Once we sang

Originally posted on the CenterQuest website, I wanted to share it here with you as well. That said, do come and visit us at CenterQuest and we’ll have tea or coffee with cigars…whatever.

Gabriel strikes Zechariah dumb





Once we sang the blustery tunes

of a people bloated on happy promises.

Now, we wait, the words long forgotten

of songs happier still but too faint

to make any difference.


Once we told tales of kings and giants,

maidens and madmen, serpents and swords

walls that crumbled and glories won.

Now, we inhale the night stars of a brittle,

unfamiliar sky into lungs long dry,

heaving for the breath of Heaven.


Once we sang in dulcet tones

with brothers strong, and sisters proud

the songs, full-throated of Yahweh’s arm,

God’s nurturing wings of holy enchantment.

Now, entombed in raspy voices, we sing,

unpracticed in liberating sounds.

We have lost more than a note or two,

suspended as we are

between the music of here and there,

once and again,

Gehenna and Gabriel,

ranting and ruach.


Once we sang a single song.

Now, too many disparate notes vie

for heart and hearth and the demands of presence,

too dim to matter, too far to see, too good to hope for.


Joseph’s bones still cry out from Egypt,

the one with onions, olives and overflowing fullnesses,

not the one the skinny prophets told us to avoid.

Broken reeds too weak to hold up heads

too bored, too forgotten to feel shame.

Even that would be better than

these furrowed grey skies, frowning in apathetic non-wonder.


Lately, we’ve heard rumors of a man

and his pregnant mistress.

Some girl from who knows where

who talks with angels.


Picture found here

Surrender – a prayer

Here, in this place awash in daylight grace,

I live my entire life on the head of a pin

on which is inscribed a single word:


When todays are saturated in

a low, crawling, redeeming sadness:


When the all-pervasive pall of a greening grey

removes dead soul-skin and tastes

like eating raw sewage:


When the bitter pill of leafless desire

gets stuck in my throat and

stops up anything nutritional:


When the wafer thin moments

of happy times bought at another’s expense

rob me of me:


When my lover who shares

my bed, my skin, my guts, my hopes,

becomes nothing more than a side dish:


When, in convenience, I sidestep

responsibility to another

and choose the busy road of non-involvement:


When I’ve surrendered all I am and have,

all I’ve been and will become,

all that was, all that is and all that is not:


When I’ve surrendered all,

I gain the one thing,

the Pearl of Great Price,

the Lily of the Valley,

the One who is in all,

who is all

and who needs no introduction because…

my soul knows him.

Sometimes the evening speaks loudly

starry, starry night

“…The stars need darkness or you would not know them.” –Dorothy Trogdon, poet

The day presents itself to him at an unacceptable hour. The time of night when end of one day hasn’t completely surrendered to another. But the early thin place wasn’t an enemy by any means. The typhoon-like week that led to this moment hadn’t finished depositing its day-timer detritus. He is tired, but a certain contentment holds sway and hunkers down in the deep parts that make themselves known at such times.

Faces like so many stars in a sequined heaven begin to seep into his memory. As though bobbing up from underwater, one face after another implores to be remembered, mentally photographed and then, in the quiet of gifted moments, developed into softly gilded perfection. Was this mere whimsy, the unfettered gloating of overly romanticized ideas? Life was good. Why then the unasked for intrusion of yesterday’s communion? Couldn’t the wealth of immediacy be enough, just this once? Is then always so much better than now?

He wondered to himself whether he should banish such ghosts or to allow them free passage through heart hallways a little dusty that often smudge such images. He chooses the latter and, for a few moments, coffee now cold in his cup, joins them in meandering parade through the ballroom of his conscious. Through closed eyes he draws deep breaths of the night air and touches each face. But in doing so, they vanish, leaving only his finger pointing heavenward – the place where each of them are called. The place to which they call others.

Then there is clarity. Without the backdrop of the deep black night, stars are not stars. Without stones, the river doesn’t dance. Without falling leaves, the wind makes no sound and the world is just a little sadder. He smiles, dares a sip of cold coffee, and steals another breath from the evening, not so quiet after all.

Image: www.pptbackgrounds.net