Sunday, February 28, 2010

Will intentions be enough?

It's balmy here today --
though snowing in your back yard --
and the sun warms my shoulders
as I sit and stare at my idle hands,
resting in my lap.

Before me the future remains
What will it be?
How can I ensure
that this space
that currently surrounds and fills
my life and heart
will continue to open;
continue to fill
with music and art,
community and friends,
stories and love.
Will intentions be enough
to make that happen?

* * *

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shores of wonder

There are moments on the journey
when we lift our eyes and see
a sign:
but what does it mean?
Will everything be different
when I get there?
Is the landscape heading for change
even as I watch?
And what about
these high contrasts
through which I'll need to pass?

Patience, my friend --
it's just a moment's hesitation.
and let your sails unfurl
and I will carry you
to the unimaginable shores of wonder
that lie in wait
for you.

* * *

Friday, February 26, 2010

Taking steps

Step on it -- hurry up!
Step on it -- squash it down.
Step into it -- s**t.

Step it up - increase your pace.
Step it down -- release intensity.
Step back -- revisit history.
Step forward -- making progress.
Two steps forward,
one step back -- slow progress.

Step inside -- welcome.
Step aside -- out of my way!
Step'n'fetch it -- servanthood.
Step beyond it -- overcome.
Step by step -- inch by inch.
The Skipped step -- why it might fail.
Missed a Step -- why it failed.
The Next Step, the Dance Step
The Footstep -- hear it?

Step up, Step down, Step lightly.
Step out, Step in, Step bravely.
Take steps -- You're only a step away.

Step away from the car!
Step up to the plate!
Step into the light --

and breathe.

* * *

Thursday, February 25, 2010

In God's good time

Behold: I bring you tidings of great joy!
And though it may mean a death of sorts,
a loss, a shift, a change --
that which is being birthed
will be a gift beyond imagining.
Your mission --
please choose to accept it --
is to embrace and to embody.
Be at peace with the waiting:
love this new life into being
and trust the blessings that are to come.

You've been here before, you know --
it's just that it's been so long
you'd forgotten the warning signs --
the mood swings,
that nauseating fear,
the slowing down, the fullness, the intensity --
Patience, my friend, and all will come to pass
in God's good time;
in God's good time.

* * *

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The liminal, illuminated

What light is this,
that makes the humble
What rope is this,
that clings so tightly to its cleat?
How can it hold;
how can it stretch and tether
this earthly vessel
to its home --
flexing with the waves
and then released
to send us back across the water --
if it's here, tied up in knots?

Ah. This must be the liminal --
that space that lies between.

* * *

Monday, February 22, 2010


The longer I live
the more I see
that everything seems to be connected.
Some of those connections
may be a bit obscure --
the road from then to now
or him to her
or me to you
may wind a bit,
or spiral up
(or sometimes down)
but still the fabric of being
exhibits its weave more clearly
the older I get
and the more I learn to see --
or is it just
that as my vision dims
and hearing fails
everything begins to look
and sound the same?

* * *

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Refresher course

One lesson,
never quite completely learned,
requires an occasional
refresher course:
a picture,
like a life,
requires dark and light together
to make a more effective whole,
and where the two meet,
where contrast is most strong,
becomes the dynamic center
that recharges and revitalizes,
and draws the focus inward.
Accept them both:
feel strength and passion,
and do not be afraid.

* * *

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Let's cut to the chase...

Tell me this -- I need to know:
At what moment
will this blade become a spire;
this knife-edged curve
a sail to billow
with a sudden gust of spirit?
How can I push the clouds away
so all the colors of the sky
ignite this tempered steel?
What camera shall I buy, what lens,
that could enable me to see
straight through to Resurrection?

Your wounding is your gift, my love:
Allow the blade
to open your heart,
be patient with the clouds,
the reign of tears,
and teach yourself to listen for the wind.
It's not about what looks:
it's how --and Who -- we learn to see.

* * *

Friday, February 19, 2010

Shimmering with oneness

Here's what I adore:
this curious way your light has
of shimmering into our souls.
When we take the time
to calm our internal waters,
to find the deep abiding stillness
that lies at the root of being;
to rest in the peace
and lift our eyes to you,
the echoes of your radiance
dance around the edges of each cell,
dissolving all the tiny thoughts
that keep us separate, apart
into a cool clear pool of joy.

Sometimes I imagine
that's where we started out,
and where we'll land again
when the wind dies down
and we find our way home
to you.

* * *

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When Light Disturbs

Throughout our long
-- and now unseasonably warm --
we've rarely seen the sun.
And so today,
when it rose bright and low
we were forced to drop the shades.
To protect ourselves from the light,
we lost our beautiful view --
of bottles, and beyond the bottles,
the dune grass, and beyond the dune grass
the lagoon, and beyond the lagoon,
the houses and Puget Sound, and beyond the Sound,
the mountains, and beyond the mountains,
a cloud-free sky of blue,
and then, of course, the sun.
What other beauties
lie hidden from our eyes
when we draw internal shades
so that we can continue our ordinary days
undisturbed by The Light?

* * *

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

...and welcome Lent

Reject, he says:
and I reject the notion
that sacrifice is bad,
that all the fruit I've born that's not been picked
was ever given in vain,
and welcome Lent.
Release, says he,
and I release my need
for you to understand what I already know,
and welcome Lent.
Accept, he says:
accept that you have made mistakes;
release that guilt;
move forward with resolve --
and welcome Lent.
Affirm, says he, and so I praise
both light and dark, new growth and old,
and welcome Lent.

* * *

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Through a windshield, darkly

Peering through the rain
on a dirty windshield,
I vaguely sense
that there is color there
though what it might convey
is lost on me;
I'm just looking for a phone booth --
one last chance to call for help
before the total inundation.
Perhaps I need
to turn my wipers on
and thrust away
all these unfortunate distortions
I've been accumulating
-- all unconsciously --
Quick! Before it clouds up again:
what's that I see?
Could it be exactly
what I was searching for;
distorted by my own misperceptions?

* * *

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stuck in the Desert

So here you are
-- stuck in the desert --
and instead of drinking it in,
feeling the blaze of heat,
feasting your eyes
on what must now become
glaringly obvious,
what do you do?
More avoidance.
Retreat into your addictions
-- or, better yet --
build a dark and air-conditioned cave
so others can join you.
Set up housekeeping here, why don't you?
So much easier
than stepping barefoot onto the sand
and allowing yourself to feel
what you're REALLY thirsting for.
At this rate you'll never find your way back to the ocean.

* * *

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Longing for love

Somewhere in Mexico,
a small white flower
glistens in a red cocoon;
Somewhere a heart
is bursting into bloom.

And every year,
about this time
thousands of heart-shaped boxes
-- also bursting, but with candies --
eager to give,
leap into arms
of hungry maidens
who perhaps mistakenly assume
a cardboard heart and a pound of chocolate
will somehow assuage their longing for love...

* * *

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The mud beneath my toes

This is the way
that lies before you;
this is the path that you were given.
You can still choose
to turn away;
you can still choose to leap the fence;
you can go part way down,
and then take a left;
exploring your options
along the way.
But what is it that informs your choices?
And who is it who is doing the choosing?
Whose are those informing voices?
Perhaps its time to remove your shoes
and just feel the mud beneath your toes...

* * *

Friday, February 12, 2010

Our Mother, Earth

What ever made us think
this Holy Mother, Earth --
this core of unity
that holds together
mountain, sea,
and all that lies between --
would be impervious to wound;
that we could slice away at her heart --
these precious resources --
and never draw blood?

That which lies beneath
is common ground for all,
its blessings to be shared.
Each time we take
without a conscious giving back
we risk again
that future we hold dear;
our children's hopes,
their children's dreams,
and all that lies beyond.

* * *

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Learning to love our brokenness

And though we've learned to see and love
the imperfections we see elsewhere --
the wounds and scars,
the raw edges of life,
rusted, stained, and frayed;
peeled and broken --
still we persist
in seeing our own impoverished places,
our flaws and inconsistencies,
as signs of our unworthiness.
How can we ever truly forgive
another's muddling mishaps
if we cannot seem to learn
to forgive our own?

* * *

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beyond reflections to reality

No matter how you pretty it up,
This window is still broken:
there's still a black hole,
some empty nothingness
mixed in with these random reflections
of some other space where you don't live;
some other roof,
that shelters some other life.

What if this hole is a gift?
Could it be that this is your opening;
your chance to see beyond
the plain and the familiar
to your authentic being?
Don't be afraid: step up and take a look!

* * *

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Those 3 am demons

It cuts,
the blade of night;
strips bare the skin,
exposes those old wounds,
sharpening itself
against the bitter words
that echo in the darkness of the soul.
The beasts of jealousy and despair
awaken in the gloom
and lumber forth to battle,
clawing sleep from eyelids
desperate to close;
circling round, baring their teeth,
and stirring long-dead fears to life again.

* * * (With thanks to the folks at Carry On Tuesday)

Monday, February 8, 2010

What light is this?

What lives in us,
that manifested
in our torn dreams
and shattered hopes
spreads rusted wings
and soars above the brokenness
to touch the hearts
of all that see and hear
the longing that cries out;
the ache of the inevitable --
those crevices and scars,
the wounds that never seem to heal?

What light is this,
that, shining through the cracks
like some white radiance,
touches with tender hand
and holds it all together;
allows us to continue,
to keep on growing
into One.

* * *

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saturation Point

Expose your heart
to the wind and the rain;
let them show,
these veins
that carry life
out to the edges
where you meet the sky;
hands outstretched for mercy
cannot be denied
for long.

New growth
is always a little raw
but ... so saturated with life!

* * *

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Egoic mechanisms

This convoluted maze
of dead-end thoughts,
of avenues followed
to no resplendent conclusion --
When will it end?
When will that which feels closed and airless
Begin to breathe,
and open to the sky?
Or is this endless churning
recycling air,
enabling something else to breathe;
a support system for some rough and tortured beast
lumbering into being,
determined that its birth should pre-empt ours?

* * *

Friday, February 5, 2010

Before you drop that blade

Before you drop that blade,
before you allow yourself
to feel it slicing through the layers
of anger and frustration,
and sense the hunger in yourself,
the thirst for blood,
deeper still,
the hunger for acceptance
that drove the lifting of the blade.
Find that longing,
deep inside,
and then go further in
to find the abundant love that lies beneath
Lower your blade,
and feast on that abundance.

* * *

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Balancing the Now

We journey together
through the invisible:
that part of me
that's looking back,
that part of me
that's looking ahead,
and that third part, the one that's charged
with balancing the Now,
(who's all too easily distracted
by the constant chatter of the others.).
And though this hope she's riding on
may very well be sinking;
she's looking back over all the other times
when things were looking low:
and finding those reminders
help her trust that it will float.

* * *

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Always loving you

I'm doing it all, Lord:
I go on retreats,
I write in my journal,
I read good books,
I track my dreams...
why then am I still so... me?

Look up, my child:
look out the window,
step outside.
Breathe the air,
and feel the sun on your face.
Know that "me" is all you need;
that who you are today is enough;
that it is enough to still be listening for my love.
Patience, my child --
I am with you always,
even in your imperfection,
and I am always,
loving you.

* * *

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The mirrored enemy

That boat I see,
so close to me,
its color so dark
and different from mine --
it irritates.
That slick of oil,
that tiny drifting blemish on its cheek;
and, yes, they've got good numbers,
but they got the damn things backwards:
what's up with that?
Offended, I reach out to brush
that leaf -- or whatever it is -- away
and only then I find --
surprise! --
That is my own reflection there;
these tasteless imperfections
mere byproducts of the mirroring...

* * *

Monday, February 1, 2010

Promise in a rainbow

We were expecting
another high tide today,
and though the barometer was high
(which keeps the water low)
I took a deep breath
before I stepped onto the front porch,
hoping the water would not be lapping at my feet.
But no, though it was over the road,
my driveway was its usual rocky self.
And when I looked up, and finally saw the view --
well, I just have to say,
I know how Noah must have felt
at the end of the storm.

* * *