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 at the church 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.

If you are reading this, I am asking you to consider contributing to this fund. All of the proceeds go to helping my mom transition to living with my brother until we can come up with a more sustainable solution. Thanks for considering this. No pressure and no judgment if you are not interested. I am just grateful that I received the courage to ask. The link to contribute is below.

http://www.plumfund.com/financial-hardship/lost-in-transition

The Wages of Skin

I’m sorry I apologized
When I was just being me
I was just a slave
Who falsely thought I was free

But now that I’m seeing more clearly
This is what I meant to say
Kiss my grits
And get the H-E double hockey stick out my way

I think you get my point
Without me going to extremes
I could say it a little harder
But it wouldn’t change an ounce of what it means

Besides if my dead grandmother were here
And heard me talk to you like that
She’d slap the taste right out my mouth
And give all my apologies back

See, the worst things in life are often inherited
Taught to fear in the name of survival
Illusions of superiority
Cloaked in the excuse that we’re all tribal

We say those before us committed the crimes
But we choose to pay the price
So when we accept the earnings of an unjust cause
The effect is our souls being sacrificed


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.

The Soul You Rob Is Your Own

Eyes filled with tears

Heart so full

Can’t say it’s spilled milk

Seeing all this bull

Everywhere soul robbers

Work to dig our graves

Offer carrot stick freedom

Keep us unseen slaves

Two faced leaders

Both mouths lie

Stick those needles

In the public eye

So we see nothing

But we don’t know why

Place our hopes in the illusion

They are on our side

But what I see lately

Merely comes to this

In a win-lose world

Someone will be missed

And in a rank based system

You know who it’ll be

Those who don’t pass muster

And those who look like me

But my tears aren’t for pity

For those who play that role

It’s for those who kill worlds

Trying to find their souls

Because in the grand scheme of things

Nothing’s here for the keeping

This is a seed planting realm

So we can live our own reapings

Forever!

© Copyright 2018 Pedro S. Silva II

 

 

 

 

The Way of All Flesh

There is a path that all flesh must take
We’ve always known this from the start
It’s the very awareness of this fact
That reveals the nature of our heart

For the spirit of immortality
Wrestles with the ways of form
Tempting us with corporeality
As if it were the norm

There are hearts that surrender to this way
As long as we are here
While other hearts struggle with time itself
Certain that eternity is near

The struggling heart will not surrender
It crams eternity into space
Living life with all it has
And in its wake leaves waves of grace

It knows the way that flesh must go
But it and flesh are not the same
And on that day when the two must part
It receives that which is its to gain

© Copyright 2016 Pedro S. Silva II

bruce-2The poem above was written by request for the Rev. Bruce MacKenzie Pastor Emeritus of the church I serve in Boulder, CO. “The way of all flesh” was a saying Bruce loved to say when referring to anything that is temporary in this world. At one visit I had with him before his passing he said to me,  “Soon I will be going the way of all flesh, but you and I know that is nothing to be concerned with. So no tears.” I said to him, “Well we teach that Jesus wept when Lazarus died and he was just about to resurrect him, so I cry when you leave.” He laughed at that and changed the subject.  Bruce’s body might have gone the way of all flesh. But though the outer man is beyond our seeing, the inner man remains eternally abiding.

The Truths Cannot Die

The next time that you kill us
Remember we never really die
Suppressing us won’t free you
Because Truth can’t sustain a lie

I know our presence scares you
We make you feel unsure
Nothing can quite prepare you
For seeing your prejudice impure

You’ve been taught we’re inconvenient
You try to hide us from your view
But locking us up doesn’t keep us out
Since you can’t get away from you

Your history of violence
Towards those who look like me
Has left so many people silent
That we barely know how to be

You say that we are valued
And yet you try to hide the Truth
But there’s no escaping what’s evident
We are the living proof

But where does this knowledge leave us
For too many it ushers shame
The one thing no one wants to feel
Because we can’t escape the pain

See that’s not what we’re seeking
What we want to share is hope
But in our face you see a mirror
And hang the image from a rope

Your guilt too, is not of value
It’s just denial in different dress
Which leads to justification
Which fosters anger and unrest

So what is the solution?
Where do we go from here?
How can we live by a better Way,
When we hold on to our fear?

The answer is we cannot
We have to let love win
Or die in the darkness that we choose
And then do it all again

Twisted

People,

In the wake of all that is going on with the violence, fear, hurt, and anger in this world, I challenge all of us who are seeking to transcend status quo to read this poem and take it into your heart. If you get something out of it share it. It’s autobiographical, but in the end, it isn’t about me. It’s about taking responsibility for the world that we are all creating. It’s time to wake up or die in our sleep.

The Love,

Pedro S. Silva II

Twisted
Open up your ears and hear
The story that I’m telling you
When I was a little kid
I used to get dissed on the regular

I used to get picked on
Poked at and made fun of
Because I was a sensitive cat
Always talking about One Love

Other kids my age
Had multiple distractions
Where as I was more focused on
Putting words into action

So when I took it to the streets
I didn’t expect to get straight dissed
‘Cause my shoes had too many stripes for Adidas
But not enough for K-Swiss

My words were for nothing
I only evoked laughter
I tried to get them focused off my clothes
But it just didn’t matter

They called me church boy
They said I talked “white”
But they were living cartoon
While I was living real life

I wanted to show love
But all they knew was hating
Perpetually playing themselves
Because they were mentally masturbating

They believed the lie
It had been passed down from their mama
Generations infected by an attempt
To keep the black man in drama

So I took it to the adults
I thought they would understand
But they were too “whitewashed”
To see this burgeoning black man

So I took it to my history teacher
Then he said this to my face
“You’re a smart boy
And a credit to your race”

He thought it was a compliment
Only a white man could say that
If he understood anything about me
He’d have known I wouldn’t play that

But I knew he had good intentions
I could tell he didn’t know
He was caught up like everyone else
So I decided to let it go

I then took it to my Grandma
But what she said left me unsettled
She told me tell white people I was Portuguese
So that they would treat me better

What the hell was that?
Was this some conspiracy?
Everyone and their mama working together
To try to instill fear in me

They saw something I thought was impossible
While I saw something else
They were choosing to believe a lie
But I chose to believe in myself

I knew that God had made me
And I know He only makes the best
So I knew the fact that I was not white
In no way made me less

Someone had gotten it twisted
And I was going to find out who
There was no way I was letting these scared victims of society
Tell me what to do

So at first I examined the white man
Since everyone thought he was so smart
I discovered so many despicable deeds
It was as if he had no heart

Then I checked out the black man
I figured they were more like me
But I got pissed to find out some of them helped
When we were sold into slavery

My mind became consumed with anger
I had to let it out
So I decided to tell every black and white
What I was all about

Well both sides called me a racist
In that they agreed with each other
Whites said I was an uppity nigger
And blacks called me siddity brother

So I then turned to God
Well turned on Him is more accurate
Because I didn’t like the way He made this world
I told Him I wasn’t having it

I said “You better do something
Before I fix this world myself
If You are the One responsible for this
I might as well pray to someone else”

He responded, “While you’re sitting here pointing fingers
How about looking in the mirror
I am the One that made all you see
Call nothing I made inferior

Who are you to judge?
Are you the scale by which all things are measured?
Are all things imperfect as compared to you?
Did you put this world together?

There’s a point to all of this
Just listen to what I’m saying
Perhaps I created this entire world
Just to have you right here praying

In Me anything is possible
To all those who believe
This world is as beautiful or ugly as you see it
It depends on what you choose to perceive

I made this world out of perfection
But in your Ego you thought you could fix it
This world will change when you change your mind
You are the one that got it twisted

© Copyright 2004 Pedro S. Silva II

 

 

Our Guardian Whose Art Is Heaven

Our Guardian Who art in Heaven

And on every other plane

Thanks for calling us into being

And holding us in Your Name

We seek to find your Kingdom

We live for it to come

A world beyond division

Where all are known as One

A place of infinite creation

Where all that’s good will last

Our future and our hope

Without the burdens of the past

Thy will for us is done

By Your Heaven born Design

As soon as we surrender

And walk the narrow line

By Your Word You feed us daily

With everything we need

Satisfying Holy hungers

That this world could never feed

You share the joy of Your forgiveness

By instructing we do it too

Forgiving others when they trespass

For they know not what they do

This frees us from temptation

From error we’re delivered

We enter into the Kingdom

When we imitate the Giver

In that State we behold Your Glory

And Your unassuming Power

That’s been our Light in a world of darkness

Preparing us for our hour

You’ve been creating us in Your Image

Though invisible it may be

Teaching us to practice the Art of Heaven

That only opened eyes can see

 

© Copyright 2015 Pedro S. Silva II