Song of the South: All Souls Cafe

As we talk about re-writing our own stories through the process of healing our lives both in experiences of forgiveness and working through grief, trauma, and loss, I remembered a poem that I wrote about my own journey to work through my own sense of who I am.  In our healing journeys we chose to rediscover us in new ways.  I hope this poem helps you open to this aspect of your own journey.

Your progressive redneck preacher,



All Souls Cafe

coffeeshopIn a quiet coffee shop they gather,

Allison Kraus piping over the speakers.


“Water please,” the first to sit mutters

as his disheveled form plops unceremoniously.

His rasping voice continues “it is at least free.

“I’ve been on better times”, he whispers.

“Life has not been good to me.

I almost couldn’t make it here.”


He barely sits, nervously moving,

eyes racing, with the look of one on the run.

“It just isn’t working

each time I think I have found the one

through my fingers it streams

a handful of sand and sea”.


coffee shop 2

Across the table, goateed and fedoraed,

head high, shoulders erect, sits another.

Bold, courageous, eyes bright, radiant aura.

“Let me help you, my brother,”

he says confidently, no cracking voice

clear and crisp like spring rain,

while he flashes out a shining card.


“Things may not be easy,” he says,

“it hasn’t come together yet, to be sure.

But you see I’m just on my way.

Of dreams I will never be poor

and with them I will lay

a path to a bright tomorrow.”

Credit card in hand, he pays

a meal for them both,

bought on borrowed hope.


cafe 2

He passes across the table a bright colored

hard backed book, dogeared by years.

Its pages open, when their eyes turn outward…

The bell sounds, footsteps falling from the door.

Looking they both see him, dark clad.

His laugh like an ocean roar

yet with eyes focused and sad.


He pulls a seat back, ever studious, each move measured.

Leather book, with golden pages, he carefully lays

between them. “I have my own Word,”

he says, “with not a single trace

of the uncertainty of your empty dreams”.

He gestures, finger outstretched,

at his goateed companion’s open book.


“I always wonder why you don’t take that damned collar off,”

the dreamer speaks, “its white seems so stifling

and the heat is too strong for black.

You need a touch of color, like me”


His laughter is like robin’s cry in morning

and the whippoorwill at even-time


And so the dreamer and visionary,

the failure who cannot provide,

the man of God on holy mission

gather to have another meeting of the minds.


Looking in this soul cafe,

as always, my heart trembles

hoping, fearful, ever wondering

which voice shall have pull

which path shall be my way

whose word is my truth?

inner-peace (1)




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