Ruth’s Vow

H’Shem has never trapped my tears in angel bottles
or bedewed my bed with bread at dawn
or shepherd-walked me past His glassy ponds
and yet where Bethlehem breeds barley
I grow grey, and sing my vows.
I vow to help. To ease your years
and wash your baby’s ears. Around your flocks
I’ll sleep and someday sleep perpetually
where stones are stacked on stones
to mark old sites where stories named your fields.
I vow my promises are stones.
What tales bereft of promises deserve the name of story?


A vigilant monk is a fisher of thoughts.
He stares into his mind’s lagoon
To paw those fishies up as soon
As they flash silver or disturb the pond
With fins a-flicker when they crack
His dark with flirts of light. But day
He doesn’t need. Or meat. He’ll pray
Their mouths hide coins enough to pay
His master’s taxes. The poor? Tossed back.


Lord, many sent much to your feast.

Angels sent their shepherds, burlap-boned,
Reciting Glorias to soothe their sheep
That hemorrhage for sins would soon be stippled dry.

But Herod sent his wizards, masked as friends
To woo a baby king. Then razors. To filet sweet limbs.
(The ego of a king is like a lion claw.)

You! You sent your ghouls into the queen’s boudoir
To howl her dreams, as to her man
She forged a ransom note from god.

You! You hold monopoly on vengeance
And I think that’s right. So let him die
Sensate. So let him die sensate.

O night of miracle atrocities!
O Lord do stalk your crowns with wonders
And with justice all at once.
So heavy should enchanted lands weigh bloody hands.

Antiphon: Better Dreams

R = Reader
C = Congregation 

R: In dreams I hear them singing.  

               C:  Come to me.  

R: Some dreams I'd like to stop.   

               C:  All who are weary. 

R:  In dreams my feet won't run.

               C:  And are heavy laden. 

R:  In dreams my grades are bad. 

               C:  And I will give you 

R:  Dreams.   And I will give you 

All:  Rest.   

3 Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Hypostases: there must be three,
Since dyads, lacking we, must always come undone.
There must be three, for each enactment of the joy
Must be in turn rejoiced (or what’s it for?)
And joy itself must be itself adored
As slowly as omnipotence allows,
by gestures of high court,
but all competing for the helpmeet role.

There must be one, each living in the seamless ground
For there is nothing each would claim to own
And yet, when all is done, there’s nothing lost
Since they knew nevertime when ought.

Yet these are simply structures of our thought.
Which is to say, the three and one are closer than myself.

So now, about your three-or-one: I simply
See no reason to replace a thought with thought
When both seem dear. I’ll have my cake
And eat it too, or what’s it for?

Good morning: sit, and bring your friend.
Or what’s our table for?

Behold The Way

The way of a moss on a stone.
The way of a ship in a wave.
The way of a boy with a girl.      

Now I’ve considered all these ways
and made contention in my thoughts
that all who sing beneath our sun
and all who snore beneath our moon
are just to be beheld, beheld in silence,
silence of the mind, but if the mind
descend into the heart and swell and cry
and cannot stay, then let it exegete
how love is most at home in puzzlement.





Christmas Vigil, 2020

Yes, cows do kneel at midnight in the creche,
one minute panting hymns upon the Child,
the next they amble back to pastures lit by stars
who peer, a-giggle, over crests of hills
to spy into the shadowed stable for their presents.

I am among the cows, I have believed.
I have adjured the devil and his seasons ordinary
to embrace the real and consubstantial Kneel.

Again I’m gifted with that annual glimpse,
That single suprasensual sight this night
to backlight all my rods and cones all year.
My mind is upside down, delightedly,
yet keeps straight faces for adults
so forward questions to your own damn stars. 

If you can find them.