Archive | January, 2018

The Man Who Went To Church

28 Jan

Some friends and I were talking recently about the documented disappearance of people from the pews of so many churches.  Maybe the following represents a reason for some segment of that exodus.

I went to church the other day,
I haven’t been in years,
and what I saw
and what I heard
proclaimed in ancient song and word
reduced my heart to tears.

A man stood up to sermonize,
his words had quite a sting.
He said all people everywhere
were rotten to the core
and then proclaimed that all of us
deserved the Devil’s door!

We sang old songs from 1910,
all made it very clear
that I’m a worm,
my fate is sealed,
my long-term future’s now confirmed.
No joy in what’s revealed.

I never knew how bad I was
until I went to church.
I thought my life was pretty good;
I helped the down and out,
made generous gifts to those in need;
my actions were devout.

But now I know I’m bound for hell,
one-way ticket waiting.
Departure day is marked in red,
my destination’s dead ahead
because, in truth, I don’t adhere
to dogmas that they hold so dear.
The danger I’m creating!

So now I guess my days are done
within those sacred walls.
I went to hear some hopeful news,
but now I find that I must choose
to sacrifice my common sense,
agree to all that they dispense,
a price I cannot pay.

Someday perhaps I’ll try again.
I don’t know where.  I can’t say when.
But surely there is hope somewhere,
a welcome hand, a place to share
the ups and downs of daily life,
a place in which my pain and strife
can finally be released.

It won’t be in the church, I guess;
there’s nothing there to feed my quest.
I’ll wander off, just like the rest,
and find my hope



27 Jan

A 50-foot tall Eucalyptus tree was felled this morning in my neighborhood.  It was necessary but painful.

When morning comes
death will be close behind.
The brown metal gate will open
to allow killing machines
access to the one who waits,
clothed in soft green raiment,
looking down upon the
gathering company and
their death devices.

He has stood proudly
for many years,
sapling to soaring giant
who offers thoughtful rest
to all who sit at his feet
in the generous gift of shade.

Owl, a nightly visitor,
watches with the stars.
Songbirds, nestled in his arms,
prepare their morning concert
while dusky green leaves wave
at the moon.

Peaceful elegance fills
the world.

Yet morning’s inevitability brings
sounds of whirring blades and
muted voices approaching
to pronounce the last blessing
before the first cut.

Now he will return to the earth
like all living things,
perhaps to return another day
with gifts of shade and
shelter and sacred beauty.

Remarkable Moments

19 Jan



Scattered among all the days of responsibilities
and rationality are exquisite moments when
priorities pale in the revealing of the obvious,
the taken for granted.

I look at the contours of your hand, a life story
told by lines that trace years of sacrifice,
memories in the flesh marks of selfless
giving, a simple band of commitment, now
worn by time but cherished for so long.
And I know.

The look of wonder in your eyes when the
late afternoon sun electrifies the mountains,
a recognition of the glowing sacredness
painted in burning orange and soft purple.
And I understand.

The deep concern in your face when illness
stalks a loved one or pain invades the life
of a friend or mercy is denied the helpless,
charity betrayed by greed.
And I realize.

Your unfailing kindness to the unkind,
acceptance of others who aggravate or
annoy, the ease of your “hello”, the
fullness of your presence even in
momentary encounters.
And I recognize.

In these remarkable moments, briefly
focused, graciously given, I am embraced
by the unmistakable Presence of Love.

And I am grateful.

Faint Whisper

15 Jan

A faint whisper floats in the enveloping darkness,
“Morning comes.  Light is arriving.”

The words are gentle and soft,
the texture of cloud or fine mist after
a summer rain.  More than announcement,
the alluring words proclaim sacred benediction
as Night dons his black cloak, looks once more
upon Sleep’s handiwork, then moves toward
the faint appearing of Light.

Darkness to light.  Sleep to waking.
I am awed by the hope of transformation:
violence to peace, fear to trust,
shallow reality to deep consciousness.

I dream that all words spoken in the dawning day
will be reconciling, that hands extended
to all creatures will bear gifts of grace,
that caring hearts will recognize sacredness
borne in all beings.

On the edge of sleep and waking,
the thin place between two worlds,
I sense a gentle tug on the warm covers,
a signal that life awaits.
“Rise, child.  Light calls your name.”


Shuffling Into The Day

10 Jan

My wake up alarm, the announcement
of another day’s arriving, is the sound of
shuffling steps along the tile hallway.
Slippered feet sliding across the
hard stone surface.  Little steps in
the darkness, cautious but relentless.
A sound like sandpaper on hard wood or
whispers of steam escaping from the radiator.

Abruptly the shuffling ceases,
silence consumes the sleeping house.
I know what’s coming next.  Lie still,
maybe she’ll leave me alone.  Tense,
teasing moments pass.  Then from
the blackness, a cold wet nose
nudges against my unwelcoming hand.

I feign sleep but with no success.
Two large brown eyes are mere inches
away, staring.  Steely laser beams
riveted on my forehead.  I wait.
The eyes wait.  I roll to the other
side of the bed.  The lasers shuffle
after me and lock on again.  I surrender.
Throwing back the covers,
I reluctantly set my feet on the cold floor
and we shuffle off into the day together.

Good morning, Maggie.
Good dog.

The Day Is Complete

7 Jan


I rest tonight in confident hope

That dawn will announce new
life throughout creation.

That all worry and fearful thoughts
will be surrendered to the sound
of Love’s heart beating in the

That the last vision before sleep will
be the nearness of Love remembered
in the faces of those I cherish.

That all prayers whispered as night
descends will be gathered into the
Sacred Spirit pulsing through the

That night will silently slip away
as morning light softens the
edges of her black cape.

I welcome darkness, old friend,
who gently tucks me into the
embrace of the Mystery beyond
explanation or understanding.

I sleep in trust to awake
in gratitude.

An Evening Thought

2 Jan

In the new day, may I see the Artist’s hand in
the most common sights.

May I find rest in still waters, my soul’s
restoring by the grace of Love.

May quiet ripples sing to my heart.  May
I know peace, and in the knowing, impart
it freely.

May it be so.