Split the child in two!!!
You heard me, cut the child in half!!!
Even before you finished your sentence, the ‘mother’
fell at your feet…
‘Give the child to the other woman’
You knew, Solomon.
You knew who the real mother was
and you ‘placed’ the innocent child into her hands.
You could have said anything.
Anything you wanted was yours…but
you did not ask for treasures, lands, victories.
You did not ask that your name become famous
across the waters.
Instead, you asked for wisdom
A heart open to kindness and mercy.
Instead of battles, you reawakened
the ‘art’ of communication—communion.
You listened, observed…
seeing through the blinders…
understanding ‘they’ were simply not able to grasp
You judged NOT…yet guided wisely.
Your Wisdom Solomon, speaks today—
Can we hear the message?
“What we do with our lives individually is not what determines whether we are a
success or not. What determines whether we are a success is how we have
affected the lives of others.
From a distance,
a reflection ‘in’
The closer you move
toward the glass,
the clearer the image ‘presents’ YOU.
Yes, you’re ‘in’ the hollowed sill.
Now, your eyes look ‘in’side
the reflection beyond the glass ‘mirror’
you SEE the reality stored within.
It was so simply stated—
YOU had the courage to say, “NO.”
You shouted, but to him, it did not matter.
His desire, his lust, his ‘ego’—
It was ONLY what he wanted.
You were willing—
Pleaded you did to go about it in a
‘moral’ way. What is moral?
Long ago morals seemed not to matter.
Is it really different today, TAMAR?
Your voice echoes through the smallest, tiniest cracks.
After years, centuries, millenniums
your voice heard…NO.
It is a voice for our children frightened
to say, “You cannot do this to me.”
“You’re hurting me.”
‘”Take back all your gifts.”
“Don’t use my family’s poverty as a bait to keep me
silent and allow abuse to go on and on disguised
as GOOD WORKS.”
Tamar, you lived a desolate life.
You could have brought to life so much while you lived—
Now we can celebrate YOU.
Woman, unafraid to speak—your sisters and, yes
your brothers, hear YOU!
“How can one not speak about war, poverty, and inequality when people who suffer from these afflictions don’t have a voice to speak?”
A Musician & An Artist
A musician and an artist
sat along the fringe of
For a long time
words went unspoken.
what led them
to glance ‘outward’
at the same moment.
they beheld a vision
coming down from
A strand of
between the curls
of waves rolling
themselves over and over.
Then, what looked like a
hand except for the
They dipped into the ivory
and gently caressed
Together, they summoned
the sun to rise.
Every ‘touch’ of a key—
Every ‘dab’ of ink
became a drop—
the drop then became
a part of the pool
brimming with life.
Roots from the bed of
the sea climbed
from the ocean’s depths.
filled with life
stretched its branches.
How could a tree
grow from the water?
How could the water
appear to be holding
The musician looked at
The artist gazed at
They began laughing aloud.
The musician began to play—
the artist began to sketch—
They ‘drew’ from the
well of creativity
You, a voice,
whispered in the wind—
still…no one heard or listened to you—
Your heart removed from within you—
placed into hands ‘not of your choosing’…
to a surly man named Nabal.
You , still tempered by the spirit of the Lord
could not be untrue to what
was in you.
A seed was planted in your heart.
You a tree, growing, stretching
so beautiful and wise.
When Nabal failed to care for David’s men,
you knew bloodshed was swift in its approach.
You prepared ‘provisions’—blessings—
You set a table for communion—
YOU broke the altar of bloodshed.
How could we be so blind to
have missed your prophetic action?
You, Abigail, sat upon an ass
from under the cover of the mountain.
Your voice no longer a whisper—
You blew through the branches.
‘They clapped their hands’
and David heard you and ceased from his actions.
David SAW the Lord ‘within’ you
and affirmed your discretion and GOOD sense.
daughter of the living God—
how we have missed YOU…your story!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us…And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. —-Marianne Williamson
my feet sank
into the soils.
I was knee deep
and began to write
I was surrounded
until I became one.
I had my fill
of morning’s dew.
The giant orange
ball NOW placed itself
within this twirling,
Without a warning,
all the flowers evolved
into prairie dogs.
from rock to rock—
a playful untangling
I fell into a deep
down I plunged.
I could not slow
I was at its core.
I heard her beating.
attempting to write THIS
turned into roots.
Stretching in every direction—
if direction be understood,
I became unwound.
The endless miles of
‘living’ veins pulsated
with earth’s blood
NOW in me…
Pushed me upward
to the surface.
bursting through the blanket
of ground now crushed
now cascading into
as leaves became my voice
singing a tune
like a chime
in this wind swept
All at once
the eve of night-fall
everything before my eyes.
How could I go on
writing what I no longer
I closed my eyes
When they opened—
‘sparks of light.’
I cleared what
I thought only
from my vision
ONLY to behold
spectacles of light—
They were galaxies away
until one fell
landing on one of
my many branches.
I lit up—
consumed, as if by fire,
BUT—I was not
Trying to write a metaphor…
I removed my shoes
knowing the surface
upon which I
seemed to whisper,
Peace On Earth…Through a Child’s Eye
For the young & young at HEART who BELIEVE…
Peace on Earth & Blessings upon the heaven which lies ‘within.’
As a child, in the fields
YOU sat in the sun staring at stones.
Without realizing it,
you meditated…you prayed
in a contemplative fashion
though you had no idea what it meant.
A mere lad…a poet in motion.
Like all young persons, you THOUGHT you understood
EVERYTHING, but you were growing.
You had no idea where life was leading,
how you were being called, led.
But you packed up a few stones and
placed them in your pouch.
Then, one day
it was YOU who would face the GIANT.
They fitted you for Battle—
put you in a uniform making you—
turning you—into a sledge hammer.
You did not know this way…
it did not ‘fit’ you.
You cast off the garments
they placed on your shoulders.
You turned back to
what was ‘simple.’
You turned back into stone—
and you let it FLY.
You defeated the giant before you.
You were a HERO
destined for greatness…
BUT you dropped the stone.
Your ‘head’ puffed up with pride.
You wore the gowns of a king…
You gave in.
You forgot…oh simple shepherd
how to be a stone.
Your hammer brought down armies.
You loved to conquer
and your costliest defeat—yourself!
You put a friend on the front line
to be ‘killed’ so you could possess
his companion, his wife.
Your sledge hammer broken…
and Yahweh loved bringing you back to stone.
Jesus said, “Split wood, I am there. Lift up a rock, you will find me there.”
Gospel of Thomas
If I were
a leaf set on
of the most majestic
from where would I
wish to dangle?
Would I yearn
to be at the grandest
overseeing the sun’s
landscapes from all
angles, tasting the
first drops of rain?
Would I ?
Perhaps I would prefer
to be seated on the lowest of branches
‘seeing’ the earth’s floor
and being mindful of the
roots within which I’m planted.
I’d be more visible
and I would gaze out
wondering what they were
pondering on this
Perhaps, I would?
Maybe I would
wish to be in the tree’s
middle, ever close to its
I’d be shaded at all
conscious of the light.
I’d be amidst tiny birds
nesting and see their
I’d observe the stretching
of wings learning to
fly and I could not
help but sway in the
wisp of their first
So, if I were
What branch might
be your perch?
loved even before you burst from
your mother’s womb.
her ‘deepest’ desire.
She loved the “One” who gave her you
so very much.
She offered you back as servant…judge.
She held ‘you’ as long as she could
and then you were placed in the hands of
Eli. His own sons he could not guide—
Yet, you followed.
As you grew,
your wisdom expanded.
The people came to you.
You knew how to judge rightly
Some days at the ‘office’
you must have asked,
This is a complete waste of time!
I could be, I could be,
I could be so much more.
But, here I am…
solving disputes, ratifying laws, justifying the wars that
bring only further divisions.
I have known only love
and wished only to share it in the
kindest, most gentle of ways…
This did not happen.
So much turbulence
in your time Samuel.
(I HEAR a similar bell clanging today).
All of this turmoil created by humankind…
done without consciousness…
No victory was had…
You knew love
and in your way
“It’s very difficult to find in the outside world something that matches what the system inside you is yearning for.” —Joseph Campbell
A House of Prayer
there are ‘no’ locks
on this door…
no sturdy pillars
or stained glass windows.
No saints are carved in
you stand within
you are NOW its HOST.
the only hymn heard.
(Oh, listen to the melody—
no notes necessary).
You plant the ‘seeds’
of your being
in the darkness of earth.
by the sun’s heat
beats on the walls…
will eventually break.
may never sprout—
their dying does not
mean they do not live…
perhaps, their life
A newness is birthed
for the ‘ones’
who have come to be
AGAIN, and again,
This house, this green house…
this House of Prayer
—is NOT about worship
—it is NOT about doing…
It IS about Becoming—
It is about
who we are.
Bring all the seeds
Nourish yourself in a
House of Prayer.
A barren womb
and a man, Elkanah, who loved you so
even though you could not give him
His other wife Penninah…
She, despised you.
You could offer nothing in your barrenness.
She beat you ’emotionally.’
So scared were you.
You went to the temple.
Your tears a torrent of rushing waters…
The priest thought you drunk
but, you were consumed by your emptiness.
How many know your cry?
How many locked in closed rooms silently grieve
an inability to ‘birth?’
Your sorrow heard…
This not the way for all.
your child—a son
offered as a Nazarite to Eli.
You nurtured him for his first three years of life.
He fed upon your milk
and nestled into your embrace.
He would be a judge like no other.
And, you, woman
never went back to Penninah
throwing it in her face…
You offered thanks.
“Let yourself be silently drawn/By the stronger pull of what you really love.” RUMI
Nature Holds No Blame
A leaf spoke to the wind—
“You’ve come so soon.
I was NOT expecting you,
BUT because you’ve come
I will let-go.”
The sun spoke to the storm—
clouds adrift on the horizon,
“Come, come…the land is dry
in need of your sustenance.
Fill the rivers and oceans.
If the creeks should overflow
their banks, do what is yours
The hawk spoke to the tiny mouse—
“You’ve hidden yourself for
now, but my “EYES” can spot
you from great distances.
In time, I’ll seek my claim.”
The flower spoke to the dawn—
“No one will see my unfolding
in this lowly valley, but I
know there is One who
delights, if ONLY this day,
that I AM.”
The stars spoke to the night—
“When we see your shadow
approaching, it is as if we
are set anew…
a blaze within unfurled.”
A child spoke before
the coming of age—
“How beautiful this life I live.
There is so much to
Then BLAME spoke—
postings of hatred
and racial divides.
The tree of Life
Who formed ‘you’ from within
Your first ‘teachers’
NOT from the understood ‘TRUE FOLD.’
They laid a foundation
in your soul of selflessness,
tenderness, and abounding love.
You were a Moabite—
Married ‘into’ an Israelite family.
You heard about ‘their God’ and
you immediately recognized
this God was the ‘same’ as the
‘ONE’ you were brought up understanding.
You did not need to shout this message out…
You ‘lived’ it by example.
your father-in-law, and brother-in-law
Your mother-in-law, Naomi
released you and your sister-in-law, Orpah.
She freed you to go back
so that your future would not come to an end.
Your heart, overflowed with love.
You would not leave
Naomi alone when her needs were the greatest.
Grief, loss consumed her.
She loved you enough to say, ‘go’
but, you loved Naomi by staying.
Not seeing ahead,
you stood firmly in the moment of truth.
You trusted, staying and caring
for ‘someone’ you loved—
putting aside your happiness for a future.
Oh, but this was your greatest joy!
Your story, like a classic fairy tale—
your roots established in your early years
and the vine of your soul grafted into
the Oneness of the Creator who dwells in
and through all.
“All progress is inevitably accompanied by strife and shock…
Evolution never happens without work and suffering. It is not enough
to let oneself be borne passively along by it; man(woman) must
collaborate in the event.”
—Teilhard de Chardin
Rapunzel, Rapunzel…let down your hair!
A fairy tale—
Your story, Sampson, anything BUT…
Your parents birthed you
in their old age~~~
You a gift, a Nazarite…promised never to cut
the locks of your strength.
Strand upon strand of flowing hair
delicately woven from your brow
was the charm, the magic
that allowed you to take on
the wild animal, the lion.
‘You’ captured before it swallowed you.
BUT…it was love that defeated you.
Not a pure love—
She, Only a lure of
They enticed her
and she sold her soul to fill her
ego’s every want and desire.
Helpless you lay
stripped of all the strength you once
took for granted.
They paraded you into the center
before the people you loved
to mock you—
to belittle you.
And once more
you knew the cost.
You knew a spring still dwelt within you.
YOU burst like a dam.
The temple walls towered down
upon you and upon all
who sought your ruin.
“Life breaks everyone…
but some grow stronger at the broken part.”
The precious diamond
knows its deepest value
is in its ‘sparkle’…
And, for the Artisan, EVERY ‘cut’
a mark of precision.
The ONLY desire—
to reveal the stone’s hidden essence.
“Lord, who can be trusted with power, and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice, who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial and worthy of the people’s trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth, AND their kindness endures forever.”
(A Book of Psalms, translation by Stephen Mitchell)
What say you?
A leader in the time of the Judges.
A time of great conflict.
You spoke and the people listened.
BUT, they would not go into ‘battle’
Your heart wrenched—
you knew the strains of battle.
It was not about winning or losing.
It was about surviving, protecting…sustaining~~~but what?
You had to lead.
You, a woman, and no one
speaks of your bravery, your courage, your risks.
Your consciousness stretched,
wounded~~~betraying what you knew.
But, you had to act.
What if you were here today, Deborah?
Would you help us to see beyond
boundaries, beyond divisions?
YOU would lead us to the Source
that lived in you.
“Wakefulness is a state of non-illusion where you see things
not as you are but as they are.”
The walls of Jericho—
‘You’ knew the mighty fortress…
each tunnel, each corner,
every nook and cranny.
You, Rahab, they called a Prostitute.
Is it really who you were?
Or were you so much more?
You worked the tavern…’translation’ Inn Keeper?
All the men ‘confided’ in you.
You earned their trust
and they shared with you because
a depth within you
of the Chosen people came to ‘your’ door.
What did that mean? Aren’t we all
Chosen? You knew this…
That is why you helped them escape…you helped them.
First, hiding them from the king and his men seeking only to destroy.
A rope out the window..
You helped them escape in a bucket.
Yes a bucket…which holds water.
YOU Rahab, let the story flow—
Down, down, down into the depths still not perceived.
All you asked in return
You, and your family be spared.
A scarlet cloth dangled from your
window so that when they returned they
would come for you.
They did come for you.
They kept you outside the camp…
after all, you practiced pagan acts.
Whose acts more out of line?
Yours filled only with ‘love,’ Rahab.
Silently you moved…
A spirit within you
I think not
“We save the world by being alive ourselves…” —Joseph Campbell
I’ve held from a branch
that birthed me.
I unfolded to wonders
Time to let go.
I’ve been dazzled while dangling—
the most inclement weathers
lightning illuminated the veins
of my being…
claps of thunder
shivered through me as the
winds pulled and tugged…
I’ve viewed many sunrises
during the day I was
but, then came the night—
shadows of light.
I was in the moon’s glow
while a quilt of stars
became a blanket—night’s sky.
It gave me something I
cannot capture in mere words.
I hope you understand this
Now—it’s time for Leaf(ing).
I’ve been a beautiful green
only to become orange and
now I’m browning in the most
elegant of ways.
I’m no longer soft and limber.
Instead, I’m crisp.
I hear the wind
Off I gooooooooooooo—
It’s time for leaving.
Take off your sandals—
the place you stand, “Holy.”
Holy ground…let the soles of your feet
sink deeply ‘into’ creation…
into the soils of our time, past and present
yet, beginning before any
beginning even began
or ever thought.
Spill into me, Moses—
So long you have lived in this desert
away from a life where ‘all’ was yours.
Then, ‘they’ discovered your truth
casting you out.
I AM sending you back—
back to lead the people who live in slavery.
Out into this desert.
“BUT, but, but
I, I cannot ‘lead’ this, this people.
Why, why I cannot even speak”—
(No one’s ever spoken of your speech impediment)
I have chosen you…
can ‘you’ hear me?
I dwell within you
and will forever be at your side.
The flame you see in front of you
is within you
The bush ignited by my very being
You are to be a blaze
for the people.
Reveal to them—
they each contain a spark.
so that all may
dwell in a ‘Promised Land.’
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do”… —Eleanor Roosevelt
From THIS Altar
I awaken—a blessing, born again.
tiny pieces of sleep dust
fall upon the pillow.
like branches on a tree
swayed by wind.
I breathe in reverence
I breathe out gratitude.
I smell the morning dew.
I hear a chorus of song birds—
the liturgy already begun.
I taste small sips of java
brewed by a stranger
who shares it with a blessing.
Photography by Lynn Chesser/Taken at Pumpkin Hollow, Craryville, New York
Miriam & her Mother
You were young.
Who’d listen to your voice?
Child, you are also a girl—
but, no ordinary girl.
You, wise prophetess.
You, announced from your mother’s womb,
would come the one who
would free those
held in slavery.
You were the orchestrator of the plan.
Your mother swaddled him in Hebrew cloth.
You carefully wove a basket of reeds.
A womb filled with life
flowed on the Nile
and into the arms of Pharaoh’s daughter.
Women, without speaking.
Ambassadors for life(the three of them).
She loved him like her own
and secretly gave him back to you
so you could bring him to feed on
your mother’s breasts.
Miriam…if only they knew
your part in this grand ‘plan.’
led the women with timbrel
and they followed joining in dance
when the split in the waters were reunited.
You, prophetess, dared to question
the Source of your existence.
Yes, you were a leader~~~woman.
And, because you spoke,
it is said you were stricken with leprosy
and cast out of the community for seven days.
Those seven days were your change in consciousness.
You were ever more mindful of who you were.
You re-entered in silence…this spoke
more than words.
You died in a parched land.
The mystery of your death
brought ‘waters’ to the people.
“Once you have chosen what you cannot complete alone, you are no longer alone.”
—A Course in Miracles
tried to ‘paint’ a
picture of my TRUE SELF.
I set the pallet—
squeezed enough paint…
a dab of every color
for the brush
which color shall I dip
all the colors
began to say,
“pick me first,
oh, pleeeease pick me first.”
I stared at the
How would I begin?
Where would I start?
Who am I?
Just then the pallet of colors
AND upside down.
I cried out, “NO,”
it was too late…
or was it?
Maybe it was the
most ‘imperfect’ time
and it echoed, “YES.”
I picked the pallet
from the ground.
ALL the colors
seeped into ‘ONE’
I put the brush
Shiparah & Puah (Hebrew Scriptures)
Tell me ‘we’ did not hear that.
are not meant to take life.
We are meant to ‘bring’ life into this world.
They are so frightened. (The System of the Day)
‘someone’ coming to free these people from
bondage & slavery.
We cannot stop the ‘spirit’
that has flowed before life, through life
and in life.
Spirit~~~’She’ who resides in our deepest recesses.
We will not kill as we have been instructed/ordered to do…
We are getting called to give account—
what will we say?
No matter what we tell them
their ‘plans’ will not be waylaid.
Oh, Spirit…do not delay.
You, two…Shiparah & Puah—
Why is it the Hebrew women are conceiving and
their children are nursing from their mothers’ breasts?
Why have your hands not strangled them before they took their first breaths?
Pharaohs…we know we greatly
These women give birth differently than we do…(Quick thinking)
By the time we arrive to ‘deliver’
the little ones are already nursing.
Averted…their plan gone awry
Shiparah & Puah rejoice.
Then they hear the outcry
as the newly born are tossed into the Nile.
Already the water red—
embryonic fluids flow
and upon the waves
…a DIVINE plan—
“To be nobody but yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you somebody else—means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight, and not stop fighting.”
You danced with rainbows
in your head.
Your coat of many colors
was your soul
You saw… visioned what others
could not see.
You shared your ‘joy’
and those closest to you simply could not rejoice.
They stripped you—
tossed you in a ditch—
left you for dead.
They took your ‘coat’
and laid it at your father’s feet.
His tears soaked into
the orange and yellows…
into the purples and greens
and, the blues muddied the colors.
But, the ‘real’ coat—
the coat of the indwelling of your spirit radiated from the tomb where you lay~~~so ALIVE.
A caravan of strangers—so far removed from your race, your tribe
brought you out—
“Burst” you from a womb of wonder.
They took you to a new land
where you earned their trust and respect.
They honored and adored the Dreamer
in you and they ‘listened’ to your
(Still jealous green monsters loomed discrediting you)
Famines arose as you had foreseen.
You were there to prepare.
This you did.
Persons came from far and wide.
You distributed the bounty the
LAND gave…no one hungry or dying of thirst.
In front of your eyes,
stood your brothers who knew you not—
they so helpless, so vulnerable.
Your eyes filled with raw emotion…
raining in colors—your tears.
You turned away~~~only to come back…
You saw it.
what did you do?
you poured out love
embracing your kin.
When you looked into your father’s eyes,
you knew every moment ‘ordained.’
When you gazed upon your brother (Benjamin),
you did not even know
the seed within you
immediately grafted itself
to the tree of life
from which we all take root.
“…Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions NOW.
—Rainer Maria Rilke
Life is a collection
We stand in the middle
round and round.
We twirl in spirals
with the rhythm
—earth around sun
—moon around earth
—stars following patterns
—the unknown unfolding.
When THIS knowing
comes—a deep sense of
Union is embraced.
No longer are
numbers of hoops—
There is only ONE.
We are in its center…
a point of
From here the dance
goes on and on and on—
We are NOT mere participants.
We are ‘partners’/companions
timeless swirling hoop.
You asked for nothing.
You simply did as you were told.
Your very being was ripe with wonder—
it was in your delicate eyes.
Your children danced around your feet.
You were the eldest.
Did you really wish to quibble with your
I think not so…
Your purpose was to bear fruit
and so you did.
Your gave your maid servant, Zilpah
to your husband
and more off spring danced around your table.
Yes, Rachel conceived after being barren
as did her maidservant, Bilhah.
Sweet communion amidst such strife.
In giving birth to a second son, your sister Rachel died
singing his name Ben-Oni.
Jacob called him Benjamin.
Leah…you seemed to disappear from the story
but, your love lived on.
IN case a battle ensued,
You, faithful mother, were put in the
front lines with your kin.
Jacob NOW named Israel (transformed)
RETURNS to face his brother Esau…
A Rock and Flower
A Rock and Flower
inside one another.
One day Rock spoke,
“Flower, do you believe I’m
stronger than you?”
Flower paused a moment
and reflected aloud.
“When soft rains come
nourishing my roots
they push themselves
without effort cracking
the rock I’m now
Rock was silent.
Flower decided to ask
Rock a question.
“Rock, do you believe I’m
more beautiful than thee?”
Rock stood still, then said,
“Flower, you are absolutely
majestic and still,
I am as pure as the most stunning vase
your natural elegance.”
Flower was at a loss for words.
After some time
Rock and Flower
sitting in each other’s stillness
Rock said, “Flower you are
Flower replied, “Rock you
are so beautiful
and they ‘held’ onto
the gift of their Unity
as the raindrops
began to fall.
The sun rose early upon that day.
Esau came to his father
whose eye sight grew dim, as his years now dark
even in the light’s halo.
He whispered…”Go, my son,
prepare to receive your blessing
then come back to me.”
Your voice Isaac
sitting now beside his father
adorned in his brother’s clothing
which smelled of ‘earth’ for he
was a rugged hunter.
Soft arms were now painted in goat hair.
“Who are you?”
Touching your arms, kissing you,
Isaac smelled the fields
and gave you the blessing…
the birth right of the first born son.
You tricked him—
you took away what was not ‘yours’—
you received and it could
not be taken back.
You knew your brother’s pain, anger and rage…
you could not face him.
Fearing for your life,
you escaped death at the hands of your brother.
You found a place of shelter
with your mother’s brother Laban.
He offered you work…
you found love.
When your eyes beheld Rachel,
your heart pounded.
You offered yourself as servant to win her hand…
this was granted.
The day arrived.
BUT wait, who are You?
Jacob…this time, this moment of blessing,
gift taken from you!
How could this be?
No, no~~~Yes, Jacob
what is, what has been received
cannot be changed.
Years of work…
You loved Rachel
but, what of the other woman?
Your heart anguished,
your story littered in paradox.
Alone, you wrestled.
You were far from…Alone.
Exhausted, you asked for a blessing at day break
it was given~~~Israel.
A new name…Israel.
The twelve tribes would come from your seed—
your seed planted in the wombs of
Leah, Rachel and their maid servants.
“In my mind’s eye
I saw what appeared to be the sun~~~
Its light set ablaze everything around it~~~
nothing else was except for the light—
AND coming forth from within
it did not appear as if it were
setting a direction upward or downward—
rather its steps led ‘inward’…
then it was
Lot’s Daughters…nameless women (Hebrew Scriptures)
They are pounding on our door.
Listen to their roars—
they spew all kinds of treacherous remarks.
What’s gone wrong?
We’ve seemed to have lost our ways.
Save us, save us all.
Our uncle, Abraham, pleaded…if 30, if 20, if
10 and so on~~~ but, no.
Into our home the angels came and with great warning.
From the outside the men’s angry voices
shattered our hollowed walls.
They wanted to have
their way with the angels.
What? What are you saying, FATHER?
He opened the door.
He, our Father, opened OUR innocence.
In his own words he shouted above the clamor.
‘Do not touch these angels’…
‘Here, I have two virgin daughters…
Do with them what you will.’
Later…he does what he wills
It is we who ‘carry’
the blame within us.
(Photo taken in Panama/Artist Unknown)
…compassion is the quivering of the pure heart that occurs “when we allowourselvesto be touched by the pain of life.”
Jack Kornfield/Philosopher citing Buddhist Scriptures
A fisherman stood on the edge
of the shore—
This day he did not cast his pole into the sea—
Instead, he stood BEHOLDEN to the
infinite wonder before his eyes—
he had no idea how long
silently breathing in
the salt, the sand, the ocean—
As he turned to make his way HOME,
he paused…whispering to the wind,
Lot’s Wife…nameless woman (Hebrew Scriptures)
Is that all you remember of me?
Yes, I looked back—
but for one moment
walk beside me…
SEE me for who I am
and you’ll capture a mere glimmer of yourself—
Would you look back?
My pace hurried.
The soles of my feet barely touched the earth—
MY two ‘virgin’ daughters ahead of me…I see life
In my mind’s eye
I see my two married daughters left behind~~~
Sure, my husband, yes…he has a name.
I do not
but, at this moment it does not matter.
My sons-in-law laughed when my husband told them
we MUST flee.
So far removed
yet, I am ever within reach.
I hear the destruction, the crumbling of life.
I smell the scent of death
and it stings…to my very core.
My daughters nursed at my breasts,
sat upon my knee
as I shared with them stories, laughter,
Their children, my grandchildren
gathered around my table.
No matter how corrupt our town,
LOVE lived through my seeds.
Are you listening?
Tears flow from my eyes as I walk, stumble,
Now I stop—
a milky substance flows down my cheeks,
over my body, down to my feet.
My grief flows like a river
and I am encapsulated in
Yes, my daughter—
I AM a PILLAR OF SALT…
a natural ingredient.
Opening my arms to you,
I turn back,
Yes, standing firm, my roots
never abandon you—
“YOU are the salt of the earth…”
I carried the
I was not
Even when I
The end of
to a quiet place.
a sturdy shelter
the one lifting
of the day with me—
ISAAC & ISHMAEL (Hebrew Scriptures)
What is it you would tell us?
What would you share if the chasm created
between the two of you never existed?
Who set the boundaries? The borders? The divisions?
Who drew the line in the sand separating you
from the Promise you received through and
by the same Source we all
call by a different name?
The stars above…a canopy of your children
and their children’s children.
They sparkle downward…’we,’ the stardust
alive in this place
live with the hope you both shout out in all
the unspoken verses.
You, sons of Abraham—
Sons of Hagar & Sarah—
Enough jealously, bitterness, envy—
Erase, erase from the past the lines whose
sentences end with an engulfing exclamation!
Run~on…create fragments that speak to
You Isaac, whose story continued.
You Ishmael, whose story is ‘blank’ yet, brimming
Let us look and see the hidden message—
Your connection not your separation…
“The two most important days in your life
are the day you are born
and the day you
find out why.”
If these Walls could Speak…
they’d turn back the
clock of time.
The red paint
on this old barn glows
as the morning sun
casts its light.
The farmhouse appears
as a tranquil
set on a hill…
a lofty place
in the center
Within this time piece,
one could hear
the hoof beat of horses who
are strewn in the hay,
cows mulching on sweet
grasses and chickens
scurrying about pecking
the seeds found on the
Then,we hear the sound of
children as they
swinging on the rope
dangling from the
causes the trees to sway
and their leaves
the birds to sing
in a melody of their
The years have come and
The naked eye NOW sees
a barren old barn—
its shell appears
weathered and worn.
As the sun sets,
if one only dare
to come out and look
one sees and one hears—
An old man and an
old woman sit on
the grass overlooking the
they remember like it
Everything is the same—
everything has changed…
HAGAR…A Lost Story (Hebrew Scriptures)
Your eyes beheld the God you
named, Yahweh…’God of Seeing.’
By a spring of water
a whispering breath spoke to you…
Your tears were seen…heard.
You simply followed what you were asked to
You lay with a man unknown to you.
You obeyed the tradition of
your time and you gave the man the ‘fruit’
of his seed which the other woman could
Her cruelty toward you, you simply could not
grasp. As you listened to a deeper voice
Fled into a barren desert
You, anything but barren, found the pool…
Go back…go back…
You heard, you listened…your child
A Promise~~~descendants will/shall be uncountable
like the stars in the ceiling above…
Where has this story, your story, HAGAR,
How many untold stories intertwined within
It is you who invites us to drink
from each body of water on this tiny planet.
We, so ‘limited’ in understanding,
do not ‘grasp’ the complexities of the unique
always changing Universe where we dwell…
You, unlike us, risked at times to remain unmovable heading back
to what is familiar.
Each story not heard today splashes over and over
in the waves cresting to the shore returning
with each tide.
Tsunamis, tornadoes, fires change the face of the landscape~~~we must hear what is untold and it is what connects us…
we have forgotten this link.
No matter what name given Yahweh~~~
All is ONE.
If all our fabrics of different textures, races, genders, creeds, religions
are placed ‘together,’ a blending
of your love Hagar helps us to realize
there are many stories enraptured in the One
Story. And the Source
sees each of us as ‘our’ own Author~~~
How do we live our life to the fullest within the
text of our time?
“You must have chaos within you to give
birth to a dancing star.”
At the Crossroads of Christianity…
Rain drops pooling all around me—
if I may be honest,
they are the tears ‘dropping’ from
eyes ‘opening’ and every
so often attempting to close
so as NOT to see!
Growing am I
in so much unknown.
I was brought up Christian…
Others spoke on my behalf—
Guides stated I’d be raised
in the faith.
I longed to attend church services when
I was young—
something about lighting a candle
and watching the flame
flicker throughout a silent
sanctuary stirred my being.
I did not need words…
I listened soaking in
My roots were small
but they took in EVERYTHING.
I believed most of what I heard…
anything I was not so clear
about I tucked ‘inside’
saving it like a rainy day…
when rainy days came,
there really was no one
to hear my questions—
I mean HEAR them and
NOT simply say, “This is how it is, or these are the
rules, or this is our FAITH!”
What in God’s name did
So, I decided to ask God…
No—there was no burning
bush or ladder stretched
from above to below.
The world around me did not
BUT, a dove seemed to nestle
itself on my shoulder
and I spoke as if it
I explained how much
I loved to delve into
‘The Book’—The Word…
Hebrew & New Testament Scriptures.
I read many grimacing messages,
poetry filled with passion and understanding
and then parables ignited in
love—love without anything
to be given in return.
This BOOK spoke to me…
and how it called me to
live my life as a Christian
seemed to be in opposition
with the rules laid out
in the FAITH I was asked to embrace.
Who said growing up was easy?
I began ‘listening’ to others—
they were expressing
thoughts I believed only I was thinking.
I launched myself out
While I did not HEAR God—
the Source within my conscience
began watering my roots which
I thought were withering.
A seed inside me died—
NOW broke open.
In countless Christian
circles, I could no longer
how could gender bar me
from walking intimately
with the One I love?
How could homosexuals be
banned from a covenant
of love because RULES
state that only a man & woman
How can we spend
hours discussing Transgender bathrooms
instead of focusing on the individuals
who long to express their
I’m reading this Word
and SEEING what was
written long ago—
NOT so different today.
on all sides—
pockets are padded.
They’d build higher walls
to keep their possessions
Who is my neighbor?
call upon the poor widow to tithe her 10%—
“You can write it off on your
taxes” (but what do they have
to write off?)
and religious institutions
file tax exemptions
live in cathedrals
behind stain glassed windows.
Who is fooling who?
Everyday I shudder before
turning on the T.V.—
more and more bloodshed
on the streets…
Black lives matter—let’s
not pretend we’ve reached
a place where ‘ALL’ are
seen as equal—
Except in that BOOK
where LOVE wins…
no more violence.
Death leads to NEW Life…
We’re all going to die.
How, I’ve no idea.
I write from a privileged
My white skin once served
and protected (Yes, a Police Officer)
and I have countless
brothers & sisters
on the force
who each day
live in harm’s way
trying to uphold,
with the utmost respect
and integrity the lives of
black, yellow, red, white,
gay, straight, Buddhist, Muslim
Hindu, Christian, Atheist…
in that system I
also ‘tasted’ the foul
aftermath of corruption.
I knew the victims behind
bars more innocent than
the ones who shackled
handcuffs on the
wrists of a perpetrator
who sought only bread
to feed their family.
So, I stand at a
I’m NOT rejecting my
call to follow the
learning, if I am able,
in conscience to WALK IT!
What it means
has nothing to do with
what I stand to gain—
Heaven’s doors have never
They’ve only been closed
by ‘hollowed’ voices
taking from innocent souls.
When structures were established,
when rules were first laid down,
I don’t believe it was for power—
I trust it was so that we could
If only we could ALL
become like little children—
I believe that’s written in
the word, spoken (perhaps) by
a mere man who lived his
life in opposition
to the ‘systems’.
don’t SEE in color,
they do NOT judge if
two persons of the same sex
are holding hands.
They share their lunch
(even if no food is left for later—
and they even throw morsels
to the dogs, cats and birds at
So, where am I going
I’m at a crossroads
and I’m SEEING
the many roads leading
to the ONE Way—
ABRAHAM (Hebrew Scriptures)
‘Your descendants shall be as numerous as the stars in the sky’
so faithful to your father, Terah, whose name
connected with the moon goddess, taught you
the love of creation~~~all things.
You stayed by his side listening, stretching,
mindful of an existence beyond the reach of
your own ‘heart’ and yet dwelling/residing in your own being.
You did not leave him until his death…
You had to set out then on your own…
You had to find your own path.
Don’t we all?
We are drawn by, encouraged by, led by the paths of
we must risk
stepping one foot at a time upon a path uncharted
and open ourselves to endless discoveries.
Who would have thought?
Your first son, you held him in your arms.
Ishmael would carry out your promise…received.
Yes, yes Isaac we know~~~he came much later.
Sarah…so lovely and yet her heart crusted
over by her own ability to gift you and then only to
take it away. And yes, even rid you of your joy.
Your own humanness when faced with adversity…
“Sarah, tell them I’m your brother and not your
Husband”—In reality, she was your half-sister.
Yahweh walked with you, BUT you did not trust~~~
You tried to make things right…
The One Source of life always present
placed a ram caught in a thicket…
Sacrifice~~~no, the Source would never ask you
to give up your son, your child…
You already did that with your first son
and did this not haunt you?
How human we all are…
Your story, our story—
unrevealed graces for tomorrow.
Simple stories…your name
changed to ABRAHAM~~~’wanderer.’
Chapters unwritten—your message real.
We, your descendants,
Stars poured down to earth…
Your father knew this in his ancient ways
and you rediscovered your rootedness
in your ending from earthly life to
re~birth in death…
“Glance at the sun
See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings.
What delight God gives to
humankind with all these things.
Who gives all these shining,
wonderful gifts, if not God?”
Hildegard of Bingen
NOAH (Hebrew Scriptures)
The Source of all Creation perplexed…
This is NOT the way it is supposed to be.
Anguish, despair~~~words I never wished
written…and, yet we know them because we first
knew harmony, tranquillity, peace…
Maybe~~~maybe I should eliminate all this…
simply get rid of this plan…whatever that plan is.
Life…it is all meant to grow together~~~
to expand, blossoming in new wonder and hope…
Yes…I see it, I see it.
Look in his eyes….Grace! It is here, I simply
had to look. How could I ever think of getting
rid of what is good~~~NOAH it is in your eyes. You, your
family and an animal, in pairs, one of every kind will board a vessel you will build.
What? Am I hearing correctly? Yes, I understand
and I will do as you ask. I will follow…
Can you believe Noah…I know he loves this Creator, but he’s gone ‘overboard!’ Noah, you’re
a nut…thinking the way you do. Yeah, sure the earth
will be flooded…right. You are such a fool.
Where is your Source of Life on this hot summer day?
Come little animals, come up and board…
Trust me, my family…please.
I’ve done what I’ve been told—come in and let us close this door…
pitter~patter, pitter~patter, pitter~patter
The splashes now pounding downward hitting the wood~~~
The echoes outside drowned out by the roar of thunder
“I have learned so much from God
that I can no longer call myself
a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew.
What do sad people have in common?
It seems they have all built a shrine to the past
And often go there
and do a strange wail and worship.
What is the beginning of happiness?
It is to stop being so religious like that.
The great religions are the ships,
Poets the life boats.
Every sane person I know
has jumped overboard!
That is good for business, isn’t it, Hafiz?”
13th century Sufi Hafiz
I Can’t Stop the Rain…
for even a moment.
One solitary drop
and I cannot
and place it in
pouring its contents
Each pool of water
finds a place—
One ‘plunks’ on the rooftop
another on a dainty flower’s petal.
One splashes in a river’s bed
while another meets the cool pavement.
Effortless, the gentle wetness
christens a meadow
another hits a window
distorting the view.
At times ‘drops’ fall
within a soul
it cannot change
BUT, it can
leap into the sea
of rain soaked
bathing in the vast
Cain and Abel—Sacrifice (Hebrew Scriptures)
‘I AM’…lived and dwelt among them!
Who came up with sacrifice?
Who came up with this notion that offerings needed to
be given to ‘someone,’ ‘something’ way beyond our
Boys, boys…you so loved the soil, playing in the dirt—
You never wanted to do anything else. You loved
the Garden…you tended, tilled the land
and your crops overflowed…
ABEL…you loved the animals~~~especially those little sheep.
Staff in hand, gentle boy, you leaped from rocky crags, just like your four legged friends and
you were always keenly aware of keeping them safe…
One day, one very trying day…
What happened Cain? You brought what you had
planted and looked upon what your brother Abel
brought. No one saw anything different, BUT…YOU!
What took you down this road? Why did you have to
compare? Compete with your brother~~~what took
over your heart, Cain? Come back!
Disharmony, a falling from grace…
Your brother Abel… ‘please, brother…no! no!!’ BUT
You could not hold back~~~your brother’s blood
now in the soils you so loved to bathe in…he still
spoke to you~~~
“Brother, brother…come back, come back.”
I AM reaching outward trying desperately
To ‘get’ back ‘into’ Cain’s being~~~
Eve (Hebrew Scriptures)
Mother of all living kind
You took your first breath
and you already realized you were ‘one’ with
You cradled all in your arms
You did not feel the tremendous weight of all
you held…no, you held as if hoping never to let go…
It was all so good, so, so good.
Everything created brimming, flowing, beating with life~~~
You could not help but wish to taste everything
so your being could be enriched through all
You ‘rushed’ to the tree whose branches reached
for you…you took its fruit
and you tasted it
pausing only for a moment before you took
You…wanting only to birth back into life the goodness,
kindness, gentleness that breathed you into life.
You were so filled with joy upon tasting ~~~you shared
the fruit with your companion.
You did not hoard or secretly withhold the juices spilling down your chin,
cascading down your naked breasts…you were so alive.
Who ruptured your story?
Who pierced the love cascading from your heart?
In between the written lines~~~you continued to love.
You bore fruit
and lasting it has been.
In the beginning everything created was ‘good‘
and ‘You,’ mother of all living, never
stopped believing in that goodness…