Poetry

I’ve decided to make some of my poems public, so this is the page to find them!

On "The Lord's Prayer", July 2021

The Lord's Prayer.
I memorized it as a child,
Reciting it by rote
Sunday after Sunday,
Before I even knew
What "hallowed" meant.

It seems so simplistic,
Doesn't it?
So unsophisticated,
To rely on pre-formatted sentences,
Even if supplied by the Savior.

We age, and we add words.
Our list of requests grows longer.

Yet,
When I can no longer ascertain
If my heart's desire is pure
Or tainted by selfish motives,
When what is "best" for me
May bring harm to another,
Even unseen,
When divergent choices
Both appear optimal,
Or when I don't know
The lesser of two evils,
When I see injustice
I cannot resolve,
When another's distress
Disheartens my spirit,

How, then, shall I pray?
For what shall I ask?
Shall I string phrases together,
Or quote Scripture,
To sound like I know something?

Shallow responses
Are hollow promises,
A "there, there,
Everything will be alright,"
Like patting a child's head,
A refusal to recognize
Real Suffering
That stuns into silence.

My understanding is insufficient;
I have no answers;
I've arrived at the end of my Self.

One thing only remains to be said:
"Our Father, who art in Heaven..."
I Once Saw a Hen Mourn, July 2021

The two white-feathered chickens,
The only ones in the mixed-breed flock,
Spent their days together,
Separate from the others,
Somehow aware they were different,
Finding solidarity in their similarity.

One day, one of the white hens
Suddenly died of old age,
A heart attack, presumably.
That evening, the remaining white hen,
Entering the coop alone,
Paused at the door,
And let out a plaintive squawk,
In a single moment expressing 
All the feelings surrounding death:
Love,
Sadness,
Release,
Resolve.

The next morning, 
The white hen joined the others,
As much a part of the flock
As if she had always been.
The Old Farmer, July 2021

The spry, seventy-six year old farmer
Swung his leg over the tractor seat
Like he was still twenty.

As I picked nettles, he talked
Of the historic cemetery on his property,
Of his solar power system,
Of ticks and Powassan.

His knowledge is deep and ever-expanding,
Like the roots of the plants he grows,
His brilliance buried by social expectations,
Belied by a modest disposition
And plain work clothes.

Rising, but not setting, with the sun,
His strength and stamina outlast
That of many men much younger.
His zest for life reveals a man-
Who would never say-
He is in love, with his land.

The Coming of Rain, June 2021 

The dropping temperature,
And the strong breeze,
Confirmed the weather forecast:
Rain was coming.

The dark, gray clouds rolled in
Followed by thunder in the distance.
The bumblebees became frantic,
Flitting from flower to flower,
Faster and faster,
Among the foxglove,
Determined to gather more pollen
Before the rain forced them home.

I heard the rain before I felt it,
The brief rustle of a leaf
That could have been an immature peach
Softly falling from the tree
Under which I was raking.

The first drop landed on my cheek,
Gently,
Like a tender kiss.