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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.




gettyimages-850860206    maxresdefault-2


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.





My Body Speaks A Prayer

My body speaks in code sometimes

A slight twinge

A subtle ache

A vague unease


Another issue

That must be addressed.

Aging is great

The wisdom

The lack of worry

About work; its stresses

And responsibilities.

But oh my old body weeps

It limps it shivers and it sweats.

Give us strength

Lend us courage

The trail is ever steeper

Progress only measured

By how far we fall

And how hard we land.

We don’t expect to reach the peak

But just grant us more time

To savor this journey

Help my body keep laughing

Along the way




Frankie in a Dream


It is odd

How sometimes

People from your past

Come to you in dreams.

Frankie died some years ago

Both her children too

Are gone now.

We worked together for years

In our good government jobs

(They were good back then

Long before I left to become

A minister

Long before I retired even from that

Second calling)

Frankie was my boss off and on

And I was hers once, briefly.

We always had

Each other’s backs

Fighting for the people

And what was right.

Frankie had heart.

I loved her

And she drove me crazy too


Last night she came to me

When I was in the midst

Of a preacher’s nightmare.

A big service in a big venue

(Like that is going to happen)

And I’d forgotten to prepare

The order of service.

Frankie came running up

“No worries”, she said

“It’s being printed now.”

A flash of stress.

Had she picked the right hymns

The readings that I needed?

(She was Lutheran after all)

Then a flash of memory

Of recognition.

She always had my back.

I am smiling up at you

My old, and very dear, friend.

Thank you for helping me

Even in my dreams.



Some Mornings


IMG_1996Some mornings

I have to drag my eyes open

With sheer force of will.

Stay asleep please

In the land of dreams.

The world is too full

Of nightmares.

But like a dried

Lily leaf

I rise

Looking for moisture

For hope.

Hummingbird Hearts


We live our lives

With hummingbird hearts

Beating so fast

It seems we rarely

Find the time

To breathe

Racing from flower to flower

Our fragile bodies

Are always prey

To the shadow cast

By the hunting owls

Swooping down like death

Catching us

In mid-flight.

The only lesson

Is to keep drinking

That sweet nectar

While it lasts.


My Body


Whose body is this?

Smaller than it was

The muscles firmer

The skin looser

But so much the same

The bones

The teeth

The joints

The smile

Every  ache and pain

The bruises and the scars

No miracle this

Just a change.

My body

Is the same

I pray it will continue

To carry me

As best it can.



Fire Light

The quality of light

Is different

Filtered through smoky air.

The quality of life

Is different

When a child is crying.

The quality of your soul

Will suffer

If you ignore their cries.

May the fire of the Spirit

Melt the ice in your heart




New Day


There are days

When the effort

To rise from my bed

Is almost too much

The warm sheets

The blankets

Wrap me in dreams

Too sweet to leave

But the sun

Shines through

My window now.

And a bird sings

A familiar melody.

So I drag my bones

Up to greet

A new day.


Sometimes the images from old poems come to me.  Changed over time of course. dry bones

Dry Bones – Images from Ezekiel 37 (written in April 2004)

My bones know,
Underneath it all,
I have lived
In the valley of the dry bones,
Waiting for the four winds to blow,
For the holy breath.
Dry bones
Fragile and hard
Spin through the dance
As the rain falls.
Bones rattling to life
Spring is coming.
Praise God.
The Bones Now (June 2018)

These bones are old now

Dry as the desert again
Cracked with wear
The joints creak
From lack of youth
But they have danced
Rattling with laugher
While the rain washed over us
Spring and summer
Fall and winter
These bones
Have seen it all.
They will carry on
As long as the Spirit
Shall dwell within