Cold Despair

cross in snowIn winters such as this,
When ground is frozen….
Small wooden crosses
Fall over in strong wind.

Go speak to the homeless,
Those who live in wilderness
Of indifference and violence,
Weak and hungry in the cold.

They come to the Table exhausted,
Call us angels when we hand them
Hunks of bread and offer prayer.
“The time of salvation is now!”

A woman wails, “Now? Now?
What the hell does that mean, ‘NOW’”?

Speak to those who live in wilderness,
Out in the cold, among wild beasts.

Set your Table in the snow.
Then preach of cutting food stamps.
I want to hear your prayer
When you feel cold despair.

Pulled Awake— Out of an Ordinary State

Pulled AwakeIt was bitterly cold and the wind
At times quiet and then strong.
Above shone the Milky Way—
Silence touched by radiant fathomless darkness.
Extravagant beauty I’d never noticed before.

I was exhausted. So exhausted
I was defenseless against
Overwhelming elation—
Swimming within the body’s core, churning,
Pouring down from the surrounding vastness.

Standing on the rim of the canyon
As the sky began to turn pink,
Perhaps an hour before
Sun’s yellow eye poured across the Earth,
Unblinking in Creation’s sacred space.

If God exists— and I believe She does,
Then my life was changed that morning,
Pulling me awake, out of an ordinary state.
Perhaps I was devoured alive.
Or was it fate that brought me to that place?

Almost forty years ago on the lip of the canyon,
I had an aweful experience that even now
Flows through memory, exploding into consciousness
Each time this memory comes, like fireworks—
Like a river overflowing, that changes the landscape forever.

When You Are Finally Silent and Alone

Silent and AloneWhen the cold wind
Sweeps around the corner unexpectedly,
Catching you without blanket of words,
And your body shivers as darkness
Passes questions through your mind…..

When all you can do is
Open your mouth and gulp down air,
Feeling it slide down into your lungs
Filling you with living wind,
And it makes no difference at all

Whether you sleep alone at night
Or whether someone is there who cares….
In either case, there are no words that come,
No answer that feels anything like a friend,
Finally you are silent and alone.

Finally you begin to understand.
Words cannot be used to defend
Against the wind that chills the spine.
How many times has it called to you?
Have you yet to learn that God is there?

To Fully Own My Life; To Fully Own My Death

To Own My Life

My greatest hope is that I have

Length of years to deepen—

Feel each day intensity of life

In every and all its many facets:

Body, mind and spirit.

 

Give me, I pray, exceptional friends,

Days and weeks and years with those I love,

To learn and travel to new places,

Shine more light into dark spaces

Within myself and about the world entire.

 

I want to be audacious and courageous with my love,

Good natured, clear of mind and memory and forever curious,

Plain speaking but always kind to all.

Let me be fully present in both work and play,

Concerned about the future far beyond my time on Earth.

 

Each day, I hope for solitude—to quietly reflect and pray,

Engage my deepest sense of Self and God.

And when that hour comes when I must reconcile with death,

I hope my trust be strong as it is today.

My spirit always on guard against weakening from fear.

 

Most of all, I want to love and be loved in return—

Own and honor my own uniqueness with humility,

Walk my path with courage and lightness,

Fully live my life as much as I hope to fully die my death.

On my last days, feel grateful for everything I’ve learned.

 

Let the song that I now hear within my Soul

Sing out a great “Thank You and Amen!”

When my last breath flows out of body,

Knowing that the Love which always holds me

Never ends…. Never ever ends.

Now A Crossroad Appears

Crossroads
I could walk five hundred miles…..
I could live a hundred years…..
My soul could last a thousand lifetimes.
The problem is the distance.
Why am I here? Why am I here?

I’m here without you….
Where have you gone? Where have you gone?
I only know you’re in my body and my mind.
You are there in every dream.
You are Presence in every prayer.

Suddenly, a crossroad appears….
All boxes where I’ve lived are lost,
Banished by your tender heart.
Help me now to walk close to rising Sun.
Be inside my blood; become my new song.

Already you are as a hinge, pivot—
Support that grounds my movement
Toward a wider, deeper life
As I expand my love to you—
Ready to trust, to endure, to forgive.

Wave After Wave of Presence

Before Morning Comes

At the beginning of day
My white skin seemed tired and sad.
As though even flesh itself
Could not believe in innocence.

Whatever angels hovered
Came with withered smiles
Reflecting more wisdom than joy.
Then last night I dreamed

I was a flaming tiger,
Splendor of fireworks exploding
High above among the blazing stars.
For forty days and fifty nights

Silence was drowned by
Music and celebrations filled with
Merriment and radiant delight,
Renewing realms that had never

Seen such glorious and vivid morning Light.
Perplexity and doubt were finally vanquished—
Wave after wave of Presence
Prevailing, complete while softly brushed by Love.

Best to Kill It While It’s Young

dead loveMaybe the merciful thing
Would be to kill it while it’s young,
Like some larvae still unformed—
Early before we know what it might become.

Then again, I could replace this love
With what came before—
Loneliness or primal fear.
Or pry it off my heart,
Drop it where it cannot grow.

Love is like magic in the world.
Do we ever know what’s real or
Is it imagined from our dreams,
Wishes— forgotten or remembered
From what once was or is yet to be?

If love is cast away to die,
Can one say it was by mistake,
Lost like a precious ring
In swamp of paranoid darkness?
To give away your heart is a terrible thing.

Who can predict what will happen,
How long anything might last?
Better to keep love distant like a woodpecker
Who would tap upon the door,
Then eat the wood and fly away.