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

There is a Vastness…


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

Something inside me
for the same greatness,
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,
and logic
does not come from me,
did not begin with me,
and will not end with me.

It never has,
and never will.


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

Bound by magnetism,
not gravity;
not necessity.

Pebbles worn smooth
by the passage of time:

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

the great civilization
in its very act
of creation.

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

Critical Mass

Hoc est corpus meum.
Et cum spirit tuo.
Critical Mass.
Missa cum populo.

The work of the people
in thrift store vestments,
home-made stoles,
Du Maurier incense.

Kneeling in the cloister
behind the record shop;
Approaching the altar
to receive:
Would you like fries with that?

Crack at coffee hour,
neither more nor less addictive.

Orthodox idolatry,
sacred profanity.

I heard your confession
when it was you
who should have forgiven me.


"Virgin's Monastery (benedictine nuns), Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil05" by Cláudio Pastro ; foto de Eugenio Hansen, OFS - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Virgin%27s_Monastery_(benedictine_nuns),_Petr%C3%B3polis,_Rio_de_Janeiro_State,_Brazil05.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Virgin%27s_Monastery_(benedictine_nuns),_Petr%C3%B3polis,_Rio_de_Janeiro_State,_Brazil05.JPG
“Virgin’s Monastery (benedictine nuns), Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil05” by Cláudio Pastro ; foto de Eugenio Hansen, OFS – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Outside. Beside.
Closer than expected.
Too close for comfort.

Gestures and visions.
Function, not nature.
Here, not there.

Grabbing my attention
directing it back:
Beside. Inside.

Height to height,
glory to glory,
deep calls out to deep.


Image by Taka. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Life gave
what I took
for my own.

I learned
how to seize
with the hands,
how to tear
with the teeth.

I learned
what it felt like
to touch with the lips,
to press with the tongue,
to be surprised by how much
came out
when I broke the surface,
to be covered with sweetness
all over my body.

Now I know.
It’s complicated.


What I took
is mine.

I’m learning
how to build
with the hands,
how to hold nails
with the teeth.

Cleaning up
is never
as much fun
as messing up.

is never
as cathartic
as demolition.

Nails and wood
are not the same thing
as a tree.

They have no power
to give life.

I’m learning
what it feels like
to be covered with sweat
all over my body.


What I made
gave life.

It was an accident.
Nobody meant for it to happen
this way.
It just seemed like a good idea
at the time.

The hands that learned
to seize and build.
The teeth that learned
to tear and hold.
The facsimile of a tree.

I wasn’t expecting it
to be alive
when I broke the surface.

I was surprised by how much
came out
and covered me with blood
all over my body.

More forgetting
than learning
this time.

Not taken
for my own,
but given
by another.

Turn Aside

By Audrey from Central Pennsylvania, USA (Daisy Drops Uploaded by Fæ) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Turn aside to the whole on fire:

Consuming, consumed
Unassuming, assumed
And so, beyond consumption
And so, breaking all assumptions.

In stillness, an explosion
In silence, a voice
Chain reaction

Thousands of miles, even millions
Millennia, maybe forever
Light and color in the mind
Take off your shoes.

Let them go
Let them be
Ice irradiated
Becomes humble

And some of it fell on me.

A Psalm of Lament

Oxbow Bend outlook in Grand Teton National Park. Image by Michael Gäbler. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.

To love is to live

with an open heart,

a broken heart.

To give of oneself until empty.

To not grasp equality.

To devalue oneself.

To give to what only knows how to take.

To be the apple tree picked clean.

To be swallowed by darkness.

To be spent but not touched.

To play the whore and the virgin at the same time.


He did it.

Don’t mythologize.

Don’t romanticize.

Don’t let him be dismissed so easily.

He is the cheap trick,

the unfulfilled desire,

the itch you can’t scratch,

the pain that passeth understanding,

the walk like blues.

He is dead,

and gone,

and never coming back.



Is that what you think?

Son, you talk an awful lot,

but maybe you should listen:


An unfamiliar voice.

A deer crossing the road in front of me.

A chipmunk on his way to do something (apparently) very important.

A bee otherwise occupied.





Hot breath, 93 million miles old.

Cold fingers brushing past my cheek and through my hair.

A passion play:



in motion.

Seeds of new life:

Sarah’s laughter knocked loose after 90 years or more.

The atmosphere is full of it.

What is it called?

Where is it from?

I don’t even know,

except to say



All of this is not an answer,

except to a question

I have not yet learned to ask.

It is neither an ending nor a beginning.

It is only a moment.

Descent Into Sanity

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.




Note: I recently discovered that I unintentionally plagiarized this poem.  Call it a case of unconscious memory.  When I first wrote this post, I thought it was original to me, but then I went back and picked up the book Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr and found this same poem within its pages.  Oh, the embarrassment!  So, mea culpa: this poem is not original to me, but can be found on page 62 of Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr.  Apologies.