Monday, November 30, 2015

Second Death

In the darkness of noon
proud souls decline
from glittering heights
to October's stark truth.  

Sacred fire ignites
their hopeless, sad flight
into sin and self-

(20 Oct. 2011)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

We Must Believe

We must all believe in love and in peace.
We must believe in the power of love.  Thomas Merton

Peace fills this house
as I alone awake and hear
the sounds of easy breathing,
the morning birds, striving
with rising dawn, singing
in the sun with piercing song,

while in the great distance
beyond the gentle flame of sunrise
anger rages.

The birds of Homs are silent.

Waning day swells
with the wails of

They cradle the innocents,
caught in the fire
of a Assad’s withering greed.

Thy will be done.

Though I cannot understand
I must believe
in your powerful love,
your infinite

(25 July 2012)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


If I trust You, everything else will become, for me, strength, health, and support. Everything will bring me to heaven. If I do not trust You, everything will be my destruction.
Thomas Merton  Thoughts in Solitude

When it begins
music plays and we sing
songs of gathering, greeting.

This, then, is the family complete,
assembled around the table
ready for the thanksgiving feast.

Why can’t we just stay

We tell the stories of youth,
laugh at self-folly, glad at last
to tell the truth,

but soon we feel the pain
of separation, of nails
driven deep
beneath our tender skin:

his heart breaks; cancer invades

her beloved body
and we can only stare
at vacant crossings,


until You speak.

Believing beyond reason,
we feel the bread, deep down,
into our very guts, spreading
unreasonable warmth
and comfort
and joy!

We cannot understand such power
but without it
our lives
would cease.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

To an Unknown Land

To an unknown land
o’re the distant sea
crowding me in, it
carries me.

Through night and day
I'm rushed along.
I want to stay though
I can't stay long.

Compelled to go,
I linger with you;
Though I want to remain,
harsh time whispers, "no."

(9 Aug. 2012)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

O Salutaris Hostia

My foe draws near
and darkens my sight
leads me to hatred,
and the hard, futile fight.

Cruel night
on this cold, foreign place,
but to you, Holy Victim,
with hope I do pray!

Oh, open the gate
to my true, native shore
and forever I'll praise you
for your strong arm restores

my life and my love
to bright day evermore.

(11 April 2012)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Holy Days

Image, Vincent Van Gogh, Road with Cypress and Star, 1890

These are my holy days

when dark spirits inundate
the mystic forest
and urge me with purling song
into empty waters.

But I’ll stop this descent

into somnolent night.

I see a new way to fight
this terminal pain.

Looking into your eyes
at last I confess
your brighter path
and joyfully say,

(20 Nov 2012)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Old Simeon's Blessing

on this radiant child.

I'll smear his head 
with bitter oils, cool 
his brow with the waters
of paradise, 
and with sweet incense
raise to heaven
his soul!

...but I fear for the life
my failing eyes foresee
how the rich of this land
will fear him, strike him down,
covet even the air
he breathes,

and you, daughter,
the soldiers will pierce 
your tender breast
with heavy swords
tear an open wound
deep in your heart, 

to be a sanctuary
for all the mothers
of all the children
yet to be slain.

Most blessed
are you, my child, most holy
is your name.

ref: Lk 2:34-35

(7 Jan. 2013)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Terrorist

“People who know nothing of God and whose lives are centered on themselves . . . . can only conceive one way of becoming real: cutting themselves off from other people and building a barrier of contrast and distinction between themselves and other men. They do not know that reality is to be sought not in division but in unity, for we are ‘members one of another.“ - Thomas Merton, from New Seeds of Contemplation

Je suis un parisien!  14 Nov 2015
Carry your anger

in a heavy bag
filled with nails
and sharp shards -
hate honed to
hard edge of

When you see
their bright smiles
you will know
it is time
to ignite
your Inspired

(28 April 2013)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Boy's Gift

I only have
two little fish and
the five barley loaves
my mother packed
for my father and me
for our long
walk home.

I’ve been hungry before
and fear losing my little dinner,

but your eyes so fill my heart,
that, smiling, I give you all I have.

Oh, you must be the One!

for from my meager dole
you feed five thousand souls.

Never again
will I be hungry!


Monday, November 2, 2015


dry earth

shifting ever-down

to lowest ground,
dust sifting
autumn’s blight,
to winter’s,
longest night,
until Grace
unrequested, freely
given, undeserved
fills with unreserved life
springs, white-water  
rising higher
than could ever
have been

(3 Dec 2012)