Saturday, April 28, 2012

viaje aniversario

Descansamos, casados y
cansados, celebrando
diez años como
una persona.
Comimos y bebimos y
hicimos lo que queremos:
estabamos solo.
Regresamos al principio.
Jugamos. Nos disfrutamos.
Damos gracias a Dios.
No lo escapamos el milagro
que estamos viviendo.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Tulips open as daffodils fade
Pinks for yellows, a better trade
Plum trees show their flowers first
Marking where later fruit will burst
Lilacs are wound up tight in wait
Leaves sent ahead to test their fate
Camellias drop their early blooms
The beauty of March, April consumes
Shy and bold, new and old
Spring for every living thing.

Friday, April 20, 2012

righteous dissatisfaction

In a four-year-old the cycle is fast: anger, sin, shame, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration all in the space of five minutes. Why do grown-ups take so long? We are satisfied to park ourselves at one of the first three stops for decades. Satisfied. Four-year-olds are never ever satisfied.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


None of us knows,
nor chose,
the width,
strength of thread
that binds our shadow-self,
the string
that ties us inside in.
Some strands stretch
taut over time, strain,
fray to a fiber,
Others are
clean sheared
in a fell swoop,
smooth one second
and split the next.
We may spill safely
in small,
manageable portions,
easily reassembled
and wrapped in place,
or we may
watch our every secret slip
slick through our
fingers holding hard
the severed cord.
And you -
do you loosen
or bind?
Am I working against
you when I rush
to pick up my scattered
pieces and tie them
back together?
Scatter me then,
or hold me fast,
free me to
either way.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

listening on sunday

Sunday afternoon
two boys asleep
two eating cupcakes
in the sun while the dog
chases chocolate crumbs.
A morning full of words
still tumble,
echo through me,
and a passel of
feelings answer back.
Contradictions, or
maybe they'll be mysteries
if I am patient.
Cynics and prophets,
shepherds and sheep,
zealots and fools
all have my ear:
I listen,
but it's my voice I
hear on their tongues.
Can any of us
hear another way?
But now the little one
is awake, his cries
shake my thoughts
back to earth
where frosting cheeks
need wiping and
we are all learning to
hear together.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

to care and not to care

Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks
Our peace in His will.

-T.S. Eliot

It is easy to care
when I have something to give.
It is easy to not
when I don't know where they live.
I can sit very still
when my hands are held tight
I can lay down in peace
when I know I've done right.

But it's not and I don't and I can't:
Teach me.

Teach me to have nothing
to offer but you
Teach me to let people
do what they do
Teach me to sit, to just sit
and not move
Teach me until I have
nothing to prove -

even among these rocks.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

past or future

Yesterday I sat in the bleachers and breathed the steamy chlorine air while dozens of kids, including one of mine, swam back and forth along the straight black lines. Memories flooded back: I spent more hours of my young life under this water than I did on dry land. I saw these black lines in my sleep. The memories surfaced and sank back down into nostalgia - the land of past lives, former selves, and finished chapters. Translated into cheesy sports terms, I left it all in the pool.

Today I drove through a college campus and felt a similar tide of memories rise. I was wearing a Jansport backpack and riding a crappy bike in flip-flops when I started to become who I am today. I met my best friends on these busy streets. But these memories pulled me further, forward instead of back. It wasn't nostalgia this time, but the ache of more to come. Unspoken words and unmarveled mysteries are waiting. I want to go back.

Friday, April 6, 2012

good friday

I woke up slowly to
sunbeams streaming,
sleepy-eyed sons
and a psalm of praise.

You never slept
body aching from a night
of tears and prayers,
a morning in court but
no justice.

At noon we played
with friends
under early spring sun
an easy laughter
in our lungs.

Your midday sky went dark
as the curtain tore,
a last breath shuddered
through sagging ribs
and a broken heart.

In the late afternoon
we climbed over driftwood
and squinted into the
sea breeze with
wind in our hair.

As evening approached
they pried your body
from the boards,
life-author limp and
bound in linen cloths.

Tonight I will sleep
in your hard-won peace:
freed through bondage,
washed in blood,
alive by death.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

holy wednesday

It sounds like an oxymoron to me
Or maybe something you say after
A rough day midweek.
But the magnolias are hinting,
The rhodies are blushing,
and even though I am wrung like
Clean linen
I suppose it does feel like a
Holy Wednesday.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

palm sunday

Some Sundays we act out the stories
with our mouths and bodies
because they are ours, but only
in the general sense.
Our acting is an act of faith,
a hopeful play.

Not today.

'Hosanna' rings out clearer,
truer from my mouth than
'Alleluia' ever has.
It feels right, authentic,
probably because the hypocrisy
is built right in.
It's my story:
I lead the crowd
with broken branches
shouting the shallow praise.
His sees me from his
colt-throne, makes my throat close,
but only until Friday.

orange blossom

I woke to walk
the winding path
between the orange trees
before the mist cleared
waiting and looking for my love.

The lavender left its scent
rich and heady on my hands
but only after I crushed it
between my fingers.

The rosemary withheld its
woodsy musk until I broke the
needles from the branch.

But the orange blossom chased me
around the garden circle
courting, wooing, winning
me with gentleness
intoxicating beauty:

Between the fragrance and the fruit
In the center I stood
Breathed in being the