“as speech-bearers left”

late you came
around the fire,

circling wood,
quickening breath,

fingers tracing
table’s edge,

vine drawing eye
away, toward

lute-player echoing
star to star

and how shall I
answer your night?

what dreaming empty
rood to day.



strum and bend your fingers pressing,
tips against a fretted edge,
tune a string you thought had broken,
echo testing past regret.

curl your fingers lightly holding,
speak a truth and edge regress,
lyric snug, word lifting open,
letting flow in loosing breath.

wordless night and hope unspoken,
fight nor flight nor fear un-bound,
let the falling moment wake us,
Jesus spinning all around.

voice to raise and tune to match us,
how to be and to bless on,
given brother, sister calling,
breathe again into your song.

green the river

green the river flooding wide,
sand fall sifting fine beside

branches stilting riverside,
warm-spill churning yet inside

long the way rock climbing found,
caught by sight your rapids sound

high the notch-fed surging ground,
course the waters raging round

rising flood in yellow gold,
deep meander back un-fold

leaf in fall the stranding hold,
sandbar edging witness told

green the river ever-side,
winging bird into its flight

wind rise lifting into light,
ever keeping in your sight.

Isaiah 43:1-2

passing by

on the side of the road a poem passes by,
cute and tousle-headed, longing its mother

the sun goes up the river sweeps by
the emperor prowls and hungers

the poem grows on, we protect as we can,
we pray and praise and prophesy

we urge it to word and ask it its dream,
brushing its locks while eying its teeth,

as if it could save us when lions sniff night,
as if it could give us our only life

the child is only a child, we know,
sharpening words against the scatter,

waiting the heat to return, and water
waiting the hunger to lessen its sway

waiting the world to falter and go,
waiting its turn to leave, to arrive.

“in places forgotten”

suppose we walk us as you have before,
path cutting into, depth leading more

suppose you mine us out copper from earth,
coal turning ember, silver out ore

suppose you keep us as lions to fire,
circling ever on your desire

suppose we surface as you conspire,
rock channel through, precious things lyre.

Job 28:1-11


wondrous listen

kind of sky,
wondrous vision,
crossroad finding
holy given

let me breathe out
as you breathe in,
let me less to
as you more than.


holy sky,
wondrous giving,
crossroad meeting
in your caring

let me hear you
as you listen,
let me rest
inside your wisdom.


lowing sky,
wondrous bearing,
crossroad seeking
yours in daring,

let me exhale
as you bring in,
let me risk you
in your loving.



Psalm 116:1-2,
“I love, for God hears my voice…
and in my days I call out to God.”



blur to see

what this moment come to seek,
offering in quiet reach

verging rise, your light bequeath,
letting nightfall into speech.

soon enough your tracing free,
take and touch and know and be

blue the hour hastening,
still the moment, blurring see.


Psalm 19