Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A good friend
spoke with anger
of another friend,
words slightly violent in nature.
(In my mind I cried out
"But that is my friend
you are talking about!")
I held my peace
and listened to my friend.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Because people are evil, she said,
A small sad laugh, bowed her head.
I couldn't quite follow, though I saw her path,
The dark passes where she'd been led.
But for the love
I would follow, I would.
Because of the love,
The world tips to the good.
Though I die, though I ache,
I vow to try to live awake
To the power of love.

May it overtake.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Sometimes I have the sense to keep still.
I find myself wanting to answer,
but stay in the silence of listening.
Her pain is too large to console,
so I stay by her side and attend.
No words can make this better.
And later alone
with my pain
in the dark
I wonder
Does God sometimes have the sense to keep still?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Stones Stay

Stones stay.
Trees fall,
Winds blow away.
Rocks remain, stones stay.
Friends fade, faces vanish,
All white turns to grey.
All black turns its back,
But stones stay.
My words will disappear,
Every word that you say,
All we remember is doomed to disintegrate.
Stones stay.
Stars fall,
Moons roll away.
My heart, turned to stone, may stay.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

What I Took

Ah, yesterday I took I took a lovely soaking bath,
a walk, a look, a breath,
a glass of wine, a needed break,
a book from off a shelf;
a picture, time to smell a rose,
a hike, a moment, a nap.
At night I took me to my bed to rest from all the taking,
to ready me to take on life again upon awaking.

A Walk in Fall

And shall I die
And leave this world?
And pass away?
(I walk on leaves,
The woods pass by)
And shall I pass
From here to where?
(Leaves fall from trees
That used to wear
Green garments now discarded)
And shall I someday see?
This world and I have parted.

Monday, October 19, 2015

I am not threatened by
young hawthorns;
I will take their gentle stab wounds
or walk around.
It is the very force of life
that seeks to pierce my skin,
the first shrub in this clearing,
leading taller trees in.
Coyote tunnels under fences
do not make me feel defensive.
Not farmers only,
we are stewards of this land
where once the creatures flourished.
I have a field that beavers flood.
And so I go and break their dams,
undo their architecture,
well researched mudded spans
that created wetland farther
where I thought to field the land.
I return to open,
they return to heal the deed.
This battle there are some days
I would willingly concede.
While yet this steward lives
there will be hawthorns and coyotes.
(The beavers are negotiating
against bills I have to pay.)
There may yet be concession
 and wet lands where now lies hay.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Reading books

Sometimes you read a glorious sentence
That lands like a heavy thing
In slow motion with a cloud of dust
As it hits the floor of your mind.
An exceeding heavy thing
That you relish the thought of having discovered
And you walk around it enjoying the magnificent
Every corner of it.
Then you underline it
And turn the page
A richer woman.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Indoor Tree

Outdoor tree, but not like other trees
Indoor tree
You lose leaves
I open for you
The blind
Light coming
No forest floor
You stand in
I stand in
Loose leaves

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dear migraine,
Sometimes I have you
Sometimes I fake you
Because it is easier
For people to take you
As reason for staying at home all alone
Than the fact I'm depressed
And cannot face goin'
Out publicly having to put on a face
When all I prefer is my solitude place.
Dishonesty's easier
And maybe more kind
If they only think headache
And not ache of the mind.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Wash the suffering, oh,
Off my skin.
But let it trickle down deep within
Through my clay
My heart of stone,
To soften me and change my groan
Of pain in me
To heartfelt moan
Of sympathy
For all who suffer, all who hurt.
Trickle down pain until a mighty love
Takes root within my soil, my dirt,
My loam, my soul, and let it grow,
Watered by all I come to know.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

In a world unrehearsed
Look for the best
Expect the worst

I weep for the nameless
The knownless it seems.
God created gravity
But regrets it in her dreams
Of slow falling sparrows
In feathered tragic streams.
But keeps her eyes open
And takes it all in.
It pours out in tears.
I still think Love will win.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I took a one night sabbatical and drove the two hours from the farm where we live to the small town of Gimli on the shore of Lake Winnipeg, with a lovely sandy beach and a lake that goes out into the distant horizon.

Not far from mustard seed,
I wait on the beach.
Pilgrim to Gimli.

If it's nothing I seek
I think I have found it,
And a cold wind as well.
Far off the white caps
Draw near but don't tell.
All they contribute
Is dashing themselves.

Today I take communion with the world,
you broken, bruised, and lovely thing.
We are soon to part, and I will go
where my road leads, and forget what I know;
forget this wholeness, lose this peace.
But there will have been
there will have been
this little moment
when the world and I
shared communion.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

That treetop.
That conifer treetop
points skyward
like a church spire
but more honest
and points higher.
Look a tree full in the bark,
see truth in its eyes.
It will not dissemble,
it stands
then it falls unremembered.
Against human teachings
on seeking the kingdom and earning freedom,
I would place the earth-rooted philosophy
and lofty serenity
of treedom.

Friday, July 24, 2015

A blues song in the morning

Today I drifted awake with a blues song forming in my head. A slow and low man's voice, head bent over his guitar, bass notes stepping down to the final line in the chorus...

Living alone
Evenings I sit all alone with a drink in my hand
Mornings I lie in bed waiting for the courage to stand
Years keep on passing like water through the fingers of my hand
Why is it life never goes just as you planned

I wander these rooms remembering what used to be
And I miss the missing face I so long to see
Why won't your ghost ever come to me
In this house of misery

Outside the sun shines and birds sing and gentle winds blow
People pass by with their busy lives and somewhere to go
Sometimes they stop in to see me and I tell them to go
Why is it life never goes as it should go

And I wander these rooms wanting what used to be
And still I keep missing the face I wish I could see
Why won't your ghost ever come to me
In this house of misery

I fixed the roof ten years after you were gone
Another ten years I put all the new windows on
They walk by and see the flowers that bloom on my lawn
Why is it life is alright and then one day it's gone

Why won't your ghost ever come to me
In this house of misery

Oh someday a quick crash and burn will be the end of me
And I'll burn to the ground
This house of misery

Sunday, July 19, 2015

One day last week

I caught myself impatient
Washing lettuce from my garden.
Wanting to be finished,
On to something more exciting.
I halted in the moment.
What bubbled up was thank you.
Good God I have a garden
And fresh nutritious lettuce
I am not even feeling hunger for.
And water clean available
To wash my washing hands.
Today the sun is shining.
It is so much more than enough
As I stay here in this moment.
Upon the blind of my upstairs window
Shadows move,
Wind blown leafy branches
Like people passing by.
And I
Disturbed by motion
From the corners of my sight,
Look up but they are vanished strangers.
The wind has stilled.
So I go back to my reading.

In late afternoon my pyjamas surprise me
by my still wearing them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Outside my black rainy window upstairs
which is letting in cold night breeze
the poplars' applause sounds welcoming, gentle, and
makes me want to go sleep under the trees.
Tomorrow in the secret woods I will
pitch my tent,
act calm all day, when everyone sees,
only to steal away when night is falling
so that I can go sleep under the trees.
Oaks will stand stoically, as though I'm not there;
Hawthorns will reach for me, prickly but pleased;
Poplars break into applause once again
to see me come out to sleep under the trees.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

You are such a simple soul,
I have hidden doorways,
Secret passages.
Your sun shines on everyone,
No shadows darken.
I have moonlight
Some cloud cover.
Clear skies you, with nights as fitting.
I am overcast:
Weather all unknown but unremitting.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Scent of soil

I was driving on the highway when I remembered my walk in the woods three days previously, just after it rained. I had stooped down to examine a rock protruding from last year's leaves on the ground, and I dug a little at the edge of the rock to see if it would loosen enough for me to pick it up. It didn't. But for the rest of my walk, my fingers carried the scent of the moist rich earth, incredibly fecund, indescribable.
So I pulled over off the road to write down the words before I forgot them.
(When I first frantically and in a most driven way typed these words into my iPhone notes thingy, I glanced at the first few words and the word "soil" stood written as "soul". I like that.)

Oh the soil
She is moist within
Ready for seed
For sun to shine and rain to soak in
To burst into life
To quicken with grow.
Though root stretch, leaf unfurl in slow
And patient measure,
Unfolding life,
Let all eyes take pleasure
In fresh and new and hope and green
All painted in
To this
The richest work I've ever seen.


Sunday morning

Prayer is a problem when pain abounds.
Eyes closed
I pondered the terrible face of fear.
My heart rose up, cried out,
"Send me..."
And I stopped.
Send me what?
Help? Strength? Peace?
I saw my need,
But not the answer.
I rested there in the not knowing,
But knowing I was known.

One of the hymns that was sung at my church shortly after the prayer time when I wrestled thus, had a line that captured my imagination: "Mighty victim from the sky", from At The Lamb's High Feast (Unknown author, probably 6th Century (Ad regias Agni dapes); translated from Latin to English by Robert Campbell, 1849). The phrase "mighty victim" is fantastic, taking your mind in a strange new direction. "Mighty Victim From the Sky" sounds like the title of a work of science fiction, a super hero.
Who has the super strength required for victimhood? Who would want it? Upside down thinking, like Christ's.

Monday, April 6, 2015

White-breasted Nuthatch

Our spirits
Unaware are let go
Out into the cosmos.
Do the hands divine
Ache, to let us go?
Yearn for our presence
Until our short flight is ended?
Watch the infinite horizon
Where our spirits fly in freedom
And in danger,
Never knowing of the hand
Outstretched awaiting?
Bring the day of glad returning
To the hand we lifted off from
Frail and fearful as we faced
The glory newness of existence,
How much more will be our joy
At reuniting 
Than our sorrows flight is over?
And what will we bring in praise?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Thoughts on Good Friday 4 a.m.

Impossible task:
Love each other
Is all he asked.
And what did he say?
Let forgiveness be your way?
But what if I'm wronged?!
What if I'm hurt,
And can't get along
With the one next door?
Unlikable chore.
Be kind in response
To enemies' taunts
Or attacks or demands.
Give with both hands,
As I have received forgiveness,
And been well blessed.
Do not put your life ahead of another.
Worrisome bother.
And when there is need
Be willing to die.
I doubt I will try.
Knowing my weakness,
My selfishness, pride.
Something will need to change
Deep inside.
Something like love.
Radical move.
Opening heart and mind and strength
To the depth and the width and the length
Of a love so complete it can answer all doubt,
All pain, all the sorrow this world is about.
Oh glorious goal.
Seek the way of love
And be still, my soul.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Igneous woman
Lava in my gut
Flames fill my veins
Steam on my breath
Vitriol when I vomit
I boil when I weep
Gentle puffs of smoke
When I'm asleep

Monday, March 9, 2015

Don't leave me, winter!
With your long cool nights of ease,
With your so efficient cooling me
In mere seconds when I need relief.
All your lovely melting snow
Trickling away between the fingers of this land.
I would hold on but I destroy you with the warmth of my grasping hand.
And chasing you: that hateful woman, busybody spring,
With her self important 'get things going', her little birds that sing
Of motivation, illusions of goals, a point to anything. 
Don't leave me, winter, let me turn and rest a little longer
Underneath your soggy blanket of white, before the searching sun gets stronger.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The soft falling snow is a thrill,
A feathery godsend of peace and goodwill.
And yet at its worst snow can kill.
Can cover until life is taken away in an ache and a dream and a chill.
But snow revelations are wondrous, serene
In their declaration of what stands between
our beginning and end in the things we have seen
And have looked at for longer than
Thinking about it would take the brain machine.
And spirit awakes, takes what the days show
And transports me to where no one can go
But we do with our minds that can overcome slow.
My last regrets may be I never could capture the sparkle of snow.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Long have I waited for sleep to come to me
Bringing gifts of escape and forget.
But she will arrive when she wills, if at all,
Not concerned by my impatient wait.
Perhaps she has lingered to torment the night watch,
Or lower the head of some late working scholar,
While I lie surrounded by clamouring memories,
And bribe her, with wine as my dollar.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Three thoughts

I'm a weird bird with no pretty plumage
and hard to love
But you do. 
And every time you say I love you
I'm surprised anew.
Why is it so hard to believe
We are loved?

In my believing moments
I want to tell my children
God is like a mother.
Because love I have learned.
Love surpasses.
But I am a child
with fears inside,
and many moments
when I hide.
The heart is small,
with achy bits,
but the heart has power
that goes beyond
the fear and pain,
and always returns
to Love again.

What's the point in walking around
Keeping in shape
Taking care of myself 
-I'll do it for the ones I love!
But you will lose them
-I'll never forget how I loved them!
But you may grow old and forget.
-But this one thing will be true forever: