Deep into April

Easter is three weeks old,
old enough to stand on its legs
and walk the landscape speaking life
into dead grasses, reluctant buds
icy hearts of men who have given up.

Easter is what it does:
renews to left, right, and center.
Its seamless garment passing over,
the grass goes green.

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The Ancient of Days

Our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
v. 1 “O, Worship the King”

The hymn we sang at the knee of our mother
who taught us the harmonies learned
in her childhood, who rejoiced in the sound
of her daughters singing, singing the worship
of God, the Ancient of Days.

Truest of all the titles of God, whose eye
is that of the oldest elephant present
on the day of creation; an eye not so weighty
with justice as mercy, a compassion so deep
it disappears into the heart of one who sees it,
to be mined only for God’s adornment and purpose.

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A Share of My Daily Bread for YOU

I lay this salver down before you
with the song I sing a thing of gold
upon it, my intention to please in
an act of love. Like Farmer Hoggett

in the movie Babe, who sang and danced
the pig back to health, I would if I could
dance for you like David before the Ark
where you dwelt alone. Would you

feel less alone with my song? sung
in a voice old and unpracticed?
and what I have to offer
to you whom I love.

Accent on the Saint

Jesus, Mary and Saint Joseph,
I say quietly throughout the day
as wandering thoughts plead
and pray for a full response
from the whole family.

An exclamation early learned
as exasperation with circumstance
has transmuted into intercession.

Only today did I see and hear
what I said and say as prayer, not
imprecation. May that understanding
mean years of cursing redeemed.

Merton and Fire [in Holy Week]

A divine informant came to Merton
when he was still a young man
with the promise, I will give you what
you desire; I will lead you into solitude.

Everything that touches you
shall burn you, and you will draw
your hand away in pain until
you have withdrawn yourself

from all things. Then you will be all
alone … that you may become
the brother of God and learn to know
the Christ of the burnt men.

Cheesy Christmas

Mary, look at the camera.
Joseph? Move in a bit closer.
There. Both of you, smile.
And now, click.

That’s it. We’ve got it.
The family photo
this first night of his life
captured here.

This is big news.
It will be all over the Internet
by morning. If he is who
he’s cracked up to be

this is the story of the century.
I’ll get back to you
with a hard copy.

I’m sure you’ll want to
remember this night forever.