Anaesthesia

You were looking the other way
while I was distracted
by stacks, and stacks, and stacks
of things.

Disconnected,
just a highly organized
pile of rubble,
really.

Grasping
for some sense
of control,
I ask for information.

Scheduling
my death
as a dentist appointment.

Endings, you say,
are not so important
as sustained beginnings
in a single direction.

Pain
is how life
comes into the world.

Looking away
to not see
blood is the path
that leads to bloodshed.

Bear
with life
and all
it offers.

Then,
and only then,
will you begin
to make an end.

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.