Category Archives: Theological
Poems that speak openly of God or the Cosmos, the relationship with the Divine.
The cosmic Word in glorious light appears
To speak to Dust, awakened from its fears,
Innocence, Wholeness, Peace, Relief from Pain
Are offered all who lose all, all to gain.
He speaks to Nothing, Something to bring forth
Creating Value where there was No Worth.
No refuge can there be from such a Voice;
No silence, where the song cries out: Rejoice!
How deep descending, Spirit into Form,
Angelic Presence, glorified in Worm!
How close He nestles to our very Breath.
This Life-Eternal victor over Death!
The world, and all the worlds, he loved, I see:
Sustaining all, for love of even me.
Lord, we thank you for this food
(We say this with no sorrow) —
May it bring strength for this day’s good,
Not storage for tomorrow.
This is the last poem composed by Mother Philbrick (my great-grandmother) before she passed away May 11, 1928. She was noted for her love of souls and her fervent prayers.
I observe the world, watch and pray;
Sometimes that’s all I do all day.
A bombing here, a cancer there—
What can avail my feeble prayer?
With God, I, helpless, see the strife,
Feeling the bleeding, the ebbing of life.
In faith believing, despite the pain,
That healing Love will prevail again.
No anxious spouse by bedside waiting
Can match the Love I’m contemplating:
The tender care for planet earth,
The New Creation’s place of birth.
When I arise from contemplation,
I’ll seek the healing of my nation;
For God so loved, and loves us still
With love that seeks to heal, not kill.
The veil between the worlds
of life and death
time and eternity
wears thin. Sometimes, a hole appears
and someone we love
That hole is our connection
because it is in our hearts
in that emptiness
that eternity calls to us
and invites us also
to step out of time.
Today is Holy Saturday in the Eastern and Western churches
a day of silence
and of selfless service
therefore, a day for women
who do, so it seems, a lot of the above.
The sacred time between the crucifixion and the resurrection
when all paradoxes are at their peak
all contradictions brought into the open
the God of Life participating in Death
Holiness punished for sin
The eternal Word, silent
but on Sunday morning, not with fanfare and blazing glory
but in the silence of an empty tomb
a witness to a life unstoppable is born.
Abou Ben Adhem
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?” The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made all of sweet accord
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”
The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest!
[First posted January 18, 2004 for a few friends
The wool is found, but all the threads are mine.
My fingers spin like magic, making cloth so warm and bright,
to cover all the blemishes that show in nature’s night.
I weave the stories of the past, with metaphors so fine
that all my hearers find today in every other line.
I weave and spin the clouds of heaven into earthly sand,
and bring the jewels of earth aloft to decorate my magic hand.
With threads of sacred song and prayer I spin the hope that wasn’t there;
the isolated souls who hear take hold the threads, release some fear,
and weave together, month and year, a new thread with both sigh and tear..
…so from a tangle old and new spin dreams as strong as oak and yew.
I merely spin, and weave, and give the threads of hope by which we live.
At the empty tomb,
In the upper room,
On the highway,
By the sea,
He will meet you there,
Meet your every care,
Give you peace,
And set you free.
Foolishness and negligence remain the weary option of the sinner in his wallow.
O god you are my god early do I seek you
In the night you give me needed rest
And in the day the insight for my strength
You guide my feet into the right places
And save me from the destruction that my self-indulgence would abandon me to.
How o God can I praise you
And how can I honor you
I who am not better than the least of these in whom you place your likeness
Jesus in whose name I daily pray, the subject of my discourses,
How I need to find you where you are or where I am so that I do not trivialize your name. Read the rest of this entry
Detach me from the love of all things urgent
and find me importantly waiting for the dawn
in which the death, the hate, the crying anguish
of a million million souls at war
recede, reform, and reconfigure
into a lotus fantasy
a hazy, lazy
I am so close to you I cannot see you
nor feel the emptiness within
the vastness that is you. Go home, depart,
forsake me for the sake of our sweet love.
A wheelbarrow full of troubles, none of them my own, await me as a task.
To sift, to sort, to choose which now to polish, which to showcase,
in the presence of the God of dirt, the stone all have rejected, the troubler of mankind.
I need some holy mud upon my eyes. The men I see are trees, although they walk.
When I am healed
I will see each as I myself, a man. Behold the form and likeness, very God!
The following series was written on a yellow legal pad in December of 2000 just a day or two after I had determined that in all likelihood my death was not immanent, after all, but before I had completely recovered from an intense period of personal re-orientation. I’m most interested in comments on the last three sections, though any and all are welcome. Read the rest of this entry
today 5 may, on a cloudy day, while the tulips are in bloom,
i sit alone with the god of heaven in a cluttered room.
An optimist they say i am; impractical, extreme,
telling to riot and hatred and distrust my honest theme,
which is that God (a funny word), who shirks not from disaster,
has named the vanquished Innocent his anointed and our Master.
Master – not as master to a fearful, thoughtless slave,
but one whose practice, skill, and patience let him pave
the way for us to learn from him what he both learned and taught;
to trust in God in everything. This sickness i have caught,
And joyfully succumb, nor ever wish for healing,
because this trust brings forth the endless power of God revealing,
and revealing, and revealing, and revealing, and revealing, –
the power of hope that I am most ridiculously feeling:
the realm of absurd love, of concrete goodness, enfleshed spirit,
the word of truth proclaimed to all; if anyone will hear it.