I Corinthians 13:1

This poem is inspired by my poetic friend, Tania Runyan, whose volume of poetry 'Second Sky' follows hard after the Apostle Paul's writings.  I thought I'd try my hand at Scripture prompted poems.  
The waltzing cat silently slinks between
cupboards on concrete and grass.
The only sound as he slips
is the bronze tag at his neck
giving away his presence.
I follow the light noises, eyeing him
as he reaches the fence,
vanishing through to the dark, leafy side.
Larger chimes (upstairs and down) 
wave in the wind saying, "Listen!", 
truer sounds than the dense voices
inside the four walls of my home behind me.

I was made for here and hear--
tuned to the harmony of Heaven 
that calls me to attend.
I turn my head 
and wish for ears cupped and turned
like those of my feline friend
drawn by the whoosh and rustle.
Wish instead to ring, not with the clang
of this earthbound voice, but
with a bit of soft twinkling 
like the wind driven chimes calling
me towards Home.                                                                                        


The noisy birds squawk and squeal,
an out of sync chorus
bent on harmony
as discordant as a traffic jam.

In between the garbled avian speech
I hear a finch and a robin 
and a message--"It's morning!"

In my very vague 4:30 brain 
I succumb to the sounds
of Creation's alarm clock
and I am up, 
(in spirit only, the body to 
rejoicing with them in this new day.

How kind of God to bring such
news with music on the wings of dawn,
a symphony of which I never tire.

May 7th, Leschi

Ivy's on the corner with her papers and her change.
I stop, she chats and I cheer her on
As she shares this chapter of her life
Titled “October through February,”
Bringing her to this sunny corner in May.

The lines on her face tell a story
Like the layers of life in a beautiful, old tree
Belying the hope that rests in her future
A Birthday away (next month!)
Bringing her Real Change (The monetary kind)
That will take her away from these
Hard, busy streets and the people
Who look past her with their own weights (the monetary kind).

“They don’t even see me,’ she says. “Act like I’m not here.”
Her smile shows the puzzlement she feels—
How she who has so little and appreciates so much 
isn’t even acknowledged by those
Who on paper have so much (the monetary kind).

I tell her there is a Someone who sees her,
And I see her too; she matters.
A gentle touch on her shoulder, 
resting a dollar in her hand
I turn into the bright day,
Confident she has riches more than
Anything of the monetary kind.
**photo from 2013 trip to NOLA

People Stack

photo credit*
The people over at Tweetspeak Poetry led by the fearless LL Barkat recently engaged in a 'Poem Stack' exercise based on single words from geology, nature and so on.
I wanted to try my hand at it; here's what I wrote at church this morning.  It's a people stack. 
Yoga pants, striped, 
atop 2 inch heels
Bermuda shorts newcomer
French beret grandma
Hoodie wearing PE teacher
Teen, arms raised in praise 
Jamaican with a tambourine
Pastor in tennis shoes
Star Wars t-shirt piano player
Tattoos at the altar
Beard on guitar
Children in tow
on our way 
to Communion,
all stacked
on top
of the
*Interface by Phillip Levine. This bronze sculpture was acquired in 1982. It is located in Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, Renton WA 


"I don't know what to do, Lord."

of tasks and to do's and
worried that there's a Right Way to Go.
I SO don't want to miss it.

As if.

As if God had an opinion
on closet cleaning
versus photo organizing
versus gardening or 
muffin making or Bible Reading.

And as soon as the words
are on my tongue, 
whispered into the air 
I hear Him,
plain as you sitting there,
"I don't really care what you do.
This isn't a Standardized Test
with only one right answer
and a score at the end.

"It's a walk with me 
'keeping the unforced rhythms of grace'*
as I lead you and you listen
and we journey together 
towards Home."

So let's walk.
*Eugene Peterson
Linking for the first time with the community at #unforced rhythms, hosted by Kelli Woodford.  The community formerly meeting at Michelle deRusha's place.