Thursday, April 28, 2005

We Have Stood

We have stood the harvest,
the cutting away from the earth.

We have stood the picking up,
the stacking, the drying, the bending
the breaking of our bodies.

We have stood the congregating,
the laying down,
the crushing from clomping feet,
the calamities of the curse.

We have stood becoming
a pure powder,
our brokenness mixed, molded,
privately, publicly, and then
panned together, a perfected people.

We have stood the Holy fire,
the kindling, the match,
the conflagrating heat,
the flesh scented smoke rising skyward.

We have stood the hot, hot oven
triple digit degrees,
the baking, the broiling,
the fixing solid of our parts.

We have stood,
Yet now,
we stand together.

One loaf,
blessed, broken and given
from the Master’s hand.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Thea (tea)

hot, iced, honeyed, lemoned,
cupped, capped, mugged, lugged
over hills in burlap sacks, sorted

dried, crushed by the other, dark
skinned Asians alive in
valley tenements twelve to a room

tatami mat unfurled, a red carpet,
red satin slippers padding, tiny steps of
a gashed red mouth in chalky face

ganga smacked junkie, chasing a
dragon, mouth smoke and
lungs sucking Acapulco gold

skirted scabby-kneed girls and teddy bears
with tin cups and teapots, cookies
on a wide platter, munching

biscuits and tea keep growling
from the royal belly of
Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford, 1

who conceived for afternoon
at four, unknowingly led to
Cop Killer2 and death

for new thought hemlocked
in time numbed from feet
up to a Celestial sky

high on Teaberry, sweet
juicy teeth chewing chi
black, barley, and green

from racing clippers pulled to port
Cutty Sark and Stornaway,3 slant-eye
wabi-sabi inhabits Camellia leaf on bush.

1. Began tradition of afternoon tea in 18th century England.
2. 1992 song by rap artist, Ice T.
3. Mid-19th century clipper ships that competed in races from China to the London Tea Exchange to be the first to action tea cargo at market.

Khaki Man

What did Daddy do

when he caught his hand
in the cornpicker? His thin
baby finger healed with less
than half a nail. He trimmed it
with a pocket knife sitting
on a blunt-hearted tractor

He was a khaki man,
in shirt, pants and plastic
panama hat that stood up
to storms.

He classified the trees
and lay on cold ground pointing
to constellations he learned navigating
to war-time ports.

In hot July he drank russet tea
from a Mason jar and breathed in—
herbicide from the weed sprayer.

He toured his last lima
field, felt the wadded sod and
fretted for rain. He died
wearing a diaper in his
granddaughter’s bedroom,
blind to the blue dot
wallpaper Crayolaed
with corn stalks
and brown beetle bugs.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Gentile Daughter*

She whispers in a foreign tongue
and crawls the base of the garden gate
like a cornered bitch, at home among
the stench and stone. To congregate

she crawls over the garden gate
to dance naked on the road
tapping stench and stone to congregate
with Satanic hosts, as if she owes

a naked dance on the road
to unclean spirits and other
Satanic hosts, unaware she owes
nothing, not soul, nor mind. Her mother

for unclean spirits, another
priest she prays to find
to free the soul, the mind, the mother,
finished with remedies so unkind.

This priest, she prays to find,
is a Jew from Galilee.
She’s finished with remedies, the kind
of fire and flogs, amulet and poison tea.

She finds the Jew from Galilee,
who walks on, ignores her plea, her ache,
offers not even fire or flog, amulet or poison tea.
He shuns the dog, for children’s sake

and walks on, ignores her plea, her ache
“Just one crumb,” she begs, head hung,
“for dogs shunned for children’s sake,”
she whispers in a foreign tongue.

* See Matthew 15: 21-28 as reference.
(The form of this poem is Pantoum)

He, the Bread

I cannot see him in the morning mists
as blind to hope I’ve found myself to be.
What grace is there to open eyes to see
if love at all in this garden exists?

Here earth weights stubborn as sour grapes amassed
on vines that grow from soil of rock and rums
where wheat and rye a seedless chaff becomes
so parched of rain that fruit produced can’t pass

as food good for any use. Yet, from this bed
a meal is formed intended for a child
to eat and drink as open eyes be formed.

It is a bread broken, but blessed instead,
a wine pressed out as from a vein so mild,
love’s nourishment that clears the mist of morn.

Monday, April 04, 2005


At 6:30 a.m.
the darkness impedes the light still
yet morning has fired through
my sleep, a bully shooter
scattering my dreams like marbles
they roll beyond the boundary
of my consciousness
where a rough knuckled fist
and pockets them

I’m clouded
I can’t remember
my crimson swirl aggie or
from whom I snared my last mib or
the circle where I sported and nudged
and lagged and plunked

Now in the dark morning
my senses perceive only a hint of
those alabaster glasses
which once inhabited me and
befriended me and
were as known to me
as the night

Across the barren land in march

tree, stick of frail arm and swollen rusty digits
standing, a mourner amid the dead
musty forest floor, littered, brittle leaves
curled like empty cocoons
field, sucked dry, cracked in angling lines,
pits where blood of grass and grain
seeped away, leaving behind the
withered blades, bent and broken
pond, ripple free, all life
sleeps, forgotten, in Sheol

and in three days,

a reverie of sound, wind chimes,
beneath my window alert me
the spirit is moving, blowing,
God’s Marching Wind,


Spirit of resurrection

the fierce Grace of Him
who is not dead
awakens His creation
to live again