Merry Christmas from Ours to Yours

Blessings of the season to you and yours!

innerwoven

50382-full_christmas-paintings-wallpaper-thomas-kinkade-wallpaper-memories.jpgA fire makes its heartening presence known, tucked under the hearth upon which hang individual stockings and an antique clock I inherited from my Dad. A delightfully chaotic looking tree, augmented with bobbles made by growing dexterity of little boys’ fingers, the accumulated little boy detritus of Christmas past. They are now men of humour, virtue, and creativity.

Snow falls without sound just past living room windows that shield from the oblique, grey winter, and all I can think is this: if Christmas – the incarnation, God with us – means anything at all, it must mean more than the homegrown Thomas Kinkade painting I’ve just described.

It must mean that God is longing to burst forth into our own souls, finding enough room to receive the gifts of our own inner Magi. It must have the rough and tumble character of a once upon a time, ramshackle stable…

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Thank you, Yakima Herald!

innerwoven

I’m especially grateful to Tammy Ayer at the Yakima Herald who thought our storyinteresting enough to include the following piece about our final Celtic Christmas Eve. 

80867692_10156312679816895_1439314918951092224_o.jpgDetails for how you may choose to support our venture are found in the article. The link goes live tomorrow. Blessing and peace to you all as the Yule is once again upon us and the smell of food fills the air to meet with laughter, fellowship, hopefulness and gratitude!

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A Bell in the Word Barn (a poem by Kelly Belmonte)

Dive into this great new poem by fellow poet and friend, Kelly Belmonte.

All Nine

This past Sunday evening, my friend Julie and I adventured to The Word Barn in Exeter, NH for a reading by the poets Ben Moeller-Gaa, William O’Daly, and JS Graustein. It was a privilege to meet the poets before the reading, shake their hands, and share how I’ve been experiencing a bit of a writing dry spell of late (and they understood!). Such a gracious and renewing evening, which opened up a small crack in the writing dam, out of which streamed this short piece below.

A Bell in the Word Barn
Revelation at a Poetry Reading

A barn-full of words and whimsy,
wooden beams and beer –  the rooster
crows at just the moment
to save us all from drowning
in ourselves. We laugh
and I think: Poets are strange.
But then again, so are preachers
and politicians, all so sure
of their words, so sure

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Lament – A Psalm About Faces

innerwoven

Last summer I was privileged to prepare and lead a class on the Psalms. A big part of the experience was, upon completion of our more “formal” study, we’d write our own Psalm. The class produced some powerfully moving, deeply personal works. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, mine came out as a Lament.

I share here that Psalm and encourage you to share some of your own work in the comments!

Sketch found here

O Lord, God of faces, where now is your face?

And why have you hidden from us your gaze?

Where once we walked together,

now we thrash and reel and hack.

Darkness has become our only ally;

and hopelessness our truest friend.

For those of insolence and hatred rule over us;

the ruthless and ragged become our destroyer.

Therefore, falsehood and lies bind us;

and the absence of truth shackles us.

We have become party with wolves and…

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The sound of your laugh.

Happy birthday, babe.

Rob's Lit-Bits

I first posted this a few years ago. The reason I did so then is the same I do so now, to celebrate my wife’s birthday. In the digital age, discovering a person’s age is as easy as a cursor, a mouse, and a nosy desire to know something. But, in the interest of propriety, I say simply, “Happy _____ birthday, babe!”

Like thunder in rain-Rae's birthday16.jpgBabe, you still brighten the road before me…

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This pedlar in impatient thoughts

This pedlar in impatient thoughts

travels light but burrows down, heavily

down, and down and down again;

to the parsonage of promise, wall-papered

in the sweat of dreams.

 

The days, carefully patented against

her own times, roll out

like dried tobacco leaves, the inhalation of

a promise, made, kept,

broken, and made again.

 

Pencil sketch clouds smudge

a looming graphite across the vast skin of sky.

The forest, sotta voce, stock still, looks

nowhere but down to the nourishing dirt,

kneels up to the humming heavens.

And, for all this cantabile chorus,

throats out a steely enervation,

where none but she can hear the silent praise.

 

She grapples in morning still

and shivering, licked up from bowls

of her own gratitude, there

to shimmer hints of the new,

bridal day.