God Is

I’m a bit lost.

Nothing new.

Walker Percy gets it. (Lost in the Cosmos)

It’s not that I don’t know where I’m going.

I see where I’ve been too.

Forth and back.

It’s the momentary.

The present places shift around.

Shift happens I suppose.

Here is there a lot of the time.

Neil Diamond sung about

Being neither here nor there…

“I am, I said, and no one heard,

Not even a chair.”

God’s Name isn’t ‘I Was’.

God’s Name isn’t ‘I’m going to be’.

God’s name is ‘I Am’.

Actually ‘I Am that I Am’.

This echo reached all the way to me.

Here. Now. Thank God.

Needful Things

I’ve adopted a new aphorism. The phrase was cultivated during our latest move. A move which included a plethora of boxes, many notated with vague adjectives. Miscellaneous, i.e. misc, was the numero uno choice of description. Then came the likes of various, random, important, very important, extremely important, fragile, really fragile, special, Dad’s books, Mom’s books, and books.

Near the end, up to the day of closing and bugging out like a M.A.S.H. unit, the writing on the cardboard drew intellectual confusion.

“Socks and picture frames.”

“Pop tarts and junk drawer.”

“Cat nip and scarves.”

The labeling of boxes didn’t give birth to my new aphorism; our barn did. As the great OZ said to the Tin Man: “You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk!” I said this loud and clear to our pseudo-barn. The emptying of the great catch-all was daunting. It was a scene from American Pickers except there was nothing to pick. Okay, maybe my nose, but nothing deserving a handshake.

Two months ago Barbara and I decided to bug out and pare down our material footprint on the planet. We sold the farm. All 7.5 acres, the barn, the chickens, the garden, and the Slop shire She-shed left behind. Now we are trying to stuff a chinook salmon into a sardine can. Our little bungalow on a postage stamp is a quaint booth in a neighborhood where walkers walk and mail boxes are safe from snow plows plowing them over. It is smaller though…by a lot.

The sorting and deciding what to pitch may take months, but we will park a car in the garage come what may. I imagine an old pickup truck full of barn stuff (an envy of Fred Sanford) driving along a dirt road with the tailgate down, and each bump dumping this-n-that like casting lots. I keep telling myself to not overthink, just open boxes and put the old catnip in the trash. But we have to pay some mind to what we want to keep. “What are the needful things?” Geez. Just pedal down the pickup and pray for washboard roads!

Anyway, I ramble. The aphorism…

“Don’t acquire a barn unless you are a farmer.”

Pedal Still

We can only keep coasting downhill.

What about the other side?

What about the vistas,

ridges, mountains, big and small?

 

Where do the shadows yawn?

What becomes of perspective?

Why settle in the valley

no matter how it cradles us?

 

Back on our bikes,

those pedestals of freedom.

There are times to coast,

and times to climb.

 

For Jasper Hoogendam and Glynn Young

find Jasper at https://livingingodspocket.wordpress.com/

and Glynn at http://faithfictionfriends.blogspot.com/

Backspace

You can’t use the space bar when backspacing.

I’ve begun writing for an hour now.

Nothing to show but white space

after deleting thoughts.

Talk about white supremacy.

What if every thought

was sentenced to paper?

Every tree beaten to a pulp?

Fiction and non, single spaced,

no margins of error,

looking like an inkblot

for our subjective peruse?

Ah, words.

Libraries full of them,

bound like prisoners,

serving their sentences,

and hoping for parole.

May I have a word?

Backspace.

 

The Apostle John’s first sentence in his gospel…

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Dance Floored

I remember the back wall

at junior high dances.

The cafeteria cleared of tables

and a disco ball suspended,

catching and pitching light

like baseballs.

 

Velcro didn’t exist then,

yet something held the boys to

one side of the room,

while the girls talked to

each other across the way.

The floor waited, triple waxed.

 

We didn’t have enough puberty

to make a collective advance.

But a handful of boys,

some with shadows under

their noses, trickled over

one by one, laying down

 

rail for the rest of us

and our pseudo hormones

to cross the great divide.

Some of us took a chance,

while others stood staring

afraid the currents would

 

pull them under along

with their blushing,

freckled, pimpled faces,

accentuated by the

myriad of little spotlights

spinning around the room.

 

To even touch in public,

although in the somewhat

dark, was like the sun

coming out from under a rock.

And then there was light

shining on our pubescent selves.

Sea Psalm

Take me down to the river,

where eternity flows.

My prayers dangle

over the edge,

and are carried

to the sea.

 

Why is the ocean vast?

Why does it bend the horizon?

Oh, little metaphor

of the universe,

lay your tides

over and over

like a meditation.

 

Oh, currents within,

correct my course,

couch my requests

and praises into

your endless soundings.

Dear God, I bow at Your river

to swim in Your ocean.

Friday Psalm

Length of days.

Stretched desire

thin. A thin slice

of passion for the

lost connection

with You.

 

Hurried, distracted,

brink of brick on brick

and the mortar between.

Where are You?

Do You see us?

Do you see me

 

behind this wall

of mine?

This thick skinned

membrane, memory

brained elocution

where words fence

 

me in, and attempt

to keep distance

from Your editing.

Come, check my

cobbled diction.

Free this sentence,

 

this self-relying status

of trying to figure

things out.

Help me to humbly

figure You,

To read You word for word.