Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The truth about choices

What inner awareness
watches as we choose,
cautions --
right from wrong,
dark from light,
this path is safe
but this is not...
knowing all the while
that whatever choices
we might make
the way will be
both rough and smooth;
the future,
though it may be bright,
will always end in death;
that we won't always have to live
with whatever it is we chose.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Between bud and decay

Each has its place
and role to play in time;
this intersection rare,
when flower's bloom
and butterfly
happen to meet, and match:
yesterday would still
have been too soon,
tomorrow possibly too late
and yet we still expect
to have it all, and now...
give us the patience, please,
to celebrate the bud, and the decay.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Little interventions everywhere

Just when things get difficult,
these gifts appear
in unexpected places;
reminders --
that we are not alone,
that we are being tenderly held
and protected --
little interventions everywhere,
and I begin to wonder:
how many more have there been
that I've missed?
What if my eyes
could always be
this open
to Your Grace?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What drives us?

The obstacles are beginning
to look insurmountable:
the water too deep,
the mountains too high,
the distance too far,
the light dimming fast --
yet still the mountaineers press on,
determined to place
the flag of accomplishment
on some remote unattainable peak.
What is it that drives us
onward, past endurance,
to completion? Why can't we be
content with here and now?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wise ones

Good things come in threes,
or so they say,
but why are these
festooned with cobwebs,
lost up on a shelf?
What has been set aside
and left to gather dust;
what guiding lights
or helping hands
have been discarded
over time,
and how can they be reclaimed?
Reach up, reach out,
reach through the web
and grasp the truth
that waits and watches;
guides, guards, and inspires.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I am the flame

I am the monk
who places white candles
one by one
in the sand,
lighting each
so all may see
the glowing face
of God.

I am the mask
through which you peer
in hopes of seeing light.

I am the flame
that burns away the mask
revealing and igniting
the fire in God's eyes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So many ways

There are so many ways
to travel this river.
Why do you insist
on doing it alone
and in the dark
when light is everywhere?
You could share the load;
you could even let someone else
do all the work,
or raise your sails
and let me blow you home
to love.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


If only you could see
beyond your narrow window
of abandonment,
waiting there for you
are loving arms
and tender care;
more delight
and affection,
more genuine appreciation
for the very scent
of you
than you could ever

Monday, January 23, 2012

On the dark side of creation

Dare to pull the string
on this bare light bulb;
expose your demons --
the baby, born so bright
and full of color,
trapped into a world
of black and white;
the mother, grieving and insecure,
who never wanted this;
the young ones, helpless to repair
the damage, and so wary;
the ones who whisper
behind her back;
the artist who longs
to turn away and run...
Dare to pull the string.
Drink the shadows, and pour out.

(Please note: none of these images are my own, but were found in a stack of images cut out from old magazines (probably Smithsonians?) as part of a workshop on Soul Collage; I apologize for not being able to credit the original photographer...)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Must a call lead to a fall?

That step away from safety,
from the known
and from the comfort
may require a far stronger
sense of balance
than you ever knew you had,
or perhaps determination
and a strength
to carve new footholds
on a path that is both slick
and unfamiliar: are you ready?
Or must a call lead to a fall?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A brief autobiography

The connection there
had grown so frayed,
some part of me
said "Make the cut,"
while other parts,
afraid to burn in hell,
did the next best thing
and moved away
to a small island,
and still I was pursued by faith,
and still some part of me
holds out
this scissored invitation.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Conflicting voices

In any new situation,
whether social or artistic,
there are lots of voices
clamoring within:
the one that leaps with joy,
the one imprisoned by fear,
the vulnerable child,
the lazy one whose very laxity
stokes and fires the guns of terror,
and over all
the one who watches,
evaluating, waiting,
judging as she observes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

When the demons come

Though I understand
that creativity, like water,
probably constitutes
about 80% of my psyche,
these days it mostly feels
like breathing underwater.
And on those rare occasions
when the possibilities bubble up,
it's only a matter of time
before the demons come
in their waterproof gear
to suck the life and joy
out of those brief visions,
to expose the dirt and grime
that lie beneath.
Please tell me
this is not my swan song...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dark storms

Storms come, light fades,
and all the color
leaches from the landscape --
skies turn from blue
to gun metal, puffy
with threats of devastation;
green trees grow blackened spires,
while light breaks
into cold and colder flakes
to fall, first blocking vision,
and then movement;
thick silence grows
and then consumes...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A sign of love

Did the men
(surely they were men)
who clearcut these arcs
upon the mountain side
know that from this place,
this room,
in which we stand
and share the bread and wine,
those arcs,
framed by these branches
would send a message:
would serve as a sign
of love?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A rosy future

What does the future hold?
We stand here,
at the edge of now,
and watch it
lurching on ahead,
with some inevitable missteps,
some unexpected
twists and turns,
(today it looks
particularly slippery)
and yet we cannot help
but step onto the path,
drawn by its rosy allure...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dancing in the mist

Glowing in the sunrise,
dancing in the mist,
the mountains hover
above the trees
singing distant songs
of hope and possibility,
of color and meaning,
of the beauty storms can bring.
And here, just below the mist,
the buffleheads parade
along the edge of a wave,
chuckling together
and calling to their friends.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

While the flame lasts

We glow for all too brief a time,
then fade again to dark;
a daily reminder
that what light we have
to bring into the world
is merely a reflection
of your fire.
And yet, while the flame lasts
it burns so deep and true;
far larger and more powerful
than one might guess,
just looking
at this modest exterior...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

When all inside is dark

Help me to remember
that when all inside is dark
it helps to step outside myself;
to stand inside the light,
look back,
and see the wisdom reflected
on the windows of my soul;
to see the tenderness and care
that watches over me
and cradles
all creation.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Occasional stars

If I am a pen,
yours is the ink
into which I dip:
the nourishment
that fills my barrel;
the words that flow through me
and out onto the waiting page.
If mine is the hand
that holds the pen,
yours is the hand
that guides my fingers;
yours the wisdom
that somehow finds its way
through all the cluttered thoughts
to sparkle here and there --
occasional stars
on a dark and clouded sky.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

God's fingerprints

Would we ever
frown at the mirror,
expressing distaste
for the scars,
and the laugh lines
if we just understood
that each imperfection
is a gift,
each striation makes us
each lump and bump
God' fingerprint
upon our skin,
marking us
as chosen,
and unique?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Does the fish rejoice?

Does the fish rejoice
when the waves subside?
Or do the ripples
even touch
his world
beneath the surface
of the sea?
Do clouds or sunshine,
patterns of light or color,
make any appreciable difference
on how he perceives
the space in which he swims,
or is the water, like air for us,
invisible to him?

Friday, January 6, 2012


As we travel down
this endless hallway,
wondering what unexpected trials
might leap out
from behind closed doors,
could we not instead
step with confidence;
feel the soft beauty
of the rug beneath our feet,
the brilliance
that guides us down the path,
the assurance
of the love
that even now
lies in wait
behind that final door
and fills the hall with light?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A mother's journey

We hold them in our arms
for all too brief a time,
then let them go
to make their way
into the world.
One faltering step
and then another
and all too soon
they're walking
and then riding
on their own.
And as we watch
their journeys take them
far away from home
we remember
the feel of their warm skin
against our own...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Blessing in a wave

Each hand,
lifted in greeting,
is a blessing;
echo of this tiny hand,
waving in delight:
mirror that hand,
and greet
each one you meet
with a wave,
a silent blessing,
the magic
of a baby's
first learning
to wave
from the safety
of his mother's arms...

Monday, January 2, 2012


Another year,
a new one;
another day,
a new dawn,
and the familiar view
comes alive again,
calling to us:
yes, it is the same,
yet always changing --
one moment dark and gray,
and then, having turned away,
turn back again
to see a whole world
lit with color and joy,
and as we stare
it fades again
and yet -- the memory lingers...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The promise

O Favored Ones,
the hope and grace
of a beloved life
is promised to each
and every one of us:
not just the strong,
the wise, or the rich,
but also to those who kneel
in grass or straw or sand
and beg for courage
to face another day,
to survive, or to escape,
to breathe, to walk,
or even just to see once more
the faces of those
whom we have left behind.