Remember [a Maundy Thursday poem]


Advent-header-Newman-Barnett-Black-Fire

Body.
Soul.
Mind.
Flesh.

Meditations
In the watches of the night

From embattled city walls
Around embattled towns

You will be known like no one’s been known before

___________________________

[read my other Holy Day poetry here]
all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

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Palm Sunday: “The Emperor Has No Clothes” [POEM]


I feel far, Lord.
But I know you’re here.  I know it.
(Do I?)

(Can I?)

It’s the nature of the matter; a matter of nature, I suppose.
Perhaps only now I feel at the deepest existential depths:
“I believe! Help my unbelief!”

Or in a word: Hosanna

That cry.  That plea.

The certainty of uncertainty.
The pregnancy of a pause.
The pondering of a moment.

That moment.  The moment.  

The moment that dressed my doubt in assurance.
But that emperor has no clothes
(or so everything says).

So where does my assurance lie?
Where do my feet stand?

My body pelted with rain, snow, and hail;
I pray my heart rests beside a fire,
drinking tea,
rocking in a chair,
my shoulders draped in that most costly of quilts –
my Rest.

Clothe me–
with the coat I lay on your path–
for this emperor is naked

and needs his King.

[read my other Holy Day poetry here]
all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

Ash Wednesday Benediction [POEM]


ash-wednesday-faces-of-the-faithful-photos

The shape of the promise is death 
Say the word, feel the space, build the coffin in your mouth
Climb inside and make it yours

For it is

That tomb washed white, emerges in life, enslaves in death, watches the end

agape

Expiration exorcism, cast the spirit, cast it low;
Cast your eyes and feel the blow
Cast the lots

Carve the promise into your bones, your forehead

Let your face shine with Moses glory: that of the immortal God
–that suffering, dying, ashen glory-story

May your face shine with Ash
As you wear the world’s judgment embedded in your skin, in your body,
May you feel the world’s death in your face, may you hold it before your eyes

May the flame that licked the palm find its end in you.
Bear the flame the world shall never know, precisely so it never will

Take their judgment and rub it on our faces and cast it to proclaim

Lift up your eyes

Wear it loud

The shape of the promise is death

[read my other Holy Day poetry here]
all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

“Coffee Crucifix” (a sonnet for National Coffee Day)


Coffee Crucifix

Crescent ring under porcelain smooth
___stain the wood-stained finish.
______(It is finished.)
___Marked with muddy water;
___mark the merry day; to
___marry the murdered man.

Floral notes in blackened waves
___crash the shore of trembled lips.
Choral bright, in darkest night,
___wake the tone of trebled kiss.

Younger tastes left open-wide; older eyes made
satisfied.

Mark the wood: complex simplicity.
Pierce my heart: storied infinity.

[read my other Holy Week poetry here]

all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

On Easter Sunday: “Oh Death” [a song]


[I wrote this after my grandfather died in 2010 after a long battle with throat cancer. It really affected me, and I wrote this to redeem this moment for him and me. You’ll find a recording of the song below. It’s simply a piece of cathartic lament in light of pain, and is not meant to be “high art”.]

I here your footsteps coming
The floorboards they scream
I pray to my Father
to wake from this dream

I’m tired, so tired
when will this end?
I’m tired, so tired
Your strength, won’t you lend?

Oh Death, here is your sting
Oh Death, I hear your voice ring
Through echoes and ages and days gone past

Oh Death, here is your sting

This breath, you can take it
This body, is yours
This voice you have stolen
My eyes are now dim.

Oh this sweetness you’ve taken
I taste life no more
This life, I release now
But this love you can’t have!

But I’ll rise….
But I’ll rise…

I’ll awake from this nightmare as daylight draws nigh
The tension of ages breaks before my eye

This breath I’ll take back. This life will be His.
That body, you can keep; I’ll get a new one from him

Like daybreak it’s new and as strong as fired steel
The demon like dew is gone, ’cause I am healed.

His vict’ry now better: of this conquest we’ll sing
Your vict’ry now bitter:you will taste it’s last sting.

Because…

Oh Death, you’ll taste your last sting
Oh Death, I’ll hear your voice scream
Through echoes and ages
and days gone past

Oh Death, here is your sting.

Oh Death….
taste it and weep,
for oh Death,
I no longer sleep.

Because, Oh Death,
I’m no longer thine;
And, Oh Death,

The vic’try’s now mine.

[read my other Holy Day poetry here]
all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

On Holy Saturday: “Tired” [a poem]


“Yes
it is time
to think about Christ
again.

I keep putting it off.”

Longing and lusting
Raging and seizing

Looking out the open window
wanting a woven sacrament to
touch me

Functional loss
A downward slope
___sloping
________sloping

Noting the works and words
with fingers cold
Touch the parchment
feel the ridge

Ancient enchantment enticing
___interlude

English bathtubs as angel arms
___a memory vivid
___tongue refreshed?
Imagine imaged imagination

Piercéd Christ
Pasted chest

Aroma fills:
pierce the pores!
Wash the brain!

Heal

_________not

soothe

[read my other Holy Day poetry here]
all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

On Good Friday: “Gabriel Came on a Friday” [a poem]


I

Pierced
Not of flesh nor will of man
But of heart by will of Him
Walking weary and steering stares
Casting glances and lots to those who do
Whispers spoken from around
Make silent the shouts cast from within
And above

Because deep within a shot was cast and burrowed in the bow
The fine line of ecstasy and horror homoousion‘d among
And within
For obedience was found on worthy lips, blessing bestowed for ages come
And this joy was found as a bell in the mist
Meaning: it was not

Until the rocks came.
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on Easter: “to Life, a sonnet” [a poem]


to Life, a sonnet

____________________________________Praise.
_________________________________Ovate
______________________________Now
___________________________How’s
________________________Why’s
_____________________Cries
__________________Birth
_______________Groans
____________Crows
_________Creation
______Weep
___There:

Here:
Sleep…

[read my other Holy Week poetry here]

all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

on Holy Saturday: “to death, a sonnet” [a poem]


to death, a sonnet

A fear as frank as frankness be
I hold within this frame so dear;
so dear please hold me, till this dark is past
_____— till the darkness passes mine eye.

But to be so engraced I know I must face
_____– and lose-
___________to this spectre this prospect requires.

O this still darkest night, I lie here betwixt
competing rays
__________of glory’s gaze.
One lies ahead; one lies to my face
___both wooing and charming a choice from my hands:

___________to re-seize and be lived,
___________or release and be sieved?

[read my other Holy Week poetry here]

[image by Mark Rothko]

all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

on Good Friday: “Coffee Crucifix” [a poem]


Coffee Crucifix

Crescent ring under porcelain smooth
___stain the wood-stained finish.
______(It is finished.)
___Marked with muddy water;
___mark the merry day; to
___marry the murdered man.

Floral notes in blackened waves
___crash the shore of trembled lips.
Choral bright, in darkest night,
___wake the tone of trebled kiss.

Younger tastes left open-wide; older eyes made
satisfied.

Mark the wood: complex simplicity.
Pierce my heart: storied infinity.

[read my other Holy Week poetry here]

all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

On Easter: “Adam Killed a Bird, But Jesus Brought Him Back” (a poem)


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Adam Killed a Bird, But Jesus Brought Him Back

Now looking through the glass not dim, Coltrane all around;
he sets a tone of dissonance, rightly now it seems.
For as the beauty clothes me in, a tragedy is found:
woodchips below – a resting place – long for love supreme.

For there he lies with outstretched span, stricken by a car;
afflicted by our fallenness, and smitten by our thorns.
He struggles with the weight of pain, not getting very far.
To stop, release his spirit’s breath – give way to Death’s dark door.

I prayed a prayer, and thought some thoughts, and something in me burned.
Oh I see my Savior, the pains he took! For me: protect,
for prone to wander, weak I am, to that which I once yearned.
Until you did in me and Him- my soul: You resurrect.

And thus to show He heard my prayer and strengthen my weak frame,
up pops the bird, into the air; and now my soul shall do the same.

[read my other Holy Week poetry here]

all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

On Holy Saturday: “Better Your Arms Around Me (Penelope’s Window)” (a poem)


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Better Your Arms Around Me (Penelope’s Window)

You know why I’m standing here.
You know what I’m going to say.
The look behind your eyes betrays you.
Your sleeping head goes away.

Dreams lie as you do;
Dreams lie all night;
like you do.

Pacing back and forth on Friday,
Before you lay these words in my head.
Hoping my closed mouth mined gold
to give you, to give you.
Continue reading

On Good Friday: “Scotchful Thoughts on Treason & War” (a poem)


_____________________________________________________

Scotchful Thoughts on Treason & War

You’re stronger than Scotch, though that’s not what my throat urgently screams at the moment. Ah, the struggles of an artist, a mystic, one whose deep cries out for yours – to express the inexpressible.  To package in words that which can’t be contained.  You’ve caringly — lovingly, even — taken me, torn open my chest, pulled out my heart, and have affectionately run my broken body into your knee such that I am torn in two
_____– one spirit, one flesh:

All of reality stands at this heralding moment:
_____Wide-eyed, eager – youthful
_____anticipation abounds.
Hands on knees looking forward, rocking back
_____so on and so forth they watch:
_____smiles ear to ear.
Continue reading