One with Wuhan

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

The air has suddenly become deadly
and breathing more precious than ever.
Closeness has been suspended;
distancing is the norm.
The news is not uplifting;
fear is on the rise.
Businesses are closing;
people stay at home.
Churches do not gather;
preaching is done on-line.
Grocery shelves are empty;
panicking, we buy!
The future is uncertain:
Are we doomed to die?

When faced with our mortality,
our priorities go awry.
But he who sits upon the throne
dispenses justice on the earth.
He hears the cries of beasts and men,
and singles out Wuhan.

Now all the world must suffer.
The death of all, the sin of one.

Copyright 2020 Dennis M. Cortes

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Lord of Broken Hearts

Lord of broken hearts and healing balm,
press upon my heart your gentle palm.
Assuage the pain! My comforts wane!
When I am weak, your face I seek
though you are Spirit without form.
Lord, you are strong. Oh, quell the storm
that rages in my hapless breast
and grant to me, your troubled child, sweet rest!

Copyright 1998 Dennis M. Cortes

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


You can’t do everything:
Even flying fish don’t really fly.
Compared to soaring eagles,
it’s no contest.
Turtles weren’t made to race like hares
and men weren’t meant to hug like bears.
Focus like a rifle;
don’t scatter like a shotgun.
Ready, aim, fire;
not Ready, fire, aim!
Do one thing and do it well.

Copyright 2020 Dennis M. Cortes

Photo by Jongsun Lee on Unsplash

True Heroes

True heroes have hearts that bleed
for helpless arms that try to move
great, immovable, rocks.

Hopeless endeavors, prodigious
expenditures of vain strength, sweating
drops of blood; and yet
whistling they push. These
heroes with bleeding hearts
whistle while they push
with all their might against the rocks.

The rocks remain unmoved.

“At least we tried.” Are they,
then, heroes or plain fools?

Copyright 1998 Dennis M. Cortes

In the end . . .

The winding path so full of thorns
Will end at Heaven’s Gate
Where angels blowing golden horns
Will welcome my arrival.
And I, amazed beyond my hopes,
Will weep with tears of joy
To see that God had lavishly
Prepared all this for me.

Be gone, therefore, all thoughts unkind –
Forgive me for not trusting!
Behind all pain, your love did reign,
And joy shall be the ending.
Behind all pain – Yes! – love did reign,
And joy shall be the ending.

Copyright 2002. Dennis M. Cortes

(Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash)


Taking care of the past
is what stewards do.
Old and musty books
must taste the outside air
and be reborn in youthful minds.
Ancient wisdom must shine forth
and illumine the way.
Treasures buried deep
must be retrieved and scattered
to benefit the poor.
And as I speak the words of life,
the past takes shape today,
determining our future.

Copyright 2020 Dennis M. Cortes

(Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

Alpha Monkey

Alpha monkey, swinging wildly,
From one fruit tree to the next —
He’s the object of their envy;
Their misfortune can’t be fixed.

He is high and they are low,
He is grinning as he goes,
While the tribe lives so and so,
He is way above his foes.

Until came that fateful morning
When he reached out for a vine:
Yes, he reached out but caught nothing!
It is time for beasts to dine.

As his destiny unravelled
(His good fortune then was ending),
His compatriots all marvelled:
”Now we didn’t see this coming!”

Copyright 2020 Dennis M. Cortes

(Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash)

The Coming Change

The change this world is waiting for
Will come about through little things:
A simple song, a lovely poem,
A striking though imperfect thought.

Like shards of light that pierce the dark,
These broken fragments of the heart
Are smoke-soaked mirrors that reflect
A deep undying primal Light

That brighter grows as ages pass,
Unseen by unaccustomed eyes,
But soon will be the common sight:
On(c)e pierced, now piercer of the night!

Copyright 2020 Dennis M. Cortes

(Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash)