Early Winter — A Triolet

Winter can’t make up its hoary mind.
It throws its sleet; it tosses its snow.
Why can’t it be a little more kind?

Winter can’t make up its hoary mind.
Can’t it just toss one wintry kind?
Instead, it huffs, sneezes and blows.

Winter can’t make up its hoary mind.
It throws its sleet; it tosses its snow.

Maneuvering Our Way*

It’s the new year according 
          to the calendar, and from all 
                   the well wishes and enthusiasm 
                                     heard from the talking 
                                         heads on the evening of the 
                                           last day of the now old year, 
                                                such sounds sound more 
                                                 desperately optimistic   
                                                 than hopeful. They are 
                                              both good with one running 
                                            more deeply as a stream run-
                                           ning rapidly to the sea — the 
                                       other a veneer with a thinness to 
                                    the raucous guffaws with a hint 
                                of urgency to singing auld lang 
                              syne. Can we get through the 
                       Advent candles and twelve days of 
                    Christmas, the nine candles of Hanukkah, 
                 the seven candles of Kwanzaa, the glowing 
              lanterns of Ramadan all blazing without 
            plunging to the darkness of the bottom 
         of a now dead coral reef of life ex-
       tinguishing such faint light? 
     Can we, with patient hope, live 
    in the thin places between the 
   physical and the spiritual — con-
tent for now -- seeing, touching, 
         tasting the appetizers of the 
                  of it all? 

*with appreciation to James Pennington for his comments  
on "thin places."

It Was an “Oh, Okay” Kind of Morning

He said, watching his wife rise from the bed,
“Where are you going?” “To take a shower.”
“Why don’t you let me shower first and then
take the dog out and you can sleep as long
as you like. Just tell the girl to go back to
sleep for awhile if she gets up.” “I have an
eye appointment.” “Oh, okay.” He got up
also and headed to the upstairs shower.
Then the dog got up and looked around
for someone to take her out. He could hear
her run up the stairs looking for him. He got
out and saw the dog waiting for him at the
bottom of the stairs. “Oh, okay. I’m coming.”                
While the man put on his clothes, so many                   
clothes in the winter, the dog sat by the slid-
ing door looking for bunnies or perhaps
wondering just when she would be able to
tinkle. “Oh, okay, okay. Here I am, but go
slowly; it’s icy outside.” She didn’t have to go
so badly. She took her time; sniffed at the deer
pee, sniffed for some rabbit poop, stuck her
nose in the rabbit tracks and finally peed.                  
Wanting the dog to move along, he said,
“Oh, okay, okay. Enough.” Then he made the
mistake to get her to move toward the house.                   
“Oh, okay. Want your dinner?” The large,
strong Chocolate Lab shot across the snow,
onto the icy cement, to the door. He held the
leash but prayed as he grabbed for dear life
the handle of the sliding door. “Okay, okay,
okay, girl!” After he fed the dog and gave
her treats, his wife wondered how it went
with the dog and asked if he wanted some
coffee. “Oh, okay and oh, okay.”

Russian Bugged Brains

Some insidious Russian bug got in their brains
hoping to cause a wreck of the American train
as it chugs along albeit ever so slowly
with an incompetent conductor only.

With sound and fury signifying nothing
these Republican legislators in the offing
(motivated by being deathly scared)
promise the loser as king to be declared.

Ah, the king with no clothes
has a severely out-of-joint nose
with which he sneezes on reformed bugged brains
and continues to act more and more insane.

And so we brace for January 6th,
feared even by Moscow Mitch
to see just how many Russian bugged brains
futilely strive to derail the American train.

Surround Me — A Journey Along the Via Negativa*

Surround me, mystics, in this time of turbulence.
I don’t ask that you help me escape. I don’t ask 
that you rock me to sleep. I ask that you allow me 
to see you for the self-emptied, Christ-filled persons 
that you see yourselves to be. Show me the way from 
ego to unity with all — all humans, all nature, all 
creation in utter compassion. Help me when I leave 
the house, get in the car, venture out and encounter, 
yes, encounter rudeness, anger, entitlement, class 
and ethnic privilege, reckless abandonment of concern 
for others. Help ease my belligerent indignation, 
which masquerades as “righteous” indignation, but, 
which only fills my heart with anger, thus upsetting 
the perfect unitive balance of body, mind and spirit — 
each’s internal trinity. Anxiety permeates the air 
along with the virus. Everything wrong is up and 
everything right is down, down, down. Help me give 
up everything that divides me into a camp opposed 
to other camps. Help me to see the humanity in others, 
the me in them, the Christ in them, the Christ in me.  
Help me see the singularity of Love desiring to break 
free of the false identity. Help me to be one, see one, 
live one with the One Holy Trinity of sacrifice, mercy, 
justice, peace, compassion. Help me see and be a fellow 
traveler, a soulmate to everyone and everything I meet. 
Help me breathe free in the universal company of human-
ity. Help me be free. Oh, and by the way, do you think 
I could have the comforting, compassionate, soothing, 
wise and wonderful voice of Thich Nhat Hanh? No? Oh, 
all right. 
*idea from long overdue visits with the mystics

A Lawless Land?

Are we living in a lawless land?
Claiming Law and Order, people
make first and second amendment stands.

But these are just excuses to do as they please,
carry guns, not wear masks
and in your face intentionally sneeze.

Let’s carry that to its logical conclusion —
running stop signs and red lights leading to
injury, death and mass confusion.

It is said that thirty percent of the population
will vote for anyone, for anything
in utterly childish desperation.

They are angry; they feel cheated, impenitent —
just feeling sorry for themselves.
Has anyone seen the seventy-percent?

“Ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin’ ali-i-i-i-ive….”

Take-Out Before, During and After a Pandemic

Take “only” out of the only begotten son 
of God as the ancient texts put it, so it 

reads the begotten son of God who was in-
carnated and born to tell us and show us 

that we, too, are begotten (from beget de-
fined as “to procreate as the father”) sons 

and daughters of God and if begotten then 
incarnated and containing God’s DNA just 

like our father’s and mother’s DNA. The 
ancients tell us that we are adopted, ex-

cept that means we take a name not DNA but 
God’s DNA quickens in the marrow of nature’s 

bones, then through mother Sophia’s DNA we 
again “beget” Jesus — Love’s Eternal DNA and 

the circle is completed in mercy, justice 
and peace day by day, dear Lord, we pray.

Vows for Now: From the Temporally Destructive Trinity to the Eternally Constructive Trinity*

The theologian warned of
the old “empire building,
patriarchy and killing of
the earth,” — the destructive trinity.

The late, saintly statesperson
said, “Know that the truth
always leads to love and
the perpetuation of peace.”

From the destructive, unholy
trinity of greed to peace in the
eternally constructive trinity of
faith, hope and love.

*words of Matthew Fox and John Lewis
read in one morning’s meditations