Sunday, August 21, 2011

Confiteor

This morning
I stand still in that which is pure
as liquid Light seeps down
into the dark chinks
where I hide my sins

as relentless illumination scours
those deep recesses
of self-deception

No need to strike my breast
my heart heaves and rocks
with each wordless mea culpa

Wracked
ransacked
still I stand in the Light

Then mercy comes in

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meeting for Worship


Like letting a sunbeam
kiss the part in your hair
like breathing
that’s more like drinking
like your favorite easy chair
like the best seat in the house
like the perfect setting on the audio system
like the right word
like a turn of phrase
that makes the meaning clear
like a whisperless silence
like a whisper-filled silence
like transcribing Morse code
like deciphering hieroglyphics
like feeling pleasantly full
after a meal
like learning something again
for the first time
like a warm hearth
on a damp, cold day
like following the sunbeam
toward the friend waiting at the other end

Friday, August 12, 2011

The lastest war of words


Rhetoric
anger
words
angry words

cock-sure-of-yourself words
They’re wrong and we’re right words
God hates you and loves us words
What would Jesus do words

Words to accuse
words to judge
words to condemn
words to draw the line 
Abused words
violated words
mangled, mutilated words
Blocks of words
bricks of words
IED’s of words

Words that conceal our helplessness
words that mask our impotence
words – all bravado all the time

words
   that
     solve
         nothing

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ode to my frying pan

While participating in a hiking/yoga/writing seminar in the high desert of Abiquiú (New Mexico) last week, I was invited to write an ode to some ordinary object in my life, taking inspiration from Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's Odes to Common Things. Here's what emerged.

Ode to my frying pan

Your non-stick coating minimizes the need for grease
  but a touch of sesame oil lends a proper oriental flavor
  to my stir fry
  Or a few tablespoons of olive oil
  makes for an authentic ratatouille

I truly admire your versatility,
O frying pan,
  though your shape remains ever the same
  you supply us with an endless variety
  of dinners

Whether sizzling, simmering, or sauteing
  you sing contentedly 
  transforming raw into cooked
  You seem happiest when blending veggies
  of all colors
  and skillfully inculcating them with the savory seasonings

Then humbly you sit cooling on the stove
  all alone
  while dinner plates serve up your handiwork.



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On self-defense






Today it was a cholla that taught me to defend myself
  to grow nettles if need be to ward off intruders
  to twist and curl away to avoid more demands on my time



If I could, I’d plant that cholla
  next to my work table
  and hang a sign around its neck
  Beware: ferocious intruder-eating plant

I don’t know much about the cholla
  except that it's part of the cacti family
  and I’ll bet that mine has a reservoir
  an internal font of Gatorade
  of plasma and electrolytes
  that hums as it flows up and down
  through arteries and veins

“Protect your vital juices,” she told me
“Keep them far below the surface lest they evaporate”