Friday, December 28, 2007

tears of the world

So, in the often forgotten but incredibly wonderful church calendar (see an online version here), today is the feast of the Holy Innocents. Horrible, sad part of history. Even more horribly and sadly not alone in history.
Christmas is beautiful and hopeful and I love it.
Holy Innocents reminds us that there is still change to be worked in the world around us.
We fail too often.
And we are too often blind to this fact.

tears of the world

the world weeps
giant tiny tears
tears of sorrow
grief and loss
tears of pain
hurt and ache
tears of hell
lived on earth
tears of death
come too soon
tears that must
be more than
the grains of sand
and than
the stars in heaven
tears enough to flood creation
so weeps our world,
and we in it

written 11/19/07

Tuesday, December 25, 2007



In this darkened night we dream
Of bright warmness, all enfolding
Of sudden surge in which we may bask

Mired in sin and doubt, we dream
Of mighty king sweeping down
To shake right into the world

And faint morning light upward creeps;
And small babe is in manger laid;
And the earth moves while great change glimmers

Written 12/06/07

"And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I've had one of the lines from this poem on my desktop staring at me for, oh, more than a week now. I knew there was more to go with it, but I had nothing. So it sat there and taunted me. I knew (okay, hoped) that if I let it sit there long enough, I'd figure out the rest of the poem. And I did. Sometimes this happens and sometimes I'm still waiting. Which is a pretty good lead in...


shadows lengthen and evening
comes ere the work
day passes by

dark creeps closer to
me as sleep's promise
beckons from dented pillow

bulb, flame, and
candle gleam into dusty
light as "dark shall not overcome"

challenge, promise, eternal
hope leap outward, each
seduction from lethargy

once more comes
quiet whisper saying,
"a new way of living is required"

as dusky dark gathers
near and flickering
light shines and we

we draw close to each
candle, flame, face
closer to promise, closer ...

written 12-19-07

bonus points (randomly assigned and only tracked in my mind) if you can guess which line...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

These Days

So today is slushy--we've been getting a mixture of snow and rain. Not my favorite weather.
There's a lot about the entire world that I don't like. There are a lot of things that don't seem to work correctly. Things much bigger than the weather. We all have those things.
From the BCP:
What is the Christian Hope?
The Christian hope is to live with confidence in newness and fullness of life, and to await the coming of Christ in glory, and the completion of God's purpose for the world. (page 862)

These are the days…

Days when wars will rage
When illnesses come
When families are torn apart
These days are now

Days of pain and sorrow
Days when tears roll down cheeks
And sobs consume our breath
These days are now

Days when joy seems to pale
As we peer around defenses
Erected in metal and mind
These days are now

These are the days
When our lives are not as we would choose
When the world seems cold and cruel
These days are now

The days are surely coming,
Says the Lord, the Holy One,
When will justice will roll like a river
And the Wise King will reign with
Righteousness will never to fail,

In those days that are coming.

Written 12/1/07

Monday, December 10, 2007

Waiting and Watching, responding to invitation

Christine over at Abbey of the Arts (a new and delightful discovery) offers a biweekly Invitation to Poetry. She posts a prompt and then adds any poems people respond with. I love the fact that there are in this world people with different gifts than I have. Check out her site, read what other people wrote. It's pretty impressive.
So here's my response to her ideas. It was challenging, fun, and advent-ish. Oh, and a great way to help put off writing those final papers.

we wait,
peering out from
behind hats and scarves
amid the multitude
hidden among
plain and poor
adorned and rich
eyes that speak of royalty
their greatest majesty that
which they watch
patiently waiting for fulfillment
teasing us with past deeds
waiting in response
waiting for response to
their challenge to do better still

Written 12/11/07

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Are we there yet?

Advent is a tricky season. As Sophia said, it is eschatological (about waiting/hoping/believing in the realization of God's promise). It's also about Christmas and the baby in the manger. It's a season that seems to belong entirely to the Church, as merchandizing and marketing pushes Christmas itself (only 12 liturgical days) back before Thanksgiving. And what does that mean? I would offer that we as a church are really bad at claiming Advent. I wonder how much of that is because we don't know what to do with it as individuals.
Advent is about waiting and preparing (Mary), it's about doing and changing (John the Baptist), it is (as all liturgical seasons are) an aspect of daily life. But what is it we are getting ready for? Anybody?

are we there yet?
is this journey over?
for the road is rather long
and the scenery repeats

are we there yet?
can we stop now?
my feet are getting sore
and I'm ready to be done

are we there yet?
is this labor over?
I'm growing weary,
feeling a bit worn down

are we there yet?
are we even close?
'cause here's another one hungry
and they suffer still

are we there yet?
will we ever be?
the poor are still among us
and never seem to leave

are we there yet?
where are we?
the blind don't see,
we only guide them

are we there yet?
are we even moving?
the lame don't walk,
but my 'carry' is getting good

are we there yet?
can you see the end?
I don't know where we are
And I'm waiting for a sign

are we there yet?
and how will we know,
this end we keep on trying for
when we finally arrive

written 11/07

Monday, December 3, 2007

Grant Us

It's the first week of Advent. I have never been overly consistent at taking Advent seriously. This year I think changes are going to start here, in what I write. So here's my first poem of Advent.

grant us so to hear
a world calling for newness
that we may rise up and build

grant us so to see
temples built to this world
and vision your Kingdom

grant us so to dwell
in a kingdom like yours
one we wish to inhabit

grant us an answer
to the call we dare not voice
for we are growing weary

Written 11/07

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

fingerpainting words

This is one of the joys of this blog. I never expected to be someone with a blog. Ever. But then I was. Really, that's all there is to that story. But this week I was reading Tandaina and Sophia (who has recently taken what I hope will be a break from her blog)'s commments about Flimsy Words. And then I wrote this.

Finger-painting words
spreading them around
feeling their consistency
between my fingers
thick dark words
watery rich words
lumpy bright words that won't flow together
smooth crystalline words
free to feel
to soak them through myself
until my fingers are dyed and
I need water
water that I may start again

written 11/28/07
With thanks to both Tandaina and Sophia.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Words on Fire

The problems of the world are many and complex. There is no simple solution. But there are simple places to start. Or at least to start thinking.

Found at Snow on Roses, who occasionally posts amazingly beautiful poetry. (sidebar link to come)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Normal life

Thanksgiving, it's important, both as a holiday and as an attitude. So tomorrow I'm eating Thanksgiving dinner, the traditional turkey with all the fixings, with friends who are family. But right now, this is about some of the things I'm grateful for....

Tears of Life
A life so normal
it could hardly be mine
school, work, friends
guilt trips to call home more often
No one's dying and
everyone's crying
the normal tears of life
_____paying rent
_____buying food
_____do they like me?
_____you'll never believe what they did
_____the deadline is coming
_____the meeting is tomorrow
_____I'm moving
_____you're leaving
How beautiful life is
when the challenges are
The normal tears of life

written 5/19/07

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Flimsy Words

You know those times when what is being said in the conversation goes right past the other person?
The break-through moments when you realize that the friend you thought you were arguing with was just using a different word?
All of the words we have are amazing, and powerful, and tricky. Because they are also flimsy and tough to hold on to or pass around.

Flimsy Words
These flimsy words,
struggling to create pale imitations
at best
of the truth we know and love
truth of who I am
of who you are
truth of the world around us both
truth of Truth itself

These flimsy words,
created, imbued with meaning
barely able to hold together
building blocks of smoke and mist
paints of mist
but we have so little choice

These flimsy words
the only bridge
which may yet bind
you and I, mind to mind

Written 6/17/07

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


The coincidence here is kind of fun. Changes all over the place.
First, the housekeeping (blog-keeping?) announcement: I've shifted this blog over into a new email. It's still my writing, at the same url, just a new email address. Not that I've ever been deluged by email, but for the interested parties, you can email me through the profile link, or the next time you use the 'old' email, I'll reply through the new address. Much like the change in the template, I just wanted something a little more 'me' and something that could make more sense if I decided to become a bigger presence in the blogosphere.
Onto the poem. Which is also about change, though more types of change....
Which is appropriate on so many levels.


phoenix flies
into a bush the
flames then consume
ashes coat the
ground and the embers
cool, then, then
does phoenix arise
whole, fresh, alive
past to repeat

not resurrection

Resurrection is
blood on wooden cross
final shaky words spoken
with final breath
the dark empty night followed
by darkened day
and emptier tomb

Resurrection is
startled gasp that
first Easter morn
half fear and half
body remade
life made wholly different
future newly promised

Written 11/4/07

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Because I needed the reminder...

Originally posted August 17, 2007.
I really needed this reminder today. It has just been one of those days, you know. The "if it fit on the back of my hand I might scribe it there, in permanent ink" sort of day.

What blasphemy is this,
that we are all as much of God as we ever see?
What divinity leaves divine image
to peer around our sins and shortcomings?
Divine knowledge hidden behind our ignorance?
Divine compassion buried within us?
How can we not quail when we realize
the full weight of who we are meant to become?
Doomed to fail and destined to try,
We are not enough to represent the One who made All—
We cannot even love that One with appropriate love.
But who else is there?
For better and for worse, we are all we know of;
All who can share this one great secret:
We are beloved.

And Blasphemy it is: For we are not enough,
Not enough to be even pale reflections of that love,
The Love that loves us,
The Love that keeps us,
And the Love that sends us out,
to love one another.

Written October 10, 2006

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A good reminder

If you asked me (which you didn't), I would tell you that good poetry is much like prayer, it is somehow out of time, applicable in more than one setting, and at the same moment, entirely relevant and set in the moment of it's creation. For more thoughts like these, go back and reread the first poem I posted, On Writing. But this is what I was thinking when I reread today's post. I remember writing it. I remember how good it felt to finally have those thoughts on paper. And as much as my life has moved from that moment, this is still true.

How do I praise God from my life?

I know how to cry to you
I know how to collapse before you
I know how to cling to you
I know all this and so
I struggle.
How do I praise you?
How do I lift my voice,
_____My weak and trembling voice,
_____My voice which has been hoarse from shouting,
_____My voice which has so often protested the facts of my life
_____My voice,
To you in thanksgiving?
How do I stand in the face of all my wounds,
Wounds which never disappear,
And proclaim your great grace?
You didn’t stop the wounds
You didn’t ease the pain
There were tears you cannot redeem.
They were. Nothing changes that.
Not grace, not love, not beauty
And still I do.
Because pain was not all or the end.
For all the pain,
for all the sorrow
There was always love.
Not to redeem or to drive away the other,
But to stand beside, to contradict
To hold out hope for more, for better,
And so I practice:

God of Gods, God who calms storms, God who counts the hair on our heads,
Thank you
God of my life, God who heals (though not me), God knows even the sparrows,
I bless you
God who stays, God who loves (even me), God who sees all beauty and all pain,
I love you.

Written 5/26/06

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The New Look

I liked the old look. Really. It would have been gone at least a month ago if I hadn't liked it. The problem was that as much as I liked it, I write really long lines in some of my poems.

This is a real connection. You see, in the old template a line could only be so long before the template automatically wrapped it around onto the next line WHERE IT DIDN'T BELONG. I know that this seems like a small thing to a lot of you, but it's not. I actually divide the lines of a poem for important reasons I may never be able to explain. Some words belong on the same line and not on separate lines. I could not let a template destroy this important factor in my writing. (My control issues are entirely appropriate in the context of how my blog template is/was destorting my writing.) So I changed templates.

I'm still working on liking this template, but it works better for the poetry. Still, this probably means more changes ahead. I'll only comment on them if there's a new or significant reason behind them.

Next problem--tabs. I need to be able to indent my lines, because some lines need to be indented. This thought process is unlikely to become clear to you unless I can show you how much better my work is when I can indent.

If you don't understand just accept, and tell me how to do indentation. Please?

(And see, if I didn't post poetry, you'd have to put up with this sort of illogical, quasi-whiny, defensive rhetoric on more regular basis. Don't worry, next week we'll be back to the [good, pensive, dark, hopeful, insert-own-adjective-here] poetry.)

10-25-07: So, this template will last for awhile. I'm not entirely happy with it either, but I like the style and the space for posting is a bit wider. Such is life.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Eternal temporality

things I think while looking out the window...

playing on
Molted leaves

greens, once shiny
browns, soon to crumble
now, resplendent

I can't capture

words fade away
images outlast their first cause
the world spun, spins, will spin

and this perfect imperfection
which we love
is forever now

written 10/22/07

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Themes in my life

Sometimes it feels like this is the summary of my life.

Questions in the Void
You say this doubt is new
That these are new questions
And my heart swells
With compassion and envy

For the questions that are new to you
are old to me
I know how hard it is to live with them
and I wish I did not

But I stand, have stood, will stand
And stare into something that often seems a void
And I will ask those questions
I will shout,
those questions
I will stand and I will curl on the floor of the edge of the cliff
And I will be at home

I know where you but enter
I have wept here
And I have learned to rejoice here
I do not envy you your entrance,
But wish I had not lived here so long
That this could be new

And yet, and yet
I am alive, even here.

Written 9/22/06

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


There is no way for my to describe (here) why this was written. However, I do not think that you need me to. Either you understand (in which case I will say a prayer for you this week) or you do not (in which case I will also pray for you). Prayer is good, after all.

Round and round, turn after turn,
Up is up then up is down,
I laugh then weep then am silent.
I try to find sense and meaning
Then I try to survive.
I sing your praise,
Then angrily demand explanation.
Nothing makes sense.
And then I realize,
Meaning is always lost
In the next rotation,
Because the only fixture
Is your love—
Your love for me.

I stand in silence,
Stare into the distance,
And ponder
if that is enough.
As again my world turns—
Everything moves.
And my faith shakes.
My heart and mind demand
Meaning and justice
In crescendoing pleas.
And my soul quakes in your love,
Your love for me.

I want to scream and rage,
To have a face
At which to aim
But I cannot.
There is no anger, no despair—
Just the desperate hope:
Hope for tomorrow,
Hope for today,
Hope for me.
Because I remember your love,
Your love for me.

The turning hasn’t stopped
Maybe it never will
But you and I—
We’re here
And I keep finding that
I love you
In a pale imitation
of your love for me.

Written 5/21/06

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I don't remember exactly why I wrote this one, it fits so many moments in my life.
Also, head over to Sophia's site to see this post. I don't know if she meant to write poetry, but I think she did.

Pieces of Faith
I sit in the dark and wonder….
Why do I still talk to you?
Why do I think that you care if I do?
But I cannot be silent.
I cannot ignore you.

Looking at my life,
I cannot show your overwhelming favor.
I have no token of your love
There are too many sorrows,
Too much pain.
But what else keeps me here,
Talking to you?

Perhaps it is just a fancy,
A flight of mind brought on by lack of sleep.
But why then,
Do I hear you
In the stillness of the day?
In the heart of the night?
In the middle of my life?

I remember Abraham,
How you stood in the middle of the broken birds
And I wonder if you do stand in the middle of my life,
What do these pieces mean to you?
I wonder if you will ever tell me,
If I will ever hear.

Written 4/10/06

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Discernment and truth

Although this is written in a call and response format, it is also inner dialogue. Both at the same time. Multiple layers of truth. Just like so much else.

Truthful Discernment
They say: You are too young.
I say: God has always called the young.

They say: You are too idealistic.
I say: Great vision is the product of faith.

They say: What about your gender?
I say: God called me, for who I am.

They say: You don't know enough.
I say: Teach me.

They say: Can you lead?
I say: Will you follow?

They say: You are too strong.
I laugh with the knowledge of my weaknesses.

They say they speak the truth.
I know the truth to be greater than either of us.

Written 9/14/07

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Journey

Week of many posts, I guess. Well, seven day period of many posts. But I didn't write this one. I'm sticking it under 'music video' because that's the medium it is, but this more than most songs is poem-put-with-music(and-in-this-case-pictures). But it's a good poem and I like the old maps. And it's my blog, so I can.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Second Poem

Here's the second poem I wrote using the line from Milosz. Find the first one below or at this link
There are a little more than 12 months separating the two poems. So much happened in those months that I cannot condense into a few sentences, much less semi-anonymous sentences. I can only offer you this.

Day so perfect it could only be a dream
Healthy-er for the first time ever
Pills and stress gone
And a little part of me

Morning comes, alarms go off, Dreams end
And who is to say it wasn’t a nightmare?
Or perhaps it was just the me of dreams,
The one I never quite recognize

Dreams end and so did this,
Here I am again
Finding new balance, new normal
A new which seems so familiar

The morning light, not harsh at all,
Brings an equally gentle and relentless truth:
This is my life
This is who I am

If broken or marred, then only in the now
The temporal, almost gone now of mortality
In the eternal almost here now of God,
I am his child, holy and perfect
A dream for another night.

Written 6/23/06

Rereading this poem, I'm not at all sure I like the poetry of it. But I still think there is something in letting you see how very different poems could come from one line.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I've been remiss

I have recently realized that on September 11 I posted something that was personal and important to me, which is fine, but in no way acknowledged the anniversary.
Editorial Note: (feel free to skip right past this to the poem) I am not pleased with the actions my government has taken in the last 6 years. But September 11 isn't about that. It is about the death of so many and how a world mourns and marks the tragic passing of men and women who were daughter or son, husband or wife, mother or father, friend, and generally beloved of someone. In their memory and to honor this loss I offer this poem, which was written for reasons in my own life, but which I hope can describe some part of that loss.

In the midst of grief
All sobs are silent,
Words are gone,
Tears fall without noise

For one cannot describe the abyss
From within
Word and thought are part of life,
Not chaos

To write, to ease
To speak, to comfort
Have no place there

We look in,
We look back
We remember
We try to forget

But when we are there,
We are again mute

Written 6/25/06

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yesterday's Sorrow

So, not so long ago a professor assigned my class the task of writing a poem using the same starting line as Czeslaw Milosz used in one of a selection of poems we had read. This is what I wrote. I am posting it this week because of what is going on this week is about Invisible Illnesses. Next week I will post the second poem I wrote using this same first line.

Yesterday’s Sorrow
A Day so happy it could only be a dream
An interlude filled with hollow gifts
No pain, no pills, no needles,
No shadows in my family’s eyes

In my mind I can name it: Normal
Yet I cannot speak this name for fear,
Dreams dissolve you see

My Heart names it also: False, Forbidden, Lost
For Time cannot be spun backwards

My days are now marked with pills
My years with doctors visits and tests
And it is easy to get lost in wanting the dream

So easy to miss the wind in the trees, children’s laughter,
The Sun on the lake and the stars at night
To forget the welcoming hugs

But sometimes yesterday’s sorrow is still too great
Too tempting, too easy to fall into
But even then the gifts of dream
Are hollow, shattered by today’s realities, necessities

And I know that here is where I must make my peace
Between the dreams and the endless tomorrows
Here today, every today
Again and again and again
Written Spring 2005

For those of you who want to find Milosz's original poem (because I really did take the first line and go somewhere very different), I recommend New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001 . It's a large book, but I promise, he's really good. For more info on Milosz check out wikipedia's page on him .

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How Long

I like this one. It's probably not one of my all time favorites, but only because most of those are something I wrote in response to a significant event. This one just came. And I like it. I also thought it might be irreverently appropriate as many people go back to school somewhere around now.
Formatting note: the way I wrote this every line that doesn't begin with 'How' or 'Have' is indented. This is both small and important because poetry, as I write it is visual too and formatting matters. I can't figure out how to make this happen here. Instead I've tried to create a similar effect through capitalization. But I wanted you to know how it should be. Any helpful hints from the more experienced?

How long O God, How long?
How long, O God, have you listened to this cry?
from Children in Egypt
and those wandering in the desert
from Children without a king,
and those with unjust kings.
from Children living in Exile,
and from those who have no home
from a Child crying from a Garden
and from those who loved him
How long, O God, have your Children waited?
for the answer left unspoken
for the action left undone
for the comfort held unseen
How long, O God, have there been tears?
did they begin outside the garden
or did Adam and Eve trip on the root of a beautiful tree
How long, O God, has there been pain?
did you name it good
or were you the first to feel it,
when your children ate what you had forbidden
Have mercy, O Lord, have mercy.
number our tears,
note the shaking of our sobs
record our cries to you
Have mercy O Lord have mercy
for we are mortal
and fear what the future brings us
Have mercy my Lord,
For you seem to love us.

Written 3/30/06

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I don't know what to tell you about this poem. Really, at all. So here it is....


I still fear...
For if I give you more,
You will take it.
Lover God
Lover whose breathe whispers over my skin
whose hands tangle in my hair
Lover who can still
Shorten my breath
and bring a blush to my cheeks
Lover who knows where I am
most sensitive
most vulnerable
Lover in whose deep embrace I tremble
for fear that I myself will disappear
Lover who will never let me go
Lover who will insist
patiently, endlessly
on all that is me, mine
Lover who seeks to possess fully
Lover, I still fear
But thou art holy
And thou art thou,
Divine Lover, Holy Possessor
And Thou, My Beloved
So, Lover who loves also my fear
With hands and heart
soul and lips
I move to love you back.

Written 6/23/07

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


So, I've actually been trying to write something in response to the recent mine cave ins and the bridge collapse, but it isn't working the way I want it to yet. However, I was going through old stuff and found this and figured it was equally appropriate.

We construct beautiful worlds with ordinary words
To imitate a Paradise we’ve never known
Sometimes we reconstruct reality
And are saddened
Sad that things are so ordered
Sad that we cannot improve them
And so we grieve the conditions of our life

But You, You who created us
You who lets us live this life
A life of pain and sorrow and joy and beauty
Do you feel powerless when tragedy strikes?
How do you grieve the things you will not change?
How do you hear our cries?

Written 8-11-06

Friday, August 17, 2007


At least about blasphemy...sort of.... If I wanted to say what I meant I'd write prose.

What blasphemy is this,
that we are all as much of God as we ever see?
What divinity leaves divine image
to peer around our sins and shortcomings?
Divine knowledge hidden behind our ignorance?
Divine compassion buried within us?
How can we not quail when we realize
the full weight of who we are meant to become?
Doomed to fail and destined to try,
We are not enough to represent the One who made All—
We cannot even love that One with appropriate love.
But who else is there?
For better and for worse, we are all we know of;
All who can share this one great secret:
We are beloved.

And Blasphemy it is: For we are not enough,
Not enough to be even pale reflections of that love,
The Love that loves us,
The Love that keeps us,
And the Love that sends us out,
to love one another.

Written October 10, 2006

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Or rather, not.


free time
extra hours
actually finishing the “to do” list
being alone in the store (because it’s 2am)
befriending stars

being alone in the dark
feeling like a ghost in your own house
laying awake in a tired body
counting sheep, goats, the whole damn barnyard
the tick tock tick tock tick tock tick…
dreaming of sleeping

glaring at a refuge-less bed
sleeping while awake
endless, dayless, nightless


Written July 2007

*This is not clinical depression, just the depressing realization that insomnia is an endless, cycleless sort of cycle. And you have my sympathy if you also understand that description.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sunday Morning

I love Sunday mornings at Church, the gathered community, Holy Communion. Every now and then I wind up in a spot where I can watch everyone receive communion. This came from what I see:

Small hands upturned
Reaching up over golden rail
Chubby fingers still
Eyes open and watching
Watching parents and priest
Wondering at our mystery

Small hands upturned
Just like those beside them
Just like those which blessed
Broke and shared Bread and Wine
Love freely torn apart,
A fully lived mystery

Small hands uplifted
Childlike willingness to enter
Faithful body, mystical communion
Equally yoked, equally called
Child and Adult, Stranger and Friend
Brought to one table, one feast
Brought to bring mystery

Small hands uplifted
Hands too small to hold or heal
Hands to weak to carry a world
Hands made holy
Wholly given to simple acts
Wholly given to holy mystery
Written 7/17/07

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Friday Pilgrims

There is a wonderful, faith filled group of women who can be found here. They have a weekly set of questions for anyone to answer. It's a fun way of building cyber community, but not really what I'm doing here. However, this week their questions lead me to this poem. The title comes from the latin (I think, if not, then some other dead language) word for pilgrim and the first set of the couplets derive from medieval pilgrim's practices. The second come from trying to live faithfully. Which is more than I usually say about my writings, but I was worried that if you didn't know the same set of arcane and esoteric knowledge I know you would be very confused. I will happily answer (some) questions as they arise.
Anyway, here:



Sore from uneven ground
Shuffling forward, scrape by scrape

Sore from kneeling too long
Sending desperate prayers into silence


Mindlessly tracing small images
Molded to a problem they can hold

Marking progress over beads
Measuring repetition, faint glimmers of hope


Seeing only the destination
Shining for the faithfuls’ reward

Squeezed shut, not daring to look
Soaked with tears, tears of hope and fear

Separated by history
Style of practice

But one in
Mystical body
Melded through faith

Written 8/4/07
post edited 8/23/07 to fix some typos and the like. N.B. to self: learn to proofread or not type when tired.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A moment

This was easier to find than I'd feared.
It is a poem about a moment I was privileged to witness.

Her face glowed
Madonna and Child—the love of a miracle

For that child, crucifixion
For hers, who knows?

Months here, advances and set backs
Going home to a life of doctor’s visits

T-ball and drugs
Or, maybe, not at all

But none of that is hers right now
I know, I think she might

But for right now
No caveats, no caution, no fear

Just full born love

Written August 2006

Another Song

So, once is an abberation, but twice is something more. I'm not planning on making this a habit, but I will probably continue to post songs when I find some that make me think.
And on the topic of making me think, these are things this song makes me think about: Is the song condemning (even indirectly) placing a child up for adoption? Why not adopt? What does it mean to be willing to die to have a child (is this different from dying for a child you have)?
Still, despite these and similar questions I'm placing this here because I think this song writer (the singer is Kellie Coffey, and I tend to think she wrote this as well) captures something important about the struggle of infertility. I think it's good writing and that it deserves to be seen. So the post goes up. I'll put something I wrote up later today.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What I Want

My last post was more about where I've been. This is about where I want to go, who I want to be. I felt that it was equally appropriate to this week of my life. (See previous post for as many answers as I'm giving out.)

To look back and say:
I have followed the call of God
(wherever it has led)
Preached the Gospel
(all times and all places)
Lived Christian Community
(even with those who dislike me)
Shared the joy that God loves me and you
(and have loved and been loved)
Helped others articulate theology
(for words bring understanding)
Been a voice for the less powered
(even when no one else was)
Never stopped learning
(the greatest challenge)
Called others to leadership
(because shared power is stronger)
Helped create hope that will outlive me
(there is no better legacy)
Gotten up every time I’ve fallen
(and learned from the bruises and scars)
Clung to a Kingdom realized, here and now
For this is the Gospel.

Written 7/17/07

Guess I got my hopeful poem after all...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


So this week is a week I celebrate in much the same manner other people give to their birthday. And I almost wish I was willing to give y'all more details, because vagueness makes this hard to describe. This week is the anniversary of my latest new chance at life. And in commemoration of that event, I wrote this:

Shadows of the past

Tomorrow dawns anew
and the same sun
which chases the dark away
helps define my shadows
some have one, but I have more
shadows of pain, sorrow and loss.

Falling off my heels, slow to fade
familiar, yet not welcome
shadows of the past,
things gone by,
dark days,
times that will not end.

Shadows from days long gone,
but events that outlast the sunset
days when the pain wouldn’t end
days when the sorrow debilitated
nights when there were no stars.
And yet…

And yet,
I am still here.
My dragons reduced to shadows,
following, yapping, diminished.
This time I know, that I survived,
that tomorrow will dawn anew,

Written 7/17/07 (I know, same day as post. Be impressed please.)

I wanted to write something happier, but I just couldn't get there yet. Maybe after another couple of years. I was still pleased that the last verse (stanza? too much time in Church I guess.) Held what hope it did. Just in case anyone is worried, please don't. My writing is often driven by "old" emotions because those are the ones I understand best.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Never Forget

So, this is may seem a little dark for the fourth of July, but it sort of fits with my mood. If you will forgive the editorial....We are so quick to praise our country and ourselves for the wisdom to be born within these borders that we often do forget the imperfections of this world and of humanity.

Future that isn't
it is the cry of parentless children,
childless parents.
nationless people
the cry of the grieving,
the troubled,
the oppressed
a cry torn from tear drenched throats,
whispered from parched tongues,
a plea between heartbeats
and etched into my soul:
Never Forget
the pain; the tears; the darkness; the loss
the pit; the grief; the aloneness; the ache
Never Forget
remember what was
remember what ought to be
remember the moment, the year of change
Never forget the future that isn’t

Written June 5, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Something a little different

So, this is neither my own work or poetry, but I thought it was good and important and worth the time and space here on my blog. Plus this way I will know where to find it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What I do

Sort of at least...Here are a couple of poems/prayers I've written in conjunction with my life in the Church. This first one was written for use as a community gathered to worship. It is untitled.

Come Holy Spirit,
quieten our minds,
still our hearts,
strengthen our spirits.
Come among us
help us to recognize and
celebrate the Risen Christ. AMEN.
written spring 2007

This next one was written last summer while I was in the midst of some pretty intensive training/education that largely involved working with people. (How's that for saying a lot and nothing at all.)

I go, I talk, I listen
I love

My heart, my soul move to greet theirs
And what is between us becomes even more
Holy Communion

I leave,
though a bit of me stays
Still I am not less, but more
written summer 2006

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Summer Haircut

So yesterday I got a new haircut, impelled in part because of summer. I go to this little place that does good haircuts for a reasonable price and they don't talk too much, so I had time to have this idea.

An hour of odd mediation
Time for me, about me,
Well, almost me
One person’s focus, entirely
This stranger and I brought together
Through the medium of my hair
The warm water
Circling fingers
Sudsy Shampoo and creamy conditioner
Chairs that rise and fall
And spin round and round
Sharp sections of my hair, held up in clips
The wet shck of the scissors
Old memories gone,
Fallen away,
New edges to learn
New tricks to develop
Ideal for the slightly new me
New image,
New ideas
A little time with a blow dryer
I’m all set to go

written 6/8/07

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Trying Something New

So I was just goofing around on the 'net and I found this (You'll notice that I also link to this blog.) Okay I found something that lead me here, but still. It seemed like fun, so I decided to try one. For those of you who don't follow the link, they are called Fibs after the Fibonacci sequence because that's how you count the syllables out. 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. Here's the one I wrote. It's not my favorite thing I've ever written, but it was fun.

Boredom Gone
Think and Feel in Ink
Such easy entertainment now

written June 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Out of the Sacristy

This is as close as I plan on coming to "outing" myself because there are other people who have seen this. This is also the post where we all learn that I'm deeply religious, something that you will read more about. I'm losing some of the formating here, but I'll figure it out later. Unless someone is willing to tell me....

I lift my praises, Mighty God, for work already done.
For support dedicated, leaders raised,
lives transforming.
I lift my thanks, Holy God, for work beginning.
For the stretch and pull of hearts opening
and minds thinking.
I lift my hopes, Awesome God, for that which is to come.
For promises treasures, for dreams dreamt,
for chances not yet taken.
In the name of the Everlasting God of change,
Written March 2006

Saturday, May 19, 2007

More about me, I guess

Two posts in two days! It's partially that this is oddly addictive and partially that just one poem doesn't seem to really represent my life. So here's another one. About me, even.

The I I want to be
Would you understand
If I ever said,
“those childish moments you laugh and ridicule,
Those instances of glee,
The glimpses where I seem not quite me
Those are what I fight for,
That to which I cling.”

Would you ever listen
while I went on,
“I know life’s horrors, dark hours,
Weeks of tears and mourn
Don’t think I haven’t lived there too
Know me rather as a frequent visitor,
One with favored paths and common trips.”

Would you then see,
The moments of glee,
The delight and wonder:
That I revel in these not to forget,
Not to negate
But as a runner, struggling to breathe,
They the images of the goal towards which I strive

Those glimpses where I seem not quite me,
Not denial, But pursuit
For I have decided
The darkness may not be
All that I know, not
The theme of my life, not
The reality I cannot escape.

Would you understand then
That these are my choice and treasure
That each smile
Is one more statement
A declaration of who I mean to be
Victory over who I will not become
I laugh, I giggle, and I go on:

Ever more the I I want to be.

Written 2/27/06

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Good Place to Start

This is probably the poem that started to convince me to do this whole blog thing, so it seemed like a good first post.

On Writing
I Write
and in this act of putting pen to paper,
of spreading ink across a void
I do that which is irreversible
My words, once written
cannot be unwritten, undone
They are from me but no longer of me
In making them into ink
I give them fleeting permanence--
bound as they are to physicality
and eternal difference.
Once written
I too must enter into dialogue with them
changing, not remaking
Once done
They stand
for my eyes and those of others
forever speaking from the moment of their separation
To the millions of moments that follow
They were mine to make--
a natural mating of my thoughts and my ink
mine to alter
mine to destroy
But their unmaking is beyond me
They become written and separate
I can not write
But I cannot unwrite

written 4/21/07


Never done this before. But I want a space to keep my writing and to let you (whoever you may be) read some of what I've written. I've been writing for years and this will be a space for me to share newer and older things. Look for my first post in the next few days.