Grocery Getting

pile of fresh durian fruits in market

the woman behind me twitches, fidgets, embodies


I hold the power to hold her up,

aggravate her senses, perhaps cause an explosion

which would be intense

instead, I give way, fall back, let her pass

and watch her whole body relax

as she gains a fraction,

a buffer

and I remember how often God has done

that for me, hold back, let me pass,

find what I need catch my breath, thanks to his patience

a poem about the way our daily tasks can act to form us, into God’s perfect image – from my new book Quiet Waters

From the School of Catalogues

Theology: the study of God

Philosophy: reflecting on humanity

Science: inquiring into nature

Work: energy with purpose, including fighting

chaos with catalogues

Poetry: the love of sunsets and mystery of innocence

Stories: what we tell our friends

Hope: the ability to find what’s important to us

Joy: and arrange our lives accordingly, unmoved by insurmountable questions

this poem appears in my new book Quiet Waters

The Lesson of the Goblet

At the goblet’s base

are stable habits to help the soul

gather burdens together in one place,

perhaps, one day,

to be weighed, compounded

as a single trait—


Along the slender stem

runs the stretching work,

the call to serve, care for others in a way

that doesn’t alienate, but

extends, expands

the place in the world we come to love.

On top, the bowl holds

the essence of prayer uplifted,

asking God in his glory

to fill us, heal our sliver of the world—

answer the perennial question,

“What is Church

and how might I

more fully




this poem about exploring faith, taking hold of what we believe to be true, and able to hold us, shape and sustain us – appears in my new book Quiet Waters

Irish Hills

The life of the soul is not linear

but topographical—

time does not pass, it mounts

contours mimic visages, memories

of people and places

that belong to the one who says, “This is my land,”

I know how it was formed, which rivers are navigable,

where the crossings are—

how long it takes to get from A to B, and

how the light feels when it falls on hills, crests and rises…

This poem appears in my new book, Quiet Waters, and speaks to the inner landscape in each life that is so wonderful, storied and complex, but often under siege – in need.

Between the trees I see

photo of forest during daytime

There’s an inner life

that gives shape to my exterior,

prompting me to carve out time

spent quietly in a soothing

tree-rich nature sanctuary, full of paths

that loop back, ensure you don’t

get lost in anything other

than thought; help you dwell

on what you came for,

what is essential, worth the retreat.

this poem about solitude, about how we find ‘where we are’ and what’s going on – in the midst of how we are being formed, in our travels towards peace with God, and in many ways, holiness – is from my new book Quiet Waters