Category Archives: Poem

Words fail and tears flow

A prayer poem in the aftermath of the killing of 8 people of whom 7 were were women and 6 were women of Asian descent
Words fail and tears flow.
They squeeze out of the corners of my eyes,
roll down to tangle in the underbrush of beard
until they break free and splatter on the keyboard.
Words fail and tears flow
for Asian and Asian American women
killed in Atlanta; lives violently taken;
your beloved children too soon gone.
Words fail and tears flow
for mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers
partners, lovers, children,
family and friend
who bear this unspeakable horror tonight
and who carry this unbearable pain into the future.
Words fail and tears flow
for communities terrorized and intimidated
by this and countless other violent acts of hate.
Words fail and tears flow
tears of grief; tears of rage.
As words fail, tears
become prayers for
those who were killed,
those who bear wounds,
those who mourn,
those who know fear,
those who would honor your image in all your precious people
and who would work for a better world.
In the name of the one whose tears flowed
at the death of a friend and for the people of Jerusalem. Amen.

With thanks to the Rev. Dr. Christine Hong for the reminder to pray for the families of the women who were killed.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Poem, Prayer

You will know

Amid all the challenges these days bring, remember:
One day this pandemic will end 
and then you will know. 
One day you will know 
how brave you have been. 
One day you will know
how strong you have been. 
One day you will know 
how resilient you have been. 
One day you will know
how resourceful you have been. 
One day you will know 
how gracious you have been. 
One day you will know
how loving you have been
Each day be yourself
and one day you will know. 

1 March 2021
Louisville, Kentucky

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Filed under Current Events, Poem

500,000 and One

More than 500,000,
more than half a million,
in the United States.
More than 2,470,000,
almost two and a half million,
around the world.
The number of people
who have died from COVID-19
overwhelms my mind, God
and fills my spirit with sorrow and anger.
I say the numbers but
fail to comprehend their meaning.
Help me, O God, to focus on another number.
One.
That number I understand.
One.
That number reminds me that
large figures are created
one at a time.
One person.
One beloved family member.
One friend.
One mentor.
One neighbor.
One of your precious children.
Remembering one,
I give thanks for each of your precious children.
I ask you to comfort all who mourn.
I ask you strengthen all who are ill.
I ask you to guide people, communities,
our nation, all nations,
and to lead researchers, technicians,
nurses, support staff, and doctors
to continue efforts
to end the spread of COVID-19
for the sake of the one,
for the sake of the many.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. 

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Filed under Current Events, Poem, Prayer

So, dusty

Friends –
we are dust.
But do you not know
have you not seen
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
All of creation
every blessed creature,
every amazing facet,
every wonderful human being
you and me and all of us,
made from dust by God.
Made from dust and beloved of God.
So Dusty, if I may call us each that.
Go Dusty,
go and live.
Go and love kindness.
Go and do justice.
Go and walk this Lenten journey humbly with God.
Know, Dusty, that
the love of God
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the peace and fellowship of the Holy Spirit
are with us now and forever.
Amen.
17 February 2021
inspired by a blessing from Jan Richardson

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Filed under Lent, Poem, Prayer

You made it

Since March, I have been sending messages to a number of my friends who are working from home and whose children are home. Here is what I wrote today. I offer it for anyone else who might find it helpful.

You made it.
2021 has begun.
The past year had more than its share of challenges.
You probably experienced
frustration and anxieties and disappointments
beyond counting.
But you are strong.
You are beloved by God.
You made it.
Of course, with whatever else 2021 brings,
there will be challenges,
frustration and anxieties and disappointments
beyond counting.
But you are strong.
You are beloved by God.
You will make it. 

Germantown, Kentucky
2 January 2021

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Filed under Current Events, Family, Friends, Poem

What does God require?

What does God require of me? Of us? Of the white church?
To do justice
to disrupt white supremacy culture
to dismantle structural racism
to build equitable systems
To love kindness
to see and honor God’s image in all people and every person
to practice radical hospitality
to build community that crosses social and cultural boundaries
To walk humbly with God
to listen and learn
to repent the sin of racism
to turn around and do better, by God’s grace

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Poem

March 20 trip to the Bahama Deli

Walking well more than six feet away from any other human,
which was easy since no other human appeared in view,
I stopped at the light on the corner of Amsterdam and La Salle.
I lifted my eyes to the train
from whence came the roar of an uptown #1.
I looked into the part of the cars
I could see from that angle
and counted three people.
The train clattered past.
I paused in wonder
at how life has changed
before I crossed the empty street on red
and continued on my way.

Manhattan, New York
20 March 2020

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Filed under Current Events, New York, Poem

Suspended

The first rodeo
disappears into the distance;
the final roundup
looms larger every day.
Suspended between the two,
life goes on.

 

 

 

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Each time

Each time we say farewell
may be the last time.
Until it is, and when it is,
this I know:
I love you;
I will remember you;
I am grateful
for all that has been,
all that is,
and all that may yet be. 

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Filed under Family, Food, Poem

Impact

Past love,
not forgotten
warps present.

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