Bethlehem’s Gift

Palestine, 1998
A simple cross from a bullet born,
bent out of ammunition.
The dissonance of your source and form,
an unlikely juxtaposition.

In sharp relief you underscore
the curious contradiction:
We despise the depravity of war.
Christ comes amidst affliction.

 

Grandma’s Cookie Jar

vienna fingers

Grandma always kept cream filled fingers in a cookie jar on her kitchen counter far in the corner away from children’s reach. Not that she was stingy with her treasure. For the meager price of a please, every cookie in Grandma’s jar was mine for the asking.

I remember thinking those cream filled fingers were as constant as my grandma’s love.  From my childlike perspective, both seemed in endless supply. But grandmas die and cookies get eaten and, with no one to tend them, jars stand neglected in corners with only crumbs remaining.

Grandma’s cookie jar eventually found its way into my once empty home where it now sits in the back corner of my own kitchen counter. And, as consistently as I am able, I continue to add to its so sweet treasure, more of those same cream filled fingers that are forever pointing toward love.

Ode To Ben*

The wisdom of a wise man can
resolve the poets’ plight.
Ignite their curiosity.
Make long-dim minds glow bright.

The wisdom of a wise man can
loose captive words to flight.
Invite still prose to play once more.
Coax idle fish to bite.

The wisdom of a wise man can
illuminate the night.
Fight back the darkness from the sky.
Bring dreams back into sight.

The wisdom of a wise man can
set all that’s wrong aright.
Delight weary and tortured hearts.
Lift burdened depths to height.

The wisdom of a wise man can
restore the pen to might.
Spite the demons in every soul.
Laugh in the face of fright.

As surely as Ben Huberman,
the wise man can recite
quite anything you’d need to know
to hit the keys and write!

 

 

* Ben Huberman is a Daily Post editor and the facilitator for Word Press’ Blogging U course Writing 201:Poetry.

 

Morning

Earth lingered beneath cover till well past the dawn.
She was spent from the turmoil, weary and worn.

The storm wore itself out before first morning’s light,
having pounded and raged all through the night

Damp sand glistened.  Smooth coastlines were wet.
She soaked in the dampness without any regret.

Reluctantly turning, she faced the eastern most sky
as darkness slipped out without even goodbye.

Flight

Concrete Poem - flight

[A word of explanation to the confused:
I am participating in Word Press’ Blogging U course, Writing 201:Poetry.  It is a two week course that runs this week and next.  I am having great fun tinkering with the different prompts, forms, and devises.  Kindly indulge me these playful departures from my usual postings.  I do anticipate my future writings will benefit from this time of recess.]

Sober Pickle

Picture2

There once was a pickled pastor
whose life had become a disaster.
She had spent every dime
to stay soaked in the brine,
much to the chagrin of her Master.

It was truly a contradiction
that she suffer such an affliction.
She was broken, not bad.
God was mournful, not mad.
She had what they call an addiction.

At last, in utter humility,
she checked into a facility.
The staff said she could choose
between living or booze,
and she reached for possibility.

Six months have passed since that painful day
when she lost it all and went away.
Her God loves her no less.
She is forgiven; she’s blessed.
And far from the brine she will stay.

 

 

 

Sanctuary

Not so terribly far away from where I live is a wildlife refuge.  For a $4 fee or a $12 annual membership, one can slowly drive (as in crawl) through the place under a huge sky and in complete silence.  I like to crack the car windows, even in winter, in order to let the bird chatter in.  It amazes me that wild ducks continue to fish and swim even when the bay appears frozen.

029 (2)For about an hour or so, it seems like I have the entire planet to myself.  There are, of course, other cars with people in them driving on that same road.  I can see them in the distance and sometimes behind or in front of me, but somehow it is completely possible to make believe they, and indeed the entire rest of the world, do not exist.  Only the sky.  The smell of the bay.  The chatter of birds.

When I get all jammed up, I go there.  I drive.  About a third of the way in, I actually start to breathe.  These escapes are celebrations of the best sort.  So much better than a glass or even a bottle of wine.  I always leave with a clear head and a fresh perspective.  Reality hasn’t changed any, but my confidence has been restored.   The sky is bigger than anything.