On Thanksgiving Day

I guess I couldn’t help it…

Safely giving gratitude in warmth-scented turkey stupor
Thanks generically overflowing

Hard to believe somewhere around the world –
The paralyzed grateful for a step
The starving grateful for a crumb
The homeless grateful for warmth
The hurting grateful for forgetfulness
The persecuted grateful for safety
The lonely grateful for a smile

And I –
–   Wonder if I even understand


Provider, Refuge, Father, Life –
I can only say
a bewildered and humble
‘thank you’.

Hello Friend-ship

Inspired – a little over a year ago…

Hello Friend Ship
Thank you for the night
Of safe rest
In understanding arms.

Good-bye Friend Ship
We meet again
In passing piece
Pressing peace
Soon to return
Never to return
Though no returns
No regrets
Thank you for the night
Safe harbor in comfortable conversation
Just the look in passing
In looking
In passing


Once again, the test of doubt
Comes to me
Will I be faithless in this moment?

I feel at times I owe a happiness to all the troubled
Pained and broken.
For my life is one of hope.

And even now the “less” attaches itself to me.
Even now I feel the shadow
Pressing sadness
Fearful tears
Guilty heart
Shamed for the sham of who I am.

Will I pass this test?
O Presence, Great and Good
I cannot feel You.

I feel
a betrayal of promise
Not in You, but by me.

Who am I to feel this way?
It is just a moment
I pray I pass.  I pray I stand this test.
For Your sake.

“It’s raining in Baltimore…”

Another Baltimore one – appropriate for the recent weather here:

Pounding rain
Drops from the Harbor into the air
a veiled curtain to all the sounds and thoughts

the puddles
Swirl into oil and grease and trash and blood
the mist reaches cool fingers
into collars of jackets

Umbrellas parade
Down Pratt St
shivering bodies holding wet cardboard
ask for change, better lives

Slick crackly sounds
rush by my window
Joining the slow drips on the leaves

This is the rhythm of Baltimore’s rain.

If a kite can go higher

up the sky

or even off the ground

the wind would make a flyer out of me.

If you could love me strong enough

teach me not to flee

but how to fly

then you could make a lover out of me.

Highs and lows

dips and gos

both the same

both insane

If you will be the flyer

and if I was the kite

I think I’m finally ready

to take that faith-filled flight

The Basilica

A year ago, I moved into the city – which prompted a deluge of writings on Baltimore. Here is one of them:

The Basilica
The fallen and felled
Rise up row upon row
The basilica stands tall and weeps

The savvy businessman
Between Charles and Light
Calmly tours the buildings and streets
Then home to his
Columbia, Towson, and White.
As into the city, the darkness will creep.

The Basilica stands
Way up on the hill
Lifting her skirts, exactly just so
Prominently hidden
She looks on as she weeps,
For her Constellation dying below.

The checkered blocks of rich and poor
Meld into rings and tears and plight
Somehow far away
The deciders and quakers
Close their ears, close their eyes
Tight. Tight. Tight.

And the Basilica turns
Quiet and still
No longer weeping
from her view on her hill.
– Oct 24, 2009