A dream

Colors swirl around in you,
blues and greens, mostly,
like rivers, like flames, or a planet,
thick and vibrant.
To you they are beautiful.
To someone they are survival.

Outside a child walks by, crying.
Not your child.
You don’t have to respond.
The colors need framing.
Crying, and walking.

                           —May 31, 2017
 

Pentcost

You breathe in.
You breathe out.
You breathe fire,
the making of stars,
the winds of creation.
You breathe a Word
that goes out
and lays hands on people
to heal and bless.
You breathe God in.
and God out.
You speak grace
in tongues you can’t know.
Look at us,
walking around,
glowing embers.

___________________
Weather Report

Fire,
in the atmosphere
and in your heart,
which is to be expected
when you live
in the heart of a star.

                           —May 30, 2017

Memorial Day prayer

I pray for all those who have given their lives
serving in our military, and for their loved ones.

I pray for soldiers of other nations,
who also have given of themselves.

I pray for civilian victims of war and militarism.

I pray for those who have sacrificed
for the sake of peace and non-violence,

for conscientious objectors and protestors
who have given their lives for the sake of healing.
I pray for Rick Best
and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, who both died,
and Micah Fletcher, who was injured,
acting for nonviolence in Portland.

Give me courage and compassion, God,
to devote myself
to nonviolence, healing and reconciliation,
in the name and spirit of Christ,
who met violence with love,
the Gentle One, the Crucified and Risen One.

Amen.

                           —May 29, 2017

The rose opening in me

God, I awake to my life.

I am in awe at the wonder,
the gift that is my life,
this mystery that is you unfolding.

You are the rose opening in me.

You are my freedom,
you are my beauty,
you are my future.

I receive you.
I become you.

Grateful and open,
I step out into this day

―May 26, 2017

Ascension Day

            People of Galilee, why do you stand
            looking up toward heaven?

                           —Acts 1.11

Well, he came back from the dead,
which was very cool—
and now he’s left again, for good,
which was totally unexpected.
I mean, yeah, the whole thing
is in the realm of the absurd…
but he’s risen, right?
So he could have stayed forever, right?
Right?
Couldn’t we have had just a little clinging?

But, no. He’s gone.
As if this whole resurrection thing
has come apart in our hands.
The life he leads, and gives us, is full
of letting go.
And now we’re left with… what…
bewilderment… and grief….
and this strange unfinished feeling.
We’re looking up in the air
because that’s how we feel.

God
of unexpected changes,
open us
even in loss
to the next
miracle.

                           —May 25, 2017

 

We are not afraid

We don’t hide from the cries of the oppressed.
We dare to listen for God there.
            
We are not afraid of the world’s sorrows.
Their agonies are the seeds of our compassion.

We are not drawn into the violence of cowards.
We are fearless in our love.

We do not need the fortifications of the privileged.
We are unafraid to live in the world.

We face the world’s cruelty;
we walk forward in love.

We are not intimidated.
We entrust ourselves to the Crucified and Risen One.

We are not discouraged on the road
that winds to justice and does not end short.

                           —May 24, 2017

Ascension

            As they were watching, he was lifted up,
            and a cloud took him out of their sight

                           —Acts 1.9

The Beloved has not gone
up so much as out,
risen now not into one flesh
but all.

The lilacs I smell every morning
have faded; their song has gone out,
has gone out,
and it sings to me everywhere.

By your Spirit
I would pass out of this flesh
and disappear into my love
for all the world.

___________________
Weather Report

Release,
as love-laden air
condenses at times
into showers of mercy
and evaporates again
into the atmosphere.

                           —May 23, 2017
 

Practice gratitude

Gratitude, the yoga of the gods,
may sometimes take a little practice.
Each day, select one thing to be grateful for:
a cup of water, a wisp of green,
sun on stone, a friend’s memory,
gravity, so we do not float away….

Hold your gratitude like a seashell in your hand,
and rehearse it. Come to it new again
and feel the surprise, like water colder
than you thought, or warmer.

Each day add to the things
you allow yourself to tumble into gratitude for,
until you become grateful for everything,
for the rust on the lock, the sun on the broken glass,
the silence after the bird song,
for the grace hidden in ugliness,
for the Presence waiting in emptiness,
for the blessing enfolded in troubles.

Become universally and equally grateful
for everything, until your gratitude becomes
meaningless, as will your desires and expectations,
until none of that is real: only the seashell
you hold in your hand with unspeakable,
unshakable gratitude.

                           —May 22, 2017

 

What she can teach you

Walk upwind in a fierce rain
            and understand hope.

Watch the river receive itself and give
            and know something about love.

Ponder a stone and its memories
            and know your belonging.

Witness the green shoot part the earth
            and see yourself.

Sit under one tree in many seasons
            and learn death’s other name.

Listen to the desert’s silences
            and let your heart fall open.

Behold a lilac surrender its scent
            and become wise.

Listen to the bird’s song
            and hear, hear your own.

No part of this realm disputes its belonging.
            Learn, and rejoice.

Let the ocean wear you down
            until you are sand and wind.

Lie on the earth for she will receive you,
            and remember, always.

You came from her, and she loves you wildly.
            Learn what she can teach you.

       

                           —May 19, 2017

To an unknown God

            God made us … so that we would search for God
            and perhaps grope for God and find God—
            though indeed God is not far from each one of us.
            For “In God we live and move and have our being.”

                           —Acts 17.26-28

God, this darkness is discouraging.
I don’t know where this is headed.
This tunnel feels deathly, a grave.
I grope and I do not find.

But you are not a hermit hiding.
You are not a small being
You are Being, my being.
I am not far from you: I am in you.

This darkness is you.
The empty air I feel, the wall, is you.
Even my groping is you, moving in me.
Even my sorrow is your yearning.

Breath prayer: + Here … you are +

                           —May 18, 2017