Now the leaves are down from trees,
Blown off grass and into the woods
Finally in late November
My conscience finally clears.
One less thing to do
Before winter’s snow arrives.
Like dead leaves rotting into soil,
Conscience simplifies with age—
Becomes old friend that softly speaks.
No longer harsh but tenderly,
Simple words worth keeping,
Never unforgiving for the work
Incomplete as winter comes.
No longer do I need a compliment
But prefer sparse presence of Soul.
Voice first spoken by God in infancy—
Still faintly heard in dreams and empty halls,
No longer troubled by small
Unfinished deeds or doubt,
Yet sparse and thin as simple air.
Gratitude comes when work is done
True as backbone if wisdom comes—
November fades like aging body,
Always worse at the end,
Yet thickened as by labored hand,
Virtuous as wordless prayer.
Some days I swim—
Other days I slowly lurch
Toward what is called
A forgone conclusion….
What I want is tenderness, my dear.
I want my heart full of tenderness
And a second helping from you, too.
Scrape away all the decades of
Acquaintances that came and went.
No need to worry what I looked like now.
Designer magazines tell me that I should
Pay special attention to my coffee table books….
They “tell the world what kind of person
You would like to be.”
I guess it’s time to attend my unfolded laundry.
I long for kindness at the end—
The way a little girl longs for a red bike
Or to own her own horse,
Stabled close enough to ride each day after school.
I threw out all cracked china eight years ago.
Now I confess I was never kind enough— were you?
All that’s left is pure gratitude,
Distilled, not always pure, but useable each day—
Table settings more than enough for six.
I don’t care what others think,
If every room is painted that perfect
Shade of Forgiveness that looks good in every light.
Now I’ll go attend to socks without their mates.
But what I want most is tenderness,
Coming from me and coming at me
At break of day and when I go to sleep at night.
Here I am, yet again awakening from illusion….
Letting the world into my heart,
By claiming greater spaciousness
Out beyond horizon of the ocean—
Where only God is real.
God is the world.
God washes onto my shore in every wave….
Awakening is first step toward freedom,
Knowing hard truth that what’s worked in the past
May now no longer work.
I want deeper satisfaction—
So very tired of making war with what is foreign.
So very tired of lasting war with you.
There are those who seem to need to hurt me.
Let them try. I surrender.
They can live within illusion that they win.
But I refuse to feel the pain attached to protest.
I no longer need an answer from you,
Only let go to take my leave….
Find new home in deeper peace.
Let waves of the world crash on every shore.
Let water sink into the sand and leave no stain.
The sea has longed for the shore for so long
No memory lasts within its final wave….
If promises were ever made,
Now they lie dissolved so all is One.
Salty tears form whitecaps on the bay.
Birds soar in silence, high above the churning foam.
Like a gull, I have no words to speak.
There’s nothing that I haven’t heard before,
Tide brings the same encore over and over again.
I pledge my heart that I will be as the Moon,
Watching down through reflecting light,
Holding lessons learned. wrapped tenderly in
Soft tissues of love,
Shining down on the forgiving sea
Through darkness and the harshest storm.
Being both center and circumference of small circle,
Born and live each day in circumstances
Far beyond ability to understand.
In earlier decades of my life
I avoided feeling of emptiness,
Being unfulfilled or lost….
Now the inner work is inescapable,
Search for meaning, purpose, love—
Become vulnerable to greater vulnerability.
Life is short but never trivial—
Smoke drifting in greater breeze through waving grass,
As sparrow passing quickly but gracefully.
High above, distant stars sing endless prayers….
Spirit breathes through power of gentleness.
Sometimes a whisper of God is enough.
Tonight it seems I cannot stem the tide,
Floods over troubled heart,
Hollow space now gasps for hallowed breath,
Thoughts like flocks of wheeling birds,
Unreached by human hands
Fly into my mind, then disappear.
Too soon does darkness come—
How little still I know—
Inflated vision of the Earth
Holds only beauty that I glimpse.
Untether my Soul from self, I pray.
Out of darkness I see a light,
Not a lesser light as summer seems,
Only lasting till eclipsed by frozen winter….
This light is not as dawn of day
But brighter than the sun at noon,
Blue sky cloudless
With no shadow to shade or smother.
Whatever energy now calls me higher
Into space without a form or body,
All surrendered to larger service,
Higher Will to merge, emerge reborn.
Here I have no need to overcome fear,
For all but Love has disappeared.
They seem forever to return to us,
Those once thought dead, perhaps destroyed.
Having disappeared, dropped off the map….
Exiled in darkness for decades, they waited.
Now they reappear—
Paintings once hated by those in power
Who tried to purify the world
By ravaging, destroying, speaking lies.
This I know: greater truth will outlast
Meanness of malevolence…..
Truth hides deep within wilderness,
Strength of beauty preserved.
Even the blind absently cradle their thoughts,
Turn their gaze toward what cannot be seen—
Found beyond the pale, awaiting the return
Of a secret love hiding in plain sight.
Grant, O Lord, that we might glimpse sufficient sign
Thy presence discern in Dark before the distant Dawn…
We pray to see through Earthly veil,
Sense triumphal joy surrounding Saints that sing—
Amazed how bright as fire their glories burn.
Give us mighty wings of faith to rise
Above blurred veil of tears and deeply sense
Abounding grace that comes in breaking bread….
Joined together in communion,
Let us place our trust in Thee.
Awaken hope within the restless heart,
That though day be past and night be close,
We breathe as one united breath,
Sing with unnumbered Saints
Triumph of the Lamb that conquers Death.