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Martyrs

When the Facebook bell starts ringing

To tell of more lives taken

By men with names that are not like ours

You always say the same thing,

Time after time after time.

 

That they are monsters and

Inhuman and cannot

Be comprehended

For they are not like us

No brother, not at all.

 

But I say, brother, you’re a liar

And maybe sister, you forgot

The things we used to say in high school

The songs we sang when we were young.

A little too in love with easeful death.

 

And I say how fortunate were we

And the heretics we hated

And the infidels we feared

And I say thank Christ he made it clear

Which end of the gun we are to stand on.

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Easter 2019

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.


Holy Saturday 2019

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.


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.


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.


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.