Deuteronomy One

The metal doors are the only punctuation Between Caution and Horses going south as the great, white wings are bourn up the coast

Why are the giants stilled? The wind is alive and there are no Quixotic figures on the horizon

We sing sad love songs

As the wind unfurls ribbons of smoke from engulfing flames

We go to the sea

This kind of grief

For weeks now I have watched the tree thirst to death, unable to tell it that there is very little hope. Its auburn hair has cascaded around us, weeping, and I have felt both inadequate and way too nonchalant.

So I crafted a fictional me who did all the desperate things the real one should–buy yards and yards of burlap, soak the naked roots with water scooped from the river, gather the seedlings, cut careful branches and apply growth hormone to them, explain all this to the dying tree

The real tree gestures up to the mother tree, deeper into the soil, the manicured lawn, sources of man-made hydration.

And then down to the clay and rocks, blanketed now in the reddish needles, strange nourishment

sufficient to grow


once she has gone

The Angry Biddy

She flaps her (flightless) wings and flutters about

Because surely birds can’t cry and this world is full of sorrow

She is almost human, fully sentient with the wary eyes of someone who knows what it is to not have opposable thumbs

So I tell her, do your graceless angry dance and I will translate for you

About how eternal we are in this brutal place

Where the stars tell us things in the darkness

About hope

Dammed hope

Which will one day soon

Break free

The Bald Cypress

The bald cypress

Is just a tree

A single tree on a riverbank where

Autumnal colors signify slow, thirsty death from the bridge to the broken


They try to tell us they are dying with a bride’s train of leaves blown out on the current

Stronger now that the dam has broken

The world has always been this way they will tell you

As if that would be enough

For you, for me

God Calls Us to Pursue

I break the second commandment all the time, sow dragon’s teeth in this suburban front yard, draw the greenest leaves down and through my fingers loosing embryo acorns and the shifting compass of the setting sun. It is the girls who say these most beautiful things, white linen things pinned to a line and lifted by the wind beneath a slivery moon

“It looks like a stone rolled away

Like a stone in the very act of being

Rolled away

Matthew 2:1,2 and 28:1,2

What is a good friend?

Yep, I know-who?

Bear with me.

Ten years ago we discovered that our adopted son had molested some of his siblings and their friends.

I went to my friend and asked him what I should do and he said,

The truth will set you free.

So I told people the truth







And most people stopped being our friends.

So not who, what

A good friend never leaves, never forsakes, never hides your sin, but doesn’t abandon.

Jesus is a good friend.

What is Love

What is justice

There were times we all faced this extreme solitude of the truth. People who had been out friends could not risk the chance that we were contagious.

But Jesus was always there, the sojourning older son, back from afar, standing on the other side of the street, in sight of the house, I-am-here-darling present with us

never alone because

What a friend we have in Jesus

The Good Friend

Recently I have started “meditating” on the good friend. I put meditation in quotes because it can seem monastic and old fashioned, could just say thinking about.

But I say meditation because the particular focus for me is the life-long friendship God calls us to pursue.

God calls us to pursue.

What is a good friend?

Who qualifies as a good friend?

How does one be a good friend?

What do good friends do together?

How much time does good friendship require?

Is there a schlepping requirement?

All these things are on the big stone table of this miraculous friendship God has called me to through the doorway of Jesus.

Very Christiany, I know.

But then I also know I could not draw close to the Holy Divine if I did not have

A friend like Jesus.