Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Winter

The Word as Sacrament

For poets, it’s the Word as sacrament…

We gather to hear the Word
Which has been held deep down inside
Where it cannot abide
It must be spoken
This, the true sacramental form
The outward and audible sign of
Inward and Spiritual grace

The grace of the Word is free
The Word enlightens our minds
Stirs our hearts
And strengthens our will

And we will speak!

In the Beginning was the Word
And the Word was spoken
And through this, all things came into being
And without the Word, nothing has being

The poet knows this
The poet lives by the word
            The sacred word
And the poet desires to share the word
Because the poet believes in the word

If you doubt the power of words
Read the first chapter in a book called Genesis…


And we are trying to echo that ancient command
Trying to say something that stirs
The Universe or (at least) someone’s heart
                        To life…

Something astounding
Something incredibly moving

Let there be


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Plunge

You say I’m getting ready to take a plunge
A lunge straight into hell
I might as well jump off the Empire State Building

But I say, it wouldn’t be so bad
A good time could be had
And right now, as I contemplate the trip
I feel the pull of gravity, magnetic
A gigantic force
I no longer have the will to fight
It ignites a curiosity
Enticing me to see if I could survive
So dramatic a dive into
What could be oblivion

Or might I get caught in the weather
Float like a feather
In the drafty winds blowing about
Here and there, up and down
Hovering above the town
Where the lights twinkle bright
A delight to my sight, calming my fright
As I lean further than sanity allows

I’m not sure what kind of trip I’ll have
Such is life
Terminal or Eternity
Suspended in a moment
Forever in a breath
Nothing like life or death

I look down to the street below
Hypnotized, no time to rationalize
I fall

I see you at the window on the 83rd floor                 
You yell, “How’s your trip to hell?”

I shout back; the wind in my lungs
Riding the breeze, feeling release
The ease of burden left behind

“I don’t know, but the view looks good from here.”

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I do not feel invited to the banquet
The communion rail is a fence you stand behind
Dispensing the sacraments, blessings and forgiveness

Your eyes grow wide as I approach
I see your tight smile, your upturned nose
The muscles in your neck flex
When you offer me the bread
Your hands tremble as my lips sip from the chalice

And I begin to doubt

The Feast of the Saints unsettles my stomach
I’m sick, bloated with depression, feeling rejection
After drinking from a cup poisoned with tolerance

Your tolerance is endurance, condescending
It does not persecute
Yet, it does not accept

Your tolerance does not deny, nor does it embrace
It doesn’t stand for something
And it doesn’t take a risk

Your tolerance is cowardice looking for a place to run
A silence of smoldering resentment
Waiting to explode

Your tight smile, your wide eyes, your upturned nose
They betray you

And don’t ever think, not even for a moment
I don’t see your furtive stares or hear your whispers
I feel the squirm in your handshake
And I understand the meaning of your stiff hug

Your tolerance is a glass ceiling
A wall of silence
A circle of fear
A subtle message that says
You’re not really wanted here

Tolerance is neither hot nor cold
Neither soothing nor refreshing

Tolerance is lukewarm

Fit to be spat out

Monday, January 3, 2011

Photo by Matt McNeil

The Wind

Oh, I long for justice
But with you, I know it’s going to be Just Is

I know I’m justifiable
But you laugh and say
Only myself
To see you as a human being
Not a freak

I scream and shout, run about
Up and down the street all day and night
Asking for equality

But you don’t hear my voice
Listen to my words
Perceive my being

We must seek common ground
But you say
We have nothing in common
Not today or any day

I do know this...
After we sift through all the mud and shit and dust and rubble
Dig down to one essential thing
You cannot deny that I draw breath
(As you do, too)

And that’s enough for me to know
We are the same kind of creature
Because we breathe
We share the air

Air is free
You can’t grow it, age it, or refine it
You can't define it, monetarily
You can’t order a select cut of USDA choice air
Air is free

Take a breath

You must know, you breathed the same air
I breathed moments ago
But don’t worry, I’m not contagious.
You can’t turn into me nor I into you just by sharing air
Unless, you believe like the ancients did

In our breath resides the spirit
Breathed into us by God
And when take our last breath
The spirit leaves, joining with the breeze
Since we'll be together
One way or another
We might as well start now

We must understand
When we die, we expel our spirits into the wind
To move what we will move
To go where we will go
And, you know, only God knows
Where the wind blows
How it goes
Whom it moves

So, listen
There's a message
We hardly ever hear
Stop the clutter, the clatter
All the senseless noise

Draw near
In Communion

Oh Come Union...

Be together in peace
In Community

Oh Come Unity...

A prayer
Carried in the wind
To the ears of God