in an Advent mood

someday
there will be hope
and so this day
i will spin its fairy tale
without snark or cynicism
with only imagination
and trust
in what God can do

someday
there will be peace
and so this day
i will welcome a stranger
i will let my heart break
to read the news
i will believe
that God is mending

someday
there will be joy
and so this day
i will laugh out loud
and share the abundance
of wonder and fellowship
those places
where God smiles

someday
there will be love
and so this day
i will wink in its direction
in appreciation
of mystery’s beauty
and all the secrets
God has in store

Autumn

I want to say something
profound
about change
in life, in seasons
something
that keeps us
chasing God as the
maples peak and the sun sets
a bit of poetry
on lights and tunnels,
tears and oceans
on the mystery of God revealed
while life heaps it on;
but really
to chase God is to
play a purposeless game
a theological competition that pursues
One who isn’t running
a still Eye
of the storm
of the seasons
of life;
no — no more chasing God
whenever there are
changes or
tears,
but instead
let there be stillness
and holding on:

Free from GraphicStock

when a day smiles in yellow
God is good;
when tomorrow we weep yet again
God will still be good;
when 40
comes to me next year
God will continue to be faithful;
let autumn
come and go
so long as God remains.

Vacation

BeachI am thirsty, overdue
to drink in the illusion of time
that tastes deceptively like
joy in a clear tall glass
ice cold, not meant
to last
in life’s heat
but surprisingly, mercilessly
able to linger enough
to multiply thirst
to increase
longing
and I would
drink forever
except the illusion
melts in bitter sensibility
as fragile as ice
spilled on the
burning blacktop
as a sandcastle at high tide
and I pack up my
daydreams
not even worth
the time it takes to
tan nicely on the beach.

Kneeling

“I am not God.”
It seems to hint of hubris
but in fact
this is my hardest, humblest confession:
I am not God.
Ask me outright if I really want to be
and I will deride the idea:
“Who in their right mind
would want to be God?!
Even God doesn’t want the job.”
But if my tongue is silent then
my life will betray itself loudly:
the desire to fix the world by my own
wisdom (questionable) and willpower;
the certainty that I should fix myself
to save God the trouble — if I could just
live on four hours of sleep;
the belief that I order my own time,
my own path,
my own growth.
My life speaks too candidly
for comfort
when my tongue
takes a break from
spinning its mask of a tale
about ability and control
and prowess —
all of my fondest idols
— but here with knees bent,
tongue and idols fail me.
There is only this to begin
and this to end:
“I am not God.”

Ode to Soccer

Soccer

How to say thank you for this moment:
my girl, studiously rapt and proud to see
women contending on World Cup turf. And
never mind scandals — she is dreaming.

My girl: studiously rapt and proud to see
this image of unapologetic female strength
(never mind scandals). She is dreaming,
an adolescent trying on aspirations in cleats.

This image of unapologetic female strength:
women contending on World Cup turf and
an adolescent trying on aspirations in cleats.
How to say thank you for this moment?

.
a poor pantoum, with enthusiasm for soccer not limited by poetic form; posted with my daughter’s consent and an old picture