Category Archives: Poetry

Call to Worship: God Is Still Speaking

In the beginning, before we were born, before our grandparents met, before people fought over boundaries, before there were countries or planets or stars, in the beginning, before we were born,

there was God.

Before we learned to write or speak or even think words, God’s name was the rush of the wind in the reeds, the migration of continents, the burning of stars, the movement of love in the cosmos. Before all of these, God began speaking.

God said “I Am!” This is the Word that went forward creating all things. The Word was with God. The Word was God. Through God’s speaking Godself into space and time, all things were made.  Because God said “I Am,” God said “You Are.” In this way, all things were made.

After people began to fight over boundaries, after they’d charted maps and named stars, after they’d fled war and weather, this great I Am, which is God, became flesh.

In the tongues of the nations, he was called God With Us, God Saves.  He was called Emmanuel.  He was called Jesus. 

He was called the Messiah, the Christ, the One Anointed as prophet, priest, king.  The Word become flesh, the breath of God living and breathing, the Word who had brought forth all things.

God came as us. God came for us.  The God who spoke creation is here.

God found us hurting and needing and hungry.  God found us broken, afraid.  In the infant of Bethlehem, in the crucified God, we find God sharing our lot.  Speaking the language of our experience.

And God is still speaking.

Through the rush of the wind, through the courses of stars, through the turning of great wheels in the deep,

Through lowly birth, through a life on the margin, through betrayal by friends, through false accusations, through the injustice of empire, through death on a cross, I Am is speaking.

I Am says “We Are.”

Paxil Christi (For Lorenzo Albacete)

Paxil Christi
for Lorenzo Albacete

I want to drink the sweet cup of your serotonin, Oh God,
and eat the sweet meat in your bones, broken Christ.

“These are my t-cells, broken for you.
This is my biochemistry, shed for your healing.”

Rilke, in translation, calls you “drifting mist,”
Holy Boson.

You transpose the songs of old stars
in great pyres,
their death rattles hum on our sinews,
our tongues,
forging all means to see
and receive them.

Their death is Father,
their light across time his Son,
our receptors, star-born,
death-born inversions,
atoms within us receiving.

This is no metaphor, physics.
Spiritu sancto, Amen.

Comprehend with us
in compline,
brimless fires, these,
alive with holy heat,
perfect burning beads by which
we contemplated God.

For World Poetry Day: To You Biographers of Caesar

To You Biographers of Caesar

To you biographers of Caesar,
I am that murdered general,
a Roman nose engraved on silver coin;
an alabaster column in perfect Roman order,
a sword, a plow, a prefect,
a century of soldiers—
a bumper crop in Tunis or in Spain.

To you biographers of Peter,
I am that Prince Apostle,
a Hebrew man enshrined beside the Po;
a traitor and evangelist fell prey to Roman order,
a sword, an ear, a net for men,
a century of soldiers—
an empty cross along the Apis train.

To you biographers of Arthur,
I am that coming high-king,
a Celtic myth in Celtic pride entwined;
a pauper and a prince, once, before the Roman order,
a sword, a stone, a chalice,
a fief of noble soldiers—
the Cup of Christ long kept by England’s swain.

To you historians of Athens,
I am that naval power,
the wisdom of my people long beheld;
Master over Sparta before the Roman order,
a sword, a fleet, the polis,
a city-state of scholars—
the light of pagan Europe in my blade.

You genealogists of Adam,
I am the father sinner,
God’s firstborn from the dirt of Eden’s shade;
a farmer and a workman, the sewer of disorder,
a sword, a tree, the rocky earth,
left to my warring children—
their history still in my image made.