Two Old Poems from my time at Starr King School for the Ministry

With all the negative attention that Starr King School for the Ministry is getting in the press these days, I thought I would share these two poems that I wrote while a student.  I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to study there.  Bless this school….

This prayer was presented at the school’s orientation worship service on Friday, Aug. 27, 2004.

Divine Spirit,

Bless this school,
Bless all of the staff, the students, and the very bones of this building.

Bless our collective hopes and our universal fears. Bless the congregations that nurture and support us, And those we nurture and support in turn.

Teach us to speak the truth,
Both with power and with care.
The world is so full of hurt,
The weight of oppression so heavy,
It sometimes threatens to still our very hearts. Add your endless compassion
To our awkward words and faltering phrases. Guide us to wisdom.
Steep us in humility.

Lend us your strength and power, Soul of all understanding,
May we ride your deep river of Grace Into the valley of justice revealed.


A poem from May 2006 when I graduated from SKSM

Seminary Garden

We live in a wild garden here.

Strange plants
Surround us as we wander.
Some with thorns
And some with — Oh so fantastic blooms.


Sometimes we tarry on a bench
In rapture captured by
What feels like awesome possibilities found. Other times we struggle,
Bodies and souls clenched in yearning,
Lost amidst the tough weeds
Deep in the dank muck of despair.
Twisting paths through shade and light Cooling breeze and warming sun
Graced by solemn mysteries
Giddy laughter
Leads us on.
Forever on
And back
Again, again
To where it seems we started.

Gates we find,
Some open
Some locked and rusted shut.
We enter —
Or we don’t.
We leave the gate unlatched behind us — Or we don’t.
Others wander with us for a time
Dear souls.


Our fingertips touch in passing A whispered exchange Passwords shared,
Promises given.

The garden feeds us as we grow Then
Too suddenly it seems
It is time.


Farewell friends
There are more gardens
And wonders to share
We may meet again.
— Or not
But still
We have shared this particular garden, This particular time.
Many blessings on the journey.

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