Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ten views from a Summer Boat

Ten Views from a Summer Boat

Moonlight on the stream's
inky surface, whitewash waves
ripple toward the shore.
Mosquito harbor
the wooden boat
alone, broken ripples
The slap, slap,
slap waves
that have not
found their way
Where are you
in the flickering
night? Where now?
Rope trailing
weeds in water,
underneath all.
Even at night
even on water
shadows of shadows
whiteness worn to silver.
water and wood,
the gentle slip of oars.
Where are we?
Candle-gathered unknown
spirits, paper boats
from chrysanthemum night
suddenly spring dive
in the memory of the river.
It is said the poet drunk
reached out to embrace the moon
and found himself
wed to darkness
as how could he not?
Water washes reeds in still
slow eddies
In pools so quiet they
have the
memory of ages, water so deep
it bleeds.


Chains of Desire

Chains of Desire

of heaven painted on things
as we see them now.
Object of desire--sure sign
of its maker--Lord of life.

In not holding on
to things we know, need, and love,
we grow heavenward.

The sky is His-promise-blue--
beyond blue--no clouds--no rain.
Learn now how to be--
see--autumn sky, fall leaves--cool
promise of winter.

Desire--good as it seeks He
who is end of all desire.

Desire--ill wind that
keeps blowing as it is fed--
seeking self alone.
Desire teaches us good, shows
us how to see, be, and want.

I want the ocean
broad salt, the great rivers, I
want and do not need.
Desire stretches want into
need. It doesn't know its end.

Stalk the white egret
for its plumage finery
for a woman's hat
whatever we want becomes
the end to which we will go.

The heart's home, the warmth
of the breath breathed at the start,
Holy Spirit's flame.

How then can we know the line--
want and need, shadow and light?
Seek first the kingdom
and His righteousness, all else
comes to you through these.

But the human heart is trained
to want far beyond its means.
Trained to desire, chained
to desire--the will gives way
in the face of it.

So we must learn to not want
to have without having now.
To enjoy all things
both for themselves as they are
God's own goodly work.

But also to see within
them God's shadow. Taste God there.

Desire would hold you
bound, pining, dying not
for itself but for want.
Desire is the spur, the goad, God's
direction, arrow pointed home.

Love without keeping,
take without taking, gold chips
in the chilly stream.
Glint for those who come after,
for you, the moment God spoke.
Hear Him in every word,
see in every motion, not one
thing is without Him.
Desire calls us home-answer
and discover where home is.


Love Poem

Love Poem

where you were
you are not
now begins
time and our
minutes are
muted only
the space you
once filled speaks
in ways you
never did
your warmth is
absence your
whisper cold
your eyes my
comfort blue


Hear His Voice

Hear His Voice

I have heard His Word as spoken early
in the day. I have followed in His Way
as He says stay, wait awhile with me. See!
I am God indeed, the very seed from
which springs life, all earthly things that sing His
blessed name, that same name that seals open
lips with His seal and the real song that brought
forth all that is is heard. His name is made
holy when all creation, fallen and
redeemed intones as one, at once a lone
and plural voice, calling to all--Rejoice!


Song of Creation

Song of Creation

You have heard, but have you listened? The tale
of the stork clatters out against the dark
purple of the evening, and this noise marks
the start of the tale. You listen but fail
to make sense of the story. The pond and
the wood are too distant, too alien--
the words cannot make sense. You see God's hand
in the lowering night, and wonder when
the Word He sends can be heard and heeded
by you, by those around you. You don't know
why the heron and wren know what's needed,
and men are so reluctant and so slow
to understand--the evening and the night
the stars, the moon-- all God's created things
Rejoice with a great glad noise, without shame,
Man alone pines, mourns, walks as though he's lame,
Til one Man returns to teach him to sing.


Hosea 2:14

Hosea 2:14

I   I    I
allure and lead and speak
her her her
into the desert/speak to her heart

How do I hear you
when I am so ready to speak?
I have no ears for listening
when my heart is loading up words
that will spill-a cataract-out of the tomb of my mouth.

I stuff my head with the sounds
of my own broken words
like bottleglass on a fence top
they are enough to keep all out.

Oh my heart is full to breaking
full of myself, my thoughts, my ways.
It is not a tender place but a thicket
and forked and poisonous as an adder's tongue.

And still it keeps filling,
filling until bursting--
bursting completely
with my self.
Bursting with the poison of the self. 

How can I hear you over
the chirrupping, clattering, clanking,
drumming, roaring, droning,
humming, buzzing, chiming,
ringing, three-ring circus I call myself.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010



Who knew
that so much
of who I am
and what I do
hangs suspended
in a leaden
cage that throws off
my center of



"Arise, alight, away, I must go
to help you. When here, I am hampered
by my presence, a single person
bound by body to a time and a place.

"And yet, I must be for all in eternity,
and as I arise, the light that is
love, unwinds for all who have a heart.

"This trace is more than a promise
its is everything that I make real,
wrenching it from oblivion and outer
darkness, damned by its own refusal to see

this light slashes through the deeper dark. "


When fleeing Pharaoh across fierce sands
they received a fiery funnel by night
and dust by day, that gave them life
and light and hope, the surety of safety
from archer and enemy, slaver and slayer--
they walked in perfect peace.
The train from God's temple had
slipped down to surround them, isolate
them as chosen children, people of the promise
saved and assured, the fruit of the firstborn,
destined to bring Him back again.

So when He ascended that train from the temple
dropped down again, and twined around us--
the certainty of salvation and safety in His shade.

[092210-3, 062309-1, 052409-1]



Isn't it
that ice cold
or boiling
water has
appeal. But
at room temp
it's simply


Raw Beauty

Raw Beauty

The heart is stunned
with certain knowledge of sheer
isolation from the source.