Friday, February 3, 2017

Drink this poem                                                                              

This poem, o lover, might lead you
down a lost lane into a dark woods.

Or, it might become a gate
opening onto a sunlit, holy vineyard.

This poem, like any other,
can never tell the Truth –

but, it might expose, at times,
Its skeletal remains;

like the empty casks and kegs,
cups and flasks

of a holy celebration
we’ve yet to be invited to;

dregs of a wine whose taste –
even the nuance of its fragrance –

intoxicates and enraptures.
Poetry never tells the Truth,

but, it might, at times, become a rope-gate
opening onto the lush, green, fragrant

grape-laden rows
of a sunlit, holy vineyard.

O child of God, drink this poem (and others)
when the Tavern is shuttered and dark.

(from Spoken For)

Loose change

Loose change                                                                                    

The taste of love is bitter in my mouth.
I can’t swallow it; I can’t spit it out.

Give me the definition of love - 
          but don’t use any words.
I’ve been given enough words.  

All day long I beg for it
but, at night, when I empty my pouch –

there’s nothing but loose change.
How will this beggarly life ever make me rich?

Show me where to dig to strike the secret vein.
How do I split myself open just right

so that key of Yours might be
inserted into the padlock?

O child of God, in your quest for wealth, ask yourself,
‘Who is the one so impatient and dissatisfied?’

                        (from A Jewel in the Dust)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Jesus for adults

Jesus for adults                                                                                 

“Suffer the children to come unto Me.”
I was a child when I first heard those words.

‘Suffer’, it was explained to me, means ‘allow’.
Jesus for adults in our church

was the Lamb of God, but to the children
He was the Shepherd and we were His flock.

Later, from Meher, I learned Jesus was not here
to save me from the cross

but to show me the Way to hang,
shouldering that weight for me

as far up the hill as He could get.
Suffering real, unavoidable, bitter as gall,

heavy as those rough-hewn timbers;
sharp as spikes and thorns.

Jesus loved the adults from high on a cross
but He took the children into His arms, heart to heart,

teaching that our love for Him
is as important as His love for us.

O child of God, surrender is the way of liberation.
To suffer means to allow.

                        (from A Jewel in the Dust)

The merest shadow

The merest shadow

O Beloved, before I met You I was a devout believer,
clinging to a hundred stolen truths.
Now I find I am slowly losing my religion.

When it’s gone, when my pockets are empty,
I will float above this world like an angel.

Jesus drove the moneychangers from the temple,
those who judged and measured,

bargained and quibbled,
those who accumulated and divided.

When You get through with me there’ll be
          nothing left –
not the vaguest hint of a semblance of the merest shadow
          of a dream.

I removed my sandals at Your threshold,
but my bare feet stained the surface
          of Your pure stone floor.

This unholy container of flesh and blood, mucous, 
          phlegm, sweat and tears
tainted the atmosphere of Your immaculate shrine.

O Beloved, what is at the heart of me
          that You tolerate such intolerable insults
and move, ever closer, ever more intimate and involved?

O child of God, if you are made of clay, how will you
          ever be scrubbed clean?
Your Beloved is drawn to the inviolate Source
          of who you really are.

                           (from The Garden of Surrender)