Echo and Rock

Echo and Rock

According to mercy

The children of God

Run, laughing into woods

Echo pursuing

Ducking under branches

Reaching to touch the lips still wet

With breath

That sent it forth

Smashing through

Colliding with the rocks

Who sent it back

In play, in volley

Will you make it back to me again, Echo?

Taunts the ageless rock

Born to wear lichen

Face shearing and calving

As pass thousands of years

But Echo ever visits

And for chief delight

The rock like a batter

Internally winds up

And cracks the faithful Echo

Back to the lips still wet from breath

And waits.

Strands

Strands

It is within this moment, see

All moments reach backward

And squeeze the hand

Of the one that came before

The other hand extended

To pass the baton of Present

To find itself now Past, 

Now bearing story.

So, as I said

It is within this moment

So brief and soon to fade 

To eye’s reach and skin’s touch

That so incongruently

We may, at any point

Ungrasp and unreach

Stretch time-loosed hands up

And pierce eternity 

Prayer, unbound by locks

Of minutes, hours, years

Flies outward, upward

And God inclines His ear

Speak, child

Love comes to meet you

I keep watch over the words

That come out of Time.

You are learning the way Home

The gossamer strands you tie to Me

Follow them when you die

When the dark huddles over you

And eyes no longer serve

Feel for the strands

And follow them out of Time

Bidding Past farewell and 

Say

I’m sorry 

For all the good I didn’t do

And the love I didn’t live

And shake free of Time’s tick and tock

And upend your pockets of numbers.

Gather forgiveness for what the locusts ate

And

In that moment, come.

A Reader’s Lament

A Reader’s Lament

Popping up, dropping down

And flashing from the margin

Look at me, look at this

Slinging sounds and catching fish

We know you want to read the news

But here darling, an ad for shoes.

I cannot read, I wail and gnash

Your stupid page is all awash

And know you that I always look away?

There’s words in here, you garish whore

Attention hog, cash-drunk bore

Substance lost in keno-blinking-flash.

Away with you, noisome beast

Hoarse hawker, attention leech

I shall not give you the satisfaction

Of commodifying my distraction

With appetite forsworn to sate

Choke on your own click bait.

Let It Die

Let It Die

It is okay to look Loss in the face

And reach out to run your hand along its cheek.

Sometimes it’s good to stare it in the eyes

And whisper “You wound, you always do.”

We drove past the family farm

A place we had no money to buy

And there it goes, to those with pockets deep and full

And I looked at Loss, my companion.

I lecture myself

To smother dreams, to stuff them away

To give no life to them

Do not look, do not hope

Let them die.

There was an 1800’s stone farmhouse on 10.5 acres

Deep windowsills, gleaming wood floors

A kitchen with a professional range

And long stone countertops.

I saw my children running through the woods

Playing in the stream

Curled up by the fireplace at night

I saw the scones lined up on that long counter

Tray after tray going into the oven

For the bed and breakfast guests the next morning.

The dream had curled around my heart

A dream I had no business having

I try you know

To stuff such into a box

But it’s hard to unwrap from my heart

To lift each tendril away when I’d rather embrace

The dream and move into it.

To box instead the sad Loss

And all of its shame and nausea

The way that it says

Nothing will change and you

Are pitiful. Ungrateful. Stupid.

I put the stone house

And all of its loveliness

And the scones, and the woods, and the crackle of the fire

Down into the box and

I let it die.

I don’t understand

And I don’t expect to

And more often than not I

Remember to live into the life I have with joy

But I will not pretend

That loss doesn’t stand beside me

And that my heart isn’t stacked

With boxes of dreams, dying.

Do Delight

Oh, but do

Do delight in home

And wrap a tattered blanket

Over tense shoulders

And run the loose threads

Through your fingers

Remembering the picnic

Blanket caught in a bramble.

The way the trees caught the laughter

And sent it skyward with uplifted boughs.

Virus, virus

But there’s the teapot whistling

And in every book is a door

To worlds unmasked, undistanced

Livable.

Bake that bread that your hands know

Strike light to wick and let

Softer colors throw back the shadows

Do delight, find light, fight.

Sick But How

Little can I bear to be parted

from crisp air’s edge

and light that has first passed

through branches.

The way of the chickadee

(do you know this?)

and the dry scrape of skidding leaves

and the fleeting heat of sun between clouds.

The damp is seeping into my sweatshirt

and a passerby might think

that I’d fallen on my lawn, in trouble

but no, trouble led me to starfish here.

Days in my bed, but at peril to our heating bill

I cracked the window open

I reached my hand out to touch the snowflakes

I wanted the air that is alive.

How many lay abed, wondering

if a contagion from so far away

has nestled within their own bodies

or if it is a domestic invader, a routine bug.

I fill my lungs, testing them, and drink

with an eye towards the window

toward the chickadee handing upside down

from my window pane, inspecting.

A Covid Ode

Do ever you wonder

What threw us asunder

While chasing the lightning

Outclamoring thunder?

Well

A tiny contagion

Drop by drop passing

Each breath off-gassing

Infections amassing

So

Did your breath catch

When the world hit the brakes

And calendars snapped, and dumped out their dates

There

Spray, wipe, gel, and mask,

Fatalities counted, buried so fast,

And the news keeps ticking the count.

But also, attend…

Waving to neighbors with smiles so joyous

Seeing background as foreground, stranger as us

The world that lay hidden beneath all our hurry

It stares back and it smiles.

Chalk your walk, make a sign, bring a soup

Pour more wine

Call Grandma, stitch cotton, give food, sew a button.

Intubate, regulate, wince at sore ears

Hold up devices for last goodbyes through your tears.

Exhaustion deep-reigning, Zoom meetings so draining,

Where can I find toilet paper, oh where

Then

At some hour we turn to our beds, sleep claiming

All protestation, all thought, all blaming

Theories, conjectures, outrage, upbraiding

Quiet

 

 

 

 

 

 

#bloginstead: Party Line

It could bear any title

As long as it were free

To snap to position all parts

Notch into notch, smooth gears agreeing

Mind the party line.

 

Well, unwelcome shock

Well, intruding doubt

Well, whole heart half-living

Well, quiet now,

Mind the manual, chapter 14, article 11, clause 3A.

 

The important thing is to move

Move the machine

The machine deserves

Power, please don’t question

And turn off the light.

 

Are we making the Kingdom?

Hopeful gears think now and then

To themselves as they fit together

Click, click, click

The main thing is moving intone the machinists

Move your piece, forfeit peace, axel grease.

onebreah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#bloginstead: The Hermit’s Lament

I cannot wring water from stone

There is no kneading of air to make my bread

And words, like water, must have a source

 

There has never been a carrot tempting enough, perhaps

To make me pump for water, rather

Than spill what must overflow anyways

 

A writer…I cannot deny it

But, the joy is all in the spilled writing, see it?

The math of my exultation, thoughts+attention+neural acrobatics=a translation of what is, filtered through one soul, though small, bringing some light, some beauty

 

Well suited to be a hermit

Lend me a shovel, for I have a talent I’d like buried

Why?  It is easier.  What if I offered it and they said it had no light, no beauty?

 

Who can put out their own heart on the auction block?

Tell me, how do you get the hermit

To give her littlest light?  To give such small beauty?

 

IMG_0672

 

The Dishwasher’s Prayer

shortstory3She bent low, being tall

Light touched her face from the window, touched the bubbles

She was careful with the water

Don’t let it flow, don’t let it waste itself unheeded down the drain

She was careful with the soap

Dilution, always, mostly water

Shaken in the worn bottle, coaxing out suds

Your eye can see all this and then

Come, come around to the side and watch

Her lips which betray the words

Her heart is whispering to God

Have you seen eyes like that?

Seeing dishes and Heaven, at once?

Come away now

Here is every goodness at once

And we too must begin.