The Birth of Motherhood

The first borne is a refocusing,

A wonderment which halves

Your heart in the mystery of it all.

Each half, if bonded together,

Is a doubling of your thrums,

And a healthy enlargement.

One little child is all it took.

You’re in a new identity.

We all see it, that cradling

Look you give over and over.

The center of gravity shifted,

And there you are swirling

round and round.

“What child is this?”

Is a daily question now…

Somewhat rhetorical,

Yet asked again and again

As if for the first time.

This is for all the new mothers and mother’s to be. Particularly Voilet, Kaleena, Chandra, and Sammy

Etchings

In over the dark,

Light settled on the

Bone limbs of branches.

A covering sigh

Of winter’s last whisper.

An overcast came down

To surround our small

House in the wood.

Afternoon winds on the way

To dust off the etchings

Of grace, of the silence.

Yet, for now, I can

Rest my eyes on the

Cold insulation of a

Forest waiting for full

Spring, white to green.

Look Up Psalm 19

How often I forget.

Eyes, razor-like, look on,

Gaze along the horizon,

While stars spindle down

Into my soul like a midnight

Dream, scraping the chill

Off my bones, off my bones.

*

A local poet named the dark-

Wide-skyscape beautiful; love.

I’m still looking around at

The fading shadows of

Deep evening and shallow morning.

The moon glow lifts my eyes

Off the ground, off the ground.

*

My cricked neck wearies,

So I settle in the low,

Lay in the dimple of the

Long grasses; their back and

Forth in the breeze frame

The heavens declarations

Off the heights, off the heights.

Silent Light

A few months ago I began lighting a candle as part of my morning ritual of coffee, reading, praying, and writing. The little light sits off to the side and after a while goes unnoticed…until recently.

We bought a house in the dead of winter. What emphasized that fact was more and more empty drawers and taped up boxes. When my candle dwindled down to uselessness I went for a replacement, and the only available were several Christmas gift candles. We had bought the kind which sound like a mini-crackling fire. Figuring this would add a bit more ambience, I gave one a go.   

            A couple of days in, I noticed slight slips of concentration, more than usual anyhow. This particular little light of mine had much to say. The conclusion: candles should be seen, not heard. I don’t dismiss these crack candles out of hand. My muse did though. She thought it distracted our communique. “You’re not listening hard enough,” She’d say. “What’s up with gibbering candle there?” She’d ask.

            What would it be like if all candles crackled? Imagine a fine dining situation with the love of your life… The glow highlighting the subtle curves of facial recognition. Eye contact melting into soul connection. Soft conversation. After a few minutes the spit and sputter of the center lit ambiance highjacks the focus of togetherness. Instead of staring at each other, you’re gazing at “it.”

            Or you walk into your catholic parish to light a votive or two, say a prayer, and sit quietly under the vaulted ceilings. But no, not today, because it sounds like a brush fire in the foothills. You can’t even hear your own echoing steps on the marble floors.

            I repeat, candles should be seen, not heard, when it comes to keeping silence and listening. Now, fires in the hearth are different. They are destined to speak, give off light, warmth, and an ambience for deeper refection. Campfires too. Bring a guitar, marshmallows, wieners, a circle of Adirondack chairs, and a recipe of reciprocity is complete.

            But a silent light, holy light, serves sometimes as a reminder to close our lips. Let us find place to still our souls for a bit, open the flue of our hearts, and pray. Welcome the Muse if need be. Let the lit wick melt the waxy elements of a hurried worried life.

            “I am the light of the world.” Jesus

P.S. I do like the crackling candles, by the way. They serve a purpose, but fail in joining my quiet time in the morning.

Somewhere Near Christmas

So close, just beyond this busy corner.

Has to be here somewhere.

I see the rushed paces, flushed faces;

Blank stares and unawares.

Happens every year, the fight to hear…

The little drummer boy, Angels on high,

My mother’s tired sigh.

Christmas past pasted

Like cards around doorways.

New pajamas, mistletoe,

And a ceramic manger made

By my godmother.  

Call me sentimental,

But the collective memories

Settle on the tree, tinsel-like,

Scattered, glimmering.

Does anyone use tinsel anymore?

I’m older now, as you gather.

I’ve got enough history

To fill a stocking anyway.

Midnight Mass, candles all around

The silent night of dreaming

Of peace and place and a Person.

All shall be merry,

And all manner of Christmas shall be merry.

“I Am the Light of the world.” Jesus   

Like A Child

When was the last time we skipped?

Not a meal.

Neither church.

A kiss goodnight?

*

I’m talking about skipping, literally.

Down a sidewalk.

In a park.

Along a hallway.

*

When was the last time our hearts

Skipped a beat;

Lept a leap?

Bounced in hope?

*

Come, take my hand.

See the floor,

The path ahead?

Let’s skip instead.

Summer Vacation Two children having an awesome time running along the beach shore. skipping stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” Jesus

John 14:1

Cycles of Life

Bike Tour 1980’s

The morning after I got the call

Frost clung to the fields of grass

As the sun brimmed the horizon.

Trees blushed, cast off leaves,

Drifted down, settled like shadows

Of colored light, circular, gathered round.

*

I remember a morning like this,

The dawn, yawning, spreading  

The shadows of our bikes like

New mercies over warm pavement.

We were faithful to the road,

The open road he knew so well.

*

That day there was no double-clutching,

No whine whistling of his tractor trailer.

We were hugging the white line as the

Scenery scrolled by, slow and deliberate.

Peripheral perceptions keeping pace,

A sweaty grace.

*

It was a simple day back in ’80.

Pedals orbiting, words bouncing back–

Then forth, sometimes caught in the spokes.

Prayer wheels spinning, and changing gears.

We were present to each other,

One of the greatest gifts on this side of the line.

*

John had passed me now,

Riding ahead, pedaling toward 

The Light of the world,

He looked over his shoulder and

Through a dipped lower lip said,

“Put the pedal down brother. Look!”

John Barrett

September 20, 1958-November 2, 2021

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend.

Sunday Psalm

Come unto Me,

Sit, be still, and breathe.

All the distractions

Will wait for you.

If you stay here

For a while I will

Show you how to be

Present.

*

Come and see,

I haven’t changed.

The swirling world

Doesn’t dishevel

Who I Am.

The world can wait

While I wait with you.

Love.

*

Come and go,

You’ll be alright.

For I will go with.

I Am always.

Keep mulling over

Psalm 131,

It’ll come to you.

Peace.

Foot Fall

I’m growing into old.

Settle into chairs with a plop.

Rise out of them two-handed,

thankful for forethought of

choosing one with armrests.

*

There are creaks in the

coming and going now.

Sometimes it’s the cracks

in the wood—loose bolts.

Mostly it’s me, groaning.

*

In the effort of defying gravity,

I am grateful for movement,

even the slow kind.

More deliberate liberation

is humbly declared.

*

There is a beauty in deceleration.

Less distraction, more traction.

Reminders to stay low, pay attention

to where the next step will fall,

and in the falling I can,

by grace, take one more.