On meeting again

February 13, 2017 at 10:14 pm (Poetry) ()

God, petulant,

Berates me this morning,

Where’ve you been? What took you so

Long? I’ve been waiting for

HOUUUUUUUUUURS!

Look how tall I’ve grown in your absence

I

Almost

Reach

The sky

Blue-ombre tunic twirls

– The master is proved right,

Whirls like a Golden Compass

Beyond all that is Rational –

I cleared the room

So it would just be

Us

When we met

Again

(See the faces peering out from behind

Bannister-mountains, whispering, Is that her?)

– Everything in Existence

Does point

to God –

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On gold

July 21, 2015 at 5:33 am (Poetry) (, , )

Someone

got into the special paints this morning.

(The ones kept on top of the fridge, behind the cereal and last week’s mail)

Stood on tippy-toes and

stretched her hand

up up up

til

she was impossibly tall.

As guilty fingers touched eternity – teetered, overbalanced –

light splattered

across the kitchen floor.

Everyone knows who did it;

The Creator’s fingertips are still stained

gold.

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on new hobbies

July 21, 2015 at 5:22 am (Poetry) (, , )

It seems while I was away

God took up a new hobby

leaving love letters I read while driving to work.

(Perhaps if I look under the bed, I’ll find a shoebox filled with them

and be shocked that He’s been doing it for years.

What a conversation that would be!)

I guess He was secretly spying on me

that time I sat on a bench in MOMA

captivated by iridescence.

So the Creator asked Monet to teach Him how to paint a sunrise.

I think He’s feeling quite pleased with His technique.

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NaPoWriMo Day 8 – Calligram

April 12, 2015 at 12:03 pm (Poetry) ()

And now for something completely different…

Our prompt for the day (optional, as always) plays of our resources. Today, I challenge you to write a visual poem. If that’s not specific enough, perhaps you can try your hand at a calligram? That’s a poem or other text in which the words are arranged into a specific shape or image. You might find inspiration in the famous calligrams written by Guillaume Apollinaire. And a word to the wise — the best way to cope with today’s exercise may well be to abandon your keyboard, and sit down with paper and pen (and maybe crayons or colored pencils or markers!)

SLOWS

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NaPoWriMo Day 7 – Palinode

April 11, 2015 at 4:31 am (Poetry) (, )

Today I challenge you to write a palinode. And what’s that? It’s a poem in which the poet retracts a statement made in an earlier poem. You could take that route or, if you don’t have an actual poetically-expressed statement you want to retract, maybe you could write a poem in which you explain your reasons for changing your mind about something. It could be anything from how you decided that you like anchovies after all to how you decided that annoying girl was actually cool enough that you married her.

I
said I couldn’t run
The last time I tried
I was 9
and by the time I crossed the finish
line
adults were packing up the hotdogs.
Today I ran 5 kilometers.

I
said I couldn’t grow things
The last time I tried
I killed 2
cactus’s. You know the kind they say
can’t die?
I drowned them.
Today I ate kale from my garden.

I
said I couldn’t write regularly
As if words could flow on demand.
As if I were 3.
All it takes is a little
discipline.
Today I celebrate a week of poems.

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NaPoWriMo Day 5 – Heaven has different signs

April 6, 2015 at 7:00 am (Poetry) (, )

Find an Emily Dickinson poem – preferably one you’ve never previously read – and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it!

Heaven” has different signs to me
Sometimes, I think that earth
Is but a sidebar to the Place
But when again, in Sorrow,

A mighty sigh runs round the World
And settles in my stomach
A Resentment, As if creation groaning
should be a stagewhisper like that

Upon the Ignomy steals a Thought
That when the promise of the hereafter is a Triumph
When death together becomes cause for Victory
And makes Some rejoice for the promise of Eternity

When the Rapture of an (un)finished Day
And Turning away from this now-unrest
All for the promise of the place
That Men call “paradise”

When “Heaven” Itself is fairer, preferable, to this present darkness
I prefer that Kingdom-come should not be Adored,
And held for a Superior Grace
Than Thy Kingdom come on earth

As it is In heaven.
Even the Not yet, Our eyes can see

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NaPoWriMo Day 4 – Love

April 5, 2015 at 2:49 pm (Poetry) (, , )

I suppose it might
Smell less like roses and more
Like mowing the lawn.

I suppose it might
Sound less like poems and more
Like please, thanks, sorry.

I suppose it might
Taste less like champagne and more
Like warm morning breath.

I suppose it might
Be less inevitable
Than we imagined.

I suppose.

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on words before time

March 13, 2014 at 5:26 pm (Poetry) (, , , , , )

I.

I (*pause, inhale deeply, sigh it out*) am in love.

These words?

Ignited me.

Burned in me before I’d ever heard them uttered..

These words?

Isolated me.

Marooned me till I, woman, became an island, impossible and glorious.

Their cadence?

Tore through my soul and re-introduced me to myself.

Spoke my humanity.

Sung my desire.

Whispered my heartache.

Shouted my fury.

Caressed my soul.

These words breathed me into being.

From words I was formed and to words I return.

I love their all in all.

Power conveyed to nothing-me

to grasp the intangible,

to describe the invisible,

to fold into myself the inevitable,

and lay at your feet the indescribable.

Oh, but how I hate.

I hate that these immutable words preempt my every thought.

I hate that these interminable words spoke me before I ever uttered them.

I hate that these words were before me and before all time.

I hate how they have been spun and caressed,

wooed and seduced,

breathed out and breathed in a billion times before my first.

Every word.

Every line.

Every intimation of intimacy

Sucked out of them til I.

I am left breathless,

Speechless.

Wordless.

Powerless.

Each expansive, enigmatic, enticing utterance leaves me

envious, embittered, and empty

Words, promised me, cheated on me,  failed me

Words, leave me panting, anticlimatic

As all the passion seeps from my soul, my marrow, my lips

Until I am silent and still.

Mellifluous and cacophonous.

Ellipses to the eternal noise

of words, words, words

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on cherry blossoms

February 20, 2014 at 2:02 pm (Poetry) (, , , , )

Why do cherry blossoms in this neighborhood surprise me?

As if grace is insufficient

As if hope is impotent

As if love is insipient

As if mercy cannot triumph over judgment

As if dancers cannot dance upon injustice

As if redemption is a lie; restoration a myth

As if the dividing wall of hostility were never torn down

As if sorrow will last beyond the night

and joy is stifled by the morning

As if we are not truly being changed from glory to Glory

As if only some things are brought together under Him

As if the rocks do not shout out

and the trees no longer clap their hands

As if death never lost its sting

As if the grave was victorious

As if darkness dispels light

As if the oil of gladness slips over and past these rivers of mourning

As if the fullness of Him who fills all things, leaves these streets dry and empty

As if there is no freedom for these oppressions

and the cords of these yokes cannot be loosened

As if these chains cannot be broken

As if there is no reconciliation for these divides

As if there is no provision for these griefs

As if there is no garment to cloak these despairs

As if beauty cannot replace even these ashes

 

As if roots cannot push their way up through this concrete

As if life cannot break forth unexpectedly

And be magnificantly, phenomenally, shockingly unsurprising

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on bound wrists

November 16, 2013 at 10:17 pm (Poetry) (, , , , , , )

My wrist is bound by lines and strokes of an ancient language. The form of these letters call what is not into being. The words speak to the Word. In the beginning was the word; In the beginning….God. The earth, formless and empty, darkness over the surface of the deep. The Word with God. The Word: God.

God said.

God-Word. Words-Formed. Form-Created. Spoken forth; spoken form.

These words, wrapped ever-round my wrist, are my hoped for spoken-form spoken forth. My mantra. The sounds, the words capable of “creating transformation”. Not because of any power they possess in themselves but because the Word in me can breathe them into life. In my life. They are the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart.

שלום. This  shalom around my wrist, this peace, is not merely the absence of war or discord. It is not marked by what it is not. It is defined by what is present.  This shalom is wholeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony.  It is rich and deep. This shalom is life complete and perfect. Paid in full, life to the full. Creation as it was created to be when the Word spoke and there was light. Created restored to Creation. Creation restored to the Creator. The word speaks to the Word. He himself is our Shalom, who has made the two one, destroying the dividing wall of hostility. God reconciles us to himself through this Shalom. We are given the same vocation of reconciliation. This God-Word is given as our mantle, our mantra. It becomes the meditation of our heart, the words of our mouth, capable of creating transformation as the Word, Shalom, breathes us into life to the full, into shalom. These words, this shalom around my wrist, reminds me to seek life-to-the-full – the redemption and reconciliation – of, for and in the places I find myself, because in its shalom I find Shalom.

צדק. This tzedek around my wrist, this justice, is not merely the absence of corruption or oppression. It is not marked by what is not. It is defined by what is present. This tzedek is right standing,  righteousness, generosity, equity, concern, mercy,  reparation, restoration and redemption. It is rich and deep. This tzedek is a life of right relationships. Righteous, relationship to the full. Creation as it was created to be when the Word spoke. Created restored to Creation. Creation restored to the Creator. The word speaks to the Word. He himself is our Tzedek, our justice, our Righteousness rolling down like rivers, like an ever-flowing stream. God maintains our cause, acting justly and mercifully toward us. We are are given the same vocation of justice. This God-Word is given as our mantle, our mantra. It becomes the meditation of our heart, the words of our mouth, capable of creating transformation as the Word, Tzedek, breathes us into right relationships, into tzedek. These words, this tzedek around my wrist, reminds me to seek relationships enacted in fairness, generosity and equity. To pursue justice and love mercy. To pursue reparation and restoration of, for and in the relationships I find myself a part of.

My wrist is bound by lines and strokes of an ancient language. The form of these letters call what is not into being. The words speak to the Word. These words, wrapped ever-round my wrist, are my hoped for spoken-form spoken forth. My mantra. The sounds, the words capable of creating transformation. Not because of any power they possess in themselves but because the Word in me can breathe them into life. In my life. They are the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart.These words bound as symbols on my hand remind me not just to be peaceful and to be just but to do shalom and do tzedek. To seek to enact the wholeness, harmony, and fullness of life given through Christ and to pursue right standing, fairness, generosity and equity in all my relationships and spheres of life. 

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