Monday, December 21, 2009

whatcomes christmas is lightdream & ribbonweave

wondermussed & happy be
fete be yurs from goodnes borne
livly hopes & grandesprit
spin the orb & be lit inside
mak the darks' langor cease
wit briteng of sittng by th fire
wher sparks & min's fly yellowingd
& biddings come with gatherd warm
to fill th heart that cant be kept
& so was made for givn awee
yt such as He was no merely gave
but dreamd to us of God's mary
as breth to coal is leapt to flame
beckond spirit come livly agin
to shiverus gud, & shineus brite
as ribbns are weave to color th world

Thursday, November 26, 2009

the way the parade used to be on tv

i guess what i want now, most of all, is the parade without the people
which is odd
i just want to see the balloons
but all of these talking people are in the way
their mouths
the dancing the singing
the selling, selling, selling
could we just have the balloons
spiderman and lucy and linus
and the ones i don't even know about yet?
more please

Friday, November 20, 2009

night's bounteous song

the rain falling outside in the 3 a.m. dark
is so sweet on the mind

half-dozing, half-musing fingers move over the keys,
it is the slippery moment of reckoning.

whether to break for bed before the line bobs again in the wordstream,
or to abandon sleep altogether?

day 'comes precarious behind allnight bingewriting,
but sometimes merely to write up a thought

that was not born til the letters falling together
made it so

springs the soul from it's sinewy cage
and flings it up in the sky where it belongs

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

baker's man

well then.
that done,
shall we glance about at the world
outside these silly pleasures
and take in something for
the soul's humility?

perhaps to consider
the haitians starving,
eating mud cakes
of margarine, salt and mud?

or was that so last year?

oh yeah...that and a piece of fried chicken

nothin prepares us so well for hope
than to breakfast on despair.

nothin prepares us so thoroughly for despair
than to eat bacon from high on the hog.

such relief finally to pull up a chair
to the kitchen table of heart and mind

to look at what we're serving up inside,
the soup du jour in the bowl of the soul...

then spoon and blow with delight
ah, my hat! my crow! my humble pie!

which explains so beautifully
the odd sense of well-being

to self-joust with
the right amount of cynicism

it's okay to observe these mastifications
and laugh as often as we find us sitting there

dipping snuff with such pleasure and thinking
my, my, what a nice coconut pie

Thursday, November 5, 2009

held softly in the hand

falling stars
dead birds
picked flowers
garden dirt
mother's memory
small moments
things left unsaid

Monday, October 12, 2009

your slow sweet-eyed candor,
glancing away to speak of things too close,
as in the way of strangers in a bar,
as in the way of a consciously unguarded heart,
is the unlooked for grace of shared soul

Monday, October 5, 2009

for chad and amanda

it is not lost on those of us who can still laugh
that God has successfully burgled you from our lives
and smuggled you off to a distant patch of red dirt...
with our help

but when i get over that, and myself,
i'll lift a glass looking eastward back at you

no regrets, no turning to salt
only this short time together as GodSpirits
in these bodies, our earthly temples,
our sanctuaries of soul,
wherein daily we lay down our shattered egos
and enter Her endless endless endless Grace

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

this slow rainy day
is slick with silver
sliding off the roof,
plinking and running
down the pane
in the eloquence
of nature's hand

Saturday, September 19, 2009

what lives is what we feed

all tucked in, neatly folded
between the cold sheets
of where i was last sunday
and where i am now,
safely home, absent the exiled heart
seeking solace outside somewhere
rafting on the river of this endless night...
it doesn't matter.
you are not here.
you are unable to make this journey.

eventually i will welcome the solitude
more as a corm for survival
than for relief from keeping up appearances.
and although leaving the conversation
works against me,
i'll journal on, writing exercises on the
flimsiness of hope in the spartan night
and parsing with care the
excellence of my defeat
while words still come
rather than submissively to lie down
on the daybed of despair
making love to the prideful muse of silence

i wonder what you think this is,
this not-saying-anything time,
this letting-time-pass thing

i wonder if you think i've moved on
and left it all behind.
vacated love.
i haven't.

that stuff lives inside me forever.

Monday, September 14, 2009

when we talked truth to his arrogance, and love to his vacant heart

wasn't there a certain elegiac grace
in our halting voices, telling out our truths?
a room full of precious many-colored birds
of the same sacramental spirit...?

just so, love's bounty was slain by fear this night

spirit linger
until no sky is left that doesn't mourn the light
until nothing comes but the comforter's voice
to wash off the stink of my disbelief

and, replenished, to love wastefully the vacant heart

Sunday, September 13, 2009

through a glass darkly

the face in the mirror, the one
that is hard to look at with it's
vague stepford smile, is not you.

your face is not you.
your fear is not you.
you are not your monkey.

you are in here. come inside.
look out on this day
with your feral child eyes.

look out from the warmth of your own true light,
the soft you that was made in the image of Love
Who made the first morning of the world.

you are not your legs.
you are not your painted fingernails.
you are not your borrowed face.

Monday, September 7, 2009

the courage required

smiley and rosey, her morning face on
and earphones, garrison keillor online
bananas, bluets and flakes, spoon by spoon

at the farmer's market, company face
primly erect in her jet black walker
as if pretty is as pretty just is

so much for the watchword of my childhood
how long does one fake it, and life is made?
what is the point if we don't find the point?

business face on, she's ready for heaven
but she'd hold up for crackers and cheese, and
a half glass of wine at 4 o'clock, sharp

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


i believe God is the presence of Love
that animates the soul
and shines through the eyes of all whom we behold as loved.

and everything
is profound about that

i believe that we understand a little more each time our bodies die
and we take up life again in our spiritual home between lives...

i believe the enrichment of our own Soul enriches the Life of the Whole

i believe God's Great Risk was NOT
killing the Son to appease the Holy Split Personality--with Hate for some and unconditional Love for others out the Eternal Snit: "They Done Me Wrong In The Garden"...


i believe
Love's Risk was creating you and me
out of Their own Spiritual Image,
and then giving us Free Will
to grow, learn, and live our gifts forward through each life,
or to smash everything to bits and start over.
i believe we have a life lessons plan that we agreed to before we come into the physical world...each time...and that we return to be accountable for the gifts we are given and the goodness we came to increase in ourselves by living in the world for others.

i believe every path is made holy by love
and i believe
it is Good and Life-giving and Spirit-honoring
to love 
consciously, intentionally, freely, without expectation
so to live and breathe and mature in our Being of the Spirit 

Monday, August 31, 2009

daily bread

the screen door bangs behind me

as if i had been shot out of the house...

it will take awhile, this new arrangement.

her words follow me like snarling dogs...

she is angry because she is not dead.

her perfect little 98 year old body

mocks her will.

blue-veined hands clenched

she berates her invisible tribe

why can't she die, she wants to know--

how hard could it be?

so it goes. minutes tick by. quiet comes.

she sits there in her elegant bones

muttering as she fingers the crinkling pages

not so much praying the scriptures

as loading in more words

to hurl back at heaven.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

my wilted lettuce, having read mary oliver's 'Walking to Oak-Head Pond...'

what could i possibly hope to turn up
that would count
after trudging around in my daily swamp
to compare to mary's words
already dancing about like freckles on a forest lily?

must i gaze upon her plummy stanzas
while i sit with my morning raisin?


she has sucked out all of the goody

nothing hangs in the air waiting to come to me

my spirit is off mooning over her substance,
and my will is lost to the soft pleasure of her phrases.

the languid hours of silence before me
reach out to hold my wilted lettuce on a twig with two fingers

so here sit my little ciphers
with all the crispness of cobwebs,
waiting for an unwary gnat of praise

while her words already recline
in the splendor of gods,
lolling about on the well-lauded page

'think i'll swat flies
and then take a nap

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

birthdaypoemicals for fr don legge

the goodness you are gifted with as

lifestoryteller of hurt and grace
is a lovescarred and suppled heart...

you are a born priest, not a made one--
your hands are holy from brokenness ...

you are the light of the prayers you
and spiritual shepherd of those whom
you bend to kiss on their journey home

all that aside, love just breaks out of you 
until we're plum pecked to pieces by you 'bein' such a shiny 
chirpin and laughin
and love-spreadin
all over ever'body
all the time

Saturday, July 25, 2009

conning the mysteries of the universe
was, from childhood,
always by the light
of the first star on the right...
flying was easy,
you just leaped up

now lying in bed
on this black-as-black night
comes a far longing

and the monkeymind chatters...
the mother, the daughter, the partner,
the broken down car, dwindling savings
dreams that wait and the weight of care

then like going under water
all i hear is my own breathing
and i wait, being nothing in the stillness...

loosening the tether of time and place,
feeling my own bareness, my own light
so i lift up my heart and follow it
into the great impossibleness
and fly and fly and fly
and it is so beautiful
so beautiful

somewhere behind the heart
is the finding place
for being well
and knowing the Good

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

from there

she said, when we close this world
and open the next
much depends on making soft 

all of the harsh lessons of our life
for our soul's sake

help is always near

and when i asked

how do i know these things?

she said
how does your tongue know
the contours of your own mouth?

then i asked
but if tonight i could know 
the source of my own spirit
would it be too much... 

she said
how much do you need to know

i heard small bells 
in a rush of wind

and came to who i am 

Monday, July 6, 2009

the ruella are in the fairy
chaos reigns 
the four o'clocks mock the hour
showing up when 
they damn well please
while the mustangs muck up the la france 
the wilting impatiens are wrist to forehead
faint from heat
even in the shade
as the chile pequins, rigid with delight,
stiffly stick out their little hot red tongues...

standing here in the noisy mess
of my own disarray
i fit right in
and firmly resist the grace that always comes 
in awe of all of this wild abundance
perversely to enjoy 
the wicked invasions of johnson grass
and the proudness of weeds 

Sunday, June 28, 2009

so let us praise God, not with
eyes lifted, praying at the heavens on sunday

but searching in the faces of
earthly others on monday...

not the easy ones, not the pretty ones,
but the hard, worn, everyday ugly ones

and find ourselves in Divine surprise...
reflecting the love we are made of

Sunday, June 21, 2009

so the moon slides down the throat of a storm

here i sit with these reasons
for holding with tradition--
not least for the sheer beauty

of two thousand year old words...

 i don't even have to think

...believe and you're done with it,

snug in the bosom of the
family. just sit down, and

for God's sake don't rock the boat

'get over it with all of these

questions about meaning and
data on life after death.

maybe even think about
taking up the ministry...

maybe 'could catch up on my sleep.

begotten not made

if we knew we came here
spiritual bodies templed in physical bodies
to learn the lessons of the virtues of the spirit
would it make a difference in the way we lived?
would we find purpose in suffering?
would it take the sting out
if we knew it was all to learn
and grow in the ways of grace?
you do not blow in the wind
like a seed willy nilly
to grow once and bloom once and die once
merely to throw off more seeds
for more souls to come...
no, you are born again and again and again
to find your own rich warm brown groundedness within
to grow stronger and more true in the opening of your soul
toward the bright yellow Sun of your eternal longing

Thursday, June 18, 2009

i look at you

i look at you.
i have made promises
with my mouth and my hands,
and i have left the womb of safety
to love you.

it is not much to sacrifice.
of what good is a safe world,
securing the memories of
my dusty little life?
this love is a risk i choose to live with.

and where will i be when you die?
right here
holding the hand of your carcass
whispering 'safe journey, my love,
see you soon, my dear sweet love.'

Sunday, May 31, 2009

comes fire

in my waking dreams, looking out--
rain sliding down the windows--
i see myself walking about on the lawn, pretending to be loved,

feeling the delicious wet midnight grass under foot...
my sleepy hands fumble with the sheets
and then search along the long wall of my mind

not knowing if i am sleepwalking while feigning hope
or walking while awake unconscious with despair
it may be all the same...

arriving at the threshold called mercy
i cannot reach the latch...
but your door, lord, is patient

no telling out brings peace
nor does pummeling the hardness inside
soothe the hurt

is all of this necessary?
to move me? to what?
truth? using words?

i could easier tat syllables into lace,
every scalloped edge rhyming with orange

not that all wordy shallows
are poor wading

but the well of silence
is rich and resonant
with watery glintings
and crashings of light

you do not know how to go
from this moment to the next
you cannot merely think it to
raise a foot or pick up a pen...

no, it is the will, the pulsing spirit
that impels to write, or propels to run,

or nudges and provokes a mountain
to move, and opens a door inside

in the small hours of quiet and disquiet
in our hollow rooms that make for wanting,
that ache for the echoing swells of bliss

we long for hands to reach inside, to rip out
the cold heavy blocks of darkness and pour in the sticky
warm love of angels, and the burning urgency of galaxies

the gift of lovefire is the spiritual birth material of the universe...
we are born new, not out of the clicks and gutturals of ancient tongues
but in the warm communion of lips telling out love with a kiss of peace.

we are crowned not with tongues of flame but the radiant nimbus of desire,
beholding the beloved in yielded communion of flesh and spirit
to know and be held in the very heart and hands of God.

Monday, May 18, 2009

a great blue flies over with a grraaup
headed for the rookery on the river below
pumping the air with his big gray wing-paddles,
long stick legs trailing behind...i keep pace with a smile...

a hummer zippps by, whirrrs in and out,
sipping at tiny red trumpets-on-a-stick...but
how did i miss these before, right here by the road?
so i slow down to wonder at it...trying not to disturb with my puffing...
have never seen a hummer here...can these red things grow in a day?

and now a cottontail pokes out of the tall grass
and quiet-hoppities across the road
like no one's around
like i'm not standing right there
arms akimbo, amazed and steamy,
with a mile and a half of earned sweat

morning glow swells and shoves over
my beautiful fuzzy gray dawn...
the daily egg breaks over the hill
spilling yolk on oak and cedar
and i turn back toward the house
and coffee
and contemplation of all of this magical stuff

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"oh dear," you sigh

here, look at this...i mean, really...
eucharist is sometimes just too much

a sip or a mouthful of bloody wine
chewing and swallowing the bready flesh

confessing all sorts of things done and undone--
how about a little less of then, a little more now?

how about instead of a homily we all talk
about being surprised by holiness at work?

we could still have bread and wine while we talked...
or maybe dr pepper and mashed potatoes

Monday, April 20, 2009

where dwells and moves the spiritual author of your being

it's not your daddy
it's not an old man 'up there'
or a finger that points at your shame
judging everything you do

but the felt Presence that holds you
in the wake of your betrayal
the Grace that pushes back the wall of your despair
the Other who beholds you in the eyes of a beggar

whom we call God is
the ooze of life
the marrow of the soul
the evergreening of love
the envelope of grace

Sunday, April 12, 2009

easter alley

except for love
hearts clang
the wind despairs
stars forget to climb
and heaven's song is unsung

except for love
hope shatters
the earth flies apart
clouds are without witness
and spirits faint at hell's door

but on this day
love's silver bell
shines down the darkness
shines and rings true
hanging from a nail
on a cross


Monday, April 6, 2009

i look in monday's mirror

you look back at me with a stepford smile
with a mind borrowed from whatever you heard on the radio...

your thinking stinks of someone else's sweat

and your manufactured viewpoints mock your eyes

...your emperor wears new petticoats.
you have forgotten who you are.

come now again new...
look at me with your feral child eyes

with the sparkling clarity of true north

sing out from the only spirit you have

from one life to the next... your soul's own bright imprint
of the First Love That Made
the First Morning of the World

six ways to sunday
solitude marked the hours,
a gentle procession
of ten thousand moments
of well ordered quiet

then heard my own voice
sob like a betrayed child give up on wanting
that life, that kind of love...


what does the spirit gain
by knowing this despair?
i should learn merely to
endure by enduring?


you said these were holy
tears, and to mark the day
of coming to the holyself...
but what have i confessed?

so far it's only
an admission of
a hopelessness of desire.

i should take on
chastity if only
to assume the piety
of a masked emptiness


it is not enough to
play it well, to hear the
music but not to know
where all the songs come from

Thursday, April 2, 2009

behind my eyelids
in my dark and many-colored closet
you come to me
from the ether of goodness
a warm thumbprint
on my forehead
all i desire is here
you flood my spirit
with words and warmth
until my heart is new
and quiet comes
and i am lifted
into the foreverness
of this day

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

what i said was 'don't worry about it'
what i meant was
'i am still ripped all to hell inside but i can't tell you how i really feel because you can't do anything about it anyway'

what i said was 'it's okay'
what i meant was 'i feel an aching despair in my stomach every time i think about's just something i have to live with until it quits hurting...'

time passes

what i said was 'i love you'
and it was what i meant with everything in me, and so i cried

Monday, March 23, 2009

i cannot die
because there is grace

i only live
because there is grace

we are never without grace

we are only without knowing it

Monday, March 16, 2009

creator of my soul
and my spiritual home,
holy are you.
your living presence
and your love fill me
here on earth as there.

bless me today with the bread of your word.
forgive me as i forgive others and myself.
hold me fast, and never let me stray from your spirit.
for you have dominion and power over all of my life

Friday, March 13, 2009

coming on

a walk out front
and on down to the mailbox
is a wild distraction,
an attack on the sensibilities...
gaudy purples and silly yellows--
a ladybanksia and two redbuds
observing my habits,
commenting on my clothes:
don't you think she's wanting
a little more color? some flounce?
doesn't she have better things to do

than all this gad-abouting
and fetching noisy circulars
and long white envelopes
wanting more money...
she should sit in the chair out there

under the branches of tiny green leaves
and wonder at things...
the thousand crawling things
and the troublemakings of bluebonnets--
pushing over the paintbrush,
meddling in the buttercups,
--on a day like this...
on a day like this before summer takes over--
on a day like this when the sky is so high
and the air is sparkly with possibilities
and everything is 'fine as frog's hair...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

be of my heart
a color unwashed
the deepest hue
of love's risk

be of my heart
the articulation of grace
a morning of clear rain
after a night of silence

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the silence i hold with you
is silken with desire
it slips around the edges of my mind
it smiles from distant thoughts
it aches of it's own wanting...

the silence i hold with you
is the breath before the dance

Monday, March 2, 2009

on the beach at perdido key

day one
settling in this side of the dunes
getting in touch with my inner fishy...
and when i find it, i will not be at this desk
parsing the qualities of water and sand
rhapsodizing cerulean and celadon and sugar...
i will be there

day two tail?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

alleluia waits

what moved me to tears
was an unnamed longing

why would i seek more than
safety and warmth of home,

the everyday litany of ordinary things
and so generous a share of this gracious earth?

but there are cold places inside creeping toward the heart,
stealing wholeness and warmth and the spirit's bounty...

miraculous and steadfast resolution must begin in these 40 days, now as then...

...and, now as then, all but the unconditional love of angels depends on it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


but she was just here, laughing...
i called to see how she was doing...
took the phone
walked out on the driveway
listening to that drawl
and that low chuckle
on that odd springlike day
in february,
then so soon after, she was gone...
i'm so glad that part of her is still here
in my world,
that her laugh is still a warm place
in the air...

and someday
in the hours just before i leave
i want to laugh
like ginny