Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Cerberus (or Why I did not cry havoc)

hound of heaven
dogs of war
to which does my
hand reach for?
one for chaos to
be unleashed
the other to pursue
me with lasting peace

turning to one
i bite my tongue
to be consumed
by Love’s release
the other returned
and so to burn
the devil’s dog
at Hade’s feast

Posted in Musings

Depression 1.1: The Creature on my Shoulder

I have always liked ravens.
Not because of a certain Poe-m or its iconic phrase.
It is not that.
I have admired their black bodies’ flashing hues, sparkling eyes, cackling conversations in the spinning trees above me as I step out into the clinging fabric of another day.

The one that sits on my shoulder is silent.
Even on good days, it is there, a shadow just on the edge of my vision.
I sense its weight, shifting ever so slightly when I move my heavy arms to the task at hand.

We are reluctant companions at best.
It could fly away I think, remove its talons from my clavicle and seek after some shiny thing.
What I mean is that it is not hindered by broken wings.
Somehow it has chosen me.

When you see me, you would not know.
I am generally social, of good humor, articulate.
This creature sitting next to my molasses head is not visible to you.
But if you come closer, perhaps you will catch just a glimpse out of the corner of your eye.
And in the days ahead, I will try to introduce you to my familiar.

Its name is Elegiac.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Singing My Child

today
before the
gathering dawn
i saw
my heart
in the
sky
above

i heard
it flying
crying out
in joy
with the
morning
dove

singing
my child
embrace
today
for you are
precious
you are
loved

Posted in Longreads & Essays

Jacob’s Ladder

The man lying at the foot of the escalator was dead.

I would not have seen him if I had not been misdirected to my seat and even then I caught only a glimpse of his still form as the medical personnel worked feverishly over him as I walked past.

In the distance I could hear the game beginning, the echo of the announcer introducing the teams, the roar of the crowd calling me to join them for the opening tipoff.

A quieter voice called to me as well.

Stay, the Spirit said. Stay here and pray.

So I turned back towards the entrance and the group of university staff, police, and first responders trying desperately to save a man’s life. Medical personnel applied CPR to his chest. Another gave him oxygen. A third person attached electrodes to his chest. I bowed my head and began to pray.

I heard a woman nearby crying. Another woman comforted her. I know, I know, she said, Believe me, I know.

I lifted my head and glanced over. They triggered the AED. I saw him move. He began to breathe.

But it was only for a moment. Then he was still. And they began to work over him again. His wife became even more distraught.

I continued to pray. I kept glancing up to see how the man was doing. He was not responding. The situation looked bleak. They brought a chair for the man’s wife. The other woman continued to stand near her, her hand tracing gentle circles on her back. I noticed her lips moving. She was praying too.

I stood with my back against the side of the escalator, head bowed, praying. A staff member asked if I was a family member. No, I said, I’m just here . . . my voice trailed off as she moved away.

She did not ask me to leave. No one did. I was left alone to pray. I tried to remain inconspicuous, yet I am sure those in area noticed. I made eye contact with the other woman. We nodded in mutual recognition. We continued to pray.

My stomach began to knot. Would the man survive? Your will be done, Lord, I prayed. I thanked God for the efforts of the medical staff and asked God to bless them, regardless of the outcome. I asked God to minister to the man’s wife. I simply asked God to be present.

How far away is the ambulance? someone asked. There was worry in his voice.

A few minutes, came the reply.

Then they were there. The EMTs began working over the man. He seemed to respond. Was he breathing again? I could not tell. But a weight seemed to lift from those gathered around as they lifted the man onto the stretcher and began to wheel him away.

My prayer partner stepped over to me and held out her hands. I noticed she was wearing a small silver cross.

You were praying . . . It was not a question. I nodded.

Where two or more…she said. I agreed.

I saw the monitor on the stretcher as it passed by. Is he…? I began.

They have a pulse, she replied. But keep praying. I nodded. We squeezed each other’s hands in silent comradery and farewell.

I entered the arena and found my seat, the game well underway. The scene I’d witnessed continued to play in my mind as I strived to be present to the action occurring on the court. This was an important game. The winner would move on in the playoffs. Yet somehow the game’s significance had lessened somewhat for me.

And I could not help but be amazed at the subtle ordering of God upon my most recent steps.

My wife and I were to arrive together, but our plans changed at the last minute and I entered the coliseum alone. God’s schedule is different than our own sometimes.

The usher misread my ticket and I was given wrong directions to my seat. My seat was in the opposite direction of where I walked and as a result, I was able to see what was happening as I passed by. And be available when the Spirit prompted. It is a reminder to me again that on this journey with God, we are never lost.

I was not more talented or gifted than any other person in the vicinity. Probably less so, due to the overwhelming competence, experience, and capacity in the variety of people who worked together to save a stranger’s life. But God’s resources are available to anyone.

I had a role to play. God called, I was available, and suddenly I became part of something larger than me.

My team eventually wound up losing the basketball game, but the real victory happened earlier that night near the entrance of the arena when a group of strangers gathered around to help a man lying pale and still on the floor at the bottom of an escalator.

Posted in Prayers

Dead Leaf Hanging Lonely

dead
leaf
hanging
lonely

secrets
i dont want
you to see

there is a
balance in
letting you
continually

cut away
that which
is dead
in me

and the
understanding
that when
you look
at me

all you
see is
beauty

(Featured image with kaleidescope filter #GodsView)

Posted in Prayers

Bottles of Tears

perhaps it seems that
they are wasted
this sad rain
that has fallen
from the gray clouds
of your eyes

but know this
child of heaven
each precious drop
has been captured
held close to the heart
of the One who has
cried with you

and on that day
when every tear
is wiped away
and joy is a
forever thing
these vessels
will be emptied
into that glorious
golden stream
that is for the
healing of the
nations

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

A Brief Muting of Dissonance

wherever i go i am there
though at times the dissonance
is muted
silenced by sounds of
sea and wind
and i can rest

these algae covered rocks
that every day seem to be
even more a part of my
heart’s restless shore
can receive the carress

of ivory surf
which like the love
of the Creator
flows on in endless song
against this mortal curse
and suddenly i realize
that i have been blessed

Posted in Religion & Sprituality

Ash Wednesday on Surfers Point

here at the point
where the waves explode
against the rocks
and the fishermen
come to cast out upon
the water
i stand
my face into
the wind

there was a fire here
charred driftwood lying
waiting to be
rekindled
warmth to share
and cook the coming feast

faith is the spark
memories of another
distant shore
lost followers found again
by their teacher

remembering
i reach down to
what the flames touched
rub my finger against the ash
and draw a cross on my
forehead

when the ocean
washes the soot away
it feels like
a gracious savior’s
kiss

Posted in The Sunday Driver: Life in the Slow Lane

Wind of Constancy

wind of constancy
blowing in from the sea
filling me

pushing away the lethargy
that has so encumbered me
within this mortal body

i listen for divinity
in this wind of constancy
a call to be free