Friday, December 23, 2022

“Until None Need Stars to Call Them On”

 “They were overjoyed at seeing the star…”  [Matthew 2: 1 -12]

Moving west for days that blended into a forever now
our minds locked into each other’s vision
                                                                        and the star
defied all the knowledge we had hungrily held

each night it called us
the calm and steady trust brought to us
by that flickering light
                                         was nearly drowned
by the pinched face and the slicing words
of this hungry king whose fear 
assaulted us
                        from the moment
we gave him our cause

That night we did not share a word
of what we felt
                             we slept
                                              we allowed our dreams 
to wrap us in a cloud

And when we found the child   we gave them 
of our treasures
                                and our hoarded dreams
and whispered

            so that what our hearts can barely contain
when following this child’s eyes
                                                        will survive
until none need stars
to call them on

                                                                        Christmas 2022

Monday, April 11, 2022

And Here I Stand on Fire: Palm Sunday Passion Reflection


And Here I Stand on Fire

“As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian,who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him,they made him carry it behind Jesus.” (Luke 23:26)

 Oh  I know  the story
that somehow  I was seized by the soldiers
                                                                      to walk

behind him

                     the burden of the day  

                                                         heavier by far

than a single bar of wood 

                                            But  I know

how I fell out

                         into the road

as they pulled him along 

My breath caught my throat   constricted

water streaming down my face

                                                    Oh  I know 

He stumbled   he shook

                                        he groaned

and I looked into his bloody eyes 

They never seized me

                                       He did 

I grabbed the wood

                                  I could not lift him

from the dirt   I could not leave

I could only see his back   his legs 


When the stumbling stopped

                                                the beasts

pushed me back  into the crowd

two women wiped my face

held my hands   and stood

                                            with me

until the silence and the dark descended


They brought me to the hall

 Men I did not know made me bathe

drink  what little wine they could spare

 It was not sleep

                          it was a falling into nothing

I could dream


Days and nights made

no difference


Please let me cry this  to you

 Again the air grew warm

we all grabbed each other and leaned

into fear

                the door   disappeared

and I saw

                  His eyes

his eyes

                as steady as a fisher’s net

pulled me to him

                               Again I fell

and never broke the stare


hand upon my head

                                  please let me


        His hand

                           and I said


 And here I stand

                             on fire with his eyes

his hand

                  upon me still


(For the Ordination of Joshua Peters, SJ

20 June 2020)