Nov 27 2015

Hurt and Angry

Out of my mouth come words
Like ugly flowers
Nursed on bitter waters
More black than blue
More lies than true

Smelling of a stinky slough
Of oozing wounds and decay
Unseen and hidden
But real

Perhaps a clear spring
Still exists beneath
Perhaps the Divine Hand
Can heal and cleanse
What I cannot yet reach
Beneath my soul’s surface
In murky depths
That ought to be clear.

Nov 25 2015

Prayer while feeling rushed in daily living

Original Publish Date: 11/1/14

O God

Forgive me for this busy prayer
Atop my business like a layer
Of dust upon my uncleaned shelves
Abandoned by my cleaning elves.

Hear my superficial cant
Atop my awkward stumbling gait
Half-witted like my untied shoe
Have mercy as I wretch towards you.

Grant this day some odd success
Add meaning to this meaningless
Toil of work and kids and food
May we partake in your true good.


Nov 19 2015

Garden Umbrella

Original Publish Date: 9.1.00

Tall, solitary, unhindered
It stands with its arms down
Its white canvas draped around it
Like a devotee in his robe
Head down in solemn discourse
Pleats shuffle around in the breeze
Looking like a schoolgirl’s skirt
Churned back and forth listlessly
During a scolding
Shamed eyes looking at the ground

The whispering cloth seems almost impatient,
But impatience has a destination.
It is the moving wind
That is impatient
A world of water rushing by a smooth stone

The closed umbrella seems
T to take on the forms
Of all the fragile and weary

A gaunt elderly woman, chin buried in her chest,
Cloak pulled tight around bent shoulders
Trying to keep the cold out

A motionless sentry
Overdue for relief on a second shift
Fighting off the intruder, sleep

A Klansman
Donning his old uniform in the attic
Wondering that he could have been so happy
With something to believe in.

The umbrella is closed
Guarded and tender,
Like a woman betrayed
Where is its splendor and beauty?
Where is the Master to come
And loving lift its arms wide?

There hasn’t been a Master in a long time
Maybe there never was
Maybe the Master has forgotten, or doesn’t care
It seems like those memories
Could have been real,
Or maybe the fantasies
Of a hopeful mind.

And what of the delicate, verdant shoots below?
Who will protect them from the sun?
How can a garden persist if the zealous heat
Is not warded off?

Is it the umbrella’s job to hold out its arms?
Where is that Master?
Why does no one care for the garden?
How did the garden and umbrella even get here?

It is hard to know such things.

The umbrella knows nothing
Except to stand in the wind
And hope for a Master.

Nov 17 2015

These Leaves

Original Publish Date: 11.1.00

I got a Thanksgiving card from Mom today
With the reds, oranges, and yellows of fall
Cut out of the cover into a string of leaves and a pumpkin.
She is always on time with cards

Inside, some pressed leaves, real ones
Presumably from her yard,
Or somewhere down the country road
Where we all like to walk

I am in the summer of my life
And soon, I will be in the fall
Is there more I can plant before it ‘s too late?
Why have I no family to invest in for when I am old?
I sit in specification review meetings all week
And silently ask myself repeatedly
Is this what you wanted to do with your life?
You are in the prime of your life!
This is your life!
You will never get this day back.

I must reach inward again and move
Toward the dreams of my heart
What sorrows, what sins lay unresolved?
What guilt, what hatred that should be brought to light?
There is no more time to palliate wounds
With potato chips and television

Unless that is what I want to say with my life
That life is too hard, and the best you can do
Is strive not be poor, or out on the street
That living a noble life
Is for those who are lucky
Who started on the right track earlier.

I may never reach the heights of some
But I can reach the heights of peace,
And usefulness, and some level of love
If I try. If I try.
God help me to try.

Nov 15 2015


Original Publish Date: 7.1.1

My face droops with
The solemn determination to make it
Through the day
Resigned and hardened
To the diatribes of conscience
Like the patter of weekend rain
“You should not have stayed up late – again.”

I have work to do.
Work to do.

Nov 12 2015


Original Publish Date: 7.1.1

Job and his Wife (c. 1504)
Albrecht Dürer

Please do not ask me
Where I have been –
I am ashamed.

Please do not tell me right now
What I need to do –
I am not ready to hear it.

Please do not brag to me
About your recent successes –
I can not appreciate them
Or enjoy them with you

Sit with me.

Be in the moment with me.
Your presence alone
Adds the missing ingredient
To the silence around me

And words would be unwelcome.

All my sorrows and sins
Simmer withing me
Down to a thin resin of painful experience
That coats my insides.
All the poison evaporates
And I can start again.

Please tell me that I am loved
And that my failures
Will pass,
And I can be OK to start again.

But please, say all these things
By being here for a while, silently,
And smile when you go.

When I can again return a smile
From the the heart,
We will both know
That the work is complete.

Nov 10 2015


Original Publication Date: 7.7.1

My mind is consumed
With the solitary thought
Of having to pee
Other priorities ask for attention
But they must wait
Until I find a bathroom
A restroom, a tree out of sight
Anything will do

It must happen now.

Nov 9 2015

The Place

Original Publish Date: 7.1.1

There is a place
Between all of the paradoxical dialectics
Where time and truth meet
And Isness replaces both
So that neither exists except
In the present moment.
I will meet you there
And we will become re-aquainted

Nov 9 2015


Original Publish Date: 7.1.1

Every ache
Speaks of a time
When we will meet
You are the doorway through which
Even the Saints must pass

Sometimes I feel you
Creeping up from behind
Others, you are a distant
Point of darkness
That could spring up
At a missed traffic light
Or in a winter virus

My days are less numerous
Than I would like
I can no longer afford
The wasteful frivolities
Of inane videos
And addictive activities

Creativity and spirit
Call to me as gently as ever
But now I hear a note
Of pain in their voices
Wait no longer
Today is the day that counts ask alice . site headers