Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sing Hallelujah - a poem for Thanksgiving

Sing praise and
shout hallelujah,
as bullets sing their siren song
and death is never far;
and sing praise
while fires rage and
children fall silent
behind barbed wire fences, and
children fall silent
with bellies distended, and
children fall silent
as their homes are devoured,
and they race against monsters and time.
Sing praise, for the monsters are winning.

Free the captive.
Feed the hungry.
Give shelter to those in need.
This is my song,
this praises my name -
Be kind.
Work for peace.
Hallelujah!
Hope is an action.
Pray with your feet.
Hallelujah!
Lift your eyes and see God
In the eyes of the other.
Hallelujah!

All the earth is holy ground.
The bush burns,
do you not see?
Open your eyes -
there are such wonders!
Open your heart -
there is such love!
Sing hallelujah!

This is my bounty.
This the glory.
For this we give thanks.

For the richness of life,
And the jagged edges that cut
and draw blood,
And the beauty
In the sound of rain
and silence,

We give thanks.

For the Creator of eternity
and time,
Who calls to us in darkness
and light,
In our hunger
And our want,

We give thanks.

For the fullness,
For the stones that bite
And the bedrock upon which we stand,
For the hands that lift us,
And the song that fills us

We give thanks.

For our breath,
For our bodies
For the grace of  healing,
And the blessing of light,
So that we can taste the sweet,
The sharp,
The weary,
Lonely,
Lovley
Holiness of this day
Sing hallelujah
And give thanks.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Being - for Ellen, who taught this lesson

The sun , catching
the tuning pegs of the guitar,
kept distracting me -
a flash of light
while I was busy praising Your name
and declaring Your love.
That seemed somewhat awkward,
like maybe I should
Stop, take notice.
Be present.

Be in Your love.
Be in Your presence.
Let the words go
and be.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Texture of Shadows - for parashat Toldot

We danced,
my brother and I,
a twisted tango of love and hate.
He cast such shadows--
long and textured,
big enough to hide in.

Thief! You liar and thief!
You stole my parents
and I loved you,
would have given it all to you,
if you had only said the words
I longed to hear.
Instead, I hid in your shadow
that blazed and shimmered
and grew mighty--
long, and longer still.
It covered all the land:
my birthright, my heart.

Thief-- you stole everything from me!
You stole the light of heaven,
and my father's eyes,
that were so dim and faulty
he could see only your shadow:
Dark and luminous and richly royal,
A cloak that swallowed light.

An absence of color,
your shadow was,
a cloak of lies for him,
and a comfort for our mother,
who needed its comfort.
She loved you best. And I,
I loved you all.

You played on ladders
and tangled with angels;
you demanded the curse of
blessings and names.
You took my mother's love,
stole my father's touch
until there was nothing left for me
but the raw desperation  of silence.

My brother--
all liquid cunning and silvered lies.
You took it all, you thief,
You liar and thief!
I begged, hungering for the
easy grace of their notice,
living a poor and pale echo
of your sheltering,
sweltering,
smothering life.

You turned hard rock into the kingdom of Heaven
and betrayal into a nation of sand and stars.
You knew God,
so you were blessed
and cursed
and loved.

Now we are here, at the river's edge
on the border of night and shadows.
You knew God,
but I learned forgiveness,
so I bless you,
and curse you,
and love you
more.