As read of those ancients, Old Testament scriptured pages draw
learned religion perfected by obedience to the Law
as if those deeds materially done, without a single flaw
would gift them certainty of after-life - with its hopeful awe.

To the letter fulfilled, measured as obeyed
or other works undone, Law clearly forbade
gave measure of holiness in eyes of God
after what Jesus taught - such readings seem odd.

As read of those early Christians, gospel scriptured pages draw
held religion perfected by imposing love of all
as if by inner intents in one's heart, others given care
would gift them Heaven-after - our Divine Father will share.

For tis better to give than receive, love fulfills
of such deeds done, christian teaching clearly instills
gave measure of one's holiness, held in eyes of God
what Old Testament told, readings now - seemed rather odd.
June 14, 2001

How ill-equipped to sense life beyond Death
silent grave-stones, mounds marked with narrowed breadth
unspeaking pictures or soundless letters unread
as if had never been - those forgotten dead.

Quiet questions inly nursed within one's mind
seeking far beyond, although eyes held purblind
secret yearnings, future hopes may later find
remains of rusty relics - one leaves behind.

Tis certain, death and dying then decay
yet heard within, innate whispers convey
still seek to know if beyond Death, such be true
questions each seeks answered - yet Life gives no clue.

Although found ill-equipped by Nature's clutch
each taught, for Culture's legends teach of such
quiet nudgings felt from frail Faith's prodding touch
as silent steps stumble on - with Hope's feeble crutch.

Tis with such assurance one seeks, kept in mind
paternal love firstly teaches - be one kind
for Life but a fragile length of uncounted days
toiled tasks daily earned - from what hard labor pays.

Yet world shows many ill-used as indentured slaves
based upon Nature's innate need for food, each one craves
whereof ventured wars, proud greed seeks to fully own
Eden's forbidden fruit still gifting - bread as stone.
July 26, 2001

Desperate anger thrust its fist up the sky
blind rage loudly cursed to know of why
all efforts long taken, equally failed
forgotten - that One high-hung and nailed.

Aims seeking restitution for what lost
human degradations, past years had cost
unreasoned hatred could not rectify
forgotten, answer back then - Crucify.

When anger's rage fueled hate, til bleedings bled
like sheep to their slaughter, each blindly led
condemned to die, lisping their suffraged plea
forgotten, only by death - we are free.
August 31, 2001

The only Hope is forever
gives future to our endeavor
far better than had been Never
trusting Faith - found very clever.
September 1, 2001

Lord that I may fully see
how grateful one should be
despite deep cost, fraught of me.

Lord that I may truly hear
words once taught to help us steer
despite sharp pangs, wrought of fear.

Lord that my lips may broadly smile
when true love led me down the aisle
despite what Death soon brought to while.

Lord that I may speak with a prayer
convictions love taught each to share
despite denials thence must bear.

Lord that I may forgive others
offended, though are my brothers
despite oppressed - tempted by druthers.

Lord that I may know your word
despite how so often heard
its healing truth, daily cured.

Lord that I may share your Spirit
unspoken, yet often hear it
despite tempted - must not submit.

Lord that I might learn how to love
those attributes for giving of
despite harmed by those who shove.

Lord, may this prayer inscribed above
express our yearnings for your love
despite varied faiths - each holding of.
September 17, 2001

Is said, tis a season to be jolly
seasonal hangings bedecked with holly
those gifts exchanged declares its finale
only Humbugs mutter - tis but folly.

A time to celebrate, for brings good cheer
annual ritual world-wide, ends each year
festive merry-making with those held dear
in northern climate, weathers - cold and drear.

Through long reach of years, its message told
for human love worth far more than gold
One sent, remembered Words expressed
to share and care - as unpossessed.
December 20, 2001

Gathered there by one's mood, need, love or law
for but an hour
togethered yet alone, prayer's honored call
'neath churchen tower.

Childhood tradition still finding use
of a Sunday's morn
if asked, reasons given with some excuse
passing years have worn.
January 18, 2002

How many words has God flung
since first start of All begun
how many Sons have been sent
to show by Death - what love meant?

Brief life spent among his peers
wept harsh wrath of hateful jeers
taste vapid waste of idle cheers
long suffered voiceless grief of years.

Resurrecting hidden truths each knows
fanning smoldering wick until love glows
healing bruised reed til again found grows
love shared with others - true friendship sows.

How many orbs birthed with Spirit life
across far reach of Space, rife with life
must to each His words be retold
undo those evils - Words foretold?

A father, such our God believed
His forgiveness weeps, still ungrieved
bearing eternal love for each
even Son sent - with words to teach.

Do we have eyes that truly see
with open ears so hearts be free
for His Son is but our brother
a family - loving each other.
February 9, 2002

How cankered might my soul have become
if had not read olden scriptures some
who might I have harmed as unthought of
wrecked future hopes - since unlearned of love?

What wastes of vanished years would have done
if not been taught - be a caring one
who lies uncherished because of I
since uncaring nor unthinking why?

What vengeance might have heedless-flung on life's way
if not learned when a child, need for fair-play
who yet walks their vanquished years now much alone
too busy lend a hand - my kindness unshown?

What hopes unbirthed, staled before could dream
unfelt kindness, one's charity might scheme
wavered on the brink, gave up unheedful hope
when found of life's harsh travails - could not cope?

Then my caring love grew life far better than might
what Faith long taught, need gift one's worth of living right
so in gratitude to those I know, or more - never knew
this my prayer of gratefulness said - poetically in lieu.
February 18, 2002

Ought there be some Persona far greater than can be thought
wrought solely by some human hunger, til knows - yet untaught
fancied within the mind, til fashioned into a Cult - Faith-felt true
giving worth to both Life and Death - from some far off Elysian view.
August 9, 2002

Faith but a hope struggling to be true
Trust, Hope awaiting Love be returned
both found in the heart, your mind gives clue
no proof given, til Life by Death adjourned.
August 16, 2002

Finally lived long enough to know what sufferings for
death-grieving longly dwelt, felt deep within one's core
constantly wears the soul, ever waged like an inner war
rend life's fabric like Temple's curtain, top to bottom tore.

Among hopeful signs written, Good Book's pages tell
given to faith, hope and love, upon such often dwell
finding much most helpful, a guide for one's living well
yet still heard that distant ring - of Suffering's warning knell.

Birthed by Nature, cast midst what others likewise hold
assailed by selfish wants, freedoms bought and sold
oft conflicts with other's needs, whether meek or bold
sufferings slung from arrows, sorrow flings - young and old.

Nature itself blindly gifts sickness, disease and death
these also teach sufferings suffered - til our final breath.

Yet by such, learned those pains others likewise feel
love requires our need, reaching out to heal
teaching those far deeper depths, love will reveal
from those suffered pains - others could not conceal.

Long-suffering slowly learns far deeper depths of love
more than gathered world's wisdom ever dreamed of
found in scriptured words, one's need to oft read thereof
suffering, life's necessity - revealed from above.

Sufferings live on hope, its value be worth its cost
anguished days among life's hopes, passing years have lost
only Faith giving such strength to take up one's cross
an enigma, prayer's reflections cannot exhaust.

Of course there is much more to suffering than have written here
can be self-inflicted as freely dared, though held with fear
a love so strong, til one may offer life to save another
ultimate - to die, sacrificing life as for a brother.

This also done by One who spoke of sufferaged ways
done to extend a fuller love, from what Death would save
til came that day, hung dying - as total blackness lays
one with two others, ceding death - for what His love gave.

Double-wedge of one's suffering, involved in death or life
as when a two-edge sword swung, like using a knife
saving, while slays those for whom love now bleeds
others slaughtered to save - what love's future needs.

Argued the centuries through, like Job long ago had done
quizzings early ages thought, caused by what sin has flung
til One came with such love, told what sufferings truly won
answered questions once asked - when Job sat on piled dung.

Did not intend ending this poem with bit of humored wit
even if had need to tell where Job once found to sit
yet when suffering understood, love matures the more
what sufferings long suffered, learned thereby what love is for.

One could write on forever of suffering's health for love
suffice what have shortly written here - though quite briefly of.
September 5, 2002

Never forget be grateful, to God and others
for all people are but our sisters and brothers
long struggled years of suffering, anguished cries made plea
no matter what life cedes, to God ever thankful be
tis such keeps Hopes alive, for within - each one is free.
September 13, 2002

Heard within, ungrasped by ears
silent whispers one yet hears
where heart and mind both agree
of what each - cannot foresee.

How oft were those Words spoken
to each and all or but some
first believed, later broken
uncertain whence Words came from.

Midst rocks and wind, One alone
felt its truth within his heart
lacked proof of ancient touchstone
horoscopes can never chart.

What was heard - those words of love
no lips told nor hands had sown
Truth itself gave power of
midst dry rocks, where winds had blown.

Have you heard words on desert's air
telling deeds that others care
hours of silence, til Truth be found
words heard within - without their sound?

Such, rocks and wind found anywhere
wherever silence may be heard
slowly gifts the soul unaware
midst rocks and wind - there heard His Word.

Should Word lose its strength, growing dim
quiet-sit alone within church-held dark
where soft notes play some ancient hymn
or beyond - Nature shows its honest mark.

An hour in silence, Time will tell
far from crowd's madding rush to win
let heart listen, breathe quiet's smell
recall the past - what might have been.

Know death but certain, for to each it comes
thankful what others gave - still do
hearing music, Universe deeply hums
words rocks and wind may speak to you.

His voice may be heard in silence
one's soul can hear at no expense
freely given to those who hope
midst rocks and wind - so one may cope.
November 1, 2002

Each Sunday they arrive, filling up each pew
from end to end
trusting what prayers contrive, hopeful - hopes come true
one's Faith might lend.

Ears heed what sermon tells, grasps some hint of worth
felt deep inside
take and eat from His hand, partake of bread and wine
faith-hopes confide.

Then after, upright stand within one's sacred shrine
let love be your guide
til closing hymn full-swells, thoughts shift back to earth
one's Faith - held with pride.
November 9, 2002

That eternal word drifting across long reach of years
hopeful may impinge on seeking search of human ears
gentle message, scattered bits and pieces of its whole
yet strong as tempered steel, til pierce one's inward soul.

Implanted, nurtured by self-chosen acceptance within
struggle inner weathers of self-doubt, one's neglect and sin
awaiting its proper time for one's will to give it heed
eternal source of lasting strength, for those who seek its need.

Gives such strength, would rather suffer than go back on their word
a silent whisper ever present, yet one clearly heard
like a friendship requiring trust, despite struggles each requires
a life-long gift freely proffered, til one's Death transpires.

Like a father's love for his own, knowing those doubts life contains
neither coerced nor forced, makes no deals - such His love ordains
Word, its shadow ever follows - even in dim dark of night
old words still remembered, wisdom freely offered - if we might.
November 10, 2002

As evening shadows gather, dark descends
daily duties nearly done, night suspends
hearing what quiet gifts - when hush attends.

As Nature's sobriety ends the day
midst tranquil memories, mind re-puts in play
what each thinks upon, of such - need not say.

As evening shadows linger, til night quenched dead
toiled curse of day, night cedes calm peace instead
thereafter in silence - grateful prayers are said.

Should full-moon's rising sheds its paled light
when Summer sings or Winter snows shimmer bright
each inspires what future hopes - just might.

Should one's evening end, to sit fire-side's brink
dance of crackling flames aides one to think
til wears of day tires one - to nod and blink.

As life's shadows gather age, there long reflect
of one's final end to come, may soon expect
recounting deeds of one's respect - or neglect.

Til must cede defeat, fairly trusting God
acknowledge my Life with one's final nod
body placed back to earth - beneath cold sod.

As evening shadows gather at our grave
others may then recall of what we gave
full-trusting God, His love alone will save.
November 12, 2002

Black hole halfway up, eyed an ancient cave
just below crest of towering sandstone cliff
from its high entrance, an endless viewing gave
as sun birthed day to dawn - fresh mornings gift.

Pondered on those who dwelt here long ago
safely hid within high-perched caven grot
apprising herds of bison seen far below
planning their day's hunt - whether to go or not.

But beyond hunger's need, should Spirits stray
yet even then, many felt need to pray
Culture slowly evolving newer ways
each dawn birthed a sun - with fresh morning rays.

Down through millennia of unending Time and Space
across latitudes, climatic changes taking place
within emerging Cultures, past futures rebirthed anew
old gods refashioned - later generations regrew.

Of such I mused in silence, watching sun rebirthed
felt one with all those gone before, cave-thoughts unearthed
same ancient dust other feet once stood, souls now gone
as first hint of sun gave rise - with another dawn.

Kindred with those from long ago, midst dry rocks and wind
in silence I mused upon, til morning's quiet thinned
knowing final worth of one's life tis but that of love
such a morning's early sunrise - once freshly brought of.
March 18, 2003

For Belief needs not of proof
merely trusting Faith its Truth
proving one's Faith, but a lie some oft try
for trustful Hope, needs neither proof nor why.
March 28, 2003

Yet remembered, lips and hand lastly said
He comes, then breathing stopped - til knew her dead
or she beyond speech, yet squeezed my hand
two lives last expressed, heart felt - most grand.
March 29, 2003

Suppose after Death
we must try again
until further learn - to Love.

Forgiveness God gives
Father's love provides
until we more knowing of.

How oft have each birthed once more
until learned how to Love all
without Father's - kindly shove?
April 9, 2003

Death, a lasting gift His dying gave
selfless deeds done for whom might save
salvation earned with Love, not by Law
those before, unknew its ancient flaw.

Life but renders care like brothers should
among each other, as sisters would
forgive those contrite, as mothers do
requite those enslaved - no matter who.

High-hung and nailed, Hate required
their ploy failed, yet inspired
His words remembered, Truths still taught believed
by Cross, Life surrendered - His love achieved.

A day honored still, though one of Death
forgive those who kill - pled with final breath.
Good Friday - April 18, 2003

Any season, any weather
well-tamped down, shaken together
skirt pulled full across knees widespread
overflowing - til each one fed.

Any person, not of whether
when freely shared, makes life better
His words and deeds exemplified
proved when high-hung - and crucified.
April 26, 2003

Haunting intonements of some ancient chant
voicings re-echoed from vault's curving slant
much like saddened notes, grieving tears wept so long ago
centuries later still weeping - to bless those here below.

Sung in original Latin, a long forgotten tongue
few words remembered, school-taught when one's years measured young
cedes a sequence, from whence inner thoughts perhaps should stray
as if ancient chant's outspoken words - lips could not say.

Joys of youth-time, soon burnt life's candle til but a vapid flame
early days twisted awry, by those extremes of warring's shame
heroics sacrificed, left alive or dead by battle's game
til in its kindness, Time ended war - when Truce signed its name.

Pew-held far back from chancel's brass retaining rail
echoed chantings, monks daily sang from ritualed grail
absolution gifting forgiveness, as if done in braille
raptured by sacred music - sung on polyphonic's scale.

Still praised in original Latin, an ancient language years yet bestow
haunting intonements of Roman chant, blessing those here below
centuries later monks still entone, grieving tears shed long ago
a love so strong, only Death could forgive - heard its last echo.

Chant sanctified by dim light, gently aimed one's direction
when ended in total silence, time for prayer's reflection
faith-flung words from long ago, of that promised Resurrection
final obeiscence declared by one's leaveaged - genuflection.
April 26, 2003

Placid waters run just as deep
yet raging waters never sleep
beneath its quiet peace, evil lies
tis often so - although goodness tries.

As both stood by a Sumerian well
she for water, He - of what would tell
in foreign land, a woman's task
her searching soul - heard kind words ask.

A pagan land, He from elsewhere
awaiting by, words would declare
from well's deep waters, asked to lift
forgiving words - His lasting gift.

They spoke of water's cure for thirst
goodness saves, or by evils cursed
despite with whomever she might lay
gave her a choice - His asked words would pray.

Both distanced by an ancient caste
growth from water, His thirst would ask
for placid waters oft run deep
cleansing goats - among foreign sheep.
May 10, 2003

From what found of prayers now brought to lisp
such fragile hungers, one's heart heard to whisp
quiet souls gathered, so might speak their say
some inner mood finally brought - need to pray.

From depths, lives deeply delve wherever dwell
dark gloom of churchen pew or monkish cell
within vast surging crowd or but found alone
proffered prayers for hope - forgiveness may atone.

Throughout far stretch of world or vast of distant years
silent wastes of night, or dim dawns when first day-light nears
countless millions appeal their need to Some-other
lofting words of how to love - or forgive each-other.

Crucial cravings, deemed needful for one to live
ceding thanks or pettions, their prayers might give
Hope a treasure, though Death an ever present theme
Life but measures how long, each one has left - to dream.

But are those many, whose ways abandoned need for prayer
self-love long gathered, til but hatred found growing there
ill-deeds done by using others, reaps whirlwinds of shame
yet even these at times may hear within themselves - His name.


As knelt in that silence of dim shadows, single candle flickered by
felt lost midst vast of desert wastes, arid winds may be heard asking why
beside foresaken one, when tears of love retells again - as inly cry
holding one's dying hand, as their labored breathing - rales its final sigh.

Submerged beneath those burdened weights, life loaded on to me
lonely stood midst gathered crowd, for whatever came to see
encounter some tragic circumstance, pain or death must suffer by
long struggles to gain or lose, lies or hates grew - until wondered why.

Tis such as these, Time gifts as silent hints of one's need to pray
gain strength to suffer by, courage gives of itself for what may
dry some tear, hold one's hand, in silence tells - what love need not say
heedful help heals by, forgiving each - tis more dear than clay.
May 15, 2003

I rode of lonely nights and timeless days
with but wind or rain to greet my face
across far reach of years, dark hidden ways
with but hope and trust - to win this race.

I rode on breeds, different foalings bred
with but knees and reins to steer my horse
'cross desert lands whence dry canyons led
with but trusting Truth - to reach their source.

I rode as one alone, lured on by distant dreams
with but sun or moon to light my way
across foreign lands, along now forgotten streams
with but faith and hopes - my soul would pray.

I rode til saw a star gleaming bright
with but eyes and trust to where be drawn
across varied climes, day and night
with bare feeble Faith - to lead me on.

Rode til my steed found blown, at last stood down
with weary heart and soul - just to rest
across stable yard saw three camels brown
with such a knowing - to end my quest.
May 24, 2003

Each year or in one's life-time
to touch or kiss a stone
thereby atone.

Scale some holy mountain high
as if thereby a knowing why
til sensed God nearby.

His garment's hem briefly touched
her fervent faith gently clutched
thence felt healed by such.

Within its holy waters bathed
thereby affirming one now saved
life after - Death graved.
May 24, 2003

Since Time began, midst sterile rocks and arid sand
tribe with tribe harshly fought, preserve their suffered land
ancient kings cursed and swore their endless need for war
in view of country's paucity - must gain even more.

Down long millennia of wanton lust, lay with queen or king
midst endless nights, reap joys divine with fevered clasp and cling
til each want or wish, need or whim - ravaged flesh nightly thrust
while kept-slaves suckled nameless babes - raped wet-nurses must.

As nation's gathered wealth, bought and sold among their honored guests
from recent battles fought, mercenaries stole war's plundered quests
sheiks and princes paid prophets, tell what olden sorceries proved
armed hirelings fought with blade and ax, astride beasts single hooved.

A time of ignorant wisdom, lost to oracles and shaken knuckle bones
thrown with hopeful cast upon sterile dust of desert sand
pleas loft to self-fashioned Baals, as might quell their inner groans
long live in power with full control - greed brings to hand.

Dry, sterile, futile years, mid-eastern centuries brought to bear
across third of known world, vapid ventures of arid crust
should need a god to bless them by, fondled beads implored their prayer
unheard midst barren rocks, burning sands, arid winds and sterile dust.

Thence came a gentled soul, with tender message of kindly love
hates and wrath absolved, forgave endless ages long-suffered of
rendered each and all, cherish others as might a brother give
healing ancient harms, cured with tendered words - thereby fully live.

For but a thrice of labored years, his traveled words spoken firmly clear
such teachings as could foster a sea-change, for few who had ears to hear
yet far too many laughed and jeered, cursed or blasphemed those words he spoke
Roman kings and rabidic leaders, abjured his words with jest and joke.

Too soon, as anyone with sharp eyes and keen ears could guess - he would not last
yet to be certain sure, belied those madding crowds as well as priestly caste
bound his hands in dark of night, so might curry favor of their Roman king
after several tries with varied lies, their hate and fears asked - what cross would bring.

Thence down millennia of savaged years, powers ever seeking greed
rebellious wars, slays of slaughter, blood-shed from what dying Truth will bleed.

Heralded hopes world yearns, soon twisted - so gain a life of ease
with deafened ears and blindful eyes, used selfish lust for what will please
yet weekly heard by faithful few, morley gained by what one shares
suffered-love healing wounds - what a proffered cup of water dares.

Many called, few chosen, a fact forgotton - evil mostly wins
a tale told from long ago, still heard among dry rocks and winds
a truth barren deserts once taught, midst that sterile dust and sand
blowing whence It wills, saving those who have ears to understand.

For true love a strenuous task, life-long journey each one walks
gentle words shared between, like childhood days when mother talks
with working hands, heartful care, endless days - clear skies of desert lands
where hawk seeks its lost mate - drifting high above barren sterile sands.

A prayer each could know, gathered from ancient Truths told long ago
a thrice of years, spoke gentled words heaven-sent, each one could know
feeding hungers of the soul to faith-starved hundreds, whose parched lips cry
still gifting Time to an ancient world growing old - each may try.

With fevered brow, sorrowed hearts, forgiving hands oft rendered there
those pleading words sons and daughters still gift their Father - in prayer:

Our Father though are in Heaven, your hallowed name heard here below
may your will be done here as there, your kingdom may bestow
gift us each day our Natured needs, forgive our heedless sin
as we must likewise forgive others - those of human kin.

Alert us to those tempestuous wants, that feast the flesh but not the soul
deliver us from catastrophic perils, evils forever foal
for that final kingdom is Yours - its power, its glory
a kingdom each finds anew - still taught from an olden story.

For Your love be our life's aim, to each is freely given of
that we may go and do likewise, with simple deeds done from love.
May 26, 2003

An olden hymn, passing years hummed within
rewoven on proud Beauty's loom
odd moments often gift, reheard again
echoes rebirthed within heart's womb.

An ancient hymn, forever-years still heard
rearranged by need to pray
life-ventures remind their unspoken word
freshly felt their meanings say.
An enchanting hymn, timeless - eternal
refashioned among my dreams
some quiet interlude found supernal
re-echoes their ancient themes.

A relicted hymn, passing years lost its name
re-written within my soul
transformed, yet its sacred tune the same
still echoes its former goal.
May 28, 2003

Long before God was tried and people died
whereupon His command began to guide
a smoldering glob, til its orbit settled in
warm enough yet cool enough - for both beasts and men.

Such how earth became that place we now dwell upon
God had well in mind, where man's hopes would not dispond
whereafter upon a graven stone, some ape-ned hand wrought
scratched first signs, and all that after came - passing ages brought.

Until such matters as those concerning God sprang forth
first feeble tentative trials, slowly drifting North
from out those trees, a country without a given name
thence arose a creature, from whence those humans firstly came.

Somewhere in their travels, evolving within as well as without
glimpsing for some cause of control, til sensed one's need to be devout
a caricature with heart and mind, some sort of far-off god
whose carringness could be called upon - sprung from dry earthen sod.

Those early times of ideas when God was firstly tried
until all quickly changed, when found one's Truth could be lied
thence world's stage was set for eternal battles fought
became an unending sport - ceaseless warrings brought.

Later their gods refashioned, varied cultures redesigned
so better serve their greed, of what death and hate left behind
much like their fellowed creatures, uncaring except for their kind
despite early ancestors very strong - by now had grown a mind.

To gain control of others, found religion came in handy with its laws
could blame them for what their strange gods divined, people's sins gave it cause
shortly after this, God thought it best - something had to be done
finally decided for but several years - would send down His only Son.

Well, history tells how that went - both good and bad
folks who personally met, found Him poorly clad
most ignored His words, yet a few found Him rather nice
those who became serious - listened to Him more than twice.

As might guess, long after God was tried - people still died
but were found a growing few, did what God's son had tried
seemed for them His ways worked, found a reason both to live or die
throughtout recent centuries, many people found it worth a try.

For others, jury still out - whether He's guilty or not
some blamed those teachings for rank dearth their life had brought
when tallied up in terms of power, greed and lust gave them control
others found his guidance had merit - forgiveness saved their soul.

At least among western world, his teachings seem to have caught on
in other countries more remote, left unsure just how far has gone
even after eons God tried, people died - still being tested out
seems as complicated as human love - another puzzle no doubt.
May 28, 2003

As others left by side aisles
but an hour past, had uply tread
murmured words of greetings spoke
or other news eager lips had need tell
but always - with their friendly smiles.

Until bright light outside cast within
slowly dimmed, door's closure brought
to bring a silence I had waited for
forgotten hymns might hear once again
early heard - youth-years sang long before.

Reawakened morning's service sung
laced by aromatic wisps
 of mystic myrrh, thurifer's swinging flung
upwardly drifting, incense smelt
as therein - I humbly knelt.

Kneading my thoughts into prayers
lips need not proffer of
reflections stirred by homiletic words
scriptured text weekly shares
God's ancient words of love.

There postured, my knees gave ply
huddled within dark churchen silence
while others pled by bead's measure
enwrapped, as if swaddled by
cathedrals vast immense.

Still tasting unleavened bread and vintaged wine
as with Him, to share a supper that melds us one
brought on by a well remembered hymn
first entuned when I was so early young
my weekly church attendance - firstly sung.

Its ancient echoes resonate down those years
life gathered into sheaves, thence shocked
til reaped a faith, belief gifts tributes of
a kindness earned from suffered love
forgiveness earned - through grieving tears.

Until roused by bright shafts of light flung
from reopened doors, alerting me
later service, when weekly choirs sung
as others gathered for another meal
to sing, listen, eat then pray - as they kneel.

My quiet exit exalted by tolling bells
flung across hushed English shire's mid-morning air
til re-chimed into echoes between braes and dells
its ancient calling, new ages still intoning there
til my going felt, as if left behind - a friend.
May 29, 2003

Those endless years to harvest but olden hopes
though re-flailed on new-lain oaken floors.

So oft, selfish winds scattered fresh grains
til reaped but chaff and wheezened kernels
stunted seeds mixed with tattered tares
gathered into graineries - for future years.

Same beating echoes resonate across those ancient hills
throbbing labors, for ripe grains of honest yields
tis these sold as certified - One's truth freely cast
along those shallow shores of Judaic seas.

Yet most who listened of, returned to arid temples
of dusty laws and stoic practiced rituals.

With phylacteries to squeeze their ignorant minds
into practiced protocols of social blame, pointing fingers
upon those beneath, who sat upon fermenting dung-hills
their outcast waste purged by - but obedienced laws.

Dutied deeds done, so as could be measured by
seen and shown among Temple leader's eye
not out of love but merely show, dry Laws require
sterile ceremonies - their pride might inspire.

Shaming least worth of their proffered doves
hallowed by a hollow sanctity - God could not bless.
Deafened ears ignoring simple words One spoke
not of practiced laws, but toiled heartful love
midst ones poor and humble - those ignorant-wise.

Who felt deep pangs of motherhood and child care
tendered simple days, their kindly hands might share
soft words with laughing smile - close-family style.

Tis neither the shouted word nor rallied laws one obeyed
but thoughtful deeds with helpful hands, caring words drying tears
a meager meal shared in full - ears might lengthily hear.

Comfort-hands, smiling eyes - words you could trust
forgiving foiled aims, that left hands empty of
for Law's true measure, full-kerneled grains - gifting love.
July 17, 2003

Soft down of feathered nestlings early grown
molt of aerie's young, wings now freely flown
like scattered remnants of manna, Heaven sent
sustained a desert life - tamarisk shrubs lent.

Moltings freely cast, eaglets unknowingly grew
with dull-feathered flights of fancy, thereafter flew
til full-grown wings ranged further far and wide
flown of ancient skies - Icarus once tried.

Natal nest now abandoned, cradled in tree's top
emptied of life once sustained, eagle's annual crop
youthful down cast aside, firm feathers grown strong
especially of their wings - flung out wide and long.

Soaring across mountain tops, flown with freedom's flight
far above madding crowd, supernal views brought of height
as we looked up, humbled by our land-locked legs
despite they and we, are likewise birthed from eggs.
November 25, 2003

Clearly asked, freely chosen within
a life lived, yet as would never sin
gifted such a love, gave her strength to accept
though may have been tempted - a choice always kept.

Special dispensation, God once freely gave
neither forced nor required, self-made a slave
longly struggled, deny oneself for others
yet lived normal life among friends and brothers.

Until came that confusion, pregnancy brought on
visit to kindred relatives, eventually drawn
her aunt once thought barren, in old age soon gave birth
as each to each, shared strange words - of far deeper worth.

Came to pass, a husband named Joseph - she took in hand
in due time and circumstance, gave birth in David's land
of such, patient centuries retell again and again
yet that marvel, such love given - accepted within.

Birthing a Christian message, through long centuried years
suffered patience of practiced love, though fraught with tears
shared with caring, forgave as would be forgiven of
simple complexity of Life's worth - when fully love.
December 8, 2003

Beyond, beneath, below in rural lays
far from citied wealth and rule
that feeds their masses from hoards
brought of bartered trades and deals.

Bred of sin and wealth into proper pride
as an accomplished man of the world
declare theirselves as God's gift to man
til found dismal world ruined beyond repair.

Nor those reprisals, wars could not amend
ensuing ages left upon a dying world
til even that faithful sun - will refuse to shine.

Its darkened cold, left but blackened cinders scattered
with burnt-out others unseen, til clutted an ageless universe
when that forgiving God should deem - final cease of Things.

Yet even then God has a plan
for that creature loved - called man.

Whereof what those faithful had long pled with tears
pled proffered prayers, mercy lip-launched by each
despite deprivations of their tragic years
astral stars finally found - within their reach.
December 13, 2003

Unending line of weary crowd along darkened street
in solemn silence, slowly shuffled with fearful feet
each with their kit-bag filled with life-time's worth of deeds
uncertain at road's fork - where their chosen choice leads.

There proud Devil laughs, yet God's caring love also heard
some chose but empty chaff, others saved - by His honored Word.
December 16, 2003

Again celebrate that olden tale
each year re-telling its ancient birth
One whose past words have not yet gone stale
to this day - proclaimed around the Earth.

Simple faith a child could know
early learned at their mother's knee
most have heard, each to each should show
kindness brought of love - sets one free.

A timeless legend yet told - tis said
those who first believed, now long dead
to give, til saves what others need to live
kindly shared, so others may learn to give.
December 19, 2003

Midst that strawed cribage, a first birthing cried
with Truth's verbiage, three brief years preaching tried
til his honored words twisted, when proud Hate lied
crucifixion asked forgiveness - as He died.

Midst those manger scenes, children's eyes first see
birthing hopes, if full-believed - sets them free
his honored words, Death certified on Rood's tree
Christmas gifting hopes - first learned at mothered knee.
December 25, 2003

Only Hopes hold honored worth beyond reach of futured Time
one's self-chosen Trust gives birth, freely wrought from Earthen grime
both heart and mind in tandem, without need for proof nor facts
yet not gathered at random, those wishful dreams - one still lacks.

Thoughts life-long reflections churn, hand-ground within sorrow's quern
suffered pain until one's Love bled, tis by such Hope - one's Faith is fed.
February 9, 2004