Monday, February 27, 2012

February Plea

a re-posting from 2010, couldn't miss this in a leap year (thanks for the reminder paul).

As the second month
February is easy
To forget or ignore
Something about following
January’s celebration
It’s too short
Even when we
Add the “twenty-ninth”
Every fourth year
Optimists herald longer days
The approaching spring
Yet darkness and drizzle
Soon overwhelm their
Heart-felt cries
Ash Wednesday arrives
About mid-month
Begging us to embrace the barren
And retrench for
The weeks of sacrifice
And self-denial
To not rush to spring
To quickly
But to somehow
Enter into the
Lingering death of winter
With hope of again
Discovering a new resurrection

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lent, again -- a poem for Ash Wednesday

I wrote this a few years back and now post it for annually for Ash Wednesday.

Lent, again

Small Baptist church
Edge of the city
Family farms were gone
Ever widening streets
Car lots and early stage
Of strip malls
Good people
Almost "country folk"
My mom's people

They knew the Bible
They loved it
They tried to live it
No creeds of rituals so
They believed

Lent was bad, almost evil
Empty routine of
False religion
Catholics and Lutherans
Maybe some others so
Far from faith

Home is not so distant
Four or five hours down the freeway
Decades later, now about four

Yearly ashes to my forehead
The joy of sorrow
The smudge of death
The touch of some pastor
I hardly know

What was once forbidden
Now is my food, my life

I worry for a moment that I may later see
Someone I know at the
Store who won't understand

Six weeks Wednesday at noon
Sitting with Glenn
Sometimes others join us
A hymn or two
Short sermon
Some good, some not
Prayer

Lunch in the basement
Church cookbook casserole
Creamy salad
Water or tea
Neither of us drink coffee

Talk of family and sports
Maybe the sermon
Church friends and politics
Work updates
We say our goodbyes

Giving up something, maybe
Remembering, anything to help

Holy Week, the beginning with
Sword ferns posing as palms
Maundy Thursday
It took a long time to
Understand the "Maundy"
Good Friday
It's trite,
But who ever thought to
Call it "good?"
The dark, quiet and waiting

Easter and
It's over
Day of joy
Get my life back, again
Not sure I want it
At this cost
The seasons end

I hope it will come again
Next year
Or maybe, I hope
I'll be here next year
To remember that
It happened
Jesus suffered
And I live

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For Connie, #39 & counting

An early summer afternoon,
Maybe Late Spring
That first glance
Across the way
Later a kiss
Awkward, yet exhilarating
Waiting and wondering
Which led to more
Times together, most apart
Calls and Letters
Visits, when possible
Engagement, marriage,
Jobs, kids,
Vacations, transitions,
Traditions, gatherings
Sustenance and surprises
Moments of understanding
And some with a lack thereof
Crises survived and joys shared
Cancer whispered a possible
Too soon end
But that is now old news
Grandkids, proof of passing
Time and certain future
Hard goodbyes with a finality
That hollows the soul
A few decades and a few more
And still those moments
And those smiles
And trust beyond words
And still more