Late Night Bread

Kneadingafter the kids are asleepand the day’s tidy-up’s done,kneadingunresolved jobs anddisappointment intopositive dispersal of yeast throughdough,kneading prayer,kneading thoughtof friend in need, kneadingthe lossof this or that hope,kneading hope.And pounding,pounding heaven’s door like a breadboard,pounding grace into slackand crumbling day,pounding the gateof coming kingdom,pounding the weight of the season,the wait of the harvest,the slowness of leaven,theContinue reading “Late Night Bread”

Miracles of Grass

A devout gardener, my eldest comes out hereeach day, to inspect, to water.Sometimes he waters the concrete, sometimesthe soil. Most of itis sapped up by unseasonal sun,some soaks in. Butas we persist, he and I, we seethis transformation, likea renewing mind: creeper grassstretching outgreen tendrils into a former wastelandand I am mindful to watchthe miracleContinue reading “Miracles of Grass”

Unless I See: After Caravaggio’s “Incredulity of Saint Thomas”

No need to touch the scars; Caravaggio got that detail wrong. The sheer force of His presence made Thomas crumple, doubt ceasing where belief gained life, the parched taste, hesitant like salt, exultant like wine, as loosened lips croaked, My Lord and my God. Yet I am comforted to see both the outstretched hand andContinue reading “Unless I See: After Caravaggio’s “Incredulity of Saint Thomas””

They knew Him too at breakfast

where, on the shore, He hadalready assembled, as a table,prepared for expected guests,a charcoal fire, some fish laid out,and, being himself the bread,a loaf laid for good measure. No need, of course, for the fish they brought.No need, either, for that excess in their boats.To feed seven mouths plus His,that net-bursting horn of plenty was,asContinue reading “They knew Him too at breakfast”

Resurrection Day

Nothing should compare to this:our singularity that, with earthquake force,shakes stones, baffles Rome, turnsthe mourners from the tomb with lightning conviction. And day on day this truth remains,though I have dishes to washand the ever-turning of the presentmakes me more a sullen Peter returning to his net than a Mary, fleeing the dead, for dearContinue reading “Resurrection Day”

Damascus 1

Something ends here: paused mid-threat, flung groundward, the man called Saul can breathe no more murder while the horse kicks up its hooves and he points his arms half-desperate at heaven. Something begins here yet it looks altogether like dying: the fall, the pervasive dark, the eyes failing to see, and yet the spirit cognisantContinue reading “Damascus 1”

“…and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Emmaus 3)

How like him to appear this way: a walk alongside the mourners, an attentive ear, a willingness to linger, and then – the climax – seated at table, bread, the beloved symbol, poised in hand, and at its breaking all finally clear. How like him who broke bread with Zaccheus, with Levi, with Judas. HowContinue reading ““…and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Emmaus 3)”

Chiaroscuro

To Cleopas and his friend, the revelation and its impact no doubt stuck. Their paradigm, irremediably shifted, could hardly go back. Such things as resurrections we don’t forget in any hurry. Yet for those serving at table, I wonder: did the light dawn so quickly, so decisively? More or less a normal night’s work, andContinue reading “Chiaroscuro”