Upon the Occasion of Seeing My Son’s Basque-Born Guitar
Azure guitar shimmers,
And flamenco dancers whirl:
They careen inside, crying for escape,
Kicking their long, strong legs against the wood for freedom.
A band of importunate strings responds,
The instrument’s black hole releases its magic;
Pierces our hearts like the sadness of crystal waves,
And opens up sparkling blue eternity.
Ash Wednesday, A Day Late
The ashes all fall
Dust disperses to dust
And rise, we all must.
Grasping at Clouds
Grasping at clouds
Over mirror-laden waters:
A secret handshake
Connecting heaven and earth.
In Memoriam, John Glenn
You early few who “slipped the surly bonds of earth”
but were flung back to us, intact;
You high-flying heroes, Ulysses of the skies,
Returned to the wine-dark sea;
Unlike Icarus, you prevail.
Forever may you climb in silver splendor.
That demarcation line between sunshine and shade,
Dividing the fog of breath from the still of death,
Is where I sometimes exist.
Shadows slip inside and encapsulate;
They know the dark.
But high places beckon, and like a Narnian ghost
I welcome that which is beatified~ even the shadows.
The wood of the cross splinters all sin,
The wood of the cross pierces within.
It carves and molds
Every soul which it hews,
And gnarled imperfections are ground into use.
The wood of the cross is a rough, ready thing
Whose purity overlooks houses of kings,
A paradox upon which pilgrims will stumble:
The cross rises each day
In the hearts of the humble.
Glistening in the silence
Of my prayerful words.
They splash towards newness
down the street.
Now is the time.
Odd constraint in my chest
restrains the unformed words,
Sage advice from those who know?
I look, say nothing now.
The final load, a casual gaze,
Suspended in air
Fingers loosen, and wave.
Lancelot Andrewes’ Feast Day
Your steed is not
a stallion made for war;
But burning brightly,
Logos-charged, you lunge
with sword aimed sure;
All dragons damned, defeated
Through warfare of the Word.
Devotions, sermons, life of prayer~
Swathed in this armor pure,
Lancelot leads forth the Saints
To conquer and endure.
Lover of the Church,
Think of us who fight the passions,
Enjoin us with thy Spirit,
Pray our faith may be secured.
May we who love your legacy,
Who know your priestly part
Receive the shield of faith,
A single, fiery heart.
In Lassen’s shadow
Sly smoke breathes across the lake
Whiffs of nostalgia