Omnis Creatura Ingemescit

The ache starts in my gut,
wrenching the past into soluble dreams
that mix with pain into churning,
burning with desire, yearning.

It spills out in bloody bile,
a million souls in a torrent of screams—
here for justice, there for bread—
fed with crushing wait instead.

The ache bleeds to my heart,
dissolving the future in polluted streams
that seep into my body’s earth:
dearth of life, void of worth.

It stiffens me in rigor’s grip,
a billion souls lose a war of extremes—
here of peace, there of breath—
breathless, until love conquers death.

– MWP 2014 (Advent)

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Elegy for Alan

We weep for you,
asleep on the sand,
awash in the tears of God.

– MWP 2015

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Newtown, Connecticut

Life is made of little things:
a daughter’s smile, a lover’s kiss,
the whispered word of warm embrace—
trifles, weighted down with grace.

– MWP 2012

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Love’s Sweet Kiss

A heart holds out against the storm,
battens down hatches in violent sea.
Waves piling on waves, pounding waves;
sheets of icy rain in arctic wind,
slicing through slick surface, sinking deep inside.

Until, unchecked by cold, by bitter freeze,
love’s sweet kiss comes,
breathing warmth and saving grace—
mercy, grace and mercy—
pressing gently, softly, in flaming tenderness.

– MWP 2011

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Rocky Mountains

I hold the hands of those who climb, so slowly,
bearing unbearable burdens of lilting life,
together, stumbling to distant sky, so high.
The path before us winds, it turns in strife,
until at last the vista wins, most holy.

God stands before us: divine power,
nature, clearly seen by all with ears
to hear the music swirling everywhere.
We stand unspeaking, left with only tears
to say what must be said, confessed, this hour.

Air, sweet and clean and icy smooth—
intoxicating freshness, a toxic lightness of being
free and open in a world of ordinary beauty.
Light, infusing stone and growing green—
a glowing aura, a good and gracious truth.

– MWP 2011

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From the Burning Bush

I was not meant for this,
this ranting, raging violence,
this holy, haughty silence,
this hoarding of benevolence.

I send the rain for all,
the air, the warming sun,
the earth, the river’s run,
the ocean’s deep ablution.

I am the one within,
above, below, beyond,
before, and now, and on,
among the hidden ones,
among the little ones,
among the lost and weeping ones.

– MWP 2014

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Nineteen Years

You hold my breath still,
a gasp of inspiration,
ensnaring me, as ever,
in its simple grace.

You glance and catch my eyes—
that favoured look has passed
a thousand times or more,
meaning held in trust.

You speak, and in your voice
I hear the sound of children,
laughter, gentle whispers,
memories of tears.

I hold your hand in mine,
set in well-worn grooves
of soft anticipation,
love folded in.

– MWP 2013

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