This Time




Why do you stare as if these things were strange?

An earth created by the ones it made,

great cities where the silence was, the ranging

bison, wolf and deer in memory laid,

the windswept times that come each year denuded

of their trees. The seasons drift. Migrating

birds arrive before their food, excluded

now from their ancestral homes. Negating

ways so ancient and sublime indeed

is strange. Your eyes observe the heart within.

I meditate on this strange thing – a creed

that speaks of God appearing to his kin,

and wicked men that marred his face and nailed

his limbs to wood, while they, our king, had hailed.



Who Notices?


Who notices the rain delayed, suspended

on a leaf? A moment’s elongation,

time at rest? A space to think depends

on opportunities as these. A brief negation

opening our minds. As Mary wept

before the open tomb – the only one

abiding – ignorance within was swept

away. The evening and morning come

as pillars of the day – two angels, seated

at the head and foot of where his body

had been laid, were sentinels of cheated

time. For now, to questions asked of God,

the emptiness replies. Reality

is seen through patient, waiting, weeping eyes.



As Sisyphus


As Sisyphus would roll the heavy stone

towards the mountain brow, we, captives of

our age, serve out its will. Outcasts, our home

forgotten, nothing fills our dreams, we love

illusions, skillful to deny despair.

Our planet, pillaged, feeds the greed of men

behind closed doors. The commons of the air

is seized and privatized, enclosures rend

the rain from peasant’s lands. The ancient marks

of purity, that sanctified the poles,

are sacrificed, collateral to our lusts,

the future comes on railroads laid for coal.

What world exists beyond the mountain brow?

A better one – where gods of slavery bow.



A Quarter Moon


A quarter moon tonight, in winter sky.

They see it shine above Jerusalem –

it’s early summer, rabbis spend the night

in study, meditating: a treasure given

once, a sign, divine identity.

The spirit soars above its nest of words.

A festival is like a verdant tree,

its roots are nourished, multitudes of birds

are resting in its branches, singing, feasting

on its fruit. If time is like a river,

ceaseless, restless, uncontained, the blessing

now is time constrained. At dawn I shiver

in the winter air, the moon has set.

Infinity is sealed in Hebrew letters.


The Wind


The wind blows where it wills, we know its sound,

its origins and destinies remain

profound. It sweeps across the barren ground

of certainty, a presence without name,

unsettling us, and kindling flames. Resemblance

to our breath is not an accident,

so briefly ours, its frailty is a semblance

of another. Grace is evident,

reminding us each moment of its power.

The sun retreats, the evening breeze awakens –

before its breath, a field of bending flowers.

Its peacefulness belies. Our hearts mistake

the silences within for this shalom,

a spring that is the source of every song.



This Night


This night the moon of Shavuot begins

a ripening, an echo of the grain.

The ocean sparkles, dolphins glide within.

The world contains a flourishing unnamed,

a spark that activates the seed, a stream

that sweeps towards completion. No one knows

where it begins. An image in a dream –

what is its origin? How did it grow?

What happened in a former time that sets

such things in motion? Look, the moon that drifts

tonight through acres black with stars. Regret

alone will sprout when unacknowledged gifts

lie fallow. Pentecost is in the air,

a fire of life, triumphant everywhere.



This Time


This time, I thought, was not as other times.

The morning sun was silently enthroned.

The air was resonant. A breeze, so fine

that nothing seemed to move – and I, a stone

that disappeared. The water breaks, the stone

descends – and so the thought matured within,

describing what the present deems unknown,

a human way to be the living’s kin.

A human way to live among our peers –

the wolf and lamb, the leopard and the goat,

the cow and bear – their children playing near

the wastelands we have made; for now, remote

the horror seen, for we have changed, and time

has brought another time, where each must shine.