Poem: Nothing Else Matters

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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: Still Battles

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Still Battles

Come, sit.
It is a long journey to peace,
and the way is hard.
From time to time,
you need rest.

Rest from the journey
that takes you nowhere,
that changes nothing
except
how you see.

Rest.
The journey inward is arduous.

Unlearning, it seems is harder
than learning,
and there is much of it to be done.
Many tears to shed.
Many lies to untangle.

There are barriers to climb.
There are those who wish you
their particular blindness,
who flood you with their truths,
their lies,
and defy you to tell the difference.
Confusion is their friend.
Confusion is your enemy
and they depend upon it
to keep you in thrall.

But you have made the journey.
you have learned to sit with the pain.
You have learned how often explosions lie.
You have learned to be still
To trust the silence
more than the noise.

It is not an easy thing.
The battle leaves wounds
that heal only partially.
Healing comes slow.
It is never complete, and still,
you journey.
You listen,
You, finally, see
just enough to know
this is not all there is,
that peace is not found in grand resolutions
or the snarl of hate.

It is found in the quiet of the river.
It is found in the crook of your lover’s arms.
It is found in the babble of children,
the purr of a small cat,
in a cup of coffee,
or the perfume of phlox in the evening,
in the patience
to be still.

Do not mistake stillness for ease.
Because the demons are all lies,
does not make them less treacherous.
Because they live within,
they are no less damaging or easier
to kill.
No. The ones that live within are harder still to battle.
Their death comes harder because part of you dies with them,
and at first, you are unsure
what will replace them.

So sit with me.
Breathe in the meadow.
My love will fill you.
And yours will fill me.
And in the quiet, we will find more than peace.
We will find
ourselves.

About this poem.

A poem of the soul, of God’s love, and our love for each other. A poem of my journey, and others. A love poem that goes beyond people around us to ourselves and the truths we believe most.

The picture was taken at The Clark Art Institute.

Tom

Poem: The Zen of Stairs

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The Zen of Stairs

Stairs wind up the riverbank.
Spinelike, a living thing,
surrounded by green,
a path from there to here.

Uneven. Rough,
one or two are washed out
by a river run wild, fueled by storms
and winter thaws.

Yet they endure, rugged, broken, functional,
a battered journey between,
their beauty too often missed
in the desire to arrive.

About this poem

I’ve made the mistake too often. No longer.

The picture was taken just north of Brattleboro, VT.

Tom

Poem: Mysteriously, the sun rises

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Mysteriously, the sun rises

Mysteriously
the sun rises
over the water,
over the trees
over your darkened soul.

Light
after dark,
after the pain,
some of it yours to own,
some of it beyond your control,
beyond even, your understanding.

Light,
predictable, a cycle
of life
that sometimes you claim
and other times miss altogether,
your eyes shut in fear or spite.

And so you stand on the shore.
You breathe in the thing you worship.
You breathe out the agony you live.
Beathe in the warmth.
Breath out the emptyness,
and begin
again.

About this poem

The light is there. We have to let it in.

The picture was taken on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Tom

Poem: Dancing in the Flames

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Dancing in the Flames

You can not escape the fire,
its tendrils reaching for you
no matter where you hide.

No matter where you run,
they pursue you,
a rabid lover, never content,

never satisfied until you are consumed
by its presence.
And so, you do not flee.

You open your arms
and dance in the flames until your ashes fly away
like dandelion seeds in the wind.

About this poem.

Two weeks ago was Pentecost in the church calendar. My life is filled with love. My work has taken on a new vitality and excitement as I pursue different takes on what I have done for thirty years. The change of season here in Vermont is glorious. My bible reading today was from the book of Daniel.

Anyone of these things is a fire in my heart. Together, they are a conflagration… and a poem.

The picture was taken at Monumental Chapel at Virginia Weslyan University.

Tom

Tom

Poetry: Pentecost Prayer

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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: Sanctuary

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Sanctuary 

Water trickles down the creek,
bouncing off rocks and singing
like a child in summer.

Wind blows through the willows,
rustling softly, like silk.
Somewhere, birds sing.

It is morning and you are alone
with your restless mind,
your thoughts babbling in the background

as you slow your heart,
as you quiet its fears
and prepare for battle,

as you open it, deliberately,
exposing it to those who if history is correct
would trample it and leave it on the battlefield,

another casualty of casual love and blind hate.
Somehow though, it is still your shield,
stronger than the weapons of the mind,

it has endured,
fed by the promise
of still, still waters.

You breath. Deeply in. Deeply out.
You share the air with the mountains,
with the wild around you,

at peace with your aloneness.
glad for it even,
for this chance to let the dust of life settle,
if only for this short while,
glad for sacred spaces
that appear like magic,
which perhaps,
they are.

About this poem

The picture was taken during a walk with a friend. He took me around a corner and “Boom!”, I was in a perfect sanctuary of water and willows.

I live alone. But I am not lonely.

Today’s devotional Bible verse in my readings was Psalm 23.

From that mix of things, this poem

Tom