From Island Park to the ends of the world,
the berries marking river’s bend

ripen as much to call you on
as fare you well come this day’s turn.

From the river of life you’ve grown up along,
trestle bridge and balloons rising sun,

we’ve pushed and pulled and seen you grow,
we’ve prayed and learned with those teaching you.

And now we pray full as you go,
the Spirit’s blessing empower you,

remember who and Whose you are,
God’s dream and vision to carry through.

“River-sent” by William B. Jones, on the occasion of a Baccalaureate Service held on Pentecost.

Pentecost, the fiftieth day (pente = five) after Easter, when the Holy Spirit descended that our “sons and daughters might prophesy” (Acts 2). Baccalaureate, a farewell message, from Latin “baca” berry + “laureus” laurel = symbol of accomplishment.

Island Park Balloon Rise Photo copyright Joe Tecza, all rights reserved.

a mercy







d.n.r. signed, ambulance idling bay,
wedding band squeezing near-gold into white,
praying God fold him your peace on the way,
night-flight completing as dawn breaks to light.

(owl triptych 2)

the owl is risen







the owl is rising,
he wings his way onward

he came for a season,
he stayed us the day.

he landed the chenier,
he fished deep the bayou

he rises the prairie,
allons us away.


(owl triptych 3 – composed to the tune of “The Bard Of Armagh”)

grand cove

Mississippi River Barges at New Orleans











dealing cards unseen with Pom-Paw today,
casting rod spinning invisible throw,

mom hits the rounds of the floor yet again,
praying an answer from someone, somehow,

who, what, and, most of all, how next to fathom
where this slow-churning vessel is bound.

coffee and no sleep and heat seeping room,
hospitalist veering the long way around,

barges turn sure their bend in the river,
fog-bound meandering deep-running sound.

(owl triptych 1)

a scrim of clouds (the sparrow pray)


“Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young, near your altars…” – Psalm 84:3

a scrim of clouds your crossing shade,
a boldened love to dare the way,
a world to brave enough the day,
a stranger come, a heart awake.

a threshold reaching step to make,
a turning in our soul to trace,
a god eureka lifting praise,
a calling meet, a courage stay.

a sacrifice of days to grace,
a cross to empty, giving made,
a temple for the sparrow pray,
a cup to pour, a faith to raise.


(for those seeking sanctuary in houses of faith
and refuge from those pledging to live under God.)