This Lumen

These candles alit
outside on this fall
night usurp the sun for a time.
This trinity of soft
light plays well on my
eyes, weary of too
much clarity, too
much certainty, too
much of that kind
of faith that is
finally aloof.

These three wick a joy from
deep in heaven; a joy
hovering above the
window of my soul.

This, this lumen
settles me and I am
happy for this time
of grace, when the
aureole rays of these
three kings stay my
anxious heart
and illumine

Shadows Settling Me

Is there a light
as lovely as a
candle’s? She
makes art
of the wall:
deftly balancing

light and shade

aptly drawing

my eye in, then out

graciously holding

the centre

while caressing

the contours of this space.

She transfixes me, this candle.

She sets me in the room, just so,

and her glow mirrors

Yours – Word Aflame – Word

seen and heard as You

divine me, define me

draw me in, enthrall me.

I sit in the splendor of this

candle, in the lure

of shadows settling me.

I the Wick

No fire can replace You –




But still I enjoy


candle and


They dance me

red, orange, and azure too.

They draw me

in inviting me

out of dark pettiness

and so they echo You.

But fires also rage and raze



hearts, and I

swear that when I
shake my first at You,
You play the

Flame and I the


Just Before Dawn’s Light

Here is light plating earth;
sliver sightings of a world not yet

green nor gold, a

pre-dawn pewter that

stems birds just

at the cusp of their awakening

taking choristers’

breath away. All of

this before gold

gilds the earth and

me in wonder at its incipient

coronation – a beneficiary – at this

now silvered sight that

calls, nay, bawls us all into being as

earth is born yet again.

5 O’clock Dark

Heading home, Friday last,
I passed the Salvation Army and
the street lamps did me the honour
of multiplying my shadow leaving me
variously iterated in black:
here short and squat, like a puddle at feet
there long, lean and sliding across the street
but ahead just right, properly proportioned
and cutting a sweet angle a little left of centre,
slightly smug until an ambulance navigating the traffic
rendered me red on Sally Ann’s wall –
each shadow dancing a life under
the aegis of an emergency’s brief
incursion – after which I stepped
off the curb and slipped across
the street into a stretch
of easy dark.

Light Arrested My Eyes

Dear Readers,

This evening was our annual Art and Vespers Service at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.  I was asked to respond, poetically, to Isaiah 40:26.  Both the verse and my response follow.

Lift up your eyes on high and see:
Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.


Light arrested my eyes last night

Light older than our mother, earth.

And this light sang to me,

Of comets and constellations

Of darkness and dust

Of cherubim and seraphim.


This light was wise, apprised of

The good, the true, the beautiful, yet it knew too

Of my fear of being blindsided by high-minded expectations of

Stellar piety.

And so it settled me, this light – it sang me

Into rapture as it captured me

With a luminosity

Both soft and penetrating.


The lights in the sky are not mood lights, but

Explosions of joy,

Incensing cosmic altars

Imaging mystery for all

Lifting high, each eye.


The lights in the sky are not

Content to stay, but earthward

Make their way, their rays

Making of me

A mess.

I weep their beauty, a puddle of poetic potency at my feet.


I am undone by You, You the Light of lights

Of star, of moon, of fire, of me, of us.

Aflame, we light out and so light up

The sky, until we fade into the dark

Where you remember each of us,

as we surrender to the sky that we become.