Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The One Thing



“Happiness consists in finding out precisely what the ‘one thing necessary’ may be, in our lives, and in gladly relinquishing all the rest. For then, by a divine paradox, we find that everything else is given us together with the one thing we needed.”  Thomas Merton

rain
falling
tenderly
on spring grass, on leaves
bending as two mourning doves moan,
beat wide their wings and brush back the sky; falling low to
dark earth, gladly would I give it
all for a moment
in the glow
of your
eyes!




(9 April 2013)

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Poet to Reader


Deep inside my silence
words glow like burning stones
plunging to dark waters.

Share with me my holy fire!
With joyful shouts,
we’ll flood the hidden rivers.

But if you leave
I cease.

My words die
without your eyes,
molder to
faded stains.

So come into my heart
and sing with me
this mystic chant!

We’ll be madmen,
hunting diamonds in the dark.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Connecticut Effect

devastating velocity,
blood thirsty, fresh death-
dealing NRA
lies fly super-
sonic flesh thud-
ing ragged rounds
slamming into
stunned souls,
dreams
die.


(26 Feb 2013)

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Pure Hope





“We are not perfectly free until we live in pure hope. For when our hope is pure, it no longer trusts exclusively in human and visible means, nor rests in any visible ends. “ Thomas Merton


Close the gun’s edge
life is sharply
defined.

Clarity is achieved
when you have nothing left
but hope.

That’s when you realize
that your life stands
without any visible
means of
support;

like a high-
wire walker,
you are
pure.

That’s why
you have the freedom
to stand between
the red rage

and the children.



(14 Dec 2013)

Saturday, July 27, 2019

to the center


Photo: Brian Federle, "Night", 2014


the
beat
steady;
constant hum,
music of days to
night fading; the right note, only
song you know; sum of your days, falling, falling to night.

so
go
to the
center, to
the black place to wait
for Him. Don’t call out in fear for
there’s nobody there but you and He, so simply be

and
hear
how His song
fills your darkness with
light; smile at Him, your familiar
bright friend, and no longer will you fear your emptiness.

(23 Dec 2013)

Monday, July 22, 2019

Tahachipi




Golden heights,
dry undulations,
the etched road
flowing
to distant ridges,

to promised breakers
crashing
under the deep Pacific sky
of wide California.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Abernathy Road Roundabout





Bronze angel, strong arms
lifting the rainbow,
you stand in the center.

Our fast cars veer around
north, then east
to shop, to school,
to home

but we can’t see
what you see.

Even the truckers,
who lumber down
Abernathy Road
and enter the circle
with heady grapes
ready for press, for barrel,
for thick, green bottle

steer past you.

Our lives are scheduled over-full.
We all have
some place else to go

until unfulfilled,
we return at last
to your bright center, 
and in your embracing arms
we rest.

(16 July 2011)

Author's note:

Image: Mother Nature by Lisa Reinertson, in traffic circle at Rockville and Abernathy Roads, Suisun Valley, CA.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Angeles



Just before nightfall

your new leaves
softly sway
in the cool delta breeze,
your limbs glint
in flames of
a deeper shade
where rough trunk rises
from clambering vinca,
to violet fire.

Oh! Dance with the angels!

Dance with Lord
of the Trees!

His breath will stir you to passion,
His song will lull you
to sacred sleep. 


(22 April 2012)

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Memorial

Summer

He worked nights, leaving as we climbed
the tall narrow staircase to our shared room,
up into the summer heat, the steel fan
in the hallway window
pulling cool, leafy breezes
from our waving trees.

We heard the kitchen screen-door
slap shut, the Pontiac roaring to life,
and watched as slowly he backed down
the dark driveway, and was gone.

And gladly we glided through our misty dreams,
flying over tree-tops, baseball games
and cool swimming pools,

when finally the robin’s enthusiasm
and the fresh morning sun
flashing through green leaves
woke us as we heard the car stop
and Dad call cheerfully, “I’m home!”

The air already scented with bacon and coffee,
we flew down the groaning stairs,
two steps at a bound,
and eagerly started another golden
summer’s day.


Winter

One winter day I did something wrong, and
he got angry and drew his worn leather belt
from the loops of his grey, stained work trousers
To teach me a lesson.

Terrified, I ran upstairs to the big closet
and trembled behind coats and sweaters,
as heavily he came up the steps,
righteous anger ringing in his voice,
tears flowing down my cheeks;

when my big brother, teenage and strong,
called defiance to him and drew him down
into the back yard to fight him
and save me, angered by his
memory of so many other beatings,
determined to stop it now!


But facing his own father
he could not fight back, and
weeping, I watched my dad
pummel my brother’s defenseless face,
far worse than any beating
I would have gotten.

From kitchen window,
I screamed to them both
to stop!

That was when my father saw,
in the kitchen window’s glare
his own father’s angry eyes,
and felt his father’s fists
landing hard on his own face,
and he stopped and
embraced my brother.

Spring

Seven years after my father died
my first child, my son, was born in spring,
and in the gleaming, sterile room
I first held him in my arms
as, with his impossibly wide, blue eyes
he calmy gazed right into my raw soul,
and I felt in a sudden rush of warmth,
a timeless love
and at last discovered
the reason for my life.

It was then
I understood my father.

In my son’s face I saw my own
and felt my father’s eyes gazing
in warm wonder on me
and I glowed with
unconditional love for my son.


(30 Jan 2011/ 2017)

Photo: Steven Federle holding Brian Federle, March 1986

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Pentecost



When you left us
I saw how the clouds parted,
rent curtains,
as you cleared earth’s
drossy smear,
and passed into a heaven
bright beyond
our wildest imagining.

Bereft, fearful, we
shut tight the door
against wolves’ howling
and waited for you
to keep your promise.

At first it was a whisper,
the sea-ward wind
prying loose our
weak walls,

but soon the song rose, until
its power overwhelmed us
with chords of faith,
and, afire at last,

we spoke!