Friday, April 16, 2021

The Obscure Sense of the Presence of God

Walking down a street, sweeping a floor, washing dishes, hoeing beans, reading a book, taking a stroll in the woods-all can be enriched with contemplation and with the obscure sense of the presence of God.    Thomas Merton. The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation.

I see how the evening sun lights
the high grass, trees shift in the gentle wind
and small brown birds flit between
outdoor tables as young women
reach for coffee cups
drop sweet crumbs to the rough sidewalk,
to the birds.  Intent on home-work,
office-work, they never look up
to see how the sky
deepens to darker hue;
how day will fade soon
and vermillion night set fire
to the seaward hills.

The west wind will finally drive them in,
and the grateful birds will all fly away.

I see how Your love lurks even in the weeds
that grow on the edge of the most
tended garden; hides in the cries of
the grieving mourning dove;
falls like rain in the tender,
moonless night.

(30 July 2013)

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Quiet Morning, March 24


You’re painting in the kitchen
as John Denver sings his misty, old love songs

while by the shed
spring flowers burst into red and purple and white,
as the March sun rises and grief declines
to memory.

So here I write, our dogs
nuzzled close and warm
and contented.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

North Wind

 North wind 

rushes and blusters

in the bright March sun,


winter’s chill,

hints of the heat 

to come.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

In Arching Waters

In arching waters
the black bird dances
with graceless step,
head jerks, probing soft soil,
penetrating wet grass
when rearing back primitive eyes
it raises ivory beak
and offers a shining prize,
living, writhing.
to mother-sky.


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Winter Tree

Photo Brian Federle: Desert Tree, Palm Springs, 2016

The winter tree 
does not move.

Its wide trunk 
plunges into graven earth, 
unseen roots, grasping hands
feel deeply the living soil,
hold firm anchorage
against the coming storm,

but rising wood, thin
though strong enough 
to paint slender lines, 
trails into purer air, 
gives shelter
to Christmas birds.

They hunch on stems, quietly
waiting to sing open 
the dawn.