Advent 2015

Come carolers and let us sing

Of when He came in like a thief

To the camp of the enemy

In the dark of moon, and year.


Past the sleeping watch of history

The guard-fires, fences and the dogs

As swift and silent as the snow

To our long-accustomed prison.


There to break the ancient chains

And then to lead us one by one

Beyond the ring of firelight

Into His Father’s holy dark.


And in the morning when they came

To kick us back to wakefulness

And lay our earned judgment on

They found there sentenced in our place


An infant, come red and wailing

To a world like a winter sea

They laughed, the drowning and the frost

Who saw their doom, and knew Him not.

Easter 2018

I rolled a stone across my heart

Because it had become a tomb.

I found no sign of life in it

And so I set the seals, and slept.


I lay the winter long until

My blood ran thick as maple sap

Till my pulse was lizard-slow and

I could believe I’d died indeed.


But now the spring has come again

To break the seals of ice and dark

The roots are set to dancing and

My children call me out to play.


And to my horror and my joy

I find myself alive again

I try to call and run to them

“But who will roll away the stone?”


I am crying and am answered

With a movement in the dark.

I did not live, nor did I die

Nor was I buried there alone.


For he who was entombed with me

Did not come to rest in peace

He comes to harrow, and to raise

And to roll away the stone.


Easter 2016

Rise up, oh Christ

In the middle of my days

Rise up from where I buried you

And break the strata of the year.


Crack the easy hills

End all my neat topography

They are made green and fertile

By what is buried underneath.


Wipe away my careful maps

The lines that mark false nations

With invented histories

And names that mean nothing.


Rise up, oh Christ,

And cast me from my throne

Break the earth in seven pieces

And leave not a one for me.


For when my world is ended

And the king in me is dead

I would have nothing for my portion

But my hand held in yours.

Lent 2016

Here in these half-holy days

At the wasted end of winter

Where life holds all things lightly

And the bones of the earth show through


We wander like ghosts,

waiting to remember

What we were doing

And what we were called


Before the winter came.

Good Friday 2017

Who can bear to read

The story of the humans?

Written as it is

In the bodies of their children.


Ball-bearing broken

Wrapped in dust and laid

In the broken heart of the earth.


He made it His own,

The story of the humans

And let them writing an ending

Upon His body there,

With fist and foot and implement

Son-and-daughter slain and rising

Up to bear their children out

Of the broken heart of the earth.

Ash Wednesday 2018

Lay me down in a winter grave

It need not be very deep

Just put some stones on top of me

So the coyotes won’t disturb.


Lay me down in a winter grave

But let it be a shallow one

For though I’m marked for dust with ash

I won’t be dead for very long.

Good Friday 2014

It was the day of the hammer

The day of the nail

It was the day of the storm

And of the earthquake


For how could the earth

Not shudder and crack

With the blood of its maker

Spilled upon it?


And we huddled in our homes

Beneath the bruise-black sky

And waited for creation

To burn us for blasphemy


And the earth did open

Beneath we, the accursed

But out of the depths

Came not fire, or water


But our beloved, who were dead

Now quickened,

And laughing

And running to embrace us.