Love poem

I write a love poem
and they read it.

I say my lover’s eyes are oceans, or galaxies
and they understand.

I say I long for the feel of the curve of her waist
and their hands feel empty.

I say her comfort is my earth
and they smile inwardly.

I say she is larger than the world
and they grow confused.

I say she is older than music
and they become wary.

I say she is God
and they sigh and put the book down.

What can I do but sing of my love,
her hands like fields of wheat?

So I will not tell them the secret part,
only that her mouth is a river I kneel and drink from,

her love makes dawn arise in me,
her voice is like rain.

 

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Even later I am here

Early morning, I walk in the woods.
I grow roots, my lungs are green.
After I return I am still here.

I sit in prayer.
I become my candle, light slipping out.
After I rise I am still here.

I rest in your presence.
You overflow in me.
Even when I forget, I am still here.

In the meeting, in the city,
under the fluorescent lights,
I am still with you,
overflowing with you,
bathed in your light,
sheltered by trees.

 

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The voice of Christ

The voice of Christ
rings out like a great bell,
a round and solid sound,
fading miraculously slowly,
ringing out through the air,
through the silence,
through my body,
my lungs vibrating,
a singing bowl,
down the bones of this city,
out over the waiting fields,
over the roads and fences,
down into the yearning
and swelling of things,
ringing, singing, fading
as slowly as my time,
still, if you are quiet, ringing,
if you listen,

if you lean close,

still ringing…
 

 

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The authority of grace

      
         The chief priests and the elders of the people
         came to him as he was teaching, and said,
         “By what authority are you doing these things,
         and who gave you this authority?”

                  —Matthew 21.23

         The Lord said to Moses, “Strike the rock,
         and water will come out of it,
         so that the people may drink.”

                  —Exodus 17.6

         
Grace flows through you
from the heart of God.

It is stronger than stone,
than fear, than death.

You don’t need a diploma,
a badge, a ruling.

Strike the rock of your life
and let the water of God flow.

Others or voices within will say
“Who do you think you are?”

Those who question your authority
are only crying with thirst.

Let your only reply be
to give them a cup.

The spring of living water
will speak for itself.

You will endure. You will thrive.
You will do miracles.

 

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Strike the rock

The impassable narrows,
forbidding expanse.
The dry places. Cement.
And sand, but mostly cement.
Heat but no verbs here,
no movement or possibility.

Looking back on the wrong turns,
speculation is useless,
on the losses and betrayals,
explanation is the shadow of sand.

But.

The burning sun in the stone
is also in you.
Divine energy hides even
in hearts as hard as stone.
Let yours be struck open.
Behold with such force
it shakes what you behold.
Smack the being of the world
with the being of your being.
Be so fully present
even in outrage
that the stone weeps.

Enough to shatter yourself,
but instead flows sweet, pure water.

In the desert to come
it will be easier to believe
in the hard sun, the dry stone.
But the water will flow,
as constant as the rock.

 

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Autumn

Green things change,
become the color of surprise,

the color of gratitude,
the color of morning.

Bees still buzz quietly
but it is the color of letting go.

The color of something inside you.
An eye opens, and closes.

A reckoning, even as leaves fall:
not subtracting, but adding up.

Seed pods lift their empty hands
and blacken, become still.

Trees tunnel down into themselves.
Garden plants become song.

They are not dying, not giving up.
They are getting ready for something new.

________________________
Weather Report

A day also otherwise,
as even mourning bears joy,
and the beginning of autumn here
signals in the Southern Hemisphere,
where also our beloved live,
Spring’s splendid revival.

 

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Who says

What fear taught me measure
before I learned delight?

Who says my prayers are small?
Who faults my joy’s thinness?

Most of me, as you, I can not know.

Without my knowledge
great ancient trees rise
from the root in my heart.
A whale breathes in me,
dark and wet and singing
of the deeper world.
 

 

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Morning prayer

Light of Dawn, awaken me,
         that I may always be mindful of You.

Warmth of the sun, fill me,
         that I may radiate the love of Christ.

Breeze of wisdom, give me breath,
         that all I say may be true and loving.

Embracing earth, receive me,
         that I may always forgive.

Songs of birds, delight me,
         that I may sing joy, sing joy.

Falling rain and growing grass remind me
         that I live and die into You.

Flesh of my body, rejoice,
         for I am Your vessel, I am alive,
         I am here.
 

 

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         The Israelites gathered the manna,
         some gathering more, some less.
         But those who gathered much had nothing over,
         and those who gathered little had no shortage;
         they gathered as much as each of them needed.

                  —Exodus 16.17-18

 

         The laborers said, “These last worked only one hour,
         and you have made them equal to us
         who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.”

                  —Matthew 20.12

God’s justice is not some illusion of deserving,
but that each has what they need, no more, no less.

Each laborer in the vineyard receives a day’s sustenance;
there is no merit, no earning, no difference.

Everything is a gift. God does not reward or compare.
God provides. It is we who divide and hoard.

The only people who resent God’s justice
are those who have unfairly gathered.

The only ones who make others work for their manna
are those who have more than they need.

Despite our illusion of having “earned” it,
all that we have is manna, given for all of us.

Don’t measure deserving. There are always those
who have worked harder, who have not been paid.

Your money and possessions, your education,
your skills, your access to power and resources,

the beauty on your morning walk,
the blessings you receive in prayer:

you have more than you need. The rest
is not yours, but has fallen upon you to share.

If you have much you aren’t a bad person;
you have simply happened into that station in life

in which it is your calling to share, to serve,
like a waiter in a fine restaurant.

What do you have that is for others?
What will you share today?

       

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Rob me blind

Stealthy God,
in the dark
sneak into the vault of my heart.
Rob me blind
of all my silly little treasures,
my excuses, my wounds,
my faults, my sins,
my body, my personality.
Take me without my knowing.
Clean me out.

Leave nothing
but your light in my poverty,
the faint aroma of your presence.
Take my self, and leave only yours,
the infinite riches of your heaven,
your flesh pressed against mine,
your longing for who I am
about to become.

 

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