boy on the moon










Aubrey, lessened to this world,
half a century gathered in
from the coast we grew up on,
yours the black beach, muddy grass,
ours the white beach glinting sand

mine the side we thought safe cross,
middle school a new thing born,
trying blend what those before
said God’s creatures knew not try;
mixing beyond their own kind.

daring come to play as friends,
trim the hedges, smooth the lawn,
bussed across our side of town,
before flag unfurled again,
heritage its pride to claim.

What this cross, this leaving from?
how your tumor coming seized
you before our Ferguson,
teacher daily roughing hard,
yardstick lashing cross your thighs.

Aubrey fading, going fast,
dying yourself to our world
back when Neil took to the moon,
sudden leaving, hidden flight,
seventh grade nor life returned.

Aubrey, lifted long ago,
still I dream your prayer of us,
crossing lakeside, smiling shore,
hold a place a friend to grey,
Aubrey, God’s side staying play.


for Aubrey, where God already is, with thanks to V.T.

another smooth stone


“The stone I pick up to hurl with my hand,”
his voice probing steady the hurt of the day,
“falls from my palm with the grease of my sin,”
preemptive judging us lest we judge them,

gravely forewarning a time without kings,
boundary markers moving again,
panic-loosed chaos the now-dreaded thing,
should we somehow not the right trophy claim.

hill-top marked ready to redeem save one,
CFOs rooting if poets forgone,
prophets and seers yet given to learn,
cairn piling stones left strewn before dawn.

JC, in sand write me next in your name,
drop me a smooth stone your courage embrace,
pray us on waking, G*d, keep us your kin,
cross us your valley, your river to trace.


Newton Centre, October 9, 2014 

turn in leaf


Let me walk your wooded path, Lord,
let me light enough to see,
let me draw your word deep-rooted,
let me autumn turn in leaf.


“If you make my word your home,
you will indeed be my disciples.”

- Jesus, in the Gospel of John 8:31
(New Jerusalem Bible)



befire our time, this spinning night,
candle cross your quieting bay,

star to echo word to star,
whisper into coming day.

ember as you will our lives,
charity to kindle way,

warm again your light to ours,
reach us God your heart to pray.


(chapel photo courtesy Mary Giles)



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.