True Home

Our mother created

a comfortable and peaceful place,

a true home in every sense of the word.


We were delivered

out of difficulties and lonely spaces,

into a warmth which radiated love.


Her home was always opened

to those who needed a kindly face,

and hers was most kind and full of light.


Now she is gone

her home will be sold,

and we are left to find our own way.


We search drawers and closets

hoping to be consoled,

finding solace in anything that speaks of her.


Sharing words

about her home and her life extolled,

huddling in the shadows left by a setting sun.


We are tempted to remain here

looking towards our past,

turning this place into a museum.


But grace will not allow us

sending plagues to disturb our rest,

forcing us to flee towards freedom.


Calling us to seek a better place

enjoying an eternal feast,

meeting again in a house with many mansions.



Two Roads Untaken (A Tribute to Robert Frost)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel either,

For having tripped upon my laces I no longer stood,

And upon my face there I brood,

And nevertheless enjoyed this unexpected breather.


The cool earthen soil was refreshing,

And though my plans had changed,

I looked upon those paths with no lamenting,

Nor for the steps I’d not be taking,

For I had rather found my peace there as I dreamed.


There stood a man before me all in white,

I thought that all my wits had come unglued,

He spoke such words as to delight,

He showed me what is wrong and what is right,

And laid my life before me to review.


When I awoke still at the crossing,

The sun was much lower in the sky,

With haste I tied my lacing,

And stood again to find the path that I’d be tracing,

A newer road with greater purpose before I die.



A Standing Shell

When the inside has crumbled,

how can the outside still stand?

This question I ponder,

as I survey the devastation within me,

left behind by the loss of my mother.


Strength, courage, comfort and joy,

wander aimlessly amidst the rubble.

Shell-shocked little children,

groping in the dark, searching for the light.

While anxiety plunders me, unabated.


It seems implausible that the whole edifice hasn’t come crashing down.

Flesh and blood, so solid and heavy,

suspended by what:

determination, will, fear?

keep me standing lest I fall, never to get up again.

or faith, hope, love?

a cord of three strands not easily broken,

invisible and difficult to understand.


Time heals all wounds,

and time turns everything here to dust.

Our lives sung out to a constant refrain of goodbyes.

Now a chorus of sorrow,

but tomorrow voiced with a strain of sweetness,

and eventually full-throated shouts of eternal joy.


The aimless will be reoriented,

and the dust will be reanimated.

What is now suspended around a fallen core,

Will be enlivened into life forevermore.




Perhaps there is no greater thing

than to wait.

Through waiting we are humbled.

Our lofty thoughts

are brought back to earth,

and we see that we are hungry,

like little birds searching the sky for our mothers.


There is nothing to be done.

So we wait.


The world crashes and clambers around us,

tall trees cracking overhead in the violent wind.

And we huddle down in our nests,

wondering what is next.

Our hearts beating the time along,

breaking a little too.


The food we sought from our mothers,

comes instead through our own broken hearts:

glistening sap, streaming forth honey–

amber love on fire, made manifest,

feeding us from the hand of God.



Crumpled Paper


Feeling like a crumpled piece of paper,

wet and muddy,

left in a corner of an empty house.

Cracked windows, dusty floors.

Someone puked on the tiles.


When I think of what is lost now,

nausea also rises in me.

Delirium, vertigo and an overflowing melancholy.

With tears too wet for words,

while words are helpless to express

this thing which really can’t be shared.


But there is hope,

I am told and I believe it.

A sun and a light breeze which will blow

through these hollow inner rooms,

breathing new life, straightening what is crumpled,

and healing what is sick.