eleven strangers: in haiku

eleven strangers
meet in winter’s bluster and
peel away their masks

she stitches stories
from silence and fleeting lives
this is her halo

he meets the world in
the curve of an integral
day breaks above sea

kindness is a word
he whispers through the marble
cutting the granite

double-spaced essays
dance in the base of his throat
breathed into new life

home is an anchor
where a mother strokes her hair
and makes the world flee

a little girl’s dream
paints too small a fantasy
for her new canvas

earth, wind, air and fire
she builds her castle in the
California sands

life is a labyrinth
but wings lift her above walls
a view from the skies

he walks in bare-faced
challenging the masquerade
the stage vanishes

learning stirs their souls
her classroom is a voyage
into the unknown

Trinity

I’m tired
of bleeding verses for the ones I lose
and I ask God
when will it stop? Because I
wish-wish-wish I could love you.
And maybe I do:
to feel the fragility and forget it
long enough to dream
of telling make-believe stories
and laughing at absurdities
and asking you to
stay.
These reveries are hollowed out
by the loss of things that never were,
anyway.

I’m afraid
of where your empty paths will lead
and I ask God
for a miracle. Because I
wish-wish-wish I could save you
from restless unbelief.
But in my helplessness, here I
find my peace:
That my God makes the blind to see
in Christ
He is more than our small fantasies
of what a god is like.
Majesty-meekness-holy-lovingkindness.
And though I
miss-miss-miss you
His ways are higher than mine.

I pray
that He meets you on a Damascus road
where the darkness dies to light
and you might know the God
who loves us more than life.

golden thread

You said You made foolish
the wisdom of the world
and I see, all around me, this mad race
to leave immortal imprints:
social good, politics and technology
to concoct hollow philosophies:
sealing God out of our closed-system
universe, like a vacuum,
trying to make sense of life without
the One who breathes spirit into dust
knit bones and flesh and soul
puts purpose in our being
what is teleology without theology?

we ask, what is God?
and the blasphemy of men shout
but at a sight of Your glory
the Psalmist asks,
what is man?
that You are mindful of him

yet You have loved the fools
redeemed the rebels
there is none who seeks You
but here is an alien grace:
You pursue, You purchase, You perfect
You wrestled with Jacob for a night
and met Moses as a friend
You loved Israel like Hosea loved a whore,
faithful to the faithless
You made the denier a martyr,
the chief of sinners, a prince of preachers

and You came after me:
it must be I can’t comprehend
the wisdom of God, that You would
make this wretch a vessel of mercy
to strip away all the empty things
so I might know Love that reached
from eternity
through the Garden, the Flood,
the Exodus, the Exile
through silence and blood, You never leave,
though all of us should have died
grace is a golden thread,
like a genealogy of outlaws crowned
in Christ

The First Love Story

Hark! The herald angels sing,
while wise men ask, how can it be?
That this is your immortal decree:
The Word that spoke us into being
would take on flesh to be an offering.

What Child is this?
The great I Am, the eternal God,
born to live a perfect life.
Emptied Himself of heaven’s glory,
born to be a holy sacrifice.

O holy night,
the advent of redemption’s drama,
when Love unraveled space and time:
a God came to dwell with sinners,
a Savior came to win His bride.

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

Merry Christmas!

Wildfire and Whiskey

You waltz through the world,
like wildfire and whiskey with
maskless soul unfurled.

You know I don’t curse,
and that my only scandal
is dancing with words.

You say I’ve got wings,
but now we’re in free-fall and
I’m not good at dreams.

 

(I’m alive, and I really will try to write more regularly).

Seasons

your hand in mine
and a million miles
of sand and waves and sky
swirl around your smile.

the smell of autumn
with roasted coffee beans
and smoky haze swelling
through gold-crimson trees.

sticky, cinnamon rolls
warmed near our hearth
while our ice-chipped boots
bite the snow and earth.

naked branches blossom
in rosy pink and white
we dance down the sidewalk
and all the world is bright.