Received on notice, we have sorely failed
blind eyes over-looked those wan and paled
with deafened ears, deserted those enslaved
ignorant poor unloved - hopeless depraved.

Removed signs of your Presence, long believed
your Name unmentioned, false teachings deceived
icon-images viewed as obscene, Faith but a lie
unthoughtful, ungrateful - their self-belief would not try.

Renounced as irrelevant, irreverent use of your Name
pious platitudes unpracticed, denounced as inane
pronounced profits first and foremost, charity lies maim
to suffer for another's well-being - thought insane.

Received on notice, what have longly scaled
those ramparts, greed and gain kept darkly veiled
faith out of fashion, til belief finally staled
that cross forgotten - your Son high-hung and nailed.
Forgive us, accept our late-life mea culpa
awaken our hearts with faith's strength, sursum corda
love for one's neighbor - exempli gracia
pius hands once portrayed - of that Pieta.
August 18, 1999

Inward visions longly steeped a deeper brew
recasts humble crib-scene with a far richer view
still held with wonder like in childhood's day
intrigued by ox, ass and sheep - among the hay.

Back then, candleís flicker seen of late night interludes
evergreen's aromatic scent adding to our moods
recasting what each saw, as thought once dreamt to be
in the open barn-like, all those there - on bended knee.

Of infant birthed, then what grew up to do
not well understood, yet we sorta knew
créche cast Christmas with a rich religious sense
yet struggled between church then gifts - kept us tense!

Life wore through intervening days, weeks, months and years
bared itself, revealing stress of pain, grief and fears
as well as worth of hope, love, truth, knowledge and such
thereafter one grew up, found faith felt a different touch.

Now knowing what happened back then brought to birth
a message with lasting words of eternal worth
although confusing as may be at times - yet
no greater truths have emerged - with such Wisdomís depth.

Despite two millennia of science and the arts
His messaged aims of life still clutched within our hearts
when life found disturbed, those truths remind of what He spoke
remembered, recorded, scriptured - all for gentle folk.

With aging eyes and wanning hopes, still see that créche
but not as childhood dreams fancied when early etched
now see beyond candleís dim flicker, its ghostly light
Mystery once birthed, now seen with one's an inner sight.

Although I could not well explain, demonstrate nor show
yet before the crib shepherd-like, now kneel - and know.
December 15, 1999

Can miracles truly come to be
one now held blind, then later see
after-sensed, beyond Natureís rule
should one believe - tis thought a fool.

Is it so rare or of common place
yet its usage unfound without a trace
few found knowing of or if believed
doubtful how such might be so conceived.

For out-run of Natureís natural workings
far from being as fully understood within
even less, that internal sense of Spiritís lurkings
mystery of miracles - seldom felt therein.

Since attributed to what God behooved
by His Spirit, beyond reach of Natureís strength
when alleged, their clues often not well proved
if ever found, one's trusting goes to great length.

But are a few rare times, have felt such strength of someoneís hurt
so strongly wished to cure within, as if my heart might burst
with tearful eyes a-stream, hands out-reached - yet felt empty
til almost knew if God so wished, could do such - gently.

If my love but faith-firm enough, could believe such hope
til began to sense might be done - within Natureís scope.

To allow, permit, Nature un-violated - could well-attend
for our Spirit but an extension of that love Divine
a natural out-flow of what oneís deep love could condigned
found able to heal here and now - should God be so inclined.

Miracles can occur, if work themselves in tune with Natureís way
perhaps are very rare or common, tis we who un-sense their play
in any event, are brought about by only love - nothing else
if should be ever found or felt, will be faith-known within yourself.
January 11, 2000

The letting go, their giving all
few found to hear this saintly call.

Take life as given, thence letting it go
some see as suicide, yet others know
deeper worth wrought by one's inner Spirit
so normal when chosen - need not fear it.

Not to die, but fully live within
a freedom found unlike that of sin
til know what gave up, not missed at all
life, love, caring aims - a different thrall.
January 20, 2000

In unheard silence of a vacant church
or hidden homes midst hills tucked far away
still are found - those who pray.

Between those old, chatter with idle talk
those widowed-left, daily take their walk
yet are found - those who pray.

Busied mothers tending their brood, years must strive
sunk in thought, those rushing past who daily drive
often found - those who pray.

Those souls enduring some endless life-long pain
spoke not with tongues, but murmurs of grief's strain
these are those - found to pray.

In that unheard silence, within each one's mind
a power there, if we but take time to find
those hopes within - found need to pray.
March 8, 2000

But take yourself back in time like a child
far up North, beyond Canadian wild
dwell upon frozen ice, all year survive
half time in darkness, other half - sun-rise.

As ancient man, with but dim glimmers in mind
each day for six months all dark, then later find
at first, but a feeble glow of light cast up the sky
gradually growing brighter - yet unknowing why.

Til that precise moment, when sunís brim brinks its crest
seen as hand of some god - you can dream out the rest
surmise how early man thought up that notion of divine
til Culture created Religion - soon their dead enshrine.

Well if not, pay no heed to this useless poem
but hope some who read, know - I speak of Home.
March 22, 2000

Keenly know for have done, taste a bit of Heaven - no need to search
at three of a Winterís night, pew-held in some abbeyís candle-lit church
monks intoned their chanted voicings, Matins sung in old Latin tongue
mooded me with devotionís blessings - enthralled by what choirsters sung.

To know again, from such strains of prayer
Your Name is yet declared as hallowed
despite faith lost, those found not to care
souls over-run by tares - life fallowed.

As sat silent in that nave, with scattered others who came to hope
escape worldís outer din, there in church but to watch one hour with Him
here daily and nightly sung with their antiphonal intervening trope
as monks quietly gathered in cold stalls - to chant their Psalterís hymn.
April 5, 2000

He had it all so right as no other had ever done
thrice of years, later written down - first spoken by His Son
required humbled stance, just will, heart tender-gentle too
best advice ever given, a challenge - til life through.
April 7, 2000

How does one reach conviction not to possess
an ancient axiom, Christ wont to profess
gain what meager-needed as oneís daily bread
otherwise not take but give - both done and said.

With time shared, not stolen from - but freely rendered of
sign dared by oneís Spirit, symbolized by a white dove
despite what may suffer of, given - as tendered love.
April 11, 2000

Takes but a bit of quiet time - alone
slow flow of classics played, well-known
Natureís mood in Autumnís style, softly-thrown
thence to dream, remembering - what love had grown.

Now knowing, never fully understood
though early thought could gain its likelihood
late-life learned, so much taught true - a falsehood
what matters most - one has been truly good.

All else learned or gained, used for life below
well-worth efforts made, values came to know
but when Death calls us quits, here-life forego
hope beyond, Spiritís love - will further grow.
October 1, 2000

Time taken to visit by, so share awhile
Sunday weekly done, pew-held by outer aisle
hear what Word yet may tell, bit of bread and wine
keep in touch for love is such - this God of mine.

Somewhat ritualized, theologized - such is true
yet oneís need to visit by - much as friends would do.
October 14, 2000

(First line from Joannna Higgins - A Soldierís Book)
Loyalty, it seems, is a prison strong as any
a keen perception, should that it be held by many
tis but a taste of fidelity outshown as love
worth want of life, in the end sums all - Christ spoken of.
October 21, 2000

Clench the bugger hard fisted tight
longly held, despite weakened might
hold on, be not deterred by fright
as long as clenched - will keep you right.

But should decide, let go Faith's clutch
needs greater strength, re-grow that touch
let not loose, or will want a crutch
resolved like love - for Faith tis such.
October 21, 2000

Each time hear bit of Chopin soft but longly played
taken back beyond the present, never left dismayed
know again those inner depths, life too oft unshows
captures oneís past - enraptured by what hope bestows.

If born of another Culture, this would not be so
but since my time, place, past are real - this much I owe
since hold Nature primal, now convinced such will ever be
manís Spirit those centuries won, told, retold - gifted free.

Oft tells of hidden things unspoke, full-known when music plays
binds soul, mind, body, Culture, Earth and Faith - when one prays.
October 23, 2000

My Lord, how much I owe in gratitude
beyond trite staid lisps of brief platitudes
despite languid times of dry lassitude
life-long gathered from earth's wide vastitudes.

As Your Spirit looked on me, with love in Your eyes
hoping, wanting, goading me be caring-wise
so much of what was given, now wasted lies
yet my faith in You abides - with loving ties.

Former strides still plodding, though age slows me thin
hopes enlarging those visions taught, could win by love
days converged as merely Time, while Life slows its spin
til hopes became quite otherwise - than first thought of.
October 27, 2000

Old blind Bartimaeus stood on the way
faith-courageous enough to have his say
out-shouted passing crowd when heard Who there
a life-long yearn to see - his constant prayer.

With trusting Faith life-taught, and Love's worth for hope
when asked by that Master - might my eyes be ope
as faith he held, met with love Master felt
combined to sight Bartís eyes - Christís kindness dealt.

In friendship, old Bart joined Masterís walk
since now saw - prattled on with endless talk.

What became of old Bartimaeus later on
untold of scriptured words, how Bartís future life drawn
holds no purpose what might tell - only Faith and Love
for tis but these Christ preached, scriptured words telling of.
October 29, 2000

I do not pretend to contend with my God
as if dark should ask of light - is such lack odd!
I do not propose to impose answers why
as if knowing such - would equate God with I.

I do not presume to assume Death, the end of all
as if Nature forswore existenceís eternal thrall
I cannot conclude to preclude hopes, held beyond Deathís door
as if Faith-trust yearnings required - Life extended more.

Yet I am deeply grateful to be rather than not
firmly trusting innate yearnings, Faith-hopes inly plot
presumptive readings learned, one's childhood early taught
and all that after came to pass - future years have brought.
November 29, 2000

Can Heaven create conditions, whereof knowledge unending
understanding those depths true love shares, such as one's befriending
nothing possessed, ever free, one with all - Time and Space unheld
naught but an eternal presence, love loved - Spirits divinely dwelled?
November 29, 2000

One among those gifted few who oft fled Time to pray
midst dry rocks and desert sands, hear what their Father may
reached beyond a world, too often enslaves the most
midst sere silence and barrenness - taught by desert ghost.

Solitudes, arid winds, listenings of oneís soul
echoed whispers one may hear, like some distant toll
notes flung from beyond the stars, to scatter down their years
humanity hungers for, joy, love - yet with tears.

Know at last, earth-life but a first venture out-dared
hungers oft left with vacant hands, others un-shared
meager grains gathered, tightly clutched - as but bread for their day
or lifeís worth shared with others, midst rocks and wind - taught to pray.

Yes, One once came with a hopeful message, long learned within His heart
gently yet firmly preached a thrice of years, to those with selfless ears
so profound, true enough - outlasted all visions others might chart
tender gospel stoutly striven, eyes that see, words - oneís silence hears.

Unheard, unfelt, unheeded when life lived, drowned out by clanging cymbals
unread, unlearned, where minds seek truth - merely from outward signs and symbols.

Rather a Faith fashioned from within, time taken - sift sands of the heart
thence shared and cared with tendered hands, though may suffer as one left apart
time spent with parched thoughts, hearing hallowed winds that voiced the Spiritís call
like holy One fled from time to time, catching words - His Father let fall.
December 10, 2000

Long ago learned to escape worldís rank rush and din
evade those useless waste and worry, once did or been
casual handshakes betokened, then quickly off - elsewhere fly
much ado, here, there, til of deepened depths - but shallow dry.

Remembering, six billion scramble across world's wide latitude
recalling all bred before, those countless still held in servitude
each and all Spirit fashioned, life given - long lived through
freedom flung to gain, grasping gathered needs - false or true.

Yet, how does one love of these before, now and after
sharing worth of profundity with hopeful laughter
knowing the Father searches each, with sparkled loving eyes
hoping like us, will respond in kind - before each one dies.
December 11, 2000

Once told by One long past, almost absurd
unlike elsewise said with His spoken word
perhaps strangest warning human lips have sworn
t'would have been better - if had not been born.

Once told then remembered, finally written
in Markís earliest gospel ill-smitten
powerful, ponderable if such be so
those words still stand - a painful puzzle though!
December 11, 2000

Once queried - Where born this infant king?
foreign strangers once had asked
locals sought their priests if knew such thing
from ancient texts of the past.
In Bethlehem, follow comet star
to the south will be found
thus heard, quickly traveled - for not far
in sheep-shed - swaddled-bound.
A voice cried in the Wilderness, tales spun
searching few came to list
Are you he who is to come, or some-else one
or already been missed?
Nay, not I, but shortly after heard
by those with hearts held selfless-true
later One spoke with long awaited Word
foreign strangers came - listened too.
Centuries wore world wider, powers too
again strangers came to quiz
Where now found that tale, some once thought true
treasured message told as His?
Were answered, some think in churches yet taught
but there may be confused
perhaps in monasteries better taught
seems everywhere - abused.
Search continued - but within may be felt
or midst kind strangers met
message: simply live with love - selfless dealt
Words once trusted - still vet.
Churches still proclaim words from bibles old
even now often asked:
Where that God predicted - to Earth unfold?
In oneís soul - found at last.
December 18, 2000

What varied visions countless Cultures derived
fashioned from feelings, ancestors long contrived
blent Nature with Spirit, til hopes felt revived
finally believed death-after - oneís life survived.

At last acclaimed, required deep need for a god
every Culture, individuals know not odd
although different wisdoms may fabricate far more than one
humanity still yearns, how powers of their God - be won.
December 18, 2000

With what had longly thought upon
vague visions dreamt all night til dawn
wondered what in Heaven may betide?
Morning found little known - could confide.

A place so distant, no semblance here abides
what scriptures tell, mere words leave one but guessing
til inly learned, only as a hope resides
its yearn so strong - believed but with Faithís blessing.

From those now dead, beyond their grave naught is ever heard
if are, but faint echoes recast within a grieving mind
their teasing taunts, launch questions of what lies afterward
finally learned tis simple trust - all one will ever find.

Some proclaim life beyond, simply absurd
after toiled years, naught of Faith occurred
first taught at mother's knee, her hopes once stirred
I surmise for them - Heaven but a word.
December 18, 2000

Until I become one with earthen clay
my flesh-bound Spiri still has need to pray
though unasked, existence given that one might live
late-learned, fulfillment found by what each freely give.

Until I become one with dust, at last found to die
of all have done or came to deeply known, life brought by
will plead my father God, of His eternal love - why?
February 16, 2001

Step beyond reality, question all gone before
query with open mind and heart, dare to freely explore
challenge oneself, risk deeper depths unventured in the past
restructuring all life once held - from what new hopes may cast.

Yea a daring-do, to launch upon such an Odyssey
breast those waves of danger, armed with one's faithful modesty
trusting a Spirit vaguely known, so chart one's passage true
fashion a fresh world within - from discoveries found new.

Allowing words of Trust, drifts one into some distant port
still within the Cosmos, yet far beyond those clouds of Oort
affirm wider dimensions, no matter distance might go
though one creatured of Nature - tis our Spirit seeks to know.
April 6, 2001

Easter has come again with its ancient hope
reawakens trusts by which one's Faith may cope
words have worth, even without resurrection
yet was His return - gave Hope's predilection.

Long before texts wrote their hopes of after-life
ancient graves attest, even then belief was rife
His wisdom revealed, telling how one should live
share unpossessively - for love is meant to give.

Easter again, liturgies celebrated
message clearly given, uncomplicated
a truth any hope should find most apropos
still wears those years since first told - so long ago.
April 11, 2001

Oft before, some have done the same
self-gave life to Death without shame
love or hope attained, though life lost
self sacrifice worth - price it cost.

Later One did of such with a special touch
could see it coming for had spoken too much
til powers plotted death with spiteful tongue
life offered up - ceded from a cross be hung.

That event led to hopes that lie beyond the grave
resurrecting deeper truths, passing centuries save
a love so unpossessing, one's life is given
gifts life to those who believe - for He is risen.
April 13, 2001

When Faith matures into selfless Love
tenets firmly held, early learned of
then mysteries become quite clear
til ripens full - with loss of fear.
May 8, 2001