Autumn Retreat

Reds and oranges

joined the chorus

skish and crunch

listened to the leaves

beneath the feet

of those that

forge the forest floor.

 

Ogethan pondered on

his path marked out for him

map, yellowed

at the edges

like calendar pages

falling

as time went by

quicker

and quicker

with the dying light of day.

 

Sharpe, Garth Addison, Jones…

…Lynnae.

 

Cheery cherry

pit in his stomach, turned

grew dense

caught up in

lives of little sparrows

and breathed

chest,

too narrow

inhaled the crisp

cool air, breathed

out a sigh of relief

and his heart

fluttered

migrated farther

and farther

how much more the Lord cared for thee.

Advertisements

Prayers for the Order to Our Houses

After the living room shake-up

the pleading fight

to watch

“just one more show.”

The brushing of the teeth

lasted less than I care for

gummies and two Batman phonics readers

the long I and U

sounding suspiciously

like a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

 

Say it with me now.

 

After the bedroom shake-up

the pleading fight

to read

“just one more story.”

The gnashing of the teeth

lasted longer than I care for.

 

After the noodle song

which was first composed

from the front seat

during the witching hour

(expertly timed to the latest breakdown)

a tune, incorporating

long vowels of its own,

yet never mentions noodles.

 

Say it with me now.
Nah, we’ll not go into that nonsense.

 

Then come the prayers,

say them with me now:

 

We pray for Harrison

We pray for Mommy

We pray for Daddy

And we pray for baby Ida Mae

 

We pray for all of Harrison’s friends

all of Mommy and Daddy’s friends

and all of Ida Mae’s friends

 

We pray for Grammy and Bop-Bob’s house

Poppy and Julie’s house

Gumpy and NiNi’s house

And we pray for our house at North Hall

 

Last comes the freestyles:

 

Heavenly Father, thank You for this day.

We especially pray for Mommy

for NiNi…

…and Gumpy.

Yes, Harrison, Gumpy, too.

…and the 3Ds

…and George

 

…and GiGi.

Endurance

My end
shall not be
determined
by their finish.
Photos or not
bodies thrown
prone
spread out before you now
all within an arm’s reach
length, step
gingerly
aside, footsie, footing
for the best purchase
until these rugged
places become plains.

It’s all fluff, nutter.
Bananas,
sandwiched in
aren’t ever
going to make this healthy
no matter how palatable
the lie you tell yourself.

Keeping the pace
of your own race
struck
down
again
and again
(and again?)
pavement
sending shocks
through the system
algorithmic
malfunction chip
pry it loose
as it gnaws at you

try your best but you don’t succeed

or

pull yourself up by your trail shoes

because it’s not
place, PR, age category
but about time,
the shining glory
of your participation trophy
isn’t coming from it.

Overburden

My heart is heavy.

 

I marvel at this

rock of ages, eternity even

strip mined

for what’s stuck beneath

the surface.

 

All this runoff

just so I could,

baring it all

and laying it to waste

water, tears a by-product

of a cold coal

carbon-copy

of once-living

matter

stratified plants,

and these dinosaur’s bones

as layer

upon stinking layer,

the fecal fecundity

of fickle feelings

fossilized:

compacted

impacted

though it seems

as if it doesn’t

matter,

and we may not see

the error of our ways

for years to come.

 

The hardness,

burning hot and dirty

so close to beauty

can’t see

for buried too deep.

 

Time and pressure,

like Superman,

taken in his hands

to make a diamond

out of me.

Lounging

surrounded

by this great cloud of

witnesses

behind and before me

letters

the stepping stones

speaking out Your name.

 

I cannot bear to drink

from the cup

You’ve been offered,

yet I continue to request

a seat at your table.

The left, of course,

my liberal side,

but not too much so

because I am more comfortable here

with my OCD

holding me fast

to the simplest forms

of norms

I’m not willing to do without.

 

Stepping in time

with this parade of sinners

saints, as they go marching in

robed in the school colors

blood of the lamb washed white

technicolor dreams

of funding the arts

reflecting facets

of Your unending

spin cycle

the rinse and repeat

as I stare

while You hand wash

the delicates.

Disappearing Ink

red pen

not in correction

    but connection

a written revival

red letter Bible

words of Jesus

    may it please us

 

the rule of thumb, among

us creative types:

write what you know,

but not about one’s self.

the unholy trinity

of me, myself, and I

 

bouncing bullies in back alleys

against the dead end

of another wall

the past, stacked

against me

boxes, such are coffins

bodies of work

parchment

sloughing off like old skin,

yet the hair

and fingernails

growing long in the tooth.

The Distress (Letter to the Editor)

My eyes peruse the abuse

from the tip of an unbeliever’s pen.

 

We shall counter that blade

with flaming swords

holding back

their tide of triumph.

 

The enemy shall not overcome.

 

Funny, how quickly I run out to the paper,

funny, the faith I have

that He will do as He says

as I meet Him at His word…

 

Yet I can’t remember

to read the daily Bible passage

on the bottom corner

of the same page.

 

Slippery

The least of these

beasts, please,

twisting under trees, aiming

for your Achillies

daughter of Eve

 

danger in the dirt

just enough until it hurts

stock still, stone cold

statue coming at you

 

diamond-shaped head

she strikes until it’s dead

the knowledge

that the groveling

empty promises

 

silver-tongued

backhanded balustrades

propping up their foundations

sidewinding

side-of-the-mouth

 

fork-tongued devil

Commonplace Church: Advent 2017

Once, it was foretold that your son would be conceived of a virgin.

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

God was silent, for four hundred years, before the birth of your son.

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Amid the struggles of desolation and loneliness, Mary kept the faith.

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

We wait humbly, patiently, in reverence for you this Christmas season.

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

We wait for you to come again.

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

reading based on Isaiah 7:14


Like Mary this Christmas season, the Lord has come upon us.

We are highly favored.

 

Like Mary, sometimes we are troubled at Your words. Yet so unlike she, we hesitate to unabashedly follow You.

You are highly favored.

 

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, may we find time to be quieted and humbled enough in Your presence to listen to the promptings of Your Spirit.

You are highly favored.

 

reading based on Luke 1:26-38


Lord, you direct us in the ways we should go, as servants for Your word.

Lord, seat us humbly at your feet.

 

Lord, you wear the crown of the coming King, yet we are usurpers to your throne.

Lord, seat us in Your courts.

 

Lord, You are the bread of life, and we are hungry for You.

Lord, seat us at Your table.

 

reading based on Luke 1:46-56


Lord, like Mary, we travel as outcasts both unfamiliar and unwelcome in this world, country, city, home, and self.

Lord, we look to You to make straight our paths in the wilderness as we prepare the way for the coming of Christ.

 

Our feet are swollen from walking paths You have not called for us to walk.

We await Christ’s birth.

 

Our minds are clouded with fears, doubts, and worry.

We await Christ’s birth.

 

Our backs are stooped and broken, carrying the burdens we were not meant to carry.

We await Christ’s birth.

 

Our bellies crave that which appetites cannot suffice.

We await Christ’s birth.

 

Lord, we are pregnant with dreams and desires, thanks, and praise that belong only unto You.

We await with faith and hope the coming of the Christ-child who will be our salvation

reading based on Luke 2:1-7


 

Gabriel brings the news

Joseph takes on Mary and the baby blues

We treasure up all these things and ponder them in our hearts

 

She carries the baby on the donkey’s back

animals offer up shelter, it’s an inn that they lack

We treasure up all these things and ponder them in our hearts

 

heavenly hosts’ light show — do you see this?

shepherds open hearts to witness

We treasure up all these things and ponder them in our hearts

 

wise men bringing gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh

let them know Herod’s sniffing ’round, got to get out of here

Christmas is not about the cacophony.

It’s about Jesus, about clarity.

Help me to see thee.

 

reading based on Luke 2:19


 

What began at the garden

to the book of Revelation

and all points in between

 

beginning and the end

on the cross, and up to Canaan

and all points in between

 

the birth and the death

all in his hands so you can rest

and all points in between

 

reading based on Luke 2:7, John 19:26-27