Category Archives: Poem

A night at Yankee Stadium

I close my eyes, squeeze them tight,
for a moment the neon assault
that is Yankee Stadium fades away
and I find myself sitting again
in a wooden seat, peanut shells beneath my feet,
within the steel and concrete of Forbes Field
where hands change the numbers on the scoreboard
while Clemente lashes a double into the gap
and the odor of his pipe tobacco
rises from my father’s clothes.

27 May 2018
Manhattan, New York 

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Filed under Baseball, Family, Pittsburgh Pirates, Poem

The idol roars

The idol roars again and
spews forth hunks of metal
that tear tender flesh
wounding, maiming, killing;
its demand for sacrifice
insatiable.

19 May 2018
Manhattan, New York

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Filed under Current Events, Poem

We will remember you

The Rev. Buddy Monahan, my friend and colleague and leader in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), advocate for Native American peoples in and out of the church, seeker of justice, lover of life and the human family, was killed in a car accident on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. I wrote this and posted it on Facebook. As I watched the  live stream of his memorial service today, I realized that I wanted to post this here as well – to make it easier for me to find. The photo was taken at Standing Rock where Buddy, the Rev. Irvin Porter, and Synod Executive Elona-Street Stewart and I visited on behalf of the church. Our colleague Rick Jones took the photo. 

We will remember you, Buddy,
we will remember you:
follower of Jesus
StandingRockseeker of justice
pursuer of peace
breaker of chains
builder of community
child, spouse, father
chaplain, pastor
coach, teacher
youth worker
colleague, mentor, friend
person of faith
beloved child of God.

You loved your family,
cherished your friends,
affirmed Native peoples,
called the Church to repent,
invited Eric Law to Menaul,
traveled to Standing Rock,
challenged power and privilege,
analyzed the Doctrine of Discovery,
disrupted racism, patriarchy, and more.

And suddenly, unexpectedly, tragically,
you are gone. Too young gone. Too soon gone.
Understanding falters.

We grieve.
But above our grief
through our grief
within our grief
we hear faintly,
ever so faintly,
your song now perfectly joined with the Song.

And above our grief
through our grief
within our grief
we give thanks to God
for sharing you for a season
with Dyanna
with Jordyn, Ashdyn, Brandyn
with Menaul School
with Westminster Presbyterian Church
with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
with so many, with us.

And above our grief
through our grief
within our grief
we give thanks that God who made you,
and who journeyed with you
and who loved you
loves you still;
loves us still.

We will remember you, Buddy,
we will remember you.

Written 27 March 2018
Posted 4 April 2018
See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Friends, Poem, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

No single poem

No single poem,
says all that needs to be said,
expresses all people feel and know,
encapsulates everyone’s experiences,
yet still we write,
we scribble and type,
smashing letters together and
trusting our inadequate words
will,
in ways we do not understand
nor ever could predict
will
touch,
move,
inspire,
and somehow lead to other words,
shaped in other poems
that describe other realities.

8 March 2018
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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And love remains

To the grave from the cradle
we crawl,
we walk,
run, roll, dance,
strut, stagger, and shuffle
until we can move no more
and we are welcomed home
and love remains.

8 March 2018
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Filed under Family, Friends, Poem

Morning

The sun claws its way
up the buildings,
a pink hue
shyly peeking over the up,
until at last,
morning comes again.

1 December 2017

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Filed under New York, Poem

I-271

Bumper to bumper
the traffic coiled around Cleveland’s east side,
tail lights in the darkness
provided an illusion of a unified being,
undulating around the city,
a metal and glass reminder of the
black snake to which we are addicted
even as it chokes the Mother

27 October 2017
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

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Filed under Cleveland Heights, Current Events, Poem