Friday, July 31, 2009

Soul to brain and body: A Conversation

Excuse me?
Could we just stop a moment,
Sit a spell,
take the time to revel in this sky?

I know you have your agendas,
your busy days and times and plans;
your clever schemes and chores...
But sometimes I just need
to take a break and breathe.
Could we do that now?

* * *

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Listening for what lies within

I remember, as a child,
thinking adults knew it all,
that someone had the answers,
and that there was a God
up somewhere in the sky above the clouds
who watched my every move
and intervened on my behalf
when things went bad or wrong.

And though I still believe there is a God,
I now can see adults don't know it all,
or sometimes even a part;
that no one has the answers, especially not me;
that the Great One in the sky
is probably all in -- or on -- my head
(for all the times I promoted that interpretation
I apologize)
and now I know the only hope is to listen
for that still small voice of wisdom
that comes from within.
Listen: can you hear it now?

* * *

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Song of Olympia

She calls to us from her balcony,
this state of ours,
selling herself to the highest bidder;
calls to developer, farmer,
shipping magnate and technology guru:
"Wa don't y'all come up
and see me sometime?"

Later, in that darkened room,
resting her tired feet against the scarred table,
her hair in curlers,
she watches her meagre finances dwindle
and dreams of the old days
when money was plentiful
and the paths --now worn-- across her face
were still new.

* * *

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Macabre Moment in a Military Museum

it's just a stage set,
a macabre moment in a military museum,
but someone,
is reliving this moment;
standing on guard,
blindly preparing to shoot or kill
some designated enemy
in some small town
while the women and children,
the elderly and the lame,
cower inside, awaiting they know not what.

And what is better?
To go and be reminded, that this life has been,
and could still be,
Or to sit outside the museum, on the pleasant lawn,
catching the slow drips from a chocolate ice cream cone
and brushing, slowly, fingers across the sharp-edged grass...

* * *

Monday, July 27, 2009

Warning: Excremental Language Ahead!

I'd always heard that Kierkegaard
extolled the "leap of faith,"
and saw it as the choice we make
to believe in things we cannot see
or touch or feel, or smell or taste.
But now I read it's a leap TO faith --
a decision to dive in,
to believe despite the paradoxes
so obvious to us all --
I mean, hello, religion's FULL
of contradictions and confusion --

And so, if this is Kierkegaard
who's climbed to the top of all the ways
we've found to dispose
of what we cannot understand
or tolerate of life, of God, or within ourselves,
perhaps he's really not preparing
to dive back into the stream of things
but simply embracing all that is;
triumphant to have risen above that shit!

* * *

Sunday, July 26, 2009


And on those days,
when all seems flat and bleak,
too dry to breathe,
too hot to move
and I sag under the weight
of my own internal sky,
am I not like you?

Do I not long
for love to fall into place,
for some discriminating cloud
to drift down round my shoulders
enfolding with its whisper of cool and damp,
its promise of rain to come,
of water -- somewhere --
in this parched desert of a life?

* * *

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Sometimes it takes a lot of courage
to step into it;
to take off your shoes,
roll up your pants,
and brave the possible outpouring of truth.

But once you're in it --
once you're already as drenched
as you're ever likely to get --
have you ever noticed
how comfortable it gets;
how hard it can be to leave?

Even when some parental voice is calling you out --
"That's enough now,
Time to go" --
There's something about
the liquid wonder of it all,
the fear, the bravery,
the delicious wash of justice,
That just keeps me hangin' on...

* * *

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In the landscape of my mind

The landscape of my mind
has a mythical quality --
the trees I remember
seem so much taller there;
the grasses so much greener;
the lakes so much more blue.

But the paths there are less traveled,
and tend to wind a bit
as I stroll from one idea to the next;
the destination's always a bit unclear.
Is that a farm up ahead?
Or could it be a refinery?
I pause beside a pool of thoughts,
dabble my finger,
and watch Spirit ripple over the water.

* * *

Sunday, July 19, 2009

All too short a time

for Teddy...

We treasure our children:
however charming or irritating they may be,
they are ours for all too short a time,
and the love that flows between us,
when we're hugging them, chest to chest,
can clear our hearts and souls
like a waterfall in a deep forest;
sweet, and pure, flowing through our veins
and filling our eyes with tears
even when we're ready
to chain them to a fence and walk away
as soon as the hug is over
because it's just so frustrating
that they are not exactly who we thought they'd be
or doing what we thought they'd do:
they're never just like us --
and that's a good thing -- really; trust me.
And love them.
Just love them.

* * *

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pure silliness

The old ways may not get you there as quickly:
there might not be music;
you might need a map;
the seats might not be as comfortable.

But oh, the elegance,
the beauty of those days,
the sleek lines, like rolling hills;
the careful punctuation of the chrome;
the way form followed function...

You are, for me, my love --
despite your years --
still a joyful ride,
a cabriolet of memories,
the convertible of my dreams.

* * *

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


After all this time,
we are still a pair
like these two chairs
slightly worn,
just enough space between us
to be comfortable --

The memories decorate our past,
good times
hanging on the wall behind us,
part of the domestic picture,
the framework of our lives;
each stopped at a different special moment.

And the morning light streams in the window,
invitation to another day,
the table set,
the lamp ready to be lit,
the stairs to climb at the end of the day,

* * *

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Peace and Plenty

Walking down a busy street
in a tourist sort of town,
I happened upon this happy profusion of color.

How magical, this mix of shades and shapes;
How exuberant, this multiplicity of styles!
This, I think,
is how God visualized us
when she created the world:
not just a Garden of Eden,
but a Garden of Being,
alive with light and color,
rich in variety,

Think how boring it would be
if every flower were an identical pink rose!
In such a world,
even a dandelion would be cause for rejoicing.

* * *

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Divine Table

Where did we get the idea
that the Divine Table would always be perfect?
Isn't it possible
that sometimes it might just be -- tasty?
Do we really need fine china,
expensive silverware,
crystal goblets?
The point is that the bounty is there for the taking;
that we will be fed:
all we have to do is stop,
and taste the sweet nectar of the divine presence.
It's okay to come as you are:
this Host will not be offended by your bare knees,
or by the sweat of your labors.
Just show up,
and all will be well.

* * *

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Weighed and found wanting

You say these old ideas
have been weighed and found wanting.
Might it not be true instead
that it is your scale that is out of date?

Perhaps our national reluctance
to move from yards to meters
parallels a spiritual reluctance
to set aside the old framework
for fear the timeless values it contains will be lost.

If I or my ideas are too heavy or too light,
the scale you use will not change their weight.

Only I can do that, by drawing closer to the Center.

* * *

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tiny acts of kindness

The sign says they are potatoes --
these lovely rows of pale pink flowers
that sparkle like faerie tu-tus
on a dark green stage
and color the world
from my feet to the horizon
with a profusion of peachy blossoms.

I don't understand.
If the fruit is in the root, why even HAVE a flower?
And why would you add
this developing fruit at the center,
and wrap it in a gold frame?

So much beauty, so much of it unseen --
a million tiny beautiful acts of kindness;
a model for us all.

* * *

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fuzzy around the edges

Today I am not the wise one,
the one who greets with openness,
awaits without any expectation;
the one who is curious and poised,
fearless and ready.

Today I am the sleepy one,
fuzzy around the edges,
still a bit unhatched and unaware,
annoyed a bit by all the fuss,
demanding, discouraged, and full of whine.
Thank you for feeding me anyway!

* * *

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Natural reflections

This body, my love,
is your temple --
let us meet here and worship together
the glory of trees and sky
reflected in your eyes.

This grass, my love --
so green below my feet --
why is it only on my side of the equation?
Is it because you have no need of earth?
And the sky, my love:
Why is it so much bluer
seen through your eyes?

Bless you, my love,
for joining me here,
on such a cold winter's day:
Thank you for this mirroring chant
to show me who I am and may become.
Sit with me a bit,
and together we'll dangle our cold wet toes
in our conjoined future.

* * *

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

When stillness happens

I like the early morning fog,
the peace and quiet
of an empty highway,
the stillness of a billboard unobserved,
the graceful sweep of electrical wire
unoccupied by birds.

When the city still sleeps,
the homeless doze under the overpass,
the trains and buses take a holiday
and the colors of industry
are thrown into relief,
I pause and breathe
a prayer of gratitude.

This quiet morn --
this soft, still air,
these colors, these curves,
this empty road --
all suit me to a T.

* * *