Elemental Breath

 From the shaking dirge cries of birth
 To the desire for ease in the between, 
 Before the elemental breath rattles at death,
 We are lost in cacophonous sighs of daily life, 
 Choosing to turn away 
 From moments appearing as iridescent sun rays
 As if God's fingers reached 
 Between the clouds 
 To touch the earth.
 Yes, we turn away,
 Notice nothing,
 Pick up kids,
 Fix dinner,
 Do laundry,
 A trip to Wal-Mart,
 And to work,
 The mundane of every day,
 Yes, it must be done,
 To hurry toward the waiting,
 While living holding sand,
 Until expelling 
 the elemental breath before death. 
   

Falconry

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A screeching hawk climbs overhead,
Gliding, swooping in pursuit,
Her flight a perfect merger
Of beauty, purpose, and skill.

If only, if only
I could capture such a hawk
Train and bend
That beauty and skill
To do the bidding of my will.

Sent forth from my hand
In a powerful surge of wings,
Pummeling air,
Finding the perfect draught of air
To glide upon,
Turning, searching for prey,
Then sighting her trophy, her prize,
Sweeping down, a beat of wings,
A shift of body,
Talons extended,
What seems a pause,
A slowing,
Talons snatching,
Squeezing, sinking into a snake’s skin,
Wings beat, once, twice,
A cry as she lifts her body
And her limp prize,
Upon the air to glide,
Turning homeward,
The purity of her purpose,
A dance upon the air,
Done.

If only, if only
From my hand could fly
Such beautiful purity of purpose.

Creation

child.jpg

I carved you
from the stone of me
chiseled out your edges,
inside and out,
freed you from the depths
of my abyss,
while my ears
felt the sting
of the hammer pounding,
my bones felt the crunch
of the chisel chipping,
my skin felt the ripping slice
of stone shards flying
tearing through all
flesh and bone of me
until
there was you
sculpted better than
the worth of me
cast off from you
I absorb in finality
what it is
in the truth of God
and pray.

Cleaning

To clean a heart and soul,
the way we clean a house:
scrub away
the grime and grease,
bleach away
the mold and mildew,
polish away
the dusty dullness,
vacuum away
dirt and dust
and leaves and grass
tracked in on muddy
dog paws,
who then shake wet fur
all over the floor,
yes, even vacuum away
all the hair shed upon the floor
by dogs and you,
then mop away
dried dirt,
straightening and organizing
as you go.

Then rest,
enjoying the gleam and shine
before opening the door
to visitors once more.
Yes, if only a soul
Could be cleaned
So very easily.

Miles

 

Miles traveled
watching fingers of wind
comb through long grasses by the roadside–
as your fingers have combed through my hair–
the heads of the blue bonnets and paintbrushes
all seem to bow, nodding toward the north,
toward you, toward home
the wheels turn faster down the highway
I have been gone too long,
far too long from home.

Dovetail

Certainly, there never has been this.
This wanting, such a perfect thing.
Never has there been
this joy or this missing.

Never did I think
to find such joy
in the ache of missing,
feel it beneath the breast bone,
thus I discover parts
of myself hollowed out
by winds and waters
all my edges smoothed
in preparation for you
who fits and fills
each dip and hollowed place perfectly
as if custom made for each other
by hands larger than our own
to fit easily together
in a series of simple clicks
to complete, to complement
a fit of strength and equal parts

 

Home

we rode the ferry
you and I

chunks of bread
you fed the gulls
who stopped mid flight
bowed their heads to you
or so it seemed
before snatching the bread
from the treasures of your hands

wiping your hands clean upon your jeans
you laughed,
such simple things—
the wiping of your hands and your laugh

it was then we turned
to watch dolphins
arch their backs
surfacing for air
in the gulf waters

And a wish to cherish you
came to mind
treasuring the word
my heart sings
when in your arms—
home.