Monthly Archives: December 2011

Ordinary Time

In the winter after Christmas,
the night after the lights come down
In the barrens after feasting
the silence when the music ends

This is when it really matters
this is when we need to believe
That what has come to pass in us
is stronger than January.

That daily He abides within
the dirty stable of our hearts
to wake, and live, and die with us
to go down and to rise with us.

Christmas (2011)

Glory to God in the highest,!
And on Earth peace, good will to men

For when the hammer of winter fell
And we wept in the trenches of ourselves
He came stooping like a falcon down
To pluck us from our last cold ending
With talons that smelt of summertime.

Thanksgiving (2011)

By the brightness of the trees
In the last warmth of the year
By the lighting of the leaves
We come and are gathered here

In this world we have been blessed
So we feast with thanksgiving
Though this world is wilderness
With the winter on the wing

Yet we give our thanking where
Summer falls and brightness lies
For we shall be gathered there
To the land that never dies.

Thanksgiving (2010)

In the evening we will praise Thee
For the arch above our heads
for the shoes upon our feet
for these candles in the night
and the sun tomorrow
For the fulness of our selves
and for coats against the frost
For good works allowed us
and dark ones forgiven
For the midst we live in
For rooms full of loving
For our smallness and our need
For our hunger and our weight
For our longing and our lack
For thy rod and thy staff
and thy deep dark blanket self.

You the light in the subway
You the feast in the night
You the kindness in my eyes
and the last, best breaking of my heart
For all the things we are, and have
and have been given by Thee Lord
One more thing may Thou give us
The being in our hearts
the knowing in our heads
the speaking in our mouths
of thanksgiving.

Good Friday (2011)

Oh Lament,

For the sun has left us
and crept beneath the earth to weep.
For the earth sobs beneath our feet,
and she will not be comforted
For the sky is black with mourning
and weeps down night for grief
For the grieving rocks cry out
until their hearts are split
For the trees of the field
have cracked for wailing
and all created things cry out
“they have taken away my Lord
and I do not know where they have laid him.”

Spring Runoff (2011)

It was Wednesday, and the season of fasting
and the ice was black in the corners of the world
It looked like winter, and felt like winter, and smelt like winter
and winter eternal

but that night there was a movement in the air
a breaking in the silence
and a wind came up
warm and deep and wide low

and in the margins of our sleep
we heard it roaring in the pines,
and felt it shake the roof
and the old house of our flesh was set to groaning.

And we awoke, and forsook roofs and walls
for love of the wind
we left our blankets and our sleep
we left our very clothes

and went out like children
naked in the wind
though it was winter
For all we knew.

And the wind rose roaring to meet us
it poured in our eyes and ears and down our throats
it swept up through the soles of our feet
and bled in through the palms of our opened hands

And down, down into the deep of us
into the glacial dark of us
to shake the ice as old as man
to warm the winter in the heart of the world.

And when we could speak again
it was as the sound of rushing water
and we ran down all the ditches of the land
in a brown and joyful flood.

Ordinary Time (2011)

O Father in the ordinary time
in the sleeping of the green
in the heavy of the sky
in the silence of the water

You the roaring beneath the ice
You the spark in the middle night
You the star in these black woods
You the word after dying

Be vital and near
and heavy and pure
loud and strong
and never-ending

And rush in our veins like sap
at the secret smell of spring.