Tuesday, December 6, 2016

shapes the air, 
expands to cradle
the space we share. There's room enough
for you and the soaring wind, pressing against your lungs.
Grow into the weight of light, fill
all you can, only
with welcome.
Fill all

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

when forgotten
words hold forgotten
letters. Still, we carry them all:
Aeneas, Anchises, the statues of their statues.
The tower wobbles above us
as we flee the flames.
We always

Thursday, October 13, 2016

at a
time, slowly
they lay their loads down,
return again into the ground
to gather more. The tunnels deepen. The ant nest grows.
These boulders they hoist, numberless
as stars, are too small
to count. God
still sees

Monday, August 29, 2016


The oaks have been good mentors over the past year. I will miss them.

They tell me not to worry about it. I am trying to listen.

They also tell me that no matter how well I listen, I won't ever be a tree. We're migratory creatures, some of us more than others. Few of us flit around quite as much as the blue jays and the cardinals, but we all spend our lives skimming along earth's surface. This, too, is okay. The trees reassure me that humans are fine and lovely creatures with their own kind of wisdom.

I get the idea that they aren't entirely clear on the concept, but they take it on faith that we exist with a life as rich and vibrant as their own. That is enough.

Their ignorance has taught me as much as their knowledge. Out of all that there is to know, we will always be ignorant of most of it. I had better learn how how to become good at being ignorant. I had better learn how to reach into the dark with fearless love.

Trees are not afraid of the dark. Half of their life is hidden in the underworld, where earthworms nest in their branches.

I am not a tree. The dark of the earth is for me a place of death, and I am not strong enough to feast on unfiltered light.

The oak trees spread above me, mediating glory, and beneath me, recieving burdens to great for me to carry. For them, it is no burden. It is the stuff with which they gather light.

And now they urge me on to go do likewise, but in the human way, spreading my roots into migration's deep rich heritage.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

in heart,
earth between their toes,
shall surely see God reaching down
to wash their feet with tears and purest oil (you are clean), 
shall surely surely see God through wild hair
streaming down to wipe
away all
tears, find

Thursday, August 18, 2016

are always
reasonable; sound
logic always sings. Head and heart
may err unaware, but each notices the other's
flaws. The slow exasperating
way of good fights fought
in the end

Monday, August 15, 2016

not have
to gather
the light all alone.
It's too strong for you anyway.
Deep-rooted trees and flickering grasses will filter
glory. So will others. And light
itself will reach down
become small

Saturday, August 13, 2016

like it?
He didn't
think to ask. Did she
want it then, at all, or that way?
Did she like it from an armed stranger? Will she enjoy
it again, now that it means fear?
Shared pleasures call for
consent: yes

Friday, August 12, 2016

Give us this day our daily bread, and please,
give us a little butter. It needn't be
too thickly spread. We'd also like some cheese,
and cream and sugar for the coffee we
require to show any kind of grace
before late afternoon, when crankiness
sets in again, as hungrily we race
to cook and serve up supper. Lord, please bless
it to our bodies. Give us the strength we lack,
to wash both dishes and unlovely feet
of those who had to drink their coffee black
or not at all. Give us something to eat.
It will not be enough to make us good.
For that, we need your very flesh for food.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

here's a song.
You have to take it
apart, reassemble broken
chords, try to sew up the fraying edges. I'm afraid
You'll misspell it at first, forget
the silent "h," breath
of God, life
to heal

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

midst of
evil times,
weary, through dark woods
I climb, led by your daunting rhymes.
Pray, sweet bard, I find
passage to
your fair

Sunday, June 26, 2016

was light,
speeding, expanding,
flooding the aeons of day,
while ruling also
(by proxy)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Why I still believe in America (even if Trump wins)

Sometimes people are silly. For any silly idea, you can find someone who sincerely believes it, and it is dangerous to under-estimate the ability of humans to believe silly things. "Big lies" and all that.

Sometimes people believe silly things.

But sometimes, they don't.

This morning, I read the surprising news that Adele had infuriated feminists by saying that she finds fulfillment in motherhood. Of course, I wasn't surprised that the singer-songwriter loves being a mom--motherhood is awesome!--but I did find it a bit odd that anyone would take umbrage at her joy. I've read a good bit of feminist literature, and I've never encountered any such thing.

So I burrowed through a trail of links, and sure enough, I didn't find a single trace of feminist resentment at Adele's maternal bliss. There was just a bit of discussion of how even though it feels a little weird to hear an outspoken feminist so enthusiastic about motherhood, it's actually really awesome. We've come a long way, baby! We are now free to embrace motherhood without being afraid that it will negate the other facets of our personhood.

We disagree about a lot of things, but apparently Adele isn't one of them after all. Some people say that motherhood is the most important job in the world, and some people find that statement horrifying. Some people believe that abortion is a basic human right, while others consider it murder. The rift is real and important, but it is not infinite. At least we can all be happy for Adele.

It was a lot like last December's coffee cup non-troversy. Nobody was actually offended at having to drink their peppermint lattes from simple red cups without any snowflakes or ice skating penguins, but for a while there, we thought that they were. And why shouldn't we think that? Year after year, people had been getting upset over the lack of public Christmas observances. How were we supposed to know how far they would take it?

But even those people weren't upset about the plain red coffee cups. Conservative Christians quickly began explaining to their confused (and apparently fictional) brethren that this hissy fit wasn't very Christian at all.

It was a beautiful thing. We may disagree about the importance of civil religion, but at least we all agree that Jesus cares more about love and justice than about coffee cups, and this year's cups were really pretty, anyway.

I'm reminded of all this as I watch Donald Trump make a mockery of the electoral process. He may yet become the face of the Republican party, but he will do so against the will of most Republicans.

 My sons and I were trying to get our minds around it last night. It's as though the kids are voting about how to clean the house, and one wants music, one wants silence, one wants to start with the kitchen, one wants to start with the bedrooms. But there are two votes for upending all the trash cans, so that's the strategy with the most votes, even though it's the last thing in the world that most of the voters wanted. 

It would be funny if it wasn't so serious.

Point is, something has gone terribly wrong, but that thing is not the American people. The Republican party has gone mad, but (most) Republican voters have not.

 Over and over, I am hearing die-hard conservatives say that they will abandon the party before voting for this madman. 

It's inspiring.

Trump is revealing just how much there is to agree upon.

It turns out that our political system is hackable. An extreme fringe minority is attempting to take over, and through a mathematical fluke, they just might succeed. That's a terrifying thought.

But the American people is still great, and still wants good things, even though we're having a hard time agreeing about the best strategy. 

And that is really good to know.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

more than all
flashy-robed preachers
and religious entrepreneurs.
This place of worship, built from widows' mites: I tell you,
there won't be a stone left, pressing
down on another.
I have come
to set

Monday, February 15, 2016

Birds are awake, and the clouds are dazzling white.
The trees and I have begun to thaw again.
The broccoli plant, forgotten, starts to bloom.
I've finally grown accustomed to the spring. This time, I won't inquire of winter's sleep.
There is a time to burrow in the deep
and silent mysteries underneath the soil.
I'll not begrudge the earth her needful rest,
but just be glad that sap begins to rise,
and leaves will soon be reaching for the light.

Friday, February 5, 2016

does not
euclidean space.
The shortest distance always curls.
A straight line will lead you off into the wild before
you finally wander back again.
That is the long way;
longer if
you try

Saturday, January 23, 2016

O mother Monica, patron of drunks
and dehydration, pray for us who thirst
for righteousness, for those of us with self-
restraint sufficient to deny the heart
its true and deep desire. Pray for us
your fumbling foolish prayers, and pray that ours
may likewise fall upon those merciful ears
that hear us with the wisdom that we lack.

Friday, January 22, 2016

What if love is love? What if the colloquial bastardizations are its essence after all? What if I love you the way that I love ice cream and autumn rain, and this is the love that holds the universe together?

What if the new commandment is every bit as absurd as it sounds? Maybe we were never meant to redefine love as a thing that could be forced. Maybe we're supposed to learn the impossible: love the feel of new socks, love the breeze in your hair, love In-N-Out burgers, and love one another.

What if love runs deeper than the doings that inevitably mark it? What if you can give away all that you possess, submit your body to the flames, and discover in the end that it was nothing? What if love is not the sacrifice, but the elusive delight that flows beneath it?

What if love--the trivial, everyday kind of love with which I love Saturday mornings and good coffee and tiny cars--can't be forced, but can be found? What if the one who seeks will always find it?

What if the pure in heart see God?