Inner Child

sad inner child

Inner Child

My inner child

In a coma at age fourteen

Suspended animation

Unable to breath

Or experience life

Such is family tragedy

Time passes

The fog has lifted

But his adult has bought the lie

The constant barrage of self-hate

And ridicule

Chases the child away

The adult breaks

Under the weight

Of criticism

No one is meant to take

Years later

By divine encounter

The fog begins to lift again

He open his eyes

To really see

The lie that deceived him



threatening skies2


The sun

Warming my face

Soft breeze, caressing

The makings of a smile

A glassy Carribbean sea

Contrasted with

Towering white and gray

Ominous clouds

Threatening, yet far away

That’s how it is

Within my soul

Alive and vibrant

With patches of gray

Constantly moving

In constant tension

Sometimes blue

Sometimes gray

But always changing

Soothing with strife

As I find my way






Thirteen little pills

Enough to do the trick?

Please, please release me

From this worlds’ Icy grip

Love me, love me I cry!

My head upon the bed

I am just a kid


An unlucky number

Maybe, not enough?

I almost didn’t publish this, a poem I rewrote from memory almost forty -six years later. However I thought it important to show, really to remind myself just how far I have come. While I still have suicidal thoughts on occasion I know that they are really not my own and I pay them no mind.  I am grateful for my God who watches over me, but on that day and in that moment I did not have eyes to see and still He was with me as I swallowed each and every one of those pills and waited to slip away.  In later years, in my law enforcement career I came face to face with the aftermath of suicide and knew in my heart I could never do that to my loved ones. My very first Death Investigation as a rookie cop was a suicide by a teen. My God in heaven wanted me to know.

I know the poem is short and abrupt but that is the point, isn’t it. That is the nature of suicide.  It seemingly comes out of no where with no warning or time to prepare or prevent. It leaves the living with no hope, no understanding and boatloads of guilt and often becomes it’s own legacy, living (how ironic) among friends and family for generations to come.

If you are having suicidal thoughts please know that their IS someone who loves you. Sometimes Faith and Hope is all we have but it is enough to get you through to another day.  Please call you closest friend, a pastor or a hotline.  Let Someone know what is in your heart and on your mind. Heck, shoot me an email but please know I don’t always get to them quickly so call this number first 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and you will be connected with a skilled, trained counselor in your area anytime 24/7.

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Just the way you are


Just the way you are

I love you

He says

A small, soft

Quiet voice

In the furthest recesses of my mind

I almost didn’t hear Him

For all the noise in my head

All the anger

And the confusion

All the doubt

And the pride

The mixed emotions

And emptiness inside

Thoughts of suicide

I Love you

He says

I hear Him

Louder this time

And clearer

He repeats the refrain

I love You my Beloved

Just the way you are!


unshackled heart



It overwhelms me

This new freedom

In life

My heart, unshackled

It now turns to regret

The shadows

At times, all consuming

For all the things left undone

Kind words unspoken

Years of neglect

A dying relationship

Tears never shed

They now flow freely

So much work to be done

To learn to love again

Two hearts as one

Words escape me

is (3police funeralDreped badge2


I had planned to post another poem today but the news I heard after returning from a Sunday breakfast with family and friends and my newest grandson, Crosby, has changed all that. As a retired law enforcement officer with twenty-five years service to my community my first thought was for the safety of my brothers and sisters in blue who are still serving and putting their lives on the line, often times for citizens who hold only ill-will towards them. At this moment my emotions are bouncing back and forth between incredible sadness and grief and anger. However I know the answer for America comes not in anger and seeking vengeance, but in seeking the very face of God, seeking His Peace, and His love for one another.  We, as a people, of all races, creeds and colors, American citizens all, need to stand up to the hate-mongers who spew the politics of hate in pursuit of their own agenda.   I believe we can best do this by pulling together in love and respect and not allowing the hate-mongers to pull us apart.

I could go on and on but instead I will leave you with this, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”  Matthew 5:9.  Please Pray for our nation, for the men and women of Law Enforcement, for our government and community leaders and all those who will take to the airwaves with an opinion to espouse. And especially for the families and friends of the officers who lost their lives today.

Looking In


On the outside

Looking in

At the wreckage

Of a life misspent



So much anger turned in

Oh God, Save me!

I’m drowning in sin

Against you, myself, my wife

Regret and remorse

Fill every hour of everyday



More to come

All my strength, gone…



Will it ever end?

Finally, I collapse

Does he love me?

Are the scriptures true?

They say faith begets faith

I wouldn’t know

Mine has been squandered

And yet

When the tears dry

And the tension subsides

There is this little light

It speaks to me

Calmly, quietly

Soothing my fright

It is the Light

That shows me the way

Riding my stormy waves

I love you He says

You’re going to be alright

The Bog and the Mire



No feelings inside

except those that are shallow

No desire

No passion

No reason to live

for today, or tomorrow

Millions of thoughts

milling about

None strong enough

to lift me from this pit

the bog and the mire

Is this, this miry clay

my final resting place?

To while away the time

the rest of my days

I pray Not

but today

I see no light

in the bog and the mire


This poem was inspired by Psalms 40 which speaks of the Lord lifting King David out of the miry clay, King James version.  The Living Bible uses the term “the bog and the mire” which I like better because it reminds me of Scotland. This poem was inspired by Psalms 40 and was the inspiration for my blog title.    Barney

Words will never hurt you…..


Whoever wrote that sticks and stones crap
had a heart of stone
As a young and sensitive child
I was beaten and bruised by words
on a regular basis
I think that's why I asked my Mom years later
why she took me to Sunday School?
She told me I loved the Bible stories
Words of Peace and Love,
and now fifty years on
the pain is still real
the words stuck in my head
So Bullshit to those who claim words
will never hurt you!

In light of the tragic events in Dallas I think
it should be obvious that words do carry a lot
of weight. The Hate-mongers and those whose
subscribe to the Politics of Hate are probably
proud of themselves today. Their rhetoric created
the atmosphere in which such a tragedy could
happen. My heart and my prayers go out to all
the families and loved ones of those who were
injured and/or lost their lives and to all the
first responders as well.  May God give you the
strength to go on! What you do is important!

A Message For Her


She came to bed late
Very late
The sound of the shower running woke me up
I knew what I had to say
I sat up
On the edge of the bed, waiting
When she got closer
I took both her hands in mine
I have to tell you something, I said
Despite how I have treated you
How I have made you feel
About your self-image
The way you see and feel about yourself
I distorted that
With all the porn
He gave me a message for you
You are Beautiful!, He says
Inside and out!
You are fearfully
and wonderfully made!
I love you, I whispered
Can you ever forgive me?