November 26, 2012

You Said Meet You by the Fig Tree

Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly... 
Luke 21:29-34

You said meet you by the fig tree
and the leaves would heal us
and the branches flower and fruit and feed

you said God would appear as sure as spring
and something wonderful that has no human words,
maybe only exhalations, was coming, and soon, and how

we waited by the tree, observed fruit emerging,
heard it plunk to the ground, smelled sweet softened flesh
watched chipmunks and marmosets scurry off with it all

now the leaves brown and pirouette to the ground
and the branches look like weapons and the wind blows
through us and we are naked in our waiting in our weakened faith

“Be on guard, let not your hearts be weighed down
with dissipation and drunkenness and worry.”  are you kidding???
gravity pulls and tugs and we do droop and drink and dissolve

O Lord, yes you the one who said to meet you there
the one who withered on the tree like wasted produce 
who rose too soon because where are you now our longing for you aches

so why do we gather still and so, watching twigs sprout and bud
spying every last ficus cariga, eavesdropping to hear if you will curse it
or finally flower all hopes and dreams now shriveled on the branch

November 20, 2012

Calling All Kings

Let those men who know and trust 
     their inner king
who trust their own power 
     and don’t misuse it,
          who live beyond themselves
          who see the greater vision
          who seek blessing for all
          who create order out of chaos
          who foster peace in themselves and others –
let them embody their king today,
     humbly yet boldly, 
     fearlessly and with joyful strength,
for this world is short on mature men
     who know they have generative power
     to give life away
and so many turn to false kings
     boys who think a crown costume is all they need
     who stomp and plunder and turn the land to ruin
     who sound the war siren
          without counting the cost
     and forget that caring for the weakest among us
     and uniting the land as one
          are the reason there are kings at all.

November 19, 2012

So You Want to Give Thanks

So you want to give thanks, do you?
By counting up your contraptions
that compartmentalize your life?
By adding up square footage and retirement funds and
calling it blessing?
By revising your own history
so all roads are smooth and all
divergent paths forgotten for the pain they inflicted?

So you want to give thanks, do you?
Give thanks for that day back in June
when you dropped your phone in the toilet
and you spent the evening talking to your son
as you looked into his achingly beautiful blue eyes.
Give thanks for the wildfires that
called you to give away your excess to those in ashes
and you spent the night making love in utter freedom.
Give thanks for your life’s wrong turns,
getting lost in foggy night driving
and giving up the destination for the ride.

These, not the others,
brought you to this day,
this inexplicable moment of your being,
where you see it all for its gorgeous confounding mystery
and you weep that you have breath at all.

So give your thanks, do not keep it.
Do it with your long withheld tears,
your holy offering to the Holy,
when all you lost and all you have to let go of
has finally freed you to peek behind the curtain
and know the imminent and transcendent embrace.

November 14, 2012


As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!"  Then Jesus asked him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down."
            When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately,  Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?  Then Jesus began to say to them, "Beware that no one leads you astray.  Many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and they will lead many astray.  When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.
- Mark 13:1-8

Did you hear the murmurs that things are going black
and lockstep war is coming that will horrify and crush
and there’s nothing you or the generals can do about it?

Did the gossip train roar by your way today
and Doppler-shift whistle that stars are disintegrating
and temples and towers falling while we watch with small eyes?

Did the word mushroom to your state that a virus leaked
and the military lost control of containment
and soon North Dakota will be silent and then South?

Listen: It’s all true, or it’s freaked out fearful chatter, or who knows, 
but then what anyway?  All is prologue and prelude, lift up your 
heart to the universe: the ultimate word and song are yet to come:

sonnets of peace, grace notes of lovingkindness, rumors spreading 
of Spirit filling up the desolate space between when all this 
cosmic crucifixion will rest and then rise a sanctified singularity