Holding Together

anonymous woman admiring wavy blue sea during trip at sundown

He valued her, his treasure,

above everything under heaven. His living

breathing link to the heart of love,

he would never think to jettison the weight,

even when her demands for more of him

became impossible. He would sink

to the bottom of the ocean

before parting with her—and made sure

she knew it.

When the trouble hit, they were found

bailing, bailing together—

against all the odds,

surviving the storm that took out,

divided others.

There are storms. We survive with the help of great love and growing commitment to the cause of the life within us, a life that’s often made up of the people closest to us, the ones we tend to take for granted, consider jettisoning, when the storms hit hard. It’s then (now?) we need grow strong, discover who we are to each other.

This poem appears in my book on the spiritual disciplines that often serve to see us through the storms of life, to hold us together when we are sorely falling apart, or so it would seem. The book is called “Longings of the Soul, a poetic response.” I hope you can check it out on Amazon. It’s available in paperback or hardcover.

Who Can Help?

man standing on riverbank

Conscious of shards of pain

shooting through her body, she grew quiet,

philosophical, from endless walking,

pacing her own perimeter—

saw a bridge in his question,

of how long it might take to make it right

              between them…

she paused, to consider, not the ask

but the age of the bridge, how many people

had stood in this spot before them,

asking the same questions,

feeling the same pain, or was it all personal—

a story to tell from the beginning,

and if so, how would it end? Who could relate,

speak to him and her, fill in the blanks, in this spot

they were in, right now?

There are questions we ask that can only be answered by getting alone and standing honest before the One who made us and knows us, inside and out. The rest is a journey towards that goodness, that light that offers us wholeness, and healing where we need it.

For more on the powerful role of Forgiveness in our relational and spiritual life, check out my books on Amazon. My latest is called “Longings of the Soul, a poetic response,” and speaks to these inner disciplines and their restorative nature.

A Pot of Tea, weak to strong

female standing at table and taking cup of coffee

There is tea on the table and time to tell

what stories have shaped you, made you thirsty

                           for places and people who are balm

                           to what ails you. There is a way

                           that can weary the most robust

                                         of us. Stories best told

                                         with leisure. Do not mind

                                         if the tea grows cold…

It’s a gift to be asked to tell your story, and given space and time to tell it. This is rare, but easy to imagine the good it might do in the world to restore our dignity and beauty in our own and each other’s eyes.

For more on this relational discipline, called Forgiveness, check out my latest book on Amazon. It’s called “Longings of the Soul, a poetic response.” Best read with tea.

Available in paperback or hardcover.

Prodigal Son or Daughter

unhappy thoughtful teen girl arms crossed in rainy day

The people cry out

for the return of the prodigal son or daughter—

as we find our way home, into the arms of people

who love us—who never stopped loving us,

or praying, hoping for the best,

staying open to hosting

what that was.

There should be a place we call home. The foundation of our story redeemed. A place we know we are loved and longed for. Where hugs go a long way to saying all that needs to be said, the rest hardly worth talking about. This need for forgiveness, love and redemption is universal. More on this spiritual good in my latest book “Longings of the Soul, a poetic response,” available on Amazon in paperback or hardcover.

The Burden of Unforgiveness

person pouring liquid into brown ceramic cup

Here in the stopover hut,

it becomes obvious, the common weight we share:

the burden of unforgiveness, regret,

resentment, the whole unholy bundle—

in the hut we pause to simplify, lay it down,

shake the dust off our feet,

move on.

But of course, this can take time,

more than we think we have; yet why else

would we have come in the first place?

                                  If not to shed the dust.

Forgiveness is key to the spiritual life; to living unfreighted, moving forward, loving freely, unburdened. It’s one of the seven spiritual disciplines I touch on in my latest book, “Longings of the Soul, a poetic response.” Available on Amazon.