Thursday, November 28, 2019

On This Shore

Reaches to this shore:
This partial place
Where broken monuments to stone-dead hopes
Stand in the rubble,
Foolishly restored
By men with solemn ribbons on their chains.

We, who have glimpsed,
Or dreamt,
A better light,
Flailing our way through scrambled pilgrimage,
With stone-grazed hands and shins,
Stubbed toes,
And count our wounds as worthy;
Give us strength
To travel further, harder,
To do more,
And to be unafraid of sitting still
Under the willows, where the old lyres hang,
Mourning our exile,
Mourning our own kind,
Waiting until the morning of Love’s lovely dawn,
Claiming the promised land here in the dark.

May all our tears be rain.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Learning Lament

We cannot speak the language of faith,
From the deepest place, the heart and the root of our being,
Till we learn the language of lament,
The language of our broken, needy world.

Yes, the gift is freely given,
But the road
Is still the path of pilgrimage
The Via Dolorosa,
Pursuing our Lord
And walking after him –
He who already holds us fast.

This is a world of stones –
Stone altars, stoning, stony wilderness,
The stone-hard hearts of men
Who only give
Hard stones instead of bread.

Down there, down there,
We must take the light,
The light that we have seen,
The Light who is our Love.
There in the dark
Take hold afresh
Of him,
Our only anchor place.
Reaching out
To grasp a flailing wrist,
Skeletal, dreadful,
A hand outreaching from the lowest place,
To where we stand on tears,
In tears proclaiming,
God is already here.

How can they know
Unless we walk the darkness by their side?

Monday, November 11, 2019

I have not yet learned to be old ...

I have not yet learned to be old:
My world
Glistens with sky-eyed wonder.
My heart
Still dances under the stars
Tasting moonlight;
While my feet,
Toe tangled in grass,
Wiggle to their own rhythm.

Laugh with me,
Bright leaves of spring,
Chortle the air with birdsong!
Search each storm
For rainbows!
Rest within the shade’s embrace,
Smiling at dandelions.

What is this thing called age?
Dull paint upon the body’s chariot?
An extra blanket in the howling wind?
A sorrow for the things that are no more?
A little pain?
A softness in the heart?

These shall not make me old,
Shall not defeat
My butterfly-skipping hopes,
The prayers that bind,
Fiercer than fierce,
To glories just beyond
My fingers’ reach.
I shall stretch out my sails
With hands that time has cobbled into knots,
To catch the dawn-wind of my Father’s love,
And steer to brave horizons,
Learn new songs,
And, open-handed, face both day and night.