Photo credit: Artifactuprising.com

Going under

Watch her drift beyond shore’s edge

Body half risen, half submerged

Observed by faithfuls on the bank

Robed white as if for rapture.

Watch preacher dunk her under

The cool, murky shallow & up

Into searing midday sunlight.

Watch sisters receive her with

A towel & embraces 

like a newborn damp & alive.

Watch her take to the road alone

At service end, returning

To her own sacred ground that 

Heals scars water alone cannot

Cleanse, that full immersion cannnot

                                                                  Undo.

Oratorio

His return was 

not an Ode to Joy,

*

But a quiet oratorio 

publically unannounced.

*

She, a devoted fan, 

was his first listener

*

Reacting, at first, as one does 

to the loss of an old friend.

*

But his voice makes this new tune 

old for her again, resurrecting

lessons at his feet &

works of wonder & mercy.

*

His solo proclaims another hope 

implied in apologues & private revelations.

*

A pre-release track, so to speak,

promoting the real thing.

*

& she carries with her 

this comeback song

*

Ready to be heard by those

with ears to hear.

Cornerstones

This is an edited version of a poem that I recently published in Emmanuel College’s literary magazine “The Saintly Review.”

Twin-hilt spires 

loom above bodies 

that built them. 

The crucifix is  

a golden weight 

hauled to its apex 

throne. 

Osnaburg shirts hide 

taut arms &  

striped, glistening backs 

lifting oak shingles 

into place. 

On Sunday morning 

eyes watch mosaics 

reflect a hope, 

sacrifice greater than 

themselves. 

Beneath consecrated piety 

names hide in 

beating breasts of 

plastered bricks, aisle 

seats & nave. 

Leagues away absent 

bodies sway, hands 

raise in unbowed 

praise, souls convulse, 

enraptured in 

the mystery.

Neo Psalm II

Because I am

The ancient

Rock fence

Winding ’round

Pasture’s edge

Because I flow

As a rippling

Current over the

Lake’s broad back

Because I am the

Blue dasher

On the limp

Blade of grass

Because I Am

Because I am present

Here, in all things,

Even when no one

Looks or cares to listen.

Exit

The following piece is an edited version of my contribution to a collaborative effort called Poets for Peace on the blog ForgottenMeadows. To learn more and to contribute to the fabulous initiative, visit forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com.

When blood
Is a river

Drowning itself
Rage a wave

Self-harming in
Violent crests

You & I forge
Solace in the

Dove’s Oak
Branch alto

The swaying dance of
Resurrected blossoms

Stone parishes chanting
Vespers & intonations.

Together we dwell in &
Out of time

A present exit, so to speak,
From reverberating blasts

On breaking news abroad &
Popping clips & sirens nearby

Our space is  collected
in ourselves

In the union of
Our souls

Where we hold close,
At least for now,

In growing pains of
Our times.

#PoetsforPeace

Bog Side 


Bog Side

Enough peat cloisters here

To last a dozen summers.

Faced upward in rust-brown robes,

It clusters at the viewing in

Spring coffins of morn.

___

I observe them bog side as

Every ode to life must do:

In reverence, at water’s edge,

Mosquito & dragonfly

Humming requiems & eulogies

To sparse congregants in

Sharp shades of lime,

Cognizant of time

Descending as a shadow,

Prepping for a Second Coming.

Ascension

 

Ascension

As magnet urges back metal

Home ushered your re-entry.

You became an Anti-Icarus

Soaring to an azure beyond &

We, eclipsed in tremendum,

Tried dragging your presence

Down like an amber plastic piece

Tangled in the arms of crooked trees.

Fructum Vitis

Fructum Vitis 

Midday shadows converge on the

Grape that fell from the vine.

On fallow ground its crimson body is

Soiled by the loam, bruised by scattered

Rocks & roots, mocked by circling aves,

Disowned by the vineyard master himself.

In that noon hour, the grape is squashed by

A foreknown heel, its juice flowing out on

Fallow ground as shadows converge once more.

Dissonance

Dissonance

I lie at cistern’s end,
Sinking in iniquities.

My adversary observes,

Mocking my disgrace,

As reckoning rises like

Muck to my lips.

Yet the Light hauls me

From ruin’s approach,

bathes me in cleansing

flames & completes me

in its full embrace.