Desparation

If I had a dollar for every time we say, 

“If I had a dollar”

I’d have enough

To never even bother

I’d buy a private island

In a land faraway 

Take every single dollar

And give it all away

I’d be the poorest and the richest

And no one else would know

Buried my treasure in the sand

To see if it grows

Then in a state of desperation

For all that I have lost

I will hold myself for ransom

To see how much I cost

We weren’t born for this 

But still we do it daily

We let the world we created

Drive us crazy

“I choose the lie over life

Believing it will save me”

Is the thought

Of the emotionally lazy

You’ve been lied to

How is it possible you can’t see this?

It wasn’t God

Who created us to be this

To the One we are Beloved

It’s our Name from the Beginning

It’s believing otherwise

That’s the Genesis of sinning

Desperation

How did we get this way?

It defeats the very purpose

Every time we try to pray

I can’t stand it

How many times can we be told?

You can’t serve two masters

And the worst of them is gold

©️ Copyright 2021 Pedro S. Silva II

Freestyle Vision Statement

It’s All too big

For us to be this small

We got to push out fear

So we can hear Love’s call

I  will keep building bridges 

To overcome your walls 

Undivide your divisions

Till we’re all in All

I don’t care if you don’t like me

What you may think unsightly,

I can never let it fright me

It might be…

Let me make a new decision

Undo everything I’ve learned

With Mysterious’ precision

Lose my vision

Makes me the opposite of blind

Eternally forgiving

Means never running out of time

I shine…

When I come out of the dark

“It is finished.”

From the moment that you start.

©️ Copyright 2021 Pedro S. Silva II

Moments After Martyrdom

You’re about to die for the cause you believed in,
But you can’t decide if it’s an honor or a tragedy.
As you look into the faces of those who surround you,
It is difficult to remember who is friend or foe.
Didn’t you see this coming?
You know it could’ve been avoided
But the momentum was too strong
It’s kind of like being caught in an undertow.
You were tired anyway
So, tempted by the thought of rest, you surrendered.
But as the light fades and voices begin to muffle,
You start to wonder if you might survive.
Wouldn’t that be a story to tell?
Something the cause could leverage
And seal your message as one with Divine Authority.
Because the truth never dies. 
But, then a metal like taste coming from within 
Confirms what you know.
You are dying.
And once you accept that, everything changes.
You don’t perceive the way you used to.
Eyes are everywhere.
Ears are everywhere.
Taste and touch are everywhere.
And you see everything as it is.
As if you are on the inside and the outside of everything,
There are no distinctions between your inhalations and exhalations.
And then everything stops but your consciousness.
You wonder how you’re here and nowhere at once.
And then you rise and expand at the same time
Like a balloon floating upward as it’s being filled.
Are there limits to your expansion
Or the heights that you might go?
Living this question is what made you who you were.
It was why you said what you said.
It was why you did what you did.
And it got you killed.
Or did it give birth to the reality of who you are—
Who we all are and who we could be?
And then you stop expanding
Is this finally the end? Or is it the beginning?
It is both. It is neither.
And when your last breath is as pure as your first,
In returns to in and out returns to out
Then, an existential popping sound.
It reverberates throughout all of Creation.
Now you have a choice.
Give birth to the you who will die for what you will believe in,
Change your mind and hold your breath,
Or live as the You who cannot die?
And then you remember why you decided what you will decide.
Whoever saves their life will lose it.
But whoever loses their life will find true Life.
This is the cup that was passed to you.
This is the cup you drank from.
This is when you decide that no one can take your life.
You will give it freely.
And so you descend. 
And so you contract.
Time collapses.
And you remember why you will choose to come here.
You will not die for a lie.
You will live what is eternally true
No matter how many times it takes
To be truly born again.

© Copyright 2021 Pedro S. Silva II

Miss You While You’re Here

Lately I’ve been thinking about
All the moments that we missed
When we’re younger we think we have plenty of time
And don’t think about stuff like this

We put so much off until later
But what if later never comes?
All tomorrows repeats of yesterdays
The future setting like the sun

I’m not ready yet to miss you
When I know that you’re right here
There’s so much I wanted to give you
Before my chances disappeared

Now it hurts that we talk almost everyday
And yet we never talk at all
Or that I battle with all these tempting thoughts
Not to answer when you call

Of course I want to be here for you
But it seems this is always where we’ve been
You telling me about how hard it is
While I listen on the other end

I look back and feel like a failure
I wish I could’ve spared you from some pain
But the best I can do is be a witness
And pray for something else to change

I still have hope that you’ll get better
That perfect love will cast out fear
But for now I’ll be grateful for what we have
Because I don’t want to miss you while you’re here
© Copyright 2020 Pedro S. Silva II

I wrote this poem as I started to think about how many conversations I have with my mom are about how to make it from month to month. We talk everyday. Sometimes multiple times a day. But rarely are our conversations about thing that I would like us to talk about. Because of all of the stress over the past few years, there has been a strain on the relationship. I’ll be honest and say that often I am acting like I am her parent rather than the other way around. I want her to be safe and make decisions for her well-being. I know how hard she tried to be whatever and whoever she felt she needed to be to make sure we survived growing up. That took a toll on her. And I know that she had huge dreams–most of which never got fulfilled. This is a wound in her heart.

She always told me that she wanted to leave my brothers and I with a legacy. What she meant was money. That hasn’t happened and it saddens her. She apologizes for not being in a better financial situation and asks me to believe in her that she can still pull it off. I want to believe, but… And now that I am witnessing her forgetting so much and yet still holding out hope for a miracle or for her “ship to come in” as she says, I feel a twinge of regret.  I ask myself, “If I knew we were going to end up here anyway, what would I have done differently?”

At first, I told myself I would’ve stayed in the military so that I would have my retirement right now and I could be working another job to provide for her. But then I look at my wife and kids and know that I had to take the course I did.  I then think that I should’ve chosen a more lucrative profession than being a pastor. But then, I was having a conversation with a guest at the church who is experiencing homelessness and watching members of the congregation–to include children–serving food and sitting with our homeless neighbors and I thought, “I am glad to be in this moment.” And then I thought, well maybe I was called to be a pastor for a season, but now that my mom needs me, I need to move on and do something else because my responsibilities demand it. And then I prayed and I felt the spirit moving me to be honest about how hard this is and to tell my friends. And so I did. And they stepped in and blessed my family and gave me room to breathe so I could figure out how to make the next best move for my mom. They showed me the truth of the teaching that says, “[God’s] strength is made perfect in our weakness.”

And so then in that space, I asked God what I could do differently for my mom. And in my soul’s language I heard, “Don’t miss her while she is still here. Because that’s what you’ve been doing. If you want to have different conversations with her, change the subject. Talk about the things that you wish you could talk to her about. If she misses it and repeats something else she just said, tell her you love her. Tell her your dreams and maybe she’ll get joy in knowing that she is a part of them. Have an unreasonable belief in miracles because you never know what might happen. And don’t forget, you are not in this alone.”

So if you are reading this, what my soul spoke into my life, I speak into yours. There are so many things in life that can distract us from the moments we are in–something to tempt us to forget that there is always the possibility of great beauty around the corner. In my weakness, I found strength in hitting my limits and reaching out. My hope is that in sharing what I am learning, it is blessing you all too.

With true love,

Pedro

A Friend In Need

They say a friend in need is a friend indeed
Or is it a friend in deed
Meaning a friend is one who acts as one
When another friend’s in need

Or maybe it’s the former one
We’re friends when we’re in want
But otherwise we give no others thought
Just to make it blunt

But perhaps it is more gray than that
Which makes it difficult to name
Because where self-sufficiency is idolized
To be in need is to be shamed

It’s really hard to put my finger on
As I examine my condition
When I’m aware enough to know I should ask for help
But won’t fully give myself permission

On one side, it’s because I don’t want help
I have learned so much from all my failing
But on the other side, I know that there’s sufficient grace
For those of us prone to self-assailing

Furthermore when I’m on the giving end
I always do what I can do
But when I’m on the receiving end
I do my best to just push through

But presently I am torn
This uphill battle seems unending
I could keep on trying to handle this
But in reality I’m pretending

I’ve always been good at holding burdens
But now my burdens are holding me
As I consider that I’m just a request away
From a space that feels more free

Well, if anything, there’s a lesson
These constraints I feel won’t last
And it matters little if I hear “yes” or “no”
Things will get better because I asked

© Copyright 2020 Pedro S. Silva II

I wrote this poem after wrestling with my thoughts about whether or not I should share a fundraiser I created for my mother to help ease some of the financial impact of her pending move.  This season has been really tender for me for a lot of reasons. Besides watching my mother succumb to the effects of a lifetime of stress and anxiety, trying to keep this pressure to myself has taken its toll on me and my family, both emotionally and financially. But it’s not all bad. This also has been a very creative season for me as I’ve tried to make sense of my own anxieties in light of my faith that when we are open, there is a solution to every concern. I’ve written poems that I never would’ve been able to write were I not translating, what at times felt like, overwhelming emotion. I completed a rap that I’m really proud of despite the fact that it has not yet brought in any of the money I’d naively thought it would. And in my social justice and community building work, knowing that I am personally impacted by so much of the challenges that we’re trying to ameliorate, has shaped my preaching and public speaking in a way that perhaps it would not if my family was more shielded. And finally, by putting this out here, I feel that it is on the path of healing the ill effects of the negative type of pride. And so here we are.

Waking Up to You

Waking up to You is the why of my life
You are the Dream that stops my dreaming
You tell the Story of what many fear to know
And give every Word its truest meaning

You call to me to my deepest Self
By the Name only You can give
Whispering in so loud a voice
That gives the dead the choice to Live

Many of us say we know You
But Love says that that’s not true
Whenever we say You dwell in us
But can’t see our neighbor inside of You

Or when we make the least important things
The sandy ground of our foundations
Forsaking the Rock upon which You’ve built for us
The most enduring of habitations

We’re distracted by the attraction
Of getting more by giving less
We measure others by the scale of our selfishness
Then give ourselves credit when we confess

But despite all of this You love us
And that never shall decrease
Even when we deny Your Presence
By not seeing you in our least

And that’s the refining fire
You love us everywhere we go
Even when we use Your Name to tell our lies
And act like You don’t know

You are definitely some kind of amazing
I hope my soul can reach your standard
I give up my story that keeps me up at night
To awaken to Yours that’s so much grander.

© Copyright 2020 Pedro S. Silva II

Live Facing the Sun (For Bob Murtha)

In the life of each and every one of us,
There are many worlds unseen.
Perhaps motivations no one knows about
Or the push to fulfill dreams

Some have nightmares no one speaks of,
That if we knew, we’d have compassion
When they show up in ways we can’t understand
Or do things that are out of fashion

Some of us came to this place
Knowing exactly what to do
While others love the mystery
Of trying to fathom what is true

Some are neither here nor there
And can’t seem to call this home
Even when in a crowded room
They can’t help but feel alone

But then there’s those who are here and there
In them all these worlds are One
Being led they also lead
Ever facing toward the Sun

They have found the pricey pearl
Through the gift of truly giving
Leaving all worlds better places
Through the Presence of their Living

© Copyright 2019 Pedro S. Silva II

I wrote this poem in honor of a church member, Bob Murtha, who embodied a spirit of quiet grace combined with strong presence. My life has taken to a lot of places I didn’t ever expect. But the places I appreciate more than anything are the hearts of people who I never could’ve conceived knowing. I am enriched by it and grateful that God’s idea of the human family is bigger than what I can imagine.

My Creator

You are the Love of my Life
And the Life in my love.
Every love poem I write to You
Has been plagiarized from Your Heart.
Though words cannot contain You or express You,
You have endless names
So that anyone who will
Can know the satisfaction of calling on You.
But Named or not,
We cannot beckon You to come where You’ve never left.
You are always here.
The places we go where we cannot find You do not exist.
As the Psalmist wrote,
“When I awake, I am still with You.”
Am I still with You?
I must be.
Or I would not be writing words that only Love can speak.
Am I awake?
I must be.
Or I am dreaming the only thing worth dreaming—
That You are the Love of my Life
And the Life in my love.


Me

Emerging from Nowhere
Participating in everything
Desiring Nothing
I walk Alone
With everyone

Unfathomable Love

If you knew how much I love you
This world would not exist
Yes, there’d be a world and you’d be there
But it would not look like this

Where you now see separation
Everything you’d see is One
All would shine as they are meant to shine
So there’d be no need for sun

War will have never been
Every tragedy has been abated
You encounter someone who’s not like you
And that fact is celebrated

There will be no calls for justice
Or the concept of “what is fair”
Since we’d all create what it is we love
And no one else would care

Family’s only meaning
Would be loving as you love you
And lies would have no place to be
Since every spoken word is true

The most beauty you’d ever witness
Will be wherever you choose to gaze
Songs of joy would never cease
Along with never ending praise

But you choose not to know I love you
Because you’ve chosen one concern
To decide who else I’m supposed to love
Based on what you think they earned

So instead of the world I gave you
You’ve created a distortion
Invented lack in abundant life
And tried to break it up in portions

Because I love you I haven’t stopped you
I trust eventually you’ll get it
Because you’re in time and I am not
I can see where this is headed

I am Love that knows no bounds
Wherever you hide I will be Present
For the world you’ve made where I don’t exist
I have hidden it in Heaven!

© Copyright 2019 Pedro S. Silva II

For Your Consideration

How can we choose God who we cannot see and reject our brothers and sisters who we can see?
This is the choice before us.
To love who we can accept or love who God loves.
Nothing can prepare us for the full revelation of God’s love.
It is an undoing love that sets souls free.
God, undo us. Remove the chains that bind us to the false self,so that our true self can emerge.
Nothing can prepare us for the awareness that God fully loves all—even those we would not choose to love.
Choosing God is choosing all of God’s children.
It is choosing ourselves. May we choose wisely. Amen.