Release (A Poem)

Release (A Poem) March 4, 2020

Last year, I experienced one of the best things that’s happened to me in ministry. A dream that I’ve had since 2003 of a dance worship experience came into fruition as the result of a conversation with a Labyrinth worker named Julia and her friend Jen. It’s called Release. I wrote a blog post explaining the rationale last year. It happened on Wednesday nights. This year Release went dormant for a season but now it’s relaunching this week on Thursday night at 9 pm. Here is a poem I wrote about the concept.


“Proclaim release to the prisoners.” Isaiah 61:1
“Anyone who will not receive the kingdom like a child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15

You don’t have to hurry;
You can throw a dance party
In the middle of the sidewalk
Without asking permission.

You can be 5 minutes early for class today
Instead of 15 minutes early;
You will still have time to pull out your laptop
And sharpen your pencil.

So what if a recent survey said that
A vast majority of people between the ages
Of 15 and 25 would never consider dancing
Without being already stoned?

You’re not the vast majority of people,
And dancing sober is the real medicine,
Because it’s awkward and people are looking;
When someone goes out of sync, they get nervous.

Awkwardness is where beauty is found;
Only awkward conversations are real;
Everything else is a script the market planted
To shape you into products it can sell to itself.

Dancing takes you off the conveyor belt.
As long as you’re on the conveyor belt,
It doesn’t matter how many memes you share;
You will not change the world at all.

How will you stand out?
Says the campus sign that manufactures business minors.
It sure as hell is not audacious to do big things;
There’s no poetry in big, or audacious.

The poetry happens in the tickling of hair
When it gets in our face while we swing our hips;
Because messed up hair combined with laughter
Is the way that people fall in love.

Yes, you can fall in love again;
Even though your heart has been broken
Far too many times for one lifetime,
Your wounds when they’re healed will glow like jewels.

The Daoists say that we can massage ourselves,
But it’s much better to cuddle with strangers
And discover that we’ve been having
The same conversation through multiple lifetimes.

You have always been known;
Someone is watching you who loves
Every fidget that you make
And treasures every facial expression.

Because you are how God expresses themselves;
You have a fire that cannot be put out
No matter how many products the market
Tries to smother your skin with.

It was already perfect the day you were born;
And that’s why the journey to growth
Is actually about becoming children again

Because children dance without thinking about it.

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