Ah-buh-nim

The little boy in the picture wore the most adorable overalls

And brand-spanking-new shoes

He approached the chicken in the unfamiliar garden

With the utmost deference,

The pears still hung on the trees, each carefully wrapped in old newspapers to shield them from pestilence

An unseasonably warm day to worship one’s ancestors and

The food at the restaurant was good

Something about historically accurate food

In the last few moments before

The two little red-headed children

Reported

All they saw–aggressor-accomplice-victim

The little boy in the picture wore the most adorable overalls

Lazarus

He walks into every room looking for someone who might comprehend

what it is

he has seen and heard

He weighs their solemn waiting-room-faces

Do they have

Better memories now? Do they still need to write things down or

Know every word by heart?

Are all the lambs among them and

can we see their scars?

Who can end this waiting

By calling us out

Out into life

My Covid Story

Around Thanksgiving I got Covid. I work in a doctor’s office, so eventually all of our staff got the disease as did our immediate family.

Symptoms and severity sorted out by age. The youngest two had the mildest symptoms, the oldest–me, ended up in the ER for a day, facing a diagnosis of damage to my heart and lungs.

First, let me say, that I am mending. I am the recipient of miracles and healing.

But the 24 hours leading up to the ER visit were really scary. The day in the ER was a gift. The oxygen machine they sent me home with was a gift.

And my current pulse, O2 stats, and general health–belong to the grace of my Ransomer.

Jesus gave me miracles, as He has done my whole life.

Covid is a really scary disease. It leaves some scars. It leaves fear and memory of the pain and uncertainty.

But Jesus is bigger than mountains. Jesus is bigger than tiny killer viral agents.

And Jesus never walks away from us.

I know I have been saved and given the gift of my life back.

I will do what I can to praise the One who saved me.

And I will use these beautiful lungs to pray for all of us.

That we feel him there with us,

No matter what.

The Namesake Dilemma

I have been waging a Sisyphean campaign to draw scrutiny to a large business deal.

One of the companies involved has clearly secular goals which are in frank opposition to the stated identity of the other.

The other bears the name of a good friend of mine. My best friend–

It troubles me that in recent years this second company seems to be more concerned with monetary transactions than honoring the name applied to its legal entity.

It is a good reminder for me–if I want to mark my life, my identity, my business, my things, with the name of my Beloved, well

I better make sure

They all really belong to Him

And we both know

He is my best friend, my boss, my king

Savior, Redeemer, Lord

God’s strong right arm.

Revelation 12:17 NIV

[17] Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

Let us forsake all our wasted days

It would be an ordinary basking day for the spiny and the green

Lizards who sun on the rocks and the fences

We would beat the palms of our hands on the opacity of windows

Before we opened them to warn off

night so late that morning is just a nap’s distance

Away

The fans would beat their wings

Now while we can

Let us forsake

all our wasted days.

Lazarus was at the table

John 12:2-3 NIV

[2] Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. [3] Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

What do you or I know about spikenard? It is named for a place or places, it grows in the Himalayas, it came from afar, a pint would have been a fortune, an amount of almost incomprehensible treasure.

I say almost because Mary knew what she was doing.

The incomprehensible treasure was the Man at the table.

This scene so similar to the earlier one–

Martha served

And Lazarus was at the table

Only we know now, what Mary knew then–

He is the perfume that fills the house

Dead raised to life, his life for mine,

Nothing will ever

Be the same

Killer Dogs/Beautiful Clouds

As you well know, I have been trying to focus on the presence of signifiers–the feral blender noises the dogs make when they are behind the dark door–the way the clouds pool and furl in beautiful splendor–let us say our daily prayers

Swap the signifiers

Killer clouds for beautiful dogs

This savage world/all ripped to pieces

While the light of one ordinary star is enough to

Remind me

Just how good you are

At holding on to me

All the same.

H. Turcicus

Oh howl, my intemperate soul–

Until it was too late

I did not realize who it was

Singing on the porch each night.

Thought it was a frog or a night bird

Not this perfect little cup-sized creature

I have no place to go to speak my grief

Only the knowledge that it is me and my kind who have

Ritualized the extraction

out, out

of each small, indelible singer

Leaving us to mother

Regret instead.

Silverfish

What happened to me, that in a moment of gargantuan hubris, I smudged it out? So what if it lived in the books or the play things? So what if it preferred the damp and closeted nocturne?

The moment before it was a glinty, wriggling alive

Then it was just an undoable regret

A life I should not have taken

We all have them–

Our ghosts, the ones we wish we could

Bring back whole

A parade of The Returned–

Uriah, John the Baptist, Stephen, Joan of Arc

Leaping and unfettered procession

Amidst the boundless sea of

The Redeemed

these trees of life