something fearsome

roaches

You used to
Skitter behind the walls,
Litter of mine, dropping
Roaches slipping past me.
With a slap, cast down flat
As fast as can be, by something
Fearsome, more than me.
No vacancy now, the room is full
But empty of tears. Come for me,
Who once had plenty of fears,
Come at me, you demons, you devils,
As fast as can be, and Something
Fearsome, Who’s for me,
Who is and utters Power,
Will dissolve you to dust.

Sputter, glower, all you must,
But strength you’ve only dreamed of
Inhabits length and breadth of this hut
Now. This is Supreme Love.
Here, we are under new ownership,
A thunder You intone, Your lips,
(Like Your fingers: fearsome)
Breathing strength I’ve only dreamed of,
Seething near. Come closer
Insects, your armor is flimsy, and scatter
As chaff. He is far more; simply, He is
Fearsome.
He laughs, and He’s for me,
And utterly more than
You used to
Be, He’s something
Fearsome.

If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Luke 11:20-‬23

(Liturgical poetry during ordinary time after Pentecost is inspired by the parables of Luke.)

Words for the Church: Ordinary Time
difficult, divine
better
torrents of my making
mine to forgive
now does the earth
when blood
knock

unveil

transfigure

(for Transfiguration Sunday)

Every one of us will eventually be running around naked.
There will be no way to cover our pain, no pretense or fame, no expensive names –
The light there will be so bright that it disclothes us, all of us,
And the fall of us will be mighty and massive: insane.
To what degree will that be awkward for me?
Is nakedness freedom or shame?

It’s valuable (no) important (no) essential – to see
And be seen, for faith is in sight (as in seeing unseen), is in hearing unheard-of things:
belief is obscene!
Such that hiding it seems the most natural way,
Such that He hid Himself for most of the days
He was here, but to several, and then to them all,
Not yet to us. When? Not yet, and then…
My loved ones, He lingers, but still we will know.
And the grace of His lingering is melting like snow.

Sparkle then, sprinkle us, baptize us well
That rising from rivers, and blinking back hell,
You would clothe us all daily in luminous light
And forget, and remember, and hold back the night.
Listen well, saints, His unveiling is nigh,
What once was concealed will soon split the sky.

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”
Luke 8:16‭-‬18

(Liturgical poetry during ordinary time after Pentecost is inspired by the parables of Luke.)

Words for the Church: Ordinary Time
difficult, divine
better
torrents of my making
mine to forgive
now does the earth
when blood
knock

knock

knock

Audacity runs thick here, and what’s more,
We’re familiar with waking Him up for
This, that, and the other. So be
Bold in asking, brothers; go free
Bravely, sisters, approach the door.

Go lack common courtesy at your core,
When your state of soul is weary and sore.
When only one thing will heal me,
I am shameless.

Propriety isn’t piety, nor
Does it matter to the child or the poor.
Faith is annoying (it makes me hungry),
Like our families, who insist that we
Owe them something. Knock. By such blood and war
You are shameless.

“Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.” Luke 11:5‭-‬8 NIV

(Liturgical poetry during ordinary time after Pentecost is inspired by the parables of Luke.)

Words for the Church: Ordinary Time
difficult, divine
better
torrents of my making
mine to forgive
now does the earth
when blood

when blood

blood

When blood seeps to streets,
Experts illustrate sermons
And tweet conclusions.
Distance gives perspective on
Which of us has any worth.

When blood flows from wounds,
Those who have bled apply ice
(They know how it felt).
Proximity is queasy,
But neighbors hose the pavement.

When blood drips from lips,
The broken mix oil and wine,
The perplexed pass by.
You’re lost if you need to ask
Who is worthy of mercy.

“But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25‭-‬37

(Liturgical poetry during ordinary time after Pentecost is inspired by the parables of Luke.)

Words for the Church: Ordinary Time
difficult, divine
better
torrents of my making
mine to forgive
now does the earth

now does the earth

IMG_8665-2

Now does the earth in bloom, as crows would fly
(The weeds, as rich with thorns as wheat with grain
Beneath), look simply green from way up high?
And indiscriminate, receive the rain?

And does the field snatch scattered shadows found
By cloudy flocks, or seeping from below?
And does the sun, so far, that warms the ground
Now wither or encourage plants to grow?

Does seed that falls stay stiff beneath the clod,
And seeing, does not see, nor hearing, hear?
Or will it wake and lift its eyes to God
And break and rise to flower, and draw near?

Each seed is more than seed, when Life is nigh,
Who passing, plants in each a thirst for sky.

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:5‭-‬11

(Liturgical poetry during ordinary time after Pentecost is inspired by the parables of Luke. Photo by Linnea Wheeler.)

Words for the Church: Ordinary Time
difficult, divine
better
torrents of my making
mine to forgive

mine to forgive

bleedinghearts

I carve out “home” in the barren branch,
For it is Mine to forgive.

Sin little owe little love little grow little
Open and learn how to give.

When weeping alone is fragrance, bloom.
Only the falling can live.

Pour it out, loved one, don’t filter your pain,
It is Mine, I AM the Sieve.

Many and great will shatter the Truth,
For She is dying to live.

Sin bigger owe bigger love bigger grow bigger
You will have little to give.

Peace kissed me in my enemy’s home,
Both are still Mine to forgive.

Come unto me, you weepers and bearers,
You are Mine.

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Luke 7:40‭-‬50 NIV

(Liturgical poetry during ordinary time after Pentecost is inspired by the parables of Luke. Photo by Linnea Wheeler.)

Words for the Church: Ordinary Time
difficult, divine
better
torrents of my making

torrents of my making

wavelighthouse

I talk and I talk, and I write and I write.
I lug a megaphone around with me to amplify my tiny ideas of light,
What it means to be salt, what it means to be right, and mostly: what I mean.
You know what I mean?
You’d think, for all my talk, fear couldn’t chill my blood.
But I can’t feel anything holding me fast below this mud.

Lord, can you hear me?
Do you see your wild-clinging child, groping for a rope, for hope?
I’ve always wondered: does hope sink or float?
Is it anchor or boat?
Because my house won’t hold back these waves,
And half the time I’m only correcting how I behave
And my will within and walls without cave unto the mud.
And sometimes I believe that I’m adrift upon this flood.

But when I tear my heart away from torrents of my making,
I can only see Him Who holds me fast.
He’s always been there, and He isn’t any further than He was before.
It seems that even when I drift I end up tethered to the shore.
Your Word says to believe, “I am Foundation in the flood.”
And my anchor isn’t action, but Your blood.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Luke 6:46-49

(Liturgical poetry during ordinary time after Pentecost is inspired by the parables of Luke.)

Words for the Church: Ordinary Time
difficult, divine
better

better

IMG_8162-2

A new soul needs to inhabit new skin.
Old skin can’t take a new shape. It’s too thin
Not to crack by fermentation to foam,
Like naked green shoots erupting from stone.
New growth won’t accept the shape that I’m in.

I’m melting, I’m molting, I can’t seem to win
This game of evolving, of growing new limbs.
This stuff is so strange; what used to be home
Just seems better.

Fill me with wine, let new skin grow again.
Old shells can burst and fall, chaff for the wind
And rain to plant deep in paths that I’ve roamed
(perhaps to enrich the fallow to loam?)
Life in Law pales until life filled with Him
Just seems better.

He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”
Luke 5:36‭-‬39

(Liturgical poetry during ordinary time after Pentecost is inspired by the parables of Luke. Photo by Linnea Wheeler.)

Words for the Church: Ordinary Time
difficult, divine

difficult, divine

trinity

(for Trinity Sunday)

You are Three but One,
Above, beyond, outside, more,
Difficult Divine.
I can accept the concept,
But living is to adore.

You are One but Three,
Through, with, in, beside, and here,
Kindest Deity.
Embrace me in sweet death
Such that sweet life begins clear.

Father, Brother, Ghost,
Behind, before, surround me,
Dearest Trinity.
I see. Impart, yet fully
Present, past and future: free.

birth of a nation

pentecost

(poem #2 for Pentecost; poem #1 here)

See the Spirit scatter
Eternal Flame into a thousand tongues,
Simmering in saints of every race
Until every language sings His grace.

See! A million tiny candles on a million tiny hills (for He owns them all):
Such is sight that births sight from thin air.
To be owned by Him is to push back the night, to be in and not of,
And the giftings are numerous, beautiful, fair,
And the greatest of these is love.

Rekindle in me
The heat and the flame
Of an earlier day,
When I sparked at Your name,
Let the sputter of embers within me
Drive me down to my knees,
And the power of prayers translated from groans
Lift my head and remind me:
I am not my own.

Saints:
Witness the birth of a holy nation,
Showering fruit and fire like the Son.
This is the gifting of re-creation:
We burst into flame as one.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:7-12

(Liturgical poetry during Eastertide is inspired by the I AM statements of Christ.)

Words for the Church: Eastertide
new wine
begin again
ancient strain
within the knot
lay me down
finer line
dwell