Like a kid in a candy shop

Now that we are up and running with our newly-designed web-page (thanks Marty!) it's hard to know where to start.  So much to say . . .

Marty tells me I should find ways of introducing myself.  And since I'll go out of my way to avoid posting any portraits (I'm banned from Leica stores) let me use words.

There will be poetry.  I have three favourites:  Wendell Berry, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Buddy Wakefield (from last week's worship):

GOSPELSTITCH

I pray thanks

for the woman’s heels

I heard on the way here tonight –

they sounded like salt.

 

When I pray

I pray thanks for the small things,

for flowers and other natural holidays,

for my eight-year-old niece flying her kite

like an umbilical cord.

 

When I was eight

I prayed for a chest of kites.

Now I pray for You to open

my chest of kites.

 

Lord, let me write,

leave me autistic and typing

until my windows bust into a thousand silver doves

and I know the poem is done.

 

And when the words break too much glass inside me

I run when I pray.

I run when I pray on trails

watching the branches blur

to the sun’s Holy Sanskrit.

I carry your forests

in my heart.

Your fields

are on my back.

I have not fit your ocean into my chest

Yet

But I have fit its sound.

Like trees,

like lightning,

our prayers come

from the ground up.

 

My God’s abridged book

is a children’s story

where the lessons are simple

and the smiles lift like first grade watercolors.

 

When I pray

I pray in museums.

I pray over sweat-stained stages.

I pray with vinyl prayer wheels.

I pray by reading math, eating pocket-watches

to suck the chain back to your chest.

 

You are the men and their saws.

You are silence.

You are gospels.

You are the shoulders of a woman

whose name I never learned.

You are the fire returned back to itself

with every

burnt

book.

 

When we pray

our chests peel back

like open love letters the size of tide,

the way tide sounds

when it crashes your tympanum,

the way tympanum sounds

when it turns the word eardrum into a cymbal.

We play percussion when we pray.

We sing when we pray.

We laugh when we pray.

 

When I pray I move my feet

for the goosebump

in the heartbeat…

 

And I drop my jaw at fire when it’s flyin’out my eyes, Lord

I plunge my coiling wires in the water till I rise

above frogs

and pop rocks

and boxes

of roof tops

and the noises I can’t outrun

even when I’m running twice the speed of sound already

and three times the speed of my blood

 

‘cause everybody’s got voices

and everybody’s got some they can’t contain

like my need to be redeemed

at any time

in any place.

 

So you can bring on your boogieman loading his fuss

and gunning his fattening desire

‘cause we’ve got bees on flowers

with honey on hold

for those made of gold

but wrapped in wires

 

who keep themselves inspired

by the way they feel their spines

screaming, sparkling gods

who gotta live by the way they shine.

 

And this is not a dot-to-dot plot

or a battle on your god

of the makers of money (odd mockers of drum)

who all peel and staple great gobs of large labels

to a god they just wanna slum.

 

No,

this is my time and place.

This is me saving my saved face.

So if my heart starts to radiate bold broken glass,

y’all,

 

relax…

 

it always pumps this fast.

 

So get thee behind me blindness

and come to me quietly light.

Our god loves people like poems,

loves poems like prayers,

and loves prayers even when they are silent.

 

We pray until our words run out,

 

and Yours

 

linger

 

still.