Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Make Good

Make good                                                                                       

All my words hang on a promise I cannot make
and cannot keep – a vanity of imagination,

breath and blood, if the promise has no maker;
if the promise has no keeper.

Shall I continue, o Lord, to tap out
Your timeworn promise on my alphabet board?

Grace, love, salvation – fine sentiments! 
but, paper-thin words, and – through my throat –

without substance or luminosity;
indistinct stirrings in the half-light,

the nether-world, the darkness
of ignorance mixed with the darkness of faith;

yet, I praise the promise and the Promise-keeper!
Lord, don’t leave me

twisting wordlessly in the wind
at world’s end but, gather me sweetly

in Your arms and make good, make good,
make good Your ancient-given promise.

O child of God, what the Beloved requires of you
is faith, forbearance, obedience and attempted artistry.

(from A Jewel in the Dust)

A hint of why

 A hint of why                                                                                    

The Ocean has come again ...
to tell us we are not adrift;

more like a river, running towards
and away, of urgency and purpose;

the Ocean has come again ...
to tell us we are not islands –

embracing, sighs and gazes,
the wiping away of tears.

The Ocean, labyrinths
of Love and endeavor,

vast, breathless depths,
come again
to tell us we have no shore,
strongest evidence to the contrary;

no beginning nor end; enemies
and companions – our very own Self.

The Ocean has come again ...
to tell us our loneliness

is but a bitter-tinged drop
in the immeasurable loneliness of God.

O child of God, such an import offers a hint
of why Meher lived in silence.

(from A Jewel in the Dust)

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)