August 18, 2017

Until The End of the Line – Poetry That Never Betrays (by Photographer, James Cartee)

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(original photograph by James L. Cartee, III)

Seaside Memorial Park and Funeral Home, Corpus Christi, Texas
Nothing Separates Our Shepherd Until The End of The Line
February 10, 2015

Until The End of the Line

While fighting against the supposed advocate, I did not know who you truly were.
You showed yourself in the blue punk daft of a teenage skateboard chick.
Society presents flakes at a sudden moment’s notice in the second;
However I saw a sudden fascination deeper inside cognitive health traumas.

After a few months’ time, starting again to realign priorities with opportunity,
Eyes open to sunrises and sunsets on ocean fronts to fit the pair created
In heavenly times from the very onset of the wombs’ conception to breathe.
I gaze from the Vulcan’s monument to realize the captivation of paths collided.

Darkness causes memories to fade in the mental drunkenness stupor
With continuous exertions to forget and even ignore the adversity in relationship
From a break-up in time from over a decade ago when roses wilted
And close relatives died in grief alone with no one around.

“I’m not going to fight you. You’re my friend.” – mentioned the cowboy city slicker.
Leadership, rather than management titles, brings forward examples set to inspire.
Inspired you were to work, write, educate, and bear my Ugandan children.
I believe that your hard work beats anyone’s talent when talent does not work hard.

You stand by me. You serve by me. You travel with me. Your share your soul with me.
No longer the bare essentials of survival mode, we push barriers to break for more
In the purpose-driven foundations that God has abundant blessings ready and given.
Our journey took an unexpected path to bring my belief in beauty, once again, back to life.

You took me by surprise. You stole my heart. You held my hand tighter
With fingers interwoven where I knew you would never let go
To die, to surmount, to live, to decline only to rise from death,
In April hotel room showers, fireworks sounded off at the bliss of a new beginning.

Hope arose. Angels cheered. Destiny prevailed.
And home-bound, you received the answer from heaven in your walk
That brought us closer, not farther in distance,
Because from Austin to the ocean, we made our 2,000 mile desert journey.

Tracks in sand simultaneous together stuck like Elmer’s glue,
With the example of Grandfather, Father, and now son, all of the same name,
I honorably commit myself to finish this race with where I eternally started,
Because I’m with you until the end of the line.

 

March 6, 2015

 

(original poetry by James L. Cartee III)

THE BOOK TOUR – one small step at a time….Auburn, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Corpus Christi

I often grow impatient with myself and where I think I should be in life, instead of where God has me, right now in this very moment. I overlook the obvious blessings and the successes currently in front of me. My two newly released books, through Woodson and Knowles Publishing Group, titled Twenty-Three Deeply Rooted Confessions and Thirty-Five Virtuous Blueprints, illustrates movement forward, going somewhere instead of nowhere. The first text contains 23 poems and 23 photographs and the other, 35 poems and 35 photographs.

While most never get rich off poetic words combined with photography, there is still pride in the creation of a traditionally published book. It is one more step in the right direction….an eternal direction where dreams eventually await me. The greatest of achievements in life involve climbing over the highest of mountains one step and hand hold at a time.

I have scheduled the following book tour and signings in the next month for the two books mentioned before. I would very much like for you to attend and celebrate this recent accomplishment with me.

FIRST STOP:

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 7:00-9:00 PM
At The Gnus Room
108 S 8th St
Opelika, Alabama 36801

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/668622926567700

SECOND STOP:

Thursday, October 9, 2014, 3:00-6:00 PM
At McKay’s Bookstore-Chattanooga
7734 Lee Hwy
Chattanooga, TN 37421

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1474528916149226

THIRD STOP:

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 7:00-10:00 PM
At the Inman Perk Coffee Bookstore
240 North Highland Ave., Suite H
Atlanta, GA 30307

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/854683257882835

FOURTH STOP:

Saturday, November 1, 2014, 2:00-4:30 PM
At Lori’s Booknook
1005 E Concho St
Rockport, TX 78382

Legendary Grandparents – Heroes We Always Hope to Be (Poppi, Guy Allison)

The photograph below was taken at Poppi’s last Christmas this past year in 2013 with my sister, Allison. I thought the image depicted the warmth of a unforgettable hug.

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To honor my grandfather in addition to his previous dedication blog post, I also wanted to add this poem. I think the words for the piece speak for all us who have lost a loved one.

Poppi: The Moments Missed

I stare into open space before me in the Corpus Christi sunset skies.
Oh my, I think to myself, how quickly all time flies.
Then in the moment of unsettledness, I remember the warmth
And the gentleness expressed in your last words spoken by your side.

I think of the moments with you missed.
I think of my wedding day, the girl of mine, you never met
The love expressed through my forever wife kissed.

Two more graduations with degrees I continue to earn
The ceremonies you never made with recognition that
I will never stop to study and never stop to learn.

As a man of mature stature, tall, and farmer tanned with one good eye.
He and my blind Boston Terrier, King David, could play the pirate’s patch.
Poppi portrayed the wisdom of a Mister Miyagi and well-formed bonsai.

He served our country in the navy, raised five spirited girls,
Managed a business, adopted a son, ranched a farm,
And often complimented my great good looks and hansom curls.

Like my grandmother from the Cartee clan,
I continue to admire and wonder if I will ever be compared
To the Jesus example set and legend I met in this man.

Some knew him as a friend in his familiar name, Guy.
I knew the grandfather figure of silent strength called Poppi.
Without his presence in our lives, we still fail to say good bye.

He was the stone in our family foundations
As many continue lost in the journey
With no destination in the renewal of Christ inspirations.

The spark between us continues in my heart to electrify
In the angel around I know sitting still on my knees
As reality reminds me of your loss in the tears I cry.

In your honor, I will continually reach for my higher height.
Some doubt me. Some hate me. Some ridicule me.
Grandparents potentially speak beyond the dark with words of light.

After a long fight with demons and the suppression of cancer,
I asked for a miraculous healing for many nights of prayer,
But God planned differently in the spoken words he chose to answer.

I could not appear at your final burial where my heart aches.
My reality cannot accept the truth before me that you are gone.
The moment’s peace before ocean waves crumbles in the water breaks.

I stare into open space before me in the Corpus Christi sunset skies.
Oh my, I think to myself, how quickly all time flies.
Then in the moment of unsettledness, I remember the warmth
And the gentleness expressed in your last words spoken by your side.

August 24, 2014

Pictures with Dad on a Dusty Shelf – a poem dedicated to all good fathers. Happy Father’s Day!

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I wrote this poem almost ten years ago to capture a tale of what it would feel like to view pictures on a wall and then look on the life I shared with my father, together or perhaps one day after he passes.

The included picture captures the essence of a son leaning on his father’s shoulder, fishing, looking over him to learn the art. They spend time together, as Dad and son, at Folly’s Island, near the Morris Island Lighthouse, making memories. I capture the moment, from a distance, with a camera to create a photo that touched many of my readers over the last several years. The words of the poem reinforce the idea that moments with fathers are indeed always special and precious ones to be cherished and remembered.

Pictures with Dad on a Dusty Shelf

Pictures with memories are all around.
Truth and love in these memories is what I have found.
A Father and a Son-there is no force so strong.
It pains my heart when I have done you wrong
Or when I am away from family for periods so long.

Through these photographs, it is evident that you are my best friend.
As your son, I will serve you until one of our lives comes to an end.
Because of your will to work hard, my foundation has been set.
Against my family, I will stand up to any threat.

Pictures of you remind me to never, never quit.
Reflections of my father make me smile when I come to relax and sit.
Smiles in pictures make moments come alive.
To be a man of God becomes the passion for which I strive.

Fifty years is so much more than one can ask before they pass.
To my father on his fiftieth birthday, I must raise my glass.
Despite my selfishness, my flaws, and my pride,
As my father, you live honorably with your example in the choices you decide.

One day when you are unfortunately gone,
I will be paying the boy next door to mow my lawn.
I will stare at the pictures of the memories that will never fade.
Tears will flow, but I will always be grateful for those good times, the sacrifices that were paid,
And the abundant moments of love, together as father and son that we made.

December 2, 2006

I posted this picture today on Facebook to commemorate one of the many memories I spent with my father, both of us displaying our pride for Auburn University at Christmas time, Gus Malzahn style. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! And Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there who live and make kids like me proud to call “Dad” by the distinguished title of a parent who earns the privilege to care for a family.

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The Solo Stray Dog with Dark-Hued Angels (Poem Title) – Entranced by a remarkable individual!

Joshua 3:5 (NIV)

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

I would like to honor someone I recently met who continues to change my life on almost an everyday basis, with a poem I worked on throughout this past entire week. I believe the piece to be one of my recent best.

 

The Solo Stray Dog with Dark-Hued Angels

With truth in the hopeless romantic journey of another blogged poem,
Most cannot keep with the broken clock of lost time to the finish line,
But somehow, somewhere, and something within you gazes into my spirit.
You realize there is nothing you want more than to join me in relationship,
As the dark-hued angel joins her hand gently with mine.

I stray through ocean bay city walls searching for security and shelter.
Fresh from a grooming salon my shadowed angel arrives to rescue me.
She whispers sweet quotes of affirmation into my heart for safe self-keeping.
Her voice soothes the unrest that lays dormant in the chambers of my soul.

I never seek to be your excuse to cry. I never seek to upset the balance
Of our adventures through island beach scenes and Ugandan adoptions.
We find a way to make it through the periods of dry deserts
When we both know we never walk away from the hope of eyes staring.

Your brown beautiful circle gleam into my own shining blue sparkles
As I awe struck, under my breath, thank God for the angelic being before me.
With kisses so sweet and so serene, I stand captivated with smiles in this scene
As I barely wrap my head around the sinking ships sitting still in your memory.

You found me through cupid’s arrows on an internet search engine
To discover the deeper meaning of the darkness in a soul I long embraced.
With no judgment or negative thoughts present, you remembered the good
Of my narrative to save the world through the power of words in a pen.

What do I do when I lose the sound of the spring that fills my soul?
I scratch at chalk board screeches to wonder when the next prayer fulfills
The wish of your call to my ear, listening intentionally to concerns
Expressed from the depths of your heart resounding with harps so loud.

I hear you. I fear losing your presence, worried with what’s wrong
Inside from the outside looking in, with no words murmured to me.
Your grace in glamour presents a symmetrical body others jealously glare
At fine legs and slenderness models die in hopes to attain.

Always on my mind, stars eclipse in failure to shine in the bewilderment
Of love occurring close behind with short hair, body art,
And symbols that resemble miraculous meanings to strengthen the elegance
Of your name, personality, and aura of amazing wonders in light shining.

The girl with the dragon tattoo captures my attention unlike any before her.
In our name, I finding meaning so I am still holding onto you
With every effort, sweat soaked, tear, and blood drop I give
To further strengthen you’re okay with broken lights on the freeway.

This stray dog never forgets his way home to your arms in omnipotent
Love with arms wrapped around to collide sin to sin, connection
Stronger than we ever mated in dire and drastic circumstances before.
I am still holding onto your hand as I cliff dive into your life full board.

With truth in the hopeless romantic journey of another blogged poem,
Most cannot keep with the broken clock of lost time to the finish line,
But somehow, somewhere, and something within you gazes into my spirit.
You realize there is nothing you want more than to join me in relationship,
As the dark-hued angel joins her hand gently with mine.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Below you will notice some angelic artwork pictures that awed me and the words you read in this pieced blog entry. Please realize these images are not original works with the given citations and websites below.

 

1_Even_Angels_Cry_by_robinqm

2_spiral-enslaved-angel-i10930

3_angels-244743-480x320

4_8ddf9cb5fe6d9b5b3ce0480729b38829

5_6a00d8341bffb053ef0120a7596627970b-500wi

1- (http://naesnest.me/2012/02/06/angels-cry/)

2- (http://www.europosters.eu/posters/spiral-enslaved-angel-v16404)

3- (http://walls4joy.com/wallpaper/244743-angels)

4- (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/448671181597669937/)

5- (http://mattstone.blogs.com/photos/angel_art/dream-woman-dark-angel.html)

“The Roth Chronicles” – Quote the Raven Nevermore (Excellent Conclusion)

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The Roth Chronicles

“You are the worst writer I know,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
From an antique approach lonely and depressed.
Your words mean nothing in the guise of the suppressed.

“You are insane,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
The crazy contributed to the best poetic works of our times,
Even in the criticism of projects failed with your negligent crimes.

“I do not work under deadlines,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
Your professionalism soars to higher heights
As you claim you serve the best at Roth writes.

“I am not willing to listen to learn,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
With clients you have much still to process.
In your own venture and word, you make no progress.

“I need several months to edit a few poems,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
You portray a commitment of a flake’s notice.
You nauseate my conscious with your slowness and lack of focus.

“I always keep my word,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
Even with services paid in full upfront with no return,
You failed to follow through with writers you burn.

“I was recommended by another writer,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
In good due time, what comes around goes around.
You continue to play the role of a dramatic diva crowned.

“I do not know how to use PayPal,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
Technology and digital media breaks a reputation
For those who live in constant negation.

“I am worth your investment. I will deliver,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
For the oldies but goodies, I suggest you now retire
Because you cannot break those you disappoint to inspire.

“I know everything there is to know in the subject of poetry,”
Quote the Roth, “Nevermore.”
The educated provide lessons to teach to the ignorant
For those who fail to appreciate individuals clearly brilliant.

JLC iii, 5/28/14

San Antonio Skies Still Streaming – a poem about a new presence (by James Cartee)

date3_editedIt has been a good while and long time since I met anyone who sparked any interest to date and know more on a deeper level. Who knows? – perhaps this changed at this moment described below.

I currently write a new book of thirty-five poems to release in the fall. While not in that publication, this new piece comes from deep down in my own heart. The good emotions in life are certainly to be celebrated in the moments they occur.

San Antonio Skies Still Streaming

Astonishing to the veins pumping of my usual existence,
You appear in the San Antonio midst of museum masterpieces.
I smile without what to know, think, or do.
You breathe hard as your cool body suddenly raptures with heat.
As the tall figure of beauty steps forward, one inch above my height,
I awe in the rush of lustful thoughts at the kiss near our goodbyes.

Nobody lands perfectly upon the earth at our day of creation;
However glamour in well-curved shape brings unexpected grins.
We think constantly of each other after our greeting at the river walk.
I persist in temptation to ask that my sweet sin be purged again.
Everything will change the minute you decide that nothing stays the same
With a new direction in determination that you seek to stay with me.

I catch the glimpse of moonlight that captures your legs
Embraced in the race to my own intimate relationship.
When you cling into one with the blood of orange and blue,
You honor the decision to trust that change brings betterment
For something more close than you imagined before now.
We two-step into a new life to understand that hope floats.

The heart of Texas beats to a new story fairy tale song
With the start of a professor and nurse in ministry joined together
To change the world in the face of dark times without fear.
A sleek thin model with dark but still naughty eyes
And short hair with an image compared to the girl with dragon tattoos
Stares into the bottom of my own brokenness to discover more.

She takes my gentle hand to start a new step, with one concern at a time,
In the second before our magical moment of a first kiss.
We entwine longer than creative minds depict in artwork.
Rainbows light the morning sky. Sunsets dawn the shadow of lips sealed.
I prepare my heart for yours in the daylight of any disaster
Because I have been waiting decades of endless minutes for your arrival.

JLC iii, 3/28/14

Year of 2014, A Poem of New Year Extraordinary Magnitude

Year of 2014 (Title of Poem)

In the year 2014,
I will never be like the disgrace you are.
In the year 2014,
God will heal the soul torn scar.

In the year 2014,
I will lead in the capacity you failed.
In the year 2014,
Your cowardly ways God already unveiled.

In the year 2014,
I will leave this Pharisee far behind.
In the year 2014,
God teaches me to touch the hearts of all mankind.

In the year 2014,
I will bring Glory to His Heavenly Name.
In the year 2014,
Your dishonor paints the truth of your shame.

In the year 2014,
I will let go of doubt, disdain, and disgust.
In the year 2014,
God builds once again my living trust.

In the year 2014,
I will never again react in the anger you enticed.
In the year 2014,
Your pride offsets the forgiveness of sins in Christ.

In the year 2014,
I praise the Lord for adversity you created.
In the year 2014,
God knows that your day predestined stands dated.

In the year 2014,
I will remember the blessings in lessons I won.
In the year 2014,
Your mistakes in my life are now withdrawn.

In the year 2014,
I will rise to higher heights in new found inspiration.
In the year 2014,
God solidified a new found unshaken firm foundation.

JLC iii, 12/14/13

One Nation Under God – Back to Jesus, Back to Prosperity (Poem)

The Beauty and Brokenness of My City

The most beautiful city one could inhabit
Lives in habitual poverty and street orphans,
Yet stewards profess Jesus
In the midst of chaos and societal destruction
From the crime of those who live waywardly.

The economy crashes to leave Georgians desperate.
With politicians who never care in a DC metro,
Citizens suffer
While criminals fight over healthcare and taxes
In the struggle for personal power over servitude.

One nation under God no longer streams
With flags of the red, white, and blue.
Instead extremists, environmentalists, and socialists
Destroy the America we built
With policies and procedures of a bipartisan agenda.

The disease carries thick through the streets
Of downtown dumpsters, bridges, and trash cans.
Suburban diplomat yuppies never leave the mountain
To join the dive when eating off the streets
And sleeping on the benches of a park.

This plague reaches beyond natural disasters.
Power hungry humans destroy the lives
Of other human beings in need
To provide anything and everything for free
With the creation of self-dependency.

The corruption of the system
Causes these suicidal accidents.
Jesus is the solution to rebuild my city
When we come back to Jesus,
We come back to prosperity.

JLC iii, 9/21/13

Can I Get a Break, God? A inspired reminder through a friend’s story of heartache….

I met Fredric Gray at The Florida Christian Writers Conference in March of this year at 2:15 am EST in the morning when he woke me up in the criminal offense of breaking down my conference center hotel room door. Mark Hancock, director of the conference, forgot to instruct me that my con roommate would wonderfully disrupt my dream of meeting Tinker Bell in a fantasized REM slumber that I, James Cartee, would soon change the world. While surrounded in the Floridian swamp lands, I thought a serial killer banged on my door. After an unexpected wake up call so early in the morning, I thought I might soon kill Mr. Fredric Gray that early morning.

I soon realized that Fredric was no felony offender with a belly laugh that would do God proud. He profusely apologized, and when I finally awoke, I came back to my senses that his encouragement would further boost my writing career forward for higher heights.

Fredric’s example in Christ would further illustrate the peacemaker resemblance of Christ to rejoice in tragedy. His natural inclination keeps me motivated in down times when I seem to hourly ask God, “Can you please give me a break already?” People like Fredric remind me that in times of good and bad we bring Glory to God, even if we do not want to. That should innately become the response of any believer. His message posted on Facebook below still resonates with me even 10 days later.

So, our fifth child went to be with God. Heather called me on Wednesday night on my way to our church Bible study and told me she was bleeding a little bit, kind of like the spotting that so many pregnant women experience, but a little worse. She convinced me not to come home, and things got better. When it continued Thursday, we called our midwife and she came over Thursday night with concerns of her own. She scheduled us for an ultrasound for Friday. At this point the bleeding really wasn’t that bad.

But Heather woke me up at 4am telling me she felt like she was giving birth. It all was so surreal. I was part in empathy mode, and part denial. She kept telling me, “this is it. we are losing our baby.” I just didn’t want to believe it, even though I knew it could happen.

About 5am, she labored the baby, along with a whole lot of blood out. It was very hard for us. Well, it was hard for me. I think she was having a harder time before, and I had a much harder time afterward.

She continued to bleed for short time, and we prayed and went to bed. She said the most encouraging thing to me. She casually, and warmly, said “this is our first baby that is with God.” I never thought of it until she said it, but I found it SUPER-ENCOURAGING!

As that thought guided me while going to sleep, all I could think about were people that lost their children, either through miscarriage or after they were born.

While working, Heather called me on my cell phone around 9am telling me that she was bleeding badly. I came home and helped her, and almost ended up taking her to the ER.

Noelani and Maleia just kept bawling their eyes out, in ways I have never seem them do so. Malachi and Amairah were oblivious. In the midst of crying, Maleia, cute as can be, held up both of her hands and said, “we don’t even know if it’s a boy or a girl!”

Because of that, Heather and I had already named our baby a gender neutral name. When Maleia said that, we were happy to tell her the baby’s name–Noah Christian.

Noah means rest, or repose (often with God), and Christian is a reminder of how we get to be with our baby again one day.

So, I have tons of work to do, and many messages to respond to, and we have kind of let discipline go out the window for now. But we have been praying a lot, and having unforgettable conversations with our children. Heather has needed to be on bedrest, just like a woman who gave birth and is at risk of losing more blood.

So, I just wanted to share this. If you read this far, thanks for reading.

Noah Christian Gray.

Yeah, a gift from God.

Fredric Gray, 4/6/13

I wrote the following poem in response to Fredric’s testimony in the midst of tragic events. This poem will more than likely become published in my next poetry book with thirty-three poems and photographs.

Noah Christian, The Journey Home

Our loved one
Our lost son
That nothing remains undone
For Noah Christian
Traveled the journey home
Solace knowing
He passed not alone
Settled into the arms
With our Loving Sheppard
He sleeps well
As our gift from God
Surreal in the state
Felt as a prevailing reality
We live to worship
In the tragedy of loss
To know better yet to come
Children cry
To never forget
Always miss
The sibling never known
But always remembered
Noah at the meaning of rest
Another challenge
Another test to faith
Grace present in a bled state
Loss pours into grief
Perhaps with some relief
In the heart of the matter
To know our loved one
Our lost son
That nothing remains undone
For Noah Christian
Traveled the journey home

JLC iii, 4/9/13

While inspired with words of my own from the life of Noah Christian, through Fredric Gray, this song by Jason Mraz further motivates believers in Christ why we cannot give up on the dreams before us. Like Fredric’s example to glorify God no matter the circumstances, we press forward to inspire those around us in our examples.