Tips for Writing Poetry

You don’t have to know what the DICKENS is going on.
Just start writing and eventually you’ll get your WORDSWORTH.
Your message can be incomplete; it doesn’t have to be THOREAU

If you’re worried about what to write, you can always try EMERSON therapy.
Good wordplay can really capture your WHITMAN.
Long poems can be serious, but short ones are better WHITTIER.

Your words can be tame or they can be WILDE.
You can write a ballad or a CARROLL.
You can write a happy poem to cheer up a LONGFELLOW.

Not everyone will like what you write; as in baseball, you won’t always get a HOMER.
If you borrow ideas from Hank, you’ll O HENRY a debt of gratitude.
There’s ELIOT more that could be written, for this HARDY BURNS the surface.

Ode to Mike

(Originally published June 2, 2010)

Has it been so long?
A year has past,
Since the time
We saw you last

But you would not want
For us to be sad,
But rejoice in the Lord
And to always be glad.

Quite a character,
You’re one-of-a-kind.
No one else like you–
Oh, not that I mind.

You were warm and friendly
And always around.
Right where we left you,
You’d likely be found

You were hard at work
There was just no slowing.
You didn’t seem to stop.
What kept you going?

Though some look at you,
Might see half a man
Bad leg, sight, and sound
And lacking in hands.

While we take for granted
All that we’ve been given,
You didn’t complain.
You were too busy livin’.

You’d give God the glory
And all of the praise.
Though hand incomplete,
You’d still have it raised.

So with a fond farewell,
I bid you adieu
Until up in Heaven,
When I’ll walk with you.

Michael “Video Mike” Pyzdrowski
R.I.P.
June 2, 2009

Just A Fetus

Yes, I am just a fetus
That’s why I need
Your love and protection
Not hate and destruction

I’m vulnerable, you see
And I rely on thee
To look after me

I have a heartbeat
And that’s no fable
But you can make decisions
While I am unable

I haven’t been born yet
I’m at a growing stage
I may be so tiny
But I look my age

You may see me
As less than human
And want to decide
That I’m not worth preservin’

I am human like you
Though not fully grown
Yet without your protection
I am all alone

You were once like me
At this point in your life
The difference between us
Is you’re on the outside

For My Father-In-Law (On His Birthday)

I mentioned previously that my father-in-law passed away earlier this year. Today (Dec 7) marks what would’ve been his 70th birthday. In honor of his birthday, I wanted to share the full text of what I wrote for his memorial service.


I’m not holding onto You
But You’re holding onto me

These lyrics from a Casting Crowns song that remind me God is holding on and not the other way around have been a comfort during this sad and difficult time; the day I learned of Jim’s passing, those words kept playing in my mind while I was driving. I don’t cry very often, and I like to think the light rain falling that day was for the tears I felt unable to shed, but listening to that song and being reminded that God is holding on allowed me an opportunity to cry for Jim’s passing. 

The day I heard he passed, I knew I wanted to say something at his service, but I didn’t know what at the time. I only knew him for not quite three years before he passed, so I don’t have any deep, meaningful, or funny stories to share about his life. In the time I’ve known him, his health limited his travel ability, so almost the only time I spent with him was when Jaimee and I would visit Denton. The most meaningful one-on-one conversation we had was the day I talked with him about marrying Jaimee when I asked him about his life, but there were things I still didn’t know about him until Jaimee and I were sorting through photos for his slideshow.

Jim, or as I had started calling him “J-Pop” in recent months, was by no means perfect; he was a man rough around the edges. He was stubborn with a sarcastic sense of humor; we connected over that shared style of humor and a love for his daughter Jaimee. There’s a special place in his heart for Jaimee, being his only daughter, his only child. Both are strong-willed people, and they had their disagreements, but at the end of the day they loved each other. I know he wanted to see her happy and was glad he lived long enough to walk her down the aisle, even if it was only part of the way. 

Before we met, Jaimee was his primary caretaker, so he came to depend on her for a lot. I never said it before he passed, but there were times I felt as if I took her away from him, but sometimes change motivates growth. When Jaimee and I first got engaged and she was getting ready to move out, Jim went into denial that his little girl was growing up, but he eventually came to terms with what was happening. Once he accepted she was moving out and getting married, he started to do more things for himself for a while, which improved his demeanor, but at some point his health began to decline again. Because he had health problems, lived alone, and was a bit of a distance from us, we wanted him to think about living in a retirement community, but being the stubborn man he was, he didn’t want to leave his house or his cats. He loved those cats and took care of them, often at the expense of himself and his health. I’m not sure if he loved Jaimee or his cats more, but he didn’t have pictures of his cats around his house or in his wallet.

Since he didn’t travel much, there wasn’t a lot we could do together, but after Jaimee and I got married, we would go to Denton to visit every few Saturdays, spend some time together, and maybe play Spades or Farkle with Jim and Janet. You need four people for Spades, and Janet wasn’t very good when we started playing, but Jim taught her to become a much better Spades player and a more-formidable opponent. Even though we didn’t do much together as a family, those visits would brighten his day.

We also liked to joke around together. While playing games, he would jokingly tell me to watch out for Jaimee as if she was trouble. As we would get ready to leave for the day, he would jokingly tell her to take care of me like I was helpless, and we would tell him we take care of each other. We shared other jokes and sarcastic quips together over the last couple years. Jim may be gone, but his sense of humor lives on through Jaimee.

God’s timing is never our timing. Jim was months away from turning 70, a milestone we would’ve liked to celebrate together. He may not have lived as long as we would’ve liked, but he lived longer than even he expected and got to see his only daughter get married. We wish Jim could’ve lived a few more years, maybe one day get to see and hold a grandchild, but God had other plans. We may never know why Jim was taken from us when he was, but I am reminded that God is still here; he is in control and has His reasons, and He is still holding onto us, and this has brought me comfort as we mourn Jim’s passing. We’re told in 1 Thessalonians – which the pastor read for us– that we who are in Christ don’t mourn as those who have no hope; hope in this case is not a wishful longing, but an assurance of what is to come, that we will one day see our loved ones who have died in Christ; though we grieve now for Jim’s passing, one day we will see him again.

We may never plan for the day we lose a loved one, but that day still comes.
We may never expect to say that last goodbye, but those words will be spoken.
We think we’ll see someone tomorrow, but sometimes tomorrow comes alone.

If you love someone, don’t neglect to tell them so.
Always say goodbye when you leave the ones you know.
There will be a time you can’t, for tomorrow will one day come alone.

Jim, we love you and miss you. For now we say goodbye, but someday we’ll see you again.

jim

Sometimes Tomorrow Comes Alone

(In honor of my father-in-law, who passed away in early June)

We may never plan for the day we lose a loved one, but that day still comes.
We may never expect to say that last goodbye, but those words will be spoken.
We think we’ll see someone tomorrow, but sometimes tomorrow comes alone.

If you love someone, don’t neglect to tell them so.
Always say goodbye when you leave the ones you know.
There will be a time you can’t, for tomorrow will one day come alone.

Behold, Resurrection!

Behold the Lamb!”
The words of John,
As he sees a dove descend

Look at Him
Who takes away sin,
He is the One you seek

Of Him I am unworthy
To loosen His sandal.
He is the promised Messiah.”

Offerings He makes
No sin He partakes
He is the Holy One

Death awaits
This is the fate
He will bear our sins


Christ the Savior
The unique God-Man
He must taste of death

Redemption’s cost
To save the lost
A price that must be paid

On the tree
His hands and feet
Are nailed to hold Him there

Sacrificed for sin
The spotless Lamb
Now bares scars on Him

Salvation secured
“It is finished!”
He breathes His last


Gone His spirit
His body remains
It is laid to rest

Rich man’s tomb
A stone is rolled.
Is this how it ends?

And those who followed
Now filled with grief
For the leader they have lost

Victory is taken
Their hearts are breakin’.
How could this have happened?

Emmanuel! God with us?
But where is He now?
Has He abandoned His people?


Secured by those in power,
Guards placed outside the tomb,
The body cannot be moved.

Three days later,”
His enemies remember,
“He said He’d rise again.”

Ointment and spices
Have been prepared
By those who were His friends

No one expects
Most don’t understand
The words they’d heard Him speak

Entombed the Messiah
Who gave up His life
Death has seized the day


Righteous for the unrighteous
Innocent for the guilty
The price of holiness’ demand

Israel’s Messiah
Resurrection and Life
He lies inside the grave

Sunday morning
Without warning
The ground begins to shake!

Empty the tomb
Christ has overcome
Death’s score is minus one

No more shall death
Hold Him bound
He arose victoriously


Behold, BLOOD shed
Behold, CROSS crucified
Behold, GRAVE buried
Behold, STONE secured
Behold, RISEN Savior

Behold, Resurrection!

behold_resurrection

Behold, A Baby!

Behold the Messenger!


B
arren the womb

And advanced in years

A couple is without child


E
lizabeth will give birth

To him who first

Would come before the Christ


H
oly shall he be

From birth, all his days

Dedicated to the Lord


O
h, but Zacharias

Does not believe

And is silenced ’til the birth


L
oosened are his lips

When he makes known

John will be the baby’s name


D
umbfounded are all

Who hear of these things

And wonder what this child will become

 

Behold the Message!


B
ethlehem Ephrathah

So little among the towns

A ruler from you shall come forth


E
mmanuel! God with us!

God in the flesh

He shall walk among us


H
is goings from long ago

Eternity is His home

Yet He steps into time


O
come, O come

For Israel longs to see

Her promised Messiah


L
ong ago were recorded

The words of the prophet:

The virgin shall bear a child


D
ressed in humility

Oh Light of Eternity

Birthed that You might save

 

Behold the Messiah!


B
irth foretold

Prophecies of old

Speak of His unique arrival


E
ternity meets time

Wrapped so sublime

In the womb of Mary


H
ow can this be?

For you see,

She never touched a man.


O
vershadowed by

The Spirit of the Most High

He shall be called the Son of God


L
ong-awaited Savior

Born to set His people free

Jesus shall be His name


D
eliverance shall He bring

The sins of many shall He bear

Jew and Gentile alike

 

Behold, Emmanuel!

 

Collaboration Celebration

This was written in collaboration with 3 other people, inspired by the following songs:

“SONG OF MY HEART” – Dave and Nicole Binion

“WHO YOU SAY I AM” – Hillsong

I once was a slave

Bound by my sin

Fighting a battle

I never could win

 

I’m no longer a slave

But a child

Who’s been given

Dangerous and wild

Freedom to pursue

The Messianic King

 

Who’s sealed me

With His Spirit

Like a signet

On His ring

 

You rescuing King

You charge in

Like the cavalry

Ransom in Your hands

You save me

Out of slavery

Into Your glorious life

Into Your inheritance

Sealed as Your own

 

A child of the King

Picked by the One

Who is victorious

When all’s said and done

 

It true I once was a slave

Bound by my sin

Fighting a battle

I never could win

 

But Your victory is mine

And I am yours

And forever we’ll dwell

On eternity’s shores

Tasty Pie

(Parody #2 of “Testify” by NEEDTOBREATHE)

[Chorus]
Hand me a plate, hand me a fork
What’s for dessert tonight?
Here at the table, I’m gonna eat a tasty pie
Give me a piece, it’s called a slice
Open my mouth real wide
Sit at the table and gonna eat a tasty pie

[Verse 1]
With ice cream, it’s pie ala mode
Oh, do I want a scoop or two?
Wait just a sec. I could use a spoon
Oh, here’s just what I’m going to do
Eat it before it gets cold.

[Chorus]
Hand me a plate, hand me a fork
What’s for dessert tonight?
Here at the table, I’m gonna eat a tasty pie
Give me a piece, it’s called a slice
Open my mouth real wide
Sit at the table and gonna eat a tasty pie

[Verse 2]
Bite after bite, I start to get full
Oh, I’ll probably start to regret
Eating it before it gets cold.

[Chorus]
Hand me a plate, hand me a fork
What’s for dessert tonight?
Here at the table, I’m gonna eat a tasty pie
Give me a piece, it’s called a slice
Open my mouth real wide
Sit at the table and gonna eat a tasty pie
Give me a piece, it’s called a slice
Open my mouth real wide
Sit at the table and gonna eat a tasty pie

[Bridge]
Start to regret it, scarfing that pie down
Feel kinda achy, tummy’s making sounds
I still can taste it, feel like passing out
Feels like I’m dying, lying on the ground

[Chorus]
Hand me a plate, hand me a fork
What’s for dessert tonight?
Here at the table, I’m gonna eat a tasty pie
Give me a piece, it’s called a slice
Open my mouth real wide
Sit at the table and gonna eat a tasty pie
Give me a piece, it’s called a slice
Open my mouth real wide
Sit at the table and gonna eat a tasty pie

[Outro]
Gonna eat a tasty pie
(Open my mouth real wide)
Gonna eat a tasty pie
(Open my mouth real wide)
Open my mouth, open my mouth real wide
Gonna eat a tasty pie
Open my mouth, open my mouth real wide
Barfed up a tasty pie

Festive Tie

(Parody #1 of “Testify” by NEEDTOBREATHE)

[Chorus]
Where is my shirt? Where are my socks?
Wanna get my outfit right
Look in the closet and see what I can find
Here are some jeans, here is a glove
Feels like I’m wasting time
Look in the closet and gotta wear my festive tie

[Verse 1]
It’s taking a while. I found my shoes.
Oh, here’s a woolen sweater too
Where are my pants? I need to leave soon
Oh, I am running late for sure
Where is my coat? I don’t know.

[Chorus]
Where is my shirt? Where are my socks
Wanna get my outfit right
Look in the closet and see what I can find
Here are some jeans, here is a glove
Feels like I’m wasting time
Look in the closet and gotta wear my festive tie

[Verse 2]
Day after day, I search through my clothes
Oh, I found a missing belt
Where is my coat? I don’t know.

[Chorus]
Where is my shirt? Where are my socks
Wanna get my outfit right
Look in the closet and see what I can find
Here are some jeans, here is a glove
Feels like I’m wasting time
Look in the closet and gotta wear my festive tie

[Bridge]
Missing the party, looking all around
I’m done pretending. Can it be found?
I think I misplaced it
There’s no way to know
Here in this moment, It cannot be found

[Chorus 2]
Where is my shirt? Where are my socks
Wanna get my outfit right
Look in the closet and see what I can find
Here are some jeans, here is a glove
Feels like I’m wasting time
Look in the closet and gotta wear my festive tie
Here are some jeans, here is a glove
Feels like I’m wasting time
Looked in the closet and
Couldn’t find my festive tie

[Outro]
Couldn’t find my festive tie.
(Couldn’t find my)
Couldn’t find my festive tie.
(Couldn’t find my)
Couldn’t find my, couldn’t find my festive tie.
Feels like I’m wasting time
Couldn’t find my, couldn’t find my festive tie.
Wasted so much time