GOOD

I’ll pass before your very eyes 

And I’ll smile and catch your gaze. 

Without a mask, without disguise, 

I appear within a moment,  

At times to your surprise, 

I’m here.  I’m on display. 

 

No need to glance at scripture 

Or reach up and out to God. 

Put away your sacred texts! 

You’ll see my gentle nod, 

And you’ll know me when you see me, 

When I appear to you. 

I’ve been waiting since you woke today. 

 

I’m the good you’re meant to do. 

 

I’m the extra cash that’s needed not 

By the wallet you carry ‘round. 

 

I’m the extra pause, the empathetic thought 

You’re waiting, your hanging around, 

Your patient, but not insistent hand 

that you hold out to the weakened walker 

That can, for just a moment, 

Be the strength no one else offer. 

 

I’m not the busy that you make with your hands 

Or the worry you forge in your mind. 

I’m not the anger held in your heart.  

I’m not the lust inside your eyes. 

I’m not the words you say in the darkness, 

Or the judgement-throwing stones. 

I’m not the tension in your neck, 

Or the ache inside your bones. 

 

I’ll be well within your reach,  

As on your path, you’re passing through. 

  

I’m the good you’re meant to do today, 

And I’m waiting here for you. 

Keeton CoffmanComment
SKY

Stretch out the sky.

Stretch it out high above me, wide before me, all around me.

Past the power lines. And, swallow up the airplanes.

Color it with my favorite dreams.

Let me melt in it's abyss of grace and wonderful terror.

Swallow me whole, you Phantom of Love.

Swallow me whole in the wonder of your love and color.

- Keeton

Keeton CoffmanComment
KAIROS

This is the room where she’ll lay her head.

The is the table where they’ll share the bread.

This is the march where their voice will be heard. 

This is the desk where she’ll write the words. 

This is the chapel where he and she will stand. 

This is the day, hand in hand. 

This is the talk where truths will be told.

This is the town where his dreams unfold. 

This is the sunset that will paint this sky, 

before the night he says goodbye. 

These are the shoes he’ll wear to school. 

These are her instruments, these are his tools. 

This is the year... they’ll fight the cancer. 

This is the season... she’ll get the answer. 

This is the room where the baby sleeps. 

This is the floor she cleans and sweeps, 

and paces at night with a furrowed brow, 

until her THEN becomes her NOW. 

This is the vote that will decide their freedom. 

This is the car that she’ll drive to leave him. 

These are the hands... 

These are the prayers... 

This is the book...

These are the stairs... 

 

This is the day that waits here for you.  

Fate?... free will?... not one, but two! 

And we step out knowing, that here this day 

Is a road though rugged, yet somehow paved.  

And that was the saw, and that was the wood 

From that tree that at one time stood, 

But was then cut down, and was again raised up! 

 

With that Man hanging… 

drinking The Cup. 

That waited for him, and him alone,  

to drink, and on our behalf atone. 

 

Do I make my way, or is it Your hand that leads? 

Are these days appointed?  Am I free indeed? 

Did you struggle that Day when you were led accused 

and The Chosen Way... you didn’t have to choose? 

 

But You did.  And here we are. 

 

You and I... 

 

You made the way, to create the time 

that waits for me, our paths align. 

 

This great mystery, Oh Lord … can it be true?!! 

 

Our colliding… me into You!! 

Keeton CoffmanComment
LAUGHTER

Laughter, old friend!  Your power to remind,

your power to teach, your power to rewind

days that have stacked 

like cargo on my back,

but like a child in an open field, 

you and I slip through time.

 

Fixed at my desk.  Fixed at the wheel.  

Fixed in my heart, a desire to feel some peace in my soul,

some sense of control,

so I turn to The Work,

to bring reason and rhyme.

 

But The Work is a thief, and The Work never pays.

The Work takes from me, nearly all of the days

that I hand over, each time

in hopes It will align,

all that lacks in my frame

with all He has designed.

 

But Laughter… my teacher.  You show me what I’ve lost.

I built it, indeed!  But oh God, at what cost!?

 

What burdens have I held that were not mine to bear?

What worries I’ve made habit, were not mine to care?

What lines on my face, that will always remain

should have been wrinkles of laughter…

 

instead, they wrinkled from pain.

 

Oh, Laughter! So curious, the nature of your voice.

For one laughs out of compulsion, never genuinely by choice!

You erupt from the soul, like a hidden truth,

buried like a diamond,

then dancing like the youth

I’d forgotten years ago when so little I knew…

 

So, so little I owned!

So, so much to be learned! 

and so much to be wrought

and still, in the midst of so little, 

I never once had to be taught…

 

how to laugh!!

I’ve always known how.  

 

As if by design…

 

As if God himself wove into me this chosen little rhyme,

like an echo from his heart,

like a chorus from his song

that would command me, though I worry,

and remind me I belong

 

To the One who is Happy.

To the One who made laughter.

Who made my smile, and smiles on me

both now, and ever after.

 

And now, I sit at my desk.  Next to me, my children play.

Where is their list?  Where is their planner today?!

They are learning, they are growing, and in their way… they even work!

 

They build, they create, 

they design, they calculate,

 

they sweat, and they strengthen

all the while, I hear laughter…

 

But me… it is Control that I am after.

 

Oh, Control… you deceptive little phantom, who’s promises are empty!

I turn from you now!!…  Back to my God of Plenty…

Back to The Father of Laughter

Whose Kingdom invites…all children

 

even me…

 

even me…

 

the one in whom He delights!!

Keeton CoffmanComment
STAND

Go

And when you get there, you will know

Where the rebels lay their heads

And sleep with dreams atop their worn out beds

 

And Go

To where the warriors sit underneath the summer suns

In a world no longer burdened by soldiers’ guns

 

Eyes for seeing, air for breathing

Tongues for singing, feet for dancing

Hearts to hold like empty hands

Darling wait until the morning comes again…

And we make our stand.

 

Run

To the land for which the Son has bled and won

Though these tears you cannot hide

I’ll be waiting there for you on the other side

 

Eyes for weeping, stars in the evening

In all your grieving, my shoulder for leaning

Hearts to hold like empty hands

Darling wait until the morning comes again…

And we make our stand.

 

Go…

And when you get there you will see

Swords hammered into plowshares…

finally.

Keeton CoffmanComment
THE WHEEL

Am I wayward in my pursuing

To do the work I’ve dreamt of doing?...

The healing

The building

Breaking

and making...

 

To take the risks I once feared taking.

 

To humor the heart that so long has been aching,

The one I’ve spent my youth forsaking!

 

Though my will shall weaken

And my eyes shall stray

Though well worn paths will appear today 

Let my word bind me, wax and seal,

With my hand held steady upon the wheel.

 

I am yours, and Oh road, you are mine

One part mundane, one part divine

Fate meets free will

Like a horizon line!

 

I have seen it there, though not with eyes

Like a bleeding sun over gaping skies

Like a ghost at day, it’s a pale white moon

Over a waveless ocean sky of blue!

 

And it lies in silence just beyond my reach

And I close my eyes “oh Lord, I beseech Thee give me Tomorrow! That I may wake to feel...

 

Once again, my hand upon the wheel.”

- Keeton 

Keeton CoffmanComment
BREAD

I have so many questions for you.   

But maybe enough time for just this one today: 

 

How did it feel when Lucifer was there  

with you in the desert 

when you heard him say: 

 

“If you’re the son of God then... 

 

…do something with your life. 

…show us a sign. 

…feed yourself. 

…what’s wrong with having a wife?! 

…make some sense of all this time you’ve wasted. 

... how about some food for those hungry faces. 

... you? The answer? Don’t be so naive. 

... if you don’t ask, how will you then receive? 

... yes, but you just ask to satisfy your own desires. 

... prove to me that God is not a liar. 

... you really think they’ll listen? 

... you don’t see you’re out of time? 

... why haven’t you done the math? 

... you’re already running behind. 

... why can’t you make it work? 

... why can’t you stop the pain? 

... set things as they should be! 

... if God loves you, He’ll explain. 

... get a grip, find your focus, find the quiet. 

... stop these voices in your head 

... stop here just a minute... 

... turn these stones 

 

... into bread.” 

 

Could you ever calm the voices?

Could you make them go away? 

Cascading and colliding...in your head 

Are they what led 

you to say... 

 

“Deliver us from evil?” 

 

Jesus ... deliver me today. 

Keeton CoffmanComment
ROCKET BOY

When I was younger, I headed to the playground, because I liked the swings.  

I liked to believe I was riding a rocket 

One with broken wings.

 

It would shake as it hit the atmosphere 

And break as the ground came near 

And I’d eject, flying through the sky.

Imagination was my ally. 

 

Explanation played second string 

In a world where dreams were king.

On the playground, your eyes could only see 

what your imagination said “Let it be!” 

And so I spent the days, on the playground swing 

In a world where dreams were king. 

 

Then, Imagination lost it’s rank, and sank 

When my world grew around me, somehow, 

With the importance of the “Here and Now.”

 

Not for loss, but it seemed best to put to rest  

the Rocket Boy’s eyes that saw unseen 

The world where dreams were king, 

For a world that cues with immediacy 

What’s urgent, important and easily held, 

What’s heard, and noticed, and missed, and seen and smelled 

What’s due, and to, and from, and untrue, 

And sharp and hurried, frazzled and worried…

 

“Things that matter are in sight that’s plain!” 

Thus we choose to see only things that… can… be… explained.  

 

And this has merit, as any Rocket Boy can tell.

Surely, a dirty rocket can be a living hell! 

“Clean yourself, son,” are words to live by! 

And wisdom gained, is life attained. 

 

But wait... 

Why do we gravitate... to that which is “explained”? 

 

I confess it does come with ease, to focus only on what one sees.  

To move around the dirt that one can feel, down in the sandbox, where one kneels.

 

Yet, is Faith not the language of Heaven and of Space? 

Telling us the stars that we don’t see, are more real and eternal

Than ever we dreamed they’d be?  

 

Is the rocket not meant for flight to these galaxies unseen? 

And the mind, which is of course for sight, not also meant to dream?!? 

 

Dear World, I offer this: 

 

Now that I have learned the lessons to manage “here and now” 

Oh that you would release your grasp and let me sail, and soar, and rocket past 

The backlit night with its diamond stars 

Into eternal bright, where the sunlight sings

Where Rocket Boys and dreams are king!

 

For God himself shouts with twinkle in eye:

 

“To what extent can you measure Love that’s higher than the sky? 

And how will you quantify Mercy that’s wider than a horizon’s line?

My Child!… if you do not give Imagination its wings,

how will Love have the breath with which It sings!?!”

 

You need another measure of reason if you are to understand  

How I dance between the starlit borders

of the purple galaxies I’ve ordered, 

How I dodge the comets I have created

with galactic cosmic words

 

to meet you in the morning…whispers silent… yet still, heard.”

 

Oh my God, no amount of reason can I use to measure 

The One who truly stretches past forever? 

 

I will therefore sing, out here where daylight rings,

on the edge of reason, and what is seen

crying out into eternity 

with Faith’s forgotten voice,

 

“I am one of the Rocket Boys!”

 

Out here upon the swings, where the sun shines bright…

 

May I fall into the light!…

 

Out where dreams are king!

Keeton CoffmanComment
HOW TO DO A BACK FLIP

Before I was a musician, I was a competitive gymnast.  I was actually pretty good and won a couple of High School National Championships.  And today... today, I'm going to teach you how to do a back flip in 11 simple and easy steps.  Read on:

1 - Remember that people have done them for years.  

You are not the first. This is possible.

2 - Acknowledge that your brain is a liar.  

Because it is.

3 - Your brain will tell say things like “You’re going to die.”

You won’t.

4 - Your heart will begin to beat like you’re going to die.  

You’re not.

5 - You hate the sensation of flipping because you can’t see where you are going.  

That’s okay.  That’s natural.  But, completely ignore this feeling.

6 - Your stomach will begin to feel like it’s turning inside out.  

It’s not.  That’s just adrenaline.

7 - Your lungs may gasp for air as if you are breathing your last. 

Relax, you are not.  Things are about to get awesome.

8 - Now ignore the terrible, painful failure scenarios that bounce around like bullets in your head. 

They are make believe.  It’s just your imagination.

9 - Tell yourself “I can do this.”  

Because that’s the truth.  You can.  And you need to be reminded.  At least, I do.

10 - Finally: Tell yourself “I will do this.” 

Decide and commit.  That’s important.

  Your heart flips first, then the body follows.

11 - Jump.

**Apply these instructions to anything you attempt today… even back flips**

Keeton CoffmanComment
MY SON

At morning rise

At day’s end

Though marriages crumble

Though forsaking friends should leave you naked

and hungry in tears

broken by darkness

haunted by fears

whispered in ears

by snuggled toothed demons

in the cold of the morning

in the silence of evening

and at the end of a journey

when all you bring home

are the bruises delivered

by a world that alone

never gave pause 

to your impossible dreams

to your visions, to your calling,

your hidden identity,

and so trampled underfoot and then off on its way

left you crushed in the dust, 

in the mire, in the clay, 

and the mud, and the dirt that covers the scars

that remind you of the gap

between the boy that you are

and the man that you hoped someday you’d become

remember…

remember…

remember…

 

 

Remember, that you are my son.

FINGERPRINTS

Making things is signing up for the Miracle Business.  

I don’t know how songs arrive in my head.  But when I enlist, when I show up, when I declare “Open for Business” - they arrive.  Miraculously. 

I’m not saying I make great works of art, I’m just explaining that the nature of their arrival is a bit miraculous to me.

Sometimes they arrive fully formed.  Sometimes, they wake me up at night.  Sometimes I have to chisel away for days, and spin and spin in my head, until I get to that sculpture I can see in my soul.  

This is strange, and fun, and miraculous to me.  Moreover, the songs have my voice in them.  They have an identity to them.  They have my Fingerprint on them.

But they aren’t works of my will.  In a way, they moved Through me.  

They’re not really From me.

 

My wife and I are about to have our third child in June.  A much cooler miracle.

Having another baby has reminded me how miraculous the whole process is. 

Our little one will be brought into this world through my lovely wife.  Through her struggle, through her care, through sacrifice, through joy, through pleasure, through pain… through love… 

Through.

 

And this baby will have it’s very own Fingerprint, it’s own personality, expressions, loves, nuances, talents, dreams and gifts. 

That’s the Miracle Business at its best.

And maybe it’s because babies are being born all the time, that we call it Normal.

And Normal has a dangerous way of spreading throughout our entire way of believing.  Starting with our perception, right to the heart of our dreams, and piercing, sometimes with a harsh permanence, the foundation of our faith.

And so we subscribe to Normal.  And then we expect Normal.  And so, miracles become weird to us.

 

But guess what, Miracles are normal.

 

I encounter so many things each day that don’t even come close to having an explanation (Beauty, for example).  And I have stopped pretending that I can or need to explain them.  It cuts in to the time I have to enjoy them!  Case in point, Baby #3.

I don’t know if you believe in the Miracle Business but I’m here to tell you that you are already in it whether you like it or not.  In fact, you are the product of it.  You are Through, not From - just like every other new born that grew up, put on shoes, and is currently walking the earth right now.

Your wishes, your dreams (especially the daunting ones), your voice, your handwriting, your way of speaking, your DNA, your vision, your awesome smile, your goals, your haunting fears, your sufferings that have so definitively shaped you, and finally your Fingerprint

 

Ah, yes - The Fingerprint.

 

That ever so present reminder that everything you touch today has your signature on it.  The one you didn’t give yourself.  The one that was given to you when you were born Through not From.

We are all the product of the Miracle Business.  And I don’t think it’s arrogant for any of us to say “I’m in the Miracle Business.”

After all, when we are writing, or running, or painting, or cooking, or coaching, or leading, or loving, or building, or healing, or holding, or speaking, or singing, or protecting, or dancing… 

 

or just trying to write another humble little song…

 

We’re not the maker of that which is being made.

We’re just the vehicle.  We’re just the messenger.

 

Through… not From.

And yet - miraculously - these products of the Miracle Business do in fact have our Fingerprints on them.

 

I wonder if that’s why He gave us Fingerprints in the first place?


More of Keeton’s Journal Entries:

  // Through // Gravity //  Beauty Is Real // more

 

  

Keeton CoffmanComment
THROUGH

We must go Through it.    

For reasons we do not know.

 

Through enemy lines, to victory

Through ignorance, to sympathy

Through depression, to empathy

Through confusion, to wisdom

Through pointless repetition, 

Through ruthless competition

to mastery, to beauty, to fulfill our promise, our duty

Through sacrifice, to save

To life, Through grave

To rescue, Through fire

To grasp, though Through barbed wire

To realize we were not alone

Through the storm, to get home.

Through labor, now to birth

to learn of our faith’s worth

Through fear, and now we know its voice

has little power against our choice

to trust in He, who is strong

and woven in us like a song,

with it’s melody holding true

though in the storm, we pass Through

we used to flee! We used to run!…

but now we cross Through, and behold… The sun!

 

Christ went Through it, and was condemned

to walk Through torture at the hands of men

Through the city gates, down and then

Through the hours on the cross, 

into the hands of death, and the loss

of the Father’s love, and down to hell

but Through it he crossed, and in hand he held

keys to give to you and me, 

chains now fall, cells emptied!!

 

And still, He understands better than I ever knew,

the nature of this tempest that I journey Through.

And that at times, it’s all I can do

to believe, indeed, “Always, I’m with you.”

 

Bread in hand, Cup in the other

Evidence that we have a Brother

From this day, forever true,

Who went Through it, to go Through it…

 

With you.

Keeton CoffmanComment
GRAVITY

Gravity - not the mountain - is the climber’s opponent. The never sleeping constant that refuses to allow the climber a single inch of effortless progress.  It never tires.  It never rests.  It never quits.

And yet, climbers return to the mountain.  

But why? The view? The challenge? The thin mountain air?

My theory is this: Climbers climb. 

It is their irreducible minimum - if you don’t climb, you are not a climber.  Climbers climb.  

It is their constant.  It is their identity.  It is not the height of their climb, nor the length, nor the difficulty that makes them climbers.  It is the factthat they climb, that makes them climbers.

Now, the other constant: Gravity.

Gravity is the opponent.  Not Failure - it is a teacher.  Not Limits - they are boundaries, daring us to break them. Not Pain - it is a harsh, but honest friend, another teacher... reminding us we are mortal.

But Gravity… Gravity is the opponent.

And though it does not sleep, or tire, or quit... it is in fact powerless.

Here’s why: it can slow the climber.  It can exhaust the climber.  It can even pull the climber off the mountain, laying her out flat on her back, wounded, broken and begging for breath. 

But only the climber can decide to stop climbing.  Only the climber can walk away.  Only the climber can decide, “I no longer climb." 

Only the climber, not Gravity, can forfeit his Identity. 

Climbers climb. 

And, Gravity reminds us that we are climbing.  When we feel It's pull, we know we are headed upward.  Please believe me.

The noise in your head...the self-created voices of your silent critics...the social or professional backlash of your brave stand...the circumstantial repercussions of your faithful walk... the fear that wakes you...the worries that won't let you sleep... that which pulls on you relentlessly.... Is your reminder:  You are climbing. 

Gravity goes down.  Climbers go up.  They will always exist in opposition.

And as your desire to climb grows, so does the pull of Gravity.

Don't believe me?... ask The Climbers.

And now, as we face the Gravity of our day, the Gravity of our calling, and the Gravity of our Identity... As we face the climb ahead... a blessing:

May we link arms today as we move into the fray, into confusion, into the feelings of insecurity, out of mediocrity, out of ineffectiveness, away from wasted time, wasted talent, wasted resources. Through the sickness, through the weakness, through the depression and pain.  Past the chains of bitterness and hatred that tether us to the ground.  Shaking off the habits that own us, the hang ups that haunt us, the heartache that holds us captive.  Away from the doubt that leaves eyes darkened and hearts hardened.  And with the Faith that grants us the strength to reach up and take hold of The Hand that reaches down to take hold of ours... pulling us higher.... and higher... And Higher...

Against Gravity.

This song is for us.  Climb on.

On a mission, 
Keeton

PS - Thanks Marc.

Keeton CoffmanComment
BEAUTY IS REAL

Hi from Colorado!!  I’m visiting the family here in Eagle CO and I’m looking at some rather breathtaking mountains as I write this.  I feel small ... and it feels awesome.

I’d like to talk about Beauty this morning.

We dance with nature in a fascinating manner.  It’s beautiful.  Here’s what makes me pause today:

Our surroundings, our environment, our everyday ... nature... creation... whatever... It also speaks Beauty into our souls.  It is not simply matter and molecular make up that surrounds us.  It is Beauty.

Mountains are Beautiful.  Sunsets are Beautiful.  Snowfall is Beautiful.  My wife and children are Beautiful.  And the intricacies with which they are composed are Beautiful in and of themselves.

That which surrounds us inarguably has a dual purpose - the first is function (air, water, heat, it works)... but then the second is Beauty.  Yes... yes... but why? How? Can someone explain this to me?! How do these mountains show me what Beauty is... and shine it in simple, marvelous glory right in to the middle of my soul.

Like a gift.  Like a kiss.

Does that seem strange to you?   Does it make you feel like you belong here?  Does it make you wonder if that Beauty has a Source?  It does for me.

Do the stars speak to you at night?  Does the ocean remind you of a roaring monster, held at bay by an unending shore?  Are you like me... and these mountains feel like guardian giants - ones that call forth my dreams this morning - the dreams that require faith simply to dare to imagine them. To speak them out loud in to existence.  Giant dreams.  Mountain moving dreams.

That which surrounds me here feels as though it rises up to meet me, and to remind me - Beauty is real.  And in my heart, Beauty whispers - “You are noticed.  You belong here. There is purpose and harmony and melody to what you are... And Beauty.”

This crazy way of thinking led me to write a song called The Tribe.  I included the lyrics below, which I hope you’ll read as well - they mean a great deal to me - and with that... have a Beautiful day.

On a mission,

Keeton

THE TRIBE  // LYRICS

We dance in the wheat fields in the night 

by the Blackstone Lake under moonlight

we dance by the fire as it speaks

we dance for the strong and for the weak

Come up with me now, come up with me now, come up with me now...

we dance in the street lights under rain

by the Bay Ridge River train

we dance for the ghosts in the summer sun

we are mighty, we are one

Come up with me now, come up with me now, come up with me now...

at the edge of the ocean as it breathes

heavily like a monster as it sleeps

silent and still in the twilight

we sing our songs at the sunrise

and race through the trees as the day warms

chased by the warmth of the summer storms

we are the daughters and the sons

we are the daughters and the sons

Come up with me now, come up with me now, come up with me now...

Keeton CoffmanComment
MUSIC IS A MYSTERY

Hello from Lubbock TX.

Heading west this weekend along with friends in Josh Grider’s band, and happy that I’m getting to open for such a great singer and friend.  Traveling today, I couldn’t help but think how strange music is.  My thoughts starting to drift and wonder, “What is it really for?”

It doesn’t take away hunger.  

It doesn’t build anything.

It doesn’t always make sense and it doesn’t solve problems.  Why does it matter?

Sometimes the best music doesn’t even make us happy.  Sometimes I listen to music because it makes me sad.

How did something so transient become so important to the human race?  So important to me?

How do random frequencies played by random materials sung by strangers reveal to me something about myself?

How does it help me travel through time to when I was a freshman in high school?

How does it remind me what it felt like the first time I kissed Sarah?

The answer:  It shouldn’t.  

And this is a mystery, because you and I both know - it does.  And strangely, it holds this power over us when we least expect it, in places we don’t know it will find us, even in our memories as melodies reemerge like a Ghost’s whisper, like a lullaby, like an echo in our soul.

Like every time I hear ‘Racing In The Streets’ by Springsteen. Or when I sing ‘The Tribe’ on stage.

It leads me to believe that none of us are merely flesh and bone.  We have a soul.  Maybe that word scares you… pretend for a minute, that it doesn’t.  Or name it what you like.  But music is the language of this soul, this Self.  And the funny thing is, we need music to help us hear it’s Voice.  Because on our own - full of worries, and stress, and anger, and exhaustion - we can’t hear what we need to hear the most.  Even when we concentrate and we try.  It’s frustrating to me.

I can’t make the thoughts stop.  I can’t make the worries cease.  I can’t calm the seas… the waves tumble over me.  Again. And Again.  They tumble… over me.

And then I hear that opening line on the piano… and I breathe. And I breathe out.

And that’s why we need music.  It speaks to us, but IT is not of us.  Now the question we must each ask ourselves is this… 

Why is that so?

I look forward to writing to you again.  And I hope to see you on the road soon.

On a mission,

Keeton