Robert D Pemberton

A beginning



Dark Fire

That Dark fire who consumes all
I bid you farewell.
Fear’s not the courage you’re looking for
This is not your end.

Tried your worst to destroy
Lie and wait to burn it down
The castle fell
from dust the ruins cry

Basking in the fortunes of rage
The broken angel mired in shame
Halo’s fallen light yet dims
Let it yet renew.

As Heaven is Faithful
And Father’s Son is enough
Gift of Courage sought

My best songs are yet unsung
of this mortal heart they burn
Heaven hears the whispering
echoes of sorrow to joy

Open wide the fires of hell
I am alive
I am Gold
plucked from that fire
cast anew
quenched in Heaven’s tears
a new story to begin

Sifting Sands – a poem on pride/humility, sin and repentance.

Sifting sands are interlaced

souls like grains innumerable

good and bad, light and dark

transcribed by fire to glass are we


the human family


and yet we see not

that hidden before our eyes

the hardened sands deceive

see what we wish to see


that I am right

and I am right

and I am right

and you are wrong


deceived by good intent

we see them not

we know them not

deceived by good intent


And so the master,

of all and all is he

hath said, to us

we are the grains,


transcribed by fire to glass

bound together as family

imperfect? yes

together, in imperfectness


forgive and forgive

forget and forget

seven times seven hundred

and then some


can I say I am the pure grain

and that you are the impure?

Shall I shatter the glass that was forged?

to judge which grain you are?


because in the glass is reflected clearly


that I am right

and I am right

and you are wrong.


And so in righteous fury

to assure that all see clearly

I shatter that which has been made

by holy hands and cleansing fire


and with its breaking

my vision is lost

for I have shattered family.

within that reflection, was me


and from the shards I bleed

hold aloft that grain of sand,

the impurity within the glass?

to shout to all the world that I was right

and I was right


can you not see that I am right?


and upon my hands,

the shards remain

still cutting

and I am sorrow

and I try,

how I try…

to put it back together.

but withhold forgiveness of that mote

In my eye there is no beam

so say I, it MUST repent!

or this cannot mend


I will not forgive and forgive

nor will I forget and forget

not once nor twice

til all acknowledge


that I was right

and I was right

and I was right

and you were wrong


and so it feels like poison

the helplessness

the powerlessness

the shame


I am free

and I have chosen

yet the poison still remains

the lie still remains


and so the Master

with fire and light and truth

forges on and purifies

the glass, the human family


the crystal lattice in beauty grows

as child bears child

the family grows

family grows


yet one thing remains

that one poor grain

it was I

it was I


can you forgive me?

tho’ I would not forgive?

will you forgive me?

tho’ I cannot forgive?


the poison is bitter

and I am imperfect

who will drink this cup?


the answer is clear


dear sister, dear brother

forgiveness is there

and He has drunk that bitter cup

He has drunk that bitter cup


within His holy house

the light, through crystal shines

on each wall the glass reflect

from eternity

to eternity


the Human Family

Days without Poetry

Today there is no song in my heart. No poem on my lips. Some days are without warmth. That needed hug feels miles away. The weight of it all is crushing.  When dreams turn to darkness.  All I ever wanted was love and family.

Maybe its the gray skies. Maybe its the week of little or no sleep.
Maybe its the sweet 6 year old girl who I miss dearly.

2014-01-21 00.08.24
My Sweet six year old Daughter

It all started in June 2006. I had just closed a cold and painful chapter of life. The Divorce was final. But a war was brewing and I didn’t know it. Sometimes that war seems never ending. The casualties…

Somebody new dropped into my life. They were different. There was something special, or so it seemed. We dated a year and were married November of 2007.  Things were great.  Six months later, we found out that my former spouse and her boyfriend had been sexually abusing my little girl for the previous two years. Devastation. Chaos.

Two years of brutal reality: court, Guardian ad litem, DA prosecutors. It was constant, raw and horrible. The worst part of it was the toll it took on the victim. Her guilt for telling on her mom. Her Maternal Grandmother pressuring her to say it all wasn’t true. I’m sure it didn’t help her when I came apart, weeping and feeling lost.
How could I have failed so completely to protect my children?
Years later, I got over that feeling. The realization that I had done everything I could.

With that war behind me, I thought I would be headed to better times. Happiness and contentment eluded me. Why? There was still a lot of poison in my home. I see what happened but it doesn’t mean I understand it at all.

My advise is this. Don’t dwell on the negative. Don’t wallow in the misery of the past – whether you created it or not.  Don’t justify anger or hate.

My wife began to fear the children I brought with me from my first marriage. They were somehow broken and it was her responsibility to fix them. Or at least thats what she expressed to me for four years.  How someone else’s destruction was heaped on her to fix. But instead of shunning that poison, it is as if she ingested it. Wallowed in it until it seeped into her skin. She turned dark.  Fear lead to anger. Anger lead to hate. Hate lead to suffering.

…and I watched it all happen. I begged and pleaded. I hoped and wished. I prayed.

Kids began to suffer.

After five years, I divorced again. Years of family counseling and therapy down the drain. The little girl we had together was stripped from me. I was a single Dad with three little kids full time on my own and my fourth – she was only two at the time – was all but lost to me.

Then the X moved out of state. I fought: courts, attorneys I couldn’t afford and a lot of tears.  Now I see my little one for a week at a time every few months. She weeps the day she leaves. She begs me to change it so she sees me more. I’m compelled to bite my tongue.  One day I can tell her. She can know the truth. Her Mother ate the poison of the child abuser who went to jail. With every hateful remark about their birth mother, she justified and internalized that same hate. The results were devastating.

DCFS says it doesn’t matter. I divorced and the kids are safe…as if that’s that.

A week ago I sent my precious daughter back to her Mother. Last night when I said goodbye she wept and begged me to change it so she can spend more time with me. Today my skies are gray and my heart is broken.

I’m grateful my troubles aren’t worse. I know there are those who would trade my troubles for theirs. Am I not allowed my sorrows? For complete disclosure, this is just one of the sorrows weighing on me. If this was all there was, I’d probably be fine.

All I ever wanted was love and family. Sometimes that war seems never ending.

Today I’m crying it all out. Thanks for listening.

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