Thursday, October 17, 2019

morning moon

the old moon does not rush through the night
gets up a little late
hanging in the morning sky
as though she's lost her way

followed us to school today
disappeared without leaving traces
while we meandered along the pathways
popping up in unexpected places

overheard us
  while we discussed the colors
   of trees
   ..that bunnies hopped
   and stopped
   and also frogs
   or magpies who flew

and maybe
we could be a bunny on the way home
or a magpie
or a frog

the moon was waiting at school today
hanging in the morning sky
as though she'd lost her way

meandering on pathways


Monday, July 15, 2019

south saskatchewan moon

the moon rises full
as jupiter pierces the sky

when I reach the banks
the moon has already broken free

but the river holds
   the light
stretches it long and

broken lines of light
disappearing into the far dark shore

pelicans glide across the river's moon
set all the tips aflame

till the current calms them
quiets the moonlight

rocking gently
as you rock your little one

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


These are dry messy spring days.
Wind throws last year's leaves
into all the corners of the yard;
tugs at the fingertips of haskap and ash
coaxing them out of winter's sleep.
Poplar gets ready to throw seeds
and stickies all around the yard.

Iris and tulip spears piercing through old growth
to begin again.
I look at all the dry, lifeless looking brown
and wonder
how things can spring to life and color.
And they always do.

Mystery of harsh prairie where
the earth bursts open when
the winter loosens its hold.
Spring clouds wander the skies like
maverick squadrons
throwing rain and wind and
occasional hail onto the
waking land
not ready to settle into warm or
soaking rain.

Monday, April 22, 2019

resurrection hangover

So would you feel lighter or heavier?
Body slowed to a stop, blood ceased pumping;
pierced so that blood runs down, muscles flaccid.
When heart surges to life again, like a Gforce spin
the weight of the world falling behind,
lungs re-inflate with a sharp intake of breath,
spirit once more is knit to this body.

Our bodies -
not just shells that are thrown away
fading back into dust.
Resurrection implies at least some sense of
   bringing forward something of what we have been
      utterly renewed
but known.

A robin is singing her joy to the neighborhood.
Plastic bag remnant of Easter egg hunts floats through the yard on the air currents, catches
high on willow branches and
then continues into the neighbor's.

A pair of jays land in the poplar and the robin's joy turns territorial.

Sun shines warm on my face,
wind tugs at the pages of my journal.
Yesterday's laughter catches in corners
and branches of my yard.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Week 7. John 12 ... also Holy Week up till Saturday

on the ground
bottle of nard poured on the ground
spilling over his dusty feet
silken hair brushes beloved feet
giving up your life will save it

palm branches thrown on the ground
the healer was coming their way
a young donkey carried him there
the whole world has gone after him

kernel of wheat falls to the ground
dying it produces many
a man who grips his life will lose
giving up your life will save it

scent of nard poured on the ground
spilling over his dusty feet
silken hair brushing beloved feet
scandalous, mute adoration

was he funny, or smart, was he strong?
belov'd friend of Jesus who died
silent at the grave and meal
two vibrant sisters served
and spoke and poured nard
Lazarus watched

silent ones
when silent ones are healed
mutely grasping for his hem
sisters calling, debating, weeping
friends load him onto a stretcher
rip the roof off to lower him in

Jesus, you hear the silent ones
all our griefs and pains you bear
you walk among us
bidding us come
you are making all things new

bunch'a haynakus
rose up
from the dead

was reclining
at the table

is not
what Lazarus saw

did not
say a word

looked her
in the eye

were drawn
to the man

death before
eating this meal

will cease
in the morning

asleep never
feels like this

day never
dawns like this

kind of
coffee is needed

grounds for
believing in him

right now
resurrection and life

reversing expectations, Jesus
breathed our air with our lungs and called a dead man to life

reversing expectations, Jesus
ate in the company of the resurrected man

undoing expectations, Mary
poured nard over his feet, drowning all rational thought
...poured nard over his feet, captivating every guest
...poured nard over his feet, drowning all other senses

What song?
What song shall I sing, all has fallen still?
Yesterday's vibrant music fades away
overwhelmed by whips and cries far too shrill,
and friendships - pieces of silver betray.

What song shall I sing, now darkness has slipped
into daylight and the earth is shaken
holy of holies, the curtain is ripped,
echoes o'er every hill - I AM forsaken.

What song shall I sing as they take him down -
he whose voice shook the grave loose, now silenced.
Nicodemus, come sing in this darkness.
Lazarus, what do you know of his grave?

As Mary walks weeping I catch the scent
of nard poured out in worship prescient.

Son of Man lifted
light of the world is snuffed out
black hole drowns all light

Son of Man lifted
light of the world is snuffed out
all of us drawn in

wrestling with this hour
he prayed, Father glorify
Father responded

this voice was for us
we heard thunder and angels
Father responding

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Week 6. John 11

Monday's Quatern
Oh I'm going to wake him up!
This Lazarus is sleeping sound.
His sisters called out - come to us,
but I'm just stay'n till morning comes.

They picked up stones to silence me
but oh I'm going to wake him up.
Walk by night, you're sure to fall,
so walk when y'see the light of day.

"If you had come all would be well.
You are the one we've waited for."
So I'm going to wake him up.
Watch for glory when you move the stone.

Oh watch for glory, won't you move that stone!
The dead man came a'walkin' out.
So watch when you see the light of day.
Oh I'm going to wake him up. 

Wednesday Nonets
If you had been here he would be well
strong friendships forged over the years
everyone gathered to watch
the women meet their friend
rational Martha
Mary falling
at his feet

everyone was thinking the same thing
if he had come when he was called
Lazarus would still be here
laughter instead of this
sorrow and wailing
now he is here
the tomb waits
death staggers

will not
end in death

met him
as he came

fell down
at his feet

stumbled out
of the grave

Thursday's Landays
trying to keep the lid on heresy
when it looks like calling Lazarus from four days gone

panic in all the upper chambers
as the structures slowly but surely begin crumbling

even the rocks and stones will cry out
testifying to life rather than holding death hostage

Friday's Sonnet
Shall I compare you to one of the chiefs?
Like Mistawasis who searched for bison
as numbers plummetted without relief
travelling far to search the horizon.

Metaphors fail if we push them too far.
We forget when they are so familiar
like shepherd, like bread, or like morning star.
Searching this prairie land... like a river.

You pulled one of us out from death's reaches
summoning Lazarus back from his sleep
like a river breaking in spring breaches
its banks, boundaries and channels. You weep

with us in chaos, and steadily breathe
our names in the silence, our lives redeem.

Saturday Haiku  
shadow and broken
glass as well as the crocus
collage on the banks

glimpse of a black hole
lit by event horizon
light disappearing

expanding reveals
ever more hospitable
creator of stars

voice of one calling
make way in the wilderness
pathway from the grave

resurrection life
we would live if you were here
called back into light

Thursday, April 11, 2019

becoming a crocus hunter

I have learned that when the snow is almost gone on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, and the air is still chilled by night frosts, this is the time to go crocus hunting.  Along the arches of grass beside the Meewasin trail, where prairie grass merges with juniper and low scrub along the edge of the escarpment, just before the land drops to the river valley.  We go walking off the trails, bending low, careful where we step, searching.

My favorite moment is the first sighting of the light purple peeking through the dry grass.  Once I've caught sight of one, they pop into view all along the brow of the hill.  Light purple stars, clumped with fuzzy nubs that are not yet open.  They hide in the brown junipers that are creeping toward the escarpment.  They stand exposed on some creature's footpaths among the dry grass.  They sprout beside a nighttime celebration's broken glass, and underfoot in the scrubby brush of the dog park.

I have never see them unless I am hunting for them. And had no idea how to look for them - or even that there was a point to looking for them -  before my friend took me on a walk last year, looking for crocuses.

If I want a really good picture, I have to kneel,
bend, or lay down on the grass, to get the camera close enough for a good shot, and if possible with some kind of backlight with sun rising or setting.  Because just a shot of the grass from where I stand shows just grassland.

The pelicans should arrive any time now.  We saw the first robins, watched the sea gulls on the patches of sand in the low river bed, caught a hawk playing on the breeze just under the light afternoon moon, watched crows gallivanting on the air currents.

We sat on the grass for a while, then turned back into the breeze along the trail to our home.
A successful crocus hunt.