Category Archives: Poetry

The Highest Peak of the Hebrew Scriptures. An audio teaching on Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12

God asks 3 simple things. An audio teaching on Isaiah 52:1-12

Beneath the Massive Oak Tree

Unaware that royal blood courses beneath her wrinkled and 

Blackened skin from long hours in brutal humidity, 

Her back permanently aching, day after day, 

Bent over, fingers raw; bag after bag weighed, 

Slave after slave whipped; now, exhausted, 

She lies in the dust beneath the oak weary and broken. 

She is an old, old woman of forty-one – 

The daughter of slaves who were the children of

Slaves who were the children of 

Princes and princesses.


He looked like just another field hand

Walking slowly down the lane – most

Likely hired out by a neighbor to make up 

For the sickness going around. His clothes

Tattered, old hat shading his face, he walked 

With a stooped dignity that broadcast the

Fact that they had never broken him.

Fat, tobacco-chewing overseer spat

Disdainfully and cursed as he read 

The newcomer’s paperwork, before walking to the Big House.


There was a commotion within, shouts, and cries – 

Master and his lawyer, Misses trailing behind beneath

Her parasol and bonnet. Confusion, upheaval, she was

Curious, but too fatigued to do more than lift her head

From the dusty shade of the massive oak.

The Oak knew the displaced and slaughtered

Indigenous people who were one with this land for 

Ten-thousands of years before it was stolen. He survived 

The slashing and burning, ploughing and planting by

Invaders who worked stolen land with stolen souls.


The old oak was the first to hear, the first to lift his

Arms in praise to the Almighty. Though the pale-skinned

People remained in shocked denial, the papers were

Clear, legal, and in order. The entire plantation,

Long since fallen into bankruptcy, now belonged

To the scruffy looking field hand. As a first order of

Business, even while the master’s carriages were

Clopping off in the distance to the wails of the entitled,

He called together all the slaves, and gave them

Papers of manumission.


Afterward, he walked toward her, a gentle smile on his face,

A kindness in his eyes such as she had never before seen.

He sat down next to her in the dust and spoke of the 

Beauty of the morning’s sunrise. She remained silent,

Still afraid. What did these changes mean for her?

Where would she go? Her husband had been beaten to 

Death, his body burned on a stake for trying to escape.

Her children sold down the river; gone. She was alone and

Too weary to care anymore. What did he want?

Does it matter?


He divided the plantation into 40-acre farms

And gave one section to each family, along with

Mules and ploughs, horses and chickens.

What had been a cotton plantation would soon

Become a farming village. The Big House became a

Home for elders no longer able to care for themselves;

The new owner lived as one with the former slaves.

Around campfires, they sang and danced; at

Christmastide, they feasted and gave gifts; at

Easter, they shouted their hallelujahs.


A great war ripped apart the land. Many a mansion

Burned to the ground. Slavery ended, only to be

Replaced by draconian laws, convict leasing,

Hooded riders and lynching trees. The field hand

Kept a watchful eye from the watchtower,

Ever keeping the evil at bay with a presence that

Radiated both power and peace. He had no guns,

No canon, yet there was a force that glowed

Outward from him, as if, with a word, he

Could thresh mountains.


Still she sat, wearied and broken, in the dust

Beneath the massive oak, happy for her neighbors,

But worn out like an old mule, barely able to lift

Her head. Day after day, he visited, bringing

Fresh bread, sweet wine, meat and cheese.

Day after day, he spoke of trees and birds and

Clouds and far off seas. He told her tales of 

Her ancestral homeland, of great herds of wildebeest, and

Flowing grasslands. How or when he had been there, 

She could not imagine. 


Several weeks past until, during one of their visits

Under the old oak, he took her hands, looked into

Her eyes and asked her to be his wife. She wept as

She fell into his arms and felt his strength lift her out

Of the dust and carry her back to her shack.

Seamstresses, musicians, tradesmen came by daily,

Jewelry was made, dresses embroidered, flowers arranged,

But it wasn’t until the wedding itself that it hit her – 

She was marrying a King. 

She was about to become a Queen.


And the Old Oak lifted his arms in praise to the Almighty.


God Feels Your Pain. an audio teaching on Isaiah 51

They’re not under your bed, but they’re monsters. A video teaching on Isaiah 46-48

A New Exodus. Audio. Isaiah 43

They Laughed at the Old Cat Boat

A steady 10 knot breeze from the southwest 

Makes it an ideal day to sail. 

Across the lagoon, out into the bay, and 

To the ocean beyond, sails dot the seascape.

Large and small. New and old. Fiberglass and wood.

Sloops, ketches, yawls, schooners – even a cutter – 

On the horizon spinnakers billow like bridal bouquets.

Out among them, a leaky old wooden tub, its

Dirty yellow cotton sail struggling to pull it along,

Reefing points waving to those on shore. A

Grizzled old salt at the helm. A lad bailing the bilge.

Most were fairly far out when the wind 

Shifted to the nor’-east and began to blow.

Black clouds churning up seemingly out of nowhere,

Winds gusting to thirty knots. 

The largest of yachts,

With their foul-weather-gear-bedecked 

Professional crews, adjust quickly – 

Storm s’ils set, they plough their way in sprays of

Salt towards the harbor. 

Not so the smaller craft, whose spinnakers 

And genoas blew out into shreds like old rags, 

Hulls took on water, and boats

By the score swamped or sank, leaving 

Frightened bobbing bodies buoyed by life jackets. 

Seemingly unaffected, the old wooden cat boat

With its yellowing main sailed on, heading

Out to sea on close haul, wave after wave

Welcomed over her transom like old friends.

She has seen many a storm worse than this.

She is one with the sky, the currents, eddies, 

The waves, and the wind.

Oddly, the skippers of these boats were in 

Many ways like the very boats they captained.  

For some, goodness comes naturally, the 

Fruit of sound genes, balanced hormones,

Refined upbringing, and careful education.

They have the means to fit out the latest

Crafts with the latest gear. Some even have the

Means to hire the pros. They scoff at the sinking 

And swamped; shrug at the news of the drowned.

Their etiquette is refined; their behavior cultured,

Their interactions polite. They find it quite natural to

Avoid the tawdry seediness of the sinful.

For others, burdened with poor role models,

Neurochemical imbalances, improper nutrition;

Harnessed with addictions and perversions, goodness is a

Sisyphean task. All they can afford are

Small crafts unfit for high seas.

They try and fail only to fail again.

They keep tripping to sloughs of iniquity.

This is not the first storm to swamp them.

They are the least, the poor in spirit, the sinful ones that

The Anointed One comes to rescue.

One would expect Him to come in a rescue

Helicopter, or a Coast Guard cutter, a 

Muscular young man whose dress blues

Are the background for medals. 

But, alas, No. A grizzled old salt, 

He comes in a storm-tossed 

Leaky old cat boat, and one by one, 

With the help of a young lad,

Plucks survivors out of chaos.

1 April 2023


a poem 

Bitter cold horizontal rain

stung our faces while gale winds

shredded the sails, rendering us

helpless, smashed against the

rocky shoal, gasping for air on a strange

beach only to be imprisoned by Circe 

herself in spells of undulating force-fields.

What she did to the others, I have

no way of knowing, but

after some hours of interrogation,

she used her enchantments to turn 

me into a sea creature with gills and

flotation bladders sufficient to dive into the

deepest abyss. 

She twirled her fingers and I spun like a top

round and round – flung into the ocean from which

I came.

Curious with my still human brain,

I dove, down, down, down 

through kelp beds, past submerged fumaroles, 

and curious serranids and sperm whales into

utter darkness and immense pressure,

only to discover a light, like a headlamp

lighting the way. Strangely, it came from within,

as if by a search light mounted on my fish-head.

Down, down, down, past creatures too strange to 

describe – translucent, luminous, wheels in swarms.

Ahead, a tunnel opening onto the bottom of the ocean

from which belched hot gases tinted with green.

Still curious, I approached, and to my surprise, felt no

pain, only warmth. And so, I swam in, down; able, somehow,

to breath the gasses like air. Further down into vapors of

unknowing, through chasms of fire into a realm that was

pure ethereal music. Light blue mists swirled, creatures, some 

with three heads, others half human, half beast – mythic

creatures from the old stories – here, alive, singing – they

seemed to smile with gentle eyes.

It was an easy swim; always with the current through

Rainbows of Flowers draped with Ribbons of Mercy.

Creatures so bright no eye could look directly at them,

soaring on wings above and below as the tunnel opened

wider, still wider, expanding into infinite space.

But not empty space. Space filled with creatures, plants,

Songs, Music, Dance, Blooms, a cacophony of vibrate Beauty.

My fish-body shape-shifted on its own as the golden shore approached.

Human again, now clothed in white robes woven of sunlight,

I came to the center of all universes and knelt before an 




still stained with 


And, there, I knew at last, I am loved.

LRT 7 March 2023


Although they had sailed the seas and

Traversed the mountains, forded the

Rivers and streams, navigated the 

Chernozem wetlands, and crossed 

Vast deserts where nothing had 

Stopped them – not blizzard,

Rockslide, derecho, avalanche or

Blistering sun – they came to a halt,

Unable to proceed. Dead stop.

In front of them an inferno blazed with

Exploding pines, fire tornados thousands of

Feet high, lava and coals spewing,

Rocks melting like wax, heat so intense

One could not come within miles.

From within a deep voice bade them 

Enter and not be afraid, but fear

Welded them in place. They could not

Move and seemed afraid to breathe.

A being of light ten stories tall wielding

A flaming sword lifted them in its

Gigantic hand and carried them to the

Edge of the firestorm, gently whispering

“Fear not, fear not, for here only 

Dross can burn.” And, in very fact, as they,

Holding hands and trembling, walked into

The conflagration, they felt no pain, only a

Warm glow that caressed them like a

Mother’s breast, and a strange feeling of

Safety and wholeness swept into them.

As they walked deeper into the fires, they

Had a sensation of becoming lighter,

Freer, and more peaceful. The flames 

Sang and music filled the air. Now

Wingéd creatures flew with birds,

Horses pranced, and monkeys swung; then

People from every tribe joined them in 

Song and dance, all light; trees, still on fire but

Not consumed spoke old wisdom, lovers

Embraced midair; at last, they emerged on the

Other side into a flowered meadow beneath

Towering peaks that framed a

Glorious throne.




Tender divine one who

Walks on soft moccasins without

Even rustling the pine needles

Gently alert, listening like the

Deer, attuned to the subtlest 

Scent, Ursula-like, attentive to

Each movement with eagle-eyes,

Who walks on wind and drifts in

Swirling eddies amongst microcosms

Whispering, whispering, now

Crashing, invading, breeching,

Smashing into lives, disrupting

Neatly packaged theologies,

Overturning tables of tradition.

Seismic shaking, erupting,

Disconcerting, suddenly there is

Life! Joy! Creativity – allegro,

Now vivace with cosmic explosions,

Pillars of creation, the light, fast

Tempo of spheres singing in 

Joyous harmony, colors radiant,

Paramours in Chagall glass

God crashes in with dazzling

Delightful, glorious destruction.

The fire that roasted our fish, and

The coals that warmed our feet,

The glow by which we read the poems,

Flamed forth into the refining fire of


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