Godschild         Print this poem only

 

Donning the mantle of godparent

cannot be blamed on an accident

it is both a gift and a choice

in which the child has no voice.

 

If it is a decision lightly taken

the deciders should awaken

to the burden it imposes

and the thorns of the roses.

 

An honor to the invited it might seem

but think about what it means

to the parents of that baby

and how vital to them it may be.

 

For if this is to be your child

it will not be for just a while

but for a lifetime of growth and pains

a multitude of joys and strains.

 

In a manner quite distinct

you are asked to be linked

to this person in the ups and downs

to hear both tender and awful sounds.

 

And think of where you may wander

in your journey out yonder

how your beliefs might alter

and your path might falter.

 

Wherever you go whatever you do

know this person is joined to you

through your good and bad brakes

with all your missteps and mistakes.

 

And above all remember you are kin.

You don’t lose.  You don’t win.

You are never never exiled

from Love, for you are both God’s child.

 

Written December 31, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lusty Craving         Print this poem only

 

Have you ever eaten so much

you got queasy or worse

found the porcelain god in your clutch

cursed yourself as dumb and perverse?

 

It’s really no joking matter to me

as now I picture myself there

pitifully low on bended knee

in need of an earnest prayer:

 

Lord, may I never again return

nor forget this impulse that brings me low

lead me to a more worthy food and learn

Written 12-19-18

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Noble Moment         Print this poem only


Writing poetry is an exercise
in making myself rise

from ordinary preoccupation

to enter the realm of creation.

 

When I share it I am revealing

thoughts, doings, and feeling,

so I need not hesitate to share

or fear boring those who care.

 

A poem might not be art

but it is a letter from my heart

more than a quick posting

or social media boasting.

 

So if you do not receive a sealed letter

from me in the mail, a poem is better.

It is a moment of being bold

of sharing a small slice of my soul.

 

Getting a poem from a poet or friend

is an honor for me and I will attend

and count it a privilege worth prizing

a noble moment of the creator’s rising.

 

Written 12-12-18

 

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The World My Way         Print this poem only

 

“It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way not his.”   - Mark Rothko

 

To have the guts like Sinatra’s to declare

through regrets, tears and despair

“I got through it all and did it my way”

Oh, to trust the power in me and stay

always authentic and true

to my point of view

no matter how out of sync

or what proper poets think

 

The Rothko chapel with its paintings of black

took me completely aback

they seemed non-paintings to me

but I sat in the changing light and could see

the artistry in that quiet urban place

I could feel his gentle grace

he forced me to see his world

in his hues and strokes and curls

 

A Rothko or Sinatra I am not

but if in my lines are caught

the sweet or dark breath of my muse

if I speak in my voice with its hues

maybe a whiff of spirit there

will cast a piece of my soul and snare

someone’s musing causing them to write

and fling out their world in their light.

 

Author’s Note:  The Rothko Chapel is on the University of St. Thomas campus in Houston, Texas.  It is an irregular octagonal brick building with gray or rose stucco walls and a baffled skylight.  It serves as a place of meditation as well as a meeting hall and is furnished with eight simple, moveable benches for meditative seating. About 55,000 people visit the chapel each year.  Fourteen of Rothko's paintings are displayed in the chapel. Three walls display triptychs, while the other five walls display single paintings. Beginning in 1964, Rothko began painting a series of black paintings, which incorporated other dark hues and texture effects.  [Based on article in Wikipedia]

Written 12-30-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seemingly         Print this poem only

 

Born seemingly pathetic

the boy grew up and learned patience

with seemingly pathetic creatures

learned to see the divine in all

and in this vision invited them

and even empowered himself

to rise

to be who they really are

rather than what they seem.

 

Written 12-26-18

sad dog.jpg
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jasper         Print this poem only

 

Oh you touchstone!

how I need you

when the load of fatigue

catches up with me late afternoon

and my thirst for twilight

reminds me it’ll soon be time

to desist and unwind.

 

Oh you touchstone!

you glimmering measure

of my deep and true treasure

where are you in the bog of midweek

when I forget your joy

joy all but submerged in the rubble

by week’s end?

 

I starve for your nourishment

your mystic force

at sudden intervals

to save me

from the numbing and persistent undertow

and by Sunday

I am desperate.

 

Author’s note:  I was thinking of the importance of periodic spiritual uplift – different for all of us – needed as life in itself tends to envelop and overtake what is important.  The word, touchstones, came to mind.  So I looked it up and the first meaning I saw was the word, jasper. Looking in Google images I saw how mysterious, varied, and beautiful this stone can be.  This, then was the starting point for this poem. 

 

Written 12-17-18

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A Cold Drink         Print this poem only

 

Bringing a poor family turkey and fixings

an afternoon of repairing the widow's fence

making a shelf unit for Pam's dining room

all these grand efforts

would feel good

and might get me noticed

but what about a smile to a stranger

a call to my cousin

putting away my old neighbor’s garbage can

smoothing my wife’s hair as I pass behind her easy chair

waving at the new guy on the block who doesn’t know me

bringing a cold drink to the yardman?

 

Going small

is better than nothing at all

when I’ve talked myself out of the big deed

due to time, tired, bruise or bleed.

 

Written 12-13-18

glass of water.JPG
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drifting Dinghy         Print this poem only

 

The small dinghy drifts

on the surface of the sea

its grayed gunnels, hull

and vacant crossbars

betray its age 

but its persistent float 

speaks its worth.

 

Without a bold goal

its life at the mercy of currents and winds

it drifts

but still it floats.

 

It would be easy to feel pity

for this tiny rudderless vessel

to condemn it to the depths

for its aimless oblivious

drift.

 

But this modest creation 

a dinky dinghy

still floats

rises, falls, bobs, 

and wobbles

a survivor of sojourns

she remains

 

a mocking

clocking

launch

of hope.

 
Written 12-11-18

dinghy.jpg
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A December Gathering
Print this poem only

 

Twas Saturday the 8th of December

and one by one, two by two

all those who could remember

old poets and friends came into view.

 

From the street up the sidewalk

they brought great goodies to eat

they came in and soon began to talk

of love, life, victory and even defeat.

 

This was a gathering of special folk

who could speak of sadness and dark

shed tears of joy or laugh at a good joke

hear the voice of an angel in the song of a lark.

 

If you listen carefully you can hear it

the threads of the Creator in the lines

from these gentle folk joined in union of spirit

who sculpt words into friendships that rhyme.

 

It’s true the silken silvery bond

that’s here is rooted in sharing

unwrapping the soul and things beyond

things of the heart, spoken with daring.

 

Poetry and those who love it

is like comfy slippers or pjs

but it can also be hard to rise above it

when it hits us too close or edgeways.

 

So here we are sitting and paying

paying the coin of attention to these small reveals.

Ah! this listening is really more like praying

or gathering at table for a family meal.

 

We have come here like passengers on a train

a further journey for us who hopped aboard

I’m so very glad each of you came

and gathered here in this month of our newborn Lord.

 

Written 12-5-18

 
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In from the cold
Print this poem only

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Smoke         Print this poem only

 

Walking out to the mailbox

I breathe in the cool scent of fall

and from nowhere in particular

a memory of me running out for a pass

in the vacant lot - our neighborhood stadium -

where teenage boys

felt the thrill of freedom

in their lungs and limbs.

 

The cinnamon smoke

of a red candle

reminds me of my aunt Madeline

who prayed before the vigil light on her home altar,

and told me of her visions of the Virgin,

taught me the joy of faith and sacred music

and being a special nephew

destined for something higher.

 

Driving west on I-20 at 6:00pm

the layered gold and coral clouds on the horizon

bring back a trip to Colorado

pulling our little camper trailer

driving toward high altitude adventure.

 

It is said that poets

rely on brief encounters

with snippets of memories

arriving in a scent, a sidelong glance

or beams of light

hitting a daisy, dandelion or dragonfly

at just the right angle.

And if they are smart

poets allow these little moments

to glide on wings of imagination

and gently or with passion

light on the page.

 

I thank my muse

for each and all of these snippets

drifting in a momentary breeze

through the crack

in the window or my determined travel

and officiating at this marriage

of memory and writing.

 

Written 12-4-18

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Their clothes tattered

and near exhaustion

they trudged the streets

into the night.

All that mattered

was finding safety and rest

and some sweet soul

who’d make them guests

and bring them

in from the cold.

 

I can hardly imagine their plight.

Having been out in the cold rain last night

running from home to car and car to church

I entered a room warm and dry

where friends were glad I’d come by

happy to behold

their buddy - in from the cold –

and I was welcomed with comfort.

So it’s hard for me to really know

the degree of this young couple’s woe.

 

Looking at them I could see

their strange sense of peace -

I can only imagine

the depth and breath of their courage -

knowing if it were me I’d be out for release

from my desperation and fear

with a gin and seven or a mug of beer.

This couple, he a carpenter, she with child

who had traveled treacherous miles -

from whom did their confidence come?

From parents or teachers

elders or preachers

where did it come from?

Somebody must’ve loved them -

one Someone who really cared

or a whole people

whose faith they’d heard declared

morning noon and night -

maybe these things were their bedrock of trust

their source of hope and light.

 

Whatever it was that sustained these two

I wish I had.

I wish I knew

a trust and its truth

as fulsome as theirs.

But I’m still learning

still growing still yearning

for such a faith

in a God who’s everywhere

whose very being is an ocean of care

who has my back, my heart, and my soul

who in the end

will bring me

in from the cold.

 

Written 12-7-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning Season         Print this poem only

 

The winds and bright dying

of the leaves of fall

have brushed away the turning season

into the callous cold of winter

leaving behind a brown texture

of oak and pecan

scattered on the still green lawn

where they rest humbly,

their identity as living species

shriveling into the fog of memory.

 

I wonder what I can learn

from those leaves and the trees

who gently let go of all the little lives

and lay them on the ground

first to decay and then transform

from drying aching olding 

into a mysterious unfolding.

 

Written 12-3-18

 

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Scardy Brain         Print this poem only

Audio of Glenn reading this poem       

 

The last time I was sick

throwing up pints of ick

not once did I think of love

or anything above

that porcelain refuge

the object of my deluge.

 

Being sick focuses the brain

on the body’s strain

chains freedom to pity

makes one feel so bitty

all you can see is the floor to the pot

hoping you’ll be in time to squat.

 

Next morning when I hope it’s passed

questions arise in me to ask

what if this pause in my health

is no pause but a demise of the wealth

I’ve so long taken for granted

and I’ll be forever stuck and disenchanted.

 

Scarcity focuses the brain

like drought makes you ache for rain

or poverty narrows your sight

to the very next meal or bite

what you don’t have in hand

makes you do anything you can

 

makes you shout and sing

for that longed-for thing

you look hither and yon

for what seems so far gone.

Then you must work on relearning

to let go of sick yearning.

Written 11-26-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found at Lost Lake         Print this poem only

 

I can’t find my left glove
we have to go back to Lost Lake
to search.
Glove found on the ground
where they gathered leaves of red and gold
oh-ing and ah-ing
in awe of a bold autumn.

Where are my keys?
Frantically we look
Sis finds them between the seat and console
dropped when buckling my seatbelt.

Where are my new leather gloves
iPhone flashlight out to see in the deepening shadows.
They are on the floor right behind my feet.

We laugh at our aging ineptitude
happy we are together
finding mutual aid and humor
at Lost Lake.

 

Written 10-30-18 after a visit to Lost Lake, Whistler B.C. Canada

 

 

 

 

 

Crumbles         Print this poem only

 

I don’t know why I allow myself

to be charmed by you,

your bright face and dulcet tones

promising me rich rewards

for my investment

if I give in just one more time

and return to you.

 

Why do I believe it will be different this time

when I have come back

time after time

submitting myself to your allure

only to see my efforts crumble

into a thousand pieces

like a clump of litter

from the cat box.

 

Maybe next time I will remember

the odor of those crumbles

and not allow my imagination

to fool me into returning.

 

But I doubt it.

 

Written 9-28-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Darkness        Print this poem only

 

To me, the regrettable thing about social media

is it’s easy availability to even our darkest selves.

I have believed for a while

that often we strive to present a certain image

in these public spaces.

And yet some seem to care not

what faults and wounds they display.

I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. 

 

At my age I should know better.

But on rare occasions my pre-Buddhist pre-reborn-in-Christ self

rears its ugly head and I make me a public fool.

I wish I could say that I am a fool for Christ

but I’m afraid I lack the courage to make myself

such a glorious fool

so I opt for the inglorious one.

 

I heard a favorite teacher say

“Every day we need a little humiliation.”

I don’t know if I could take it every day

but on occasion it is a good antidote to ego.

It makes me realize how much I need God

and how easily I slip into darkness

without a regular dose of his nourishment.

 

Maybe exposing my darkness in public has its benefits.

Public honesty can be dangerous

but also salvific.

Being a public poet is a risky business

but so is being human.

 

Author’s Note:  I’m not sure this is a poem, but it is something I needed to say. 

Written 10-8-18

Dark-Self.JPG
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who’s going … to church this morning?        Print this poem only

 

The skeptical scientific me

who wonders if it’s a show

people putting their best selves forward

for me and thee?

 

The faithful me who chooses to believe

in resurrection and life after earth

the me who remembers rebirth

and the joy that rained in my heart?

 

The me that lets go and falls into love

of the greeters and door-openers

happy to see smiling faces

on a day with parted clouds above?

 

The me bruised

with bumps with reality and loss

nailed daily by the boundaries I cross

forgetting prayer and missing cues?

 

I know something of the person I am

but which self in which place

I fall into isn’t in a program.

In my better moments that fickle self

stumbles and falls into grace.  

 

Author’s Note:  When I wrote this I seemed to have a cloud hanging over me, sticking my head out on occasion to let the sun shine on me, but it isn’t long before I am pulled back into that shadow self.  I yearned for the self that knows joy and the inspiration sourced from the creator leading me to the crucible of creation.  I hoped that church that day and this work would be a start. 


Written 10-8-18

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On the workbench        Print this poem only

 

Audio of Glenn reading this poem

I hoist the old scarred oaken chair

onto the workbench.

I think about how this nick

and that scratch

and that unglued cross bar

happened

and how many years it has withstood

the heavy weight of the humanity

who have found it and laid their burdens upon it.

 

And I give thanks that it is still repairable

still of use and available

for the brief respites

of those it serves. 

 

I give thanks that I too

am still on the workbench.

 

Written 10-5-18

 

 
Workbench.JPG

 

 

 

 

Entre Nous         Print this poem only
Audio of Glenn reading this poem

 

In this twilight

after the day’s rich brew

of joy and error

your cup is always ready

to receive my concoction

no matter how stout.

 

And I can rely on you

to sip and savor it

treat it with the respect

of a connoisseur

and keep it

entre nous.

 

Author’s Note: “entre nous” is French for “between us”

Written 9-28-18

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life in Gulps (haiku)        Print this poem only

 

hummingbird sucks up

nectar swallowing in gulps

life awaits my gulp

Written 9-11-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Poet’s Prayer on Labor Day         Print this poem only       

 

I rest in quiet tribute and praise

for the exquisite joy

of this modest labor

 

Written 9-3-18

 

Chickadee          Print this poem only

 

The little chickadee

with his fulsome squeak

is feeding on small seeds

left by the jays and dove -

enough for him

and his swift flight.

May I learn

to take just enough.

 

Written 9-2-18

Practice          Print this poem only

 

Sometimes I get put out

with my incompetence

or ineptitude.

I call myself names I would not utter

about another.

 

“Why didn’t I know that?” I ask

more an accusation than a question.

 

More often than not

the answer is simply:

I don’t practice it

I’m not careful or

I don’t get enough practice.

 

I forget my keenness for being a learner

and I puff up

thinking at least I’m no longer

a beginner.

 

I forget the thrill in being a beginner

when it’s so new, stimulating and exciting.

I wonder where and when

my beginners mind

faded.

 

For whatever new identity I aspire

when I lament not being higher

I need to recall

the joy of being a beginner

and then

add and

multiply

practice.

Written 9-2-18

 
 

Cloud of Unknowing         Print this poem only

 

I wish it wasn’t so hard to say “I don’t know”

to enter the cloud of unknowing

to be wrapped in solitude

and float there

free of activity

and self.

 

Written 9-1-18

 

Hummingbird Goodbye         Print this poem only

 

By the end of next month

the hummingbirds will be gone

and I’ll have to find other wildness

to bring that tiny measure of joy

to my mornings. 

Author's note: Many factors trigger birds to migrate, but the strongest one is day length. As days grow shorter in late summer, hummingbirds get restless and start to head south, regardless of whether there are feeders around. More information

 

Written 9-1-18

 

A Small Piece         Print this poem only

 

The cardinal is pecking

in the bird feeder

making cardinal out of seed.

 

Here I am

looking for a small piece of the divine.

Written 9-1-18

 

Sparkling Drip         Print this poem only

 

In this peaceful dripping

of the rain

I see sparkles

even under a cloudy sky

resting, not quite ready to drip

from the leaves of the Tallow.

 

May I sparkle

before I take the trip

of the drip.

Written 9-3-18

 

Becoming an Earthling         Print this poem only

 

On the horizon I see the clouds above the breaking daysky

and dark arcs of rain pouring down soaking soil.

These great open spaces invite my spirit to be free to fly

and join the source of all thunder

and this gray dawn.

 

In these times

where time vanishes

I sink into Earth like the rains

where there are no horizons

or division of land from sky.

 

I am grateful for being an earthling

despite the desperate tiredness

in my leg and calf muscles

and the aching in my joints and back

at day’s end.

 

The gift of sleep

sneaked into me

in the darkness and peace of night

and there in my dreams

I became a being of imagining

a me in fear and sadness

on the brink of courage

and in my drift

across the slumbering sea

I find beings familiar and different at the same time

men fulfilling possibilities

beyond their imagining,

men becoming.

 

So here I am drifting

into consciousness

on the melody of an Indian flute

and field lark songs

into another day

where this old me

again becomes

an earthling.

Written 9-6-18

 

Leaving Yesterday         Print this poem only

 

On the edge of the cliff above me

dirty rusty barrels loom

full of pollutants

detritus massed

from the darkness

of my errors

poor decisions

momentary failures to recall

and then act on the ideals

I rely on to inspire and move me.

 

Here I am at dawn

on the brink of a new day

full of possibilities

laughter, tenderness, listening and lingering

here I am at a moment of genesis

 

IF

 

I have the sense

and shameless audacity

to simply notice and accept those looming barrels

and their polluted contents

as yesterdays

and leave them there.


Written 9-7-18

 

The Heart of Poetry         Print this poem only

 

I know poetry is about words
and I do dote on words
I treasure digging up just the right one
to lay out on the carpet and let fly

but I wonder if
it would be well
to just dwell
in the heart space
in silence

to hold the object of my anger or irritation
there
in silence
surrounded by blood
and warmth
there
in the anchor of life

I have come to realize
poetry and its cousin prayer
are just as much
about the heart
as words.

Written 9-8-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun-rise (Walt is keeping me awake)         Print this poem only

 

“Dazzling and tremendous, how quick the sun-rise

                would kill me,

If I could not now and always send

                sun-rise out of me.”

                                              -  Walt Whitman

 

Oh how bright he shines

so bright - the light fades me

                into the salty sea

until I stop and breathe

and fill my chest with his wide luxurious girth

his oversoul blanketing me;

I lay awake at night thinking of him

                and all his leaves

and cannot sleep until I up,

grab his book

and open it to read him, amusing my tired old limbs,

and take the striking photos
into my eyes

like Lantana joyfully seducing butterflies.

 

Oh how deeply refreshing

these journeys with Walt,

imagining him first toeing the surf

then floating in the sea

where he gloats about how much they have to give each other.

 

Oh poet of tremendous heart

and mind that caresses earth

like Neruda passing his fingers over the hip

of his lover languid from the fervor of their union.

 

These two passionate men

my true forefathers

pierce me with their pens

when my mind is laden with routine

and in need of infusion

soaking and fertilizing

to regain my greenness.

 

My gratitude for their volumes

spills over onto these lines

all the while humbled by their greatness.

 

Author’s Note:  A cherished and magnificent volume was given to us by a friend decades ago: The Illustrated Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.  It is a joy and always an inspiration opening it to any page and finding this great poet overflowing there.  Another volume by my beloved Pablo Neruda, Odes to Common Things, has a similar effect.

 

Written 9-22-18

 
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Go Long          Print this poem only

 

My buddy the quarterback said to go long

music to my ears the chorus of my song

I could easily outrun all the puny secondary –

the guys from one block over on wealthy Dewberry.

We were all better at football on Lillian Street 

beating the crap out of those guys was oh so sweet.

 

Now mulling my interests, passions and such

I wonder why I love football so much

what with a life of writing, thinking and teaching

my football mania seems a tad overreaching

but still my arm flexes watching that heaver

connect in a perfect arch with his swift receiver.

 

Being Cajun in Texas where sports are king

probably explains something of why I’m so keen

and my pulse quickens as I remember

the neighbor boys’ shouts and calls in September

to meet them in our favorite autumn spot

down the street in that vacant lot.

 

Most of my life I’ve gone for short passes

connected with ideas and English classes

no novel for me, I fell for poetry

nor did I brave the rigor of a PhD.

Now finally, with my scores of years its not so wrong

to watch, leave it alone, wait a while, and go long.  

 

Author’s Note: I couldn't go to sleep last night after watching the Bengals beat the Ravens (recording), so here I sit at 4:15 am just finished this poem. It became almost biographical I suppose, but as I tried to sleep I got this image of me racing to catch the long ball as a teenager and that vision would not let go until I wrote the poem. I'm tired now, ready for sleep. I hope it was worth the effort and you enjoy it half as much as I liked writing it.

 

Written 9-22-18

 

 

 

 

small cup          Print this poem only

 

a small cup’s inside a vat

drip by drip

I've been working

on filling up

that cup

 

when it is full

and overflows

then I am done

for then the vat and I

are one.

 

Written 9-20-18

 

 

 

God in a Bag           Print this poem only

 

Several college students stood around

arguing about the meaning of God.

Nearby sat an old Indian woman.

They asked her what she thought.

 

With a wan smile

she took a small blue bowl

from a plastic shopping bag

laid the crinkly bag on her lap

and pointing to it she said

“This is the universe.”

Then she pointed inside the bag’s opening

and said,

“This is God.”

 

Written 9-19-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moored in Darkness           Print this poem only

 

This day is so bright

and all seems so right
I wonder if I can stand it

I had not planned it

the clouds and rain

gnawed so unrestrained.

 

Early morn’s nightmare

still lingers somewhere

moored to the dark

where it won’t disembark

still clutching me in slimy grip

I’m on its derelict ship.

 

How can a dream be so strong

and make me feel so wrong

just a wispy demon in the night

by now should have taken flight

but here I sit in light of day

still hoping the malefic will away.

 

Written 9-17-18

 
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Vision Problems          Print this poem only

 

The old woman couldn’t see her meal

due to her vision problems

and exclaimed

with a smile of delight

how each meal was a surprise.

Oh, that’s corn but it’s not quite salty enough!

 

She was grateful for the unexpected,

even at age 98.

 

Isn’t it great even at 98

even with problems of the eye

still to be able to fly

from difficulties and muck

and give thanks for the good luck

and blessings of the moment.

 

I hope I will never have vision problems

so bad I cannot give thanks

for tasty corn, or a bright sunny morn,

or even for person gone away

for the joy in the park that day

for the bore

who makes me grateful and wanting more

of the people who inspired me

and lifted me to be more than I thought I could be.

 

I hope I never have vision problems

so bad I can’t feel gratitude

for all the wonders I’ve tasted

for all the hours I’ve wasted

just being with children and lovers

lingering under the covers

cuddling and giggling and feeling the soft touch

of the someone I love so much.

Written 9-18-18

 
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Leaving Yesterday            Print this poem only

 

On the edge of the cliff above me

dirty rusty barrels loom

full of pollutants

detritus massed

from the darkness

of my errors

poor decisions

momentary failures to recall

and then act on the ideals

I rely on to inspire and move me.

 

Here I am at dawn

on the brink of a new day

full of possibilities

laughter, tenderness, listening and lingering

here I am at a moment of genesis

 

IF

 

I have the sense

and shameless audacity

to simply notice and accept those looming barrels

and their polluted contents

as yesterdays

and leave them there.

 

Author’s Note: Inspired by a dream.


Written 9-7-18

 
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Prayer at Dawning            Print this poem only

 

It is so good to be with you at this dawning

to be in the presence of you

the ultimate forgiver and reconciler.

 

In this momentary softness

I fly to your bosom and rest there

knowing you are eager

to see and be part of my genesis. 

 

You are a God of now.

You are a God who forgets

the errors of my yesterdays

and resides in the possibilities

of creation this day,

this moment. 

This now. 

 

Written 9-7-18

 
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Oh Canada!            Print this poem only

 

The beauty of your body elates the eyes

mountains, streams, trees, lakes and sea

the radiant day of your first sunrise

snow and air and eagles set free.

 

Your people lift and delight my soul

with their peace, kindness and joy

native and creative energy unfold

and turn this old man into a boy.

 

Oh Canada! sadly and soon I must go

I’ll miss your freshness and peace

when I cross the border below

may my affection for you never cease.

Author's Note: Written at the end of our trip to British Columbia, Canada.

 

Written 11-3-18

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alone Together            Print this poem only

 

Being with you is like being with my self

except sometimes I am at odds with me

I'd would rather just be in thee

we converse with such ease

not that what you say is always easy.

 

Written 11-8-18

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God’s Promises            Print this poem only

 

David tells God not to forget his promises

of successors and protection.

 

I wonder what his promises are to me

if he has made any at all.

 

But if he has not,

in a million small and large matters

he has protected me

except when I didn’t allow him to

which is probably most of the time. 

 

Dare I expend the energy

to mentally list these matters? 

 

I seem so lazy 

when I think of my parents and how they sacrificed

their pleasure and comfort for me,

when I think of the pain I caused Mom

from the first weeks of conception on.

Oh how I have taken that love for granted.   

How much more so with my Creator. 

 

But truth is, I cannot separate the love

of Mamma and Daddy

friends who bore my boorishness

kin who’ve overlooked me overlooking them

I cannot separate these

from the fingers of the great sculptor.   

 

(See I Kings 8:25-30)

 

Written 10-29-18

 
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Maple Glory             Print this poem only

 

The maple makes its glory complete

with such elegance and grace

halo shadow of crimson and gold at its feet

wet fall day a shimmering sacred space.
 

Written 10-31-18 Whistler B.C. Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Trek            Print this poem only

 

Now they are memories

like silver threads in a gliding tapestry

how wondrous feeling and smelling the sea breeze

the aromas and excitement of the market

the cool magnificence of the mountains

in late autumn on the brink of winter.

 

These travels and their newness

still dance in my head

but even now my gut clinches

remembering the intensity

focus and preparations

of each day.

 

It’s the other dark side of the coin

sadly ashamedly evoking shame

to even mention it

a blotch in the snow

on the marvelous trek north.

 

But write it I must.

Does it take courage

to be pitiful in public?

But maybe that’s what poets do

undressing in front of everyone

is the stuff of nightmares

but here I am doing just that.

 

On the other hand…

 

How sweet the peace

and routines

back home

sitting calmly writing

looking out on the back yard

the tallow trees coloring

preparing to shed a variegated carpet below.

 

Maybe it took travel

to help me appreciate

the beauty of

these serene moments

at home.

 

Author’s Note: Written two days after our return from a glorious ten day trip to Vancouver and

Whistler, British Columbia.

 

Written 11-6-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Morning Tears            Print this poem only

 

After reading your story of the way

God came to you in others like a rose

I can see why in the morning you pray

to him with tears, how your love still grows.

 

I’m not used to being with people like you

whose affair with God seems so keen

his gentleness soaked through and through

to your heart where it has long been.

 

In a world marred by meanness and strife

such holiness brings sudden dismay

has trouble cracking the hardness of life

that too often in me has its way.

 

One who’s not been radically saved

whose faith roots don’t run a mile

who natural prayer and depth of faith he craves

will you loan? May I borrow your faith a while?

 

Author’s Note: Dedicated to my dear Brother and friend, Mike Tirone.

 
Written 11-8-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dirt            Print this poem only

 

Can't remember last time

I knelt down to dig in the dirt

but I do recall all us boys who'd climb

the sandy loam pile in the yard

 

to make castles, caves and highways

and let our fantasies reign -

oh what glorious days

when fun was simple and plain.

 

We cared not about smudges

holey pants or muddy feet 

had not learned about grudges

nor become expert in deceit

 

hadn’t yet been betrayed

enough to live in hurt

and conjure all the ways

we could spite and spread dirt.

 

Maybe every now and again

I'd benefit from kneeling down

and digging deeper grain by grain

in earthy dirt - to find my being’s ground.

Written 11-13-18

 
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The Stray            Print this poem only

 

I followed him across sand and streams

stopped and stooped to care for the fallen

listened to his stories when they wanted rules

laughed when his guys goofed again

and he patiently repeated counsel

smiling at their folly and love.

He was different

didn’t fit the mold

didn’t always do as told

because his inner voice was loud

he heard it above the crowd

and the bosses

who threatened crosses

for all the misfits and rebels

for those who ignored the levels

of power and wealth

that would put them higher.

He wasn’t a big man pacifier

stayed with ordinary folk

and listened when they spoke.

I followed this stray

and still do today.

 

Written 11-17-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angels of Morning           Print this poem only

 

They visit me often in the twilight sleep

of early morning, keeping me from drifting back

into my blessed slumber under the covers

in the cold and dark of winter.

 

Words of a poem

a solution to a computer problem

an inspiration to tell a friend

a cloud of fear indistinct but foreboding

an image of a book I know I must read

arousal in the arms of my love

a man chasing me with an ax raised high.

 

Are these the visitations of angels

fruits of a peaceful yesterday

the lingering shadows of my error

the first stirrings of a latent virus

or just plain indigestion?

 

Whatever or whoever cause these awakenings

sitting here before this small computer screen

I am grateful.

 

But now I am tired

and ready to save this,

turn off the heater and computer,

and go back to the warmth of my bed.

 

Summoning the angels of sleep

I rise and pray

for a better poem

another day.

 

Author’s Note:  Teehee…

Written 12-9-18

 
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Glowing in Moonlight            Print this poem only

 

When I hit the wall

like a stubborn rubber ball

I bounced off of it

over and over I didn’t fit

knew I was defective

failed the directive

couldn’t learn the right speed

I was a stranger breed

loved the melodies repeated in my head

but lyrics learned with a shadowy dread

math was a flitting bird

but oh how I loved the word

words my dearest allies

every poem a surprise

loved religion because it flew

made me rise above the pew

for there I could get high

I could sing I could fly

until it made of me a fool

when again I couldn’t get the rule

or follow it or do it all right

it turned dark and I lost the light

in my clear blue eyes

what had been joy turned to cries

I too became a misfit

no longer open and sunlit

I learned to love moonlight

it was there I could write

and become true

my soul could come through

it was the moon and its soft glow

where poetry helped me grow

beyond the normal bounds

and I could hear the sounds

of angels and ordinary folk

who loved the me who was broke

and bent in a different way

 

not black or white but a shade of gray

I thank the Lord for those who could see

the beauty and goodness in that different me. 

Written 11-17-18

 
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An Old Guy Gives Thanks            Print this poem only

 

Getting old when the body breaks down

your mind goes to your muscle aches

it gets harder to look out and around 

and see beyond your dumb mistakes.

 

But I’m going to try anyway

to find things for which I’m glad

to set my sights on a little play

and see some good instead of bad.

 

I thank God for the whiskers of cats

for tiny wiggly baby toes

for my baldness in cold and some nice warm hats

for socks and other warm clothes.

 

I’m grateful I can still kneel

and get up from a chair

for the cheer I feel

for Helen’s cute hair.

 

I thank God for nephews and nieces

who still love me and who care

even as my energy decreases

along with my hair.

 

For brothers and sisters in law

who open their homes and hearts

their courage in grit gives me awe

helps me keep on with my restarts.

 

I thank all the women who cook

for us lazy men as we sit on our asses

for all the work and time they took

for cleaning the dishes and glasses.

 

Thank God for our cats and dogs

for turkeys and bread and ham

and stories of wide mouthed frogs

for cards and just for giving a damn.

 

For all the work and the checks they paid

and kids who spent all that cash

for jokes and laughs and the games we’ve played 

for the Sox and the Cowboys and that wide receiver’s dash.

 

These are just a few of the things I celebrate

this day with you my beloved kin

being with you today is so great

now, beloveds, let’s dig in!    

Author's Note: this poem was read before the Thanksgiving meal we celebrated with the Mills family - they being kind enough to invite us there and to let me read the poem and to patiently listen as their stomachs growled. 

 

Written 11-22-18

 
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Being old is getting me down            Print this poem only

 

Being old is getting me down

sometimes I think I’ll drown

in the sea of little things

and frustrations my old body brings.

 

I don’t want to transplant those little trees

I was supposed to with the advent of winter breeze

I don’t want to pick up around here

all the stuff that seems to appear.

 

It aches to get out of the car

my feet and leg won’t go as far

or as fast as they used to

moments of joy are too few.

 

When I lie down on the floor

to exercise it is such a chore

pulling myself up to stand

and then there’s that ache in my hand.

 

I’m not used to being this old

I curse myself and I scold

me for all those little mistakes

my brain and body makes.

 

I tell you I’m feeling awfully down

my face is sporting a big old frown

I can’t seem to accept the sad truth

I can’t do the things of my youth.

 

I’m getting sick and really tired

I can’t eat or drink the things I desire

I have to stop myself from taking that bite

but thank God I can still sit and write.

 

I can still put words together

even in any kind of  weather

words are still my good friends

still paying rich dividends.

 

This exercise of my mind

doesn’t put my back in a bind

doesn’t make my muscles ache

or my tired legs and body quake.

 

So thank you my precious Lord

for inspiration when I’m bored

for those who listen to me gripe

for my patient and loving  wife.

 

So when I’m old and getting down

may I find the right verb or noun

to say the pitiful things I feel

the words that will help me heal.  

Written 12-1-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of a Godparent            Print this poem only

 

Her parents picked us to be godparents

for their baby girl

they wished to make us a firmer part of their family

they said, to latch us to their clan

and to their little girl.

 

We had a vague and tenuous idea of the tradition

that dictated we would be a guiding light

in her faith

be her connection with the community

witness her baptism

aid her lifelong spiritual formation

have an interest in her and her growth.

The main thing we knew however

was that we were honored

and though we could see the hope in their eyes

we did not have an inkling

of its depth.

 

How naive it was for us to say yes to this invitation

not knowing, not foreseeing nor foretelling

where our own faith walk would take us.

But we knew we belonged to that community

and in a sense we belonged to that family

even though we did not even know what that exactly meant

to us

and to them.

 

And now decades later

we are discovering what it meant to them

what their hopes and dreams were for us

how they latched their journey to our star

in an act of faith

faith in us

faith in God that he would take us along with him

and his Son on our journeys.

 

God did not betray their faith

but I did

in my limited vision

in my blindness

to the depth

of their hope and faith.

Now I am beginning to grasp

how deep

was their belief

and their trust.

 

They ask for forgiveness

for putting us on a pedestal

realizing their mistake

yet still firm in their faith

knowing God had not abandoned them

or betrayed their trust.

It was not God or his Son who left them

on the island of their faith.

 

They say they do not blame us

but I know it was I who betrayed their trust

who unwittingly, unintentionally left them there

on that precious island

that continues to feed them

and invite them to a closer relationship

with their Creator and the rich depth of his love. 

 

I don’t know if any of us realize the import

of these decisions in our faith walks

at the time we made them. 

Maybe it takes 30 years of journeying

of being friends

to come to that realization. 

 

       .       .       .       .       .       .

 

James, Judy, and Amanda,

now when I recall

and feel the pain

of the many betrayals

of those whom I myself put on a pedestal

I begin to realize the depth of your hurt

and the wounds that might have been festering

for far too long.

And so I kneel before you

to express my remorse

to say how sorry I am

for my part in the hurt and betrayal you have felt.

Unintentional it was, but no less harmful

in spite of my ignorance and blindness.

A wound is no less a wound

due to the thoughtlessness behind the cut.

I ask for your forgiveness

even though I do not feel worthy of it.

Written 12-31-18

 
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2020 Copyright by Glenn Currier