Ahmaud and George

I see Jesus.
In the face crushed into
Knee on neck,
Power of might
Gone to the head,
Popping in vein and vision.
Destruction in the
Rod and scepter.
Where every impulse,
Yes, the very call itself,
Should be shepherd protection.
I cannot look.
He’s Someone’s son.
Oh, Someone, I am
I know you know the
Helpless mother-ache that permeates
The waking hours.
For motherhood is at the lungs and heart,
The veins and blood,
The precious skin, too; it is
Utterly unifying.
All mothers’ hearts beat alike. They cry,
Save the offspring-flesh who hold my breath!
Mary watched and bled.

Ahmaud, George, my sons, too.
What can I do for you?
Love your mothers? Ok.
I can do that.
Other tasks for other people.
I will love your mothers.
Quilt made for Wanda Cooper-Jones in honor of her son Ahmaud Arbery.

The Promise Stands

Encircled, pristine,
Celestial with life,
Aroma so pure – edible –
Of the rushing power of
Let there be, and
It was good.

Each blade a throat,
Each limb a response,
That the promise stands,
Vibrating, pulsing, in a
Hidden, green Eden:

All your children shall be taught
By the Lord!
Great shall be the
Peace of your


Isaiah 54: 13

And Why Would I Want Anything Else?

Rare but intense are the
Truly, truly moments,
When I fix my eyes on
Him, scary but then not,
And realize that I have
Moved into the kingdom
With my tent,
But only an inch or two
Within the walls.
I am still trading with
The outside for books
And herbs
And under-the-wall water sources.
Jesus says, yes, moving
Further in requires you to
Carry a cross. But it is
Truly, truly
A cross of participation,
One that suits you to the
Water and words and herbs
Of this place where
Nothing dies
Nothing ends
Nothing fails
Nothing runs out,
And all your language must change
To speak of its essence,
Its life overriding the only-death
That you were born to bear.
Further and further in
Deeper and deeper in
The vastness is still only suggested
And eternity is pure water and
So, I unpeg my tent in
The shadow of the outskirts
And skip and run toward
The Mountain.

Show and Tell

Show and Tell. Remember?
You are 5
And already you know better
Than to lay your real heart
Before the scrutiny of
Toddler sophisticates.
So you bring your third-best
Butterfly habitat, slightly filmed,
Hatch won’t quite close.
And as for the ‘Tell’ part,
You woodenly say,
“It’s mine. And I like it.”
Show and Tell, safe.

Lord, let me not be
Show and Tell safe
With my first-best,
My heart treasure.
Give me a chance
To lay it out wide and
Invite scrutiny and
Tell and tell and tell.

And should a toddler sophisticate
Or bite back,
Let me hear, underneath the scorn,
The miracle they are longing for,
The beauty from the vile,
The butterfly possibility.

And let me Show and Tell!
Meditation on John 1

All My Flesh Is Healed

Some piercing beauties –
The color of November air
When the sun inhales
Earth’s cave-cool breath and
Drapes the bony slopes
Of a naked brown mountain –
Approach the shocking grace
Of a God who loved our sinking skin
So much
That He fit His infinity into it.
How could our boundered flesh
Ark eternity?
And more, how could Eternity then
Be pleased to share Itself with
Temporal decay?
And reverse it?
All my flesh is healed when I
Inhale the living truth that
His naked body,
Born in blood and noise,
Is God with me.
Meditation on John 1: 16 and Black Mountain, North Carolina

God Bless The Ice

Old Glory froze last night
In a crumpled swath, and now
Lumbers solid, like a beast of burden,
Against the smilaxed porch roof
In Alabama’s (sort of) icy, windy, freezy,
School-cancelling apocalypse.

And, oh, therein, is that heavenly lull,
That sweet second breakfast of
The bread of the Word.
The Word, unleashed from imperatives and carlines,
Says – and do I hear this? –
“For God so loved,
For God so loved,
For God so loved!”

God bless the ice that stilled the world,
So I can hear that God so loved!
Meditation on John 3:16

Love Song to the Light

Like an earthquake it was spoken that
‘The life was light of men.’
As He moves and as He breathes,
Light cracks open darkness’ den.
Implacable, strong-fingered are
The rays that scoffing spread.
Only darkness thrives in darkness,
And even that’s mere moving death.
Even that’s brief-tenured death.

When my child-heart was a cave
Wracked with fears and bears and pangs.
Light and life came like a dream,
And swaddled me in heaven’s health.
A chemical event in first and second waves,
First alight and then alighting,
To salvation’s perimeter land,
The border of Darkness Banned.

When rays, unbound, escape,
Fall into foolish shade,
Darkened souls see me, see You,
And drink the taste of day.
They see and know and praise!
Your call leads on to death’s dark door.
We stand and lantern wide
The way for friends to cross the sill,
To Dayspring’s ravishing side where

Our Groom sings for His bride.
Meditation on Matthew 5: 14 – 16; John 1: 1 – 14