Saturday, April 28, 2012
In arching waters
the black bird dances
with graceless step,
head jerks, probing soft soil,
penetrating wet grass
when rearing back primitive eyes
it raises ivory beak
and offers a shining prize,
Thursday, April 26, 2012
“The real hope is not in something we think we can do, but in God who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see.” Thomas Merton
despite the cold
Storms that should have
blown through months ago,
now come lately,
blustering that late is better
than not at all,
and gather clouds, complaining of the hour;
they huddle and decide to get it over with
all in a day, and squeeze
fountains out of the
heavy April air.
This is the moment!
At last the iris arises,
sleek, and slender, and plain
‘til rain all finished,
the sun having drenched
time and emerald space
with his golden flame,
the flower unfurls,
and stirs to nectarine passion
courteous bees, and
Sunday, April 22, 2012
see how the sun pales,
as gray clouds enshroud
Just tell me that you love me,
and I'll breathe you
a new world.
The fiery bird
into the leaden sky.
as I fill your eyes
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Life must provide a space of liberty, of silence, in which possibilities are allowed to surface and new choices become manifest. Thomas Merton
What I wear is pants. What I do is live. How I pray is breathe. Thomas Merton
Waking each morning, ex-
pelled from my space,
else has taken my place!
So rising to join in the common fray
compelled through the breathless, common day;
and I choose,
and I breathe,
and I pray.
Morning was already warm, the sun beat
my sweating brow as I walked to the Oval,
past green Jeeps filled with tense soldiers,
past the detritus of last night’s battle:
torn flyers, shattered glass,
spent tear-gas canisters still reeking,
past garish, red ON STRIKE! posters,
to begin another chaotic day.
Because ugly war raged in Vietnam,
sharp tension hung over Columbus,
a grey, stinking haze imposed
on this brilliant
So we lined up; the concept was simple.
student marshals, green armbands as our shields,
stood between swearing students
and nervous guardsmen,
whose black bayonets
wavered mere inches from our necks.
The idea was easy; being students,
and not being demonstrators,
the guardsmen would
respect our lives.
It worked fairly well
until a rumor
at Kent State.
Angry, bold, silent,
sweeping aside all respect,
they pushed us back,
into the bristling line of steel.
I looked behind me
and saw rifles lowered
to shoulder level,
aimed right through me,
and hearing the smooth, deadly glide
of bolt into waiting chamber,
I dove to the ground
and joined the fleeing, terrified
rush of children.
That evening, safe in my parents’ home,
far from the deserted campus,
I watched the news with my father.
I saw hard-hatted construction workers
angrily beating students, just like me,
on the bloody streets of New York,
and muttering about getting what they deserved,
my dad looked at me,
and saw my
he turned off
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
throbbing, powerful, flinging dust and small stones,
as it clears the swaying tops of neighboring redwoods,
and gives the empty,clear, and calm air
substance, color, and turbulence.
We shield our eyes and turn away
from the spinning propellers as the
helicopter floats slowly down
closer and closer to the playground:
ten feet, six, five, one, done;
and lightly resting on gray pavement,
on the hopscotch lines and painted stars and planets,
the roar of its motor drops from banshee scream
to diminished moan, and finally to whisper
as blurred blades slow, and the flight finishes,
and all motion stops.
Then the school children take over, shouting
as they rush, straining against teachers’ restraint,
to see this amazing machine come to visit.
They gape at what is usually a speck in the sky,
but here it is huge and amazing,
up close, and so real!
After peering in windows, and touching gleaming doors,
and the short speech by the pilot,
(so cool in shades and blue flight-suit)
the scheduled visit ends, and the helicopter
springs again to life, and leaps
into brilliant May sunshine, into
the hard blue sky, and
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The way to find the real "world" is not merely to measure and observe what is outside us, but to discover our own inner ground. For that is where the world is, first of all: in my deepest self.
Thomas Merton. Contemplation in A World of Action
I look out my window
and see what is real.
Trees, bark encrusted,
rough my hands; cool
leaves, cherry blossoms,
white and vibrant, writhe
in the bee-blurred light.
Yes, these things
to our secret room,
I find you
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Photograph: Car for Sale - David Saltaire
I hear the cars race.
On the still night streets I hear it,
the rush of combustion, confusion of speed.
Power can slip through young fingers
like the leather leash of a big dog,
slashing tender hands.
I pray that they can hold on
or the beast will surely turn
and crush them
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Let my trust be in Your mercy, not in myself. Let my hope be in Your love, not in health, or strength, or ability or human resources. If I trust You, everything else will become, for me, strength, health, and support. Everything will bring me to heaven. If I do not trust You, everything will be my destruction. Thomas Merton Thoughts in Solitude
I trusted my strength,
lifted weights, made
muscled arms strain
to overpower everything.
can forever freely rush
from throbbing heart
to grasping hands.
into a morning mirror
and saw my father
gray and failing.