Good Friday 2019

How many times has he died today?

In hospices and on highways

In NICUs and in nursing homes,

Dirty apartments and death rows?

 

In how many ways was he pierced today?

By crack and chemotherapy

By fentanyl and friendly fire

Drive-by, drone strike and drunk driver?

 

In how many tombs was he laid today?

In plastic urns and in mass graves

In lime pits and in tidy rows

Left on his cross and to his crows?

 

How many times is he risen today?

It is not given me to say.

But all that is within me cries

He does not die, except to rise.

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Blessed be the name of the Lord

Lord over the laughing child
And over schools last day
Lord over their long delight
And their unending play

Lord of the dripping morphine
And the necrotic sore
Lord of the catheter bag
And the unopened door.

Lord of the daughters of Lot
And sons of Abraham
Lord of his forsaken self
For whom he sends no ram.

Lord of the unanswered cry
And of the lonely bed
Lord who came to be with us
Both the living and the dead

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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Third Week Of March

Spring comes down like an airstrike

To the white unready earth

And fells the frozen powers

All in a single evening.

 

Makes the sleeping fields to shine

Brimming bright with their delight

Makes their joy to overflow

And sets the ditches singing.

 

Tonight the world is trembling

As that laughter is released

To shake from their foundations

All the little works of men.

 

And tonight I wonder

If this is how it will end

In ever-swifter swingings

Of its sorrows into joys.


Lent 2019

His love’s a blade this time of year.

Bright as the vernal equinox

Cold as the rain that ends the snow

Hard as the howling Lenten wind.

 

He made that blade to break my heart

To cut a furrow deep and straight

Beneath the salt and cigarettes

Into the darkness where I sleep.

 

To find and lay beneath the sun

All that which I have hidden there

All the buried coins and corpses

Secrets scattered to the seagulls.

 

Here his love comes, belching diesel

To till the fields of no-man’s-land

Pouring into my ripped-up heart

Seeds by the hundred million.


Ash Wednesday 2019

All our roads go wrong;
All our highways ever bending
All our shortcuts never ending
All our roads go wrong.

All we make, we mar;
All our weaving ever rending
With disaster ever trending
All we make, we mar.

All our towers fall;
All our heights ever descending
Our facades so well pretending
All our towers fall.

But there is one who

Takes the bent and keeps on bending
Takes the rent and keeps on rending
Dies with us and keeps descending
Till we reach our never-ending.


Transubstantiation

I sat with her today

In that last awful place

Counting the bones between

The lines upon her face.

 

Now I don’t know what happens

To the bread or to the wine

But You were with her today

And with her You were dying.


It’s Human

It’s human to be tired

It’s human to be cold

It’s human to be lonely

It’s human to get old.

 

It’s human to be losing

It’s human to get lost

And it’s human not to have

What being human costs.

 

It’s human to need saving

It’s human to be saved

It’s human to be carried

From the cradle to the grave.

 

It’s human to be dying

It’s human to be raised

It is human not to be

Who is worthy to be praised.