Monday, April 29, 2019

The Duchamp Exhibition

Here broken are the ancient unities,
Assumptions all undone.
Loki descends again:
Jokester, trickster,
Eternal disrupter,
Planting one foot in chaos –
The necessary counter
To the finished and correct.

My disturbance is your art,
My response, my resolution,
Seeking meaning below the madness
(Sometimes the well is dry).
All of us bear this quest,
Or die from lack of questing.
So, though you dazzle,
I will not deflect:
One thread of truth
Holds all the spinning world
And love is not enough,
Until it’s all.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Easter at the Waterfall

Down from above it comes,
The plashing, living stream
Pure as the rain’s sweet breath,
Wild as your secret dream.

Down it flows out of sight
Down to the hidden place
Knowing it came from light
Knowing it falls with grace.

Abundance watering
Those who know not its source
Still bringing life downstream:
Love gives without remorse.

So all my days you pour
Mercy abundantly:
May I give as you give,
In your provision free.

And, as you rose again
Out of death’s darkest night,
Through every doubt and fear
May I await your light.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

In Darkness

Are all the deepest things in darkness done?
In the black silence,
The hidden places,
The wombs of our becoming.
Or the seed beneath the soil?
Or the secret shadows
Where deeds of shame unfold:
The things we dare not see?

And the face of the sun was hidden
Lest we behold his pain
No mortal eyes could bear;
Lest we behold our shame
Before we knew
The sweet kiss of forgiveness.
And men cried out in fear.

Then, in the darkness,
Behind the mighty stone,
In the womb of our restoration,
Life returned:
Not with a tentative shoot,
Testing for frost.
Life unconstrained,
Sharper than galaxies,
Fiercer than our wildest joy,
Meeting us everywhere
The dark would pin us down.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Last Supper

He spoke the wine before the blood.
He spoke the death that was to be
He spoke it to twelve wondering men
And, in his mercy, spoke to me.

He knelt and washed their puzzled feet
He knelt beneath the olive tree
Embracing all the dreadful dark
My servant God laid down for me.

He took the yeastless bread and broke
Before the nails were driven through
And still his broken people come
For only he can make us new.

That cup of blessing which he blessed,
The cup which only he could drink
The cold, dark horror of our sin,
The depths of death where we must sink:

He knew, and in his knowing chose,
And drank it down, and took our place,
We taste our healing in his gift,
And raise our eyes to seek God’s face.

He gave the feast who is the feast,
Our exodus, our paschal lamb;
Our Moses and our great high priest,
God absolute, the great I Am.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Attempting poetry

To take one word
From the rubble of my thoughts
And give it wings to reach
Another’s heart.

To hear the music
Under the music
And play it back
In lucent syllables

To reach for the far thing
And find it
To struggle into joy
Because it hides
Between one breath
And the next.

To wrestle with holiness
In Jabbok-like defeat
And sing
With crippled tongue.

Learning to let go
In order
To hold on

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

He is the one who comes

He is the one who comes
Into our darkest place
Not with transcendent light
But with an aching grace.

He is the one who comes
Into our tearless pain
And, in that numb, stark place
Wakes us to life again.

He is the one who comes
When no Hosannas ring
With one pure chiming note
Teaching us how to sing.

He is the one who comes
Softer than a caress
Touching our gaping wounds
With his own wounds that bless.

He is the one who comes
Lifting up all we are
Bearing us all the way
Unto the morning star.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Why do birds matter?

(Inspired by a headline on a magazine cover that asked this question)

Why do birds matter? Why?
How could a world so be
Where birdsong never trilled
From each surrounding tree?

Where parrots never squawked
In colours like a jewel,
Nor eagles rode the sky
With talons sharp and cruel?

No mother ducks to teach
Their little fluffs to swim?
Nor swallows in their dance
Who dart and turn and skim?

No terraces bedecked
With peacocks’ wondrous tails,
No kookaburra glee
When our own laughter fails?

No question-mark-necked swans
To grace each lake or stream,
No flash of brilliant wings
To teach us how to dream?

No tender nests to show
Us safety when we cry,
No tossing from the nest
To teach us how to fly?

No albatross to claim
The wild waves as its home,
Secure with its own wings
However far it roam?

And how else could we learn
The deepest truth of all:
How much we’re loved by him
Who marks each sparrow’s fall?