NPWM Day 27: Bees and the Foxglove Tree

The bees come to worship at the foxglove tree.

They pay homage at each purple-blossomed shrine.

Hiding their faces in the blooms,

they breathe deep the holy air

and collect pollen like manna.

Only enough for today–

no more, no less.

And they, fed by the foxgloved hand of God,

want for nothing.

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Spun and Spent

 

How quickly our days are spun and spent

like the string of a kite

caught on an updraft,

the spool held in loose hands,

spinning fast and faster.

 

To slow the spinning

is to stop the climb–exultant, liberating.

To wind the string back onto the spool

is to move backward, to sink, to stunt.

How should I live these unraveled days?

How can I rise and yet

come back down?

The spool, its frenzied turning,

burning my hands.

 

I am afraid.

 

The days spin on, uncounted, uncontrolled,

but soon, before I know,

the string will catch,

the spool will slow.

 

Oh help me live these kite-string days!

Truly live them, spinning and wild,

and I, a breathless child

with burning palms and

racing heart,

will hold on lightly, lightly.

 

I will trust the wind that carries me

to the place where earth and heaven overlap;

knowing the string, however long, is short,

and, once spent, will surely snap.

 

The Fight In Me

 

The days stretch on–

a blurred line,

a slow succession

leading into mist

which never parts.

Is everyone’s future

so unfathomable?

Or do some see it

stretch before them

like a bright river,

carrying them, all anticipation,

swiftly onward

to their destination?

These days and days and days

take out all

the fight in me.

I shouldn’t be so tired.

But where there was fire,

there are now only embers

smoldering, cooling, waiting

for some sweet breath

of wind to blow

and coax

them to a warmer glow.

I dare not hope for a blaze.

And yet, in this haze,

this march of days,

I find a quiet, bending strength.

And maybe the fight in me

hasn’t died; it has learned

a steady stance.

Perhaps the fight

isn’t always flame and spark.

Perhaps it’s standing, enduring,

even through the dark.

Even now I find

that day after day,

the fight isn’t a battle.

It’s the will to stay.

Well

In these lean hours of respite

these quiet moments between

When I allow myself to wait

 

wait

 

wait

 

and listen to the rhythmic rush of blood

in my eardrums

counterposed to the ticking of the clock

on my wall

(my own heartbeat

striving relentlessly

against the current of time)

In these moments

I slow down my racing thoughts

my frantic fears

my desperate wishes

And it is enough

enough

to rest in this transient calm

to know that all is well

and will be well

Tomorrow will come

with its dizzying demands

and I will face it

and surely fail

to meet all its myriad requirements

But the steadying truth

is right here in this silent stillness:

It is well.

Ebenezer: A Stone to Remember

Build an altar

Raise a stone

Dig a well

Do something, anything,

To alter the barren landscape

Of your heart

The monotonous stretch

Of your memory

Make a mark

To disrupt the linear, unchanging path

Of your trudge through the wilderness

So that when you look back over your shoulder

As you dig your toes into the soil

Of the Promised land

You will remember

Who brought you this far

Vulnerability

IMG_2258

In the desire to be strong,

it is easy to become hard,

and vulnerability

often feels like frailty.

How humiliating it can be

to admit that we need–

That we aren’t able to keep going

alone–

That we are desperate to know

and be known.

Even now I hide behind this word:

“We”

when, if I’m being honest,

I mean “me.”

Samaritan

The well flows with water

but it’s empty for me

My parched lips touch the cup

And I drink long and deep

But it never fills me

Never satisfies

It’s not water that I need

But where is mercy liquified?

I keep drawing from the well

Hoping something new will rise

But it’s always just the same

And the longing never dies

Oh, come bend down close to me

Tell me everything I am

Lay bare my secrecy

So I can no longer pretend

That this water is enough

That my life is not so rough

That my heart is pretty tough

Tell me that you know

Every gross indecency

Every hidden part of me

Voice it plainly since I won’t

And set me free

Living Water, speak and say:

“Messiah – I am he.”