O Restless Heart

O restless heart, who knows the way
that wanders not, but seems to stray
from end to end, by many means,
as each new crossroad intervenes.

A promise made on one’s behalf
had carved in stone the epitaph
before a babe a word e’er spoke,
or strength from weakness had awoke.

The frailty of a father’s will
bade not the peregrine be still,
for silence would not silence keep
till ev’ry song its harvest reap.

So, following the ancient way,
by trails unblazed in light of day,
from deep to deep, the altar call
makes three in one the all in all.

 

-Memorial of St. Odo & the Holy Abbots of Cluny

 

Photo credit: Jan Sokol (self-published work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Eighteen Inches Down

There’s nothing wrong with me
a slip on ice won’t fix.
A view up close, from down
below, within the mix.

In woods, a fallen log
homes life in midst of death.
In space, exploding star
births atoms with her breath.

In cloud, I see a shape.
In night is not the dark.
The there is ever here.
At home, shall I embark.

In silence is a sound,
unknown to neural net.
From eighteen inches down
flow words both wild and wet.

I see together hang
the cords unbroken still,
the dangling of the spheres,
not thrust by might of will.

Upon this ground, I lie,
upheld a billion years,
while trust unknown will sound
the song that charms my fears.

There’s nothing wrong with me
a slip on ice won’t fix.
A view up close, from down
below, within the mix.

There is a Vastness…

Paternoster

There is a vastness,
beauty,
and logic
in the cosmos
that defies imagination.
I stand in awe
before it
and within it.

Something inside me
yearns
for the same greatness,
beauty,
and logic
to be made real
and observable
in my short life
on this tiny planet.

All I have,
and all I am,
is a product
of this vastness,
and beauty,
and logic.

It sustains me,
even when I forget
and take it for granted.
Perhaps then,
I can find the strength
to let go
of resentment
when others forget
and take me for granted
as well.

I remember this
in moments of peace,
that I might remember it
in days of stress,
and thus be freed
from anxiety:

This vastness,
beauty,
and logic
does not come from me,
did not begin with me,
and will not end with me.

It never has,
and never will.

The Dark Phoenix

Out of the ashes

of fear and conflict

rises the dark phoenix.

With an enemy’s face

and a mother’s heart.

Feasting on death

to nourish new life.

She beckoned me in,

not knowing what I was in for.

Her house

a home.

That which I should shun,

a liturgy of light.

That from which I run

is become a friend.

She has spread a table before me

in the presence of mine enemies.

First Snow

 

It came later than expected,
dreaded interruption,
minor inconvenience,
forcing me to slow
down.

Those who know best say,
“Do not leave the house
unless absolutely necessary.”
Ancient wisdom
from the empire’s
last days.

You don’t find silence;
it finds you,
when you least expect it.
Drowning out
everything else.

Vapor
made liquid,
then solid,
succumbing to gravity,
dropping into view.

Takes on flesh
and dwells among us.

Space
has more substance
than ten thousand things.

Because we are
so different,
you and I,
I offer myself
to the cold,
to the nothing
that is everything.

My Little Eye

I spy, with my little eye,
a future agitator
structure-breaker
name-taker
bread baker
hate un-maker.

She is rising with healing
for people she has never met.
She is leavening
for a great measure.

Should we place these hopes
on her small shoulders?

Should we gamble our freedom
on the depth of her faith?

We must.
She will respond.
Poem by my daughter’s pastor, the Rev. Nathan Dannison
Photo retrieved from http://image.mlive.com/home/mlive-media/width960/img/kalamazoogazette/photo/2016/11/15/-4b43013555460f43.JPG on November 16, 2016.

Aperetif

Lookout Mountain, Alabama
Second Tuesday in Easter 2016

They tell me i died
in a head-on collision.

i was southbound;
it was waiting.

i saw life
flash before my eyes,
not just mine.

Green and Purple,
white and red,
drawing me in
and up
and out.

i press it to my tongue,
and bite down hard.
Bone of my bone,
flesh of my flesh,
within me
and without,
myself
and other.

Foretaste
of what is
to come.

Spinning
end over end,
inebriated,
bits flying off
in every direction.
It’s okay,
it wasn’t mine.
Just a rental.

Whose blood is this?
It’s everywhere.
Gets into my eyes
so i can’t see.

All of this,
could have been
nothing:
particles gathered,
clumped dust,
but You
stretched out Your hands,
spoke the word,

and everything happened.

Erosion

Living stone
the river of fire
in the Province
Beyond the River

Bound by magnetism,
not gravity;
desire,
not necessity.

Pebbles worn smooth
by the passage of time:
kinder,
gentler.

The lava threatens
everything in its path
that is not
in its way.

Unmaking
the great civilization
in its very act
of creation.

Fire turns to stone,
rests as solid ground,
only when
river meets river.