Saturday, September 24, 2016

Heart of mine

Heart of mine  

Heart of mine, be a dark rose
pleasing in scent and shade;

an anchor around which
my puttering boat circles;

a house left to seed, wisteria
growing through every crack;

the fruit of a cactus,
a beast of burden, caked with sweat and dust;

a banked fire under soil and snow,
a valley floor below the mountain ridges;

heart of mine, become a flame 
to devour this crumbling dream of self.

O child of God, you belong to the Beloved,
Who will shape your heart as He pleases.

                        (from A Jewel in the Dust)

Garment of leaves

Garment of leaves                                                                    

Heart like an apple core –
that’s where the seeds are. 

People take you for a lunatic
but it’s just the inner thunder

giving you that far away look,
(as Adam must have looked,

gazing back across the garden pale),
impeding nimble strides and coherent speech.

What’s a man’s gait anyway,  
but a limping away from his destiny?

Or smooth talk if his seeds are stone?
The crooked path he follows

can only lead back to where he began –
the garden in the chest.    

It’s all there in the core – root, leaf, bark, fruit;
soil, water, sky.  Time makes us think

the apple in our hand is ripe and ready
to sink our teeth into.

O child of God, shed that garment of leaves.
Venture naked into the new world.

                           (from A Jewel in the Dust)

Friday, September 16, 2016

‘Til spring                                                                                        

I thought wine was the gift, so I complained
when the intoxication wore off.

Now I find seedlings of Your mercy
scattered everywhere –

roses along the spine, their scent,
years later, reaching my nostrils

and the still, quiet pool beneath my ribs,
the grassy meadows, the web of rills.

I’d packed for a long journey.  You motioned
for me to set down my bags

and share one last cup. 
Becoming inconsolable, drunk and unruly,

the taxi left without me.
You led me back inside.

There’s a garden in my chest
and You’ve invited me to stick around ‘til spring.

O child of God, whatever the Beloved has planned for you,
be sure it’s nothing like what you imagine.

                           (from A Jewel in the Dust)

Darkness gathers

Darkness gathers                                                                      

I used to panic not feeling Your touch,
but now I know – You’re only adjusting Your grip.

You have Your hand on me! 
That’s the rare kernel of this odd, random life;

my comfort in this dreamscape
of impairment, bewilderment and fear.

I’ve gladly forked over all my cash.
The truth will come out in the end.

Someone will be by to collect my ticket.
I’ll give him the one You purchased.

Authorities will ask for my papers.
We’ll find out who I really am.

Darkness gathers as the train hurtles
toward the outer provinces;
the cold sharpens; tongues become stranger
and more raucous.

I panic when I get the notion I’m a lone traveler.
I don’t know where I’m going!  But Your valise is by the window.

Your scent lingers in the narrow compartment.
You’ve just stepped out for a bit of air.

O child of God, you want freedom from pain.
Love is an acid that dissolves everything you hold dear.

                         (from A Jewel in the Dust)