A Covid Ode

Do ever you wonder

What threw us asunder

While chasing the lightning

Outclamoring thunder?


A tiny contagion

Drop by drop passing

Each breath off-gassing

Infections amassing


Did your breath catch

When the world hit the brakes

And calendars snapped, and dumped out their dates


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


At some hour we turn to our beds, sleep claiming

All protestation, all thought, all blaming

Theories, conjectures, outrage, upbraiding








#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.









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.


There’s Not Enough of Me


There’s Not Enough of Me

There’s not enough of me,

To be all you need and want,

And that phone call goes unanswered today.


I can’t read a book to you just now, see,

The soup won’t make itself and your belly needs filled

Almost as much as your heart does.


You wanted to Skype for an hour or two,

But just that day my heart was grief-sick and

I didn’t have any water for thirsty you.

I needed to lay right out on the floor

and cry it out,

“Lord, have mercy”.

Dear School,

I didn’t volunteer for that teacher’s baby shower, nor that Easter craft,

I gave when I could but sometimes,

It really was too much and I had to fail you to keep me sane.

For every good gift I give to someone, there are a hundred

Precious souls who received nothing from me that day, that week, that month.

There’s not enough of me, see,

And the expectations bend me right over,

Near to breaking.

There’s enough Jesus though.

Even if you need to cut a hole through someone’s roof to get to Him.

Even if you need to seek Him out, secret-like, in the dark of night so you don’t lose face.

Even if you’re a someone who is a nobody to everyone.

Even if I fail you and fail you, He won’t.

There’s no good in me that didn’t come from Him.

Trace this mucky stream back to the spring, where the water runs pure and

Refreshes your soul.

There’s not enough of me,

You’ll have to forgive that and love past the imperfections and past the limitations and past the expectations.

Sometimes I can help, sometimes I just cannot.

Go higher up and deeper in,

Go to the Spring, the Fount, the Source, the Way, the Truth, the Life

And thirst no more.