Thursday, March 31, 2011

The thin blue rope of love

What do you see
when staring at us
standing all together?
Do you note our differences --
how some are dark
and others light;
some clean, and others dirty;
some straight,
and others curved
as if to accommodate
a different way of being?
Or can you see how much alike
we are; how strong,
when bound together
by the thin blue rope of love?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The silence of the daffodils

In the silence of the daffodils,
their golden heads bowed down
with the weight of a late spring snow
I hear the ache in your voice;
a mother's sadness
a child's cry in the night
the soldier's loneliness
as he watches in the darkness
dreading every shadow --
when will this numbing coldness
dissipate; when will the soul
awake and bloom
without this palpable constriction?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Til dawn returns again

These transitions,
that can prove so challenging,
are often also times so bathed
in light that we forget,
enchanted by the show,
that when it fades
we're moving into night.
Blessed as we are
by the glory at the end of the day,
help us to have the patience
and the courage
to carry the memory of light
through darkness
until dawn returns again.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A wound in the foundation

This crack
in the foundation of the earth,
in the foundation of our being;
this arbitrary separation --
can it be healed?
Or does it go too deep?
Was there ever a time
when it did not exist?
Can we be whole again,
or are we forever doomed
to poke at this,
to widen the rift
with the picks and shovels
of our angry thoughts and opinions?
Help us to reach across the gap
and feel the solid rock
from which we each are made.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Longing and belonging

We are as You created us:
fragile, strong,
imperfect and whole,
outwardly open
yet closed protectively
around our inner core,
surrounded by all we need to survive
and yet still longing
for that precious gift
that only You can give.
Wrapped in this tangled circle
of longing and belonging
I lift my face to the sun,
seeking to feel
your warm embrace
in the tender heart
of being.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stop and look and wonder

Who knew
a lowly hole in the floor
could glow
with such a precious light;
copper --
Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed
like one of these.
Some days
the texture of our lives
is so surprising
we can only stop
and look
and wonder at the miracles.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The voice of wonder

High on the ridge,
tucked in the trees,
a light persistent chirp
of wonder calls;
an invitation to appreciate
the scent of evergreens,
the chill on my cheeks
and the warmth of sun on my back
the chuckling of the water
in the creek,
the crunch of snow underfoot.
"Take time to breathe," it sings,
"and celebrate creation."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

True Love

Greater love hath no man --
or so the saying goes --
which only means
the extraordinary passions
which drive us to such heights
to inscribe our future hopes upon
the enduring structures of this world
will always pale in comparison
to the solid core of Love
that embraces us,
that wraps around
and lifts us up into the next;
into the heart of God.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Who built, and who destroys

You're asking me to step
onto this bridge, to trust
that it will bear the weight
of all of these accumulated
offenses and transgressions;
to trust that it will carry me
safely back into relationship
or safely away from my abusers,
when all I can see
is the damage that's been done
to these foundations;
the fragility; the imminent
collapse of all we've built
together you and I; but wait -- Oh!
Now I see: this is the bridge
from you to me; it is my own acidity
that's eating it away...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Come sit with me

Come sit with me upon this bench:
together we can watch the tide
roll in and then roll out again;
can smile at all the times
when you were right and I was wrong
and chuckle at the churning
as we reverse roles with the tide:
who's clinging to the shore today,
and who'll be here tomorrow,
and who is sliding happily to sea
watching sand like time as it slips
between the fingers of the waves...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ode to Mary Oliver

Whose face do you see mirrored here --
in this grasshopper, I mean,
who waits so greenly at the dock,
prepared to fling her sails into the wind
and glide, and float away upon a prayer;
who fills her idle hours
drifting on the shallow seas
and dreaming of a breeze?
What else should she have done?
With life so short, so quickly gone,
would not you choose as well to smile;
to step into the light and lift your face
to the wild and precious gift of sky?

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I step into the wind,
drawn like a moth
to this liquid flame;
to the searing promise
of transfiguration --
that all that litters
the edge of being
will be burnt away
by this cleansing surge;
that Truth will stand before me
rooted and immovable.
But what is left
when the wind that churns
these burning waves of regret
has died away; when blackened wings
drift slowly down
like ashes to the sea?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Only in the depths

That light in the distance --
so alluring --
draws me homeward
to You.
Help me to step forward
onto the path that will most surely
carry me to You;
the path that will transport me
away from busy restlessness
and down into the mists
of stillness and mystery.
I'd thought that staying here
above the clouds
would keep me bathed in light.
But now I see this reality is darkness,
and true light awaits me
only in the depths.

Friday, March 18, 2011


There are those, I know,
who'd find this sign inviting,
but since I have
an allergy to fish,
I do not think that I'll be stopping here:
a fine example, even proof,
that choices that are right for some
might yet be wrong for others;
that choices must be fueled
by self-awareness and acceptance;
that there may not be
some universal right,
One Way, One Answer,
All The Time  -- but, uh-oh --
isn't that concept, situational ethics,
supposed to be the first step
down the long slide into Hell?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

White petals of hope

Who is this man?
And what led us to suspect
he'd answer all our prayers,
or even that he'd look this way,
his eyes uplifted...
Is he, too awaiting
an answer to a prayer?

Did he, too, pray
only after
the answers were beginning
to rain down,
white petals of hope
that fall like paint
upon the face
of one who trusts you --
even when we can't?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jonah's lament

I don't know what love looks like
from the belly of the whale.
Surrounded by this darkness,
I cannot hear her singing to her calves.
I've forgotten what light feels like;
can't remember the scent
of the prairie, the sigh of a single rose
when everything smells fishy.
Will I ever know again the comfort
of hard ground beneath my feet,
or am I doomed forever to be consumed
by this queasy, churning loss of control?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Since long before our birth

I heard a thump this morning,
and flew to the window to find
a tiny sparrow had broken her neck,
flying into her own reflection.
I held her in my hand
and felt the echo of your love for me;
a tenderness, as I watched her eye
slowly close, and felt the warmth
fade quietly away from her feathered breast.
How foolishly we, too, break our necks
and backs, bending over backward
to please and enhance our own reflections,
never looking past the face
made in the image of God
to see the love that has cradled us
and cared for us without reserve
since long before our birth...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sheep or goat?

Which is it that she is today --
or is she always just a bit of both?
Some part of her that listens
shares the stage
with some ferocious beast
that longs to butt heads:
one part accepts with grace,
the other, always confrontational...
Perhaps that was the wisest thing,
to put one on your left,
the other on your right;
that your love might reconcile us
each to each and to ourselves.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wild beasts and angels

Who dances here
inside our souls?
Wild beast, or angel --
and how are we to tell
which beast is which?
They may not have been
dressed as we'd expect;
might prove more playful
than we would deem wise.
Though robed in white,
the tattered clothes might indicate
a certain shabbiness of purpose;
a willingness to bend and sway
when we assumed upright should be
the order of the day...
Help us, we pray,
to know and love them both.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Interior separations

Some part of me,
some huge and anxious
primal beast
lies trapped behind
some bright invisible wall,
imprisoned by my tidy brain
whose pressed white shirt
is crumpled only lightly
by the pack of concepts
learned along the way.
This neatly packaged
carefully constructed self
stares through, but dares not look
into those frightened eyes.
When will I breach the boundary
to touch and reassure the heart
that beats so frantically within?

Friday, March 11, 2011

When will I learn?

Looking down
into the depths
of my own soul
I watch,
and feel the (largely unwarranted)
terror rushing in
and wonder:
after all this time and work
is it still so hard
to stem the tide?
will I learn
to trust

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Left wing or right

Each wing, so differently designed,
some feathers short and others long,
and yet -- bone, muscle, feather --
all mirrored here; each side unique
and yet the same. Whatever differences
they may proclaim while on the ground
must surely be resolved in flight; when
working in concert to lift, or dive;
to soar above the sea, and glide
in perfect harmony. Left wing or right:
let all dissension cease, and lift
our one united heart in airborne song.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Desiring to Desire

Gracious Lord, You have blessed us
with such abundance --
help us to convert our longings
for that which you are
not prepared to give
into a heartfelt hunger
for that which you desire
for us and through us,
that we may align ourselves
more fully with your grace
and follow more intentionally
where only You can lead.

(Written in response to today's reading from Richard Rohr's new Lenten guide,  
Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Time to unlock

What is it then,
that keeps us stiff and separate,
that chains us to opposing views
while watching warily
for some offense?
Who forged those chains?
Did not some heroic voice
already come to set us free;to hand us each the key?
Why do we not
unlock our differences
and learn to sit together
on this bench of love?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Extraordinary Measures

When I think
of the extraordinary contraptions
people have devised
to carry water across
these dry and barren lands
I wonder how it is we cannot see
that Love, too, can sometimes require
extraordinary measures
to reach its serpentine embrace
across the Great Divides
we all too carefully construct
between ourselves and those whose lives
are closely bound with ours.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In fear and wonder

How can there be any safety
here or anywhere
when trees can grow to such heights
from such hard stone;
when water can find its way
through rock to pour,
when cold can stop the water in its tracks
and turn to ice;
when man can carve through cliffs
to build a road so straight and true?
Of course it is unsafe to pass this by
and give no thought to wonder;

unsafe, as well, to stop
and lose oneself,
to falter on the path and fail to move:
we must do both; do all;
must notice, breathe the power of it all,
breathe out again and thus propel
the move to ongoing discovery;
more wonder, fear, and joyous exultation.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spiritual refreshment

She waits upon this rock
with wing outstretched
and patient eyes
for each child to return
and find its wings again.
A respite from the storms
and all the wars we fight
that separate us
from our true selves
and our strength,
she holds us tenderly
against that warm and feathered breast;
we feel the heart that beats beneath
in rhythm with our own
and breathe in concert til, restored,
we stretch our feathers, flex,
and soar again.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The fallen ones

The fallen ones
have always offered
intriguing subjects
for discriminating viewers:
what can we learn
from watching their mistakes
except, perhaps, to realize
that all life is
identically vulnerable
to sudden shifts
of wind, of tide, of ground,
and so the one who stands so tall today
might easily be found tomorrow
gasping on his side, bedraggled,
begging one small
insignificant passing duck
for a lift...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sweet indentations

Whose footprints are these,
inscribed upon this rock?
What cosmic puppy frolicked here;
what heavy-footed beasts
stalked through in search of prey,
or chasing rainbows on a summer's day?
Like some affectionate cat
salt water, that elixir
that feeds our cells and souls,
has licked relentlessly,
its sandy tongue
lapping up itself;
has left
these hollowed/hallowed imprints
on our souls: sweet indentations
waiting to be filled again
with Love.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Precious in your hand

Walking your beach
which seems so lonely to me now
I stop to rest,
clambering up a small stone cliff
to sit and stare across the still teal sea.
My eyes are drawn
to this time-softened stone,
and in it now I see your palm
outstretched, and creased
with age and tenderness
holding forth as if you were a chld
a small gathering of nondescript pebbles
as if to say
See? Every single ordinary thing
is precious in my hands!