Friday, October 30, 2009

When art and photos mix

When art and photos mix
a poem may ensue
unless my back is out,
in which case I can't think
of a single word
I'd like to add,
although there might be
a color or two
I wish I had the energy to change...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It takes courage

It takes courage
to be an artist:
courage to face the empty canvas;
courage to keep going
when you're worried
this might be as good
as it's going to get
and if you do anything to it
you'll wreck it;
courage to add another color
or another word,
another character
or another note;
courage to decide
okay, now it's done.
How much do you trust yourself today?

* * *

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

An empty waiting room

Sometimes it seems like Heaven
must be some suspended place
that no one can get to;
comfortable chairs,
delicious foods,
beautiful music
that no one is able to enjoy --
certainly not me,
not with all my faults and flaws.

But no,
that's just an empty waiting room
where no one needs to go;
a halfway place
between now
and now;
an illusion of loneliness
on the way to somewhere else
where everyone imperfect
will always know

* * *

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Coming and Going

Help me,
would you,
I can't tell
if I'm coming or going,
and I seem to be stuck
on the shadowed side.

This constant dark striving,
ever upward --
when do I get to sink down,
step into the light,
and breathe?
And I confess --
trying to do it all by myself
gets a little lonely...

* * *

Monday, October 26, 2009

The light within

Within my fortress
I stand proud,
believing that I lift my lamp
beside that golden door.
But stepping back, I see
that that which lies within,
all that I always saw as "me,"
is really fed
by some celestial river,
and I am not
some proud and lonely goddess
but a mermaid,
and connected to the sea which feeds me.

My lamp
-- that light within me --
will only remain illuminated
if I allow myself
to be continually ignited
by that deep connection,
which enlightens all that I am and all I do.

* * *

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Life on the cusp

I'm grateful for the color pink
-- though it doesn't look that great on me --
and for the scent of lilies
-- which sometimes makes me sneeze --
and for the freckles on this flower
-- though I find the ones on my own aging skin
seem somewhat less appealing.

I'm grateful, too, for the contrast
between light and dark --
the crisp sharp edges where they meet
add so much life to art --
but I confess:
I find it very hard
to live on that cusp,
to flirt with both;
to know the agony of dark
and the ecstasy of light
are both so close
is absolutely

* * *

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Before the Fog

Before the fog,
my world was full
of light and color;
the promise of the sun
loomed steadily on my horizon,
reflecting deep into my being.
Before the fog,
love danced in my heart
as the shorebirds dance on the beach,
and peace paddled gently
across the surface of my mind.
But when the fog rolled in
I lost sight of everything,
lost my bearings and my faith.
Thank you
for bringing back the light.

* * *

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Maizing Grace ( or a Kernel of Truth)

One problem with this narrower vision,
with keeping our focus tight:
we might become obsessed
with all our differences,
with being purple,
when all the rest are red,
with the illusion we're keeping our heads
when all about us are losing theirs.

When we step back from self,
it forces us to learn we're not alone
or even necessarily unique;
that other ears exist
where white, red, yellow or purple
is the norm.

Know that you are worthy,
and be glad,
but stay aware:
the purpose of all us kernels
is to bless something larger than ourselves.

* * *

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Watching, waiting, hungry

Some days
you just have to sit there,
watching the patterns swirl around you,
waiting for life to settle down again.
Some days
you're lucky,
and the chair is shiny and comfortable.

Other days
the chair will sag,
or smell,
or be a little tipsy:
you'll find yourself
looking for a matchbook,
not knowing whether to prop up one leg
or just to ignite the whole damn thing
and burn it to the ground.
This is how it is
when you're looking for a place
to hang your hat;
for a place where you might get fed.

* * *

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bright blessings

Help us to remember,
O Gracious One,
that it is when the rains come
that the colors of life
become more intense;
that when the brightest of lights
is hidden behind a cloud
the other, closer lights --
the bits of thoughtfulness that others bring --

A place to rest,
a bit of food,
a colorful garden to share,
a single scarlet flower in a pot of green --
simple pleasures, all,
yet freely offered;
bright blessings
made moreso
by the presence of the rain.

* * *

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It takes two, baby...

There are so many things
I've chosen not to do,
so many chances not taken,
so many roads not traveled,
because I have this way
of thinking I'm alone,
and the job's too big for me.

When will I take down this wall
and see that you are there
to help?

When will I learn to ask
for help?

When will I discover
it's possible to say
I will --
with God's help?

* * *

Monday, October 19, 2009

From accelerate to brake

Even seen
through the rainy windshield
of a moving car
these shapes have meaning.
Though vision's blurred,
we know we're seeing
three circles in a black rectangle;
we know what to expect,
what lies ahead.
What other signs are there
-- though blurry at a conscious level --
that we subconsciously interpret
as if they're laws?
What else is there
that makes us shift a foot
from accelerate to brake?

* * *

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shifting focus

Though my focus is still inward,
captured by the thoughts and worries
that slide across the surface of my mind,
I still can sense,
somewhere outside me
-- or is that deeper in?--
the colors of the seasonal shifts
that occur whether I watch or not,
just as the sun
rises and sets
though I remain immersed in darkness.

Help me to notice the colors of my life;
to know that when I see them,
the time has come
to shift my focus away from me to You.

* * *

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thanks for the fish

Though you may not be
all that fond of fish
-- either of catching them
or of eating them --
the thought of squeezing one of these
to make it squeak
for a previously bored cat
or child
is sure to make me grin.

I imagine their delighted surprise
(or mine,
in running my fingers
through all those flexible fins)
is a bit how God must feel
every time someone tickles a baby,
or sings in the shower,
or just raises their eyes to heaven
to say,

* * *

Friday, October 16, 2009

Discount the knowing wisdom

At what age do we learn
to see this oblong shape
as Circle
and forget to notice
that it is not perfectly round;
that its appearance is foreshortened,
That, as it's shown --
assuming it's a hole --
it never could accommodate
a piston, or a ball?
Is that the same age
at which we learn
to trust the inevitable distortions
conjured by our over-active minds?

Do you suppose that that's the age
when prejudice ensures
that we see only what we expect to see;
the age when we begin to discount
the knowing wisdom
of an open, unbounded heart?

* * *

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What is Home?

What is Home,
if You are Home,
and he, too, is home to You?

Can it be
that Home's a place
where he and I meet,
in You?

Help us, Lord;
Help us each
to find our Home in You.

* * *

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In the house of wishes

Tucked in behind the trees,
dappled with autumnal shadows,
a quiet invitation
to a future yet unknown,
a beckoning of hope,
the gift of longing
for a life as yet unlived,
for gentleness and peace
already mine
but wearing a different guise;
an integration promised
of past and future dreams
whose shapes,
though unremembered,
color visions of what might be.
dream with me, my love;
come join me in the house of wishes,
come draw with me
a picture of
the life we've yet to live.

* * *

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The blessing of being

Before we learn
the Man Behind the Curtain
isn't really there, but here,
the world seems black and white,
full of witches and tornadoes
set to catch us unaware.

And though the table's set for us
and good food has been served,
we only see
the blank gray emptiness within.

Staring blindly out,
fork poised in expectation,
we miss the richness
that is here,
that is now,
that is being;
that is the blessing
of being here now.

* * *

Monday, October 12, 2009

Reeled slowly into oneness

when we expect it least,
you send us sights,
or sounds;
scents, tastes,
or just a gentle touch
that fills our souls;
simple pleasures
catch us unaware
and draw our eyes and hearts
back home to you.
As surely as a lure
entices a fish
these moments capture me,
and I am hooked again.
And you,
watching from above
reel us slowly into oneness
so you and I may sip together
at this delicious fount
of love.

* * *

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What if this heart

What if this heart
that lies at the center of being
were left untended;
given no air to breathe,
no blood to pump,
no love to share?
Would the holes
through which all love and life
were born to flow
begin to calcify,
and then,
no longer flexible,
be gradually eaten away,
still beautiful
but hard and empty as a stone?

Help me remember to breathe;
remind me,
in the breathing,
to bring my focus back where it belongs:
to You.

* * *

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Unable to fly myself, I shout at you;
Anguished by my own tormented lacerations
I call you names.
Handicapped by my own fears
I sneer at your fearless wrestling
with the challenges
I am too weak to face,
demanding perfection
I cannot find in myself,
rushing you
so you'll be certain to fail.
Where is the grace
in this angry, wounded bird;
this mother,
whom I find so hard to love?

* * *

Friday, October 9, 2009

Echoes of love

Having filled my eyes
with color from its truest Source --
the richest blues,
the brightest, warmest orange --
I find the colors linger there
at the edges of my vision:
a haunting invitation to seek more;
a willingness to find,
to see
those same colors
echoing across the ground before me.
In much the same way love,
once experienced,
has its own way
of echoing
across the landscape of friends
coloring each, enriching each
so that which once was commonplace
now glows
with a hitherto unexpected fire
of blessing.

* * *

Thursday, October 8, 2009

On Nature and Sustainability

What nature leaves behind
when she uses or destroys
still seems to have
some gracious contribution
to the landscape;
some shape or form
which even as it disintegrates
provides a home,
or food,
or fuel,
or even just enhances someone's view,

While we --
who clutter up our lives
with bottles, cans and cellphones,
used equipment and containers --
cannot sustain
but only hoard;
fail to conserve
and litter pristine landscapes
with our old discarded toys.

* * *

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blue Reflections

Help me to remember
I am more than my reflections;
that my being has more substance;
and that my feathers, eye and bill
are not unique.

And may I also know
that the color of the mood in which I float
is influenced by the air I breathe,
the color of the sky,
and the richness of the ground below these rippling waves of emotion;
by trees and clouds and other birds,
by all that lives and moves
and has its being
in You.

* * *

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

That flame of longing

Something within,
behind the flutter
of color, light, and hope
watches gently,
blowing wisps of spirit
to rattle the pages
and hold our interest.

Something within
knows and fans
that flame of longing,
understands and accepts
that the anxious hunger
which makes us restless
also drives us forward,
ever deeper,
ever closer,
to that
which is also

* * *

Monday, October 5, 2009

The tide will inevitably fall

When the water around you is rising,
Keep walking --
just put on your boots,
'cuz the tide only rises until it falls,
and it will,

As long as your boots aren't leaking
and you've got warm dry clothes on your back,
you built your house
on the high, dry ground
and there's water and food in your pack,
you'll survive til the water starts falling:
just enjoy the reflections and splash
cuz the tide only rises until it falls
and it will,

* * *

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A quieting acceptance

Though wind and waves
have pounded all night
at my beach and windows
I wake at dawn
to find the moon
still beaming there,
throwing smiles across the rough-hewn sea.

Though chaos reigns
in noise and the harsh slap
of water on the logs,
the wild debris of ocean
thrown ashore in churning abandon,
she watches,
so serenely;
a soothing and steady reminder
that there exists
-- beyond the howling tempests,
the turbulent chop of stormy seas --
a quieting acceptance
of all that is.

* * *

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ordinary Wonder

Can it be
that all there is
emerges from this simple combination
of circle/curve and line,
of light,
and dark,
and color?
How then,
if that were true
could we ever declare
one combination to have
more value than another?
Surely one might be more pleasing to the eye,
but wouldn't that largely depend
on which eye it was
that did the looking?
Rather than comparing compositions,
Could we not spend our time in marveling?
How extraordinary it is,
that everything that is
is rooted in such ordinary wonder!

* * *

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Some other ride

things that look
like they're designed to take off
are actually permanently grounded.
In situations like that,
you could always stay on board
and complain that it's not taking off
or you could choose to disembark.
Even if where you are looks nice and shiny,
and the slope away looks pretty slippery,
it may still be true
that you belong
on some other ride altogether.

* * *