Tuesday, March 31, 2009

From a Sitting

Move with the movement,
Anchored and always floating,
Carried standing still.

Sail on to the shore,
Meeting earth, leaving water,
Touching and parting.

Let breezes drift you,
The thick waters of the air
Lapping at your edge.

Circle round the sands
As you cup your little steps
To a kindly crawl.

Waves beyond your ear
Are dashing stubborn swimmers.
You are safe tonight.

Rest, the ship is tied.
Rest, for you are not the tide.
Rest inside the cove,

Watching the seashine,
Hugging the sandy carpets,
Learning fishers' prayers,

Sleeping with the sky,
Rising with a virgin sun
From untame water.

Sail, the light is bright.
Sail, the day is long enough.
Sail until you're here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Prayer in Anger

I have had my fill of candlelit vigils and sights subdued.
We are not a confederacy of candles, but a nation on fire.
Let it blaze!

We are not alone, but we are not together. Where are we, friends?

I want to see my enemy. I need to see my enemy.
And my enemy needs to see me.
We march and they hide. We march, and we hide.

I want to break the digital windows and force the virtual doors.
I want to pray like a prisoner and sing like a criminal.

Keep the eschaton. An encounter will do.
I will see you. Good God, I want to see you.

Jesus, revive this sublimated life.
Show us the way of radical subordination.
We have not even begun to be good.
Nobody knows whom we serve.
Nobody is watching because everybody is staring.

But the enemy is waiting to be served.
And all eyes turned inward will jerk around to the image blown out.

Lord, give me your burning coals!
Make me a weakling, a fool!

Good God, I want to see you.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reason to Cry

Tell us about the pilgrims who fell and never did go on.
These are the souls who never came to Babylon.
Tell us about the pilgrims who survived.
These are the souls whose cries brought them to life.

The doves drove into darkness while guitars hummed on the air.
You rubbed your eyes, your body shook, you hid inside your hair.

Who told you not to cry?
Who made you feel alone?
Who takes your sleep and lies?
I'll bring them far from home.

You fear to feel anything I feel and see anything I see.
You don't believe. The you in them has killed the you in me.

I'll help you live with friends
Who don't know who you are,
Who justify their ends
And make you their North Star.

Then maybe you can listen with your fingers or your feet,
Intelligently touch the mind, step smartly on the street

Within the light parade,
The waste land made a world
Again. The stage is played
Upon, all tongues uncurled,

And soon you'll speak a living tongue you do not know
And faster sprint to Eden from the Inferno

And feel a hotter fire
Than what blazes in your veins.
The life my blood will sire,
Life for which your labor pains,

Will speed the different shades of sun, ignite the air,
And warmly crawl along the floor and up the stair.

It shines inside your soul
When friends ask for it to.
But when you feel like a black hole,
Recall my prayer for you.

And learn to look before, beyond, and through the bolted door
For visions speaking fe y esparanza y amor.

I trust your teary eyes.
They say you will not die.
I say they will not rise.
I know you have to cry.

For I have felt everything you feel, and seen everything you see.
I hope you trust my joys enough to give your griefs to me.

I've come to you for this.
I'll wait to hear you sigh.
I'll wait until there is
No reason left to cry.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Open Your Lips

You want to give a kiss. That's what you say:
"It pulls you into flight; you fly away.
It fills the night invisibly with day."

But what you really want is to be kissed.

And why? A kiss makes life. The warm breath flows
Into the molded dust, and the dust stirs.

But shall the pot inspire the potter?
Or Galatea carve Pygmalion?

You want to give a kiss; that's what you say.
"I'll give you all I have then give you more.
My soul, your soul, each in the other's core."

Except your lips are shut. Your body lies
There battered in the sand. The waters roar.

How can you give love when love is something you never had?
You cannot think you know the reasons for the kiss.

For what you really need is to be kissed.
Who will open your lips?
Who will blow hard and blow deep in the mouth of death?

You need to be created anew. And maybe you will. Do you want it?

Do you will it?

Then lean into her face. Look through her eyes.
Be close, then close your orphaned eyes and breathe.
And let your breath be covered with another.

And who knows what it will mean? Or what was there?
The being, not the feeling of what seems
To be so meant to be in gilded dreams,
The being. And who knows what it will be.

Who knows but that you'll say goodbye to crying.
Who knows but that you'll change, but without dying.

Who knows the worth of being here like this.
Who knows the key encrypted on a kiss.


Spiritual but not religious: you might as well say you are hungry but not accustomed to eating.
Religious but not spiritual: they feed but are never nourished.
You are a spirit. Your spirit has a religious instinct.
Satisfy spirituality in religion.
Be religious so that you may be spiritual.
Be both so that you may be a true and faithful servant.


The temptation of silence: to believe you are called to be quiet.
Silence is not quiet. For that matter, silence is not silent.

The sin of quietism: to fail to yield your tongue to the One who opens your lips.


Watch the river flow, and know there is some place for you to go.
Being still is not staying put. Keep moving to be stable.


Anonym: A notion which has no name, or which can not be expressed by a single English word (J.R. Seeley).

There are no anonyms but God. For the rest, hear your name and be saved.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pause, Then Play

Sing, because someone is tuning.
Dance, because someone is leading.
Pray, because someone is gracing.

When you rest, you are never resting.
You are being led out of temptation.
When you laugh, you are laughing forever.
You are being delivered from evil.

This is what the sage said:
Remember to play.
This is what the sage sees:
Men and women who forget how to act like children.
This is what the sage means:
They who disinherit the least will inherit not the least.

And we disown ourselves when we split into an inward child and an outward elder.

Ascend the stage. Approach the light. Prepare to breathe.
And mark your steps. Adjust your sight. Be there, believe.

Then pause.

And the Word became flesh that your flesh may become a Word.

Then play on.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Going and Coming and Becoming

Take me on a journey whose destinations are moments.
This is the way out of the endless peregrination to no purpose.

We are tramps. But you will make us pilgrims.

You do not need to take me where the breezes blow.
Make me the breezes blowing.
You do not need to guide me to the watercourses.
Make me the water flowing.

We are plastic dolls. But you will make us sinewed souls.

For the long long loneliness, a friend of friends.
For the slow sore insomnia, a dream of dreams.
For the deep damp desolation, a sun of suns.

O take us on the way into the meeting place,
Where who we see we see in silver sharpness,
Where who we hear we hear in golden roundness,
Where who we touch we touch in bronzed warmness,
As infants overcome in daylight's panoramic brilliance.

We are old and nearly frozen.
But you will make us young and nearly lava.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Love Minus Zero

Feel the hand of God gently pushing you aside, putting you where you will be.

It is not where you want to be. But it is all right, and it is very good.

And you are allowed to cry about it.
You are allowed to laugh about it.
You are allowed to wonder about it.

Be awakened. Be stirred. Be looked upon.
Some won't let the gaze of God enlighten their brow.

You are down and out, but you are never alone. The poverty of the body will uncover the richness of its spirit. You are here with many pauperized lovers.

Remember everyone who relies on your prayers. Can you see them?

Look upon the sinners and sinned against with compassion: Did you know that God is looking over your shoulder at them? God will look where you look. God will touch whom you touch. Because you are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Grieve for the sufferers who have no companion but darkness. Then come to them, moist-eyed, and be their light.

Be directed by graceful indirection. It is all right, and it is very good.

From the church to the house to the park to the street, you are learning how to be human. You are learning how to be God.

There is no limit in the life itself, although the living must diminish;
You will become eternal, body open-ended, when your labors finish.

Can you count the ways God says yes?
In every affirmation, and still more in every negation!

Get on the road by which the blue clear river flows.
And you will lack for nothing on the way.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Eternity and Other Things

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.
William Blake, "Eternity"

But you want to hold on to a piece of that which lasts. Well, you better get in line. And know this: if you get in line, you will wait for time everlasting and collapse into the abyss. It is no matter when or where you get in the line—you are in the line. Because eternity is before what comes first and is after what comes last.

Step out of line, my friend. You should not want so much. Learn to become a better kisser instead.

What, is a kiss not enough? Then get your wings and learn to fly with the contentment you have been given to feel.

Step out of line. Soar into the spiral. And find yourself some good sunglasses.


Christian theologians were the first lepidopterists. All well and good, but I can hear Jesus say: physic, study thyself!


Who burst your bubble? It was you, you yourself. Is that reason enough to prick the others? It is no reason, for there was no reason at all in what you did in the first place. There, there is original sin: finding a reason for nothing. Was that King Lear's ghost that just shivered past?


When something is found along the way, it is yours.
When you are found along the way, you are God's.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Examination of Conscience

Your competence is not a substitute for compassion. Your competence will not cover the poverty of your charity.

Jealousy! Is it useful to you? It is good for nothing. It makes you curse the others for singing in the rain while you stand stubbornly under your umbrella.

You heard someone's footsteps approaching behind the door, and you flinched again. Who was it? You will never know. But you keep waiting for the footsteps. You camp in the room behind the door. But you won't answer the door. You call this hope?

Courage: it is to reject your suspicion that others are not interested in you. It is also to call upon others and risk having your suspicion validated.

You waited to have your name lifted up before you left them: greed, even for wooden nickels.

Your eyes are suns. The one whom you can look directly in the eye is the one whom you can blind and burn. Be careful.

But do not be too careful. The one whose face you avoid will freeze.

Quick, in the name of Isaac, a miracle: laugh, laugh well, and laugh within earshot.

Did you obey? Did you defy? Did you make it possible to do both with excellence?

Did you live? Did you die?

Did you love?