Dear You,

This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

I wrote this for you.
An unfinished, never finished poem played like a symphony from my soul.
Note after note, written, scribbled, re-wrote and re-scribbled.
These words were written to speak.
To stretch like humbled hands to the lost, broken, and the weak.
Gather round, stand or take a seat.

Dear you,

You in the front to you in the back, and all the hearts that fill the vacant cracks.
To the couple cuddled close and their third wheel driver.
To the lonely wall cling and New York City cab rider.
To the daughter who can’t come to acceptance with her genetics and spends hours hiding under applied cosmetics.

This is written for you.
To the suit wearers and briefcase carriers and to the homeless men they pass each day.
To the guilt stained mind who forgot about new mercies found in the sunrise.
To the lost teaching that H. O. P. E. comes hand in hand with L.O.V.E. and it’s been on sale for F.R.E.E

To the soaked shoe school boy walking the wet Portland streets, to the beautiful, bright red head who's only been known as that “red head.”
And to the single mother raising 3 kids while juggling her 6 part time jobs on her ten tired fingers

This is written for you.

To the confused geek and sensitive jock.
To the lost cheerleader and new found believer.
To you who reads far into every negative word spoken in your direction;
The twisted words from the twisted tongues that sting and question,
Leaving your answer to be a sniffle and shrug.

This is written for you.

To the 10 year old buried deep in your soul and to the dirt you’ve been meaning to shovel.
To the awkward ages and unhealthy stages.
To the couch potato and those who used to eat play dough.
To the daytime dreamer and your imaginary friend.
And to the one-sided talks, and single late night walks you'll take with him.

This is written for the broken hearted heroine and her heart breaker.
To the middle school midget stretching for another inch, and the unappreciated player stuck playing left bench.
To the brace face, four eyed, five foot three fourth grade gal who will one day be crowned homecoming queen.

This is written for you.

To the adopted child with a million questions all beginning with ‘why’.
And to the parents prayerfully searching for a million answers with teary eyes.

To the midnight snacker and early morning riser.
To the coffee addicts and their coffee breath
To the fairytale dreamer and the Krispy Kreme eater
To the Justin Bieber believers and Michael Jackson mourners

This is written for you.

To the absent, alone, and aggravated
To the burnt, bruised, and bent
To the corrupt, crushed, and cured

Here is your invite to come alive every night; to live for more than what meets the eye.
To have new life in this life that will one day be raised with eternal life.
To finally be able to breathe fresh air and not be congested with fear.
And to break the past with forgiveness, and enter the future with eyes clear.

This is written for you.
This is written to speak.
This is written to spark.
This is written for more than the heart, but for the one who created it to start.  


Two Words // Matthew

This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

Two words changed it all.
They found my lost life, located my misplaced eyes - fixing them on where they should have always been.
They flipped my upside down life right side up as I stood to the one we've been waiting for.
I breathed new life as my old self unexpectedly died.
But before all this saving I lived a life of stumbling and somewhere along this crooked road I wound up face down in the footprints of unforgiving men.
I wasn’t able to find my footing when I fell and I felt like I was falling.
God, I was falling.

You see,
These hands tingled copper fit fingers that reached for filthy silver from empty pockets.
I took from the hands that had nothing and placed them into hands that held everything.
But those two words they picked me up, they dusted me off, and gave these stumbling feet direction.
Those two words found me as I was falling, God I was falling, searching, desperate to be a different version of me.

You see,
I grew up loved by most, and clean to some, but found myself hated and dirty to all. The only gift I'd get was glances and glares and the last time I was hugged was, well, well, people like me don’t get hugged.

But those two words changed it all!
They wrapped their arms around me tight, squeezed out death, and offered new life.
Those two words climbed into my ears and broke ground on this abandoned heart. There they made a home. Built a cabin and started a fire to keep those two words warm. Logs have been added daily, nightly and as those flames grow stronger those two words grow louder.

And when he spoke, those two words filled my booth like a cloud of smoke
Rushing my mind like waves charging the ocean's shore
Those two words allowed me to drop everything. And, looking back ...
I wasn’t holding anything.
He saw me far before I had seen Him
and when I looked up from these hands and into the eyes of this one man value no longer felt like a coin or a scam. He saw me; he looked right at me, right into me.
Those eyes lit up the atmosphere as he pulled out fear from those in the vicinity; his eyes held no judgment but stared intently with a vision of compassion.

When you read it you say it, but when he spoke it he said it. He said,

“Follow me!”

8 letters, 5 consonants, 3 vowels, 3 syllables, formed those two words as they rolled out his mouth.
There wasn’t magic in his tone, but perfect grace that cast out doubt, which set these burdened bones free.
These words weren't a gimmick and didn't leave the mouth of a cynic.
They didn't evaporate into hollow air, but hallelujah! Grace like rain they fell on dry ears.
Watering seeds, sprouting roots, spreading like veins pumping hope through this barely beating heart.
An invitation addressed to me, to leave this life of mine behind.

I felt hope in my knees as I stood to the King taking the first step of the rest of my life. We walked down that broken road I once fell. Heads turned as eyes grew wide, while children whispered questions that parents let slide.
That long awaited night I walked in the shadow of a crownless King.
I followed next to the one who set me free
Who set me free from who I used to be.
Those two words broke ground for the cabin whose fireplace burns bright in this heart tonight!

That cabin in my heart is where those two words live, breathe and there those two words will never die. We add logs to that fire and lift clean hands high and clear eyes to the light in the night sky as I remember the night I died.

And I followed Him all over.
People called me his disciple, but he called us his friends.

People called him a liar, but we called Him Lord.

We sat sea side and listened to stories that sang like songs

And we stood on hilltops as He broke bread with the same hands that forgave wrongs

We watched him redefine what was possible and what it meant to love.

Man, all He ever wanted to talk about was love.
And he spoke those two words to more than just me,
He spoke those two words to every ear he could find,
Extending an invitation to the lost, broken, and blind.
Each time those two words jumped from his lips they sounded just as sincere as the time they reached out and caught me as I was falling.
And those two words are still spoken to the falling.
And if you’re falling, God I know what it’s like to always feel like you’re falling, let those two words catch you.

God, I swear I'll never be as cold as I was before you came
and God, I swear I'll never forget the day my life was caught by those two words.

“Follow me” wasn’t a plea, it was a cure to a disease.

So if you're falling, God I know what it's like to be falling – let those two words catch you

Those two words are the outstretched hands to catch the falling.


Lust In Translation

This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

I once was a kid with innocent eyes and a heaven set mind.
I ate from a table serving Southern style values cooked by stand up examples.
Back in the first grade I only wanted to sit with the guys.
And in fourth grade girls could pass by and I wouldn’t lift my eyes.
But then fifth grade came and things began to change

Girls were never seen the same.

And circle, circle, dot, dot the cootie shot has worn off, and she now takes my eyes for a ride when she walks by.
I excused myself from the table, and pulled a chair up to the buffet, force feeding this belly full of endless deception and artificial affection.
I dined on four course, five star sins served fresh from the best of them. I got hooked on my first taste of what was never meant to be tried, wiped my mouth clean with a gold napkin and took another bite.
Poisoned with perverted preservatives and stale stimulation I scarred my innocent eyes and heaven set mind with the taste of lust, washing it down with a sip of corrupting lies.

I sought strength in a struggle that was never meant to be sought.
With bare hands I fought images that once seen can never be forgot.
Propelled by an unsatisfied hunger my mind floated deeper into the darkness of rip tide waters.; drifting uncontrollably in a splashing sea of selfish desire.
Scrolling screen to screen, checking out stranger after stranger, flipping from channel to channel losing myself in waves of misleading material that kept afloat my pride, washing these thoughts that lived to rise throughout every drowning night.

This disconnected mindset butts, breasts, and thighs on stop, play fast forward, rewind as her low cut button down top and those skinny jean sealed legs walked the red carpet of this misled brain - All for a blinding snapshot of self satisfaction that led to countless seasons of spiritual subtraction.

Well, I am a house built out of broken excuses on a mountain top of rocky disgrace. I've done a heaven of a job dressing up the outside, while doing one hell of a job burning down the inside.
I sparked one match of reckless abandon, a white light of guilt filled gratification.
But that flame grew into a wildfire of exhausting temptation, burning my passion of deadly dedication.

And I am sick.

I am sick of resorting to Paul’s line for my crime!
“For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
And I do not want to do this thing I hate.
I do not want to break belief for a moment of guilt ridden release.
I do not want to fall victim to the games of the beast.

On my back, relentless to change I lay wrapped in sheets of shame cuddling close to images I'd do anything to erase.
Comatose from overdosing on objectifying,
I fall to my knees and pray

I’ve done this. I’m the one to blame, I lit the flame.
And I know it’s my fault! I opened the door and invited the demons into play.
And their misleading smiles and childlike games carried me away!
I wrestled with directions and temptations but continued to play.
Tired of falling, of failing we played hundreds of one last final game, but each time they blindfolded me and led me to my own grave.

I come carrying baggage of endless burdens in bruised hands, but I’m ready to drop them.
I’m ready to surrender.
I know, I know, I’ve drilled more nails into your Son's hands then this mind can comprehend.

But here I am.
God, I surrender.
Cast out these thoughts that crucify my mind, that plague my march and stride.
I'm face down on bent knees at your cross surrendering

I surrender.

At your grave of grace I grieve.

At your cross I surrender.


This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

They say manliness is based off
the number of hairs on your chest
and the number of girls you've undressed.

They told me manliness is defined
by the number of beers you can crush
and by never giving the toilet a flush.

I heard them calculate manliness by adding
the number of punches ever thrown
with the number of guns you currently own
Multiplied by the number of porn magazines under your bed.

And they said manliness can be measured by
the thickness of your beard
and whether or not you are feared.

( but they are wrong )

Manliness is defined by
How you provide
How you guide
How you hold her when she cries
How you let go of your excuses and pride and apologize
How you remain strong when all goes wrong
How you react when push comes to shove
and how all you do is done out of love

and I want to be a man.

I want to stand to provide
and take her hand and be her guide.
I want to hold her when she cries
I want to keep porn from these fragile eyes
I want to remain strong when all goes wrong
Yeah, I might cry, but I won't lose hope or sight of what is right
and I want to live a life of love
from sun up to sun down and even on those days the sun fails to come around.
I want to be a man.


For Us

This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

You didn’t fight back.
Not even when you had the chance.
You stood still.
A stamp of betrayal on your cheek ignited the events for the coming week.
But Jesus, You didn’t run,
You didn’t budge and
above all you didn’t even hold a grudge.

Your words knocked them to the ground.
Laid out;
face down.
Confused and unamused they had not a word to say as they hauled you away.

Broken and bound by their chains your heart didn’t change, it stayed the same,
pumping blood to your veins, so you could endure the world's pain.

Cracking your head; whipping your back for answers to questions they asked.
When you spoke the truth they asked for ears turned only to ignore.

No crown for a king,
just a thick bouquet of thorns to cut and sting.

They pulled out words of axes and began to cut you down;
Stomping their fellow man into the ground.
With tongues like camels they spit on you relentlessly and with a strong sense of intensity.

But Jesus,
You didn’t fight back.
Not even when you had the chance,
You stood still.

And when they ripped and stripped your blood soaked, band-aid acting cloak You didn’t give in to give up, You never muttered or uttered “Enough!” no matter how rough and tough were the big, the bad, and the buff.

They handed you a cross and with a whip in hand they demanded
A trail laced with tears they watched in shock.

Poisonous slurs;
demeaning words
creep into the mind of He who faces death.
Crowds the size of stadiums came to witness you tread the blood stained dirt road in hopes to catch a glance of your last breath.

But Jesus,
You didn’t fight back.
Not even when you had the chance.
You stood still.

And you had the chance!
But you stood still,
you stood still for the world,
for the ones you love,
for your children,
for me, 
For us!

And when your robe was torn off and when the nails went in - you flinched - of course you flinched.
You were human.

You once
and cried.
You once
and taught.
You healed
and revealed.
You prayed
and forgave.

You, like the storm were still!

While hanging on the cross you could have gotten down, of course you could have gotten down.

You’re God.

But you didn’t.

Hanging there, hardly able to breathe, speak, see, you prayed.
You prayed for those who hated you.
You prayed for those who took your words, your hands, your heart and twisted, beat, and broke them.
But you did not fight back.
You didn’t.
You endured the sin of the world - our sin - my sin.

On your back it weighed you down like a potato sack packed full of our dirt, our shame, our lies, our hate, our disgrace- but you hung there high, while the others cried, you yelled to the sky, belting it out from your insides, shattering the earth only for people to run in hide, and now, and now no longer were you disguised.

Our sin drowned you for three whole days.
Laid to rest,
laid to waste only to come back and give us a new taste of what it means to never forsake.
The ground it could not bound the love of the Son.
It could not contain the once beaten, broken, breathless One.


You didn’t fight back.
Not even when you had the chance.
You stood still.
For us you didn’t fight back.
For us you stood still.


This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

I've been writing inside, beneath snow covered pines, shivering through the day and drowning in a sea of blankets by night; feeding on questions, wrestling with fear and pride, drinking black coffee in the morning and writing in a black notebook with the moon in sight.

It’s been a couple years, but I’m still here.

I’ve spent seasons alone, something no man should ever do.

I made my home on a couch, and gave up among its cushions.

With still hands I've been tempted to taste the sweet temptation to forget all that I’ve become and start living like someone I didn’t want to be.

Inside I stood between four walls of confusion born out of boredom and television.

Alone was redefined by silence and solitude

But with you I felt alive to be me.

To ask questions and sit with uncertainty like it’s ok.

To be the man who knows he’s got much to learn and see.

To run like a kid, wild and free like every day is Saturday and sunny.

To adventure in my favorite pair of pants and with dirt under my fingernails.

To live uncomfortable and hopeful, because there isn’t any other way to live.

But I've started comparing again, this and that, thinking I'm not good enough.

Like I’m caught between being the man I never thought I’d be and the man I want to become.

I've witnessed with both lungs that comparison collapses the joy found within freedom.

And freedom is addressed to us inviting us to scream under the rain, to remind ourselves we are ok.

We’re ok.

I guess this is just another letter to me for you to read.

And I’d rather let you come inside than leave you outside.

I'd rather live with these questions, than live trying to be my own answer.

And I’d rather go together than alone.

Since we last hit record, I’ve come a long way.

Distance can’t be measured with money or fame, but with hope and grace.

With the way I stand to each day, the look on your face.

The space between the man and the mirror and the life inside these bones.

Let’s never lose our sense of wonder, or ourselves to stagnancy

Let out dreams not become past desires or ideas that once looked good when the light hit them right, but let’s fly with them through the day and night.

Let courage and mercy be found in our words and with hope may we contribute to the greater good.

With all things in his hands,

Let's nudge one another towards life, to live alive full of joy and insight.

Never allowing fear to tie itself around our wrists, or trample our mind

Never hide behind a lie or keep the inside from seeing the outside.

Let's write, speak, and live honest words of love.

Let’s open up our hearts and invite others inside.


Dear you,

This is just another letter to me for you to read.

Some Days

This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

Some days you'll need the open road and loud nostalgic music.

You'll need phone calls with family and conversations with old friends.

Some days you'll need the rain and you'll need the window down.

Some days you'll need to get out of the car and take a picture in the middle of the road, or pull over to watch the sunset.

Most days you'll need a cup of coffee and an open Bible.

And you'll need to get a refill on both.

Some days you just need to be reminded that today is another day.

And you'll need to do things to remind yourself that you're you and you're alive to live.

But everyday we will need each other and we will need to be reminded that we aren't alone.

Everyday we will need meaningful hugs and hopeful smiles.

We will need to hear we are loved and that it's ok for us to be ourselves.

Some days we will have to ask to be told these things; other days honest words of love will be freely spoken into our lives.

And those are the days we live for.

Those are the days that keep us alive.

And being alive is a good thing.


This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

All things grow from something.

Like you & I.
My memories lay full like the forest we call home.
We sprouted from a single seed, raised to grow up among the trees.
We grew in our grave knowing our roots kept us home in our place.
Nurtured with words, we kicked the dirt, were welcomed with a whisper of a warm wind as we floated through the fog to kiss the clouds.
We lived in the shadows of the undersides of their leaves, and every night before the sky closed its eye we reached for the dimming light.

Day by day,

Side by side,

you and I.

Words watered our life, keeping our veins full, coursing them with what we need to reach our home.
We bathed in drops, struggled in droughts; downpours were a holiday, but it was the morning mist that meant the most.
And in the morning it was still you and I.

It's always been you and I.

In the shadow of one another we grew North.
Late one May you got ahead of me, but June I hit a spurt and saw your peak grow into me, like the sun setting into the sea.
Summer and Spring brought warmth, fall strangled us, giving us Joseph's coat, but was stripped off our arms before we needed it the most.
The cold kept us close, but no matter the temperature we burned with hope.
And I'll reach for you as you reach for me, hide our roots like hands under sheets.
No one can see, but everyone knows you're holding me and I'm holding you.

And I wish so badly when we were placed beneath the fold of the earth they would have dropped us closer together. As we'd be watered we'd twist our roots together, growing towards the heavens, watching the bellies of God's winged creation float above through the cut out blue we reached to kiss with our green peaks.

As we reached to the sun, I blew into you as you blew into me.
And I can never be close enough to you, never can I hold you close enough.
Even when we're full and our arms lock like the hands of man, you felt so far.

As we began to stretch for the sky's eye our limbs were climbed by arms of mankind
They gave you a swing set, and I a house, made from another of our kind.
Piercing our skin like the silver in their ears they fashioned fun.

Their tiny limbs climbed us, treating us like we were one of them, hugging us tight as they pulled themselves to our tops. Locking in laughter we swayed with the wind when they tickled our bark.
We gave them air, but they gave us purpose.
And at night they gathered around our chopped friends, burning them bright as we breathed them in.
The smoke clogged our lungs, while their laughter and stories broke our sadness with joy.

And they cut us down before we could touch the sky.
Our torsos ripped through, but they couldn't hear our screams over their machines.
I whispered for you to stay strong, they'll place us where we belong, honey, never grow weary of being strong.
They must have seen something in us to desire us.

We feared this was our story coming to a close, our last chapter being written by the hands of man.
Like Romeo and Juliet, the tale we heard told as the child read aloud with her back placed to your feet.
Tragedy met romance, but romance triumphed (s) devastation.
I fell hard, like when I fell for you
When I thought they would carry me away, they laid us side by side.

Like I said,

Day by day,

side by side,

You and I.

I'll always be by your side.

And they shipped us on flat tops, we passed fields of those still standing, waiting for their time to endure the silver pain of the blade.
They laid us on a hill. We thought this is where it would all come to a close, but we found hope in a renewed life.
And one piece of me, one piece of you at a time they placed us closer together, intertwining our insides, mixing together our outsides. Silver splinters sparked us together, nailing us on top of each other and I couldn't even guess which part of me is me and which part of you is you.

We now stand as walls and a roof.

We grew together to create a home, a symbol of hope.

Together we keep out the dark, we keep out the snow for two seeds to stay warm and close.

And I wouldn't want to be built into a home with anyone else but you.
I wouldn't want to be anywhere with anyone else but you.

Home is found in one another, and I found a home in you.

Day by day,

Side by side,

You and I.  


This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

I've spent more time in yesterday than being present with today.

And I know tomorrow is coming, and sometimes I don't want it to, but like today, tomorrow is good.

And I want to see tomorrow.

I want to see tomorrow because

because i want to see the sunrise in the morning and watch it dissolve in the water at night

because fall is always near and i don't care that i want a pumpkin spice latte.

because the world is still turning and I want to keep spinning with it.

because the South is calling my name and they have BBQ and fresh squeezed orange juice.

because i haven't said 'i do' or 'i will' or whatever i'm supposed to say in front of her, God, and you.

because there are trees and mountains to be climbed and i want to touch the sky.

because sadness isn't supposed to win and we have to keep fighting.

We fight for tomorrow, but tomorrow is fighting for us.

Tomorrow isn't a punishment, it's a fresh page to keep writing with your life, to live in grace, to walk in His love. Tomorrow is worth getting through today.

because of breakfast food and the way coffee tastes and smells.

bacon, too.

because i haven't quite finished the book i told you i'd write.

because of hugs that last longer than they should.

because Jesus' grace matters and i want to share it.

because of pop-punk music and the way it sounds with the windows rolled down.

because pizza. and Chick-fil-A. and road trips. and books.

and i've never lived in Nashville and maybe i want to.

because there are broken hearts out there who need to hear hopeful words and i want to speak them.

because of contagious laughter and whiskey.

because i want to be brave and stand tall with my family.

because the devil is the enemy and i want to hit that guy square in the face each morning.


And I know the devil will fight back tomorrow, but we don't walk into tomorrow alone.

Tomorrow is open for 24 hours and I want to be alive for all of them.

because tomorrow is a gift and i want to open it with you.

because i have a brother and i need him. and he needs me, too.

because of star filled skies and fish filled seas and the way Taco Bell makes me feel awful, but i love it anyways.

because love is still a good enough reason and i want to keep giving it.

because mangoes and running and i want a tattoo of a tree.

because honesty and vulnerability and uncertainty and Saturdays.

because i haven't finished watching all of Gilmore Girls.

because i still believe love is out there and i believe it's calling me closer and i'm finally learning to listen.

because i'm still writing this story and it isn't finished yet. it can't be.

because my friends are becoming parents and i like the way 'Uncle Tanner' sounds from their mouths.

because my dad and i have never been to a baseball game together.

because of my mom. and her banana pudding. but mostly her hugs.

because there are still poems to be written, coffee to be tasted, and hugs to be given.

because even on the darkest of days i believe hope is real and light is coming with the morning.

because i still have something left to give.

and so do you.

and i want to give and love with you.

and i want to see you tomorrow.

and because staying here together is better than leaving alone.

King David

This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

Born to be more than I'll ever understand
Rushed upon by the Spirit, my story began
I stood tall in the shadow of a giant to see him fall.
I stepped up to throw and his end was the start of it all.
A slung stone led to a life of battle and rhymes.

I am a warrior; a writer.
A double edged sword dueling blade and ink, constructing a life reflecting smeared reds, broken blues, the brush grasped by the painter, the Spirit, daily mixing hues.

Sparking saturation, shading with space, tinting with time, creating a painted picture of God and man intertwined.
And inside the frame my breathing, my being, foreshadowed a time I never breathed to see, but a life that saved us all from our breathing.

Our relationship tested, tried, and over time he wrote over, opening wide my calloused eyes.
Clearing them to see clearly, and I've seen everything.
I've looked deep into life and death
I've seen blood spilt, and tipped over the cup with my own hand.
I've lit fires, sparked separation, and trampled hearts as my enemies trampled mine while I chased my conscious, gripping guilt, with death chasing close behind
I've gazed upon the glorious, witnessing God stand victorious.
And each night I've stared towards the up all night silent sky with burning breaths and tear filled eyes.
Inhaling wonder, exhaling the same question that keeps me from sleep:

Who am I?
God, I'm just as broken as those that bow.
I’m just as lost as those who haven’t been found
I've got mistakes stacked to the top of your city's walls, but you built this city and know it as you know me. But for all I doubt, for all I call out, you chose me.

I am a King.

Or at least that’s what they call me, who Samuel anointed me to be.
But I’m nothing more than a shepherd with lost sheep.
A king with a kingdom, a captain steering a ship sinking.
This drowning vessel, this man I am, has been scorched and torn by waves unseen
Ripping sails, rusting nails, a royal example rotten from regrets, crying unclean.

Tattered boards sinking to your ocean's floor
These hinges creak, my faults make them cringe and moan

God, I am alone!

And I've amounted to nothing more than strength turned weak.
Shipwrecked I'm still searching for peace to carry me, for you to hold me!
Because for all I have, all I've wanted is peace, all I've wanted is for someone to hold me.
My soul burns at both ends seeking salvation, seeking an end, but both sides of me are drowning by death and dying when all I wanted is peace!

I spent nights writing, days fighting, but nothing but patience in your presence brought peace.
And I searched for peace in the arms of a wife, in the blood of her man,
I swung for it with a sword in my hands, burying hearts in your sand.
I screamed for peace in dirt covered caves, crying out day and night tossing prayers like seeds to the ground, helpless and hopeful, each word hit your dirt, and you heard my plea, watered my seed.

For the darkness turns to light, the very way you turn lives from dead to alive.
And now I'm talking in circles, a struggle to speak straight.
I talk the way I walk.
Stepping a crooked line trying to live aligned with God, to lead mankind, but even a crooked rod can draw a straight line.
Conviction and reconciliation wrestle inside my mind, and I know grace is alive, and this wound is on the mend,
but God, when will this come to an end?! this life, this valley reeks of death: am I dying?
When will all my questions, my regrets, my sins, these enemies that swirl in the silence of the loudest sound, you've dealt with them, but when will this end?

You made haste, stepped into my place, extending grace.
You call me your Beloved,
And Hallelujah, you do not deal with us according to our stain, nor repay us according to our ways.

For all my hand writes, for all my mind composes, you work in a way man cannot understand, you answer who I am.
Your hand placed all things under our feet, holding us as we seek, as we speak, as we sink, pleading for you to save the weak.
And for as often as I ask who am I, you tell me - you help me understand.
And, bless you, bless the Lord, oh my soul, You are with me.
And shouldn't that be enough for me?

I'll live with this mess I am.
Redemption is part of your plan.
I may never see me as you do, but I know you see me, I know you hear me, I know you are with me, and that makes me yours.

I am yours.

You've brought me this far, and I am just a spec in your eye, another life this side of the light,
But you are with me, through all my questioning, you are with me.
God you comfort me when I stare into the dark eyes of enemies.
And you tell me goodness is right behind me and mercy follows closer.
Well, get me there.
Take me there.
I will build you a house, Magnify your name forever, and surrender all of this for all of you.
May all of this be for all of you.



This Spoken Word Poem was
written by Tanner Olson of
Written to Speak

Somewhere is everywhere to someone.
And someone is somewhere to someone else.
And I've been someone somewhere for too long,
And everywhere seems to be where I've been lately.

I'm all over the place, confusing myself as I drift in and out of space,
stretching to put some space between the place I’ve left to leave behind.

Sometimes growth feels like two steps back and sometimes flourishing feels like failing.
And I feel like I'm always falling, complicated and calling trying to take two steps away from failing.

And Something more is out there.
And that’s where I am going.

I'll escape to explore, retreat to restore, be to belong, and reach the other side of all that is going wrong.

I will continue to wander and wonder within all that is His.
To seek the silence in the solitude.
To create in the chaos.
And give grace to the grave places in my life.
I'm beginning to see more clearly.

Like, in all that is heavy there is hope.

And as I go
I will lock hand and hand with knees to the floor, faith to continue, wake to walk through the front door.

I will keep going to arrive.

I'll crawl out from underneath these concrete sheets and step beyond this bed into the uncertain and unknown.

Life is calling and I'm answering and I want to respond with peace in a world shouting dark, cold winds.

I'll sing and lift a sail high and I'll adventure to find out why.

And I’ll reach the other side.

You'll find me beyond the swollen smoke sharing secrets and stories of life and death and what failed to get the best.

You'll find me where it's clear and cloudy with the change I left behind and all my rough draft letters home.

You’ll find me surrounded.

Shoulder to shoulder with the souls who stood close as we stepped together.

We go together to the other side.

Always together.

Never alone.

tanner olson written to speak

Written to Speak is a spoken word poetry and writing project created by Tanner Olson. 
Written to Speak seeks to spread hope and announce love through spoken word and written word. 
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