Fleshed-out Love

Eternal morning Light of the Presence
brings forth colors of the Soul –
pimpernels of purity suspended
in the first Breath…
Molecules that remember their birthplace.

At its blind end, each sap channel
leads to Heaven’s ever-flowing fount.

Let others fly to the Light
of this fleshed-out Love.
Let all feel the primal Breath and live.

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Poetry of Hope for Dark Times

This morning, in the wake of recent suicides and the much-needed conversations around the topic, I will post some poetry that I pray will be a source of hope for any who are struggling.

Selection #1

Morning Star

This night – 
a gift for galaxies of star-set eyes,
for lip-locked lovers,
dizzy dreamers turning ‘round the world,
story-lined faces in a campfires’ glow –
This night holds so much pain
for those whose center didn’t hold,
who fell clean through the bedrock of their souls
while no one saw, while no one knew;
while no one felt their throaty waves of screaming;
and their hiding holes filled up with shame
and there was no air, no light;
and the only constellation they could see
shot an arrow through their heart to the grave.
Pray for them. Pray for them all to hold on.
Yet again, the morning star will shine.

Selection #2

Right Now (The Moment of Surrender)

Right now there’s a closet corner nearby
with somebody in it
crumpled like a soiled shirt in a pile of shame.
Blame is a cop out, a cheap cab ride to the park.
An abdication.
“She did it to herself,” some smugly say,
flagging down a ride as she flat lines.
Others look away as her soul floats out like a bottle
bobbing in the water of her eyes
and leave too soon to see the turning –
finally, the turning toward a Face and not away.
The Dove is descending. Does anyone notice?
Does anybody even know her name?

Selection #3

I Believe in Hope

Today I believe in a hope 
that gives breath to the lifeless
holds the untouchable child
brings consolation to the terrified
and connects the disparate;
paints where there are no colors
sings where there is no windpipe
prays over death-cursed soil
turns the stone-cold heart to Heaven.
I believe in a hope
that grows green in frozen ground
calls crippled legs to dancing
makes a moment last forever
sees itself in all others.
I believe in a hope
that finds mercy at the heart of justice
and would rather weep forever in a song
than silence any other singing soul.
I believe in a hope
that knows it’s never too late for turning
says yes to Self and Truth in any form
lays every treasure down for love
and sees in each moment
an eternal habitation
where we all are one in God.

Selection #4

silent cries

silent cries of the soulsick
arc across the starset night
with eyes submerged so deeply
they cannot catch hope’s comet
streaking through the third Heaven
with its tail nearly touching
flesh of their broken bodies

Selection #5

“What the World Needs Now”

“I don’t need you to try and fix me,” he muttered,
“or tell me everything’s all right, because it’s not.
What I need is for you to be here.
I need you, not your medicine or advice.
Presence, not pat answers. Do you see?
Bearing with me. Listening. Hearing.
Trying to know how it feels here.
I need you to look at me, even if
I have to look away.
To be my mirror, reflecting everything but shame.
It’s dark here. But there must be light for reflecting, right?
I need you to bring light to this darkness.
You don’t have to be a hero, a winner, all put-together.
I need to hear you say my name. The name I’m named in my soul.
Whisper it to me. Will you do this? Do you know that name?
Whisper it again ’til you see me turning around. Looking up.
Please, you don’t need to bring me anything.
Empty hands are better to hold.
See? What I need for you to do
is bring God in here, into this empty, dimly lit room.
That’s right. God. The Light where God is.
And the mercy they say shows up in rooms like this.
Will you come and bring those things to me?
I hope only for this.”

Selection #6

INCARNATION

In a silent room where even broken spirit weeping burns its torrid day and lies vacant, dry, spent of any flow, coldly dying down a stiff wood grained gray as the heart of all good spills away its blood pools of fingers groping underneath the shutting door of night, in the rip-stained, stripped-through stillness of this time something starts to sing.

Selection #7

TO THE WOUNDED

My child. My beloved one.
Do not fear. I am with you, always, now.
Come here to My unending Love.
Nothing can touch you. Nothing will harm you.
My arms enfold your whole being and your world.
Bear your wounds to My anointing hands.
I have healed them eternally in My Love.
I am ever with you, ever in you, ever through you.
My streaming Love light pushes darkness away.
All that you are I have Loved and made new.
Bathe your weak and hurting parts in My compassion.
It flows out forever toward the pain you feel.
I will not leave you here, in this place.
But I will take you out and lift you,
sing to you of peace, and joy, and Heaven.
Be still, be silent, let Me strongly hold you, comfort you.
Know that I do feel what you have felt. Trust this.
Your wound is transformed in the glory of My rising Life.
Let my Love be lifted up in you.
Amen.

 

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Another Side of the Sea

(A lament inspired by the incredible experience of visiting the coastal region of Cornwall, UK, and the ancient Celtic ruins there)

I looked for you at low tide
as cupped fingers of the surf
left their ruby-shaded sand
in beds of cleft rock pools, and
sustenance of gulls lay writhing
in a harbor’s teeming silt bed.

I felt you in the crag-kept cave
that once taught us to sing
with its billows of salty spray.

Down the vaulted sea wall
a glowing cloud of sentience
ushered you into my mind
on the narrow sheep path to
to our cliffside churchyard and
silent stone-walled chapel.

Lifting latch on the weathered oak
we moved into the transept
where three chairs blazed with
the light of window-set penitents.
Saints sat there among us.

Then, kneeling in cross-shaped
shadows of ancient Celts whose
names have been razed by the ages,
we each prayed a prayer for the other
and for the many unnamed lost.

As the blazing western stone sank
finally into the turquoise deep,
I felt the brush of your spirit
winging toward a horizon of hope
in this great cloud of Being,
only to be fully known on
another side of the sea.

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Different Now

Sadness is different now.
I woke up sad yesterday
not knowing why, or why not.
The breath was heavy, the soul still.
People were crying. That, I knew.
Some sang a lament to themselves.
Others stood alone searching for a star.
There were those draped in mourning
for lost years looking homeward.
All of them were with me, somehow,
gathered in the space around my core.
A leaning tower of the wounded
posted in the deep soil of this valley.
I stood there among them, empty,
yet looking upward, thinking back.
Remembering a time when Another
felt my pain, held my hand and cried.
I started to chant…an ancient melody
of a once-dead, now living company,
witnesses all to the thrice-lit
fires of a Love that cannot die.

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Unmasked

I was there when day dyed dark at noon

in hiding; alone, too spent to feel the heat of fear.

Perhaps a moment seen from Olympian heights,

but all the world’s remaining time when viewed

from this tapped-out well of selfhood.

Darkness fell without words, damp, yet unassuaging,

where I lay dry in open-mouthed defeat,

agonal, near breathless, in some salty shallows

that remained unlit by any moon.

I felt no movement but the muscle’s failing

struggle in its tug of war with air,

with no one to record my last words.

In youth I’d always fled the fading sun

fearing what might mount on

the winged winds of night.

No strength to run, much less, to fly,

my life hung like a particle suspended

on some full and final exhalation,

launched from tiny alveoli of hope

trapped in a black lung of despair.

Yet something within this cavernous space

seemed to stir the wrinkled tissues of my life-

a brushing presence, faintly blowing,

hovering over the hole where I lay hidden.

What could I have done but look up?

How could I have foreknown the life

that would begin in the moment of turning,

that death unmasked is Love forevermore?

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Right Now (The Moment of Surrender)

Right now there’s a closet corner nearby
with somebody in it
crumpled like a soiled shirt in a pile of shame.
Blame is a cop out, a cheap cab ride to the park.
An abdication.
“She did it to herself,” some smugly say,
flagging down a ride as she flat lines.
Others look away as her soul floats out like a bottle
bobbing in the water of her eyes
and leave too soon to see the turning –
finally, the turning toward a Face and not away.
The Dove is descending. Does anyone notice?
Does anybody even know her name?

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At Hospice

She knelt by the bed of the one
whose last words were lines
of the prayer her life had been
and now its benediction on a breath
ever softly singing to sleep
the little girl who wanted nothing more
than to be like her, to make her proud–
the breath at last became hers
and her life became the prayer.

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