Liberty Stolen

My body, this I be (My country tis of thee)

Peace, Joy, Affinity, (Sweet land of liberty)

Youth’s fountain springs (Of thee I sing)

Blood on my mother’s thighs (Land where my father’s died)

Gifts of our sister’s sighs (Land of the Pilgrim’s pride)

At every hearth reside (From every mountainside)

“Hestia, we sing!” (Let freedom ring!)

The Traveling Heart

My soul was lost, floundering without purpose

Gypsy feet wandered human nature

The Sedona Red Rocks of Arizona

Showed me the intense beauty of desert isolation

Reflecting my sun glared eyes

Sunburned skin – husk of an old life shed

Revelation of the raw and openly scored spirit

My feet turned towards the forest loam

I walk deeply, mindfully, into the Ponderosa stand,

Dripping regrets onto needles that violate

My feet and legs, creating a tenderness

That feels like Christmas morning

I climbed mountains to witness the freedom

Of flight

But found the rocks resistant to my wings

Forbidding me entrance;

With courage forged in the fires of trauma

I ascended.

Flinging myself into the swirl of eddies

That couldn’t hold me

I plummeted into the icy, unforgiving river

Where I forded from embankment to water’s edge

Directionally challenged as I

I fight against the rushing waters

Until I’m exhausted and finally relent

To the inevitable flash flood of grief

It washes me onto the shores

Of the roiling ocean waves

Under a full moon gleaming

In sacred silence

I left immediate footprints of ideas,

Beliefs, and yet more solitude of a different depth

The winds of change hurricaned me east

Lessons abandoned, like me,

At the foot of the Great Smokey Mountains

Phoenix-like, I refused my ashes

Reconstituting in my power

Hear me, my friends, those who feel outside

Those who feel forgotten or invisible,

Those who feel created to endure tribulations

Those who arrive precisely on time

Into my company: exhausted, panting, sweating

Sopping in voracious victory

With reciprocal love we bond

Dancing with wild abandon

Intermingling

Pressing our heartbeats together

In loving embraces

With you I’ve found my way home.

Call of Gift

Mother God, benefactor of all that is holy.

You have led us to this place together as a community and bound us to one another through faith.

In the beginning of this Advent season, may we remember your unexpected appearance among us in the birth of a child.

You make yourself known to us again and again but we sometimes are deaf and blind to you. Help us to clear our ears and open our eyes to your word

God of Peace, whose ways are not our own and whose coming among us cannot be predicted, we dare to welcome your surprises, seeking to be awake and alert, and to fully embrace the unexpected. That we might be changed by your appearance and transformed into loving vessels with radical acceptance.

Now let us feel your presence as we live as you taught us and pray as you taught us: Lord’s Prayer

Left-hand turn

The loneliness isn’t in the silence, it’s in the absence of commentary.

My “Silent but Deadly” litany chants in my head

“Don’t open your throat, let the demons be fed”

I want to reach out. I want to be heard. But…

Reality isn’t where I want to be disturbed

My brushes lay colorless, lifeless as corpses

My observances from the corner, bodily divorces

I’m running like hell hounds know my name

The bridges start smoldering in fingers of blame

and they all return to me. Their rejection is plain to see

If I’m not them, I’m never good enough as me.

Not Old Enough

Turbulent Life

I won’t mourn you while you’re still here making choices;

choices of where you’ll breathe last when the time comes

decisions that are yours, and only yours, to make. Always.

I will, however, laugh with you until you can’t any more.

I will support your choices, defending your life at its last.

You’re not old enough to go, but I know that’s not up to us.

I won’t mourn you while you’re here, but I will love you,

my friend, brother to my sister-in-heart, brother of my brother.

Holy Water

pitcher

I have a Baptist church pitcher of holy water on my counter

I don’t know how many Sunday’s it witnessed

(Can I get an amen, brothers and sisters?!),

but I celebrate the holy water it gives and they gave me.

The preacher arrived bearing a coffee cup filled with good will

opening their church home to me with an invitation

I accepted.

I didn’t accept because they were giving me something

I did, wanting to find a church home, with loving heart

Sunday arrived as did the parishioner to cart me to redemption

There I sat in a church so big, cold, overly puritanical

The ceilings dripped chandeliers over the congregation

I sat through the service where the nice people smiled nicely

I sat through bible study which didn’t feel much like home

I hugged while exchanging pleasantries

with a half-promise to return and a Baptist pitcher in hand.

About a week later, the pastor, accompanied by a scary believer

showed up just in time to help unload my chicken coop.

We shared our views where we sent one another away in love.

But I think of them every Sunday when I nurture my plants

as well as every night when I set the coffee pot with holy water

Historic Healing

The sugar cookie pink dogwood sprinkles bridal paths;

creating instant asphalt chapels.

The scent of innocence found in clover and black walnuts

admire the buttercups, grape hyacinths, and forget-me-nots

I inhale the pastel afternoon of 72 degrees, skirt weather

rising sun peeking the treetops looking for reflections

The yellow skin blanket warms the earth,

nurturing the robins, crows, and a fashionable pair of bluebirds.

In the dark margarine yellow window boxes,

purple pansies assort themselves presentably.

There are four square pillars looking like an estate;

updated but settled into a routine of security.

A squeal of young girls holding a picnic at the curbside

interacting by taking turns instead of having a leader.

They worked in tandem, familiar with their abilities.

A nap in a hammock sounds incredibly plausible, but

I return to the silence of a squeaky cat and gentle spirit