Tag Archives: Life

On the Wing

Today is the day.
How grateful am I
For every cloud of gray
Every drop of rain or icy flake,
Every breath that flew away
In dirge, or praise, or revelry.

Intricately, my wings unfurled,
My story unfolded against the air
In ascension and dive, song and twirl:
Before my Maker, I migrated
Searching this world
For Providence

Finding it from cavern to summit
In my Maker’s hand-
Taking wing to the wind of trumpets
To soar through blue
Or else to plummet
And sleep though winter

One day, to finish my flight,
To be in the ground
Is no less than working the sky
All things complete, as they should be.
After all, You alone made me to fly;
There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow,
Even one such as I.


Diverted by Beauty

We march, shoulder to shoulder,
In a column down the road
Densely packed together,
Those behind us take the goad
I strain to make my way
Through the crowd, to see
The final destination
We pursue in step proudly,
But only elbows, shoulders,
The backs of many heads:
And everyone is leading,
And everyone is led.
The left leads with their left foot
The right leads with their right
As I tumble, tossed between them
For my way to walk upright
I stumble once, a hip
Collides into my side,
I find the ground beneath my palms,
Then catch a knee in stride
Foot by foot, I’m pressed
Now my back, my neck, my hand
As I scratch and claw sideways
Out to higher land
Aside the moving crowd
I recline on the foot of a grassy bank
I catch my breath. I see the sky.
I lift my quiet thanks.
The throngs continue moving
Humming as they go,
Some homogeneous buzz:
A million tunes that no one knows.
The sky above looks gray,
But along the horizon view
It spreads to fill the space
Pink blooming to vibrant blue.
I lift my head, and standing alone
At the peak of my grassy slope
I’m caught unaware by a flower
Piercing with sudden hope
A nameless hope, shapeless,
Stirring my stagnant depths
Now I’m crawling and fumbling,
Too bent low to take real steps.
As I crest the hill, splendor
Bathes me in golden light
Fields of flowers spread
Out to the farthest sight
And rocky mountains carve the air,
A crystal lake reflects the sun
People break off from the group
Slowly, one by one,
I stand to resume the migration,
Ambling beside the troupe
Neither independent,
Nor one within the group,
But all my steps ascend the hill
Gravitating to beauty
Devotion meets affection;
Loyalty finds its duty.
Somehow a nation is formed
In steps between the two;
The solid mass of man,
And the beatific view.


The Traveller’s Song

Is the thought gone?
Did it dissolve away
like the sudden snowflake
on the tip of a hot tongue?

And the words on the tip of my tongue
Dissolve, but are never destroyed
Piggybacking on the steel legs
of reason and wonder,
exhaustion, joy,
and the foreign wanderer
I have always been.

Not an idle word is abandoned
in the wake of new songs
How they flicker in the sun
turning, keeping time, telling stories
in wordless languages
of colors colliding, instrument strings
vibrating, resonating the songs of our souls

And I was born old
Onward I crawl, by day and year,
Towards the day of my birth:
Rewoven again in trembles and starlight.
I’m going to see Him-
All these years waiting,
traveling alone,
though I never have been.

What was the thought?
The traveler’s cloak
a defense against the cold
wrapped over the bare emotion
breathing beneath
It unravels to expose
the naked beauty

of the forgiven soul’s migration.


Graded Earth

For the life of me
I can’t figure the parts
Stuck between where I’m going
And the spot I started
As anything other than
Some odd bird’s migration
North for the chill
Against the invitation
To follow the crowd, or
To just freeze
Admit some kind of defeat
But I ruffle the breezes
And walk on alone
I can’t understand
What I was supposed to do,
Was there some parcel of land
I neglected to climb?
Some trail or tour
I’m confused by the feeling
I’m a failure
When there was no clear mandate
Aside from learning
To love and be loved
To mitigate the pain and yearning
Of humanity, aware.

And I’m still here.


Low Tide

These ebbs erode the shoreline,
Carrying the banks to build bars
For the oyster to ingest
Constructing pearl from the hard sands
I once stood upon.

Time erodes my story,
Washing away the grains
Of days and hours and potential roads
And the details are the same
But the game of charades lilts to a side

Our birth pitches us into projects
We cannot honestly complete
Like writing the ill-conceived
Autobiography
About the stranger.

All the roots I sank
And I’m still just a duffle bag
One goodbye away
From a homeless nomad
Too tired to roam

Watching the churning sea
For the bits of debris
That feel like home.


Well Wandered

If I’d packed my bags then
During those first steps into the rain
How heavy-laden I might have been
To hold anything but love and pain
In these two, fragile hands

Only capable of carrying
What fits inside a coffin, or a womb,
A thing to bear, or to bury
One to produce- one to consume-
On either side of standing.

All those years, the quiet dignity
Growing in adverse conditions
Our roving anonymity
Void of live ammunition-
Defenseless but for invisibility

My identity I had only sworn
To deceased associations
I wandered, well-worn
With You as my nation;
My allegiance pledged in motility.

And my Nation wanders still
To the roadless places,
The empty hands, unfilled
But heavy with the graces
Carried to the last generation:

Shall I again pledge allegiance
To my well-wandered nation?


I Can’t

My whispers collect here.
Have I been in the cold
Wandering all these years?
Hope is the old man
Singing through his tears
To the child in my soul

I can’t, but I know
God can.

Caught between the crashing waves
My desires wash out to sea
Slipped between fingers that could not save
I drop to my knees in sand.
At least the child was brave;
What is left to make of me?

I can’t, but I believe
God can.