Midnight on New Year’s

Would that I could escape this second, stretch out from the bubble that is this hour, and touch the hem of your robe there where you wade on the horizon, there where you watch the world go by out-of-sequence, there where you midwife death into birth and mourning into dancing, there where the soft shadows of yesterday’s dawn dance across your holy face with the blazing lights of tomorrow’s sunset. Would that I could be with you beyond time, without panic that joy is something to be lost, without fear that love is only a flower that fades, without despair that healing is beyond the reach of these days. Would that I could — but o! most Eternal God — if I cannot, then hide me in the hem of your robe until I see clearly the limits of the clock and the frailty of my faith.

on Ecclesiastes 3:11b

Prospect

to sit still
to do one thing
and one thing only
to begin and to end a breath
without distraction

outside my window
a man stands on a ladder
to paint the ceiling of a parking garage
with a brush — a brush for
six levels of concrete

to do one thing
to begin and to end
with constant attention
to be present to what’s needed
to be present to what’s
good, what’s
here,
what’s holy

too often this is
beyond me

it requires much more
diligence in rehearsal than
I would like to admit

so let me practice:

thankful for the manna
of leftovers; thankful for the
wilderness of work and of words;
thankful for the blessing of flesh and space

thankful for this what instead of
regretful for what is not; thankful for this
where rather than restless for where I am not;
thankful for being instead of critical
for not being otherwise

one full breath
and then one more
let this be the extent of my prayer
out of gratitude rather than
weary resignation

just one breath
enfleshed and holy

just one brush
for what is needed

on Numbers 11:4-6

Psalm 31:15a

This breath.

This conversation.

This rushed
to-do list.

These seconds
dashing, dragging.

This long
waiting season.

This focus.

This distraction.
That one too.

This exhaustion.

This
very
word.

And this —
you.

This
fleeting night
with its fitful rest.

This hour.

This shake of laughter.

And this muffled sob.

Every moment.

My times are in your hand.

O God, keep my times in your hand.

 

Lent 6 (Let Time Stand Still)

Let time stand still
like the photo
of a toddler laughing in a fountain
like the moment
of spinning with joyful abandon
like the sigh
of hands holding hands, lingering

Let it pause
not to allow for more rushing
but to bring us
to quietude and to a holy savoring

Let time stand still
like the heron
balanced, patient, content, ready
like the dream
waking slowly so as not to lose its vision
like the Divine
willing to stretch and wait
for life to breathe without hurry, without fear

Advent Timing

What I long for today
you did yesterday

What I wait for tomorrow
you are creating now

What I remember as a fog
you are dreaming as a vision

While I wait for you
you have moved ahead

While I hustle and run
you breathe in patience

When my morning drags
you have a thousand days

When my week flies
you find eternity in a second

How boundless is your time
and how foolish is mine

How hasty is my time
how enduring, O God, is yours