shadows smudge on the wall
           beside me, gray on red
           as I look up, pensive,
           pen in hand to write.
how to right this over indulgence,
           too full of my own
           bloated worry?
I've buried my prayers, fed one
           saturated heart with cares
           not meant to be carried.
Fasting from the thoughts that also
           fill my brain seems a lifeline
           in this season where we're 
           drowning in too much.
I shut the door, shutter the blinds
           and feast on silence, making
           space in my waiting for the
           gift to arrive, though it tarry.
It occurs to me, that like
           the Christ child's birth,
           answers may look far
           different than I expect.
So I make room in the welcome
           dark, waiting for the light,
           which will surely dawn.
c. Jody Lee Collins, 2016


I flatten myself carpetside,
legs parallel as the lines of a crosswalk,
arms a perpendicular “T”
to my torso, aching as they
stretch (or do they stretch
and therefore ache?) Open-bodied
stance releases all weight of this weary week.
White-flagging my way to the floor
a wide space spans my once-tight
palms, now held by an invisible
silken thread index to index.
Sprung free from the web of close-in
clamoring that’s cluttered my days,
revelation arrives via the limbs.
My body remembers a vast freedom,
the lull and lilt of quiet, room to roam.
Bones at rest, eyes shuttered, the inky view
messaging my brain. Sometimes I don’t
know what I don’t know, how tightly
I’m wound until I’m undone. 
I want to live undone.

When Trees Speak

Autumn morning, eyes trained
through windows to the
shadow show on tree trunks,
crayon box colors of Fall
falling through space from now
visible branches.
Creator comes to mind, how He
carries us, colors us, covers us
with His power, the Tree the
strength, raising us Heavenward.

Sap is invisible, pulsing like a
sticky river, nourishment in its wake.
All I see is cottonwood, maple, and rarely
wonder at their strength, never
stop to remark, "would you
look at the energy feeding those trees!?"
Likewise we fuss and worry
that God may not be at work
while we grow our leaf-filled days,
falling we think, and wonder
'where is He? why isn't He
doing something?'
And all the time His constant
reliable reach pushes up and
out, earthborne sap that cannot
be stopped, no matter how our
lives fall out.