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A Reflection on Job

I never really related

To Job and his wailing

He was so self-righteous

A lucky man

For much of his life

Thinking he deserved it.

 

So much better I think

To receive blessings later in life

When you can appreciate them

And know in your gut

How lucky you are.

Mazel Tov

 

 

 

 

 

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Wind

A gentle breeze on a hot day

Can be a welcome gift

A subtle rustling of refreshment

Drying our sweat

As evaporation works

Its miracle.

We give thanks for the wind.

 

On a hot beach

With a breeze less gentle

The sand blows into our eyes

The grit sticks to the lotion

We rubbed on to protect our skin.

We grumble and turn our faces away.

If we ignore the wind

Maybe it will stop.

 

The cold winter wind

Chills our bones

Our joints ache

As we pick our way

Down icy lanes

With coats, hats and gloves

A meager defense

So we claim a warm spot by a fire

And hunker down to hide

From the howling wind.

 

There are worse things the wind can do

Hurricanes blow our houses down

And bring the seas ashore.

Tornados turn everything to rumble

Splintering the lives

We once thought were safe.

We curse those winds

And wonder if our death is near.

 

Then a quiet day

Breathing in and out

Remembering that we are made

Of flesh and bone

Of water and of wind

A curse becomes a blessing

Filling our lungs with life

We give thanks, again,

For the wind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odyssey

homer

Homer said that Odysseus

Angered a God

Which is why

His journey was so long

And hard.

He started as a prince

A wealthy man

But had trouble going home.

I think that’s right

I never read the poem.

Maybe it’s hard to start so high

That falling is a surprise.

I wouldn’t know.

That’s not my story.

I began in chaos,

My journey a hope-filled climb

As ever brighter vistas

Granted blessings on my way.

Sure, there have been dips and valleys

Times I’ve tripped and fallen.

But the trail keeps going higher

Where the sun has dared to shine.

Courage my companion

As love has been my guide.

On this stairway into heaven

A heaven here and now.

Maybe later too.

Who knows?

This has been enough.

Dayenu

 

 

A Phoenix

 

uowycew0I am rising like a Phoenix

From old ashes once again

Life has so many valleys

Deep dungeons of despair

Perhaps you saw me there.

Or did you glimpse me on a mountaintop

Where sunlight kissed the highest peaks

I laughed and forged a pathway

Through the storms

 

Rising like a Phoenix once again

One more transformation

Shedding weights that held me down

So blessed to be reborn

Once more to dance with wisdom

Swimming in that river of mystery

Where grace awaits us all.

 

 

 

 

 

Morning

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The quality of light in the morning is something to behold.

The warm breath of the sun falls gently on the mountain and on the bay.

Wake up because it is a new day.

The Taste of Ashes

The taste of ashes is in our mouth

The smell is in our nose

The flames have ravaged hopes

And taken lives

 

The fires have roared

Our lungs have filled with smoke

As we wait for the rain

That must surely come

 

Then washed clean and reborn

We will rise from the ashes

Above the haze

On the wings of our dreams

 

 

How Many Candles?

burn burning candle candlelight

Photo by Hakan Erenler on Pexels.com

How many candles do we need to light?

Will there be enough wax

To hold the slender wicks of all our prayers?

How many tears do we need to shed

To cause the ocean to overflow

With the torrents of our grief?

 

I want to light a candle

For every single soul

For the children

For the elders

For all those at risk

For all those who are targeted

For who they are

Or what they believe

I want to light a candle

For all those who have not survived

 

Can our candles burn any brighter

With their fierce and furious love?

Can the molten wax we create

Burn through a world of hate

Of greed and blatant disregard

Of all that makes life holy?

 

Our prayers can flow like lava

Erupting through the darkening sky

Angel wings can beat within our hearts

Soaring high in the warming air.

So many candles of love we have

Lit by an eternal flame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Holy Rage

I remember this feeling

Tightness in my chest

Fists clenching

Panicked tears.

 

The day my father was baptized

Was the day I stopped

Attending church.

It took me 30 years

To go back.

 

They knew what he was like

But it did not matter

I did not matter

They never asked me

They never cared enough.

 

Another drunken abuser

Is about to stagger into more power

Where he will no doubt

Abuse us all.

 

Where is our sacrament?

Where is our blessing?

Where is the salvation,

For the victims,

For the survivors?

 

I tell you this:

I am no longer a child

I know the truth

I will remember

And I will not forgive.

My rage is holy now.

 

 

 

Vengeance

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Vengeance will be ours

For every time you did not stop

To ask if it was OK with us

And for every time we said no

And you did not listen

For every cat call and every grope

For every pair of pants

You couldn’t keep zipped.

For every girl-child and woman

Who was afraid to speak

For every female you blamed

And slimed with the shame

That was your own creation

 

Be afraid for your time is ending

As ours is being born

Our daughters will rise as warriors

Our sons will be steady, kind, and strong.

 

Judith came with her knife

And Holofernes found his reward

We will all be smiling

When your heads, finally,

Begin to roll.

Feel free to hope

That the knife is only

A metaphor.

 

Storms

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Will the roof hold through the howling wind?

Will the flames stay behind the firebreak, the highways?

How fragile life is

And human structures

How easy to hate

The blame spreading

Into war

How vicious the destruction

We have wrought

And brought

Upon ourselves

And our children

And our planet.

When our own small lives

Are finally at stake

It may be much too late

For repentance.