Saturday, April 30, 2011

"serenity's song..."

serenity...

where does it perch,
but on the
rain-drenched
banches of teh
storm-tossed soul.

the winds wage battle
o'er darkened forest's gloom

the lightening
flashes,
ripping through the
heavy night, seeking to
slice and part the wholeness
of creation

but serenity sits
calmy
singing her hymns
of gratitude and
peace

"I will not fly,"
she sings through
the raging of
pain
and
fear,
"I will not fly until
my wings are moved, my voice
breaks forth, of His
accord, and only then will
I lift my breast to Him."

Lift, and stretch,
and catch
a thermal,
an updreaft of
spiritual purpose...
holy work

riding,
unwearied on the
breath of praise,
she paints the stormy
sky with a bow
of freedom, 
while she
sings
serenity's song....

"peace...
     peace....within"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"What I know is true..."

What do I
know
is
true?

I know that
love is the only
thing that has
ever really
motivated
men
to
act beyond
themselves...

I know that
honesty is
freedom

I know that beauty
is in the eye of the
beholder and that
ugliness is
a lens, not
a condition.

I know that it is only from the deep
space of
serenity within...whether in the midst
of
storm or
silence,
isolation or a crowd....
that
we hear
the
Word of
God.

I know that
a child's
love is enough to
heal and
a mother's love is
enough to save

I know that being a
father is
a charge so
sacred that
God
himself
trains those
who
he
appoints to
that
office.

I know that.....

what we know,
is infinitely
unfolding itself to
us...
moment
by
moment...
from the
depths
of
the unknown....

"chase the day..."

before the tide
comes in
again, let's walk
as far as we can...
out to the edge of the
world
and face down
the setting of the sun...

let's chase this day as
it slips to the west and never
let it end.

because,
if,
as we are promised...
"this is the day, that the Lord
hath made..."

I will never let it go.

I will hold each moment in my
heart as if it were
precious and rare....because it is.

There is no day,
no hour, minute, moment
dismissible as
"just another" in a long
series of
randomly unraveling
past, present, and future
cobblestones
in life's journey...
steps you can't
avoid.

This moment,
this very moment
this extraordinary,
magnificent
gift of a moment
will never be
repeated,
cannot be recaptured,
must be celebrated
for the
miracle it is.

So please
right now,
before the tide comes in
and the moon rises,
and the sun sinks unseen
below the horizon in
the west and
the world
once again
becomes
new....

hold me
and between us
we will
capture a moment
and call it
ours....

if just for
a moment,
a sliver
of
grace...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"before..."

before I was a
mother,
i never wondered
if it would be as perfect
as I dreamed...

I would love without measure,
patiently wait,
fiercely defend....

before I was a wife...
I never dreamed I would
lose my temper,
mope,  sulk,
dissolve into tears,
regret, remorse,
a sea of love...

before I was a woman...
I was certain
the world was my oyster,
my dreams were attainable,
my hopes inconquerable,
my promise within reach...

before....

now I am a
mother,
a wife,
a woman....

and I know what it
means to live suspended...groundless...

I have discovered
the value of not knowing,

the joy of uncertainty,

the sweetness of mercy,

the amazingness of grace,

the uncharted waters,

the serendipity of
Spirit

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"citing spiritual precedence..."

"but she is guilty.."
the prosecutor says...

the laws of health and
wisdom decree that
when you go out of
your way, get no sleep,
pray,
think,
ponder
Truth all night,
give of yourself,
comfort a friend
or sit with the sick, you must
pay a penalty...

it's the law

"but what the prosecutor doesn't know,"
says the Comforter...the counsel for the
defense..."is that there was a man
who sat right here...in this
very courtroom
2,000 years ago and argued this
very case before the
court of
hatred,
fear,
doubt,
disdain....and won."

Precedent has been
set
and therefore,
you do not need to litigate
what has already been
ruled
unjust...

no need to call witnesses,
no need to present evidence,
no need to cross-examine,
no need to argue for, or against,
no need to slosh through the the ebbing and
flowing discontent of who's to blame,
what-caused-it, or "but, if only"...

let it go...trust Him...

only cite the preeminent
ruling
of Spirit, the
precedence set by Truth...
the Wonderful,
the Counselor,
the Prince of Peace
in the Supreme
Court of Love...
and
rest your case upon the
life of
one whose
evidence was
irrefutable.

Then, Christ,
the Judge will
strike the
gavel on the rolled away
stone
and pronouce
"you, too, 
are
free..."

Monday, April 25, 2011

"I am haunted by waters..."

"i am haunted
by waters..."

- N. MacLean


...haunted by waters

rivers,
streams,
brooklets,
oceans,
seas,
lakes,
ponds,
wombs....

I am haunted,
but not in
the way of ghost and
spectre

I am haunted in the way
of poets and
lines of literature that
pierce the
day-to-day and
take me
to a place that is
not of the world,
but in it...

not to be burdened,
but buoyed,

to observe and translate
and paint with words..
spiritual,
beautiful,
transcendent...

I am haunted by water
in the same way that
colors weave their way through
the tapestry of a
painter's palette,
or chords echo through the
mind of composers,
mistrels,
folk singers...

I am haunted by the sound of
laughing brooks and
rushing rivers,
crashing waves and
the stillness of
a lake at dawn...

I am haunted by the
way a drop of dew
sits poised upon the delicate petal
of spring's first violet,
or
raindrops stand in silent dignity
on the crest of a small stone.

I am haunted by the
tickle of foam around my ankles
on a stormy beach,
the silken touch of bathwater
down an infant's
back,
the swirl of an eddying river,
the taste of sea water on
a toddler's hot skin.

I am haunted by
sea words and sea thoughts
river songs and river
questions that
carry me
further
and further
down the
page...

to an ocean of
this...

this
vast place of
shoreless
sailing
on
haunting
waters

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"and craved the body of Jesus..."

"...went boldly unto Pilate,
and craved the
body of Jesus....

and he bought fine linen,
and took him down,
and wrapped
him in the linen..."


this is my weeping place,
my holy,
healing,
resting place...

this is the place I go
when it's time
to shatter the
ego's obsession with self
and sense.

this is the model of
courage, and
humility,

and, oh such grace

I seek
to be the man,
the woman,
who
craves the body
of Jesus...

to crave,
yearn,
long,
and
ache for the body,
the collective examples,
the integrity
of him...

of
the one
who was willing to
give all
for me,
and them,
and each of us
forever more...

To be
like Joseph of
Arimathea,
so fearless in the face of Pilate's
company, so
bold before their wrath,
to have no pride,
tone willing to identify myself with the Christ,
when even his nearest and
dearest were denying
they even knew him...

to choose the linen,
and to wind the cloth...just so...

to tenderly fashion a
chysalis of dignity,
respect, sublime silence
and gentle care...

i want to be this

more than anything, I want
to be this....

to boldy claim
my desire for him

to crave
the embodied Christ,
the
body of
his life...

in every tear,
in every whispered shame,
in the lowered eye
and when stooped in sorrow....

to crave the
body of
Jesus

to hunger for the symbol,
the form,
the written
message,
the Word made flesh...
that dwelt among us

to boldy ask...

to be like
him...

Joseph of
Arimethea...


Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Irrepressible promise...."

I am sitting
deep
inside of you...

silent,
curled,
waiting

for what I do
not know

I only know that there
is a shifting
in you,
and I am growing into the
space that
opens up...
in almost
inpercceptible increments...
each time you
stretch and
pulse
with
hope and
hunger.

Do not be afraid
that you,
the you
already shaking
discontent,
unsatisfied with complacency,
will
shatter and dissolve
into a measured,
codified,
explainable,
well-reasoned
memory
at best.

the I AM
that
we are giving birth to
will honor
the home
that you have given
us to grow
strong
within.

I am still,
I am waiting here
in the stillness
of the promise

I am waitng here
for you to
let go of
me

and accept
us...

neither chick
nor egg
but
the
unmeasured,
and irrepressible
consciousness
of
awakened
being

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"a zephyr's breath..."

I look out the window
of my office,
and all is quiet beyond the
panes of
heavy glass and
frame of steel.

I see the mighty sycamore
in the courtyard,
branches dancing and weaving
against a backdrop of
pale sky

new leaves twist and shimmer
and seeds like spring green
catepillars  are released from her
fingers and drift to the
earth searching a place,
burrowing for home

of course there is a breeze,
a breath of wind,
a zephyr's sigh that moves her
arms and causes her
fingers to dance upon the sky

I pull my shawl closer and step out
into the gray of early spring, expecting a rush
of late april to wrap me in
a chilling swirl of cold air and
sputtering pollen.

but,

what if, when I
passed the threshhold, it were still
what if there were no breeze or
gusty breath of spring to greet me...

yet, still
I saw the branches move and
leaves dancing, seeds falling, lifitng,
soaring
like downy eaglets on
a canyon's thermals
that are not there?

would I believe that the mighty
sycamore was moving of her own
accord? 

would I think that she had chosen to
bend a branch or twist a leaf in
direct opposition to the law
of wind and tree?

would I be convinced that seed and
petal decided to break free
from stem and twig
and fall to
earth...opted to separate themselves
from the tree...a fall from grace?

no...

I am certain that neither tree
nor leaf,
bud nor seed has
mutinied the reign of Spirit,
exiled itself from divine rule,
exercised free will,
or assumed the capacity for
self-determined movement...

there must be something just beyond
my sight...a wall,
a building just over there...
that blocks the wind,
because
it must be blowing
reaching high into her
farthest branches
and
just because I cannot feel it,
that
doesn't mean I believe for one second
that it,
the wind,
is not there.

trees cannot take the government
into their own hands, annul the law of
Spirit,
and dance of their own accord.

yet, is she not alive?

Is tree not a living, responsive,
conscious being...like me?

Perhaps it is I
who is delusional...thinking myself capable
of will or decision...
what if,
I only think I have
what neither tree
nor girl
can find,
or be...
the separateness of
animated entity apart from
Spirit's breath.

we make no choices,
decisions,
take no steps,
fall into harm's way, or
out of grace
of our own accord.

no matter what we think
we cannot see...or feel...
the wind is there...
and sighs us into
action...

like the tree.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"on notice..."

I used to think
that loving someone
meant that you
would "suck it up"
and let them
treat you,
speak with you,
address you
anyway they chose,
and
then
take it
"with a grain of salt."

This is no longer
my
truth.

To love someone
is to defend
their
innocence and
dignity...

It is to say "no" to anything that
undermines their
sweetness
and
grace...

I am putting
criticism,
sarcasm,
mockery,
scoffing,
sneering,
cynicism,
and ridicule
on notice....

I will no longer allow
you to
poison the
purity of my relationships

I will no longer permit
you to enter the
environment of my
life,
my day-to-day,
my conversations,
my home.

You will not be given
any air time --
on phone calls,
in meetings,
over dinner,
during films,
or through music.

You will not be "taken" with
a grain of salt,
or offered "the other cheek."

You,
are not someone.

you are not
her
his,
our,
their
"sense of humor"

you are no one's

you have no entity,
no man of
liege,
you have no
homeland,
you have no
tribe, citizenry,
neighborhood,
or
host.

You will not come
sneaking in the
back door of my life parading
yourself as
funny
or smart...

you are neither.

i will not laugh as you bask in
the laughter of another's
misfortune..

It is mean...
plain and simple...
you know it,
and I know it,
and
I am making it my
mission to
stifle your
voice,
"for lack of air"

I will face you head on
and will not back down...

you are a coward

You are not popular,
and i don't care
who...
politician,
loved one, 
celebrity,
friend,
sitcom star,
comedian,
or spokesperson
says you can use
their mouth
to promote your
cause,
I will not
listen,
read,
watch,
or tolerate...

for even one
millisecond...

your
violation of
my
joy,
her innocence,
his consciousness,
our neighborhood...

His home. 

you have been
served....

you are on
notice.

"Dear God...."

Dear
Father-Mother
God -

This is my letter Home.

I love camp.

I love waking up every morning to
the sound of other children
breathing softly
from where they are
dreaming in
their bunks.

I love that the blankets are
scratchy, and smell like
my grandmother's attic.

I love that the first thought I have
each morning,
is that I am part of something
wonderful here -

I am
part of a very special kind of family

We
care for each other,
by loving You.

I feel like every thought I bring to
the breakfast table,
every scripture I find for
our program inspirational,
or my moment of gratitude
at evening flag -
is the
most important
thing I do.

When my friend is feeling frightened
by a thunderstorm, I know that
the way I think about her,
and her relationship to You,
and Your relationship to
the earth,
can bring us both peace.

I have learned that my thoughts
are always from You and that
they give me the
courage to
be brave,
to show forgiveness,
and to speak with
kindness.

I am discovering that I can love others,
as much as my mom and
dad love me. 

This is a very big
thing to discover about myself.

I have learned that I
can do things I might not really
like to do, because it is
going to be good for others.

I can help with the dishes,
share my favorite sweater,
clean the bathroom for
our cabin,
be patient with younger campers, 
and even
comfort someone who has been
mean to me, when they are
afraid of the dark,
and I am not.

I can read the lesson to
a  horse,
sing hymns with my friends at campfire,
sit quietly for an hour during
"Alone with Your Thoughts,"
or
pray for myself when I am
homesick.

I can do all these things that
I thought only moms and
dads were good at.

Dear God -
I love
camp.

thank You for sending
me here.

I think it is helping me
discover
that I am,
exactly who
You,
know
I am.

your happy daughter,
Kate



Monday, April 18, 2011

"to be touched..."

i was five that
magical summer
we lived
on the farm...

i would sit on the
front stoop and look
out across
fields of sorghum,
alfalfa,
and  a sea of grain
the color
of cornsilk...
it moved like a golden
ocean beneath
a pale blue
sky

one afternoon
while I picked at the
peeling paint
along the porch railing
a tiny butterfly
with pale,
lavender
wings -- as transparent and
delicate as
the petal of a pansy -- 
landed on the
newel
post near my hand...

I was smitten.

I became obessed with
touching her

I wanted to see if her wings were
as soft as they appeared.

I ran into the kitchen and found
the wire colander
returning to the porch with
only one mission...
to catch
a
butterfly, and hold it
in my hands.

I raced from zinnias
to marigolds,
from the squash blossoms trailing
along the worn pickets of the
garden fence,
to the apple tree near the
corn crib...

but I could not seem to
make her mine.

the sun was high and
hot, and
the porch steps were
shady,
they
beckoned me towards
a whisper of cooler breezes
and the scent of
hollyhocks, mallow flowers
and sweet william
along the
stone foundation.

I thought if I could just watch her
for a while I would figure out
a way to trap her so that
I could hold her in
my hand,
or a mason jar....just for a while.

But as I watched, the
clouds moved,
the cows in the pasture
lowed,
and my eyes grew heavy

When I woke...
my back curled against the
bottom porch rail...
she was
sitting on my hand as
it lay across the handle of the
wire colander...tasting
my skin with her
tiny lips

i did not stir...

she must have wanted to
touch me,
as much as I wanted to
touch her.

I only needed stop, and
let her
make the first
move...

"anger is just...."

"they say that
anger
is just
love disappointed..."

I don't know who they are...
but what if, they
just might
be
right

anger...

the kind that simmers  and
steams,
roils
and boils under the
skin,
until there is
the scent of something burning
something scorched,
hot and
brittle-edged
left
in the air

that kind of anger
doesn't smoulder
in the stoney,
cold-hearted places of
hate...

it only leaps and
flashes
when we
care- so very much -
that someone's
thoughtlessness,
the
careless
disregard,
or
dismissive
slight
feels like a conscious
choice to
do something that
they know will
hurt
us, someone else we love,
or our global community...
deeply...

or, they
haven't thought about
us at all...

we are never really
disappointed by the actions
of someone we don't
care about,
someone in whom
we
are not invested in building a
relationship
a family,
a neighborhood,
a global community with,

we interpret the
strong feelings of disappointment...

as anger...

but is it?

anger flares
when we can't believe
that someone
we love
would not realize how
much we love them,

that they would not care
enough to hold
our shared
dreams,
hopes,
desires,
values,
needs...

our most
cherished
beliefs

as dearly
as we do...

"they say that
anger
is just
love
disappointed..."

but,
i wonder:

doesn't Love, God
do all the
appointing...the sending of
each into the
other's life,
circle of concern,
community of care?

and isn't it true,
that what Love appoints
She
annoints with
the
oil of hope,
the holy water of
purest
desires,
the amazement of
grace --
patience,
meekness,
love...and
good deeds.

Love appoints us to
cherish each
other
in
sweet
consolation,
and
the tenderest of
affections...

trust

so,
just as where there is
light, there is no darkness,
and where there is Love,
there is no fear,
where there is trust, there is
no
anger...

and in the
place of love disappointed...
is Love appointing us
to this very place,
right here,
where there is
only
the opportunity to trust,
to
love
more

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"the solitary ones..."

I see her
on the playground
arms tangled in
the monkey bars,
motionless, 
staring from her perch
above,

I see her standing
alone and still
in the aisle of the supermarket
with a soft smile
on her face that
has nothing to do with
Quaker Oats or
baker's chocolate,

yesterday she was
sitting in a Range Rover
next to me at the
traffic light
on Clayton Road...
cars honking their horns to
bring her back
to where she
was.

She is young...or not so...
she is
unwavering in her focus...
she may be
homeless,
the mother of five,
a boy on a bicycle...

but we know
eachother...

we are of the same
tribe.

we are the
loners,
the spacey,
the children who forget to
come to dinner,
the quiet ones with
heart and mind turned inward...
the ones
who
ache to be
alone with their
thoughts

we seek no company...
only the silence of
our own breathing

we long for no conversation
beyond the words that
fall like
dogwood petals
on a quiet heart.

we are the ones that
tiptoe
through crowds,
skirt receptions,
avoid public gatherings
while they
wait for the room to clear
the children to be tucked in
the house to begin its
midnight rhythm
so that
soft waves of
silence can wash over her
shores like
the touch of foam
along the
dry sand.

our eyes meet and
there is
an unspoken
agreement of trust...

i will not ask,
if you will only smile and
turn the other
cheek...returning to
your side of the silence
without
a word...

you have seen us...
we are in
the kitchen washing dishes while
the rest are mingling and
playing party games...

we stare out the window over the sink
and ask the stars beyond the
hedge the questions
we cannot wait to ask
or hear the
answers to.

we are the ones who
find our way to attic rooms and
empty stalls in hollow barns
you will find us
stretched out in a patch of sunlight or
curled in a bale of hay
doing nothing
but
thinking everything

we are "the solitary ones
the inward-facing souls" who
live
deeply examined
lives of
dawn-blue mornings,
soft-footed days,  and
long
sleepless nights
that poke and
sting with
questions...

we dwell in spaces
filled with a
silence so beautiful
it makes us
weep
on the
subway and
stare
beyond the
horizon

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"the whole world..."

when I was
a girl

the whole world was
only as
large as my front yard...
and I knew everyone
that existed...in my
whole world.

and
as I grew, the world grew...
soon it included
the cul-de-sac
we roller-skated
around on
summer evenings, just
after the
sun went down and
fireflies created magic under the
grass-sweeping branches of 
our willow tree,

that fall the whole
world expanded again,
when
my sister and I
walked to school through
the field filled with
tall golden grass and
rusty farm implements
that surrounded our
neighborhood.

this new, bigger
whole,
wide world was filled with
yet
more people...my teacher,
a janitor, the principal...
but I knew them all...
and they knew me.

my world was bigger,
but I was not afraid...
because
it was my
whole world

and it was enough of a
world
for a girl who lived in
dreams and
books...

but late one night
during a family vacation,
we were driving through Indiana
and
while eveyrone slept
in the back of our
station wagon...

everyone
but dad
and I "up front" listening
to the radio and singing with
the Every Brothers....
I caught a glimpse of a
lonely woman through
the window of
an apartment building along the
highway...

she was sitting
at her kitchen table,
bent low
over a tea cup,
her head in her
hands

and in that fleeting moment,
as our car sped along a ribbon of
asphalt and streetlamps, 
I knew she was sad
I could feel her sorrow
through the sheer curtains
that almost
masked her pain...

she didn't know me
and I didn't know her...

it shocked me to realize
that this was true...that

there were people with
stories...like mine...
and I didn't
know them...and they didn't
know me.

the woman in
the window
had no idea
that I was aware of her pain,
that I was thinking about her
sadness,
that she was not alone
behind her
sheer curtains
in the
soft summer air

and suddenly my whole world
was larger
than my neighborhood
and the field
filled with tall grass,
it was more
alive than books and stories where
heroes won battles,
and pricesses lived
happily ever after, and Nancy Drew...
and Bess and George...
always
solved the mystery of
the Hidden Treasure on
Lilac Lane.

There were people
who were laughing at jokes
I'd never learned,
mothers singing lullabies I'd never
heard,
and people who didn't know that
I loved to eat red hots while
I read stacks of libary books in my lower bunk,
that I missed my mother even if she was only 
at the grocery store,
or that I pretended I was really
the daughter of an Irish
king who'd sent me to live with
my parents in America to
save me from
an evil
witch.

As I grew
my whole world grew...

new cities,
strange languages,
sorrow and famine,
the beauty of a New England autumn,
the chaos of war,
the wonders of Africa,
women in despair...

and as my world grew
so did my
heart...

acre for acre...

but when I was
a girl
my front yard
and
the people
who
lived in
my
house
filled the
whole world
for me...

and it was
enough

until it
wasn't




  

Friday, April 15, 2011

"the milk of the word..."

There is
beauty,
pathos,
wonder

filling her heart
more
that you ever imagined.

more letters,
syllables,
nouns and metaphors
than all
the sophists who've
laced paper with ink and
phrases with
wine,
hoping
to
create
something
that stings the
heart and
soothes the soul...

in her
throat
are rounded mind pictures
that cast
soft-edged shadows
along the sharp planes of
a distant
memory...

and she,
both dreamer
and observer,
subject and
scribe,

rising from the sweetness of
an almost sleep
reaches for
pen and
paper to catch
the
fading dreamscape
on a scrap of newsprint
torn from
the morning's
paper

in the half-light
she is
filling empty margins
like a muse-driven
painter,
scribbling
near unreadable
words that
begin to dissolve with her
awakening to the
walls and morning shadows of
room and
light
and the sounds of a house
groaning with each
gust of autumn's
early winds

as the violet light of
dawn slips between the
shutters,
she realizes that this is
not a choice...

she is like a
mother stumbling to her
hungry
babe in the dark

the milk of the
words
aching in
her
breasts

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"I woke to the sound of rain today..."

I woke
to the sound
of rain this morning

gentle,
healing rain

it softened the edges of
my waking

it spun a web of
quiet around the space
between my dreamy
there...
and here

it filled the silence with
something more
than nothing,
and yet,
not noise...

an unspoken
something
that was
more,
not less...

i woke to rain this morning
it came in
pounding
sheets of sound that
transformed the
roof above
me into
a tympani

and there
beyond the rafters,
someone holy,
sacred,
saged, and
wise...

a divine
percussionist...

with the mallets
tender
and precise

sets a
new rhythm coursing thorugh
my veins.

I woke to rain this morning
it skittered over the
windows like a sorority of
butterflies sweeping their
eyelashes across
sea glass...it was
a sweet rain,
barely a rain
at all
yet not a drizzle, or
the beginning of
sleet...
it was just,
almost
there..

i woke to rain
this morning...and as I
began to unfold myself from
sleep, and dreams, and
heavy quilts...
I could hear her rustle
the pine boughs
near my
head
below the
sill.

it was a rain that
drenched
the earth, penetrating its
cracked clay, calloused
like farmer's hands gently,
but fiercely holding tomatoes, spinach
and sweet peas,
it  soaked into her dermis,
saturating her pores deeply
below the  surface...
filling the water table
with
enough moisture that
I could last one more season...
not
just getting by,
surviving but
another
day of
sadness...
but buoyant with
hope

I woke to rain today
big wet tears that fell heavy on
a stoney heart,
coursing down flushed temples
pooling in my ears so
that every sound
was like
an ocean
ebbing and flowing
deep within
me...whispering
you are not
alone...
you are not
alone...

I woke to rain today,
a galloping,
surging rain
that rushed through
the canyon
headstrong and
unbridled...
a rain that carved out riverbeds
and softened the sharp
edges of sandstone
with
her urgent
touch...
coaxing from her cliffs
a sigh 
that
echoed through
the
canyon
like a
song...


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"a shepherd's stones..."

oh clumsy
phillistine,
silly
giant
spewing braggardly
insults,
trying to provoke a
fight,
or flight... 

do not taunt me
with your
invitation to gamble,
to choose a man,
to play the
odds of who
is bigger,
faster,
scarier...

do not ask me
to compare
your Goliath
thunderings, 
with the David song
in my heart...

you will not win...

my five well-worn,
softly-honed
shepherd stones:

innocence
purity,
compassion,
temperance,
honesty...

are already mine...
I do not have to
wager them...

and they know their
target

they will
smote the ego...
the
arrogance that would
try to pit a big you
against a little me...
with the simple
fact that there is
only God
as
All-in-all

so,
do not try to weigh me
down with
the heaviness of what I have
not proven

I will not be shackled by
the cumbersome
letter...
I will walk freely like a
child in the
garment of
the spirit...

I will not carry
the weapons of culture

but a shepherd's
small
bag...
holding
only
what I have
proven...
I do not need a
sword...
slicing words and
cutting thoughts
to surgically remove
an absence...
why, this is
nonsense.

I will celebrate
the presence of God,
the presence of good,
the presence of Mind....

I can see,
right here, and right now,
that in me,
that is,
in my heart,
in my mind,
in my consciousness of you
dwells only
one man,
the man of
God...

no philistine
or
pharisee

not lion
or lamb

but All-in-all

the
child
of
God...

only the child of
God...

now come down
from your
high horse
you silly
giant

I am not impressed...

I am not afraid...

why should
I stand aghast
at your
suggested
nothingness...
the absense
of the
somethingness of
God, good...

there is
only the somethingness
of Love...therefore
I will

fear not...


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"a ministry of reconciliation..."

isn't this what
we
are all
about...

reconciliation...

to reconcile our
differences...with
a common Love-based
Truth...

to reconcile our concepts about
one another,
with our hopes for the world,

to reconcile
what we believe,
with what we know

based
on what we have grown to
trust in...
with all our being...
as Truth.

to reconcile our relationships with
one another,
with our
sense of what it means to live in
relation to God

to reconcile a mother with her
teenage daughter...by finding the thread of
common dignity in their
shared womanhood,

to reconcile a father with the son who
chooses music over
football,  or
football over dance...by seeing the
grace and beauty in each.

to reconcile a couple who may no
longer share the same
address, but
share a love for their children
that can never be
divorced from
either of
them

to reconcile our
sense of right with
our sense of Love...
compassion,
kindness,
meekness,
humility,
grace...

to reconcile our
desire for
happiness with our
understanding of
what constitutes true
happiness

a ministry of
reconciliation...

begins with:

"a truer sense of Love"

of God, as Love...

and embraces the
broadening:

"I and my
Father,
are one."

this oneness
dances,
spins,
swirls out from
its
centerpoint...

it reaches out
in ever-widening
circles of
Love
and ever-healing
circles
of Life...

till all
are one, in One...

and all
are blessed.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Love-calloused hands..."

I am here
in this desert place
between the seas
because You
have sent me here.

I can be no other place.
I can occupy no other niche,
find myself in no other moment,
than the one You have appointed
me to.

You have prepared that space
to fit me.
And me,
to fit that space...

A synchronicity of design
so intricately carved,
so precisely timed,
that like
key-in-lock
a door opens
and
I am
that
I am...
divinity in humanity...
hand in glove.

Gloves
not of lavender kid,
but
saddle ready.

A workman's
gloves
for Love-calloused hands
willing to be made
useful
in service
to You. 

"Temperance in all things..."

what a difference
a year,
a crisis,
a campaign,
a season of surrender
makes

I once thought of myself as
a liberal,
a radical,
as left as left can be
without becoming
right...

or maybe a conservative,
a constitutionalist,
a preserver of traditions, 
as right as right can be without
realizing it has orbitted
itself into
the left hemisphere...

it didn't matter which side
I chose,
I was always
out of balance
if
it was always about
choosing sides...

but I am not polarized
or hemispheric,
I am universal,
impartial,
the reflection of Love...

I am not about being right,
but
being kind.

and it all started with a moment,
on a day,
in a year
filled with
rhethoric and
rancor...

I heard
voices speaking with
an arrogant dismissiveness
that bordered
on judgment.
and I realized, that one of
those voices...was mine.

It brought me up short...

shaking me
just like junkyard puppy
by the scruff of the neck
until I
stopped my twisting
and growling
and
remembered that
how I thought about others,
how I treated them as I weighed
the issues,
how I spoke about my fellow man,
how I behaved with my neighbors...
was what really mattered...

in fact,
it was
all that really mattered...

and in that moment,  
I discovered
the sweetness of
temperance,
the joy of moderation,
the radical nature
of living without opinon
or sides.

it has not been easy...

it is a
discipline more demanding
than I could
ever have imagined...

and to be honest,
I falter...too much...

but I press on,
vigilant in my mission

to quiet the mind's desire to find the
most right position, and then
stake its claim.

to starve it of its gluttony for
the right side,
its eagerness to join the ranks of those who
have found "the only way,"
its urge to plant the flag of self on
the summit of a hemisphere...
left or right,
blue or red,
liberal or conservative,
male or female, 
you or me....

It is now a joy
to
temper the ego's
insatiable desire to  find
the best,
most,
only,
absolutely,
right position...

and instead,
to hold the center,
to be balanced and objective,
to stand on the fulcrum of trust,
to rest in the space of
human uncertainty, and live
in grace....

for
this is the place where

children
dwell in peace,

acceptance
reigns
over tolerance,

and love
is supreme.

I used to think that if my
views,
beliefs,
positions were unquestionably
right,
I'd come nearer the
the divine...

but I am learning
to question the extremism of
too much,
or too little,
always or never,
reckless or stingy,
abstinence or over-indulgence,
all or nothing,
glut or
dearth...

and when I do,

I am discovering the
beauty of trust....

in God,
in my fellow man,
in my own ability to think and
act temperately...

how to live in the
balance

to let prudent caution
work
with exuberant drive,

thrust and resistence
providing an
inner thermal
which lifts me
"on eagle's wings"
high above argument and 
opinion,
right and wrong,
guilt and blame,
pride and
disappointment....

to dwell in
the kingdom of heaven,
the consciousness of Love
where
the only
right
stand to take
on any issue,

is to be still,
listen without judgement,
exercise compassion,
and  trust
Him
to
moderate
each
heart.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"to live in the space of a question..."

I have questions...

lots and lots
of questions...

for example:

where does
sorrow
fit in a world
where there
is no death?

when I weep,
am I crying out
in the way
a mother cries with
joy after the moment of her child's
birth...
delighted to be present for
the launching of an entire new chapter in
his
life journey

And since Jesus knew
that life was
immortal,
why was he weeping
at Lazarus' tomb...

was it also for joy

did he know that Lazarus
was going to have one amazing day...no
matter what happened...

Is death, really
"only a horizon"
...a line beyond our reach,
that
points to the limit
of our sight,
of what we can see, as onlookers...

is death the experience of the
observer, and has nothing to
do with  
the limit
of  someone
else's life?

If I really believe...as I do...that
there is no death,
what does it
mean to say,
"till death do us part"

either there is no death,
or death is something
that can part us...

I have questions...

And my questions lead me
to a place where
I live is a state of
constant wonder....

but it also leads me to
just
sit and wonder...

I wonder what
is beyond this
horizon
and how I will know
that I am actually there,
and no
longer just
in another story segment of "here"...

Will I see a different
landscape, or suddenly be
runnning into old friends...
those
who have traveled
that path beyond the
horizon before
me?

or do I only think
you are even here
now,
because I
think you are here.

and if so,
do we ever really even share
a path, or just an inersection,

are we each
blazing a new
trail all
our own...?

Is there a
destination...
and
if not,
why are we
all racing to
get to the finish line?

If this truly is an
eternal journey,
why don't
I slow
down and
enjoy
the view,
my traveling companions,
and the
ride?

Just some questions...

and the funny thing
is...

i no longer  think I
even care
about
getting
answers....

I just like thinking
about the
questions...

and the questions
don't 
feel like they are
about life,
the feel like
Life itself...

I could stay here
all day...

with You.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"oh king, live forever..."

"Oh king,
live forever...
my God hath shut
the lion's mouth..."

- Daniel

O king...
dictator,
temptor,
monarch,
mayor,
governor...

live forever
live forever and prosper...

even though
the
lion...that I hold
within my heart,
is angry tonight...

my God,
even my God
will shut the
yawning,
gaping
lion's mouth of
criticism and complaint,
those not-really-laws that
seem to govern me,
and the false prophets that
breathe out,
threatening
to slaughter my peace...

those thoughts that sit in judgment and
condemn man...any man to a
den of
ravenous opinions...ready to swallow
my hopes whole...

my God will shut them up
cut them off
refuse them a platform,
deny them a voice...

and my God,
even my God,
will soothe the savagery of
envy,
hatred,
fear, and revenge...
turning my
tentatively whispered hopes 
into
a roar of compassion
a growling grace,
the sigh of salvation

He will come with a vengence
with
a recompence of Love...

powerful,
mighty,
overwhelming Love.

There is no fear in the
heart of a man
who loves the sound of lions,
a women who feeds them saucers of
cream and removes
thorns from tender paws.

there is  no more fear in the heart of
those who face animality and hate,
than a
mother feels when her
child growls with frustration
or thrashes in the night...

there is a daniel within us
that
patiently sits with lions
hands folded,
eyes closed,
perfect stillness
focused on the light
creeping over the horizon and
through the barred window...

waiting to
feel a heavy head drop to
her lap
and purr in its sleep...

lions will lie
down with
lamb-like thoughts...

He promised...

Friday, April 8, 2011

nothing beyond...

the ancient
mariners warned,
"beyond this place,
there be dragons..."

if this is so,

then I must
love
even the dragons...

for in my heart...the place
where God,
the All-in-all, lives and
moves, and has
His being...

there is "nothing beyond
illimitable divintiy"

I cannot find the horizon of
His kingdom
the border of His nation...

there is no "over there,"
of some place where,
He does not reign in Love
forever more.

I cannot sail so far that
I will fall off the edge of His loving,
find the "thus far and no farther" of
His mercy,
discover a new world where He is
not the only king,
the only governor
of me,
and mine,
and all

we are
His beloved
children,
subjects,
handmaidens,
servants...

and
in this place

"there is nothing..."

and I mean
nothing...

"beyond
illimitable
divinity....

in which, and
of which
God is
the sole, 
Creator. "

so if there be dragons....
i will
love them...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"the purity imperative..."

"though your sins
be as scarlet,
they
shall be as white
as snow..."
- Habakkuk

purity is not a taunting or
a
wish,
a once-before,
but
never-again...

it is a divine imperative...

you
shall,
I promise...

you
shall be pure,
innocent,
free from stain...

I promise.

You
shall love Me,
the Lord
thy God...
I promise.

You
shall not steal,
lie,
kill,
covet,
commit adultery,
I promise.

And I am the one with
the power here.

I rule...

you don't have a will
of your own...

at least not one that I gave you,
one that is more
powerful than
My heavenly hand,
My spiritual sovereignty
within you...

"there is none that can deliver you
out of My hand...
sin shall not have dominion
over you...."

I promise. 

and I am the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and
earth...and you...
yes, you...
I made you...

I keep my promises.

yes,
go ahead and
learn from your experiences....
learn something about
humility,
grace,
surrender...
learn from
what you
believe
are
your
decisions,
choices,
mistakes....

that is what they are there
for...

but be not dismayed,
don't be deceived,
forget not,

I am the Lord,
thy Redeemer...

I will save you from this
false sense of yourself
as a creator...

I did not "confer upon you the
power to sin...or
the ability to err"

I only give you the
desire to grow in grace,
to discover
to learn

white as snow

I promise...

you, white as snow...

it is an imperative,
a demand,
an irrepressible
urging,
an unslakable
thirst...

not a choice.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"a conspiring universe..."


the universe
is involved
in
a great
conspiracy...

She 
has conspired with
all that is under Her
control, 
to forward,
evolve,
impel
our
growth in grace...

She provides me with
ample opportunities for 
expanding my patience quotient,
for upping my meekness
factor,
for broadening the reach of
my love,
for adding one more
good
deed to my
day....

the entire universe brings
me to my
knees in humility....
in her demonstrations
of
forgiveness,
mercy,
moments of
self-surrrender,

opportunities to
say,
with abject
joy

"help Lord.."

imagine...
a universe,
an entire universe
conspiring to help us
find ourselves,
our best selves...
more full of
grace,
more holy whole,
more divinely human...

each blade of grace bending to teach me
how to kneel,

each ray of light shining without
a desire for recognition,

each spring blossom reminding me,
that I, too, can
persevere through blast of
bitterness
and cold disdain...

each tree at peace with her place in
the world,

each butterfly patiently waiting for just the
right moment...the timing,
not known in advance...
to begin shaking the chrysalis
...her safe, secure,
warm, cozy place...
so that she can fly free.

the universe is in a grand
conspiracy

using each of us
to help the other
find
the wonders
of
a
universe
within...

this is
not a conspiracy
theory,
it is conspiracy
law

it is the
impartial,
universal
law of
Love.

a conspiracy,
not against yourself...
or others,

but
for us all...

and it is
a reliable,
dependable,
irrefutable
law...
of Love.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"razor wire and memories..."

they stand
beside it
backs to the wall...

a crosshatch of razor wire
slicing through
the slate gray winter's
sky
it hangs untroubled
above a
slumbering world.

it is the same
in auschwitz,
bergen belsen,
buchewald...

they wait
staring through the
wire threaded
air
hungry for the face of
a loved one,
thirsty for news from home...

they wait,
bone cold with fear
that cannot
extinquish the
hot shame of
bare
backs and
shaven heads

but there is something
hotter yet...

an ember of hope
lodged deeper still
than the bitter
ache of
disbelief...

dignity stands tall inside their
shunken
coats and shattered
hearts...

they hold hands
warming one another with the
still barely
glowing coals of
remembering
high holy days,
candles and shabbat prayers
at dusk, 
hot tea in
tall glasses,
tulips on the Zeider Zee,
challah fresh from
the deep ovens that make your
cheeks flame...disguising the
sweetness you feel for
the rabbi's son...

crisp wet linens
snapping in the wind on
a bright winter's day,
the cantors prayers
above
a child's stifled
giggle when sacred words were still
only lyrics to a temple song
and
not yet
the thread that held you
together and kept your
hope from
shredding on razor wire...

each memory is a blessing
whispered between
those whose bodies are no
longer
distinguishable as girls,
or
crones...

each memory fanning
the flame of home and hope...

the snow will come
soon,
frozen tears
from
a grey flecked sky
it
promises to
caress their bare
ankles in
other
memories...

of girls with
lace-edged socks and
a temple
filled with
prayers...
and
laughter....

with Love,
and Life...

it is now
a temple
alive
within
each of them...

"I called upon the Lord,
and cried to my God:
and He did hear my voice
out of His temple..."

- II Samuel

Monday, April 4, 2011

"if only..."

"If only..."

she dreams,

sighing from behind
the cloister of her
own reluctance....

a haunting wind
rattles a loose window in the
sill, and
black-knuckled branches of
a birch tree...

bark as white as her hair...

taps ab impatient finger
against the thin
pane of glass, holding the sun's
warmth,
almost at bay...

the sweet bird of
youth sings to her,
silently
through the glass,
a beguiling
song of
playful entreaty

"throw open wide
the casings,
catch a lilac's
whisper on this first breath of
late
winter into
spring...

but she, statue-like
in her reverie
stares out
through layers of February's
lingering
silt and
hums..

"if only i had..."

"if only he hadn't..."

"if only we were...."

her fingers pleat
folds into the
heavy drapes
of fading rose-hued velvet...

rustling free the dust motes
that
rain down
upon her distant wonderings

and she,

fascinated by their
sparkle...

the flotsam and jetsam of
yesterday thinking...

dances
in a pale pool of
dappled sunlight that has
stolen its way into her
shuttered world,

she dreams
that she is a
wood sprite...

waltzing,
leaping,
laughing
in the forest -
with her
Puck -
under a
sea of
stars
on a midsummer's night....

"if only...

if only..."

she
hums to herself,
as she
twirls her nightdress,
taking a few
light steps across
the sole-polished
pine floor
beneath her
bare feet....

she moves
like a girl

and then she
remembers...

"it was good,
it was all very sweet...
we were happy...
yes,"
she smiles,

"... just the way it was,
it was very good..."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"every sparrow..."


does every sparrow
know,
in some secret place deep within herself,
the fathomless,
unplumbed,
bottomless
love of her true
Parent...
God...
her one, and only
Creator

does each lily
feel the tenderness of
His touch...
flushed with delight, 
color rising,
spreading to the
tips of her petals
a blush of
love at being
recognized
by the
Beloved.

are
you aware of
how cherished you are
right this moment.

so loved,
so adored,
so seen and known
by the One
who made you.

no sparrow falls
but to His lap,

no lily bends
but to His touch...

when you surrender
your worry,
your will...

it is not to luck
or chance...

but to the gentle
ever-conscious
care of
One who
holds you dear,
the
One who believes
in  you more than
you can
ever, even
imagine...
in your wildest
dreams.

The sparrow,
the lily,
you....

blessed and
precious
in His
sight,
under Her wing,
within
His
hands....

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"just one day..."

If
you'd have asked,
I might
have chosen...
for a day,
or even two...
to live
in that period
when
poets
were left to
find their center,
their heart,
their voice...
in
garrets,
while
living on weak tea, dry toast,
and
marmalade.

i'd have loved being
hermited in silence,
cloistered within
a woodland cabin, or
allowed to
gaze into the
grey atlantic
from the turret of
a sea captain's cottage...
for days on end
waiting for
a word...
just the right
word...
to slip over the horizon
like a lover
returning from
the brink of
"beyond this place
there be dragons,"

i would wander about with
ink-stained fingers in
linen nightgowns,
forgotten
hair held up in
pencils and
chopsticks as
mussed as a bird's nest
in spring...woven with
bits of ribbon, and
scattered with
lovely God-spun words
like
diaphanous and
tangential.

..and
longing...

oh yes, I would
pick words from the air
like apple blossoms
on a spring breeze...

I would gather them like
treasures of sea glass and
tiny shells..
collected from
an empty stretch of sand on
a stormy afternoon
with cloak wrapped tightly and
feet bare to the
surf's coming and going..

I would like to
ask for just one day...
one day a month,
a week,
a year,
a lifetime...
to be a poet,
lingering over one
perfectly
chosen
word so that
from its
placement on the
page,
within the context of
other perfect words...strung together
like pearls threaded on silk...
another
woman...

...standing at the end of a
Cornish seawall,
or curled on a sunny windowseast
holding a penned page...

is given the space
between the lines...
to weep
with
a fresh
hope that
she is not alone,
that she
is
understood
by another...
even
if just
for
that moment of
her
reading...

Friday, April 1, 2011

"to be a fool..."

ah,
to be a fool today

to do something that
the well-reasoned mind
eschews,
dismisses,
rejects...

to walk away from
the siphering,
calculating,
summed-up
convictions of those who
add up
two
plus
two
and always get
four...
while
you
hear symphonies in chalkdust,
smell lavender behind every
small symbol,
and only see a sum of
blue...

do something wildly
extravagant for love...
something that
flies in the face
of what is
safe
and cast yourself off the
edge of certainy,
into the
abyss....
glide in
the air of "not knowing"
riding the thermals
of reckless abandon,
immoderate kindness, 
towards a destination beyond
all your imagining...

or never
to land at all.

give yourself permission
to sing full-voice in
the subway,
to belly-dance in church,
to write poetry when
the bills need to be paid and the
laundry sits wrinkling in
the dryer...

to hold hands with your
husband,
and kiss your mother, and
cry in front of a
friend.

be foolish in your loving,
be lavish in your living...

rise against the winds of
what-must-be-done, and fly in the
face of should-haves...

be wild-eyed with a grace
that amazes,
un-coiffed with a passion for
your art, 
be enflamed with a stunning
courage...

to
be the
painter,
healer,
poet,
singer,
philospoher,
sculptor...

that you
have
always wanted to
be...

if just for today

be a fool,
be a simpleton,
be a wizard, a prophet,
a storyteller,
be
you...

for
Love.