Like a cancer, we spread across the land,
stretching ourselves to the furthest extent,
in our beautiful, mysterious home.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
There’s a better way of living:
one that doesn’t exploit
We can live
upon the land:
This good gift from the God
who loves us even though
we are bent toward wreckage,
who sees us in our quiet and our despair,
who knows us in our ugly and sublime,
who calls us to be filled
as new creations
That is our only hope.
That is our only path forward.
As a new kind of humanity.
I can’t quite remember when it first began,
but I’ve returned to the practice again and again.
I write out my prayers in ink on a page,
but I simply write over the previous days.
Words cover words, and colors collide.
But God sees and He knows all the meaning inside.
I can never go back to recover what’s written,
can’t gather the words or take back what I’ve given.
The Trustworthy One reads sense in this riot
of thinking and inking, of words in the quiet.
Even when all of my ink pots are empty,
and despair has arisen in darkness to tempt me,
my God will still hear me and read what I’ve penned
though no marks are made with the pen in my hand.
Punch me through with holes!
Make room in me for you
and me in you.
that we might live in me.
I and You
with no barrier between.
Holes pierce me
Each goes deep,
loosing what’s within.
It pours from me,
rich and thick and beautiful.
It cuts through the haze
and whirl around me,
setting off each shade
of the brand new sky.
These holes, you see,
expose the me,
that no one else
can grasp or see:
that is made
This is where I belong:
Amongst the birds
and skittish squirrels.
Out here where wind
through leaves is more
common than human voices,
where the noise is a susurrus
that does not break
but amplifies it,
and makes it more
This quiet is not silent,
and is better for being filled.
I wonder if the quiet of God’s voice might flow from non-coercion. God will not force our hand, and so he will not shout. God will not demand our attention, will not force himself upon us.
And noise is a kind of force. It demands attention, distracts us, and forces its way through our defenses. God speaks for all who would hear, but does not draw attention to it.
The speech of God is no assault.
I am limited.
Closed and constrained by many things:
the “law” of diminishing returns,
I am bounded by abundance.
A world spun out in space
with all it needs for everyone to thrive.
There is more than enough to go around,
if only we could see it so.
If only we would see it so.
And so, these words fall
from open hands.
My small share.
These few seeds cast
in faith and hope and love
into the dirt
to see what grows.
Words sown like those
that spoke forth everything
in a concussion of sound
splitting the silence like an atom
to irradiate the nothing
with all this abundant gratuity
Words, small as seeds,
sown in good soil
can change everything.
They have before
and will again.
There will always be more
We sow echoes
that somehow bring new things.
There is a grief beyond words,
found in this tomb.
The Giver of Life
and Defeater of Death
and lies here
shrouded and buried.
The hillside’s open maw
has swallowed not just my Lord’s body –
broken and bloodied by senseless torture –
but also every last scrap of my hope.
So here I’ll sit
in the dark outside His tomb,
for the loss of his light
and the death of my dreams.
What else can I do?
Who can do for my Lord
what he did for others?
Who but he can reach
down into death
and raise him up to life again?
Who but he?
Time is a creature too
with energy and motion
of its own,
and though life in time
sometimes it screams,
moving so fast it seems more than I can manage to
to welcome you in
and give you space
in the time that is mine
only because it is given.
Not a currency.
Not a thing
that can be bought or spent.
at this time
and in this place,
I offer to you
what was freely given
to be heard.
They frolic in the sky above
with endless, boundless glee
as sunlight shines on feathered wings:
the birds don’t know we’re quarantined.
Their freedom is not limited
by laws or broad decrees,
and so they fly without constraint:
the birds can’t know we’re quarantined.
They perch on fences with their friends
to chirp and chat so free,
but when I look they fly away:
the birds may know we’re quarantined.
They sing their songs with silver tune
and dance upon the trees
as if they mean to lift my soul:
the birds must know we’re quarantined.
From the House of Measures and Great Mystery
you call me by name and invite me to see
the wonders of atoms, of quarks, and of pi,
of mass and of motion, of trees and the sky.
To the House of Measures and Great Mystery
I saunter and ramble, I stagger and flee
to learn from the mystics and scientists too,
to read fact and fiction and find both are true.
By the House of Measures and Great Mystery
a river encircles an ancient fruit tree.
The river’s like crystal, the fruit is in season
in winter and summer, by faith and by reason.
In the House of Measures and Great Mystery
I hear you whisper mercy to me.
Where all is given and all is grace
you hand me a mirror to show me my face.
Past the house filled with people, with bread, and with wine
rich country unfolds and no map marks its line.
Abundant and fertile, it’s wide and it’s free
for it’s rife with both measures and great mystery.
For those out there who enjoy my poetry and would like to see me write more of it (and help me to do so), I’m working on setting up a Patreon page. I’ll link to it from the blog when it’s up and running.