Sunday, October 31, 2010

breathing in

i think
that when i get to Dad's place
i'll get to ask
how the loon got its spots

white on eumelanin-black
dripped across barbs, barbules, barbicels

when i get new eyes
i'll be able to tell
what colour "dusk" is

sun hidden six degrees down
scattering prism-rays into a sky-puddle

when tears are wiped away
i'll be greeted by
my eldest son or daughter

broken chromosomes made whole
Father's timing understood

when earth's labour pains are over
thorns burned, curse lifted
work is gonna feel so good

imagination soaring, creativity forming
strength full, backs straight

in those days
(because you can't have Matter without Time,
and both Body and Spirit will find Home there)

and nights
(because there will be no more Night in the City,
but why shouldn't darkness be redeemed, too?)

when Aurora Borealis and martyrs
sing the song of the Lamb,

when all my questions
meet their Answer,

when faith and hope
become love's sight,

like the song says,
i'll be breathing in.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

the bubblegum preacher

missionaries came to town today,
with shells and teeth and books.
they scattered them 'cross folding tables
so we could have a look.

we asked them lots of questions and
they shared with us their hearts.
with power point and words in red,
they urged us to take part.

such a monumental task:
to reach this whole wide world,
to see the banner of the cross
from sea to sea unfurled.

and all this talk of going forth,
fields white and labourers few
left me feeling very small,
not knowing what to do.

then, as i headed for the door,
i turned in time to see
a little girl from sunday school
looking up at me.

"do you want a piece of gum?"
she asked with blue eyes grand.
she then proceeded to lavish me
with what was in her hand.

her very own treasure, paper-wrapped,
the brightest shade of blue:
three-quarters of a cubic inch
of cotton candy goo.

i popped the morsel in my mouth
and suddenly understood
the child-like faith it takes to share
a gift that's oh so good...

when you've got something wonderful,
sweetness that's true-blue,
all you need to do is ask
a friend to taste it, too.

Friday, October 22, 2010

a silly little heartfelt prayer

i cut his hair,
his crazy hair,
his fuzzy einstein hair.
i sat him in the sink and snipped it --
he didn't even care.

i picked him up,
i wrapped him up,
i pajama'd him all up.
he smelled so good and looked so nice
draining his sippy cup.

i laid his head,
his fresh-trimmed head --
his fingers found his head.
he tried to grasp the hair i'd cut
while sinking into bed.

he always did,
my baby did,
hold hair is what he did.
but now his fingers slipped right off
the short locks on his lid.

"oh no!" i cried,
this mother cried,
whose baby never cried
at having lost his infant grasp
on comforts he had tried.

i squeezed my eyes,
i touched his eyes,
as prayer poured from my eyes.
then, as the blur gave way to sight,
i saw, to my surprise,

he held on tight,
to short hair tight,
to my heart oh! so tight.
my baby's little fingers held me
up with all their might.

they slipped away,
he slept away,
to dreams he tripped away.
and i thanked God for answering
the silly prayers i pray.

Monday, October 11, 2010


is it in the sparkle of a diamond ring?
that shimmers through vow-making,
that's appraised through vow-keeping?


is it in the smell of fresh paint?
that settles upon stair creaks discovered,
that crackles along kitchen counters gravy-splattered?


is it in the cry of worship choruses?
that rise and fall with sunday congregations,
that ring campfires, guitars, and fireflies flickering?


tonight, there are those who bleed
and burn
in the dark
and in prison
or in the presence of their enemies

who know a bit about it. joy.

tonight, there are those bruised
and used
on the streets
or in bedrooms
or huddling together for warmth

who have a little of it. joy.

and tonight, there is a God
who sees
and knows
and weighs justly
and counts riches oh so differently
than i ever have

and who wants to give me joy

in abiding (John 15:1-11)
and in hoping (Proverbs 10:28, Romans 15:13) His judgment (I Chronicles 16:33, Proverbs 21:15) His keeping (Jude 1) His return (John 16:22).

and as i praise Him for being so great
in spite of,

He gives me joy.

Friday, October 8, 2010

taking heart (for Jo)

"be of good cheer!"
i've heard it said
from mouths of well-meaners
who patted my head

and walked away slowly
and closed their car doors
and sucked in relief
that the funeral was over.

"be of good cheer!"
i've seen it in red
on thin, crinkly pages
spread over my bed --

but those words weren't spoken
by my Lord to me
while i tossed and i turned
in dark misery

of good men gone cold.
of memories, lost.
of grace, unaccepted.
of linen, unwashed.

no, but what i do find
is Adonai, who says,
"I've no pleasure in death.
turn back from your ways!"

then, if my Master grieves,
i must be allowed, too.
i'll pound on His chest
like a small child would do.

but what of "good cheer"?
or rather, "take heart"?
throughout these pages,
it's always a part

of a word straight from Heaven
(so we know it is true):
not so much, "chin up,"
as, "I promise you."

Monday, October 4, 2010

castle news

three beds topped warm with rumpled fleece and limb-flung princes,
breathing gently;
two counters toppling high with backpacks, lunch sacks and sippy cups,
drying sticky;
one hallway strung with bathing suits and little sandals,
chilled and soppy.

one cinderella in slippered feet moving among the messes -- all for those boys,
all for them;
one handsome prince pacing green, grassy lines in front of his childhood home
(yes, in the dark);
two bodies swaying tired, plodding toward the nine o' clock finish line
of today.

a mental tally:
one little pair of ice skates, wiped dry.
two pairs of school shoes, tossed to the mat.
friend's apartment, scrubbed hard.
grocery store receipt, stuffed into purse.
swimming lessons, aced.
dad's lawn, cut.
showers all around.

our losses:
one nap, missed;
one china saucer, shattered;
one yogurt tub, busted;
one punch to the face in the pharmacy aisle
(although i dealt with that one really well, so it's not actually a loss);
three small sets of teeth, unbrushed.

all in all:
one Kingdom, advancing.

nobles and peasants, we: