I Am Untied

I walk along a path, broken by ages
people and races,
from scattered places.
Breathing your name.

Lord, you come
by my side you dine
in the thicket
and thorn strewn table.

When tears fall
a wash of stormy clouds
from your eyes
at my endless plight.

Lift your heart to heaven
to the breaking of sun
when the weak and the helpless
find they are undone.

I am undone
by your love and your power
I am untied
through blood sanctified.

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The Beaker

Once upon a long time past

in memory here at last

revived from slumber deep

from when I was asleep

listen close, bend your ear

a strange world may appear

buried deep beneath the sand

lies an ocean near at hand

Do not listen to the albatross

nor bear weight you carry ‘cross

from this world a bitter thief

bring only a single painted leaf

Do not spend days in sadness

nor in glad and happy madness

stroke by stroke is how we leave

some quicker without reprieve

Fill the beaker up with stone

until the water stands alone

pristine upon the sweating lip

the maiden voyage, a virgin ship.

I walked on

further than before

different places

with strange smells

humid air

and floral notes

fallen rhododendron flowers

bruised beneath my feet.

I walked on

by a winding stream

washing down

stone slabs

into a clear pool

where nothing lived

only gray silt

sparse needle like grass.

I walked on.

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Life is swift,

a hawk diving

reaching the water

in a quick moment

threading the needle

into blue foam.

Silver flashes

beside my boat

where I fish

silently casting

time after time

reaching into

deep space

spinning air bubbles

into strange void

where monsters

weave through

winding currents.

I watch

as bony talons

cut spiderweb slices

grasping the faint

outline of hope

lifting the scales

of rewarded endurance

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Into another darker night

When the wind blew the walls shook and flattened the earth.

A narrow band of hills stood high upon the horizon, casting shadows on the dry plain. Thick grass, tan and crumbling underfoot, stretched far into the neighboring distance. Long strides covered the grasslands slowly. Sweat dripped from his forehead meandering down weathered eyes making trails down wrinkled cheeks. A faint upturned mouth met sallow skin, bleeding into tight vicious eyes. A hollow animal intensity gripped his face as he walked, ran, drove through the sharp prairie grass. Shadows lengthened and the warmth of the sun turned dull. A cut of the moon rose behind him as the sun plummeted behind the thin hills. The night brought wind, cold, rain, and thunderclouds which broke heavily over the range. A long night passed, the clouds swallowed by a cruelly beating sun. A long trail of broken stalks marked a path once traveled. Leading to a man whose feet passed a stand of trees, a mill whose giant fans turned slowly in the breeze, a farmhouse with smoke billowing from a cook-fire. Leading to a man whose nails shone with dirt and dried blood. Whose sightless eyes yearned beyond hope for what lay beyond the fields of grass and wheat. To a man who passed by shelter, food, fires and home intent to reach the end. Whose hand stretched out grasping the first stone of a long hill and passed into another darker night.

Our children and dead.

I walked the rail

Clearing spider webs

Stepping on

Crusty leaves

Imagining voices

Creaking softly

Or roaring

With the wind

Trees lying bare

Calling out

In raspy notes

 

“Summer is gone

Fall is fled

Soon winter

Will cover

Our children

And dead.

 

Burrows

Acorns

Leaves

And seeds

Will lie beneath

Our barren eaves.

 

A heavy mantel

Of snow

And sleet.

Rime on branches

Will steal

Our heat.

 

 Then at last

Southern winds

Will blow

And our dead

Nourish while

Offspring grow.”