August 31, 2013

Parable of the Dinner Party

She entered the party like a caped queen
her heels lifting herself up to thinner air
almost to where she wanted to be

she saw the table spread with boutique finery
charcuterie and artisanal cheeses and duck liver pate
red and white and bubbling wine for every course

she approached the gathering and saw on the far end
the out-of-fashioned, the rough handed and wrong spoken
the servants and migrants who picked the butter lettuce

on the near end she saw well-labeled suits
handbags with leather and metal clasps
that look of confidence in the eyes of the highly educated

she saw one chair near her with those of her kind
she sat and mingled and sipped wine and laughed controllably
and knew which fork to use for the appetizer

the host came and thanked her for taking
the seat at this end and assured her warm voiced
that someday, she too, could join him at the other end

August 22, 2013

Another Kind of Raising Up

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, "Woman, you are set free from your ailment." When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day." But the Lord answered him and said, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?" When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing. - Luke 13:10-17

stooped so only the beetles could see her face
stuck in fractured vertebrae downward posture
bone on bone and the cracking of movement
crooked humility like forced back labor

and then the raising the release the renewal
freedom to stand up and breathe deep in the lungs
strengthened in spine and spirit and looking everyone eye to eye
another one lifted up to dignity and now:

a free, 

August 17, 2013

Near and Far, I'm Afraid

Am I a God near by, says the LORD, and not a God far off? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the LORD. 
- Jeremiah 23:23-24 

If I run to the Sangre de Cristo mountains
and disappear in New Mexico high desert sage

even the hummingbirds will buzz your presence

if I scuba dive and snorkel off of Cozumel

and touch a Queen Angel and stroke a spotted eagle ray

there you are, breathing and bubbling along

if I hide in my cerebral mess and wallow in pain

and push away with hands and feet any incarnate love

or busy my life with work and finance and hobby

and distract myself with tweets and digital friends

there you are, grabbing hold of me in the now of awareness
in the being and the self-deception and the running

will I finally find peace from the one who haunts

and never lets go of the chase or the hand or truth

if I cannot escape this unbearable holiness

will I ever submit to its infinite and infinitesimal reality

and float in its mysterious salt-water buoyancy

or will it kill me first, and I end up exactly there anyway

August 9, 2013

Count the Stars

Abraham’s countless stars hover over our troubled heads
Sarah’s sky lights enlighten our skittish steps
our ancestors fill the night sky with testimony
this is not all there is, there is more to come
more than the terra and the ocean
the sky painter who flicks your future on midnight canvas
is making space for your story and song
making and guarding promises still unspoken
opening wormholes to times and places
unreachable by your linear, downward searching mind
so let that muscle in your forehead go and feel your brow drop
and your heart slow and your brain relax and the flow flowing
and rocket on through fear until faith is your Milky Way