Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stop treading water

She's a golden moon,
afloat in a lavender sky,
a pearl breathing deep
in her lotus shell:
this self that emerges
when we're willing to dive
into deep waters...
stop treading water, won't you?
Still the restless hands
and feet and mind
and sink into light.

Friday, April 29, 2011

It's all bunk

It's all bunk, my father used to say
-- whatever theory I'd learned that week
to contradict some truth
he might hold dear --
and so I'd stuff it in a drawer,
hide it away so as not to offend --
but now I'm doing a little housecleaning,
laying all that bunk out on the lawn...
I'd thought of having a garage sale,
but now I think I'll keep it all,
hang it on the walls and show it off.
Perhaps I should sleep on it...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Arching in resistance

I've been doing a little digging lately,
finding my way down
through the sedimentary layers
to the child that lies beneath...
It's astonishing,
what bubbles up,
when you take the time to look:
from dogwood trees
to tonsillectomies;
toy tractors,
giant buck-toothed bunnies,
the rough surface of a chair,
the taste of dirt...
I wake in the middle of the night
to find my back arching in resistance
to a red metal stroller.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coloring outside the lines

Though I can see the faultlines,
I can choose
to also view the brightness in between;
I can even choose to color
outside the lines,
to break the crayon,
peel away its paper skin,
feel the waxy smoothness
coloring my fingertips,
turn the crayon on its side
and scribble streaks of joy
across the page,
obscuring someone else's image
of what I'm supposed to draw
and creating a life of my own,
a balance of my own.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Soul serenade

A melody, however lovely,
is much enriched by harmony,
and those two notes
are further rounded
by the deepening chords
that lie beneath the song;
still more
by overtones and echoes,
the dark and light cast
of these familiar notes we play
which resonate
within the space of being.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Meandering in the beyond

I've stepped outside the fence again,
though I'm still in sight of home;
closed the gate for a bit
to stroll along the border,
feeling new grass beneath my feet,
gaining new perspective,
yet standing in a vista I know well.
I doubt that I'll be walking here for long
-- I always return, like the cows
at the end of the day, for refreshment --
but it feels good, and free,
to meander in the bliss of beyond.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Still waiting ...

And so the cycle begins again,
recycling the old symbols --
the tulips and lilies,
the empty cross,
the rolling stone
and the moss it leaves behind --
but at the end of the day,
when all the lilies have wilted,
the ribbon and netting torn
from the festive crosses,
the Easter finery restored
to the closet for another year --
what then? Has anything
been resurrected in our hearts?
Or is something still trapped within,
pulsing edgily beneath the skin...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Black Friday

On this recursive day,
pull back the tattered curtain
on our darkest moments,
the black and deadened
aspects of our souls,
expose the violence, the greed,
the weakness and betrayal;
shadows that hide beneath
the rosiest of lives..
What tortured gaze
awaits us in the mirror;
what hope
have we to offer
when faced with all
that needs to die
and our own urge to kill
rather than see?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I am a chalice

I am a chalice
waiting to be lifted;
waiting to be poured;
life, emerging,
seeking a way
to be born in you;
sparkling liquid jewels
to ornament your soul's breast;
Drink --
and light like stars
will dance in your eyes,
sending out
a steady beam of love.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A promise of sustenance

Heron, poised
at the water's edge
standing at the brink of dawn:
intent, watching  for the sleek
sly movement.
A flash of silver
in the tall grasses
will promise food for you
as surely as the hazy hues
promise sustenance
for my eyes,
my soul.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blue Wonder

I'm dipping my bucket
into the sea of possibilities;
who knows what will arise --
a fish, perhaps,
a work of art,
its bright scales
gleaming in the sun
as it slaps its angry tail
against the sides of my bucket;
or, more likely,
a long cool drink
of pure clear water,
deep and rich
with a cold blue wonder
that soothes and heals
a troubled wounded soul.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Swimmer in the Lake of Tomorrow

I am a swimmer
in the lake of tomorrow:
head down and kicking
I glide right by
the beauty of today --
ears full of the wet wash
of not-good-enough-yet
I fail to hear the siren call
of the palaces of presence.
Vision blurred --
this is not where I was born
to see and breathe --
I never even notice
the perfect golden ripeness
of this moment:
right here,
right now.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sweet seeds of being

Into each life
you drop
sweet seeds of being:
dark and light,
wet and dry,
lush and sparse
the tension
of the opposites designed
to burst thin husks of wonder;
to expose
the fragile heart within
to deep rich grace; the loam
that surrounds, and grounds
and nurtures each living soul.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What will be left?

When all this
(carefully constructed life)
has been reduced to rubble
by whatever catastrophe
befalls us next,
what will we find,
sifting through the remains,
the stained and broken shards
of our architected days and plans?
What hints,
what traces of humanity,
will color the remnants;
what will be left to indicate
that we were anything other
than what we made,
or maimed,
or melted?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dark encounter

Night falls, and failure
lurks in the shadows,
faceless yet familiar,
its dragon voice a chorus
of all the other voices
accusations from your past,
insidious whispers
insinuate, or snarl --
you can't, you won't
you never could
you always, and how could you...
Pay no attention
to the dragon on the throne:
pull back the curtain
poke the skeletons
let the bones fall helter skelter
on the ground of being.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

With a splash of joy

Some days
I feel I'm falling
into a pool of color
with an unexpected
splash of joy.
-- or was that
into a pool of joy
with a splash of color?
It doesn't matter, really,
which came first; what matters
is that childlike sense
of delight -- like being
in a bathtub
catching air bubbles
in a brightly colored washcloth.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tread lightly, then

In the heat of the moment
it's always possible
that someone might mistake
this mountain for a molehill --
given that there are so many holes
one might assume they are burrows,
and that at any moment
some blind creature might pop up,
some long-repressed
aspect of your personality
might suddenly find its voice
and squeak--
tread lightly, then, and listen;
be careful where you step
and do not speak until you're sure
just who it is that's speaking.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Come, Spring

Come, Spring,
and irrigate our souls with color;
braid the sweet lean drape of forsythia
to crown our heads,
kiss the bright tulips
into our lips,
and pour the deep purple
of iris and violet
into thirsty veins
longing for an end
to winter's drought.
Fill our ears with birdsong;
ignite our hearts
with hope,
and invite our souls
into the promise
of new life.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Charon's Call

A shift in the wind,
a reversal of tide,
and with a thrum
the long-awaited boat glides in
(May I have your attention please:
We are now arriving 
at our destination)
and with a matching surge
each would-be rider,
laptop-laden, thumbing cellphone
(do not leave personal belongings unattended)

strains forward, pressed against the crowd
(proceed to one of the passenger assembly stations)
while those who wait to greet stand watching,
clutching their coats, chins lowered against the chill
(smoking is not allowed at any time)

So much is movement, yet so much never seems to change –
(If this should occur, ask any crew member, or review the information)
this waiting room, the dock, the boats,
the water churning, lapping at the pier…
Does one port really differ from another? And which is home?

Sinking against the deepening sky
(in the event of a shipboard emergency)
the sun dons her orange life jacket
(found underneath bench seats
or in drop bins at the base of the stair wells)
And so it begins, the darkness that will pull us through to dawn:
(Upon arrival, all passengers must disembark.)
(We hope you enjoy your trip)

I've been thinking

I've been thinking
about things lately,
wondering how we
got off track, or if
there ever was a track,
if maybe there was
something I could have
done differently, some
wing I could have
flapped, some ant, that
(if I hadn't killed it),
would have made a difference
in the way things all played out
(What can we gain by sailing
to the moon, says Thomas Merton,
if we cannot cross the abyss
that separates us from ourselves?) 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

And then night falls

I've come so far,
seeking the living waters,
only to find the way
hopelessly blocked.
Stumbling through the dry bones
of wasted effort
and broken promises,
I am too tired even to give myself
permission to stop.
Bruised and broken,
I struggle through the brush
until I fall, blocked on every side.
I can smell the salt water,
hear the waves,
feel the breath of fog upon my cheek --
but still I cannot see --
and then night falls.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Beside this gleaming shore

What precious gems
have been set here
to grace the hem
of Mother Ocean's
flowing gown:
the silver glow of driftwood
on a moonlit beach,
the golden strands of algae
woven into the water's edge;
sparkling diamonds
tossed by an afternoon sun
across the shoulders
of a dark, dark sea...
such riches greet
the lucky souls
who walk or live
beside this gleaming shore...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Yellow, beckoning

Peeking out briefly
from behind a cloud,
the flirtatious sun
winks a jaunty eye
and thousands of daffodils
burst into ecstatic bloom.
basking on a friend's back deck,
I become that golden song,
that yellow beckoning
that is sun, that is light, that is life
that is the breathless exuberance
of a new daffodil.
See, now I unfold my petals
canary wings exploding into flight --
all for you;
all for you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


A spark of sun
ignited hope this morning,
then died away
extinguished by
another bank of clouds.
As gray rolled in again
and rain poured down,
the just and unjust alike
can't help but wonder
if the clouds will ever pass;
if hearts like buds
will ever open and revive.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We sure could use a sign

It's dark, and things are moving
pretty fast; I'm having trouble focusing.
Is this the door
you wanted us to enter?
There's certainly a lot of promise here;
the lights and colors all suggest
there could be something
magical inside; some light, some love --
or could it be the darker one,
just to the right;
things look a bit more orderly,
a little safer, a little clearer...
or is there yet another door
further down the road,
or perhaps behind us?
At times like this,
we sure could use a sign...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Airport: A Pause for Reflection

Easy enough,
with the right equipment --
language, icons,
the trappings of religion --
to polish up the ground on which we stand
to create the illusion
of depth and introspection:
surely the waves of truth
are lapping at our feet
and we can walk on water.
But pausing here and reflecting
only that which went before
without  a deep commitment
to the path that lies ahead
will just ensure
we'll never reach
our intended destination.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Moonchild -- born
at the close of the year
in the cold and the dark --
you lit up the night.
Moonchild -- born
to an indigo sky
so bright in some ways
and so lost in your dreams --
your fresh perspectives
taught us a new way to see.
Moonchild -- raised
by the water's edge
floating, adrift, in a gothic sea --
you saw much more pain
than we wanted you to...
Moonchild  -- grown now
radiant with loveliness and light.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In God's eyes

We confront the mirror, bow our heads
and wonder -- what's the use,
and what do I bring to the table?
And God watches,
loving all the while.
We laugh, then bite our lips;
cry, then wipe the tears away,
mourn, and then apologize
for our sorrow.
All the wrongs  and differences
we cannot forgive in ourselves,
all the good we ever might have done,
is just a glaze,
preventing us from seeing
through the glass to God's eyes,
God's tender look of love.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

On building a theology

Yes, that's it, the home I built for you:
it's there, all cozy and white,
barely visible, nestled in the trees,
alone, unique, and almost inaccessible,
and isn't that the point,
the point you wanted me to make?
No, that's the point you built for me,
the one I'm building on,
and see, there is another point,
that I still haven't reached,
that's still not clear -- which is okay --
but now I'm wondering:
should I build a boat?

Friday, April 1, 2011

On demonizing others

It has a way of cropping up,
looming out of the mist;
this angry monster,
demanding to be fed.
I pray the fog of disconnection clears,
or perhaps just for
the courage to step closer,
to risk the wounding of the brambles,
the threat of roots underfoot;
to stand, firm and confident
upon the ground we share;
stretch out a hand, to touch and see
what looms is just the tangled net
of alien desires, threatening
to choke us both; that hidden
beneath the strangling web
there is still life, an echo of my own.