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: Repentance

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Repentance

Let us cease to profess a faith that has forgotten
the broken, the abandoned, the lost.
Let us put away our crosses and robes,
our pulpits and altars wrapped in old testament wrath
all holy in our forgetting that we are indeed
our brother’s keeper,
that we are neither righteous or capable
of saving souls with our hard hearts and hate
for the hungry and shattered and holy other.
that in our trappings and good fortune
we have put aside the two commandments
that could save us and those around us.

They, these two lines in a book dense with words,
are too simple.
Unadorned.
Lacking in rank or showy theology.
Too obvious in their truth
to be true.
and so we wrap ourselves in the undercard,
righteous reasons to rant,
a shell game, a magicians’ trick, all distraction and smoke
and noise. Always, the noise.

It is time to stop.
To go quiet.
To look within,
to understand where and when and how
we became broken, unblessed, angry,
to turn away from the noise and clutter
and remember the purpose of our faith:

to save us
from ourselves.

About this poem

  1. I have become that rarest of creatures, a liberal, evangelical Christian.
  2. I have tried to stay away from my politics here, because as soon as you declare an opinion in today’s world, half your audience leaves you (which half depends on your stance). But my truth leaks out sometimes. Without apology.
  3. Matthew 22:34-40 reads…  34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
  4. My sermon this week at Rupert Methodist is on repentance. I think that is what started this poem.

Off my soapbox,

Tom

Poetry: Pentecost Prayer

fire

Pentecost Prayer

Touch me with the fire,
with the passion
that my groaning bones too often lack.

Fill my empty spaces
with holy, magical fire,
with color and music and mystic moments.

Make my life,
make me,
vibrant.

Let my song resonate on the canyon walls,
Hold my hand, and let your fiery electricity
crackle in my life,

and let me live a dangerous love,
a blazing love I could never live
without you.

About This Poem

Today, in the Christian church calendar, it is Pentecost, the day the disciples were suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit, which appeared as tongues of fire touching each one. According to the bible, thousands were converted in that day. Many people mark this as the day when the church was first formed.

Whatever your faith tradition, however, we know there are moments when we are filled with the spirit, filled with love, and they are transformative, because love, in all its forms, is transformative. Always.

Tom

Poem: Psalm 96:1

flowers 1

Psalm 96:1

The darkness can no longer hold you.
Yes, it can batter you with it’s lies,
tear at you with ancient fears,
return in the night with it’s dark whispers,

It can invade your mornings,
tie you to the floor of your own dungeon.
It can mock you.

But you have tasted the light.
You know its power

surpasses all, and sets you free.

About this poem

Inspired by my morning devotions, Psalm 96:1 reads “Sing to the Lord a new song. Sing to the Lord all the earth.”  This is an early Easter poem, and also a poem for all of us who have been bound and break free, one strand at a time, casting off the ropes of doubt, depression, or whatever else holds us back.

Tom

Poem: Psalm 104:16

quarry in fall

Psalm 104:16

The color will hang on a few more days
before wind and rain will strip the leaves,
and the trees will turn grey for the winter,

skeletons, their arms reaching like bones
to the sky, praying corpses
standing in a cold sun.

It is easy to imagine them dead,
for dead they seem, stripped
of color for the coldest of seasons,

dead things that aren’t, not really.
Somewhere the sap lies, lifegiving,
frozen, in wait.

And you? You too are in wait,
standing under the trees,
your hand on the rough bark,

feeling for a heartbeat,
evidence of resurrection that beats in unison
with your own.

About this poem

Psalm 104:16 was part of my devotions this morning. It reads: “The trees of the Lord are full of sap.”

Not full of sap in summer, or spring, but all year. Sometimes it flows. Sometimes it is stilled. But it is always there. As is our creativity, or faith, or love or….. It is always there, waiting for the change in season.

The picture was taken from the quarry across from my house in West Pawlet, VT.

Tom

Poem: Encaustic

encaustic

Encaustic

The wax,
so full of color
when it lived in candles
is thin and translucent now,
a watercolor wash of faint hues
and texture,
like a frozen sea.

A remnant of instructions lie
half buried,
readable yet incomplete
and useless as unanswered prayer,
yet somehow, beautiful
as if God is whispering his secrets
and,
knowing I am slow on the uptake,
stilled the universe
waiting for me to catch up.

About this poem

Encaustic art is built around melted wax and texture. My son has been doing it for years when he comes here to Vermont to visit. The picture is a piece he did in July that I particularly like, and always suspected had a poem buried in it somewhere.

Tom