Tag Archive | ashes

Gray Days: a Lenten Poem

Disheartening, unsettling, dark,

the drabness of these backyard winter days;

my world is weeping, weeping

for the spindly shrubs befuddled

by the warming climate’s ups and downs,

for Monarch wings that used to flit

across my deck as they journeyed

to a home now vanishing,

as other homes are vanishing

amidst the storms of nature, war,

and words that label and demean.

*

I want to turn away from this abyss,

but the drabness pulls at me;

something in the air within

this hostile gray, a tenderness,

faint echo of a song sung long ago

by Spirit as she moved across

the murky waters of the deep;

grace notes, scattered in the ashes

of last summer’s grass, spill across

the stones, reaching to the spindly

shrubs now shrouded in the mist,

hushed music of the spheres

enclosed within the silence of eternity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overcast on Ash Wednesday

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Bare branches mere bones of

sorrow etching crosses black and

bleak against a heaven that has

forgotten how to smile.

*

Sky knits a seamless shroud;

the air is thick and still with

heaven’s grief for all the sadness of a

world of stitches dropped and patterns

gone awry; silence in my sagging pines.

*

Has God forgotten us? misplaced his

once delight in wind that tiptoes

through my chimes? in mischievous

white clouds that spill their joy into my trees?

*

My only answer is a Presence

brooding over all the tatters of this

wilted earth, pulling me to Silence

that has held within its womb

all that is, from dawn of time until this

solemn Day of Ash; bare-branched

crosses stretching high into the sky;

smudge of ashes burning on my brow;

enough; the Presence tender holds my

dust, rocks me in the empty trees.

Ashy Hope

ashes

“Remember that you are dust…” my

bones, my muscles—dust? my

sinews, veins—all dust?

“…and to dust you will return”; words that

sting and push me to a charnel space  

dark with endings, loss, and ash; words

intoned incessantly as friends and

strangers kneel to feel the print of

cross upon our brows; feel with

sinners near and far the weight of who we

truly are—fragile, errant souls with

muddied lives, distorted dreams, and now the

black of ashes marking this, our too, too brief

mortality.

*

A cheerless mark, this dismal smudge that

signifies my dust; why, then, this

sprig of joy that’s rooting in these

ashes and insists on pushing up?  And

why this quiet hope persistent at the

edges of this gray?  Perhaps it is the

deep that calls to Deep, this real in me,

unmasked, that hears the Real

beyond, the Real who stirs my ashes,

calls my name, and tells me I am

loved in all my ashiness, that I will be made

clean and whole because of one who

scooped up all our dust and from his open

tomb sculpts from our cinders timeless works of

love beyond the ashes of this too, too brief

mortality.  

“Accomplish in us, O God, the work of your salvation.”