a pair of bald eagles
soaring over the waters
turkey vultures riding
the wind currents.
a small ship,
chugs towards the bay
hoisting halyards, cranking winches, chipping hammer
i swung in decades past ringing in my ears
i wonder who this ship’s deck apes are as
i follow her in my imagination down the Chesapeake
and out into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
a sailboat beats to windward, dingy in tow.
and i, like the planet that sustains my life,
am in the dark about half the time. yet
i learn from earth to stay centered
and turn towards the light.
and so, with the dogwoods,
i bloom in season.
LRT April 2022
There is nothing more dangerous than, more threatening, more destructive, eviler, than the marriage of Empire and Religion. When the brutal military machine of the empire becomes inspired and sanctioned by the fervor of religious conviction the results are heinous – crusades, inquisitions, genocide, slavery, wars, dictators, oppression, injustice – all perpetrated by people convinced they are carrying out the work of God.
Singing worship songs and waving flags, embracing conspiracy theories, and endorsing the least Christlike man ever to be President, whose policies are the antithesis of the teachings of Jesus, a strange civil religion emerges draped in the language of Christianity. Its agenda: Build walls, militarize the police, permit all to carry guns and kill if they “feel threatened,” produce more fossil fuels, destroy the environment, criminalize abortion, whitewash history, reject science, ignore public health, support autocrats and dictators, tromp on the rights of the oppressed, blame the poor, prioritize America at the expense of all others, control the media, and deny truth.
Militant, it destroys the immigrant, attacks intellectualism, joins hands with tyrants, and seeks to return society to a mythical time of white innocence and a very real time of white supremacy. Babylon threatens to swallow Lady Liberty. Sea and land monsters empowered by the satan are rising. Soon the red horse will charge.
“Come out of her my people! Join the way of the Lamb – the way of self-sacrificial cruciform love, the way of the eternal upside-down kingdom where enemies are loved, transgressors forgiven, cheeks are turned, and crosses borne.”
Everything that can happen, will happen
In a parallel universe spirits rebel and chaos reigns.
Energy from a big bang
Bundles of energy become quarks
And darkness enshrouds the deep
Matter becomes cells
Cells become life
A few thousand beings named
“Human” and “Life” emerge,
Learn to enslave and kill
Build cities and empires
Invent gods; make meaning.
Relentless love never quits
Redeems, makes new, transforms
Until all know the Name above all names
And all is shalom.
How long had she been wandering?
Alone, lost, confused, disconnected
From her true self, unable to find her
Way into authenticity?
How long had he been in this dungeon?
Chained in dark dampness, warmed only
By vermin vying for crumbs of stale bread?
Addiction’s vile tentacles wrapped around his spine?
How long had her body been wracked with pain,
Shivering and vomiting, sweating, delirious?
Attached to dripping tubes and whirring machines
While physicians prodded, poked, and ignored?
How long had they endured this eternal hurricane?
Tossing the tiny ship to the sky,
Plunging it to hell, chaos, darkness,
Watery grave from which none return?
How long must they withstand this tyrant?
Suffering the brutal oppression of bitter totalitarianism?
Where no one dare call their soul their own,
And injustice sits enshrined alongside of greed?
There, on the horizon lies the bright city
City of lights
City of peace
City of connectedness
City of health and vitality
Peace and equanimity
Justice and joy
City with foundations
Whose architect and builder is God
Redeemed from wandering, into the fellowship of the city
Redeemed from bondage, chains, and prison into freedom and light
Redeemed from sickness and pain, into health, vitality
Redeemed from the storms of watery chaos into safety, peace, equanimity
Redeemed from oppression by evil rulers into familial freedom
steadfast love of YHWH never ceases.
she was a day-sailor designed for
sounds, bays, harbors, lakes, not
open ocean, and indeed, she was not
in the open ocean, but instead well
within the sight of land when the
fog fell like a thick wet blanket
obliterating any possibility of sight
his left hand on the tiller, his right
holding the mainsheet, he could not
see her bow, nor the top of the mast;
even the jib was shrouded in grey
she had no motor, carried no compass,
no radar, no navigation aids of any kind,
not even a bucket to use as a sea anchor
only the airhorn he blasted at the
top of each minute as he luffed
her into irons and waited, drifting
with the tide, which he knew would
eventually suck him through the hole –
the narrows between the islands where
the current rushed with strength that
put many a large vessel on the rocks
he hoped the fog would lift before the
current gripped her in its clutches, but
it did not. helpless to do anything except
don a life jacket, lash to the boat,
drop sail and cling to the gunnels, she
spun like a bubble swirling down a drain
bumping rocks like a pinball, jarring,
dizzy and dazed, surreal as he observed that,
contrary to nature, he had no fear, but
instead was almost able to stand beside
himself observing with curiosity as the
salt spray burst through the fog to soak him
he licked the salt on his lips as a strange
joy washed over him, still spinning, still bumping,
as suddenly as it began
the waters calmed and he knew he had
shot through the hole from the sound into
the bay without harm, but yet still
cloaked in thick fog, and now, with the
current against him, without possibility of
sailing back to the harbor, drifting, drifting,
as if veiled from
sensing an unreachable connection, adrift from identity
the glass through which he peers is warped,
thick, wavy, malformed, scratched by
abandonment, smeared by envy – only
shadows, glimpses, hints of
Enough to reveal the sunrays of
LRT January 2022
A vibrant dancing rainbow of
Echoes through the cosmos
Cetacea, Cranes, Wrens and Beech trees
Join the Hymn of the Universe,
Wonderland of colors swaying in liquid love –
Ever-flowing Love blowing warm from conception
And flowers waltz with bumble bees while
The Maker, fastened to a Roman gibbet,
Wears as his only earthly possession the
Aroma of spikenard mingled with
Tears of love.
The creative fires of
Life and of Death are
One and the same, and
“All will be
Well, and all will be
Well, and all manner of
Things will be well.”
 Julian of Norwich
In his The Book of Soul, Mark Nebo relates a conversation with the Abenake elder Joseph Bruchac who shared the lesson inherent in how the Diné (the Navajo) teach their children to care for flocks of sheep.Rather than herding them, as we of European heritage are wont to do, the Diné children are taught to be present in the middle of the flock until the sheep accept them as one of their own. Then, they need not drive the sheep – they simply walk, and the sheep tag along.
God does not whip us or nip at our heels. God does not drive us or motivate us by fear. Instead, God simply became one of us, living in our midst. God in Jesus, the good shepherd. He comes to us and stays with us, saying little, until we are comfortable with him, until we accept him as for us, on our side, one of us. In intimate relationship, we naturally follow along wherever he goes. We love being with him. He loves being with us. With him near, we feel safe, no longer worried about wolves and lions, assured that even if we wander off, he will personally come to fetch us home.
When we simply sit with others, being present with them without expectations or agendas, they come to know and trust us. There is no need to coerce or manipulate or lord over. There is no need for power, other than the power of love.
 Nepo, Mark. The Book of Soul (p. 220). St. Martin’s Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.