Saturday, November 10, 2018

Someone's Else's Shoes

Today I wore someone else's shoes
by accident

Worn out by anger
clothed in conviction

An ill fit that I knew at once.

I could not walk far in them.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Books and Biscuits

for Todd Bol, 
founder of the Little Free Library movement
rest in peace

In my neighborhood, dear one,
books wait for me around the corners
in little wooden boxes built with care that say
“Take one. Leave one.”

Text books, magazines, dog-eared classics
and brand new bits of wisdom 
or adventure.
I pull old friends off my shelves,
fill my backpack, 
and leave them by the armload.
They always find a home.

Your neighborhood may not be so blessed.
In your home, books are in short supply, 
but in this room we share,
we share -
words and stories, truth and laughter
snake skins and hand prints and 
portraits of princesses, 
robots and monsters,
hugs and tears and knock-knock jokes.
Take one. Leave one. 

And we will meet 
for hot chocolate and sourdough biscuits
on some fall day
surprised by sunshine
and books.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Tongue of a Teacher

The Lord has given me the tongue of a teacher
Teacher whose eyelids are weary
Weary of battling evil
Evil, a vast word
Word by word by word, we climb
Climb the daily steps
Steps of the temple of learning
Learning to be calm, be here, be wind
Wind and trees, river and stone
Stone that is shaped, river that flows
Flows and ebbs, erodes and feeds
Feeds the trees
Trees that give, trees that bear
Bear with the storms, bare in winter
Winter wind lashing the branches
Branches hung heavy with fruit
Fruit of the knowledge of good and evil
Evil, a vast word
Word of the Father
Father of lies
Lies of our leaders
Leaders with false tongues
Tongues that can lash
Lash like the wind
Wind that is weary
Weary of wandering
Wandering humble with bowl in hand
Hand to mouth
Mouth with a tongue
Tongue of a teacher.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Feet of Clay

Feet of Clay

Dear ones,
prayers of promise to the future,
I want you to know
I have feet of clay
And though I love you
I will forget -
names and birthdays and
how many lizards you have.
I will forget
and you will change.

You will grow tall
and lose your cherub’s fat.
Your face will harden,
maybe, too, your heart.
Your muscles will grow taut and lean.
Your hips may swell.
Your eyes may shift their sheen
While other dear ones fill my busy mind.

One day you will stand in my doorway
An eight-year-old only inside
inside your eyes.
“Remember me?” you ask.

My heart remembers.
I promise it does.
But my brain is worn
and crowded as an antique train station
that welcomes hundreds
and sends them on their way.

Forgive me, dear ones.
I have feet of clay.

Friday, August 17, 2018

On the Brink

On the brink, on the edge
The precipice, the abyss, the ledge
You reach out to me,
Your cry for help
 echoed by a host
 of survivors
 and of ghosts
silently insisting I step up.
My heart trips on the weight of it.
Can I weave my words into a lifeline?

Learn as long as you can
And I will too.
Let's meet on the mountaintop at the end
and share stories of our adventures.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Jagged Edges

Contemplate the jagged edges:
of raspberry leaves
and soaring pines
of shredded clouds
and war-torn souls
of letters etched in granite
and the pores of aging skin.

Can you feel the edge of God's shadow
when you wander inside it?
Can you know the shape of God's footprint
when you stand within its walls?

Jagged edges give
to floating molecules their form.
They are the borders
that define the name-filled world.

Borders come in many shades.
Let us not get drunk on them.

Does shadow imprison light
for crossing the border at noon?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Awake! (inspired by the words of Paolo Coelho)

     though the world is still in darkness
     though you want to sleep
         just a little longer.
     and look up -

Look up from the dust and dung.
Look up from the muck and mire.
Look up and you will see the stars.

The stars.

They shine still
     through the half-destroyed roof of the world.