Sunday, August 19, 2018

Regret?


My one regret
Was the puniness
Of my rebellion.
I did not set my searing star
In a place that strained to reach,
But kept my comfort;
Smiling when I should have shouted,
Wriggling out
Of the challenge set too hard.
Being a daffodil
When I should have been a tree.

Only now I know
That daffodils, too, have courage,
Bringing hope
In the time of shearing wind.
It is better to sing feebly
Than be silent altogether;
And I still can learn to shout!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Blossom


The hour of blossom:
Fragility,
Pink-petalled,
Clings to the bough,
Till any breeze
Disperses,
Spreading wide,
The promise that is Spring.

And we,
Thin-skinned,
Cold-whipped
Lift up our eyes;
For beauty
Has visited again.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

How long, O Lord?


Dark waves turn all to waste
As they have done before;
Despair leaves a thick taste
And pain is at the door.

Injustice slinks around
And snatches here and there:
A paw-print on the ground,
A cold stench in the air.

No matter what we try,
A sense of helplessness;
With no tears left to cry,
For tears are powerless.

Can prayers reach past the clouds,
The skies that hem us in?
Our words fold in like shrouds,
Our breath begins to spin …

A world of futile pain,
A heartless, bitter place
Where loss comes after gain
And laughter seems misplaced.

Yet, patient on his throne
The King of Heaven waits
Still caring for his own
Still bringing in his saints.

Still waiting through the night
Until the stars shall flee:
The coming of the light,
His bright eternity.

And, till that day shall rise
When justice is complete,
Birds still sing in the skies,
Grass still grows round our feet.

And grace, his precious grace,
Through every rainbow glows;
And there is still a place
Where mercy ever flows.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Today I weep for the children


Today I weep for the children,
The captives of human bitterness,
Too young for any crime;
Sundered, caged, denied,
Ripped from all human decency
And pointing to our guilt.

Today I weep for the children,
Pawns of the politics of hate,
The playthings of our greed,
Objects of lust,
The torn and the broken,
The trampled least-of-these.

Today I weep for the children,
The victims of our systems
Detritus of a throw-away society,
Conveniently out of sight,
Abandoned to the predators
And crucified again.

Today I weep for the children
Desperately seeking
For the words they don’t yet have
To name their dreadful sorrow,
To remind us
What was said about a millstone and the sea.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Acceptance (after Schubert)


Here falling leaves
Drop,
Drop,
A coverlet of peace
On summer’s weariness.
We have a need of Autumn.

And here, where winter
Barely takes its turn,
We seek our rest
Before the upswing comes;
The giddy cycle
Growing shorter every year.

Let us give thanks,
Here in darkness,
Claiming peace before light comes:
When we are uprooted
There is treasure underneath.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Listening to Schubert


No pillow for your head, no rest on earth,
The broken heart can find no bandage here;
But a rich vein of beauty opens wide,
And a sweet stream of loveliness sings clear.

No haunting night of devils and fell things
Holds you entire, another siren song,
Born from translucent joy, gives spirit wings
And touches glory all the while you long.

Therefore embrace through feared mortality
Love is its own reward, though your self breaks;
For we are broken that love may come in
And give far more the very while it takes.

And though such tears may spring, and endless spring
From the deep rupture of our loneliness,
Love still! Embrace the sharpened blade! Its sting
Is mercy’s rescue from our fruitlessness.

We sing the songs of ashen pilgrimage
With fumbling lips and throats parched raw with pain,
But where our voices fail, the angels take
Our prayers, and garnish them with hope again.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

These are the Ones


Here is the time, here is the place.
These are the ones that need our grace:
These are the ones washed up on bitter shores.

These are the ones whose tears and pain
Drown in the unrelenting rain:
These are the ones whose hands reach out in vain.

These are the ones who haunt our dreams,
We block our ears against their screams:
These have no home upon the bountied earth.

These are the ones we cast aside,
(We are the great self-justified):
These who are out of sight are out of mind.

These are the ones we cannot face
As we deny our common race:
We turn our backs but cannot flee the shame.

These are the ones we put on hold,
Each with a soul more dear than gold:
Thus is our birthright cheaply bought and sold.

These are the ones – Lord hear their cries!
Silence our cold, pathetic lies:
Let there be justice for the least of these!

These are the ones, and we are they
Who took their human rights away:
Lord, let your kingdom come today!