Grounding Love to Earth

I sit in darkness, waiting, yearning,
Dependent on vast cosmos for Light,
Praying not for order, not
Length of life, but for Fire of Love
To penetrate the dark, bring Presence
To Empty Space, Spirit to Dance,
Immediate, Refined, the Restitution
Of all things, changed by this instant
Incarnation— mystical and bright as the
Star that so long ago sang in distant night
An Eternal Hello, grounding Love to Earth.


Symbiotic Truth

The Moon and Earth form a symbiotic truth,
One enfolded by the other in closed orbit,
Not in perfect circle, but asymmetrically,
Oceans heaving at each pass, exchanging
Mirrored light as they spin around the Sun.

It is not quite true that the Moon merely
Revolves around its planet.  They orbit
Center of shared mass,
Barycenter within the Earth, but not at heart of
Inner core.  Each body dances, tangos
With its partner, nodding silently, miraculously
Together, heavy, fast, day and night,
Separating by further distance
An inch and a half each year.  Oh, dear!
It’s quite the soundless sight, glory coalescing
Age after age, two heavenly bodies pulsing in
Eternity of space, drifting in a larger plan.

The Idea of God Flies Away

Last night I went to bed in darkness,
Blind to the presence of the lake outside my window.
This morning I gaze upon the snow covered expanse,
Quiet in holiness—a white silence
That says both nothing and everything.

The trees on the mountain are bare,
No apparent sign of life, yet they wait,
Singing in their quiet way of tenacity, hope, prayer,
Waiting for the return of spring.
Do they know greening is possible?  Do they care?

The whole world turns in its perfect imperfection.
If only I had more than one pair of eyes to see,
Wings to soar, petals of the heart to blossom,
Open fully to the fragrance that now lies wrapped
In the silent praise of soul.

So many thoughts I cannot think,
Depth of feeling too deep for words,
A tongue that cannot taste the fullness of the delicacy
Laid before me.  The idea of God flies by
In the form of a bird, flying away.

I cannot hold the Presence;
Cannot touch Holiness nor can I capture love.
But I can reach out.  Keep my heart open,
Aware of the clear, blue air.

Whisper Your Name

To every lover whose heart has broken;

To those who want to be together but are separated
By seemingly impossible obstacles, intransigent bureaucrats,
Great distance that keeps you from another’s arms;

To those immigrants living in what is supposed
To be the land of liberty, who are in hiding, deprived of justice,
Separated from their families that they miss;

To those who have held a loved one as they breathed their last,
Who know the weight of grief and the silence of the grave;

To those who walk on beaches against the wind,
Who hike into forests or mountains alone,
Who sleep in empty beds and cry themselves to sleep;

To those who hunger for fulfillment that may never come;

I gently hold your heart in my heart.

My silence also has unsung sadness,
Longing for someone who is not here.
I know the power and pain of love that still lives within the heart,
The ache for tender, loving touch.

I know the salt poured on open wound,
The sting of rejection, the loss of cherished dreams.
I feel the heat of anger when others senselessly exercise their power,
Blindly cause another hurt and pain.

I know how easy it is to prosecute or defend,
To call another names, to fill the mind with indignation and complaint.

Yes, I know love comes with vulnerability,
How easily promises and expectations are broken.
And I know a tragic symmetry of pain,
Where few, especially not myself, can claim innocence of hurting others.
I have broken promises, know the burden of regret and
Stand in need of ever-constant grace.

Whoever you are, wherever you are…

I sense your hurt and pain, your sadness, your aloneness, your lack of strength.
I know what it feels when you feel someone will never understand,
That there is no justice, no hope, no escape, no way back.

On this day, in this place of unending unrest, I am with you.
If you have voice, whisper to me your name.

If the Crust of Ice Gives Way, What Then?

This time of year ice forms on the lake,
Later melts, freezes again next day,
The silver cover inches thinly
As it narrows against the shore.
The suspense is worth the looking
Several times a day to watch the water
Solid, then flowing, then solid in the frigid air.

Two days ago, a neighbor down the street
Said her poodle ran out on the ice at night.
She raised her head to call,
Threw off her coat, prepared
To take a dive to save his life
If crust of ice gave way, gave him
Thirty seconds space before
He turned and walked her way.

How does it feel, I wanted to ask,
To have such warmth of heart
You’d risk your life to save your dog?
What transcendent feeling, what urge
Within her dizzy head?
What foolish, thoughtless spiral
Plunge into the ice, what revealing story
Would they repeat at her cold wake?
That she gave her life for love?

It is a variation on a chilling theme,
This love, this desperate adoration,
This surge or sickness that
Locks the joints of self-preservation,
Freezes blood to sacrifice, to trust
A flash of light to save a life.

Floating Into the Truth of It

I once stared for hours at a line drawn on a page,
Just a simple, hand-drawn penciled line on
Parchment, held within a thick, gold frame.
I do not recall a name, but the townhouse was in
Manhattan, owned by an Armenian Jew
Who had a collection of exquisite, antique crucifixes.

Christ, the floors were of purest marble, white
As sand on a Hawaiian beach.  I stood
Silently, the graphite of that single, penciled line
Sinking into blue waters of my divided soul, helpless
To prevent the loss, the way love fades to grief.
Did I mention he was a psychiatrist, this owner
Of the parchment in the townhouse?  Under the
Soles of my feet I felt the edge of line complete,
The journey from left to right, with no meaning,
No interpretation to guide the way, just sitting there
In his office with marbled floors, richly appointed,
The pilgrimage of pencil so fine of hand
That the subtlety of beauty, perspective, intention
Made me weep, floating as I was into the truth of it,
With no comma, no period, no punctuation—
Only a simple line drawn across a page.

What Comes Next

I brace myself for what comes next,
Not knowing, only caring,
Hurting in a tender heart,
My future upside down
From what I thought last week.

Am I pretending the party hasn’t ended?
Was the kiss hello the last?  I hate
Roller-coasters, just want a straight
Line of love in my hands, a month,
A year, an answered prayer.
Give me carrot soup with crusty bread,
Tapenade and ham, fresh cranberries,
A lover’s eyes before my midnight dreams.