Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Passing of the Shadow

In the gloaming
across the sere grass
I see a shadow roaming
up the hill, across the loam
I see the dark shape pass.

Golden evening light
has given way
to misty twilight,
the shadow's flight—
or was it descent?—lost in grey.

Who was it
walked that hill?
Who was it
passed by without seeing—
the porch, the cat sleeping still?

And who, indeed,
let their shade-self walk
across the bare grass's screed,
sanding their shadow-feet
upon stem and stalk, root and rock?

The rambler merged
into the falling night,
not changing form, purged
of his soul, but submerged
into a deeper dark, without light...

Light, making stark
edges upon stiff grass,
cutting a shadow-leaf upon bark,
Light, making known the dark
and bidding it to pass.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Empty Hands

I want to hold my worth in my hands;
to trace my accomplishments
in gilded letters on spine and cover;
to smell them in ink and paper.

But my desire is a dream awakened,
and all I can trace are tears
of shame, that I have nothing
to hold out in offering but empty hands. . .

Empty hands—not clenched fists,
angry, or grasping at given gifts;
Empty hands, ready to hold another's,
to serve, to open and receive. . .

To receive trust—a hand placed
in mine by a friend or a child;
to receive that broken bread,
spoken over, speaking over me: "You belong."

To belong, to be welcomed,
is not something I can close my hand
around—my palm is empty
on this pilgrimage, ready to give.

I cannot hold my worth in my hand,
but I can hold His most precious Body;
hold the hand of one in His Body;
be a hand in His Body—empty. . .

Sunday, April 1, 2018


Proof of the healing God has been doing in my life and heart the last year or so: I was just hoping that tomorrow was Sunday, because I was looking forward to going to church. I just spent parts of the past four days at church for Holy Week. . .and I wanted to go again tomorrow.

"My heart overflows with a good theme," and "my tongue is the pen of a ready writer..."

Thanks be to God!

Friday, March 9, 2018

What if the Season is Barren

They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail.

Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.

—Psalm 1:3, The Living Bible

What if the season is barren

rather than bearing?

How if the leaves have curled

and the river has curved

away—away from from this tree, empty?

“Empty? Why art thou empty?”

Asks the Spirit-wind,

rustling through parch├Ęd leaves.

“Have you ceased to delight in

my Word—written, spoken, spilled down?

In the stillness after the query

hangs an echo from ancient days:

“Who told you you were naked?

Why are you afraid? Have you disobeyed,

eaten what I forbade?”

“Yes, Lord,” I whisper in shame.

“I have known good, but evil is now

natural to my broken frame.

I have not delighted in Your Name,

to Your Word I refused to bow.”

“Yet all these days

I have guarded your ways—

return to me, delight in me.

My arm is not too short to save,

remember this and offer praise.”

Like a long-waited rain to a dry tree

were His entreaties to me.

I took delight as I meditated,

both day and night, upon

His Word—written, spoken, spilled down.


Photo by Peter Oslanec on Unsplash

Friday, January 26, 2018

Dear Elf-Friend

Ten years have disappeared,
Slowly, so-very-slowly in ways,
yet how fast and bleared
go those years of days 

So much has changed, 
and I've changed, too,
but some things stay the same—
like how I miss you

I missed the gift
of your letters, your self,
only when there was a rift
between you and health

Five years, nearly,
since I last saw you, so altered—
I miss you dearly,
even the way your words faltered

So much has stayed:
my foolish words and blind eyes—
but for change I often pray,
and the Lord hears my cries

I miss your songs
and poems, your wonder
and childlike joys, gone,
mind and reality torn asunder

Years and disease
have made you disappear, my friend—
Sorrow brings me to my knees
at how we came to an end

So much might resolve,
but my hopes wane,
as the days and years revolve,
and you don't write again

I miss who you were,
miss what I didn't value
enough when I had it, sir—
oh, if only we knew. . .

If we but knew
how to order our loves,
our minds, our days so few—
how to give thanks to Him above

Had I known
ten years ago,
had I received with thanks,
what difference would that make?