around
become the grain of life
and so we find a path
and pattern
in the most unlikeliest of places–
on this floor.

There are lines that speak of order
even down so low as this
and it is God’s sweet grace
to open our eyes that we might see
the lines beneath the whiskey
and dirt
and blood.

159 thoughts on “But He Can Always Speak

  1. Very strong poetry, very much needed in time of chaos 🙂 reminds of a line from “The Desiderata” With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Have a great 2013 and congrats on being FP. Way to go!

  2. it is terrific how you captured the moment when a soul is so in despair that there is no chance to speak… only to cry out. and in these amazing stages of life the real miracle happens when a person starts to see not with the eyes of the body but with the spirit.
    i loved your poem….

  3. Just stumbled accross your poem, must go in search of more of your poetry also will have to go back on this piece and re read I’m sure a different emerges after each reading, Happy New Year – catch up in 2013

        1. I am going to try and return the favour– but being freshly pressed has given me twenty times my normal traffic (literally) so it may take me a while. But please know that I always appreciate readers (and not just when you like what I’ve written).

  4. You are like a modern-day Paul. Paul was real, wrote about numerous difficult situations & circumstances, oftentimes in poetry format, which in turn would encourage others. That’s what I think about when reading your work. Great stuff! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed : )

  5. I see: a poor alcoholic who dies in a wooden cabin in the mountains, and comes out of his body…or… maybe he hasn’t dies but is just reborn? This is Gods grace…either death or a second chance? Hits close to home for me! Thank you for sharing!

  6. It’s a very good poem. I think it would be better without the line “most unlikliest of places” unless you wrote it that way intentionally for a reason I don’t see. “most unlikely of places” is more logical. Also, something I learned while editing a journal in college which I came to appreciate and monitor in my own writing has to do with “split infinitives” e.g. the title: “But He Can Always Speak”…the “split involves separating “can” and “speak” with “always”…many editors would suggest: “But He Always Can Speak” or “But He Can Speak Always”…I know it can be a matter of taste and I make the same mistake all the time myself. We’re all so used to speaking that way that it sounds correct until you get used to the gramatically correct forms. Sometimes I find myself holding on to the colloquial forms out of stubborness or because I want to speak colloquially so I’m curious if you’re doing it intentionally or not and why if so.
    What I like most about the poem is the imagery which is very strong. I can identify with it as an alcoholic having considerrd those points of view more closely than I’d like to admit sometimes. I’ve written a few from this perspective. We begin again from wherever we regain consciousness of our position I guess as long as we don’t get too distracted by wondering whether or not there might be a basement beneath the ground floor of misery…you know? I like the way you put it…the whiskey, blood etc…and in my case more than once…the vomit…but blood works better. So, I find myself wondering if your poem was about one of those ephiphanies one sometimes has on a barroom floor…?
    Congratulations on being “Freshly Pressed!” Peace!

      1. well, that’s why I commented and shared my observation so that maybe you would show me what I missed…why did you write “most unlikliest” vs “most unlikely”…it’s a straigtforward question…

        1. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think your grammar is lacking. I just wanted to confirm your suspicions. As to explanations… it’s too soon. Perhaps if you are still interested in a month or two everything will have settled enough for me… but straitforward answers about some parts of my poetry are always going to be unlikely. I do appreciate that you would consider my intention before you “made it your own.” I have grown intrigued by the place of authorial intention in poetry reading. Let me know if you are still interested in a month or two. And thank you again for taking so much time to consider a piece of mine. Cheers.

  7. “There are lines that speak of order
    even down so low as this…”
    My favorite sentence in your very moving poem!

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

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