Poetry

Author’s note: Some of what you will find here reflects the very tensions many of us are experiencing during these historic and momentous times. Others may simply be seeking solace. May they be a balm to your soul.

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3/1/2022  The Tide

The tide is a peculiar thing,
In and out a living being.
Salt water stills the fresh water stream,
Then breathes itself back out again.
Breathe with the sea,
Share in it’s Cup;
Then breathe again,
That all may Sup.
Sea winds billow o’er sliver stream,
Sea birds dip and soar again.
In and out a living being,
The tide is a peculiar thing.
              ~ stc

2-3-2022  Early Buds

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Tiny yellow buds

Burst so early into bloom

Spring soon glimmers hope

~ stc

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10-13-2021 Autumn

Colors sprinkle down

Whence comes the wind and frost

So many leaves of trees

Rain through bright skies of blue

While geese in V formations wing their way.

They know, those leaves, those geese.

They spread their wings like a vanguard

Flocking just ahead as

Frost nips the air near behind them.

Soon, all the leaves’ sprinkled colors

Will land on the cold ground, and,

Laying flat their edges

Will grow white crystals in their age

Before drying up and blowing away.

Then the long sleep of winter

And the deep blanketing snows of silence.

Under it all,

Awaiting just the right moment

Of revelation

A new creation is born

Reflecting resurrection.

~ stc

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5-17-2021 Morning After the Coast

I wake with birdsong
Early morning listen walk
Peace is my reward
~ stc

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2-11-2021 Crocus Haiku

In the white stillness

Bright yellow spikes with green shoots

Lift quiet faces.

~ stc

1-25-2021 The Fisher Psalm

I drift in my foal boat on the wide slow river, watching the banks go by,

When I hear the rattling cry of the fisher, swooping down from yonder sky.

A brief splash, so quick, and a minnow wriggles into the air,

Caught between the fisher’s beak, dripping silver there.

A flash of wings, the fisher’s gone, disappearing to its burrow home,

To bring this sustenance of life for chicks, still just learning on their own.

I am reminded of another Fisher, one who walked without the wings,

But still brought sustenance of life to youngling spirits in the spring.

This Fisher, with voice both soft and strong, points out with gentle loving words

Where each have done a wrong.

With thankful hearts we grow, we learn, we begin to sing;

And as we grow, perhaps we too can emulate the Fisher King.  Selah

~ stc

1-4-2021 Incarnation Tweaks

Three things have I this day to say,

Of Love from Light, of Night through Day.

First a pool of stillness born

Under silver shining morn.

There the pebbles strewn around

Choose them up off of the ground.

Toss them one by one by one,

And Watch the ripples as they come.

Each ripple that will finally touch

Upon the rim rebound as such:

And like another poem foretold:

Will bring their ripples as of old.

A word, a plop, the ripples start,

A word, a dagger to the heart.

A word, a splash, more ripples yet,

But kindness spreads if you would let.

Second found in slim old book

A story for a story nook.

The little girl, at best all six,

Bends down to draw with chalking stick.

A large circle upon cold ground,

Small dots throughout; tiny, round.

“God in the middle” her voice proclaims,

A dot for Glory now profane.

Then again, she smiles and speaks,

“God in my middle!” Incarnation tweaks.

Third from masterminds at work:

Observing ripples with a quirk

When rebounding from the rim,

A second pebble is thrown in.

When ripple meets ripple,

Surprise! And STOP!

All is calm, all is bright:

The key to Holy, Silent Night.

~stc

1-8-2021 Inspiration from my son

Peace is the ocean

Peace is the sea;

When I go to the beach,

Peace enters me.

~ stc

12-4-2020 Kneel the Wise Ones

The stars of the night sky looked down on glistening snow.

Baby Jesus in his cradle lie, born with love to overthrow.

By the manger, at the door, kneel Wise Ones:  Kneeling…

Kneeling down upon straw floor.

Ah, baby Jesus if I only knew, the pain and suffering you went through;

Would it be easier to believe in your birth, by Virgin conceive?

By the manger, at the door, Kneel Wise Ones:  Kneeling…

Kneeling down upon straw floor.

God Creator of the heavens above, send us angels on wings like doves.

Place Shalom within our hands, pray bring it us, in all your lands!

By the manger, at the door, kneel Wise Ones:  Kneeling…

Kneeling down upon straw floor.

~stc

11-12-2020   A Psalm for Autumn

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To You, O Lord, I lift up my eyes – only, where are you? O you who are enthroned in the heavens, how can I recognize your face?  In the colors of the Earth. in the air that I breathe, in the water that I drink.  But not all can breathe as I do. Not all have clean water to drink, and not all are able to walk freely among the Earth’s colors and give yo praise.  Have mercy upon us, O Lord – that our eyes will see need, our hearts move in compassion, and our hands unclench in sharing.  Our souls have seen more than enough of haughty self-righteous greed, and we would see peace.  O Lord, we would see peace.

~ stc

10-16-2020 Silver Falls Reboot

Silverfalls

Close your eyes and Listen with Me

To the heartbeat of My forest hall.

Wind whispers through leaves of trees:

Hear the sounds of the simplest things?

A bird call, a bending tree, a trickle, a splash and whirring wings.

Now Listen…

Listen yourself to Me.

~stc

9-10-2020 A Psalm of Help! And Hope

Summer winds down and fall colors begin
Pandemic is spreading through air so thin
Fires blacken the forests we love
We so need to hear from our Parent Above.
 
Hurting to breathe, Smoke in the sky;
COVID plus air pollutants – O Lord hear our cry!
Yet in darkest times, no matter our fear
Christ dances yet closer, coming so near.
 
With the Light of God’s Love
Illuminating the scene,
Autumn winds yet blow, 
Fall colors begin.   Selah

8-14-2020 Crickets

Eternal incarnating from above,

Each little life God’s vast love.

Becoming as we are vessels of light,

Emoting particles, God’s heart-sight.

Emoting feelings tight and dear,

Cricket sounds abounding here;

Leaves rustle, breeze blows,

From God through us mercy flows.

~ stc

7-31-2020 Four Poems

A Voice II

A voice.

It calls with a pleading cry.

A voice.

We ask the question–Why?

The Voice.

It whispers through leaves and grass,

Its ripples caused are memories past.

~ stc

A Voice III (7-31-2020)

A voice.

It calls, trying to breathe.

More voices:

Beginning to seethe.

The Voice.

Once more we call and listen for Wind blown

Touching us with healing: futures unknown.

~ stc

A Ribbon on the Floor

Walk in the sun as the earth goes ‘round,

Search by the moon when the sun goes down.

Cool sands shifting through my toes,

Hear wind whisper through your hair when it blows?

Wavelets at my feet tickle and tease,

Leaves rustle quick in salt-stunted trees.

We’ll someday meet there; on a quiet shore,

And time will cease, a ribbon on the floor.

~ stc

A Mable on the Floor (7-31-2020)

Bake in the heat, soak in the pool,

Trying to find some place that’s cool.

Suddenly, a vision so vast and far,

Cascades to memory, from a distant star.

A blue and green marble, spinning on black floor,

Twirling with color, God’s House, God’s door –

Portal to mortality, a place to call home:

Each fragile human body: every color white bone.

Thankful for the message, God’s love; God’s grace:

Reaching out to each of us through God’s endless space.

~ stc

7-13-2020

A Melody of Quiet-Revisited

My heart cries out in its alarm`ed state.

My troubled mind wonders at a shrouded fate:

What is happening to our world and it’s soul?

We long to live in peace, our broken bodies whole.

I fear!  So many uncertainties that I feel,

Linking me to worries:  I pray God repeal!

Help us empty minds as best we can,

By giving things to God, help us try to stand.

Oh Lord help me give that which is hard!

Help my racing, anxious mind to retard.

Then in a melody of quiet time alone,

Teach us to listen to the seeds you have sown.

~stc

7-12-2020

Passing of the Seasons

Winter turns to spring,

Snows give way to stone –

The hardness of my heart soon melts,

Perhaps I’m not alone.

Blossoms of Spring fall through the air,

Like birds on the wing, they hover there.

Thankful then I be.

Then like stones, the Summer hits

My feelings own, like lead do sit

Upon my bones so wearily.

Blossoms pass, the days grow warm,

Harvest sounds, my feelings storm

Far, far away on breeze of solitude;

So silent, melancholy.

Autumn comes, that time of year,

With cool winds, colored leaves, rains there and here –

Again, thankful I must be.

Winter snows do put to sleep,

Flowers, trees, and struggles deep;

Then, Christ comes again, and enters me,

Then breaks my bonds — and sets me free! 

~stc

7-4-2020

Of Peace

Lord,

Give me patience,

To wait for seeds to grow.

Give me joy,

To appreciate the life you sow.

Give me rest,

To enable me to praise.

Give me strength,

To make it through each day.

Lord, I pray for one last thing:

Blessed peace only you can bring.

~stc

6-27-2020

To Trout Lake:

Dear Souls,

Murmur ripple as the stream,

Awake to God your inner queen.

Treetops rustle, forest stand:

Awake to God your inner man.

You are drops of water in a thirsty land,

And Christ is Living Water to each hand.

When the way is charred by twists and turns,

Remember Christ in you can ease your burns.

Shine forth your colors, liquid glass,

Rushing down from Mountain pass.

Rocky though your stream may be,

Holy Spirit, you shall flow free.

~ stc

A Poem for my Father’s 81st Birthday (5/16/2020):

Where land meets the sea, where sea meets the sky;

There grow the trees that breathe you and I.

Touching each with care, planting for rebirth;

The air we breathe is priceless, and so’s a father’s worth.

~ stc

Earth Day Poem 4-22-2020:

Standing at the crossroads of our faith and time,
My heart calls out to our forest home.
Then again, perhaps it is I who have only –
Just now –
Begun to listen…again…

Speak to us O forest hall,
Of earth’s dire need and Spirit’s call:
To care for earth as our Maker bid
Millennia ago when Eden hid.

Care for the earth! Our call is the same,
Saviors of our climate enflame:
Cool the waters, save the glen,
Care for the earth and begin again.

At the crossroads of faith and time,
Spread the Gospel: loose the binds
That cause us still to wreck our home;
The Earth in fact we do not own.

Spirit’s call to grace we hear:
Change our industries so Earth can bear:
Weight of our lives upon this ground,
Our Sacred home, God’s Sacred mound.
~ stc

04172020

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12082019

Resurrected Advent Waiting

For e’en as He did birth and rise,

So did mountains, earth and skies.

For e’en as He did live and breathe,

So does earth with rhythmic seas.

For e’en as He did learn and grow,

So do we through love – life – flow.

When ‘ere doth He yet come again,

Our hearts be true, our minds akin

To thee, O Christ Jesu, to thee.

~ stc

03192019

Winter left today

Spring awoke with a vengeance

Where will your life lead?

~ stc

03172019

In the spirit of St. Patrick, I offer this reflective poem as a window for the journey inward.  Should you meet the Spirit of God there, let the love and warm embrace of true belonging lift you up to stand upon a firm Rock of faith.  If you are in search of a spiritual tradition, consider this:  Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.”  He also said, “I am the true vine, and you are the branches.  Abide in me and I will abide in you.” (Gospel of John)  It is never to late to turn to the Rock for strength for the journey, and a homecoming in the end.

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I stood at the window, gazing at the sea

An oceantide of thoughtfulness stirring within me.

I watched the colors change along the waves and sand

Reflecting inner changes I begin to understand.

The Rock stands firm, arising from the sea

Its reflection underneath stirs something in me.

~ stc

03072019

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Upon a beach in wintertime
Did hail and sand both meet,
I found my footsteps leading me
Making art for soul and feet.
And so in early morn
While waves soothed me deep within,
I took myself to walk that beach,
Participating in this space so thin.
My footsteps walked a little slow
With blurriness occasionally my sight;
Yet Gerry, laughing from afar
Might gaze with childlike delight.
We know your soul hath truly sent
This message to us all:
The vineyard of your dearest poor
Doth wait beyond our sacred hall.
Can we learn to serve like you,
In law, in breath, and every deed?
I wonder how we might absorb
The message of your legacy?
Perhaps your life like hail will melt
To disappear into the sand,
But you have touched us, Gerry,
From all across this land.
The grass will drink; our feet have walked,
Even though you’re gone.
Thank you, Gerry, prophetic voice:
Borne to heaven by sea lark’s song. Fly!

                         ~stc

10302018

4kGd2VEKSwKoRs7DO+lGRQLook! The gulls are surfing again! They set down carefully not bumping one another on the moving target of the creek. As they flow downstream bobbing up and down in baptismal gyrations, soon the creek takes them too far.

They leave their watery cradle and its rocking waves and rise — suddenly their movement is grace.

Wings span open, their bodies lift and Spirit Breath soon gives them flight. They turn like so many living kites – flying upstream almost effortlessly, only to dive and plunge once more to their watery ride, their surfing, their baptismal gyrations.

Children come, running barefoot, dashing along the sand in happy, wild abandon. The mother walks more sedately along the stream bank.

Dashing in and out, getting feet wet, children squeal.  Once more the gulls rise; then like the temple curtain parting in two, fly away.

Children and mom, now joined by dad, walk on and the stream is left empty, open, waiting.

What will happen to your Church, O God?

And what will happen to your people?

Guide us; set us free, O God, like so many living kites, untethered.

~ stc

10282018

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I pause, holding my stick as I contemplate this sacred path so transient. Soon the waves will come to wash away any footprints, this path, the very walls that guide my path.  A new canvas will be washed clean, and I will have to carve yet again this ancient path, always new.  Sea birds call, almost as if in heavenly chorus they beckon me into this moment, this path, this chance to ask my question.
The ultimate question?
No, not that question; just the question for today: for this path, this walk, these temporary walls.
The waves crash nearer.
There are other people on the beach, figures walking here and there. Some in groups, some solitary, some with dogs running free. One figure walks somewhat closer, one of the ones with a dog. I watch as the dog frolics in ever-widening circles of freedom – until finally the dog trots right up and over my walls, investigating.  Looking at me, tongue lolling with a merry tail waving, ears go up and its head tilts at the stick in my hand.
Still sandy, thinking of the work before me, I prepare to throw when a whistle sounds; the dog looks, a ball hurtles down the beach and without a backward glance four paws run after it – making tracks through my own unwalked path.  The figure waves and I wave back, watching them make their way along the beach.
The other waves crash nearer.
You know it is said the sands of time move constantly; even, I suppose, as the beach sands do.  Islands are built up or worn away by the cycles of the tide – repeating year after year, decade after decade, even century after century.  So in a sense, beaches have a life stage: stretched out most times without us even noticing the change beneath our feet.
The waves crash nearer.
 I am reminded of another beach; one from childhood. That beach was filled with smooth grey, black, and bluish stones. Such a sound! I’ve heard nothing like it since. When the waves come in and roll up upon the shore, the noise is like a great rattling sigh all filled with gurgles as the water rushes back out to sea, slipping between rocks upon rocks and causing even them to move and knock together – no wonder they were so round and smooth!
How long does it take a cliff to become a stone?
I watch as one wave comes right up the sand, pushing foam and bubbles along in front as it wipes away the outer rings.
Is today a day I will get my feet wet and try to make my way through a now indistinct path toward what may not be the center much longer?
Another wave comes in.
Another beach, another time not too long ago. My grandmother’s ashes carried so long, so carefully, back to that beach – the beach of her childhood. Generations gather – some brave enough to help scatter the cool dry grey dust, casting it upon the sea in an ancient silent song of spirit. I remember some ashes trickling down through my fingers with the wind lending its hand to disperse them until they meet once more the sea she loved so well.
I wonder; do ashes become sand, too?
The walls are down, leaving a menorah-shaped remnant which slowly melts away before my eyes. I think of the person and dog, now somewhere far down the beach out of view,
and throw my stick to the sea.
                                    ~ stc

10012018

An Autumn Haiku

Colors blaze so bright

I can feel my heart beating

With love for the Earth

~stc

08022018

Escape to the Sea

Small warm summer waves ripple in a gentle wind,

Sounds of splashing footsteps wading.

Sea Star found with markings fair,

Gently resting underwater, there.

Now the sounds of waves intrude,

To gently change and shape my mood;

Wondering when time will bring

A Sea Thrush song again to sing

For me.

~ stc

04222018

When the flowers bloom

When the wind winds around trees

What a time is Spring!

~stc

03022018

Spirit Soaring

In the silence of the morning

In the thunder of the sea

A silent Voice will whisper:

Is there something that you need?

Wings with which to soar

A voice with which to cry

Again the whisper murmurs

With a deep and weighty sigh:

In the silence of the morning

In the thunder of the sea

A silent inner prompting:

Is there something that I need?

Wings with which to soar

A voice with which to cry

Wisdom for the path ahead –

O’er sea, O’er land, through a pathless sky.

~stc

From “God of Nature,” an unpublished (as of yet) book of poems:

 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt.  The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolated in the sight of all who pass through it.  They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden.’” ~ Ezekiel 36:33-35

Still Water

In still water, I shall bring her Spring.

There are tiny flowers blooming,

Shades of purple and gold.

they raise their heads o’er crisp white snow,

Icy pockets melting winter’s hold.

With not a ripple nor a wave,

the pond lies resting fast;

Held ever new each growing moment,

It becomes God’s looking glass.

In still water, it shall bring Her Spring.

~stc

11/7/2017

O God of the Sea

Shining fins and feathered wings

Swim and fly with me.

~ stc

10/30/2017

When days grow short and nights are long

Light a candle, sing a song

Sense the love that from afar

Is sent to thee, a comet-star

Know ye well that He who saves

Has left his darkened, seal`ed cave

Know that family far

Still waits with you under a star

That touches each with its soft light

Glowing diamond in the night

Then close your eyes and breathe so deep

Our love to you, a love to keep.

~stc

10/24/2017

Prayers of Grass:

Growing green and tall

Blades of grass reach up to light

Please, release our prayers.

~ stc

Look! A lighthouse stands

Why does the lighthouse not shine?

The Light faces out.

~ stc

09202017

Another almost decades-old poem returns:

A Jungian Journey Inward

A persona of a student

Is a mask I like to wear,

But a child of God is what I am,

From toes to curly hair.

When my ego strives ahead,

Projecting all alone,

Then my self will gently tug:

Call me back into my own.

My inner core is veiled from me

Yet has these archetypes true:

Mother-Father, Healer-Warrior,

Hero-Savior, too.

But what part of me do I embrace,

With tenderness and care?

Enigma anima, my dear girl-child,

Who’s with me everywhere.

Which is False Self,

Which is True?

Is there yet another one,

That calls from me to you?

If I continue to midlife,

Where then will be I AM?

Through Individuation,

Do I become a sacrificial lamb?

Deep beneath the surface,

Hidden in the cracks,

Lies my darkened shadow

That inside sometimes attacks!

Yet deep beneath the surface;

Further still than shadow lands,

I yearn for something I call wholeness:

Completely resting in God’s hands.

~stc

09122017

From a long time ago, this poem of mine has re-emerged with more meaning for the current place in my journey:

When the mountains and valleys are silent,
When the waters before you lay still,
The Voice of Creation will whisper:
“Listen with all of your will.”
 
Around you the wind will murmur,
A freshness from silvery air.
The Breath of the Wind is an answer,
To long unspoken prayer.
                    ~ stc

07102017

Forgiveness

As the water flows around the stone
And further on into unknown,
The upstream past is done and gone
It’s tempests yield to beauty long.
And ere we find the sands are gone,
Perhaps they will be pearl-song.
Yes-perhaps they will be pearls
Before the life they lead is gone.
~ stc

03192017

Snowflakes melt slowly

Yet here are a few to keep

Memory lives on.

~ stc

02272017

Softly, silently

Snowflakes drifting down then melt

Early spring beauty.

~stc

01192017

Windows of the soul:

When you look out, see beauty

Made – even as you.

~ stc

01152017

Softly diamonds fall

Tiny snowflakes drifting down

Reflecting the light

~ stc

12062016

Hello Autumn leaves

You who fall so gracefully

Upon my garden.

~ stc

When snowflakes drift down

I am touched like gentle wings

Whispering soft love

~ stc

10192016

Colored Autumn Leaves
Fall filled with wet and beauty
Crisp frost soon follows

~ stc

04242016

I chanced to walk around tonight,
With weighty thoughts and sigh;
Slightly under five mile long,
My thoughts, the Spring, and I.

Great Mountain watched a-brooding,
Robed in garment fair:
First white – then shadows slowly
Crept upon her shoulders there.

Great Light!  I cried, my soul unveiled,
What calling have you called?
To bring me to a nearer place,
Far from this Valley hall?

Yet what of these, your people
For whom I’ve weekly prayed?
Small yet dear they truly are,
So faithful, unafraid.

They welcomed me with openness,
Cast out their arms so wide;
This place, it beacons longingly,
You know I’ve tried and tried.

What is your Call, O Lord of hosts?
What would you bid me do?
Listening with openness,
I turn trembling, to You.

~ stc

04212012

I sit and wait, gazing out at spring fog.

Slowly, slowly, the time goes by as we wait

For our second baby to be born.

Listening for her heartbeat,

I sit and gaze at spring fog.

~stc

01222011

Outside the rain is falling.

Silver clouds drip their tears of joy at this new birth.

The evergreen trees, washed out in the fog,

Speak to me of my worlds, then and now, here and there;

All is quiet after birth, and I hold my new-born son,

Gazing out at falling rain.

~ stc

08042010

Gazing off into the distance
One hears a plaintive call;
Osprey on the wing above,
As Autumn leaves begin to fall

Gazing off into the distance,
Gazing inward to your soul;
This is what Menucha is,
Ever-changing stillness, whole.
~ stc