Thursday, November 7, 2013

 Hearth and home,
   An honest remedy against the cold and damp.
The house looks like a Thomas Kinkade painting tonight.
Fog and drizzle settle about our abode like an old jacket,
And wood smoke hangs in the branches of the trees like incense,
But without rising...
Everything is enveloped within the spectrum of light.
God is not far from us.
No prayers rise in wisps to a celestial kingdom amongst the stars,
For there are no stars,
Only rain and mist, fog, and woodsmoke.
Christ has transcended the stars,
Put on an old traveler's coat,
And at our fire he sits.
Our prayers need go no further than the breath from our mouth,
No further than our hands can reach,
No further than the light of the fire extends.
Christ comes the traveler and is with us.
He is the comfort given,
And the comfort giving.
Transcending the stars Christ broke mortal bread
And from a perfect cup, he shared the wine.
With grubby hands, we break the immortal bread
And from a broken cup we share the immortal wine
And our prayers
need go no further than the breath from our mouth-

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The belligerent ewe-

    "Get up" I say to the belligerent ewe.
She's a new one to me,
One that I've purchased along with sixty others.
"Get up" I say,
"Your feet can't be that sore!"
She's one of three limpers that have come with the bunch I've just acquired.
"Get up ya dosy bitch!!!"
My temper rises now,
I have things to get done, and my dogs are confused by her unwillingness to move.
I am as frustrated by their frustration as I am of my own.
"Stand up ya fucking cunt!!!!"
I'm beyond compassion now,
beyond reason.
The dogs are nervous,
An unwilling ewe is one thing;
Enough to cause them pause,
An angry "master" is a thing enough to cause them doubt.
Here in this moment
Here is the place that I have come to fear,
Here is the fury, that I hope to out grow.
Now! Not later!!!
Let anger subside.
Look too your dogs,
Their fear
Their trust
Become now,
Not later,
Become worthy of their faith, and their trust.
Not later, in regret!!!
Look now and see an old ewe,
her feet sore.
Yes she'd rather burry her head in a hedge
and die there rather than be pushed about!
But have compassion!!!
Her unwillingness defines her.
She is unpleasant,
But would ever I wish to be cruel?
Who does it serve,
my cruelty?
Only my pride.
Now!!! Now!! Now!
Step back,
look with compassion on those whom you not only depend on,
but love.
Let your compassion define you...
For your creatures can only be what they are...
love them for their limitations,
thank them,
envy them,
Because they are defined by their nature,
And your are defined by your compassion,
and your ability to conform to their nature...
a nature
that you did not create,
but one that you must enter into...
a structure that you do not define,
but instead defines you......
Make this your living....
Make this your livelihood,
that in molding your self to this nature,
you find your self anew....
Beg forgiveness....
Invent yourself daily,
in this way find yourself.
in this way, your anger will subside,
your frustration diminish.
In this way you become what you have not been before.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

First Fire-

Autumn's chill seeps through the eves of summer.
Blood thickens as frost settles, and the chorus of good king Wenceslas,
From across fall turned fields,
Sounds dim in our ears.
Summer's bounty now laid in wood rick, haystack, and larder,
sit idle,
banked against the winter's cold-
later to be placed on Christmas tables, laid in mangers, and the woodstove-
Tonight at the door Jack Frost has only left his calling card,
if you are wise you know that he will return.
   Greg Brown's album "Dream Cafe" becomes pertinent again with the turning of the leaves, With Christmas, the heralds proclaim the birth of christ, the return of the tomtin, the rail king, and his accomplice the scarecrow.
Summer nearly at it's end
The first fire of the season burns as a testament,
It's warmth a manifestation of a covenant,
a labor and a joy.
It says to us-
That love will sustain us another season,
And that for us-
Love will endure-

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cigarette smoke lifts and coils from my right hand, twisting and spiraling in the porch light, I am slightly taken aback by the immensity of it. It's hard to imagine that the whole of it could be condensed into my lungs. Initially I began smoking to emulate my father. I don't begrudge him his smoking, and I have never smoked to excess. One of the earliest memories of my father is of the smell of his woolen sweaters, and the smell of pipe smoke mixed there within; the smell of freshly plained violin tops, and varnish. The memory of his thin hands are as indelibly marked in my mind as were the fingers on his right hand by the tobacco that he smoked.
   But I am grown now, and at times I am surprised maybe by my childishness. When I was young I would pinch loose tobacco leaf from the butler's pantry, from canisters of my father's Drum; and I would pinch it into primitive loosely rolled smokes that I would share with my friends. We never thought to emulate movie stars or the Marlboro man... We only though to emulate the men that we hoped someday to become. These men were far more tangible than the images on billboards; they were our fathers, grandfathers, our uncles, and brothers. They were the men in who's sweaters we had buried our heads, and in who's hands we had found comfort and escape form the limitations of childhood.
 Our mortality to us then was beyond the scope of our imagination. We charged the ramparts of fortified imaginary castles slaying enemies to our left and to our right; our own death as distant too us then as was compassion for the imaginary slain who littered the ground at our feet. We were poster boys for why young men can be convinced to go to war. In our minds we held our ground and defended each other at the Battle Of The Bulge, and in our ration packs would be a pack of lucky strikes.....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

now the furrow
the coulter cut's through the ready ground.
Spring time's turnings
headlands turned
once flailed
now moldbord turned,
The  plough cut's through the ready ground.
Hope springs eternal...
Each spring in the ploughing...
Despair is turned under...
and hope is ever renewed.