Monday, December 13, 2010

psalm: come and rest.

listen now, you busy, you restless,
you that feel like your treadmill life
keeps you from stopping and breathing,

you whose hands and heart are covered in
calluses from all their hard labor,
from all the loads they have to carry,

you who are weary
you who are hungry
you who are weak

hear Him calling out your name:

come, you who are beloved of my Father
come and enter into rest

look at the burden I bore for you
look at the work I accomplished

hear My dying cry that the work is finished
hear the Father's words of your approval
hear the Spirit and the Bride say
come to the feast and be satisfied

stop your fighting
stop your striving
be still

take the yoke of sacrifice that binds Me to you
upon your weary shoulders
and find that it is light

because I bear both it
and you

Monday, December 06, 2010

what we carry

This is a city that carries its life around in bags–

Backpacks and messengers full of data, education;
Purses and totes containing whatever small necessary mysteries
A woman knows she may or may not need that day;
Satchels of gym clothes, cast-off uniforms, ties,
Work hours folded up or crumpled into a small package.

We carry books, newspapers foisted on us by
Bright stands or men in orange vests,
Music piped straight into our skulls,
Chewing gum, pens,
Planners, to-do lists,
Worries, hopes, dreams, tasks, prayers.

And we hold close to our chests
Or to our sides
All the stuff
That gets us through
Just one more day.

november 15.

Is the hardest month–

The autumn fades slowly into winter,
The trees which were aflame begin
To offer up their light to the growing darkness,
And the weight of a year
Begins settling onto my shoulders

And in the year’s eleventh hour
We pause to remember
We pause to give thanks
We brace ourselves for the days to come

But in the ever-swifter sunset
The stars glow a little brighter in the vastness of space
And time

And You come nearer to us
And we wait
And we wait
For the heavens to open up


oh You already had my heart
so it’s not like You need my poor permission
to take it over

but You would rather have my joy
than my compulsion
which is kind and demanding of You
all at once

* * *
the thing about feeling like Abraham
is that he also had to take the one he loved
up a mountain
and was asked to slay him

the thing about that, too
is that on the mountain, You provided
and You provide on that mountain still
because You slaughtered the One You love

which gives me the courage to climb up
with all my love in hand
all my fond ambition on my back
to burn it on Your altar

and leave it to You to stay my hand
or not

a meditation on a line from the Frames

Take this sinking boat–
no, that’s the wrong metaphor for what I am.

Take this shipwreck, the broken pieces
of a former glory now lying on the ocean’s floor

rusting, watching the fish and the coral
make a home inside its bones,

full of the memories of adventure and tragedy,
storing up artifacts for no one in particular–

take this shipwreck, drag it to the surface,
hold its treasure and junk equally gingerly in your hands,

and do something ridiculous. Put it back together,
rivet by rivet, room by room, deck by deck,

and launch it back towards the shore of
the place where it belongs, restored and healed.

We still, after all, have time.


i have to say
you have me thinking about chrysanthemums
and how they bloom in autumn
like so much stubborn hope

how the girls pin their silk facsimiles
to their shirts as status symbols
while the warrior boys play on battlefields
and the old guard comes home to watch them grow

how the mums all hung with ribbon
and tinsel lack the courage that the
unadorned–well, i say that, but they
wear more splendor than the song of songs’ lover

the truer blooms have no need to worry
they dig their roots down deep
and bear the strength and dignity
to let go and fade away

crush, part 3

oh sisters
all you daughters of zion

all you who are waiting
for your beloved to come

i charge you by
the deer that go up on
the mountains

by the river that runs
through our city

don't wake up love
until it so desires

don't let it spread like
wildfire through your bones

because love
love is stronger than death

it will break your heart
it will make you mourn the living

but it will also drive out your fears
and bind up your wounds

so wait
for the Giver
of all good things

the One who is love

wait for Him

and He will be enough