Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Giving Up Air

i wonder if i could be so gracious
if i could stare without fear into the unknown as my lungs cry out for oxygen
like my friend on the phone
who says if he was sick
he would let another have the ventilator
and move on into that other place
where there is no shortage
of breath

such are the choices that may
loom just over the horizon
while some discuss compensation
and the guns they possess
and others make soup and bread to share with those on the edge
i think of my loved ones who may not be with me in the coming days
the sadness that may await on the morrows

and yet i know that the spirit
blows where ere it will
the tops of the budding trees
gently sway before the
brightening sky
and now this morning at least
i feel a sense of peace
my heart expanding
like opening lungs
as the one who holds this
groaning world in her hands
breathes new life
and a love for all
into me

Posted in Prayers and the Sacred

Martyr’s Mirror

495 years ago today, in 1525, the Swiss Anabaptist Movement was founded when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptized each other, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union. (Historical Calendar )

Below is a hymn by Felix Manz, who was martyred for his faith by drowning in Lake Zurich in January of 1527, becoming the first casualty of the Zurich council’s edict that made adult rebaptism punishable by drowning.

Here is the hymn in German and in English:

Mit Lust so will ich singen

Mein Herz freut sich in Gott

Der mir viel Kunst thut bringen,

Dasz ich entrinn dem Tod

Der ewiglich nimmet kein End.

Ich preiz dich Christ vom Himmel,

Der mir mein Kummer wend.

With gladness will I now sing;

My heart delights in God,

Who showed me such forbearance

That I from death was saved

Which never hath an end.

I praise Thee, Christ in heaven

Who all my sorrow changed.

I am grateful for my forbears and the faith passed down to me by my family.

May I be as courageous.


Posted in Prayers and the Sacred

Joy Comes In The Mourning …

one day
when you least
expect it
you will awaken
to find
the weight
that had lain
across your
like a

is suddenly
lifted by
an unseen
and tossed
like a
suit of
you no

and the
like a
has been
by the
that the
One who
did not
has now

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Prisoner of Pavlov

I know for whom the bell tolls
for it often tolls for me
yet it is a different daily death it brings.

I go towards the chime
when the chime calls to me.
My saliva runs every time it rings.

I have relinquished so much power.
The power once inside of me
is diminished beneath the weight of so many things.

The million tiny deaths I die
each day must be dead to me
til deaf I become to their subtle sting.


Then Suddenly I Disappear (A Note to Suffering Self)

so often my anger rises
though righteous it may be
and i am lost in another crisis
of raging misery

when things don’t go my way
i am so wont to be forgetting
that the one with me each day
is well acquainted with suffering

then i remember to remember
that my lord is ever near
i reach scarred hands to scarred hands
then suddenly i disappear

Posted in Prayers and the Sacred

When I Know Not What Comes (A Prayer for Faith)

when i know not what comes
help me see your face on everyone
leave my impatience sitting on a warm bench in the sun

let me walk where you will
upon the narrow ways of compassion
so that the light in me is given all away when the day is done

then at night i’ll rest in your love
where else shall i run?
trusting you will refill me before a new day has begun

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Love Is Blind (And So Is Faith)

eyes blurry
glass cracked
hard to see
front or back

some lash out
some attack
some are content
to stay on track

when lies are the
whys to redact
the truth is so
much more than fact

so step out with
blind faith and act
even when the screen
goes black

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)


through a screen of black birds
which suddenly clears
my eye sees in the far distance
in a brief space between the clouds
the vapor trail and bright spark of a jet
high up in the atmosphere

later they alight
upon sustenance thrown down by an elder to feed
only to disappear
to return again and again
to the generous gift of seed
once unfamiliar ones such as i are no longer near

now it is night and i fly along unfamiliar roads
the bright patch before me
the only thing that is clear
trusting that when i alight at my destination
faith has again proven constant
and the doubts that flew beside me
have all but disappeared

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)


on windy days
when the swallows are swept across the sky like smoke
i too find my flight interrupted
and the subtle turn in my migration is corrected

o for the wisdom to accept correction
to cease this mindless flapping
and simply soar