Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thoughts on Watching the Rescue of Chilean Miners

Rising through the
"hardest rock in the world"
the miners
cocooned in dented steel
strapped upright,
slide through the uterine earth
pushing against the throbbing pre-natal night,
they know nothing
but the dim light
of rescue.

But I know

Life is
a fragile glass,
misty
with insistent,
steady breath,

waiting
for the dark boot
of anger or accident
to shatter its moist glow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fountain of Fire

“Just as it is impossible for a man to see his face in troubled water, so too the soul, unless it be cleansed of alien thoughts.” Thomas Merton

Closing in
the ancient wind sweeps
still waters, turns clarity
to confusion, joy
to primal fear.

I seek my face
but see only a blush
on the river’s edge,
red betrayal seeping
from deep within,
from a wound unseen.

Cleanse me, O Fountain of Fire, 

still my fears
and again I’ll see
my face
washed clean
by grateful tears!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Penitent

I burnished my heart.

Proudly trusting my love,
I generously gave it
to myself.

But still you embraced me
and beyond all reason
made of me
your golden lamp,

to shatter sin’s deceiving night
with your never-ending
reflected light.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Death at Home

I entered the silent house
and saw my sister in the kitchen,
brooding over tepid dishwater, sipping beer,
slipping away from her pain,
as her children, in the dusky back room,
door ajar, stroked his hair and gazed
in wonder at this spent, peaceful man,

and there I saw it,
the detritus of cancer,
spent oxygen bottles, bedpans,
unused morphine patches,

and there I felt it,
his quietus
filling the room,
thick, cutting, invisible
insistent.

So silently I took my nephews
back to the kitchen
and together we wondered
at how 64 years of living ends

on a gurney,
in a shrouded bag,
rolling roughly past his rosebushes,
past his silent truck,
past his whimpering dog,
to a plain,
white
van.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Black Place
















This breathing canvas is filled with light
silver hills and ready fruit, and life
winding in lines like vines, red grapes
clustered against the sudden frost of autumn,
in this painting, this creation, this Earth!


But at its center, darkness dominates;
core of void, the black hole draws in
all green grass and red sunsets,
star-lit hopes and loving laughter,
and sucks faith itself into the static maw
of empty eternity

Mississippi Sunset

Vicksburg MS 014

River flows  
through banks of night,
silted waters
flooding
the ancient rift,

while the falling sun,
thrall to this alluvial plain,
flees again
to distant western seas.

Living night drops,
with cacophony of cicada
and sweet trill
of restive waterthrush,

in this soft
Southern night
by the gentle
Mississippi.