A Land of Holy Reckoning

Not far from the land of
gratitude lies the region of
hope – folk only visit
the one via the other, and
no-one begins in either.

It is a geographic miracle – a delight.

Of course, some opt to
tarry in neither, but on
the other side of both
is peace: a land of
holy reckoning.

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Pet Dreams

They fall asleep so swiftly,
these animals closer to Genesis
than me and my kind. They
dream of the Lord God
walking their wood,
until then again they
flinch from the pain of
the primal couple stepping
out of the garden and into
their nightmare.

Is there any hope for Your
creatures? To surface from
sleep to discover a sliver
of sanity seeping into this
Homo Sapiens?

These pets sleep –
domesticated by our
regimes, our
treats, our
house training but
every now and then
the wild comes calling
and I sense some
hope for
us all.

Full Stop

Your smile is firmly
entrenched in my mind’s eye
even while my heart’s
tongue tastes still Your tears,
salty and sweet both.

Yours is a lament that sings
to an air of promise.

Sometimes I hear You call
my name: now
in a dream, now
in a desire, now
in a drive to be
more fully me.

God, in this You find
me: heart pounding
at a full stop.

To Catch a Tear

The clock just chimed 5:00 am
and the neighbourhood birds
are singing the sun up,

and the sun coaxes the earth
to turn again and again and
again without end.

The chimes fill the house,
every corner penetrated by
morning’s evangel.

I sit in the basement and scribble
this poem while around the world

this tick accompanies a death;
that tock witnesses a birth.

The hands are on the face:
now in delight; now in lament;
now in laughter; now…

in time to catch a tear.

Never takes no…

Water never takes no
for an answer. It
penetrates or
persuades, as befits
the occasion. There is
a life lesson in this:

what once gave life now destroys
what once laid waste, now gently

coaxes the cow, the crow, the corn
growing now in my garden. Water
will not be gainsaid, it is the
persistence of the Syrophoenician woman, it is
the widow who demands justice of
the unjust judge, it is
the moment when
all hell breaks loose, and you
do not know how it will
end. Water
will not be tamed,
will not be domesticated
and this image of God
coursing through my body
now calms, now rages,
now evaporates,
but it never
really
stops.

Formed in the Deep

Night,
you haunt me,
hunt me and
spear me. Through
my chattering heart
your lance pierces
my island of dreams.

In the geography of the dark
you try me, you play me
with a joy here,
with a fear there.
Now my passion is
pushed beyond
boundaries.

If only I could steer
these dreams…
what pleasures
might visit the night!
I would eat at a sacred grove;
I would consume a canyon;
would devour mountains; and
take in each valley, feeding
my heart with desire.

But no, this is not to be.
Now is not the time for daydreams.
The hard work of night beckons, calling
me to be its matter, formed in this deep.

Adieu Iceland

This land is continually being born:
it ever brings forth new marvels, new
vistas, new possibilities. It sings of
change, and the power of play. I feel
this playful change seeping into me,
calling for

a molten mind,
a soul on fire, and
volcanic vision – even

while ice expands the fissures of my being open
and glaciers forge fjords of futures unbidden.

This land is etching itself onto
the geography of my body:
my skin now taut with
wonder, my lips now
quivering in hope,
and my heart
erupting now as
deep calls to depth,
and I feel myself shifting
while taking leave of this
tectonically trembling Ísland.