Thursday, July 30, 2009

At the Crowded Dinner Table

At the crowded dinner table
The room's too small for elbows.
The guest on my left
Asks for the salt at my right hand.
I lose the taste for it
And hand her the shaker.

At the crowded dinner table
From the farthest corner
Someone waves at me
And wants my attention
And wants the sour cream.
I want to give her neither.

At the crowded dinner table
Of this farewell party
The emcee calls for silence and a toast.
Tomorrow's on my mind
In thirty tarnished pieces.
I push my seat, unquiet.

At the crowded dinner tables
In a busy bistro
I'm getting a filling for my sweet tooth
And my newspaper says
A billion bodies hunger till it hurts
And my waiter comes again with the menu.

At the crowded dinner table
In the home where I lie at night
I hope no one sees me
Sitting on my soul
And holding my breath
While God is starving.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Midnight (Psalm 63)

On this bed
I trade my life
For unrescripted visions
Of a feast of your rain that will flood my soul
And flush my shadowed body
With your power:
Hold me now.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Only One

Shall we walk, shall we rest?
Shall we be each other's guest?
Shall we speak of everything beneath the sun?

For a moment, for an hour,
Let us feel each other's power
Because for you and 'cause for me there's only one.

And if you go, don't be long
You inspire this song of songs
Washing over memories in an endless run

Think of me, I'll think of you
I'll think of others better, too
When friends are gone my thoughts will turn to only one.

The ripples on the afternoon lake shimmer
I hear a glimmer of the tune
And there you are
Clear as a star
A dish to race the spoon!

Over coffee, over dinner,
You've gone grayer, I've got thinner
News that never will be printed on page one

Build your house of stones and bricks
Oh, it's the end of politics
At this table I will drink with only one.

The falling of the evening tide is slacking
I hear your call to come inside
And there you are
Clear as a star
Your eyes are open wide.

When the sun falls to the moon
Skies turn black and chills come soon
Reminding us our life together will be done

Once again it's me and you
There's nothing else we'd rather do
But hold each other tight until we're only one.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

On a Dangerous Night

I slept through shining hours
In a house divided,
Waiting for the world to end
Until my fury passed.

Well the yoke is not ease
And the burden not light
And I don't want the weight,
On a dangerous night,
Of this dismal disease.

You saw me sing alone
And lose the words before the crowd.
You heard me hold my groan
When witchy women acted proud.

There's a fire in the breeze
And I'm fixing to fight,
And the passion is great,
On a dangerous night,
Forcing men to their knees.

"Lead me not into temptation"
Did not lead to celebration;
I would not accept direction--
Mulishly refused correction.

If to love is to feel
And to feel is to touch
Then the fear in my flesh
Means your love is too much
And my sin is too real.

If you will, you will see
And you'll hear, if you might
All the things tempting fate
On this dangerous night
And the things tempting me.

If yours is beauty, let me see it now
And not the idols I erect--
But not when I have scoured my eyes.
If yours is truth, then let me hear it now
And not this march I cannot stop--
But not when I have broken drums.

And when nothing could please
But would vanish from sight
In my treacherous state
On a dangerous night
You appear and you seize.

You made me turn to you,
The moment I condemned the world.
You waited for this meeting, and
You used my angry loneliness to give
You one more look.

We sat the darkening hours,
You and I,
Attention undivided,
Ah!--until the rain fell like an answer.

And I wanted to feel
And I wanted to touch
And to taste with my flesh
Of a life more than much,
Of a love that is real.

If you will, you will see
And you'll hear, if you might
All the things tempting fate
On this dangerous night
And the things tempting me.