Day 39 – Poetry for Lent


Gentle hands
red and rough
knuckles bent and swollen
He calls each sheep
by name, whispering
courage to skittish ones
gentling those who bite and fight
seeking sheep who wander
driving away predators
healing the wounded
feeding the hungry
Through cold, rain 
blazing sun
through storms and drought
He pursues the lost
calling each by name
not giving up
tracking them down
to bring each one safely

Day 36 – Poems for Lent

Hope Ravels

   slow but sure
                            Coming apart at the seams
We neglect
         leave it out in the rain
  and watch it dissolve        
                             a little 
with every harsh word
sense of self
Wave over the beach
washing away our sandcastle
                                   by bit  
                                        the silence tears our spirits
    Catching a strand here
                      loosening a piece there
Winds of disagreement and strife
                      crumble our
Widen                the cracks
   hastening the disintegration
Hope is starting to r
on the edges
Do you cut it off  
  w i nd it in?
Is it easier 
to pick apart strands already torn?
Or are we able to see 
beyond frayed hems 
                                   enough to weave us back together?
Do we build or do we tear d
Can I
rebraid my life with yours
to make it stronger?
Or do you prefer to
  stay       apart?
L o o s e ning 
             with every storm
                    that comes our way?

Day 35 – Poetry for Lent

A Fickle Lot

Palm branches waving
cloaks spread upon the road
they welcomed him with
loud Hosannas
blessing his name
with shouts of joy
as he rode in upon
a gentle donkey.

Accusations flying
false testimony given before the judge
they accused him with
loud shouts
cursing his name
with calls for crucifixion
as he stood in silence
on his own.

Thus it is that
we go from a party
to a funeral
all within a week.

Day 32 – Poetry for Lent

More than a number

You are not a number
no matter the gravity 
with which a test was administered
- or taken -
no matter the times
it was talked about
- or studied for

You are much more than a score
on some three lettered exam
covering math and reading
     and writing of course
but not even touching on
subjects that matter like
how a raven is like a  
     writing desk
why men go to war
what the uvula is for
   which, by the way,
     is far removed from the vulva
        in location AND use
or why, if God is good, 
     there is pain and suffering
        in the world.

Don't settle for being 
a number or grade 
for you have abilities
    and possibilities
       yet to discover.

Day 31 – Poetry for Lent

Which came first

The fog came first
long before the crows
but history -- or, if this were
   a different sort of poem, 
       one of those pretentious poety poems,
the mists of time --
will remember the black birds
as harbingers of the
inescapable white mist that
smothered everything, deadening
the world, white-washing the landscape 
until roads, houses, trees, beach, and water
were bleached into a silvery white that vanished
any horizon.

For their part
the crows were simply grounded
the distinction between air and ground
no longer finite. 
To be clear
there was no murder of crows
just two, male and female,
and they were 
   shall we say
whiling away their downtime
by engaging in some sort of 
mating dance
   a precursor of Corvus copulating, no doubt
that involved much hopping, preening
and occasional pecking
    not necessarily in that order.

Truth be told
   as it is even here upon occasion
the rumors of harbingers started
when the raucous birds finished
their mating machinations.
A silver dollar sun strove through the haze
defining shore and sea
earth and air
the mist sending smoke signals into
a startled blue sky

and we saw it all.

Day 30 – Poetry for Lent

Too much North

There is too much North in the wind
men turn up their collars
women put their heads down
rushing to their destinations
without lingering to look
the leaves scuttle down the road 
as if suddenly aware
it's now Spring
and they missed the autumn gathering
Daffodils close their buds tight
refusing to wake
before the heat is turned up

There's too much North in the air
park benches sit empty
playground equipment languishes
swings swaying empty in the breeze
birds hunker down
into feathered poofs while the
bird bath becomes a skating rink
even the grass genuflects
hoping to avoid 
the wind's ire

There's too much North in the wind
he says but I only grin
shrugging into my coat and hat
before going out to

Day 29 – Poetry for Lent

Gone to the birds

Two Pileated Woodpeckers interrupted
my coffee making this morning.
One dwarfs the feeder
a small-scale pterodactyl,
red-crested head bobbing energetically 
as sharp ivory bill
carves out chunks of suet flesh.
Its prehistoric mate
crabwalks sideways on the ground below,
head cocked one way, then another
searching for prey before
extracting some tasty morsel 
with surgical precision.

The turkeys show up next
all twenty-nine of them.
I sit by the slider and 
sip coffee while 
the jakes put on a show
like body builders at the beach
jostling each other in 
masculine power plays.
Puffed up and strutting
they drag their wings
and fan tail feathers 
angling them just so
to impress the ladies
But I'm the only female watching
The hens pay no mind
more interested in filling
their stomachs then checking
out the biggest and
best turkey.

Finally, with a sigh,
I go about my day,
morning having already
gone to the birds.