“Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?” – Matthew 20:13

Creator of wealth and wages,
sustaining living,
feeding multitudes,
giving everything,
withholding nothing;
make us see enough for all
as the only way for each
of us to have enough;
for we say,
Give us this day 
our daily bread,
grumbling,
while hoarders hoard,
spenders spend,
treasures trove,
and demand grows.
Amen.

A New Home

I have yet to attend a funeral where the officiant
declares, The deceased has gone to hell.  Does 
that absence, or avoidance, create some strange
disservice to those who survive?  Perhaps a 
detriment to the deceased?  It is our enormous 
error to view the present state of nature 
as a punishment for divinely-prohibited, fruit-
nibbling.  While there are those who still feel 
that the sun is the center of their universe, 
I choose to bring the newborn baby home
with the expectation that tradition will give
her all that has been created and fall away
to something terribly and wonderfully new.

To Live, Just Once

I keep "Minute" perpetually on my shopping list,
hoping to find one on the grocery shelf tucked 
between the dried blueberries and granola.
And then to find another and another and another.

A strange way to seek immortality - no less bizarre
than traipsing off through a jungle in search of some
mythical fountain of life where a sip of bubbling water
promises an additional breath for each breath drawn.

To live another day - to experience one more hurricane,
more casualties of war, a sunrise and another summer
of the buzz of cicadas - with permission from life
to get out of bed and to be a beginner again.

Is one experience of body-surfing a wave into the beach
not enough?  The taste of banana taffy again?  To hold
the hand of my beloved?  Or do I search for more time 
afraid that, like birth, death will only happen once?

Scratches

Scratches in the wood floor hold memories of rushing
to the door hoping to greet the promised wishes of tomorrow.

And the goldfinch hangs upside down on the head of the sunflower
inquiring of the loose, black seeds, Will you feed me?

And the man, perhaps in a long coat, walks into his shadow
as the sun surges upwards over the slope of his shoulder.

And a woman bows her head over her book, not saying a prayer,
but moving her lips soundlessly, speaking to one not there.

And above, the blades of a fan spin, pulling the hot, human air
towards the ceiling of heaven where angels wait.

And all will be well, we are told, when the yearn of one moment 
meets the longing absent in the expectation of the next.

A Love Letter

I said, "I have decided to give my life
the title 'Extreme Experiments.'"

She said, "Funny, I don't consider
myself extreme or experimental."

I said, "But you have given me
the possibility to recognize
a grander perspective."

She smiled.  "Two people.  Peculiar
lives.  Some shared space and time
spent in each other's arms makes
all the difference."

I smiled, too.  "I had no idea this
conversation was going to turn
into a love letter."

She said, "As one brilliant mind wrote,
'We complex people cannot retreat
to blockish simplicities.'"

“But if each life is not new, each single life, then why are we born?” – Ursula K. Le Guin

to experience
as the leaves fall 
and rest upon
the frosted ground
remembering how
they unfolded 
just months before
in the springtime air

how the child 
crossed the street
not returning 
never to be seen again
having disappeared
into their own drawing
of a storm of hope
on a winter day

where life is an extreme
experiment in truth
and the possibility
of grander vistas
lures the eyes 
down the block
and around the corner
into adventure

Jesus said, “I am.” – Mark 14:62

I AM who I AM,
known by what has been
and by the moments of here and now
and by the dreams of what can be,
may the multitude of I AMs we cry
join together into a chorus of WE ARE;
for once again our pronoun usage
focuses more on the me in ourselves
and threatens to unravel the careful
stitching of our ancestors through time
which brought us together intersecting
our pasts, our presents and our futures.
Amen.