Tuesday, April 15, 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. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Denial of St. Peter


Caravaggio, The Denial of St. Peter

On the edge
hands clenched, 
sad eyes downcast
bitter fear forcing tight his lips
he holds his breath

he pauses
as the angry finger
of the state
points at his throat,
hard eyes searching Peter’s
indecision
for rash conviction;

but she, she knows
has seen before
his adoring eyes, heard his 
boastful voice
by the campfire
of the condemned.

Slowly he moves
toward the inevitable lie
as the bloody sun
stirs to song
the drowsy cock.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Miracle

“Come, dervishes: here is the water of life. Dance in it.”
Thomas Merton


The night looked bad.

Waves towered,
clouds racing
across the glaring moon,
the sea pounding out
all hope for their little boat,
when a ghost approached,
softly glowing,
impossibly walking across the
wet way.

Terror gripped them.

They saw grim Satan
striding across the waves
to take them down
to his watery hell,

But Peter,
truth clearing his fearful eyes,
saw His face, felt His peace
and, radiant with surging faith,
joyfully stepped over the side
to join his beloved Lord.

His feet touched the soft water.

It was like walking
through shallow puddles.

Lifting his legs
he moved slowly forward,

when looking down,
dark doubt
sucked him under
legs first,
then waist deep.

He cried, "Lord, save me!"

and thrusting his hands
to heaven,
he felt the strong grip raising him back
to life.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I've Never Been out to Sea

I've never been out to sea
though I've touched iridescent waves, 
flown over blue surf 
and played in safe, familiar bays
with dog-eyed seals and
wondering whales.

But gazing, just as the sun 
juts beyond night's edge, 
I see this curving ball, endless
band of water held close
to jealous core by clear bands
of gravity, hurtling 
through the void,
Human eyes, wrapped in 
spheres of bone and blood, 
follow earth's trajectory just
ahead of the season, bask in
the coming summer sun as it 
heats blue waters, casts high
bright towers of
cumulonimbus;

for I am a child of the sea,
and I can see out far
and in deep.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cherry Blossoms on Palm Sunday

Windy day,
undulant sun
floods smooth cut of lawn

as cherry blossoms race
and lightly fall upon
my upturned face.

O, Sacrificial Tree!
your bright glory cast
to the clamant breeze and
let fill your boughs
with ordinary green.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lazarus Waiting

falling sun, life swarming
in the liquid light
as I gaze west, through trees,
over houses, over slatted-fence,
towards the waiting, unseen sea.


a foraging bird drops to my mown lawn
(taking note of my still form)
and pecks out her meal...and flies away.


My apple-tree bends towards heaven
new leaves unfolding;
surely it will be leaf-full by Easter!


so I’ll wait for the world to turn
yet another slight degree, for the lines
of golden light to lengthen towards me
and then end in gentle night.

Consoling Martha

Freely flow her fears;
a dam so brimful
cannot contain
such towering waves.

Wondering that
my words fail
to give peace,
I reach out
and take her trembling hands.


Tearful,
I brush away
all her
bitter tears.