My Soul is Hollowed Out

soull is hollow

I’ve known this fleeting space
Where ratio of word to flesh
Evaporates and all is indistinct,
Shadows come alive and ache
Swims with wonder fused with bliss.

Only word that comes to mind is
Rapture as it comes in waves,
Lands upon the mind from
Nowhere, simply bursts alive as
All sense of form is lost, stretches,
Swells to marvel anything exists.

I sense I’ve slipped the clutch,
Time is laid aside,
Engaged, aware the world is filled,
Delectable, promiscuous,
Merciless yet sweet.

And when it passes, I’ve lost control,
No line, no point, no up or down,
In silence I am overthrown,
A kind of punishment,
Being ravaged from the Deep,
Left splintered yet whole.

Still, I beg the world….
Ask whatever God can hear my prayer,
Beloved, remain with me as Source—
With or without this bitter, ruthless grace.
Forever more my Soul is hollowed out:
Joy, tears, savage longing to know and to be known,
Held, hushed against soft lushness of the Light.


Anywhere You Need to Go


9549416159_5b33ccdc59_bRailroad tracks outside of town
Now old and rotting,
Once a curving spine to quickly move,
Deliberately plotted to go from here
To anywhere you want—
Branches going north and south,
Small towns, cities, mountains,
Far beyond the river to an endless shore.

Now there still rests upon the bed
Concentration of stones patiently smoothed,
Shaded even in winter by pines
Where needles break the living light,
Comes and leaves the way a heron
Hopes to spear and break the flesh of fish,
Soars and dives below waterline
To feast, to fly again across the lake.

Railroad needs a bridge to cross the distance.
For years, teenage addicts and fishermen
Would come to drink, smoke,
Find within old shattered glass
Handy tools to gut the fish,
Failed to hide from guilt or shame a truth
It might be a damn fine place to die.
No need to walk far to find thigh high weeds,
Hiding road from prying eyes.

Protecting mystery of this sacred place,
Come here only if you feel the need.
More likely to survive if you are
Old and overgrown, able to dispel
Rotting pain with prayer, not pills.
If you come at night, write in ink
Your name upon your hand.
Can you see it now? Flying low in dim light,
Grey heron, eyes cast downward as it fishes,
Needs to dive and kill, to gorge and live.

Let the War Finally End

As winter comes,
Trunks of trees are hard as stone.
Bark of maples hold their sweetness,
Always waiting for the spring.

Had she ever really loved him?
Though he held her hand a thousand times,
Something had splintered in her heart.
This is how he learned of grief.

There were those who’d split her wide,
Slid between her legs and made her scream.
Had he known, he would have cried.
But he was weak and her door was tightly closed.

With every child, a hidden blossom grows—
Perhaps a hope the war might end. Even now,
At twilight, he smells lush smell of tomorrow.
Come, daughters, let cold war finally thaw to end.

Everything Returns, But Not Always Alive

The bloom on the rose didn’t last long;
Faded in a week, stem now barren,
Pedals scattered across the floor.

In early morning, faint tracks
Visible at dawn but erased by ten,
They told of an affair under full moon.

These words seem sad, dry, austere—
My dry skin like an old snake ready to molt,
Wanting to warm in the sun of spring.

Have you noticed how even boulders
Are dislodged after heavy rains—
Like love when it senses ambush.

My body ticks like an old grandfather clock,
Or a bomb waiting to explode in grief,
Spilling blood all over the sheets.

When Sense of Self is Lost

dark woods
When at times I lose the sense of self,
Of who I really am or what my life’s about—
I tend to bite my lip, to strike my teeth
Against a hidden piece of tender flesh.
It’s like ship’s captain smashing ship
Against the cliff, wood breaking on hard rock.

The little bit of pain, and never deep for blood,
Seems to help, to wake me up,
Briefly as it is, still tongue comes to lash,
To sooth the little bit of hurt, forbearance for the fight.
The doubt that was curdled and given birth,
Comes as soon as the mind falls asleep.
Now I’m awake and water flows,
Wonder comes and all doubt  quickly flees.

Deep Calls to Deep

Deep calls to deep
There is a thread I sometimes see,
But only on turning around,
Glimpse where I have walked.
Perhaps no one else can see it—
Only as eyes are closed
Blind in silent wordless prayer,
Finally it is found.

From my birth through grace,
Thread has never broken, though times,
Hard from grief, confusion,
Friendships and loves found and lost,
Decisions made, constant change
That never changes, now published
As scars upon my bones, chest and back.

I have walked upon bridges,
Felt them tremble in strong wind;
Kicked dessert sands upon Sahara dunes;
Stood atop tall mountain ranges;
Dived deeply in cold ocean currents;
Floated through ancient canyons;
Flown through clouds and prayed
When lightening struck so close
Skin tingled cold with fear.

Yet still red thread was always there,
Unseen and visible, providence of
God, blessed, protected, made whole
Through love and witnessed as I
Cut the cords of birth,
Found mysterious beauty in afterbirth,
Held the heads of those at door of death,
Washed their cold and naked bodies.

Underneath my feet are many people,
Country towns and great cities—
Streams and rivers of souls
Slowly winding toward one ocean.
Testify I do that both past and present
Hold unique, specific gravity—
Shared communion and unbreakable intimacy,
Joined in making love and
Being made love to in same action.

I’ve heard confessions of many,
Shared their suffering and streaming tears,
Painful stories now secrets in my mind,
Buried deep within as people are buried in
Rocky ground and creviced caves of mind,
Boxes that can be opened again and again.

I know such thing as consolation—
Sign not of weakness but of strength.
Promise awaits those whose identity is tied
Rigidly to memories not always clear,
Finding hope and release in new dimensions,
New narratives regarding pain, spacious rooms formed,
Told in present time using healing words,
Connected, released not by shedding history,
But freedom from selective stories of their lives.

Forever surprised, I marvel when
Intersecting threads are glimpsed,
Cross over my own, knots untied,
New knots formed to teach, reveals new energy,
New paths or ways to listen, understand,
Arrange stars into different constellations,
Thrilling, common universal aspirations,
Always a promise leading into
Deeper hope and peace.