Poetry – A right-brained embrace

There is a resurgence in poetry as a form of expressing and defining life. In part because poetry allows for the postmodern embrace of life… mystery, multiple interpretations and personal expression.

This page is dedicated to poetry….

Todd Rutkowski

Winter Poems – 2011

Watching to see
Will I go there? Imagine
In the still
Fear knocks in the silence

Bravery opens the door
Stand still. Time
Is on your side
Wait some more

Fear’s life will end
Yet you remain
Walking free
Will you still imagine in the silence?


Constructs of our own design
Inhabitants we make
Redefining our reality
Worlds apart, they are

Faster, further, wider they promise
To take us. Smaller, disconnected we feel
The scope of life enlarges
While human connection shrinks
Embrace the paradox. Tension

Finding life in the ‘givens’
Nature is the plumbline
Touching nature, touches you
Fresh perspective gained

Coming Home

Shouldering responsibility
Seems natural to bear
Letting go
Into sonship, arduous at times
The road life makes
Is for coming

The Storm Within

Spinning, swirling, bouncing about
Time has no bearing
Back and forth goes the mind and heart
Flung side to side

Stay present in the chaos
The moment suspends time
While the clock ticks on

The spread shrinks
Settled moments are fleeting
Mystery becomes the clarity
Relief gained while ambiguity remains

The Walk

Footprints mark the way
Stay the course winters day
Take notice
Beauty surrounds

Soak up the elements like summer’s day
Ascend the mountain
Take it all in
As the body benefits the mind clears
Travelling light this affords
Sounds of silence heal
All in a day’s work

Journey to Quiet

Descending into silence
Chased by doubt
Condemnation’s breath tingles across my neck
Fear’s abyss in view

All is shadow, masked as real
Silence awaits and calls
Descending further
Time flings open the cavern door of peace
Strength and tranquility emerge
Courage and truth rally. Listening,
I hear the words – I am loved, because I am
As it echoes through the corridors of silence deep

Living Today

Present in the moment?
The heart leans forward
Future calls to the mind and heart
Hope peeks through time in return

Looking back summons my memories
History rides the elevator to the top floor
Selection chooses the side of delight
A tasty meal

Today the past is created
The future awaits the now
Living holds the tension
Today is all I have

God became one of us

Dirt beneath the nails is a
Not a road sign. Sign
of another kind

Your knees must bend for your
hands to be dirty
One lies lows in the

We reach for the stars
While God reaches for the dirt
We are going the wrong way
No wonder we are
lost and Jealous

God’s finger nails are dirty
As we look in the sky for him
He was in the garden all along
Waiting for the cross. Did they see
his nails?

Fragility of human judgement

We are all judgement impaired
Ruling? Many suspend
Others quicker to define black
and white or truth and lies declared

The world, shades of grey
With which we best embrace
Or push it all into fields
Of Distinction for peace of mind

Learn the pace of found ambiguity
Only discovered in the relational maze
of a life lived in community
We are all impaired in judgement

Prisons we make

It is God we seek
Yet man we follow
Longing to belong
Defines our prison cell boundaries

Our walls of contact and connect become
Ghosts we’ve empowered
Breathing life into them
We do

The unknown wilderness of the sound of
ravaging wolves beyond prison’s gate
Holds us captive
Or could it be a meadow leading through the forest to life?
Run Goldilocks Run

Run Free!

Kingdom of Conflict

The burka of conflict
Shrouds our pain
Our eyes of grief in full view
Looking, waiting to be seen

Hope rises within, while chaos is without
Character is forged through the pain
Though maturity is welcomed, anguish is unwanted

We enter the process of healing
Letting go, pain awaits our release
In stepping back we become curious
Discovering that conflict is a beauty disguised

Anger Triggered

Heart racing, pounding
Inside my head
Fist clinched, blood boil
The face of hurt unmasked on me

The issue at stake coveted
in my mind. Ownership of pain required
As my feelings are voiced, the boil simmers
Opening the door to the cage
Freedoms to relationship continued

The cup of affirmation

Each one a cup given
Not all that aware
Searching, seeking, longing
To fill it can equal despair

One’s cup must be managed
Filled nonetheless
Kept discreet from onlookers
Yet brought out into the mess

It is Father of hearts
Whose voice first fills the cup
All other voices are weighted
In light of the above

My Story

Generations in the making
Manipulation and fear of death prove
Obstacles to overcome
As heroes and villains litter history’s path

Evil lurking, hope and preferred future
Invitation always present
Two voices always speaking

Fall into what was?
Because it was?
Break out, future free
God is on your side
Choice is made again and again

Eternity today

Life comes our way
Like chicken soup on cold winter’s day
Throws herself at us
Bodies scattered in the rubble
Under billowing smoke of 9/11 trouble

Unpredictable she is
Can’t take her on a date
Without a statement, she will have to make
Hold her hand, she’ll leave you behind
Catch her journey, that’s life, you will find

Disaster leads to tragedy
Sorrow to joy
Peace grows contentment
On love’s borrowed soil

When the feelings we experience
Surpass life’s ride
Than we’ve caught the hand of eternity
A much better side
Date her instead

Word from Afar

Out of Africa
Comes word
Piercing like a sword
Death of friend, son, brother

Like a kick to the stomach
Gravel in the mouth
Injurious and indigestible
Such news is hard to bear

Africa, shadow of dark
Land of fragile life
Front-runner of premature death
Widow- maker once again

Yet hope hides
In the lining of mystery a future awaits
In the meantime we grieve
Grieve our loss, deeply

Down Under

Underwear over there
Naked is the feeling
Down Under

In the doldrums today
Aftermath of highs
Down Under

Standing tall Down Under
Gets you really

Down Under is up top
From the view of those
Down Under

When winter is here
It is summer Down Under
Reach through


To our sunbaked body one small droplet of water
Awakens us as it reaches the tongue
To our dry and thirsty soul a glass full of water
Quenches our thirst and restores us
Alone and together they bring life

Yet when droplets collect in mass
They gather like the armies of middle earth
Swarm like a bee’s disturbed nest
No fortress can withstand her power
No athlete out run her sting

What once quenched our thirst
Becomes the well for our tears
In one form she is life, in another death
Life and death disguised in a tiny droplet
The two-edged sword of all living things

I pray for Japan

The Soul

Fox in a hole
Wild and shy she is
Doesn’t come out to play

Mind and emotions in high gear
Keep her in hiding
Ego fills the forest with noise
Quiet coxes her to come out and play

Wait by her hole in silence
Dial down to still
Come out and play fox will
The soul is shy and wild

Angel with no name

Travelling country roads to home
My 11-year-old mind racked with fear
Seated between Father and Mother, I recall
He inebriated and losing control
She driving the family to safety
Routine weekend trip, I sorely assumed
A ride home that still haunts me

Caught in the middle
Of our 1973 Pontiac bench seat
We came to a halt on that country road
The younger siblings escaping rapidly
Father grasping for my arm
Mother reaching for the other
A tug – of – war ensued
A moment of torment and frozen emotions

Moments later a night-mare broke into reality, my adult eyes believed
A mother and her 3 children fleeing for their lives
While a father, a lover, or a demon in disguise, pursued
A long road proved too short to outrun evil
Harm in mind, a wicked fist in motion
Aimed for his bride But thwarted, by whom?
None could see except through the eyes of faith

The running continued
An unfamiliar farm-house presented refuge
Behind the bunker of a stranger’s home
A father, a husband is kept at distance Until another day
There are evil days that come our way
Shaping us in the language of life
In the dark a small light is most visible
It shines brightly there
I have seen the light in the dark
Though I wish I knew the Angel’s name

Todd Rutkowski

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