Matins

O God,
As the sun rises, again,
a little sheepish, over
this hesitant day,
prepare the way
for my often straying feet.
May my yesterdays not repeat
except in the way Your grace has of giving
every new day for new ways of living.

Keep me. Make me new:
I have not loved
as I ought to have loved;
I have not taken the good as gift;
I have not said Yes to all from Your hand.
Whatever day holds - to sit, walk or stand -
may it be You
in every breath - You.

World without end,
and if world should end.
Father, Son, Spirit: Amen.

Chesed

To think
where darkest nights have taken this soul,
and how thin
the membrane between life
and death, how loud
the Accuser has screamed
to pierce the membrane and throw me through;

yet here
I stand, with no reason
beside You and the sheer
leap into faith that saved,
the soft
belly of love into which I fell;

so here
I stand, with my
eldest in my arms while
he reaches the clothesline,
spins like the chuckling
Father who set this orbit to go,
reaches and carries, and calls out Again!

So why not,
when held
in steadfast love; why not
watch
it spin again and shout
the dead Accuser dumb.

Into Silence

Attention is the beginning of devotion.

Mary Oliver
Startled by the beating of my own heart,
the pounding
of my thoughts in between my ears,
I have found
noise to be quieter than silence, have brokered
terms of peace armed
with a flashing screen.
Nothing frightens like
the thought that you may not be enough;
You are enough, are All.
In deep
silence I meet
the noise of fear, and greet
Your warmest, primeval whisper.

Changeless

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours

of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and

chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Compline, The Book of Common Prayer
Full of contradiction, I am buoyed
by the blossom of change in the trees yet
wearied
by the clock's relentless chime.
Burdened by the weight of change
and the wait for change alike, I am
entangled in the too much too little of days and months.
No clock marks His coming hour,
nor days mar His face.
O beauty ancient and new:
blossom me eternal in You.

We still have the river

We still have the river, after it all,
running like a backbone though our home,
flowing sure when all else is gone,
we still have the river, still have the air.

We still have each other, at the end of the day,
grating on nerves, tired and numb,
still have our hearts beating together,
still have our days under the sun.

And when the river and the sun are gone,
when these days are over and done,
we'll still have the one who made rivers flow,
the Light before, after the sun.

The Long Ordinary

Winter sets in,
rubs his damp feet all through the laundry,
wipes his everwet hair with each handtowel,
breathes ice on my windscreen,
cries soggy complaints on my feet.

And somewhere we are lost
between fire and candle, lost
in the long, slow ordinary that yawns
in between.
Days blink; you miss the moment
of daylight, the chance
to dry out and be.

Only blessing
spans the gap between
now and the length of days you long for,
creeping up to you
in beggar's clothes,
with a leper's lips and the nagging
daily reminder
that you are caught in finitude, built
to stretch in timelessness,
bound by time, to give of time,
to bide time, to abide.