Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Sadness of Holy Saturday

Through the moonless night
clouds choke receding light

and the world descends
into darkness.

Where are you
as winter's chill pierces my hands? 

Oh, where have you gone? 

Do you not care that I decay
without your gentle breath,
that without your light 
I wane like the failing sun?

Why have you abandoned me?

Through my tears I see 
two millennia of agony, 
the six million slain,
all the fallen generations
newly free, heavy nails 
at last released. 

(for James Foley, 8/19/2014)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Crow on a Branch

Crows rise and drop
in the high redwood tree
arguing, competing
to see who would light
on the top-most limb,
as thin branches, bending
under their weight, waver
and bow

when suddenly
one raucous crow
comically falls.

Cawing, the clumsy black bird
beats out his own breeze,
and rises again
to the argument.


    Friday, August 15, 2014

    Peaceful Evening

    Like a dark tower,
    my window looms;

    ebony night waits
    just a step away.

    Deep silence
    consumes empty spaces
    in the tall trees

    where breezes sing
    in the joyful morning.

    My feeble lamp
    can only reach
    a few feet out

    and sets
    the pale grass

    as glimmering ghosts
    softly search
    for peace.

    But peace
    can be uneasy

    and stillness signify


    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

    The Bridge at Rio Vista

    The bridge stands low
    over the swollen

    black water,
    rushing to
    darker seas,


    sucking breath
    from the fallen,
    the overboard,

    the suicide.

    Its sturdy stanchions,
    hold fast,

    give refuge
    from the maelstrom,

    a way across

    or a place
    to jump.

    Monday, August 11, 2014


    Rocks carelessly cast
    from granite hills,

    trapped by gravity and time,
    slant skyward,

    knives pointed at the throat
    of heaven.

    Like God’s memory this desert stretches
    beyond our ken.

    Ten-thousand cliffs rise from the level bed,
    of a forgotten sea;

    long ago in steam it rose
    and jet-stream borne,

    races through unmeasured time
    in endless storm.

    Friday, August 8, 2014


    "She (Wisdom) is in all things like the air receiving the sunlight.  
    In her they prosper.  In her they glorify God.  In her they rejoice 
    to reflect Him.  In her they are united with him. " 
                                                                                           Thomas Merton

    striated layers of time
    rise sharply to the sky, 
    and flatten out 
    against anchoring blue
    ages of rain and wind 
    and pain. 

    we are
    the air receiving sunlight, 
    shattering the long night
    on smooth, warm stone

    we are 
    the morning joy
    of earth, wisdom
    of eternal

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014


    We walk secure, grounded, heavy, oblivious,
    safe from perplexing weightlessness,
    unlike Life Savers candies on Atlantis spinning theatrically
    as glittering Las Vegas floats beneath,
    or those rusty spherical droplets
    of Tang, humorlessly drifting over the Indian Ocean;
    we are safe even as Kubrick's treacherous computer,
    tenderly releases the cradled voyager to drift reeling away,
    receding, smaller and smaller, no longer a man,
    a fading star, and then just gone,
    unclaimed even by the false gravity
    of his mother-ship.

    Yes, we are safe because she holds us tightly, binds
    us with unseen, loving coils, lest we range to adventures
    too high, too dangerous,
    too unnatural;
    the bungee jumper, skydiver, snowboarder, eventually all learn
    her love is costly,
    and even tired, timid professors shudder
    when top floor classrooms into basement labs fall;

    then, with violent, jerking movement,
    her jealous love pulls us, prize seed all,
    into the deep, cool soil of newly furrowed cities,
    Chendgu, Port-au-Prince, Santiago, Christchurch,
    San Francisco,

    and Gravity, jealous lover, finally claims us as her own when
    in the recesses of our graves we wait,
    germinal, for the static earth again
    ardently to quake.