Mama Made A Dinner

Mama Made A Dinner
(2015)

Mama made a dinner
For her wee little kids
They whined and they cried
That they didn’t have any bowls

And Mama said,
“You can get yourself a bowl”

So they got themselves bowls.


She brought the food
To the table
They whined and they cried
That they didn’t have any spoons.

And Mama said,
“You got yourself a bowl,
And you can get yourself a spoon.”

So they got themselves spoons.


But then they wanted a cup
To drink out of.
So they whined and they cried
That they didn’t have any cups.

And Mama said,
“You got yourself a bowl,
You got yourself a spoon,
And you can get yourself a cup.”

So they got themselves cups.


Then they wanted water
In their wee little cups.
So they whined and they cried
That they didn’t have any water.

And Mama said,
“You got yourself a bowl,
You got yourself a spoon,
You got yourself a cup,
And you can get yourself some water.”

So they poured themselves some water.


But then they got a little messy
And wanted a bib
So they whined and they cried
That they didn’t have any bibs.

And Mama said,
“You got yourself a bowl,
You got yourself a spoon,
You got yourself a cup,
You got yourself some water,
And you can get yourself a bib.”

So they got bibs.


Then Mama cleaned up dinner
And it was time to sleep.
So they whined and they cried
That it was time for bed.

And Mama said,
“You got yourself a bowl,
You got yourself a spoon,
You got yourself a cup,
You got yourself some water,
You got yourself a bib,
And you can get yourself in bed.”

So they got in bed.


Then Mama turned out the lights
But they really wanted snuggles.
So they whined and they cried
That they needed snuggles.

And Mama said,
“You got yourself a bowl,
You got yourself a spoon,
You got yourself a cup,
You got yourself some water,
You got yourself a bib,
You got yourself in bed,
And you can get yourself some snuggles.”

So they snuggled themselves to sleep in Mama’s arms.

Cakes on Ash Wednesday

Cakes on Ash Wednesday
(February 17th, 2021)

I made cakes on Ash Wednesday.
I measured and cracked and melted,
I mixed and poured and beat,
I folded and poured into pans,
All the while pondering the irony:
Their sticky fingers and chocolate mustaches
On this, of all days!
And yet I reminisce what these are for:
All the months of suffering,
Walking a lonely road of bearing life,
Bleeding, dying - to give birth to these children.
And even as I prepare to walk the desert road,
I recall how I, too, have had desert times;
How I, too, have given my life.
I, too, have nourished children with my body.
I remember those times I have trod Christ’s path,
Not just for six weeks of remembrance
But nine months three times over - plus some.
And as I prepare to have my forehead marked,
I cannot help but smile - -
I made cakes on Ash Wednesday.

(We have two February birthdays, and sometimes they fall in Lent and sometimes they don’t. It always makes me chuckle a little when they do.)

Sediment

Sediment
(January 22nd, 2022)

The stones, my teachers -
Resolute, unbending
Bulwarks of creation;
Sometimes bending the water’s path,
Other times allowing the waters to cascade over,
Forming smooth grooves over time.
Long-suffering, bearing change and time
With dignity, regardless of its own fractures.
Willing to be worn apart,
Little by little into sediment, silt, sad -
Fragments of their courage
Dispersed into other foundations.
Large as a mountain or small as a grain of sand,
Unmovable, yet always changing
Slowly, attentively as the sun’s rays
Soak into the stony deeps.
The cornerstone, the foundation,
The gravestone, the end.
From beginning to end, again and again,
It is built and remade,
Ground down and shaken up -
These stones! These teachers!
They cry out for those who have ears to listen!

(In 2020, the Lord taught me much through the weeds. This year it has been the stones. There is a little spot I love to hike to, with a small waterfall cascading over stones into a little lagoon. Right at the waterfall there is a large, flat stone, which I love to go and rest on. Many a poem written and prayer uttered in that sacred spot. I’ve been waiting to post this poem until I could get to this spot again and sketch it out; the best part is that the paper is made from stone! Glory be to God for stones!)

Ruth

Ruth
(December 26th, 2021)

Deep in the desert I weep and wail,
I lament at the loss of you,
Protector, my husband -
I am left barren, what am I to do?
Mother, oh mother, I shall come
My sister and I shall come!
Do not turn us aside dear mother,
We shall go with you to your home!
Though Orpah returns, I shall stay.
I will journey this path your people have trod -
They, too, shall be my people,
And your God shall be my God!
Dear mother, the journey was long,
But we have arrived at long last;
At last among your people,
To weep, pray, feast, and fast.
Oh mother, dear mother,
Call not yourself Bitter!
For God has left still one with you -
I am forever your daughter!
I’ll tend to you in our small home,
And I’ll do all you ask of me -
What’s that you say?
Yes, I’ll go into the fields to glean.
How hot and dry these harvest days,
My throat parched and sweat on my brow.
Some men leer, and I’m all alone…
Where would I go?…How?
Today a man spoke to me,
He bade me drink and stay
Within the safety of his servants,
And then, oh more than I could pray!
I overheard him whisper
To the other workers there,
To leave a little extra grain
That I might glean a greater share!
Oh the joy on my dear mother’s face
When she saw the bounty!
And she wondered at the man
Who so graciously gave us plenty.
Boaz was his name, I said
It was in his fields that I gleaned.
With eyes a-light she said to me,
He is one by whom we may be redeemed!
Go, my child, she said to me
Go to him this night,
Lay yourself at his feet.
May he end our bitter plight!
Tremblingly, I followed her words,
My heart pounding as I drew near.
I silently laid down at his feet
When all was silent and clear.
And there I laid with heart beating,
Blood pulsing in my ears,
Terrified and, yet, excited,
Holding back tremendous tears.
In the wee hours of the night,
A gentle hand upon my shoulder -
I am Ruth, the Moabitess
[Then spoke all Naomi had told her]
Lay down and sleep a while more,
When it is safe in the dawn, go.
Tomorrow I will inquire at the gates -
By tomorrow evening I shall know.
With a fluttering heart I hurried home,
Dear mother anxiously waiting for me.
All day I distractedly did my tasks,
Wondering what the answer might be.
Would it be? Could it be?
This wonderful man who let me glean -
Will he be the very one
Who will choose to redeem?
Oh mother, someone is coming -
Indeed it is a man!
Oh, mother, dear sweet mother,
Boaz has come to take my hand!
Dear mother, your wise guidance
Has brought so much from our grief -
What happiness now is ours!
What joy and what relief!
And now, mother, look and see -
I bring to you a son!
To dandle upon your lonely lap -
A whole new world has now begun!
Oh, mother, how your eyes light up
When you caress our little Obed!
Is he not the sweetest balm
After the bitterness of our dead?
And, oh, my handsome Boaz,
What joy that I have gleaned!
What wonders God shall do through us
Because you chose to redeem.

A Prayer in the Frosty Bracken

A Prayer in the Frosty Bracken
(January 29th, 2022)

Unknowingly I walked into Their sacred den -
As They stealthily scattered
I prayed in my secret heart for Their return
I turned to Brother Sun, the East
And began to pray
My breath furled like smoke in the frozen air
As I bowed in gratitude I saw Them:
Ears twitching through the bracken
Glowing with hoar frost.
Carefully I turned to the West,
Snow crunching beneath my boots,
The sun illuminating the sky full of falling frost,
Glimmering as though I were in the presence
Of a multitude of eldil
Warming a fire within me.
I heard Them creep closer.
I bowed and turned to the West,
The place of dimming
The flowing out, the ebbing tide.
The waters, the frozen flakes
Beckon me to go lower still.
Like the ever flowing river, I bow,
The living water pouring from my soul.
Woodpeckers echo as I turn to the South,
And I see Them once more.
I am surrounded, my prayer answered.
The earth cold and crusty beneath my feet,
A single speck of earth central in each flake -
Filling the sky like a gentle storm of glitter -
The same earth I am fashioned from,
The very earth I shall return to:
The darkness, the death, the rest.
I bow and see Them once again.
They watch me through the frosty bracken.
From the corners of this microcosm They surround me -
Open me to these teachers, I had prayed
Unite me to Your creation once more.
They pause, They watch -
Come, I whisper softly,
For the friendship of St. Francis, Come!
In the memory of St. Benedict, Come!
For the love of our Creator, Come!
Slowly, one by one They turn,
And with a flick of Their white tails
They bid me farewell.

(Written as part of an exercise from “Earth: Our Original Monastery)

Candlemas Tryst

 Candlemas Tryst
(February 2nd, 2021)

I have come to the feast
Of snow and ice
Of barren bowers
In a festal wood
The moon has crossed
Its midway path
And Brigid’s lamp still burns

And in this place
I meet Him,
Desire of my deepest soul
His beauty brighter
Than a thousand gleaming crystals
Refracted in the sun
Glimpses of Him at each turn

I hear Him
In the highest boughs
And in the rustling limbs
He speaks to me
Through the trickling creek
Ever winding its way
Somewhere to a sea of glass

A winter tryst
With my Truest Love -
Truer than ever I could know
He meets with me
In these small spaces
These glowing places
He meets me here on Candlemas

Is It Too Much To Ask To Stay Human?

Is It Too Much To Ask To Stay Human?
(December 8th, 2021)

Is it too much to ask to stay human?
To not be robbed of my five, beautiful senses?
To not let the worst of technology
Overpower the best of humanity?
Oh, how arrogant we are!
That we could stand at the edge of the ocean
And still, somehow, feel important!
Is it too much to ask to stay human?
With all the sufferings that come with it?
To ache and groan with pain and woe -
Why do we run away from such things?
To be sick, to grow old and sere-
These things that must be,
There’s beauty in them if we have eyes to see - -
Is it too much to ask to stay human?

Pottery

Pottery
(August 4th, 2021)
for l.d.

A prayer of pottery
Upon a wooden altar
Empty vessels
Fashioned with beauty
A precision waiting
To be filled to
Serve their purpose
Called to service
Endlessly
And yet just to
Look at them makes
A prayer rise
Within me and
Maybe, just maybe
I am as beautiful
To God as these
Waiting earthenware
Are to me

Snowfall

Snowfall
(January 25th 2015)

Snowfall you are bright tonight
In the bright lit, cloud-filled night
Waves of flurries swirling round
Softly blanket the cold, hard ground
White bees swarming the midnight hive
The street lamp glowing them alive
Branches cast white in the twilight hue
The earth, soft white, the sky, grey-blue
The snow queen beckons me to swoon
Bright as a stormy afternoon. 

All The Darkness That Threatens Me

All The Darkness That Threatens Me
(Ephesians 6:10-18)

This cloud of darkness threatens me
These dark and cosmic powers
These rulers and authorities
Ushering in this dark hour
These unseen forces manifest
In wicked deeds of man
The ceaseless fighting in the heavenly places
Where all being once began
The Moon looks on with silver tears
The Stars, their sparkling beams
The Sun marks the path to keep
Our time for work and dreams
The heavenly places shine on us
And illumine our sacred armor -
That spiritual girding as we stand firm
Against the darkness and clangor:
A belt of truth about my waist
Of leather finely worked
Bejeweled with stones of discernment
To hold all in place when jerked;
A silvery plate upon my breast
Masterly, beautifully wrought -
The work of elves, fae, or angels
The kind most dearly sought,
The protection of righteousness
Upon my soul, my heart
A brilliant piece of armor
To serve its own great part;
Upon my small, fair feet -
Lest they remain unshod -
Intricate, silver-worked shoes,
Infused with the readiness from God
And with each step taken
The wearer has swiftness and ease,
A surety of footing
That comes from the gospel of peace;
A wide shield upon my arm
From shining metals molded
By dwarves or seraphs in mountains deep,
In fiery bellows scalded
To a glistening sheen
On which the celestial lights reflect -
As I firmly brace my gleaming shield
Of Faith which shall protect
Against all the flaming darts
Which ever come at me
My shield extinguishes every one
Their victory not to see;
And on my head, my flowing hair,
A helmet do I wear
Of finest make and strongest metal,
Yet light of weight and fair -
It keeps my mind safe and pure,
Ready for every expectation,
This finely-wrought armor upon my brow
This Helmet of Salvation;
And in my right hand grasped
By fingers long and lean,
A silvery sword of elvish make
Which in the moonlight gleams
With reflected rays bursting forth
With the light of the Spirit -
The sharpness of the Word of God
For those with ears to hear it;
Arrayed thus in all my beaming armor,
And anointed prayerfully,
Along with prayers for all the saints,
I face all the darkness that threatens me