Vista

Chart each unsearchable outpost,

Plumb unfathomable depths of soul

Infinite pixels of mind

Imagination’s horizons.

On some abyssal plain, desire’s colors glow dark and deep.

No beam penetrates

No eye perceives

No breath permits

Chasms yawn twixt treadmill

and  horizon, confined to cage. I

Scan seashore, touch and marvel,

Points, light and hues.

Eternity rests under my fingers.

Kyrie Eleison, Bartimeus’ Song

Bent underneath humanity,
huddled close behind darkened eyes…
palms open, empty.

‘Kyrie! …mercy for sinners.
Beg wholeness, wellness, while
Men take up stones, hurl words
One finger writes conviction into sand,
Accusations cease,
We go, sin no more.

If Kyrie! … dead men taunt ‘if’
Demand things withheld.
Reject the offering,
Press on insistent answers,
Who sinned?
Denying the least of these…

Kyrie! … mend  the broken
Hands and voices, lift them as a banner.
Over shame. Against defeat.
Shout all open hearts.
Quickly, before sight dims.
See here, little children, he bids us:
‘Come’.

The Feast

You and I entered the party. A huge mahogany Table rose up from the middle of the room piled with rich food: including the most delectable cakes, and sugared confections. The Feast dazzled the eyes with so much wonder. And you marveled,

‘Surely, this Feast brings comfort and rest. We will never find happier and richer life elsewhere .. Look at the generous fare!!’

We moved into the Hall filled with so many Satisfied Ones. Everyone here labored willingly, creating Beautiful Offerings within each of their Little Homes. They shared these at Table with one another. We wondered too. No disturbance nor upset came between Husband or Wife, nor Children. All appeared remarkably cheerful. We set ourselves to learn to lead such a Happy Life… which began at Feast. After every single grand meal, they inspired us to prepare our own delectable Offerings for the next weekly Table. And at first, we presented many such treats, received with much Joy and Thanks.

One day, instead of exercising Delight, dishes were set side-by-side on the Table. The Self-Appointed compared them for suitability and banished some out of sight. Poor food rotted Under-Table. We deemed it a Well-Meaning Thing, so both of us cheerfully re-doubled our expense and time at the Home Fires.  With effort, our food would escape such Waste. Thus, the Feast grew more sumptuous day by day…

After a time, we suffered sickness. So… we sought help.

The Great Physician advised you and I to choose wisely from Table. We examined each bite of it. We added basic fare of our own and engaged our hearts in more exercise too. A body, kept in proper order, withstands some indulgence. Such advice from the Physician countered conditions at Table. So discipline payed off… but slowly.

We approached our Hosts with the concerns of the GP.

They extolled the Table’s Virtues above all our questions. They admonished us not to wastefully avoid, nor dissent, but to eat without question their Provender. Some, they countered, grew Well and Good on this Diet. They recommended seeking physicians to dispense some Magic Remedy for certain Inherited Tendencies. It stopped ill effects, and allowed a Ten-Fold consumption. Surely a Ten-Fold-Table would draw Outsiders seeking greater culinary capacity. The Improved Feast might be deemed Best in The Village….

Quietly, we noted other things too…

Table-folk’s sweet Complacency seemed a side-effect of both Remedy and Fullness. Some managed The Diet unaided. Others took up Helpful Exercise. But the Unwitting, lacking in constitution, required treatment. The Hosts praised such compliance. They even favored a few with better Seats. All extolled more loudly the Ten-Fold-Table.

A few poor ones missed Table and were pronounced Truant.  The plain Under-Table fare nourished us, so we lingered below. Our Hosts did not mind if we stayed quietly out of their way. But they shrugged off our fresh fruit, honey, milk and eggs as Common.  Gaining health, we grew in our silence, to avoid begrudging our Hosts any satisfaction. Living Table-Top suited us less and less.

Now and then a token apple, or carrot, might appear on the corner of the big table. Longing to sit upright, some apologetically crawled up for these. Others grew tired, and left. We wondered where they found food and rest.

Wearily, we looked at one another. And you spoke the Sudden Truth.

Never once did This Table belong to us…

Dancing Lepers

alone, helpless
motionless, silent
stone hearted
leprous and unclean
do not touch, taste, handle
deceitful words, lacking power

spit and dirt in blind eyes
reaching for heaven, or
the hem of a garment
yet unwashed in dirty water
priestly proclamations, only
do not touch, taste, handle
force of words, stealing life

We embrace him,
no, he touches us
a word delivered,
crucified, risen,
spoken and fulfilled,
‘It is good’ or
“It is finished’

either way…
we touch, kiss,
righteousness ours
weakness supplied
a filament of strength
dancing for joy.

Mashed Authenticity

Lumps. Like ’em or hate ’em?

I love potatoes with lumps…. plenty of cream and plenty of butter. The real deal.

Growing up during the Sputnik era space-race, ‘Tang’ bested real orange juice…boasting a day’s vitamin C and absolutely no floaties. Velveeta melted better than cheese. Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese beat all. Doctors declared baby formula superior to breast milk. Mashed potatoes were sold in a box as dry flakes. We whipped them up speedily… adding hot water, margarine and milk. No peeling, chopping or boiling. Very little mess. And no lumps.

When I knit, I miss-stitch. Then I re-do or adjust on the fly. Over long-term wear and tear, skilled hands mend injury… and record such a history in warp and woof. Innovative alteration authenticates. Personal choices of pattern and material, plus other individualizations, ensure originality. Wear and tear on high quality craftsmanship increases value–both sentimental worth and real-world appraisal.

Which goes back to my point. Real potatoes… Why try SO hard to turn regular old taters into some sort of whipped, fluffed… perfection? Too much ease and uniformity betray cheapness.

A million widgets–all exactly the same–replace easily. If they break, you toss ’em. Only 999,999 left! Our tastebuds long for things singular and personal…. the lumps. So let’s boldly marry human creativity with our all-too-fallible skill.

Then perhaps we find beauty in the lumps. And touch authenticity… 

Eulogy for a Multitude(Mark 5)

Unknown
I die naked sheltered only by tombs, wielding stones to score my flesh.
I vainly engrave an everlasting memorial, a bloody epitaph to my demise.
I listen, battle-worn, to the multitude who speaks my name.

Legion
This multitude desolates, crowded in emptiness and waste, their lies bind the mind.
Their fear heaps chains upon my fetters with shackles which only burst into terror.
We wage unending war, the only spoils our scars, brokenness and fear.

King
Invading our beachhead, the legion falls upon their faces begging, ‘damn us not’.
They would stay where stupid pigs harmlessly feed on the grassy hillside.
At your word they mount on grisly chariots, riding one last conquest into the sea.

Jesus
Battle silent, you set me to rest by the fire, among friends, one chosen and beloved.
Bidding to stay, I hunger to follow and feast at your table full and warm.
At your word, graciously you give me to a multitude still longing for pigs.

Immanuel
I wear eternal garments, sheltered under rock, magnificent righteousness covering my flesh.
I gloriously display an everlasting memorial, a human epitaph to your conquest.
I speak joyful emptiness to the multitude bearing your name.

Bruised

Chosen

I breathe into you.

Rest as I bandage weal and wound

mark, mangle,

bend and break.

A tiny bruised blade of grass.

I brace on pillars of stone,

bind against stanchions of truth,

guard with promise of amends.

Quietly I whisper peace,

arouse what smolders and seethes,

reignite to consume,

dare live yet longer,

in hope.

Left and Right

Hearts fail first; rapt in self.
Vows abandon with noisy gongs
Silent ears gather their stones
On that day when you went left,
I went right.
 
Drunken minds then spin webs; chains
wrench limbs with senseless pain.
Batter to steal from roadside prey.
Deaf to all plea; you stagger left
I fall right.
 
One steps in; finger writes in sand,
Eyes lock mine with lover’s embrace.
Samaritan lifts with graceful step.
Assurance sings; No one left!
As we dance right.