Two-Step

Two-Step

 

from Homelands

a Traveling Tales of Waybackwhen book

 

What a tangled, mangled

web they weave

dancing

with the dewdrops,

mirroring universes

reflected

in each others’ eyes.

 

Hung up on the harangue,

breath catching

the sticky

sweaty stench

suffocating

beneath the spinning

twirls and dips

however harmless and halting.

 

Music

strums the heartstrings

and it triggers

something else…

primal

that which

needs to feed

waiting patiently

black widow

wearing white

hourglass

is but a mask.

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Hillsong

They’ve given the business

to my mother’s favorite hill,

just off Little Plum Run Road.

 

Once:

a cascading glade,

the kind you’d see

in those old movies

couples, bounding

in slow motion

abounding

in endless love.

 

Banners agitate

waving the crests of

Science

and

Progress

white knights

mounting

their noble steeds

in the name of domestic independence.

These star-crossed

lovers of yore

(or at the very least a stanza before)

lost, the flames from the rigs

blotting out the night,

targets of this endless

economic war.

 

Taken up arms

taking aim

the birds and the bees

hooded robins

unsure anymore

of when to sing in spring

our faltering flags

the white fields of surrender

choked

with the soot

of a cleaner,

more “natural” gas.

 

Enjoying the view

from your ivory towers

thousands of feet above

while our view nine hundred feet below

as they dug

our fracking graves

one well at a time

beneath the surface,

much too far for our protests

to be heard

let alone do any harm.

Fairest

The mirror’s glamour

gloomy shade

reflected not

what he thought:

 

the sleep on the road, on the run

prisons of papier-mâché

monsters of men, martyrs

wearing crowns of thorns.

While the tales have all been told,

and the lies

behind the eyes, as

crow’s feet peck and hop

and four and twenty black birds

murmur across

dark waters

and oft-forgotten woods

where dreams once dwelt.

Cauldrons scald of stone soup

made with love by

those Bremen Town magicians

visions of beasts, eat

and as they feast, their eyes

on the throne of bones

dragged away by their own

evil desire and enticed

their animal natures, rut, rote

reign forever in this world

atop a hill of beans.

 

He forgets his face

until the next time he looks,

gazing at the grays

that weren’t there last time.

Homecoming

This predilection

to malediction

diseases, such as these, if it pleases:

mad cow

hog cough

chickensick

 

bold wives tales

in old folks’ tomes

three, the number

of your destiny.

wishes, fishes,

cowboy creamer

spoons and dishes.

 

the prophecy

naught but a fallacy

whispered in the wings

over moonshine

and dandelion wine

in our cups

under the table.

 

the forest council

all but forgotten

spun from straw

the golden fleece

fooled, pulled

the wool over our eyes

thrown

to the wolves in sheep’s clothing

PYRE

‘tis only right,

but we ain’t got time

for a proper burial.

 

Even a cairn

of unbridled possibility

stacking up to cover up

bodies

we pray you’ll never have to see.

 

We don’t want no animals

poking ‘round the remains.

The scent of fresh blood on the air

will drive ‘em down the valley

…and we want to be long gone by the time they get here. 

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

As far as the east is from the west

As far as the east is from the west…

(with apologies to Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss)

 

As far as the east is from the west

 

On one hand:                                                                                                                      And the other:

the regret of the past                                                                                      the anxiety of the future

meets you in the middle

presented

with a slap-dash shake-up

capable of making mountains

out of molehills.

 

Manning up out of the dust we must

or one of his, ribs

(if you’re of the lady-like persuasion.)

A little dirt never hurt

spit in the eye

making mud pies

caking it on

opening them up

until we can see.

 

Apple of His eye

seed of the tree

of knowledge of good and evil

grafted, after,

to the Tree of Life

planted for His purpose.

 

You say:

“I’m afraid it won’t grow.”

 

But every day:

you pull the weeds,

you water it,

and He shines the light even in the darkest corners of the earth.

 

You say:

“I’m afraid it won’t grow.”

 

But every day:

you pull the weeds,

you water it,

and He shines the light even in the darkest corners of the earth.

 

You say:

“I’m afraid it won’t grow…”

 

every day,

until…

NaPoWriMo: Thirty//Thirty #5: At His Word

THIS:

is why the chicken crossed the road.

Only, it wasn’t a chicken,

maybe a quail, or a ruffed grouse,

the state bird of all things

strutting his stuff in the middle there.

 

Staring back at me,

I, as unfamiliar with the animal

as I

am with the state of affairs

concerning my own

preening feathers.

 

Calling out,

these great and unsearchable

things I do not know.

Hazy, like a mirage,

is an answer,

that He will bring me back

from captivity,

gathering, and restoring fortunes.

You may not see it,

I know, yet,

even I barely have an inkling.

 

Arms and hearts

making a highway.

Crooked is now straight,

mountains and hills brought low,

rough places made smooth.

 

Thank you, Lord, for hindsight.

 

Let my belly do the talking.

I’m hungry.

There’s chicken for dinner.

NaPoWriMo: Thirty//Thirty #4: Hacktion Hero

To the clutter

amassed upon the desk (and elsewhere):

 

The proper placement of your pile

is where I deem fit for

the time out of

time/mind/room

articles bearing

some significance, hints

of stories deeper down the detritus.

Making mountains out of Moleskines

and boxes building barrios

for Spanish-speaking superheroes

though I don’t know a lick it of

el forko, el spoono, el knifo

Fascinating file folders facilitating

treacherous towers of timelines together

and that crate of 5-Star notebooks

reading through the years

mysteries in the margins

hoping to hear hack action. Continue reading