Something has happened while we were sleeping
Something has happened while we were in bed.
The winter has ended all of her weeping
And spring has come to the land of the dead.
An answer came to all of our hoping
“Come from the four winds, and breathe on the slain”
And the graves in our hearts have been opened
Come out and play in the wind and the rain.
Sing to the Lord from your unroofed cathedral,
Sing to the Lord from your half-built heart.
Sing to the Lord, all ye mid-restoration,
Sing to the Lord, all ye falling apart.
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.
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.
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.
For the shape that things have taken
For the bending of our days
From the place we were forsaken
To the place our heads are laid
For what all the ravens brought
For the bread that wouldn’t last
For the water from the rock
For the wandering that’s passed
For the scroll that tasted sweet
Then turned to sour halfway down
For how we are made complete
By being buried, burnt, or drowned
For a tale we couldn’t write
The verse we can’t compose
For a love we couldn’t fight
For however this thing goes,
We give you thanks, oh Lord.
Lay me down beneath the earth,
And I won’t care if I’m buried
So long as your hands hold the shovel.
Pour the rain down on me,
And I won’t care if I’m baptized
So long as your hands hold me under.
Cut me down when harvest comes,
Be it for the burning
Or the barn,
So long as your hands gather me.
The winter sings a song
Called There Is Not Enough.
Not enough propane in the tank
Not enough sunlight in the hours
Not enough numbers in the bank
Not enough mercy in the powers
Sing to me the silence
Called What Is Then Required?
Only a laying down to die
Only a raising from the dead
Only a mouthful of the wine
Only a mouthful of the bread.
It’s the dark of the year but it won’t last
A difficult season but soon to pass
A shitty year but the years run fast
And time’s soon up for time.
They’re at a hard age but soon they’ll be grown
And the nest sure is quiet after they’ve flown
The harvest can’t come till the seeds are sown
That can’t live till they die.
The kingdom is coming but the kingdom is here
My battle’s been won but my enemy’s near
So much to be killed by but nothing to fear
“Rest” says the mountain, “But climb.”
Living is hard but soon you can sleep
Tread for a while, then commit to the deep
All that is mortal and all you can’t keep
Cause time’s soon up for time.