Sunday Psalm

Who can stop the rain’s descent,

each tear formed and sent?

The H and the 2 and the O

banded as a trinity went

*

to play on leaves hung

on the air like a lung

in the spreading tree,

stepping down, rung to rung.

*

They patter like a soft timpani

off to the edge of the canopy

shushing our soul

and healing our atrophy.

*

The showers on their way

with a pelting fray.

Come, remind us then

of morning mercy’s display.

*

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul.” Lamentations 3:22-24

Farther

It wasn’t the father

who was a long way off,

but these days it seems so.

It’s as though the sons

wandered off in search

of the father.

Prodigals go and come

from either end,

then end up wondering

in the in-betweens.

I thought it was just me,

yet, ain’t nobody perfect.

Come to think of it,

we all need to know

how to stay, not stray.

The gig is up, and

honesty has us squinting,

longing has us looking.

The father figure

has us striving to

figure out who he is,

who we are.

I heard my dad…

“I know what you mean.”

*

“And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off,

his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him,

and kissed him.” Luke 15:20

Deeper Still

Go down, step off

into the deep waters

they say…at least

they used to say.

Now we skip our

minds along the surface

hoping never to sink

into the unknown.

But is in the depths

where stillness sits

under the pressure of

context and history.

God holds my breath,

from beginning to end.

Every fear of drowning

exhaled to His lungs.

How I long to go down

Again and again–

each dive extended

in His presence.

Another Sunday

The wandering rise of morning light

Mingles in and through the crowns

Of oak and elm like broken speech.

The halting of a haunting while

This day breaks into pieces on the ground.

Light falling all around, resting on

Seemingly impenetrable surfaces.

Leave lie its’ yellow demure as it lay

in silent reflective yawns.

“Come. Recline. Bathe in my pouring.

Light loads I give you stretched

In Sabbath shine.”

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.

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.