Saturday, July 22, 2017

In the drink

In the drink

Everyone is in the drink --
laboring to keep their heads above water;

no piece of solid real estate
in this vast sea of illusion

upon which to make a stand,
gain a foothold -- a perspective, stability, bearings.

Some are swift and fancy swimmers,
others fat and lightly floating,

some sink like stones but,
everyone, everyone is in the drink,

paddling about, waiting for the One
Who walks upon water;

Who surveys the horizon and sets the course;
Who offers navigation, buoyancy, consolation;

truth, hope, explanation.
Be kind, o child, and dubious,

studious and soft-spoken;
be clear-headed, one-pointed, alert.

O child of God, everyone is in the drink
until they drown in the Ocean of Love.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Love Tokens

Love Tokens

O child of God, your heart is a flower,
sometimes open, sometimes not.

Once again, the Sun walked the earth,
mankind ignoring the Light in its midst.

In twilight now, the stars peek out
and a moon of purest silver.

Sing, o nightingale, for me.  I've lost my voice.
The Rose is silent, also, for reasons of Its own.

How could I have known, O Beloved, Your language?
Or what love tokens You would accept.

I was a stranger in Your court.
You threw open the doors of Your treasure house.

Eventually, this old heart will collapse upon itself.
In the ruins, someOne may build a fire.

O child of God, burnt by desire for union;
rejoice the day you come home - your whole house in flames!

(from The Garden of Surrender)

(Drawing by Rich Panico)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A shared life

A shared life

The island in the zygote -
floating miniscule and fragile,

island in the womb -
so vulnerable, so vulnerable.

The island in my head -- so insubstantial,
so subjective; inside my skin -- so mortal;

the island in my chest -- so isolated, so lonely.
White dab of sand in the middle

of a dark blue sea until the Ocean Itself
leaves footprints along the shore.

Accustom yourself, its pattern reads,
to a shared life.  And for years now,

my island has been shrinking
under the determined elements of truth --

wild winds, brutal storms, the heavy seas.
When every place you trust,

the footprints read, underfoot is gone;
everything you thought solid proven flimsy,

the truth will swim into view --
truth to drown in; truth vast as the Ocean

encircling your sad
and dwindling little island.

O child of God, every man is an island
until reclaimed by the Ocean of Love.

(Image by Rich Panico)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wrens and sparrows

Wrens and sparrows                                                                       

I write my poetry on a crust of bread
I found in the bottom of my pouch,

dropping crumbs along the path
for the wrens and sparrows.

I won’t be coming back
this way and no one will follow

into this particular plot of trees.
The woods are deep.  I’ll write

as long as the light holds out.
God illumines the path

only one step at a time
and my own torch has been thrown down.

It’s like a crust of bread –
the moon above the horizon.

My mortal existence is a crust of bread.
This poem is dedicated

to the wrens and sparrows.
I wish I had more to give.

O child of God, venture where there is blitheness    
in dissolution; unalloyed bliss in obliteration.

(from Spoken For - drawing by Rich Panico)