To live fully to end of year is to be
Conscious of the nuances of
Yellow light spilling on the road….
Turns slowly blood red…
Ways the pain of purple pales to gray,
Fading sunset sadly gives attention to
Light dying in your eyes.
To live fully in each day is to be
Conscious of the immaculate shades
Blue within the running river,
Flooding lake and ocean’s depth….
Cleaning joy that washes shadows,
Disappearing footprint in the daily tide,
Surging, worrying into Earth.
To live fully every day is to be
Conscious of landscapes we create,
Patterns white within the fleeting clouds,
Shimmering golden aura in clear air,
Rising, living, dying in the hallowed space.
To live fully every single evening is to
Question every phase of Moon,
Wait in silence for answer as the owl,
Eyes unblinking, neck turning,
Listening for the faithful pain that glides
Submerged from marsh looking
For acceptance within the conscious eye.
When fields are hushed and dreams
Distinguish channels in the creeping fog….
Everyone is one with ageless past,
Year passing into year as slow as snail,
Treacherous, but alive and lithe,
Living every day in quiet breath.
Yesterday’s love is like a fallow field,
Where green has turned to gold, then brown.
Tomorrow’s love is more a cloud of dreams,
Maze of nerves impossible to hold or kiss.
I want the living space between start and finish…
An after birth breathing and real, fiery and mad….
Sad and anything but absent in my empty heart.
Give me a hand, a key, a clue, a message to read.
Show me the tender beast you keep within your heart,
Less terrible than tomb of past that haunts.
We will find the overhanging trees that offer shelter,
Sit on nature’s breast, fly upon bird’s feathered crest.
Joy will float upon the light, and if in dark of night
Sorrow comes, we will hold each other tight,
Refute the sting that hangs by breadth of hair,
Explore interior of fear until new morning comes aware.
This is not death, no dream…. this standing on the head….
Not hard as stone, but born of blood and water and hope,
Hearts open, where we see each other and are seen,
Hold alive within our lives no less love than God.
Blowing in from round World’s End
At very end of year,
Rain taps upon front door,
Whispers by the chimney’s ear….
As wind slows down to stillness,
I hurry on my way
Before black ice freezes on the road,
Not long to stay, so brief the day.
Eyes startled as dog’s familiar feet
Mingle in the leaves,
Wet and motionless on icy street.
Turn around at end of year,
Begin again to keep the vigil,
Last days of year the season’s perfect gift.
Release slowly brings its own reward,
When trees are stripped of camouflage of leaves,
Clarity superior to ecstasy of spring
As the year wanes toward its close….
A year I shall not be sad to see pass.
There is a pale honesty that comes,
Peels away resistance
Only after Christmas late December….
Glides down into calm review.
Frozen in memory, fictions born in earlier
gray mornings of the brain
Slowly let go, fall away,
Addresses history with greater clarity
Not known in April’s green nor
August heat that burns,
Comes to lie in state in late December,
Simple and barren as it makes reflective point.
We cannot yet hold tight
To the year not yet born….
All we do is fashion obsolete resolutions,
Throw away this year’s list of wrongs,
Dream of foreplay yet to come.
Better to drain away the rhetoric,
Listen to the silent stones,
Still balanced as though in afterthought,
Swaddled by cold December’s sun.
I spent Christmas afternoon with friends,
Blind to whatever angels may have been
Surrounding our conversation…
Focused instead on grey squirrels
Eating at the feeder outside the windows,
As though they could reveal anything, ever.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang
Christmas carols all day long,
Though no one asked if anyone believed in God.
Before we ate dinner, we did not offer prayer,
Only raised our glasses of wine to toast
Abiding friendship and the roast beef,
Yorkshire pudding and marvelous feast.
No mention was made of Bethlehem,
Though one guest mentioned it had been
Eight years since he had gone to Mass.
Gold-threaded tablecloth was grand—
Could have been made for the Queen of Heaven.
Around wide border in blue was a design….
Letters embroidered in Arabic:
There Is No God But God, Muhammad is His Prophet.
At night, I saw Christ appear in the moonlight,
Walking across the backyard, leading two
White-tailed deer… in a minute they disappeared
Just as dessert was ready to be served.
The room was warm, candles burning brightly
When white dove perched near top of the tree
Suddenly plunged—a rapid descent, as in a dream….
One wing torn away, feathers scattered,
People nervous from unspoken omen,
As though some sword of paradise intruded,
Cleaved the moment, revealing emptiness of heart—
An invisible aching emerging into the light.
Behold, in the dark silencing night….
In silent night and holy night
Something never dreamed is going on,
Unprecedented and whole,
Demands belonging to body and soul—
Incarnation comes as One.
Something instant; never expected….
Only ancient prophets in sacred prophesies,
Hoped for, strikes the ordinary,
Evokes deepest longings of both old and young.
Suddenly, angel wings
Brush against your face,
Breath catches in your lungs….
Lump in throat enlarges,
Spine tingles, surprised by joy
Hold the word “Behold”
Within your consciousness.
Sense the eternal presence of
Something simple and extraordinary….
Here within the ordinary—
Give the moment awesome scrutiny,
Look into the shimmering thinness,
See this birth of wondrous space…
Pause and allow it to come to pass,
Light in very being of your being— NOW….
Do you sense profound possibilities
Encountered within this terrible fragility?
Only grasped through open heart,
Broken body, intense suffering….
Do not clean up the view or
Run away from pain….
See through it all to
View wholesome holiness.
Behold it all, in presence of
Life and death and ocean of stars….
A holy singularity that has
Come this night to you.
At times I sense the loss of wholeness,
When something that once was unified now
Split in two— a loss that breaks the heart.
What power has cleaved what once was joined?
What force pulled the two apart?
Explore the gap that separates….
Sail into the space; touch each shore….
How wide the distance that divides?
How many years have passed from break?
Which one suffers most?
What would be gained and what be lost
If both returned as one today?
How strong the urge that pulls apart?
What pain is visible, what pain denied
As the two live on apart?
What strength or beauty gained in separation?
Eons ago, all continents were joined as one.
There were no island separations….
No need for bell to slowly toll,
Mourning of the loss.
Still, the wholeness of the Sun
Looks down and daily
Holds the two in one prayer,
Contemplates one Earth where all is whole.