Essential Oil


Sitting in the middle
With my glasses on,

It becomes clear that
My parents are bold because
They have seen.

My children are bold because
They see.

And I, seeing,
Tap boldness from
Both ends
To decant
Oil that flows down on
Aaron’s beard.

Oil is essential.
And can be bold.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes
!”  Psalm 133:1, 2

For when the foolish virgins took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.”  Matthew 25:3, 4


Ask For The Ancient Paths

I am not an all-terrain vehicle.
I am a one-terrain vehicle, custom-made for the
Ancient Paths.
I can travel on other paths, but it’s a quick mess of
Potholes and breakdowns when I do.

Ancient Paths are ancient
Like river beds and valleys are ancient; they
Don’t change.

But Ancient Paths aren’t old; they are timeless.
They are me walking this time timelessly, walking
Today’s stretch hemmed in by
Eternity. Breathtaking!

They aren’t weed-necked or hard to find. Open my eyes,
Open my front door – there’s the trail-head.

They aren’t hard to stay on. Thy Word is a lamp unto
My feet and a light unto my path.

They aren’t hard to be on. No matter the
Geography, or the weather,
They are restful, because thus says the Lord.

They aren’t crowded because ‘Ancient’ translates
‘Absurd’ when viewed from afar.

They aren’t deserted, either. Walkers from every
Far reach of the sun’s warmth know
They are on this path by grace, and
Line the curb when their walk is
Finished to cheer on those still walking.

Ancient Paths are my joy, the
Best meal around the table I’ve ever had,
The answer to the why question, the way of loving
All the people I am given to love,
Courage to call good
Good and evil evil,
Humility to sit low,
My language, my music, my perfume.
My way forward,

My way home.

Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”  Jeremiah 6:16


And Did You See That Sky?


The beatitudes are a loop I start over
Again and

A good loop, though,
Not a stagnating seether like when
The guy in the car in front of me has a
Brake-to-accelerator time that is so
Incomprehensibly SLOW he just ekes through the
Yellow light and there I am for another
Eternal cycle of cross traffic and left-turners,
And not just that, but one block east, a train comes,
Crawling through at its
City-limits pace that, correct me if I’m wrong,
Is either slowing down or teasing me,
And the graffiti is exotic, but let’s not be
Postive here,
And the caboose must be down in
Good Hope. So I’m caught,
Apoplectic. Because the guy.

No, the Sermon is an
“Oh, Yeah” loop, a start back at the
Beginning that isn’t a regression. An “Oh, wait, let me
Go back and pick that poverty up again and hang on to it
This time.  Seems to be key.”
A loop where
Starting over isn’t starting over.

Oh, yeah, I’m lower than you,
You, who I am
Scorning right at this moment.
Oh, yeah. Judgment turns to humility, right quick.

Oh, yeah, that despicable thing you are doing, I do it
First and worst. Lament. . .Patience.
Starting with, Oh, yeah,
The guy.

Meekness only happens when
I squarely face the
Oh, yeah, I was empty; now I’ve been filled.
“And this not of myself,” but flood waters from the
Sky after
Drought. More than I need, so I can say,
“Take your time, guy,
And did you see that sky?!”

And I hunger, hunger for the wholeness of no
Oh, yeah, start again. I am

Destitute, but! The destitution is that
Bait-and-switch of heaven,
That darkness-draped gift of gold.
That one more proof of a love so stunning.
And the loop is a steady line
Toward wholeness,

Oh, yeah.

Hunger And Thirst

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This is my front yard. Today.
Red medley,
Green interruption.
Redness painted, redness draped,
Redness flung, Green interjected.
Looking at it begins the hunger pang, the
Longing for the perfect, the true,
For the know-and-be-known.
The red and green are keen, whetted,
I can taste them on the back of my tongue.

Like seared steak or tannin,
Or basil-oiled asparagus, the
Red and green
Water my eyes, and
All my cells want more, more, a
Deep gulp, an endless communion.

These reds and these greens pull me to the
Seated One, to speak His language without
Words, to open my mouth, awestruck, and silently
Point to the reds and the greens and to me
And to Him. And He gets me and smiles.

He smiles and is
Holy light and I want only to stand
In Him in the way required – holy, too.
And so my red and green front yard
Shouts of Jesus who
Grafts his redness into me and
Colors me holy so I can recognize Him and
He me.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6

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Another From The Sermon On The Mount

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That day, on the mount, He opened 
His mouth
And taught them.
All they needed, wandering children,
Were ears.

I cannot grasp even His
First point, because my poverty is
And blessedness begins with the
Reckoning that
My soul has no assets,
So He sits down. He opens His mouth and
Teaches. Me.

All I need, all I need,
Are ears. And all that ears imply.
But still, just ears.

He walks me through the lesson,
That gentle thread of redirection,
That patient instruction running counter to
My rebel yell.
Coaching, coaxing,
“Look at Me.
I am the lesson.”


Matthew 5:1
” . . . he went up on the mountain, and
when he sat down . . .he opened his mouth
and taught them.”


What I was trying to say is that deep
In the week, miles out from Sunday’s
Lesson, it is hard to remember
To be a peacemaker,
To be pure in heart,
To mourn sin,
I forget, even while carrying
The Word in my hands, that
Blessings follow hard on the heels
Of lowliness and lead to higher humility
Like laces back and forth up a tennis shoe.

Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8