spirit

Starchild

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Begin Life in a moment
End Life in a day
A moment in a lifetime
Where no clocks come to play

A statue in the hallway
A hallway in the door
The blood-brain barrier
’twixt now and nevermore

The room where Life is ended
Is the room where it began
Did you see yourself by looking
Or by holding out your hand?

Begin Life not with breathing
End Life with waking up
See the world you have been given
As a shattered crystal cup

Swim on waves of gravity
Through nurseries of night
Amniotic oceans
Umbilicus of light

Amniotic oceans
Umbilicus of light

Amniotic oceans
Umbilicus of light



 

This was a song written for a musical version of 2001: A Space Odyssey. A group of very creative friends stages “Musical Emergencies” based on movies, fables, and other source material a couple of times a year. This one was staged by me and my partner (mostly my partner, who saw the movie 10 times in the theater at age 11).

Imagine a slow, contemplative song, minor key, only four chord changes, played on organ as accompaniment.

Unquiet Easter

Do not go quiet into Easter Day.

Go with loud crashings and whoops.
Go with gulls a-screech
and plashing dolphins and
go as a chosen one into the sea.

Go with a man whom you trust to dip you down to the tide
and raise you again.

Hold hands in a circle,
and go with those people to the next part of your life.

This day is not meant for quiet,
but for mad tintinnabulation in the soul.
The bells that still can ring, ring for thee.

There is time for hushed thoughts and silent minding,
but now, in this unquiet Easter,
let the raucous world ring in a newness
that is as old as Perseus’ old, deep note.

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shelter

A sense of place in a time of loss

Photo by Octodrone Maxilla

Shelter me

says the millipede to the leaf
as the air goes cold in springtime

Oh, shelter me

says the leaf to the twig
as the breeze lifts her fellows ‘long the climb

Oh, oh shelter me

says the twig to the branch
as the storm becomes less than benign

Shelter, oh shelter me

says the branch to the tree
as it clings to the strong wooden spine

Shelter me, oh, shelter me

says the tree to the forest
as lightning’s child razes her shrine

Shelter me shelter me

says the smoke to the air
as the last ash drifts dusty and fine.

Shelter me

says the speck to the millipede
as it settles to ground

and becomes part of time.

 

 

Border

flauta-de-paniagua

 

Light captured
in blown dust
makes a timbral ping,
plucked from air.

Thud of a boot
landing from on high,
a softer thump
than a running heart.

The hollow hoot
of a wind-blown bottle
Less lonely than the runner
Emptied of home and hope.

 

Please visit http://bordercantos.com/
Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo

The Ninth

This kiss for the whole wide world, he wrote,
but without an embrace of his own
to quiet the klaxons between his useless ears,
he continued conducting to a silent hall.

Tortured and divine, and in the end merely mortal,
his unhappiness and hopefulness is eternal.

Embrace each other now, you millions.

ninth

 

To My Mother

He took me aside that night
before he washed our feet.

“You know what you must do.
It was written in our book before we
were born.”
I tried to look away, my sadness was so great.
But he would not let me.

“My brother, we are one. Know this:
You are forgiven.
We both drink of this cup.”

I leave this note, and these coins
that they thought were my reward.

My brother knows my heart.

The hatred of the ages
is as nothing.

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Worst Friday

That one day was a bum deal all around.
Betrayal: check
False accusation: check
Torture: check and check.

Just a few days prior to the Very Worst Day,
The people were excited!
Running around, hosannah-ing right and left,
“Oh Jesus we love you you’re the best”
but soon calling out the name of Barabbas.

The Most Awful Day pressed on.

Even worse than the torture
was a sudden deficit of disciples.

Disappeared.
Deny deny deny.

Did he know things were going to go sour
so quickly? All indications are
yes. Still…

As always, it was the women
who showed up, really showed up.
And that one apostle whom Jesus loved.

By then, all that was left was the forgiving
and the dying.

IMG_2258Painting by Robert Valienti-Neighbours

 

Not Alone

I am you,
and you, me.

Help me, I have no hands
to feed the hungry,
nor lips
to sing songs of praise for the morning,
nor eyes
to see and rejoice in the babe, the crone,
the strapping youth,
the old man creeping his path toward home.

I will help you
carefully prepare and serve
sing with beauty
see clearly and
rejoice loudly.

I am you,
and you, me.

The pain of the lash, halved.
God’s gift to the world, doubled.

 Blaine-street-cross

**For the women of Blaine Street Jail. Thank you for making art with me, and making me a better person.