days by you

I do not want to measure long
nor short by travail under sun,
but hold a life within your sight,
days in you the squinting by.

I do not want to fall the sun
but keep inside your roving sight,
daylight spanning hold of life,
grace to measure ever on.

I do not know the length of sight
but you, our keeper, praying life,
love to pour unmeasured on,
ours to curve again the sun.



Grand Beach, Maine

“Cross over to the isles and see…if there has ever been anything like this.”
-Jeremiah 2:10

how did you come to stay this place?
our want, our turning, asking face,
how yearn you here our struggle taste,
its edge to risk, our learning wake?

how under this your star-dome wait,
day span hold us, loving take?
strand to walk for kin-dom’s sake,
Maranatha, fasten pray.

to poet the word

to stay clear the shrub,

to risk not the fire,

to hold fast the salt-plain,

to pray out the flood.


to hew down the hillside,

to un-see the vision,

to forego the silence,

to un-hear the word.


to hunker the moment,

to profit the tyrant,

to loyal a dynast,

to return the dream.


to lower from round-top,

to tree by the water,

to root deep in giving,

to drink in the world.



Jeremiah 17:5-8


for one doubting the use of shrubs, shade,
and things growing green.



from not home

“How long, O Lord?” 

– Psalm 13

“from not home”

lost upon a wave of earth,
metal glinting poured out sun,

red stick marking boundary
where the leaving cry beyond.

moss that twined us once as kin,
now denying, roots undone.

shade to cool us, gather in,
edges slipping far from home.

we are not the way you give,
under cypress knee and gone,

breath of life returning you,
spirit praying send us God.


“Baton Rouge” > French “red stick”,
for an early marker on the Mississippi River.



earth took of earth

earth takes of earth
but stone, this stone,
blood welling from it,
pulsing the ground
star took of night,
but God, these stars,
light shedding from them,
life flowing down
earthe took of earthe
enough in woe,
calling of earth
awaken us now.

The Lord said, ‘What have you done? 
Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground.’

– Genesis 4:10, Revised English Bible


(the Middle English poem “earthe toc of earthe” dates from around the year 1000.)




I reach to send a poem her way,
who issues prayer like fledgling seed,

and pause on heaven’s shadow with
the one on sisters southerning,

who has herself reached up as far
as Spanish moss to blue hills can,

men-folk kicking dirt with boots,
while beads of condensate dew down,

ice cube stirred (not shaken) slow,
garden, spring hawk spiraling,

eyrie holding watchful eye,
loft to pattern opening.



(after “The Garden, Spring, The Hawk,”
Ellen Bryant Voigt, Shadow of Heaven.)