Category Archives: Poetry

How Do You Ask for Healing?

 

How do you ask for healing?

There are a thousand ways.

With a hand quickly raised.

With a name, an intention,

With a printed drop of water bobbing in an ocean,

With a song and a choir of candles,

With a cry

With a plea.

 

How do you ask for healing?

With carefully constructed provisos and well-built justifications,

With scriptures like weapons of war and theologies that could storm battlements

With tearful bargains and promises,

With fears under rugs and questions gagged like prisoners.

 

And then we hear yes; and rejoice with unbelieving surprise

Or hear no, and weep in stunned silence,

Or hear nothing, and listen for the echoes of our prayer in an uncaring darkness.

 

How do I ask for healing?

When I have rejoiced, and wept, and listened,

As my body shakes and trembles

And my mind stumbles in deep mists;

 

How do I ask for healing?

When I am betrayed by flesh that is either 33 or 92,

When I lie imprisoned on my bed,

Listening to the sounds of my wife and my boy beyond the bars,

Each gift and green thing repossessed,

Until I am a spectator to my own life.

 

How do we ask for healing?

If not as conquerors demanding tribute from subjugated gods,

If not as lawyers presenting cases before bored judges,

If not as con-men who turn each “no” into a “yes”?

 

How do we ask for healing?

We ask like centurions at the end of their power;

Lepers who have forgotten even hope,

Cripples who cannot bathe in water an arms-reach away.

 

How do we ask for healing?

We ask not like kings, but like beggars,

Not like queens, but like divine panhandlers,

Holding up signs as cars drive by,

Knowing that every real “yes” and “no” must come from anothers lips.

 

And then – almost unknowing,

We fall into the mystery of love;

Which cannot always heal, but can always hold,

As it trickles through the cracks of a broken world.

 

For it is then,

When  broken, despairing, and blind,

We stumble into arms that embrace us when we say,

“I am not worthy for you to come under my roof,

But say the words and I will be healed.”

Silence

autumn-in-the-forest-1410361

Questing, searching restless fingers,
Wander now across the band,
Seeking stimulation, meaning,
Find a place to rest, to stand.

But instead of slowly stilling,
Of a measured oscillation,
Instead my fingers find a speeding,
Growing, creeping agitation.

From each station hurling, flinging
Screaming, dancing melody,
Grabbing, grasping, clutching, driving,
Unrelenting harmony.

Can I slow my questing fingers,
As they race across the dial,
Each small moment coalescing,
Resting silent for a while?

Turn the volume to a whisper
Finding moments to remember
Hear the quiet silence singing
To the stillness I surrender

The Advent Of What?

Advent has come.

 

But the Advent of what?

Sharp clanging sleigh bells and presents wrapped so bright they could cut?

Of smiles painted like plaster  over hearts that wait in darkness?

 

The Advent of what?

Pressure that wraps like snakes

And drowns each one in gilt and dross?

 

The Advent of what?

Of whitewashed hope?

Of optimism as see-through as cellophane?

Of solitary, desperate cheer?

 

Why not wait for a different Advent?

One so poor it lies in straw

One so dirty that shepherds share it

One so unlovely that the unlovable can wait for it

 

Why not wait for a different Advent?

For faithfulness that always persists

For hope that springs from dry places

For love that grows green things in grey spaces.

Poetry Mondays – Prayers Contract

My prayers:

Once piled carelessly

Like children’s blocks on the carpet

Stacking my words to heaven.

Godwouldyoupleasehelpmetodaybecauseiwanttodothebesticanandfollowyouandmakesurethatiaskyoufortheright thingsinalltherightwayswiththewordsjesuslovetrustforgivenessandarethereanyi’mforgetting

Slowly they contract.

God, help me follow you today and do the best I can, and hear me as I pray, although I still don’t know what to say and what I might forget.

God help me follow you and hear me as I pray, I don’t know what to say.

God help me follow you and hear me.

God help me follow you.

God help me.

God help.

God.

.

Poetry Mondays – I Cannot Offer You My Wisdom

I cannot offer you my wisdom:

Bullets shooting

To turn ignorance into red dust.

 

I cannot offer you my success:

Bands marching

To the beat of my drummer.

 

I cannot offer you my wit:

Night club singer crooning

To make you laugh and blush.

 

I cannot offer you my strength:

Adonis in a mirror

To catch your hurried glance.

 

I can offer you my foolishness:

Drunkard stumbling

Too early in the day.

 

I can offer you my failure:

Left feet tripping

Too clumsy to stand.

 

I can offer you my stuttering:

Gears grinding

Too jagged to glide.

 

I can offer you my weakness:

Broken and straining

Too small to be Atlas.

 

Will you accept?

Poetry Mondays – The Ringing Phone

The phone it rings,

Again I say,

Please hang up!

Please go away!

 
 
No, I’m afraid

I’m not at home

Just leave a message

At the tone!

 
 
Don’t call back

And simply trust

That I’ll respond

When I must.

 
 
There are others,

You should see

That need me more

Than you need more.

 
 
Not a war?

Not an attack?

Can’t it just wait

‘Til I get back?

 
 
My phone rings once,

Two, three, four, five

Are you scared

I’m not alive?

 
 
So just wait,

My dear goodwife,

Please hang up,

And get a life!

Poetry Mondays – Faith is Not

Faith is not belief

That echoes hollow

Cold statements

in stone spaces.

Faith is not belief

That cocoons

A cloak

From pain and failure.

Faith is not belief

That swings

Like a sword

On other’s blindness.

Faith is a seed

That grows or dies

In dark, fertile places.

Faith is a vine,

Engulfing

Even unwanted spaces.

Faith is a tree:

Roots always deep, without thinking

Branches always wide, without stretching

Leaves always reaching, without trying.

Poetry Mondays – Do You Burn?

Do you burn?

With passion? With anger?

With worry? With despair?

With joy? With expectation?

Do you burn?

Legs running from a future you cannot control?

Feet stepping to a hope that rises with each new sun?

Heart pounding from fear or anticipation?

Do you burn?

But with a fire, reflected from the sky

Refracted from a million voices

Speaking one Word?

Do you burn?

Or has your spark gone out

Blowing wind on a thousand tiny embers

Glowing briefly in the dark?

Do you burn?

Like a parent for a child?

Like a spouse for another?

Like lovers at the first kiss?

Do you burn?

Do you stare into the darkness like at midnight

Waiting for shadows to show another step?

Do you burn?

Hot with fresh fire;

Torch bright in blackness?

Do you burn?

Steady and simmering;

And light a room on a cold night?

Do you burn?

Tinder for God’s life,

Kindling for the Spirit to light?

Do you burn?

Or do you hold the match at arms length?

Afraid to catch fire?

Do you burn?

Not for success or security,

Not for newly minted superiority

Or the seductions of materiality?

Do you burn?

Not like a list,

Each mark of goodness safely checked,

Ensuring your self worth

Do you burn?

For justice? For righteousness?

For transformation and forgiveness?

For love and peace to explode, like fireworks, in the darkness?

Do you burn?

Overcoming, overwhelming,

Consuming, subsuming, remaking, renewing, reinfusing,

Until all is flame, swiftly diffusing.

Do you burn?