A Warehouse Wall

While looking for a shaft of sunlight
with its shadows bidden to dancing
or the next retina washing hue
to strike at some quickening angle
I saw the bricks of a warehouse wall
having been well observed judging from
the names and inscribed symbols displayed
on the tattooed leather of its doors.
“I’m running out of storage,” I thought
while moving toward what must have been
set props for Juliets, Romeos
to keep from dying somewhere alone.
I’ve learned not to question why I stop.
For all I know this could have been an
unchurched child’s lone plot of Holy Ground
who stacked her shame on pallets backstage
and sauntered free for welcoming crowds
worshiping a God whose real name she
didn’t know yet who had etched hers on
the bricks and metal of his own skin.

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Another Poor Man’s Hand

To sit in the dry stream bed of yourself
when life starts to rain like spring-fed fire
sending snow melt and showers from
the mountain’s dark low-lying cloud,
to stand like a craggy earth-clinging oak
after all other mourners have filed past
leaving you to deal with dead day places
only you can see as clods of yesterday
spill into the closing grave of now,
to lie on a cold hardwood floor
when the closest neighbor is you
crying to the calling night wind
with one last hope for hearing echoes
from a song that sings itself of living love,
living, not dying, grace-grown and given,
brooding over the bones of your broken body –
is to be the beggar by the pool who never knew
this world contained the only balm
with power to make him whole
until that day, that word, that blessed touch
of another poor man’s hand.

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Being Present

Sometimes when you sit
close by in silence
and the still water
of you pools around
these pebbles of me
we go to a place
of most beautiful
clouds and soft sweet rain
and come back laughing
because we can cry.

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A Spring Visitation

I will hear you praying, singing

when the footfall of old man North

leaves one last frost in our fern-clad glens

and dogwoods lift a hundred praising hand pairs

to a blanket of new warm rain.

You are there, among the red oaks

bent low to listen for the rising pulse of earth,

as jonquils tune their trumpets to the sun.

Your voice comes in with a flourish,

filling chords that have been hollow since you’ve gone.

You float through every open window

as long days leave time for love and laughing,

broken bread and story bits the old ones drop

for nests of eager, wide-mouthed young.

And when I hear you lending velvet

to the slick green skin of spring

I’ll bring out the little flattened rosebud

left to hold your place between green pastures,

beside still waters,

in the house of the Lord,


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Message in a Bottle

On a deep blue day I will swim to you,
bob like a bottle in the wave top spray
so you’ll be sure to spot me floating by–
so you’ll reach and take the message I’ve kept
sealed and safe for such a deep blue you day,
deep blue you-me day:
“Even if your day is blue,
I’ll be there to share it, too,
holding tightly to your hand,
showing you I understand.
And if your head is hanging low,
I’ll stoop lower, so you’ll know
a face familiar, kind and true,
will always wear a smile for you.
So, if you can’t recall my name,
I will love you, just the same.
And in the mirror of my heart,
reflect, for you, your finest part.”
On a deep blue day, I will swim to you.

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Walk with me by the river
in the mist of waking dawn
as the wood duck sets her wing
to the rhythm of Earthrise
and every sun ray angle
‘luminates the diamond depth
of all things stirring to this
great green gathering alive.

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