Archive | December, 2015

If School Is To Keep. . . .



The Newborn. . .

The infant balls her fists
and pounds the transparent air
as if her fists will give her strength enough
to break the frustration binding
her to an indifferent world.

Where no one exalts
the intelligence she came with
nor the energy to make new and
make a difference in this world.

How else to register
her complaints except to disturb
the nights where her caregivers race
to lay down their heads?

How to make them note
that this new human is
one of anxiety pressed beyond belief?
And intending that her presence
will be taken seriously?

We hail the newborn and
wish them well.
The journey is arduous and long.
The bulrushes must be chopped and
a new road must be hewn.

It is a work
not for the fainthearted.
But a one to be done

if school is to keep.

Photo by Jody Simons


To Use These Hands. . . .


To Use These Hands. . . .

As dawn breaks, my fingers of both hands curl about each other and I marvel at their slimness, their ability to elicit the feel of themselves, each digit wrapped around the other.

And I think that nothing, no other world will ever make me feel such blessedness as my hands’ ability to do so many things over the course of this life.   To kneading bread,   to winding the yarn,  to smoothing the brow of my very sick child and have him tell me later that it helped him sleep. Everything I touch holds a lesson for me.

The square inch of soil I spooned with young hands yielded secrets kept from generations. The eyes of a child as my hands embrace young shoulders tells me what went into their ancient heritage. And I grasp their hands in mine and convey my love by touch.

I would use these hands to mold and make and set trends never before thought. I see the beauty of the great god in the blending of these human genes and  see  the   perfect Adam  and perfect Eve emerging  and   see  the virtue in the making and the doing of the homely tasks that will start the holy process once again.

And I will open my arms and spread my hands  to grasp the youngest by my hip and be grateful for hands that show  how very much I  love on this planet called Earth.

art by Claudia Hallissey


To Embrace The Essence. . . .




To Embrace The Essence

He was a young man when he went up to the top of the mountain and a very old man when he came down.  What he saw we will always wonder but how close was he when he embraced the essence of God.

It was no mean feat we thought he did when he no longer deigned to fight the Romans as he had  promised.  But now all he said was give to Caesar what was his and to God what belonged to Him.

The essence  is not real one thinks, except as one embraces and is embraced.  It smacks too much of voodoo unless one tastes of the elixirs of worlds not even born and feasts on food nowhere yet on this world.

To Be embraces as awe in primary form.  It is walking naked into the womb of the birth mother only to be embraced by love nowhere else a fact like this.  Awesome, awesome, I know I speak, awesome.  The heart stops and breathing is not necessary.

The mundane seems a wasted time and my friend Judas will think all is lost since his friend deserted a cause to liberate minds held captive.  But note the harness now on the life of our friend and we who know the Essence of the Greatness that swells the bosom.

How else love, how else to keep on living when desire to pray becomes the prime reason of breathing?  And all worlds become the altar for kneeling?  How you made the flight up the mountain to stand at the precipice of the world is of no import.

But where you stand now is because you embrace with awe the expansion of a heart yielding to the embrace of inspiring and inspired love that you find you embrace in turn.  To walk into the womb of your birth mother evoked from memory for countless lifetimes and know ultimate love, the creation of the soul of you.

It is no small thing to stand so and be revealed.  It is sufficient reason to lay one’s life down.  Instead one moves to work more lifetimes; the great love that spurred the mushroom to live in dampness forever and bring delight to the palate, the rabbit to multiply,  the daffodil to bring light after the dregs of winter now gives breath to lift man’s tortured soul and give reason for being.

No matter the insignificant account given the primary being, the ultimate in service will not be curtailed.  The need to discover reasons to maintain will be reason for breathing.  Enough to be embraced by a perfect love.  In itself it silences all need for the search in all life, no matter the dimension.


Christmases Past


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Do you hear?. . . .


Lifetimes lived secreted
behind the woolly frames of memory.

We jog the frames
of Christmases past. . . .

Scents of

pine boughs and holly berries,
mince pies and cranberries.

Sounds of

apple crisp snow and
retorting icicles,
crackling fires and laughter.

And the sound of silence

as love stretches
through all dimensions
to encircle Thee and Me.

As real as tangible,
as the star beams
on the evergreen.

A promise. . . .given and kept.

Do you hear the angels?


The Past is Still Happening


It is June and I stand poised on the landing of the half circular staircase.  I am hearing the strains of the Canon not heard in this, my lifetime.  Shocked still, caught in the shadows of half remembering and yet reluctant to confront the shaded memories, I wait.

She is visible, the young woman gliding with joy to the music which carried her down the long hall.  She curtsies to the throngs lining the great walls.

I stand, not moving.  Her joy is mine, translating to an emptiness in my heart.  The tears scald my cheeks and the rest solidify in a mass in my throat.  I cannot swallow.  I am in danger of drowning from within and without.


It is now December.  I am before an ancient building in a city bearing her years gracefully.  The snow is circling my feet and the wind is freezing my eyes.  I am rooted to this spot.  The air is ringing with the sounds of holiday; lights flicker their ritualistic colors in harmony.  Yet I stand immobile.

On the second floor of the ancient building, caught in the winter of my memories, I see the long hall stretching before me.  The strain and refrains of the Canon carry the young one still, waltzing yet.  The violins smooth the way for her memories to be built.  The red vests of the rotund violinists complement in contrast their black, slicked hair.  They bend and bow in homage.  Their music locks her destiny forever.

My eyes are in danger this time of freezing in their sockets with the salted tears that cannot stop.  The memory does not move, not to one side nor the other.  My will forces my eyes to see what can only be played in my throbbing head.  Courted through centuries with great care to remain hidden, I unwittingly jarred the box housing those memories.

In retrospect, I was ready.  It was my time.  I turned away shaken and knowing,

the past is still happening.


The Journey. . . . .

Scan0002 (2)(they were hard years, but those times when we touched hearts, ahhhh,  those were the golden days.)



The Journey

So we pitch our tents
on the side of the quiet river
and look for landmarks
in the morning.

It has been a full day,
rafting and wandering
through the rapids
hoping for a night of calm waters.

Still, we hope.
Christmas will come knocking
at the midnight door
and hope will enter.

And she will be welcome
for she enters with a promise.



Art by Claudia Hallissey


Chance Encounters

Chance Encounters

You cannot accommodate an attitude that sees only the good without giving notice to what the other is doing in laying garbage on unsuspecting shoulders.

It is a real gift to be able to give voice to an Other’s most cherished beliefs but neither does it give them tools to withstand life’s disabilities and allow them to work at standing upright themselves.

Conscience is a commodity with a price.  It is the voice within us directing our own belief system.

To be given the tools to work at life is the best gift of all.

Sometimes what we consider to be coincidence is truly a matter of heavenly intervention.

The quality of the diversions bespeak the fellows.

The ‘not knowing’ of the moment is tense relief only to be recognized as the fool’s paradise in retrospect.

It takes a long time for humanity to grow up.  And some play at it better than others.

Some wear their conscience in their breast pocket and others sit on it.

If you cherish the childish, you don’t grow up.  If you lid the childlike awe and exuberance, you get old.  Not necessarily mature,  just old.




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