Monday, May 30, 2016

Cross yourself

Cross yourself         

Cross yourself – routinely,
in whatever form customary –

puja, zikr, mea culpa;
yarmulke, psalter, prayer,

kusti, damru, nembutsu, suf . . . .
Cross yourself – quietly, discreetly;

go against the grain. 
Apply deeper wisdom,

a farther vision, visceral caution. 
Keep your balance to help

balance the world around you.
Cross yourself, o traitorous one,

and you may find after so long a time,
crossing yourself befriends the Friend –

befriends the Christ, the Other,
the One, befriends your Self.

O child of God, give only advice gingerly
gleaned from the words of the Master.
(photo from the Vespasian Psalter -
King David and his musicians - Wikipedia)

Monday, May 23, 2016

The unfolding answer

The unfolding answer              
To a man of faith, life itself
is the unfolding answer to all prayers.

Pain, fright is there – but not
anxiety; loss but not grief;

failure without disappointment;
solitude without loneliness;

death (they say) without termination.
On the tip of the bow,

a man of faith is serenely poised
to receive, to pass along

only what he’s given; responsible
for nothing but vigilance and acquiescence.

He gets the big picture, though as yet,
is unable to grasp the details.

Less than a hair’s breadth (the Masters say),
separates heaven from earth –

it requires an unhanding, an atrophy of judgment,
a relinquishment of presumption.

Life itself to a man of faith
is the unfolding answer to all prayers.

O child of God, give anything, everything,
life itself, to become a man of faith.
(photo by a1961184127 @ pixabay)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Light and lofty

Light and lofty              

The linnet bird touts
its high wire wisdom 

without contention, knowing
not enough to be consequential –

a statement of conditions,
not a song of complaint or praise.

Brilliant, this moment of sunlight
in the glen on its warm,

feathered, bird-boned back,
a smidgen of bliss

far as the breeze will carry. 
How light and lofty

to be inconsequential,
above all, in God’s corner

singing in, of and for the blue sky
and the wide green world

not one qualified, discordant,
contestable note.

O child of God, trade in your intuitive discernment
for the clean abandonment of not-knowing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The joy of breath

The joy of breath

It’s like sewing the torn seam
of a treasured jacket –

needle pushed in, pulled out
to patch the rend that lets the chill in

and the warmth escape.  You might say
His name with each stroke if you’ve a mind to

and go through the day
with mercy in your throat;

like a swinging gate awhisper on well-oiled hinges –
you keeping a nearby watch

to chronicle the traffic, follow your thoughts
where you will and leave off where you must –

stand and observe the lone traveler
disappearing against the sky.

Wherever you end up, the gate will follow,
ready for you to take up your post again.

You won’t change much – just become
less and less, fewer chased-down desires,

rash decisions, careless attachments.
O seamster, name-dropper, sentinel, spy!

holy, holy witness, knowing only the moment,
inside and out, and the primal joy of breath!

O child of God, will you ride the ox or
chase forever behind its random wanderings?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016



Easier these latter years to be content
with everyday chores, ordinary mind

knowing its once distracting visions
come to naught at best, heartache more;

that flailing away at ourselves redeems not
the future, serving only to entrench

even further the recalcitrant self. 
All life’s conflicts are resolved here –

in the sparrow’s wing, the hand on the plow,
the hammer of the bell, the eternally shifting now.

Consuming our simple breakfast,
strolling the April garden, a tune

sung in the quiet dusk - a cul-de-sac,
not a crossroads of judgments, decisions;

regrets and desires, realized or thwarted.
No running out of time here.

Thoroughly encountering the mundane,
the mundane becomes unworldly,

extraordinary, no sacrifice –
enough, enough, more than enough.

O child of God, whatsoever thy hand findeth to do,
rest assured, it has just left the fingertips of God.
(photo by adrianaromundo - pixabay)