Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Longing is a wind-blown feather,
wafted softly,
landed when disappearing,
distant sails of your ship,
gulls white wings winking,
setting sun reflecting,
vanished into sea-sky folding.

Now all creation groaning,
the kingdom yearning,
throne of thrones
empty till your returning.

How quietly first you came
to Bethlehem stable,
quietly, a candle
set the world ablaze.

Quietly by miracle amaze,
furiously craze the synagogue
who crucified you to their gnashing
teeth scream spittle,
wielding for God’s law implacable,
His jot and His tittle.

Spoiled death and decay
by resurrection.

Now you’re gone,

so much undone.

Longing, landing like a feather,
breaks the world,
lifted when I glimpse,
interim, here and there,
your likeness
in your adopted children.

Quietly to Bethlehem you came
but trumpted with shouts of men and angels
riding clouds of glory
you said the spectacle shall be
when you return,

and who shall stand?
my longing love,
who shall presume to stand?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Yearly Event

Natural fibres, clothing loose, with pockets
everywhere, well traveled,
hemp, icelandic wool, natural cotton,
unadorned voices, no jewelry,
nievete' schooled in ancient simplicities,
practiced and rehearsed
in a show of good nature.

Small gathering of friends,
shared social stratus,
appreciation of fine music
performed without pretense,
a piano, violin, two recorders,
Handel, Bach, William Byrd,
but especially Bach
colors laid on in thick
knife slabs of textured oil,
sounds only Bach of all musicians
of all human kind ever made,
whose secret rose and set
with his golden sun and silver moon.

Appreciative guests drink their wine,
chat in low voices and applaud
with friendly approval
in all the right places.

It is snowing outside,
the Christmas lights are bright
the house is warm and crowded,
no one wants to go home.

Monday, November 28, 2011


He sails with majestic stealth
greater than the sun
into the orbit of our understanding.

He wields fear
with the lash
of a thousand whistling dismays.

Flesh melts before glimpses of him,
dwarfing the sun in brilliance and size,
mountains dance and vomit molten screams,
cities topple and sink,
men flee as ants before the tiger torch
of his flame.

Day billows into ashen night
that smothers every breath,
bewilderment and confusion
spill from sophisticated data banks
of wisdom and understanding.

There is no hope but one,
Man I Am, Alpha and Omega,
and few there be that know
that they can know him now as friend
and so with hope endure
 the Great Consternation.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

By Mercy By Grace

From the black bitumen,
raise the phoenix fallen,
shine with your new moon on,
and smiling draw him,
wash him in your raining,
the scrabbling  Babylon king,
till he be clean.
manicure broken nails-become-claws,
wet with dew of morning,
Preen feathers of halographic poetry
send cyber skyward in sparkling
clouds of phrases
praises billowing
with your shekinah glory!

Friday, November 25, 2011

For Us It Is Time

A Greyhound bus depot
shares a waterfront city building
with a church,
open all day long,
staffed with exuberant lantern bearers
in Nanaimo, British Columbia,
ministering free coffee and donuts and more
to the ones with long stories,
bus travelers,
ones sent
to finally abandon themselves.

Over and over golden grains
fall to the scythe,
row upon row
the ripening laid low
at the welcome surrender.

For us it is time,
entire lives converging
in this constellation of singing stars,
God is here.
We come for Him by the busload.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Come Stumbling

come forth from the wilderness,
from your failure of faith.
What do you see?  What do you hear?
are you looking back? you camped here
before your children were born,
before they were grown,
you bathed your daughter in a blackened bucket
on this picnic table, under the sun.
years later,
you camped here and awoke  to a morning like this
with her children playing when they were small.

are you looking ahead,
will they camp here when you are gone?
drought and famine have not reached us here
but there are rumors on the borders
wrinkled skin, the failure of cherished assumptions,

yet every morning  rises Golgotha and the empty tomb,
eternal songs redeeming life,
a choral concert streams across the universe,
the  midnight miserere
the golden hallelujah!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Lamp, A Light

When history is unknown,
the neglected map finally lost,

when ghosts of old things,
dimly glimpsed,
flicker behind lidded eyes,
before and beside,

When we must commit
to choosing,
when a mountain path forks,
miles from anywhere,
no sign marking a destination,
no return to try again,

When our times are so modern,
no road less travelled
to lend a clue,

Then even at noon we need
your foot lamp,
a path more lit.

Your resonating word,
inner sign shining,
poured upon the path
in liquid light,
"walk this way"
brighter than noon,
undimming from now
to forever.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Barkerville, St Saviour's Church

In ghost towns of the world,
where gold is found and lost again,
men with dreams and hope,
greed or predatory bent
flash riot in migratory schools,
whip into a vortex of locusts,
boys with shovels and guns
break free,
adventure forth to destiny,
wild of eye in a  pack at the kill,
no balance of home
and faithful woman.

Yet the mystery
scattered among them,
of surplice and book,
another kind,
men who build churches,
who point to the sky, a cross on a hill,
who bury, build and bare
the wonder of it all in the mud
and freezing starvation.

The strange one,
who men turn to at the amputation,
gold gone or never found,
whose council comes
as balance and faint memory
from  holy words lived and spoken
to history's forgotten clusters
 of soaking tents and hopeless shacks,
untamed, unpainted.

In wild slag towns of the world,
a godly human soul
plants seeds of civility and brotherly love
in fields of desperation,
raising the extravagant luxury,
wonder of wonders,
a steeple that still stands,
a bell that still calls the conscience
from that age to this,
a building of rough-sawn weathered boards
made holy for worship.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

On Willow Street

Moss clings to cedar shakes,
grows green in the rain,
mist lingers in treetops
like a solicitous spirit
incubating life
in a forest embrace.

A cradle woven of cedar and fern
encircles village cottage clusters
of wet weathered wood
along the pebbled shore.

Moss and I,
wanting nothing more,
have found a quiet home.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Asian Man

Like a monk in your sweatshirt and hood,
early in dawn and dew,
you bowed by the lake,
(everyone but I was asleep
in the campsites)
and groaned, I heard you,
and prayed aloud.
I dared not approach,

I, who came for an early poem,

you were crumpled
in your loose fitting cotton,
fallen in on yourself
folded over a picnic table,
as if God stood kindly above you,
I heard your soul pour,
and I wanted to ask you--
but I dared not approach or intrude,
I had been praying for a poem,
now I prayed with you,
forgetting my quest.

Suddenly you were gone.

Before I could gather
to suggest a meeting,
Simply you were gone.

That rough table will forever
be holy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

From Living Forest By The Sea

Thank-you for the storm of spirit,
the reaching cedars,
arbutus of  quiet water,
thank-you for sudden angel waves
sifting sand,
gulls soaring in the spaces
between your words,
and flowers shouting colors
in strange tongues.

Dumbfounded driftwood sculpted into graceful bodies
dance ashore to gather in the pavillion
between high water, waving grasses,
and clouds of singing Seraphim.

Tear my sails again, thou spirit storm,
be my rudder, my watermark,
my anchor and the rock
I wreck upon!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When You Traveled

What did you see?
I saw a city swollen with people,
days numbered in their hearts,
busy with coming and going.

I saw where the crowd gathers
a square filled with carven images
and idols of wood and stone
surrounded with many little shops
selling items of plastic and clay,
bright glass and metals.

Carvings were there of nude
mythical women nine feet tall
and seated Buddas
twelve feet tall.

People played sweet songs
on the wooden flute and guitar,
sat in the shade of trees
with comfort of ice cream.

I saw the keepers prospered
by thousands of little purchases
the pilgrims made.

There was a strange planet in the sky
drawing closer,
but no one noticed.

when I saw the prosperity everywhere,
I wondered where the poverty
might lay hidden.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Young Or Old

from earliest memory
your word has been my companion.
Before I could read the upside down book
in the pray-puzzled  afternoon,
by day or by night a star you were,
a beacon by storm or by rock or by drowning,
a fireside glow to build a home around,
shadow of friend,
feel of hand,
your touch, tears,
guidance, repentance and restraint.
Young or old, at your word,
I am always a child with you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stainglass Conversations

waiting for the tolling bell
stainglass resonance of brass
for cafeine to migrate from mug
to morning outlook
at the Willow Street Cafe
tide of spirit and water
bourne of fire ascending,
words like angels
between heaven and earth.

The fig tree stands in the church-yard corner
bearing Abraham's seed without number
overshadowing the town sidewalk
remarked upon by everyone.

The bell tolls and the service begins
light splashes in colors upon the congregation
then someone elderly collapses.

The service stops and everyone prays
while the ambulance comes.

Light flames up through the windows
splashing the sky.

Monday, November 14, 2011

During The Franz Lizt Concert, His Latter Work

A motorcycle roars
into the spaces
between notes, the graces
in a two hundred year old
musical prophesy.

I find its passage well expressed,
forgiven and perfectly foreseen.

After the biker,
the piano tiptoes away,
disappearing among flattery of fern
into a dark tunnel of trees
woodland mist swirls,

A nightingale sings.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bethesda Trilogy

Hiking to Bethesda

Wind sings,
assembling ancient words
in rustling leaves,
sentences already spoken.

A bell carved of rolled away stone
resonates like an empty tomb,
“holy, holy holy!”.

a flooding river,
a drowning,
a granite avalanche
exhaling “hosanna!”

An eagle soars
over shattered ruins
on updrafts of prophesy
screaming “Get ready!”

a broken high craig
wet with clouds of visitation,
an echo through the rainbow,
peak to peak,
wailing electric blues
of mourning,
trumpet reveilles
of victory.

I walk with you this valley town,
fallen walls carved
with petroglyphs
of gospel and doom,
doorways beckoning
with fealties of skin,
between all the smoking ruins.

       Waiting In Bethesda

we sit or pace or stand
by the pool of Bethesda,
we are the halt and lame,
the broken ones,
limbering our voices,
strumming softly
on battered guitars,
fingers drumming,
humming, singing
with cracking voices,
fragments of ancient verse,
stringing harmonic fractals
of experimentation,

waiting by the pool,
keeping watch day and night
by turns,
sampling the vacuum
for waves of the Spirit,
astral provoking
with arpeggios of exploration,

waiting in Bethesda
under the marble porch,
small among portico columns,

waiting beside the pool,
prayer rhythms
rising and falling,
breathing, sleeping,
by the pool where stars glitter,
the sun and silent moon,

waiting for the angel to come,
to stir the water in our souls,
scatter the reflections,
give us a living song!

        The Song Comes

Skimming vortex forth on seas of sound,
streaming from safe harbours of tradition,
winged sails fill with spirit winds,
soar over the harbour,
Bethesda’s agitated pool,
rising through startled flocks of brazen bells
in deafening carillon
from a congregation
of parochial belfries,
whose sudden commotions
scatter flocks of armoured predators,
heavily accustomed  to ecclesiastical feasts
of slow thickened blood.

Sailing weightless from Bethesda,
as one divinely called by name,
sailing swiftly from Bethesda,
as an arrow sent,
a radiantly singing bride,
her sparkling veil raining liquid fire,
sowing fields of blossoming light,
encircling in dizzy orbit
a dark bewildered world.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Concert For Two Hands

Send words, I Am,
skipping across blue waves,
send them shining, I Am,
through stain-glass parables,
colored crystaline analogies
uphill to the nest beneath the steeple
where Sabbath bells wait
to sound the hour,
incubate flesh long dead
to music.

Send words that sillouette
mysteries and draw them
from timeless shadow,
fleshless grave.

Send words that clothe them
in gospel,
preach them to gathered
field birds and passers by,
change the forest,
change the world,
make a way for rivers
between stones,
open mouths of earth,
let long closed caverns
resonate with song,

Perhaps a man somewhere may hear
and turning to I Am
be forever glad.

We are caught in the pronunciation
of your single word,
silencing our torrented storm.

Echoeless opus unfinished,
in progress,
a roaring wind,
a whisper
in which even questions
are silenced;
a lullaby,
a call to war,
a song of love,
a pouring of the sea
into a well,
endless as wind with no beginning.

All our efforts repeat
the fragments we comprehend
and mark us to one another
as friend
As we compare and fit our torn slips
from one great manuscript
unfolding as love.