Tuesday, August 11, 2015

famine & feast

Is it always famine or feast with you,
fickle faithful Father?
when I was flooded floundering with words
and not one to write,
only burning bitter question marks
in my mouth and mind—
that was famine time.

When I was set spinning
sent searching certainties
suddenly lost I had words then
overflowing abundant
confusion loss and fear in feast.

now again I am empty
and quiet
seen but not heard some days

a fickle child learning love

of unfathomable Father.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

the sort of quiet I'm longing for

The week before finals is appropriately titled "hell week" in the college world. With at least one major final, project, or presentation due every day this week, I'm looking forward to a quiet week at home before work starts for the summer, a room of my own and no homework to keep me up late and wake me early. I find myself just wanting to sit still and do nothing, not even read a fun book or anything, just be. I wrote this poem at the end of April, and have returned to it this week as a sort of promise of rest that I know is just around the corner, as alien as it may feel right now.

Sit still, bird-song soaked
drenched in quiet-enough
to watch shadows shift
on golden spring grass.
And be alone and no
sweet paper voice either
just you
   and no words on your tongue.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


You are God of the people
   by which you have meant at all times
and in all places
            the poor who are hungry
            the poor who are homeless
the poor who are righteous

You are God of justice
   by which you have loved the widows
and the fatherless
            and the just who are
            at their own expense
            since there was first a widow
            since the newest orphan became desolate
            since ever justice had such name.

Yet I wonder what you think
            of the girl who loved
            who said yes when she should have said no
            who stayed quiet when she should have spoken
and the man who took your name that hurt her.

I wonder what you think
            of the people who took your name in water
            but are still loving lies more than truth
            who live the easy and the comfortable
            who are running in fear, seeing neither
the running, nor the fear.

I know a person and a dozen scarred deep
            by those water people, and thick
            by your words at the wrong time
            in the wrong place for
            very wrong reasons.
And the mouths, oblivious, go on speaking.

I’m thinking of impact, Father, of words and love
            And how this church of souls
            by which I mean living people
            have left craters I have seen
            deep and tender.
And I don’t mean liturgy.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

some thoughts on Church

This summer I’m looking for a church. And I don’t know if I’m looking for a new church or a new liturgy or a new denomination, to be honest. Last year on Good Friday my home church of nine-or-so years held a Tenebrae service.  Since that night I've known I wouldn't stay and I had a feeling that the evangelical nondenominational culture probably wasn’t where I was going to end up. It made me terribly sad, that night, and it still makes me sad. I love my church. I was deeply invested there, so many people there invested in me, cared for me, challenged me, gave me opportunities to serve and watched me grow.
I moved away for school and immediately found a church that I love. Every Sunday I meet up with a group of friends and we walk to church together in the green grass of a park, through a neighborhood with a pomegranate tree and an orange tree, up a steep hill and into the cool white and wooden sanctuary of Redeemer church.  I love it there. It’s like coming home after a long trip, like diving into cool water when you’ve sweated for hours in the hot sun, like taking a long drink of water when you have waited with thirst. It has made for me a reality the words “come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
I learned there for the first time the power and significance of the table of the Eucharist and its celebration. I experienced the relief of silence and private prayer in the setting of worship. I understood the power of scripture as I heard it read on its own week after week, a hundred different voices. For the first time in my life I heard the words of the celebration of Eucharist spoken over me by a woman, and the elements blessed by her voice, and it remains a sweetly poignant moment in my memory. I heard the people singing, in that church, and the elders praying for the people, and the children crying and laughing and murmuring -- the heartbeat of an alive people.
I have discovered that I love pews. That there are hymns with power to move me that worship songs never had. That I love simplicity. That I need to learn to listen, and it is hard for me to do that in a “louder” way of doing church.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

{the quality of mercy}

It is raining and I feel
It is about time

If I were away two-thousand miles
I would race down to your room

and we would run to put feet
and faces and hands in the cold
rare rain and we would smile
and probably sing

I was just reading of it,
of mercy unstrained which falls like rain
and that perhaps is why I can’t believe it
like Shakespeare did,
those two-thousand miles

to a desert land where rain is neither
generous nor unstrained
where if you hesitated you might miss it
where it is quickly come and swiftly gone

and we are left not wet enough
not cold enough
just thirsty for long gray wet days

and for mercy twice blessed.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Life is absurd
the bubbles on the green pond are absurd
how they bobble and burst

It is absurd that I should living
be sitting here talking in the sun with you
about the paradoxes we already live
know it or not

see it or blind

ears but not hear

hearts but don’t—

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