The scent rises from the damp cool earth,
sweet as my grandmothers perfume.
That smell that still permeates the drawer
of the old vanity
with its foxed mirror.
When I open it,
Our Lady of the Hyacinths,
in her pale lilac cloak suffused with perfume
and held high by fat cheeked cherubs,
like the little chalkware angels
that perched on her vanity top
with chipped wings
and bashful eyes.
I gently hold the heady blossoms
as I rake away the last of autumn’s leaves.
Sweetness lingers in my hands,
hands that are shaped like my grandmothers,
square palms with short fingers,
blessed by Our Lady of the Hyacinths.
When an angel appears to me,
I’m pretty sure I will have questions.
I will say
What do you mean?
What are you saying?
And then I’m pretty sure
I will lose my voice
I will be left mute
until it comes to pass.
Or like Jacob,
I will wrestle my angel
until I am left with a limp
and maybe a name change
and hopefully a blessing.
But when that angel shows up
I want to be fear-less.
I want to live my life
and fear not whatever comes.
Today, I will pray for
ferocity of fearlessness
and be ready to roar
whenever that angel shows her face.
the gravel bar stretches
to receding waters edge
tiny white shells grace the shoreline
angels wings left behind
I remind myself to pay attention
should the stones choose to shout out
or the mountains bow down.
Just in case a triad of angels
drop by the house for a visit,
I keep the sacrament of hospitality prepared.
My eyes are open
should I need to clothe the naked
or feed the hungry
or maybe have occasion to do justice
or show mercy.
Shaking myself to stay awake,
I have my eyes peeled
for the bridegroom
like the wise virgins.
to keep alert,
ready to hear that whisper
loud as a thunderclap-
*** This a poem written several years ago and posted on the first Sunday of Advent the past years.
As I am preparing for the holidays again, it reminds me to keep prepared in other ways. Things I should be prepared to do each and every day – feed the hungry, clothe the naked, be just, merciful, hospitable.
Should you be so inclined, these are the Biblical references: Luke 19:40, Habakkuk 3:6, Hebrews 13:2, Micah 6:8, Isaiah 58:7, Matthew 25, Psalm 46:10
That gestational moment,
seems we are always in it,
the fomenting of creation
for all that may be possible-
world, nature, being,
ideas, motivations, meanings-
enough to fill our waiting arms.
And now a babe-
a small being achieves
all that which seems impossible.
Springing into newness,
Here! Look! Hold!
An incarnation of love and spirit
worthy of worship and laughter and wonder.
We hold all of creation in our arms.
*** in honor of our new great nephew, born just this morning, 12/24/2017. Welcome to the world, KJ!
Note:12/06/2019 This was originally written at the birth of our great nephew,
KJ, two years ago.
And now tonight, a new boy, a new son, grandson, brother and great nephew. Welcome to the world, Isaac! We are happy you are here!
Joy leapt up
Like a hare in the meadow
Like a quail on the wing
Like a fish in the sea.
Joy leapt up
And ran and jumped and skipped
And fell into my lap.
Did you see it?
A song bright as a candle.
A light sweet as a song.
A star strong as a heartbeat.
Joy leapt up
And twirled about the room
About the earth
About the sky
Joy leapt up
From a promise
From a Word
From a womb.
Joy leapt up!
— This is a poem written many years ago and I love to share it each Christmas season – may you and yours be surrounded by joy every day. K
her small body
blue robed and speckled
covering a deep heart
beating beating beating
in time to the sound of wings
and the lift of Newtons third law
in full throated song
and rushing wind
hold my hand
we will fall into the snow together
leaving angel wings behind
Better with every telling,
the story of the night we met,
our creation mythology filled with revelry and beer.
My gemini to your cancer,
constellations sharing stars
aligned just so
with the conjunction of planets
perfectly formed in the cataclysm of desire.
Our saga continued with heroic deeds
and herculean tasks,
all spilling across pages of years. Tattooed on our faces,
deeds fair and foul,
most forgotten and some forgiven,
all returning to that original sin. Our garden
created and cultivated with four hands,
and, on occasion,
nurtured by an angel or two.
Willingly we return to that first moment,
revisiting past lore, embellished
golden with retelling.
The myth of our own making,
epic, comic, tragic-
the end will be as the beginning,
a story better
for the telling
and perfectly formed in the stars.
*** Written several years ago for Twelve Days of Angels, Day Seven
We were walking with friends
behind their Minnesota farmhouse,
fields of cornstubble stretching to the winter gray horizon.
Suddenly from under our feet-
a heart stopping flash –
all feathers and noise and wings,
a vision of gold calling in alarm.
With our pulses pounding,
we watched the pheasant disappear.
We laughed at our fear
and marveled at the beauty and wonder
of what we had seen.
This must be what the shepherds felt
in a field a long time ago,
when they flushed
a covey of angels.
***This is a poem written many years ago but still one of my favorites. May you be surprised by joy and wonder during this Christmas season – K