Tuesday, September 25, 2012


just read about a congregation that closed its food bank.
seems it had been attracting too many poor people;
made folks feel uncomfortable.  "social unrest", they called it.
they wanted to "focus on more church-specific activities".

as if you could get any more church-specific than feeding the poor.

now, before we get all in a huff about those evil people and their evil deeds,
let's ask ourselves:
what am i doing to feed the hungry?  to clothe the naked?
to show the devalued their inestimable worth?

"by their fruit you will know them."  what we do shows who we are.

here, that congregation's statement of belief:

5 Basic Principles of Unity

God is Absolute Good, everywhere evenly present
Many paths lead to the one loving God
Our essence is of God and therefore every human being is inherently good
Prayer and Meditation increases our awareness of our oneness with God
Knowing and understanding Unity Principles is not enough – we must also live the truth that we know

perhaps this congregation deserves our praise.

for ridding themselves of false modesty.
for de-cluttering their schedules to focus on what's important to them (ie. prayer and meditation).
for tearing the "christ-likeness" label off and throwing it away...
quick and without fuss, like a band-aid.

ginny owens has penned a song that shatters our quasi-religious illusions of grandeur.

could it be that she, being blind, has better eyes to see?
the fact remains:
never, until we feel our own weakness, will we lean on another for strength.
never, until we have cried out for grace, will we be compelled to give it.

here, emily's take.
here, the friends who gather at her place with imperfect prose.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


i'll sneak up into the closet
and hang clothes
blissfully alone
like rapunzel in her prince's tower
and hiding
from castle vermin below.

until the floor creaks.

that's when
i'll creep down to the basement
and fold clothes
stealthily alone
like castle vermin
listening to
and toiling for
those princes traipsing overhead.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


it always rains
on the first day of school.

rain makes me want to
run to you
bend down low
grab you by the hands
run home

lie together under a warm, wet sky
like laundry didn't matter

make a big pot of cream soup
scoop it into earthen bowls
feed you
in front of cartoons
under a blankie

why does it always rain
on the first day of school?

Monday, September 3, 2012

how shall i praise thee?

thou art in essence more than fields of lilies,
more beautiful to behold than rivers of moonlight,
sweeter than berries of the glade.

thou hast calmed this heart
and stilled this troubled mind.

without a word,
legions have fallen before thee;
thou hast saved mine ear -- nay, my very soul --
from all ravages of mankind.

i shall always be true to thee,
my darling,
my lovely...
my Call Display.

photo link

Thursday, August 23, 2012


to the good ol' blokes
who couldn't hear nothin'
from the lad
who raised his glass
and lived harder
than i've ever seen

Saturday, August 18, 2012

beach vacation

it's when
water rushes to shore,
takes a rolling gulp of sunshine-air
and rubs its belly along the sand
before turning
to make the long commute
back to the deep

Sunday, August 12, 2012

i don't believe

in tortoise-beats-hare and
around here

can't believe

in prayer-soaked hankies or
miraculous television screens
for the faith-full

don't believe

that tongues of fire or
paul-and-silas sing-alongs
are for me

but i really can't believe

that our Maker's back is turned
on all this beauty
or all this pain

so i really do believe

that He came
to show me how welcome i am
and how needful it is

to believe

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--
and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we are God's workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do."
- paul, to the ephesians

"For by him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things were created by him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church;
he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,
so that in everything he might have the supremacy."
- paul, to the colossians

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


drunken with paintings all scrawled-over "Vincent",
i stumbled across the gallery
and through the doors of a chapel.

its ceiling was blue -- like heaven, i guess.
its stained-glass colours were artificially lit
and i didn't think much of that.

i turned to leave
the song.

one voice, reaching from behind,
catching my hand:
it turned me around.

a choir of voices testifying,
swelling and filling the chapel
in me

i ran out of that little blue sanctuary,
found a bathroom stall,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

my favourite and my best (for dan)

it's what i love best:

the way you wake so quickly and quietly,
working away before i even know it;

the jobs i've never done in my life
that you do every day, in so many ways;

the mid-morning coffee breaks when we drive
"just a few ringers," and hold hands, and talk;

the little notes that contain fewer and fewer
grammatical mistakes -- they really do;

the way your head finds cover under a couch pillow
so you can wrestle your boys and nap at the same time;

the times you sign "i love you" out the van window
as you're driving off to another place;

how we were both too tired to make that old frying pan joke
on your birthday, but we still think it's funny;

the way you won't just sit on what is right
though you find yourself standing alone;

it's what i love best
that breaks my heart
a little tiny bit,
every day.

but you're my favourite and my best,
and i wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, May 4, 2012

to love

it's been a long time and it's getting late --
teacup nearly empty; still the music plays

today a high-school teacher
breathes deep, speaks love
through English tomes --
he's telling the story

yesterday a mother-artist
drove to the city, imprinted love
deeply upon her neck --
she's a preacher's daughter

tomorrow a preacher's wife
arrives in Budapest, clutching love
with a few belongings --
she's going to make a home

i have neither degree, nor tattoo, nor foreign visa,
but i'll raise my teacup and sing along

to love


Monday, April 23, 2012

fuzzy pajamas

while sirens wailed past
i folded fuzzy pajamas away

beside the bed
where now you sleep

in fuzzy pajamas
because it wasn't you

Friday, February 3, 2012

ladder to the moon (for paul and virginia)

there once was a girl with stars in her eyes
and dew drops in her hair.
never said much as she walked dirt roads
and laid her very soul bare.

there once was a girl who sang to the moon
and danced 'til the morning light.
when the thunder crashed and the clouds fell down
she swam every tear that she cried.

now, whether this girl was me or not,
i'll never really know.
i can't quite find the line that divides
the two halves of this one soul.

well, the girl met boys who promised the stars
and gave her pails of sand.
they spilled her paint and broke her guitar
and left her with empty hands.

as the girl walked away from the love and the pain,
her shadow fell across a wall.
and the man standing there with a ladder and a trowel
took her hand and said, "i'm paul."

so she stayed for a moment to watch him work
and they talked of simple things.
and their shadows grew long as the sun shrank down,
and the moon came to hear them sing.

sing songs of faith! sing songs of hope!
sing love that never ends!
take time to walk dirt roads together
and dance in the light, my friends!

lay a firm foundation! raise a home that is strong!
build your life by laying it down.
search out the stars in each other's eyes
where diamonds do abound.

grasp onto grace. hold fast to truth.
shake out the ugly bits.
my heart is in your hands, you know,
i'm trusting you with it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

painter's block

there are three of them:

painting boards,
gessoed white.

like three rectangular eyeballs rolling,
scoffing from my dining room table.
and i'm supposed to paint them.

but i don't know how

to ask the colours what they mean;
to wander in fields of abstraction
and find my balance;

to trace the edges of shadows and
hold them up to the light
like a gift.

i'm a photo-realism kind of grown-up

and i've forgotten how to play.
to believe in what i cannot see
until it becomes art:

sock feet waltzing across living room rug;
wrinkled hands splashing bath tub bubbles;
voice warbling songs never before sung.

it's time to finger-paint.

wandering over to emily's place

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


an eleven punctuates the space between my eyebrows...
it's a mark aging beauties consider slathering or injecting or lifting away.
but try as they may, they can't erase
this gravity

and neither can i.

so tonight, while this furious little mark etches itself
in front of a space filled with questions and exclamations,
i'll take it as a reminder that
this gravity

isn't forever.

but i am.

my beautiful friend cut her hair.  you should see her now!