Poem: Nothing Else Matters

wilburton

Nothing Else Matters

Push the world aside.
Find a place for just you, and I,
a place where we can talk, one to the other,
a place of listening for breath and soul
and the electricity of touch, one hand on the other.

Set aside the noise. Push aside the crowd.
There is you, and I. Nothing else matters
save the sound of two souls slowing down
and rediscovering each other again,
again, and always
again.

About this poem

Too often we say certain things matter most, but act as if they don’t.

A love poem. The woman I love has been away a couple of days and returns this afternoon.

A poem of spirit. For too often life is too busy and too noisy for us to find God in the mix.

You choose. Or don’t. It’s OK for things to have more than one meaning.

Tom

PS – The picture was taken at the Wiburton Inn in Manchester, VT.

Poem: Ghosts

quarry 1

Ghosts

Dusk falls.
Silent,
the black clouds
like nightmares.
The sun,
starved and dying,
a breeding ground
for the ghosts
that haunt not your house,
but your soul.

About this poem.

The ghosts that haunt our houses are mild compared to the ones we carry in our heads.

Tom

PS – The picture was taken in the quarry just across the street from my house in West Pawlet, Vermont.

Poem: You Are The Air

RUMC

You Are The Air

It is late in the day.
The afternoon sun filters through the window,
the only light in the sanctuary
where you have come to pray.

It is silent,
a place set apart,
built for crowds and congregations, today
it is empty.

No candles burn. There is no music,
only light and prayer, and perhaps,
just perhaps,
hope.

You breath deeply,
all the love here is for you,
all of it, a frightening thought
that you could be loved so much,

an inexplicable thing, yet real,
like air, a sweet caress,
necessary for fire, and more,
for life.

About this poem

This evening I was listening to music and “This is the Air I Breath.” played on the radio. Few people realize how deeply this song touches me. The praise team I used to sing in at Troutville Baptist Church used to sing this song, and it literally brought tears to my eyes. In the first year or two after my divorce, the tears were at times, uncontrollable.

To my surprise, as I listened to the song this evening, tears arrived again. The power and message still, for me at least, as overwhelming today as it was then. Flawed, broken, unsure I would ever emerge from the ashes, this song sang to me like no other.

Somethings, thank goodness, never change.

The picture is of the sanctuary at Rupert United Methodist Church, where I worship and serve here in Vermont. It was taken last Saturday, after we had finished a clean up day, getting the basement ready for kid’s Sunday School. Every one else had left and I sat in the back to pray, and when I was done, I took this picture.

Tom

Art: Flames of the Martyrs

Fires of the Martyrs

Continuing on the religiously themed paintings I have been doing recently……

Fires of the Martyrs

Watercolor
roughly 20″ tall x 9″ wide
Not yet framed. Not yet priced.

Please contact me if you are interested in this painting. 

Lenten Poem: Holy Water

Poem: Psalm 103

Holy Water

It is the most basic thing.
Without it,
we die.

A living thing,
water,
pure, simple, vital.

There are substitutes,
true, but underneath,
it is what we thirst for,

because

It is the most basic thing.
Without it,
we die.

================================

About the Poem

Today’s Lenten word is “thirst”, which brings to mind Christ on the cross, crying out that he is thirsty. It also bring to mind how a relationship with God is like a living water that nourishes and refreshes us, how it is is something we all need and crave it, and how often, sadly, we substitute other, less satisfying thing for that spiritual nourishment, and remain eternally, thirsty.

The photograph was taken in Venice, Italy. You can click on it for a larger version.

Tom

About these Lenten Poems

My friend Cathy Benson is on to something. Instead of doing without for Lent, she is doing MORE with a prayer project that is thoughtful and caring.

Giving up something for Lent is a church tradition, not a biblical command. It was designed to get our minds and hearts right as we approach the holy week and Easter. It’s a good spiritual discipline.

But I think a spiritual discipline of doing something more is also a powerful way to prepare our hearts for Easter. The Methodists, through their “Rethink Church” initiative have come up with a photographic way to do this (see below). I am going to add a poem with each image for the lent season to help prepare myself. Feel free to glom on to the idea, visit the blog and read, or share your thoughts and prayers.

Lent

Poem: The Second Day of Snow

West Pawlet 1

The Second Day of Snow

It is snowing,
and silence reigns.
No cars pass by your house.
The neighborhood children huddle inside.
There is no wind,

Only the tiny pattering
of snowflakes,
falling like a whispered
buddhist chant,

covering our world, every moment of it,
in a white grace, forgiving and tender,
God’s kiss.

=================================

This poem was inspired by my re-reading and re-meditating on my favorite Bible verse, Psalm 46:10, which reads “Be still and know I am God.”.  It was influenced, obviously, by the fact that it is snowing for a second day here in Vermont, and by a post by a reader on “The Bells of Mindfulness.”.

It’s funny how poems come together, an odd mash of thoughts and influences, a strange stew that distills itself, often outside our own awareness, into verse. It’s magic and grace and madness, all in one.

Tom

PS – The picture was taken just at the edge of West Pawlet. You can click on it for a larger version.

Poem: Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28

You can hear the call
over the roar of the tide
as is crashes into the shore,
dangerous and persistant,
it’s power to wear stone to sand
always in your mind.

You can hear the call
over the thunderstorm in the distance,
it’s rumbling a reminder
of storms past, that tore at your soul
and left you broken.

You can hear the call,
distant, faint, almost lost
in the terrible empty noise
that surrounds you.

You can hear the call,
but somehow,
you cannot make out the words
so you wait
for the quiet of night,
for the darkness,
the silence
where you can hear.

======================

Romans 8:28 reads:  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  It’s a hard verse to trust some times, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Generally, I am learning, it takes time to see it’s truth. Often lots of time.

The picture was taken at Newport, Rhode Island. You can click on it for a larger version.

Tom