Prayers of Defiance

Hands clasped together

knees firmly rooted 

eyes closed

each breath measured

in the quiet

alone,

praying

but for what?

Love is the desire

of everything we do

as the world lurches

from one idol to the next

seeking happiness

in the squalor 

of massage parlors

and brothels of shame.

Holding on to faith

in the midst of despair

an act of defiance 

against those seeking

to chain the hearts

of those who love

One Day

One day,

I will not be here

but not today.

One day,

I will not feel the rain

or know the wind

but not today.

One day

I will not feel

love or pain

but not today.

One day

I will not hold my lover

in the darkness

but not today.

Today, 

I will live,

Today,

I will love,

Today,

I will feel,

Today,

I set my heart

to look forward

Today,

I hold my lovers hand

as we kiss,

Today,

I will live fully,

in the beauty

of God’s world.

What Tale do I Tell?

What tale am I to tell? 

Where does my story begin?

Where will it all end?

I look about and see poetry

in the trees as the wind blows through the leaves

in the songs of the birds nesting in the branches.

There is poetry in the love I share

in the tears I shed

in my own imperfections.

I look up at the clouds scudding across the sky

changing shape molded by unseen hands

creating a story that is timeless.

I am such a small part of the greater whole

seeking to discover that one great purpose

writing these bits and pieces of poetry

hoping to see in the words a reflection of my soul.

Perfection is a dream, a fantasy of youth

these words are imperfect as is the language.

It can never describe those deeper feelings

that lie at the core of my being,

a being fraught with fear and anxiety

of knowing I am not enough on my own.

What tale do I tell? 

What mystery lies at the root of my heart?

The roads I have travelled were never straight

winding through a landscape at once beautiful and terrible.

Through the gauntlet of people and places

faces haunting the edges of my memory

now I stand on the precipice of the future

as I stare out across a valley shrouded in fog

wondering where my story will take me.

Time grows shorter with each passing year

I now have arrived at a point where there are less tomorrow’s

and I can no longer sit idly 

as that enemy time, 

gnaws me down into dust.

All is sacred, all is holy, if I dare to look outward

fear is the cage created to justify our own failures

and I have failed and fallen so may times

yet, like the Phoenix I have risen from the ashes

to stand before the judgement seat of the Holy

the mystery of unconditional love

that calls us out of our tombs

unbinding our tortured souls

and bathing us in the light of truth.

Foxhole Prayers, Talisman’s and Lucky Charms

Foxhole prayers,

those prayers that come

when we’re stuck in the mud

when the slime and grime

of the world has worn us down,

we pull out our talismans

that special rabbits foot

the four-leaf clover

reciting that charm

we learned so many years ago.

We pray without words

to some unseen deity 

even when we don’t believe, 

when all is crashing down

suddenly finding ourselves

seeking that miracle 

when all along that miracle

is well within our reach

if only we open our eyes

to see that we were never alone

even in the darkest part of the tunnel.

There are those who bluster

claiming they have all the answers

they don’t need any prayers

their answers lie in their facts

until that moment when it fails

their certainty eludes them

as they stand knee deep in their foxhole

looking out on a no man’s land 

of their own making

cursing that which they don’t believe 

wanting that which they don’t believe

to come down and save them

in their moment of need.

Anniversary

Okay, Wendell Berry says shun the electrical wire

find a quiet place, a place of solitude and peace

there, in the quiet let the words flow out from you

write them down as you picture the projected scene

capturing the sights, sounds, smells and textures

remembering the feelings that each evoked.

The sweetness of that first tentative, nervous kiss 

the birdsong that emanated from the meadows and fields

as we walked along hand in hand, warm sun shining

remembering how the heart felt when love entered

into the very depths of my soul and made me yours.

Sitting here now in the silence, in solitude, remembering

I write the scenes I see on the screen of my mind

trying to shun the electrical wires and mechanical noises

that drown out the soft sounds that lie deep within the heart

sounds of the Spirit that sighs too deep for words,

the still small voice heard in the deep silence

the mystical root connecting me to you and you to me.

Bread

Bread,

it sits on the counter

wheat bread

cinnamon raisin

white rolls

gluten 

gluten free

low fat

high fiber

heart healthy,

Bread

the staff of life

feeding 

nourishing

slathered with butter

toasted golden 

jelly’s 

jams

strawberry

grape

cover the bread.

Bread

vast acres of wheat

swaying 

as the breeze passes

under the sun

kernels

ripen

machines reap

gathering 

into the barn

crushed

pulverized

mixed

baked

sold

into our bodies

feeding

Bread

broken and shared

Bread 

the gift of God

Bread

manna

life

in the desert

we inhabit.

The Harrowing

Oh, to write an ode or poem

to set down in words

the deep love within

showing the scars

on the landscape of the heart

left by travelers along the way.

Oh, to write of my life

in all of its intricacies,

the threads I have weaved

in the grand fabric of my world,

some tattered and worn

others new and complete,

each a different color

each a different texture

the complexities of the human soul,

upon which he bore the wooden beam

whose love carried the weight of grief

high above the city gate,

as the veil is torn

to reveal the grace

of loves true light

upon the darkened landscapes

that dwell in the depths

as he harrows the hardened heart

bringing peace to the wearied 

and life to the dead.