40 Days of Mercy: Week 2

In the last decade of his life, Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861) turned to a paraphrasing a number of Biblical psalms in a work known in English by the title “Psalms of David”. Many of his paraphrases take these ancient songs and prayers and apply them to the griefs being experienced by his people underContinue reading “40 Days of Mercy: Week 2”

Psalm (from “Les Feuilles Mortes”)

It can be hard to capture emptiness with words, but often that is the primary emotion that I bring to my poems. This poem is a prayer that I wrote originally as the final part of a sequence of poems inspired by John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”. The final track of that album is soContinue reading “Psalm (from “Les Feuilles Mortes”)”

The Consolations of Lent

Comfort sits, unexpected, in our waiting with weakness. No giant leaps needed, only the baby steps of the heart slowly learning contrition. Begin with incapacity, then the slow-dawning knowledge that you are nothing but dust. Dust transfigures at His breath. Exhale in the sigh of your Lenten frailty. Then inhale, inspire. O brother in ourContinue reading “The Consolations of Lent”

Broken Epiphanies

Save me, O God: for the waters are entered even to my soul. I stick fast in the deep mire, where no stay is: I am come into deep waters, and the streams run over me. (Psalm 69:1-2, 1599 Geneva Bible) Is it, as Bosch would have it, a sinking scene, hut scarcely erect, while in the background knights andContinue reading “Broken Epiphanies”

Christmas 10: Sit at my right hand

“The LORD says to my Lord…” (Psalm 110:1). These are surely some of the more mysterious words to appear in the Bible. Who is the second Lord to whom the writer, King David, is referring? Who could even be understood to be David’s Lord apart from God, the LORD? David, after all, was king ofContinue reading “Christmas 10: Sit at my right hand”

The Consolation of Psalms: Podcast Episode Two

I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe; I told it not, my wrath did grow. So William Blake begins his poem “A Poison Tree”. Where as Christians do we take our anger, or all the other messy emotions that seem not toContinue reading “The Consolation of Psalms: Podcast Episode Two”

Lent: The Wait, the Weight 5

Call this to mind. Your mind is not a vacuum, nor carved in stone, impervious to change. Neurones learn the pathways we expect. Call this to mind: He is faithful. Call this to heart. The heart weighs heavy, the soul drags; mud and mire are easiest to tread. But you were not born here; HeContinue reading “Lent: The Wait, the Weight 5”

Lent: New Song 4

New, this song that you must sing, yet carved in ancient harmonies, set to ancient notes and weighed in ancient modes on ancient scales, from everlasting days. Tune your strings to ancient staves and sing the truths of yesterday; rehearse the promises of old in present songs of future hope, in freshest melody. The oldContinue reading “Lent: New Song 4”

Lent: New Song 2

When morning bright awakens eyes:      awaken tongue; awaken mind. When birdsong sounds the new of day:      sing, soul and heart; sing new pathways. When yesterday creeps back to minds:      awaken, spirit; transform flesh. When patterns threaten, dead songs groan:      listen, heart, to Spirit’s song. Turn the sounds of self to silence;Continue reading “Lent: New Song 2”