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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Just before you

Just before you swing wide the curtains

to let in the lusty morning light,

close tightly any wafting vanities of

night-time fears. Hush those petty insistences

of self and its imposters.

Hide the shifty catalogue of excuses you

handily slide under rumpled sheets.

Look out upon many discoveries to be made

in newly open fields of day-turn pages.

And start again.

I could say that

I could say that this hour

is set apart for prayer, the obligations of my station.

My expected obedience.

A fitting praise.

A suitable gratitude.

A reasonable confession.

An obvious adoration.

A humble intercession made in proper posture.

I could say that.

 

I could say that this hour

is ours to do the business of heaven,

The diary of eternity.

The stuff of paradise,

changing sheets and fluffing pillows

for the angelic choir.

Making coffee for saints.

Cleaning up after holy gatherings

of those whose leisure time fills the eons.

I could say that.

 

I could say that this hour

is to learn the language of God.

Syntax of saints.

Songs of millennia of songs sung

and sung again.

Singing still.

Poets poeting.

Writers wording.

Artists arting.

Lovers longing.

So many people still laughing at old jokes,

funnier with each telling, always new.

Always the first time.

Constant punch line surprise.

I could say that.

 

I could say that this hour

is an exercise in self-discipline.

The prowess of patience.

the wages of praxis,

paid in full with each Doxology.

Invocations only please.

There is no need for Benedictions

to forever stories.

You don’t preach any sermons.

You are the sermon.

I am your words.

I could say that.

 

I could say that this hour

is the first of many just like it.

A rehearsal in minutes for what will

soon become lifetimes.

Epochs.

Never less.

Always more.

Without the constant threat of boredom,

the language of loneliness,

all sentences run on.

It doesn’t matter, if they all matter.

There’s no hurry for anyone

to make their point.

I could say that.

 

I could say that this hour

is mine alone.

These shoulders carrying

no burdens, since I never need to

look over them to see another.

A solid silence,

never morose.

No longitude of self-abasement.

No latitude for self-praise –

coordinates of old religion in the checkmate of grace.

I could say that.

 

I think I will.

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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Guest Post – Melissa Snyder Novak

I don’t do this enough – act as generous host to other poets, whether established or otherwise. Let’s rectify that, shall we? Today, I’m proud to offer this wonderful piece by good friend, Melissa Snyder Novak. I trust it takes you to similar places that it takes me.

Enjoy…

Cliff Walk

In the summer of my soul,

the waves crash against

the jagged cliffs of memory.

My heart, burning sun-hot,

draws a mist of longing from these eyes.

All thought, suspended.

All desire, unfurled.

 

Along this rugged cliff walk journey,

the misshapen boulders line up –

leading me to places previously unknown,

down, deep-soul’d places.

I walk unsteady, uncertain, afraid, holding out hands

for you to guide me in mystic vision, sweet.

But, once again, you are gone.

 

Feet sink and slide in sand, and

I struggle to press on, breathe, know –

Will you be there when I arrive?

Will you meet me?

Will you help me see the small, shattered edge-stone pieces of shell

that wait for foot to fall?

 

Waves push, invite –

Will I let myself be swallowed by your sea?

Will I open to your crushing waters?

Excruciating, this pleasing thought of being overtaken by you,

sweet uncertainty.

 

In the summer of my soul, alas,

the deep darkness begins to rise,

even against the backdrop of midday sun.

Winter is making its return in me,

anxious to hurl over its blanket,

waiting to devour with nights, cold.

 

The thought delights.

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