Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Faith


Photo Brian Federle: Overcast in Oregon, 2008

Faith
is seeing my blood
coursing through
shut eyelids

and feeling
blood pushing down
into my arms and legs,

believing
it will soon return
to my darkly
beating heart.

But faith is more than
seeing
or believing.

Faith shines
like the cloistered sun
concealed by thick
autumn clouds.

Faith knows
all my childish lies,
and gently laughs
at my innocence.

Faith stalks me,
deep into my desert
where, trembling,
I wait for her famished arrow.

I love faith;
in her passionate embrace
I fall into my
darkest night.

I fear faith;
slave to her lacerating truth
reluctantly I walk
into her relentless light.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bridge at Montezuma Slough


We drive to see
where the twisted road will lead.

Salty river, winding slough,
dark water
rising to frothy cap
slapping concrete pier,


moon driven waves race
back to beckoning bay.

Finally we must decide...

cross the low bridge
or turn back,


but the flood is so close to the deck!



We feel tidal vibration,
basso profondo,
rattling sub-sonic
in our ears
as together
we face our fear,

and slowly cross,
eyes always ahead
til again we feel sure earth
solid beneath our tread.



(2013  - 2018)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Starling Flight: Murmurations



Starlings whorl, 
gyre curls
rise, turn, drop
to airy knot
rippling mist, round
folds, cloud 
undulant

when, without warning,
they light and draw a tight
line of night 
on thin wires.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

On the Feast of St. Stephen

The Martyrdom of St. Stephen by Peter Paul Rubens 1616-1617


"The life of the soul is not knowledge, it is love, since love is the act of the supreme faculty, the will, by which man is formally united to the final end of all his striving – by which man becomes one with God." (Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain)



See how wind tears, how
clouds ravage the sky
to shreds…

Can you hear the geese fleeing,
shouting dread
as the savage storm crouches?

Are you afraid?

I know
how the sea sometimes
launches boulders;

but the stubborn land
bows and waits
and, swollen, forgives

with torrents of life;
rivers of joy.

(2013-2017)

Monday, December 25, 2017

false comfort, treacherous joy

Photo Brian Federle: Candles 2014


Lights dancing
In evergreen branches

bright birds perched among
golden ornaments —

false comfort,
treacherous joy!

For this season of life
refreshes my tears,
renews my pain.