Tag Archive | stillness

All Thumbs

This morning I’m all thumbs,

scrambled as my too-dry eggs,

twisted as my knotted

necklace chain; I drop a pill, lose a

thought, ill at ease with the garbled

verbs and adverbs of my life.

*

My larger world feels scrabbled too,

justice tangled in the skirts of power,

truth slips between fingers grasping

flimsy straws of status and esteem.

*

Meanwhile, a finch sits quiet,

nipping at our thistle seed;

two chickadees meet at the suet;

leafy branches glimmer in the early

morning sun; the stillness holds me

close, an almost holy sigh, whisper

of a somewhere time, God’s thumb

to wipe away the tangles of our tears.

Lenten Emptiness

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Emptiness fills my world

this harsh late-winter day;

cold seeps into my walls,

sits heavy in my rocking chair,

spreads icily around my yard, a shroud

wrapped tight around the color

that I ache for in my life.

*

The trees in my backyard, stark branches

spider-webbed across the sky, embrace

this leadenness so gracefully;

mystery of stillness,

patience of a waiting rest.

Could it be that angels curl

in those wintered trees, breathe

with them the bitter nights, caress

their icy bark, whisper poems that seep

a solace deep into their veins?

Beneath the brooding skies, I listen

for the rustle of their wings.

Black Beauty

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So noiselessly he came,

this blue-black swallowtail, to sip

lantana on my deck, his stillness

echoing for me the tender silence

of eternity amidst the noise of inner

fears, against the din of ugly tweets,

of cries to build a wall, to slam our doors

against the tide of people orphaned

from their homes, their loved ones, tossed

into the chaos of a coarse and raucous world.

*

His soundless beauty whispers me

a blue-black grace that flutters silent

in the anxious corners of my mind;

his quiet presence reassures;

grace wings its way into our lives,

at times so unexpectedly.

The Art of Prayer

LaTour still life

Henri Fantin-Latour (1836 –1904)

pollock

Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)

My prayer at times is calm, a

still life, fruits and flowers

carefully arranged, pastel

petals of gratitude shaping

trust and dropping peace;

quiet listening for that

whisper from beyond, elusive

though it be.

*

At other times, I pray a

Jackson Pollock kind of

prayer; jagged lines of grief

and questions slashed across

the canvas of my life; daubs

of anger, neediness, and greed

flung onto the walls that shape

the contours of my soul.

*

A mystery, this business of prayer;

I do not understand, but yet I pray;

not as a master artist; more like a child

offering crayoned sketches to her mother’s

love; yet pray I do; paint my longings

and my needs, my tangled fears,

my angers, and my joys; and like that child,

simply trust that kindly, grace-filled eyes

will see and treasure all my brush strokes,

all my reaching—for a presence,

for a wholeness, for a beauty,

in my life and in my world.

Advent Snow

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The wind mere angel whisper on this

cold December day; virgin snow

spreads soft across the fallen

acorns and forgotten leaves.

Sparrow cocks her head to listen to

the solemn silence ringing through the

emptiness of trees; Squirrel stands upright

with folded paws, reverent beneath this

white cold falling from the skies; the world

is washed; the snarls of pain are hushed;

hushed, too, the noise of anxious rush to

prove our worthiness to be alive;

stillness blankets shrubs and rocks,

the railing on my deck,

our fears and greed as well.

*

It will not last. I know.

Gray slush will soon collect

along the streets; grime will

cling again and crawl beneath

our skin, and war and hate will

clang across the world; but in the

quiet of this winter white, I stubborn

light my Advent-candled hope; await

the Child who will one day unfurl this

pristine interlude of peace until it

fills the whole of space, the whole of

time, beyond the reaches of the farthest star.