Election Day Prayer: God, Bless America

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Dear God,
Wake in every citizen today the unquenchable desire to vote.
Keep every voter safe and free from obstruction or intimidation.
Illuminate our vision that we may see beyond our small thoughts.
Place in our hearts the integrity of non-harming word and deed.

Protect our country from acts of hatred.
Unite us as our new leader emerges.
Unite us in an expansive vision of what could be,
that we may move forward with integrity, compassion, and grace.
Unite us in our patriotism.

God, bless America.

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For My Sister

Beach by Chris - 2.jpg

 

For My Sister

This is your portrait at age 42:
sitting on your favorite beach
watching the summer ocean curl in,
your hair clipped away
from your bare face,
a few wild strands in the salt breeze,
your luminous smile.
You make the kind of before-picture
where anyone would think, she’s already
beautiful.
This is you, by nature,
serene, an artist in wonder,
you, before you leave
what you came here
to remember.

 

Beach by Chris - 4.jpg

The photographs in this post were taken last week by my sister, Christine. I had written this poem a bit ago (and never told her), but was searching for a beautiful image to go with it. How serendipitous and ironic that the gorgeous shots I imagined should come from her! When she showed me her photos, I asked her if I could use a few for my next post, but I didn’t tell her about the poem. Surprise, dear sister! And thank you for beautifying my day.

beach-by-chris-3

Monday Morning Mary: Thank You for Noticing

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Monday Morning Mary: Thank You for Noticing

Thank you for noticing
the ordinary day,
how the sun was shining
and everything
flowed
like the little brook
you stopped to watch

how your sweet dog,
old as she is,
almost wanted to walk
up the hill
and then trotted like a pony
back down

how you made plans
for the day
and some of them worked out

how you reclined in the sun
and read a novel instead

how a dinner of spinach
and potatoes tastes
like a celebration
when made by someone
who loves you

and how your heart turned
toward the one you love
as the evening grew bright
with the crescendo of crickets
heralding change
still masked
in these last green
days of August

 

Mary and Jesus in Ocean Grove - 2

i can sit with this

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i can sit with this

when i am
prickly, fidgeting
inside

because
i cannot figure
outside

i announce:
i can sit with this

I can sit with the
unwieldy sum
of
money heart family
noise
plus
a broken coffee cup
and bad hair cut

i can sit with this

and I must
sit with this

without naming
or solving

just sit and say
in a very gentle way
as if sweeping cooling cloths
over a feverish forehead

i can sit with this
i can sit with this

and then without
fanfare i find
i am empty
and i am sitting
peacefully
with nothing
and everything
all at once

Monday Morning Mary: Remain in Love

Mary and Jesus in Ocean Grove - 2

In These Times

You have turned to me
in disbelief, shaken
as the earth cracks
like bone
under the plan and force
of stricken minds.

How, you ask,
can this continue to happen?
How, you wonder,
can your tiny prayer matter?

I tell you now
that it does.
That all the tiny prayers
of the world
add up
like the grains of sand
that line the oceans.

Imagine yourself
on the shore of Holy Presence.
Release the answers
you have disguised as prayer.
Receive the messages of love
that arrive on soft waves.

Do not neglect such imagining.
It is prayer.

Walk now, back into your
day which is no longer ordinary,
and be a sanctuary.
Serve love.
Welcome love.
Remain in love.

 

Mary and Jesus in Ocean Grove

Photos taken by my sister, Christine. If you zoom in on the first one, you can see rain streaming like tears down Mother Mary’s face.

Automatic Reply: Out of Geraniums

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Automatic Reply: Out of Geraniums

On Friday, July 15, I will be
     Out of Geraniums
          due to a mama-doe
               who wished to make milk
                    for her baby-dears.

I will have limited access to
     Hot Pink and Fire Red
          but may be reached by Shasta Daisy.

If you need assistance
     with your wings
          please contact Summer Fairy
               who will direct your call
lovingly
     to the myrtle patch
          at the edge
               of the deep deep woods.
     
     
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All that’s left.

 

Automatic Reply: Out of Geraniums

IMG_4618

Automatic Reply: Out of Geraniums

On Friday, July 15, I will be
     Out of Geraniums
          due to a mama-doe
               who wished to make milk
                    for her baby-dears.

I will have limited access to
     Hot Pink and Fire Red
          but may be reached by Shasta Daisy.

If you need assistance
     with your wings
          please contact Summer Fairy
               who will direct your call
lovingly
     to the myrtle patch
          at the edge
               of the deep deep woods.
     
     
IMG_4612

All that’s left.

 

Prayer for Getting in the Clear

Golgotha by ALFRED HRDLICKA

A Prayer for Getting in the Clear

When you dwell in the dark quadrant of despair
and the book of your life
has become some jumbled hieroglyphics
on a gray, windowless wall,
I stand for you.

I stand on the Green Lawn of a Better Day.
Barefoot, in tadasana, I stand for you
like a mountain, grounded deeply in the earth
and I breathe into my core your garbled chapter.
A violent wind
circles my head like a black wreath.
I remember my own tempest,
how unsure I was of my ability to endure,
how lost I was when my map of Right and Fair
burnt up.

I stand for you at the Crossroads of Change,
my feet firm, the howling wind of shared pain
crossing my head in every direction.
My hands lock over my heart.
Inside a prayer grows wings
and takes flight,
hooks the maelstrom by the tail and trails away
until you and I are both once again
in the clear.

Golgotha -2  by ALFRED HRDLICKA
Both photos:
GOLGATHA, 1963 by ALFRED HRDLICKA
Installed at Storm King Arts Center, New York
 

As I wandered the Storm King grounds, I was drawn to this somewhat remote figure in the woods. It had a presence that I couldn’t name. I didn’t identify the title or artist until after I’d left the park. Golgotha was the site of the crucifixion of Jesus. As I studied the photos I’d taken, layers of meaning revealed themselves slowly in my mind. The splash of sunlight at the heart of this figure solidifies my sense of belonging in front of that sculpture at that exact moment.