Take that!


When my thirst got great enough to ask,
         a clear stream welled up inside,
                some jade wave buoyed me forward,

and I found myself upright
         in the instant, with a garden
                inside my own ribs aflourish.

There, the arbor leafs.
         The vines push out plump grapes.
                You are loved, someone said. Take that

                and eat it.

– Mary Karr, Disgraceland
Source: Poetry (January 2004).


What I know

I know I am not just nothing
I am worse than all of that
I am a hammer which destroys
I am a fist raining blows
I am an arrow aimed at your secret
I am a mean old fool whose greedy touch kills

I know that all my passion and all my vision
compels me to hammer that nail
into the One who is Love
That love which I have found so distasteful
Had to die
Had to end
But my killing rage stands impotent and useless
against the Love which rose against it
conquering me still it loves
unending and forever
I am unmade and undone
put together again by all the King’s wisdom.


O come, O come, and be our God-with-us
O long-sought With-ness for a world without,
O secret seed, O hidden spring of light.
Come to us Wisdom, come unspoken Name
Come Root, and Key, and King, and holy Flame,
O quickened little wick so tightly curled,
Be folded with us into time and place,
Unfold for us the mystery of grace
And make a womb of all this wounded world.
O heart of heaven beating in the earth,
O tiny hope within our hopelessness
Come to be born, to bear us to our birth,
To touch a dying world with new-made hands
And make these rags of time our swaddling bands.
–liturgical poet and priest Malcolm Guite

Go here to hear him read it; it is worth the time! Thanks to Paul Neely for finding this.

garish frame

in the evening
I like to wander
sometimes my old favorites grow familiar
I discover new routes
to which I return
I relish every fading curve of the foothills
every layer of mountain shadowed along the distance
I love the sharp peaks
against the deep sky
every shade of pink and orange and blue
every explosion of green
every vast field of corn
every row of berries
every old farmhouse and barn in need of paint
every dog guarding the house
I dare not steal the innocence
with a photo
place a garish frame
around the grand touch of the real
try to grasp the fading glory
and preserve it in a box
freed from the need to like what I ought
to keep what is not mine
I am learning the nuance
of discovering what I love
what is real

Kiss that crazy girl!

You’re gonna       
        jump into that wild blue
        kiss that crazy girl
                move there
                stay here
After all
        This number
        not that one
                        made this cosmic wild
        This note
                not that one
                        made the song right

                        This word
                        This job
                        This color
                        This tree
                        This breeze
                        This name
God said
        Let there be

There was the universe
        unsung and unseen
        as yet not made
waiting and desperate to burst forth

And God waited
        until a certain time
                this time not that
        God said LET
        Let the world burst forth
Let the desire and the glory
        burst forth into being
        The fear over this and not that
                Burst apart into being
        The possibly better universe
        Split open to reveal the real
And light spilled out
        to all the seers and visionaries
        all the mothers
        who loved this guy not that one
And brought forth
        this child and not that
And so Bach’s cello suite
        And African peanut soup
        And the miles of raspberry fields near my house
Came to be

This is the day
        The Lord has made.

a fabulous poem

this is a fabulous poem,
because: it’s not a poem.

in His mercy
it’s something God showed me

i can’t do one thing right
without praying
God must do it
not i

everything sits fine
in balance,
and too much juggling
put its all at risk

i’m only good enough at juggling
to drop the balls


(by my excellent friend George Yellak)

The Risk and the Daring

May the risk
and the daring
the scandal
and the holiness
the surprise
and the destiny
the power
and the weakness
the poverty
and the richness
the humility
and the honor
of Jesus’ miraculous birth

be birthed miraculously in you

in your
hopes and fears
failures and success
friendships and solitude
work and rest

now as then
may He entrust something so precious
something so important
to such as you
may He break the power of the proper over you
may He instill His love and power and ancient truth and reality
in you
this day forward and on to forever!