Late Renewal

It’s late, they said,
Time to go to bed
Oh, just go ahead
and get ready to be dead.

Here comes some energy
some sense of being free
Some sense of being me
Once blind, but now I see.

Today I seem to tend
Or lean toward a trend
Of adding friend to friend
In life that does not end.

I’m finding new release
New instances of peace
New hope that will increase
In a dance that does not cease.

The ones I’ve left behind
Now fill my heart and mind
As each new day I find
That even death is kind.

In this eternal now,
Not lost in why or how,
In worship do I bow,
In love repeat the vow.


For Ned

Dear Ned,

It’s Monday morning as I write this. Less than a week ago, I talked with you. You were so full of plans, ideas, energy. The future was emerging. You seemed content, happy with the direction of your life. Not yet satisfied with yourself, that you would never be; always looking for how to grow, how to improve, to do better. It so happened that I contacted you that day, not for any particular reason but because both of our lives had been busy for a while, and we had been out of contact, and as you know I would never want to lose touch in any significant way. We talked about your travel plans, and how we might meet, for the second time only on the ground, some time in the next few months.

I think that was last Tuesday. On Wednesday you had a medical emergency, and on Friday, you died. I got that news late Friday evening.

A gift, a precious flower
Blossoms for a day, a year, an hour.
The beauty that the flower reveals
Is what Eternity conceals.

Once in a fortunate lifetime, the soul on pilgrimage
Finds a companion for the way.
Such were you, for me; though I knew you just a day.

My grief is not for you; you knew the joy
That centers on the Love that moves the world.
I mourn a future lost; in which your light
Would shine, as all your gifts would be unfurled
Like a proud flag, for all the world to see;
Alas, those gifts, now fragments left to me
Must wait for other hands to set them free.

And yet, although your absence gives me pain,
I feel your presence still; this is my gain.


I’m busy, I said; too much to do:
I have no time to spend with you.
Your need is great, I do not doubt
The basics you must live without.

But I am on the way, you see,
To meet with experts just like me,
Who’ll sit,  confer, and then discuss
 How folks like you need folks like us.

Late at night

I sat down to write, too late one night, while all the household slept.
Something not right, for sleep took flight, the cobwebs were unswept
Within my brain, now numb from pain, no wise thoughts or profound
Inspire my mind; instead I find I cannot make a sound.

Still I must say, at end of day,
I have not yet quite lost my way.

I like my life; I like my wife; my children, home, and friends.
I seem to be respected, free; except so much depends
On being true to what I do; responding to the needs
That constantly appear to me; that sprout, like hardy weeds,
In every soil of work and toil, in sunshine or in rain,
I get the call in spring and fall, and winter is the same.

I’m tired now; I think I’ll rest. The weary sleep is still the best.
I’ll wake tomorrow feeling blessed; another day, another test.


I looked inside myself and saw a lot that wasn’t there.

Visual Poetry

Iris Spring

Roadside Blossom

Just testing the “image” post format on WordPress.  You like my flower?

I wonder why such loveliness can fade within an hour.

A Close Friend Far Away

I have a friend a world away, a friend I’ve known for just one day,
(If friends are counted, face to face, who share a single time and space.)
But counted in the depth of heart, this friend was mine before the start,
Before the race of life began, this friend and I were hand in hand.
We knew each other, so it seems, in realms of visions and of dreams,
And so one day, as if by chance, this friend and I began to dance.

We danced with words in cyberspace, our hearts expanding, learning grace;
We danced with thoughts of God and life; we danced through turmoil and through strife;
As earth revolved around the sun, we found our dance had just begun,
Until one day, we then were brought to see the friendship we had caught
For a few hours, in line of sight, we danced and talked into the night.
Then danced away, released our hands, as life took us to different lands.

But this we know: we’ll meet again, and dance once more, as friend to friend,
Though far away this friend might be, there’s none I can more clearly see
Within my heart, where time and space
Give way to friendship’s lasting grace.

Thanksgiving question

I gave thanks, yesterday; for all I have acquired
I gave thanks for things I have desired.
I got up early to give thanks; dressed up to say
That all should celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

I made a list of things — no, wait, not all—
A thousand or ten thousand lines: too small!
I listed just a few things that I find
The call to “Give Thanks!” brings up to my mind.

My family, my health, my home, my friends;
My country and its wealth — it never ends,
This list of all the ways that I’ve been blessed;
But something was still missing, as I guessed:

I looked into the eyes of one who lost
A friend most dear, and never told the cost;
Another, not complaining of her ills,
Another, worried sick about the bills.

And yet one more, whose welcome is unsure,
Whom people fear when they feel insecure—
I asked, if thanks are focused all on me,
What thanks are there for these whom I now see?

What of the ones who live beneath a lie
While I give foolish thanks for pumpkin pie?

Sleep Deprivation

I close my eyes, not much more than a blink,
and am transported, without time to think:
Strange images appear unbidden, to my inner sight:
No need to wait for cozy bed or restful dark of night.
No matter if I’m reading, working, driving now it seems
Suddenly I’m dreaming, in the midst of complex themes;
Outlandish visions thus arise to overtake my view:
A momentary snatch, perhaps, of scenes from Dr. Who.
Or maybe of discussions held in earnest, urgent tones
With someone still alive for me, though earth contains their bones.
I might be on a planet far away, or Deep Space Nine.
But just for a few seconds, then I’m back, and doing fine.


You paused and smiled at me today;
You stood one moment in my way;
You caught my eye, and made my day;
Did you give a bit of your heart away?
There’s nothing that you need to say….
I won’t persist, or make you stay.
Just breathe my name, next time you pray,
And that’s enough, for now.

Not homeless

I’m not homeless; I’m houseless.
But even homeless does not mean helpless.
And not hopeless. Much less friendless. God is everywhere.
A heap see, but a very few know.
One who sees clearly is fearless.

F E A R = False Evidence Appearing Real

Written by Garry Donnell Washington

In Remembrance and Hope

The following lines were written on January 12, 2010, as the writer made his way home from the memorial celebration of Dr. Robert H. Clark: “Uncle Bob,” who spent 92 years, six months and 21 days on Planet Earth. In his memory, and in determined hope that his passions will live on.

On the way to Baltimore with more to do today;
Hurry up and wait awhile and think of what to say.
I only have a little time to impact planet earth.
Of good intent and peaceful acts there seems to be a dearth.

If thirty years, or thirty-five, are all I have remaining,
if when I at the gates arrive without needless complaining,
I’d like it to be said of me that in this span of time
I’ve made it plain what I can see, for those I leave behind:

I see a world where selfish strife no longer reigns supreme,
Where love of neighbor, love of life, are no mere fancied dream.
Where each awakened soul can see the tie that binds us all
Into a common destiny by which we rise or fall.

Where Christ is lifted up, not as an idol or ideal
Forever out of reach for us; but as that fully real
And present guide for human life in all its varied strands;
And “love your neighbor as yourself” sums up all God’s commands:

Where force is not the final word, no more the last resort;
But grace, abounding everywhere, receives a good report.
Where bruised reeds are not broken, nor smoldering wicks snuffed out;
But every language spoken tells of what love is about.

Where deaths are not avenged with more destruction born of hate;
But life’s brief span reminds us that we have no time to wait.
Where sorrow leads to promise of remembrance of the wise,
And joy invades the darkness by the grace that God supplies.

Where tears wash out the bitterness and pain of friendships lost,
And bring a clearer vision that the work is worth the cost.
For if eternal life is what we hope for in our heart,
Then the things that last forever are deserving of a start.

So let me live today, and every day, for all my years
Determined to respond to my best hopes, not my worst fears.

I’ve been an orphan now

I’ve been an orphan now for one year and a day.
It’s not such an uncommon thing, they say.
Though all of us must have a father and mother,
We all say goodbye to them, sometime or other.

My childhood now is mine alone, and fading memories.
Can that child still be me? What is it that he sees?
Who now will keep that child from harm?
Will I ever get to go back to the farm?

Dreaming while waking

Dreaming while waking
Giving while taking
Thirsting while slaking
Truthful while faking
Peaceful while shaking
Losing while making
Fixing while breaking
Painlessly aching
Never forsaking
My love for You.


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.