Lapping waves have their own sagas.
Deep in their memories drift tales of
mer creatures, and Behemoth, and Jonah, and
water learning to listen to the One whose
voice stilled the sea, stills me – more water
than not, sitting on the rocks ringing this harbour.
This is not my Island, but still it
claims something of me: my
eyes behold its beauty with wonder, my
ears hear ancestors sing the wind, my
nose knows that sulfur has its own
history, a mystery in its own right, and
my skins feels the rough and cool of
basalt rock with two tongues.
I step mindfully in this place, because
I know that You, Holy One, have inhabited
this land of ice and fire
far longer than our remembering
far stronger than our forgetting.
I step carefully in this place, because You are
under every stone,
around every corner
within every sound
and I pine for Your appearing.
How is it that You stay away
but still dwell more deeply
in me: You the Horizon
swallowing an ocean tanker whole;
You the Sea that tides my desire
over and over and over again;
You this perpetual Ache that
washes me from head to toe
so that I know nothing of
myself save wanting of You.
Now, this orange I taste is Your lip
this wind on my arm Your finger tip
this warmth of sun Your breath on my neck
and this spirited laugh that wells from within
is now Your Spirit, spinning me round
and round until I collapse into
my Desire, into You.
How pink these May
worms were, today, all squirming
in two – one on top of
blacktop’s rained mirror and
the other below. I
looked down at these
exposed souls, wondering
how long till lunch – but
the birds were not to be
found. Maybe a
parking lot is too
pedestrian for the fowl
in my hood. Maybe this is a
for worms. Maybe I stayed
Mr. Robin et al., following me at
a distance, ready to seize the day,
but soon to discover that
two worms on the lot are only
one in the beak.
The preferment is now in the oven for the night,
and three loaves of rye are in
gestation. A deep satisfaction comes of this
mixing of primal elements:
water and oil;
salt and flour;
and now a little honey for hope.
Can you imagine a more fitting metaphor for
life? This long night of rising is not dark, though.
The oven light sets this bread on fire. This
brightening in oven is
like Christ in grave;
death is tested and
found to fail as
sour dough takes wings
and makes bread of
tohu wa-bohu, of
Tonight I sleep, while the world is born again.
Tonight I pine, waiting for You to slip into loaf.
“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’” John 20:16
You said my name today and
my heart exploded – not
strangely warmed not
merely melted – but it
became a raging
sky and with each
You said ‘I see you’ and my
name became my resurrection.
I wonder at the thought – ‘Allen’ now
hanging in the air and I rising to
meet it. My name embraces
me and now I am in the between –
where You are and where I was – the
heavens inhabit me and I them as
I surface from my mire,
clinging to the miracle of
You speaking me.
We said Your name again today,
and suddenly You arrived – You
slipping into our speech, our song, our silence;
You like seal sliding into sea, but no
– that’s not quite right – because
You are seal and sea both,
both speaking and hearing,
tongue and cochlea.
At the hearing of Your name
I’m riveted to the sky,
I’m nailed to the earth.
Mention of You and
my skin’s a horizon
with the setting sun
now You piercing me.
These days our tree
sweats sweet spring …
I gasp and she
replies, but I do
not yet speak her
tongue. All the same,
I can see her buds brave
frosty mornings and,
at midday, her branches
shimmer, like locks, with
warm sun on glistening wood.
Pregnant with promise, she
preaches resurrection, she
hymns creation, she
With my hand on her trunk,
at the edge of eternity,
I wonder about her roots: are they
sated with humus, or do they
pine after the sky, which
her crown so delicately nibbles?