The Love Poem I Can’t Seem to Write (Songs for My Tribe)

The Love Poem I Can’t Seem to Write (Songs for My Tribe)
06/29/2017, Deon Mumple

It’s still not good enough, I’ve written the same poem four times now.
I keep trying to say it just right, keep trying, but I don’t really know how.
How do you say this thing, this feeling? What are the right words?
I don’t want to say the same sounds I know you’ve already heard.

It didn’t turn out those times before, when your hope needed fulfilled
And those last two times, when you swore, no more, after the dream was killed
I don’t want to be that way,  I want to be different, and never see you hurt
But I know the times I’ve failed before, don’t trust me,  trust me, you’ll get burned

I’ve written this poem five times now, just trying to say it right
I want to make the promises and keep them, so we always win the fight
I want to be superhuman, and be heroic, but at the same time, be real,
But I don’t feel real; I’m up and down without flying, can’t even control how I feel.

I’ve written this poem six times now, and it’s never going to be perfect
The same as I know about you and me, but I’m not, and you’re not, and we’re not.
I’m afraid, you’re afraid, it’s not going to work, but I hope you’ll give it a shot.
Like this poem, I’m trying to write it right, and keep on writing it wrong,
Me versus verses that don’t have choruses, and a form that’s far from correct
Sometimes even the best composers build a bridge to write a decent love song.

I’ve written this poem seven times, this is the last time, then I’m through.
It may never be exactly right, about like trying on the wrong sized shoe,
But if a hope is just deferred but somehow I know it was meant to come true,
Maybe mixed up words will make the longing fulfilled, so I can win and keep you.


I told you I was going to listen to the message from Sunday.  Joy, joy.  I just remembered it’s hard to convey sarcasm in two words.

I used to be more clueless.  Remember the charm of the innocence of Larry?  I suppose I used to be more innocent.

Life isn’t “all sunshine and roses.”  And it isn’t all bitterness and breakage either.  I’m just not able to keep up with the breakage and I’m struggling with how difficult it is.  I’m just human, I’m not a super Christian and I can’t handle the way God is handling this.  I haven’t been handling it well for a long time.  I appreciate the way some have come along to try to encourage me.  I’m sorry my response is not affirming you and your efforts.  I really am sorry.  And thank you.

I used to be happier in spite of the difficulty of life.  Life was still difficult, I just had a happier disposition about it and a higher level of trust that it would all work out.  I accepted that my suffering was common to everyone.  Call it Larry’s cluelessness, or boundless hope.  Then I had on the job training that says people are out to hurt you in an attempt to help themselves.

That’s true, everywhere.  Even in working for the church.  A pastor will stab you in the back.  A pastor will lie to make themselves look good at your expense.  And then they’ll say things to anyone who might figure it out to cover their own asses.  And they’ll jump from one ministry to another, bigger, better one, to go away from their petty scandals, when everyone just wanted to help them and serve God.  Or maybe they wanted to hurt them and that’s why they felt I wasn’t to be trusted.  Who knew?  Anyway, turns out what I thought was boundless hope, had bounds.  Who knew?  That’s why I gave up on that career aspiration.  That’s why I’m not applying to be a pastor anywhere.  I wanted it, but now I don’t want it.  It’s a setup to be hurt even more, by everyone.  Look what they did to the First Guy!  Back in the day, I just wanted to come alongside and help whoever the pastor was, and I did that successfully until… See above.  Whoever they were, they either got scared or got jealous, not that there was anything to be jealous of, and I got hurt.

Most pastors seem to be ok. They seem like they have it together.  I don’t want to scratch their surface to see if it’s just a gilded cage, but I bet it is, and they can see the rust on the inside.  And they’re scared, just as scared as I am.  I bet all of them have a level of fear mixed with their faith, just like I do.

I also used to have ridiculously conservative (read Pharisaical) views on other people’s lives, that was before I realized I was ruining it and not living up to my own expectations.   And I was being an ass hole about what I thought other people were doing wrong while I was doing it wrong.  It’s taken me to a place where I love people more deeply and I try to understand a lot harder.  Except those ass hole pastors.  I won’t.  I needed them to help me and shepherd me, not put me on their own personal altar of sacrifice.

That not-being-able-to-trust-anyone?  It continued into the secular realm because people in the “real” world are almost as bad as pastors.  Almost.

The message Sunday was basically to tell me to shut up. (Eccl. 5:2)

Maybe the sarcasm will convey better in one word than in two:



More, 5/28/2016, Deon Mumple
Inspired by Jessica

Her beauty
And terrifies me
And fills me
With intrigue.
I want more
I fear more
The closer I want to get
The more I fear
Doing or saying something
I’ll regret
And yet
I want everything
That she might give
And I want her tomorrow
For her smile
Or her sorrow
Whatever she feels
I want to be there by her side
Along for the ride
To cry
By her side
If she cries,
To encourage her to always rise
On her own power
She can.  She can.
And when she can’t, doesn’t know,
I want to be her story’s hero
Then to watch her grow,
And blossom, you know
For her to find her best, become more
For me to adore
And for her to love me
And be held as much in captivity
As she holds me in
Bonded beyond skin
And yet
To feel completely
To see her beauty
The way my eyes see
The closer I want to be
The more I fear that we
Will swallow everything that’s me
Or I’ll make
A mistake
And lose we
Because stupidity
Trips me
Like, what if I need space
And lack grace, and erase
Something she treasures and needs
Her soul bleeds
Oh, God, what if she leaves?
But she
Is everything I want to see
She’s imperfect
But she’s perfect
And I want her to realize
In my eyes
The whole universe of matter
Doesn’t matter
Without her.

The Perfect Woman

The Perfect Woman, Deon Mumple, 10/8/2015

She isn’t a size double-zero, as it happens she’s a tall double-two.
And her feet aren’t a perfect size nine, but they fit inside her shoes,
Her hair sometimes shines a little more, as the sunlight glints white or grey,
Her face shows concerns, love, and wisdom, but I’d stare into those eyes all day.

The world says she’s not a perfect ten, but who are they, when she’s my wife?
By that scale I’d say she’s an eleven, with real curves not cut by a knife.
If she wore a plain muddy shirt and sweatpants, I would still notice
What I notice, and addicted, I would still crave one more kiss.

Sometimes she wears makeup and dresses, and Revlon colors her hair,
But I’ve let her know that that is her show, if she didn’t, I really wouldn’t care
Sometimes she makes me work my tail off, because she’s just too tired,
But she loves me, I love her completely, and that’s how poetry is inspired.

576×5: She’s Beautiful

She’s beautiful, though
perhaps by the worlds’ standards
She might be judged not so

I see perfection
I wish she saw me like that
I’m like her dissection

She crinkles her nose
This is not a high school crush
She wants just what she chose

She knows I am flawed
I know she has her flaws too
It’s just that I am awed

God, how I love her!
Even though she drives me nuts
I’ll love her forever