Poetry Archives Index



                         RICH VISION  
                         POETRY BY BLAKE STEELE

                         FILE 2



                         ADAM, WHERE ARE YOU?

                         ANOTHER POEM ABOUT LIFE AND DEATH

                         ANOTHER SHORT EXHORTATION

                              TO THE INVISIBLE WILD HOST

                              WITHIN THE VISIBLE PLACID HOST

                         ARRIVING INSIDE YOURSELF

                         A SIMPLE, MUTUAL DEAL

                         AT MIDNIGHT

                         (From Pierre Reverdy)








                         FORGIVENESS MEANS RELEASE



                         GOD IS A FREE SPIRIT



                         HEAR O ISRAEL, THE LORD IS ONE

                         HOLDING TO DIALECTICAL ESSENCES

                              FOR REALITY'S SAKE



                         I AM:

                         I AM A CHILD FULL OF PROMISES

                         I FED THE KING AND WOUNDED HIM

                         IF GOD BE FOR US...

                         IN THE TIME OF SUNLIGHT

                         IT MAKES US FEEL GOOD TO CONTROL GOD

                                    THROUGH OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

                         I WANT TO FIND THE SOUL OF DOSTOEVSKI




                         LET US BECOME WALKING SABBATHS

                         LIFE IN THE WOMB



                         MARY ONE AND MARY TWO



                         POEM ON THE HEBREW WORDS

                               TRANSLATED JOY AND SALVATION




                         SAVORING CAKE

                         SINGING LIKE LEAVES AND FLYING THINGS   



                         THE GIFTS OF STRANGE TINY CREATURES

                         THE HUGE HOT SPILL

                         THE SMALLEST PROVISION ELUDES ME


                         THIS IS THE PEARL OUR SAVIOUR BOUGHT

                         TREES OF GOD




                         UNDERNEATH THE HUMAN FRAILTIES

                              SOMETHING TRUE COMES SHINING


                         UPON THE GOOD AND BROKEN KING

                         UPON THE PRAYER OF FAITH



                         WE SEEK GOD BECAUSE GOD SEEKS US

                         WHEN THE OURTER WEDS THE INNER WORLD



                         WISDOM IS A SPONTANIOUS LADY

                         WRITING INTO A TOUCH OF REMEMBRANCE

                         WHY SHOULD MY LILLY CARE


                         34 POEMS: LAST ONE - HEAR O ISRAEL





                          THE POEMS











                         THE HUGE HOT SPILL


                         They say that God is distant,

                         well ordered, reserved,

                         like a nun's tentative breathing

                         in the presence of a beautiful man.

                         But I say that God is hot and huge,

                         rolling in the lightning blue depths

                         of His own being!

                         Mostly, God moves cloud-like

                         through inner, spacious places of the human soul

                         at a rate too slow for mortal sense:

                         but sometimes, when the world

                         weighs too heavily upon Him,

                         He trembles

                         and is felt as a passionate dream,

                         too full of fire and song to be contained

                         even in His own infinite expanses.

                         It is then that He spills over the brim of His being

                         into our being

                         to seize us

                         with His song.






                    I AM:



                    I am the object of another's hopes,

                    of another's dreams,

                    of another's purposes.

                    I am the object of another's love,

                    of another's concern,

                    of another's care.

                    I have been created by another's power.

                    I am the fruit of another's husbandry,

                    the art of another's genius.

                    I am an object becoming

                    an offspring.

                    I share in a life I do not own.







                    The poets are drawn into the dance of the many,

                    the holy luminous mosaic,

                    the diverse, the color rich bouquet,

                    the feast of Elohim.

                    Oh Lord of the flying, flaming hosts,

                    receive our praise!

                    And concurrently they are drawn

                    into the one essence of the essence.

                    Hear O Israel, the Lord our God,

                    the sovereign--our strength among us,

                    our ruling, all powerful towards us--

                    is One Lord. Unique!

                    And the holy poet's cry,

                    "The meaning of our lives

                    is at the source of our being!"

                    and, "We must dance diversities

                    into that luscious harmony

                    which is the sweet juice and fruit

                    of He/She/They who dwell in holy, compassionate,


                    and freely creative unity.








                    RELIGIOUS INQUIERY I.


                    On the first morning 

                    the young student, his face framed with spinning curls,

                    caught up with the old rabbi who hobbled down the road

                    "Venerable one, what is piety?" he asked.

                    The old man laughed, shook his beard

                    and spit in the dust.

                    "Ask the birds sonny," he replied

                    rocked back and forth on his toes a few times,

                    then scowled and walked away.


                    RELIGIOUS INQUIERY II.


                    Undaunted the young man

                    approached the old rabbi

                    who sat on a bench at noon time,

                    slurping his soup.

                    "Venerable one, how can we know God?"

                    the student asked with the intensity

                    of his youthful passion.

                    The old man laughed, wiped his beard

                    on his sleeve and spit on the floor.

                    "Think like a window and open it, Sonny,"

                    he replied, then hovered back over his bowl.


                    RELIGIOUS INQUIERY III.


                    The young man knocked on the rabbi's door

                    in the evening shadows.

                    Hearing no reply, he peeked through the slats

                    and saw the old man hunched over a holy book

                    which lay before him on a wooden table.

                    The student nervously pushed open

                    the door and stood, hat in hand,

                    shuffling from one foot to the other.

                    The rabbi briskly flipped the pages

                    with his thick fingers and took no note of him.

                    The student, coughed and stuttered out,

                    "Honorable Rabbi,

                    I've come a long way to speak with you.

                    Before I go, could you tell me one more thing?

                    The old man peered up at him

                    through his wiry eyebrows, waiting.

                    The young man took heart.

                    "Venerable Father," he continued,

                    "How should I live to be holy?"

                    The old man's eyes brightened and he suddenly laughed,

                    pulling on his beard with one leathery hand

                    and pounding the other one on the boards.

                    "By Solomon's beard," the old man said,

                    "Audacious, precocious..." he paused,

                    looked hard at the young man,

                    then blew air suddenly out his nostrils.

                    "Sonny, listen now," he said, lifting

                    one hand in the air.  If you want to live

                    you must be alive!

                    Go where you are going and open windows

                    for all holy creatures to swarm into your soul.

                    Start with the birds...

                    Let birds fly into you, singing.

                    Then, if you figure out both worlds

                     where you and the birds are

                    --be a child now!--throw open a space

                    in the center of every bird

                    and pour out through them

                    their own song in human words."

                    He paused, bent over and spit on the

                    floor then looked up with his eyes burning.

                    "Hear now! Are you listening, Sonny?" he asked.

                    The student dumbly nodded.

                    "You sing and sing," the rabbi said,

                    "'Til your song more precious to you than your life.

                    Then you'll have begun to know just a thing or two

                    more than the wind..."

                    With that said, the old man bent over,

                    kissed the holy book,

                    and without a further word blew out his candle,

                    and crawled into bed with his boots on.



                    RELIGIOUS INQUIERY IV.


                    The young man shook his head,

                    put his hat on in the dark

                    and stumbled outside into the night.

                    He felt like cursing with exasperation.

                    The stars were shimmering in the cold sky.

                    He gazed at a bright one for a long while

                    and began pondering the rabbi's words.

                    Slowly, he started to hum

                    trying to imagined what a star’s song might be.

                    Suddenly it was as if all questions were being asked

                    in three notes.

                    Then some words came to him, so he sang them

                    towards the sky,

                    "Star which shines with your back to me,

                    I'll sing through you towards eternity."

                    Just like that, he felt like he was being

                    thought of.





                    UPON THE PRAYER OF FAITH


                    A movement of longing in man

                    becoming an action in God.







                    Where are the warriors who stand up

                    and protect the prince?

                    We need a wild passion

                    for moral order

                    which births truth

                    to obey the Holy.





                    I FED THE KING AND WOUNDED HIM


                    I fed the King and wounded him

                    in one action.

                    He lies amidst his warriors.

                    Unless I grieve his state until I sing

                    my lamentations

                    how shall he arise?

                    The King in the third Heaven

                    grieves for me                      

                    even as I grieve.

                    But, if I choose

                    to harden my soul in death,

                    his anger shall burn

                    and smite--to deliver me.

                    His scepter shall fall mightily

                    upon my helmet of brass

                    until it splits open and

                    my naked soul flows out

                    like dark blood

                    upon His hands.





                         ADAM, WHERE ARE YOU?


                         The world is composed

                         of the congealed echoes

                         of God's voice.

                         It sings out,

                         "Sons of creation,


                         And asks the essential

                         question, "Why

                         would you conceal yourselves

                         from Me and die?"     




                         SAVORING CAKE


                         As delightful as a little cake may be,

                         (covered with raspberries and cream)

                         the essence of the little cake in thought

                         lives deep in the great God's dream.

                         And so, to savor both the little cake

                         upon my tongue and past my thought

                         is to find all that man has ever sought.





                    TREES OF GOD


                    Lord, I see trees all around me this spring

                    which bear an intolerable profusion of glory.

                    Branches bow beneath the weight of their blossoms.

                    If I wanted to glue one more petal onto a tree

                    I could find no space to fasten it.

                    So let the holy, flowing sap of your life

                    press up through my being

                    that I might be such a tree,

                    displaying the luxurious feast of You.

                    You are the vine. We the branches,

                    dependent on the fat of the vine,

                    the amber surge of sap,

                    the dark health of the driving root.

                    Lord, you are the blackness beneath us;

                    the root springing up its light from the dark;

                    the succulence of life flowing from the root

                    to the branch. And, who can say that you are not

                    the branch as well?

                    Yet we are we, and you are you...

                    and beyond this we cannot rightly conceive.

                    Only, let us so yield and open unto you

                    that the wealth and holy pressure of your life

                    might swell the branch, burst the bud, inflame the flower.

                    Then be the wind Lord, which carries the blossoms away...

                    And when the fruit has grown fully rip and sweet,

                    be the eater through every soul

                    that cries out blindly in the dark for the life of you

                    and reaches rough, empty hands

                    up into our fruit laden, trembling branches.












                         God himself was born of a woman;

                         sailed her salt seas naked and blind;

                         listened to her heart beat

                         in fluid suspension;

                         enlarged by the mercies of her body

                         while swaddled in dark heat.

                         God himself slipped into the silky tract

                         when her body said, Yes!

                         oozed down through warm mucus;

                         felt the silver cord tangle through his feet.

                         And when the head broke free--

                         God felt two wet rose petals

                         tight around his neck.













                    I want to find the soul of Dostoevski,

                    and absorb the ancestral home of Tolstoy;

                    I want to deepen my soul

                    with words which weave through the remembrances

                    of those old women who felt the essences

                    of master men;

                    I want to wander into thick,

                    black stands of trees

                    with rough peasants

                    who still cut logs with axes.

                    I would listen to each strike of steel

                    echo into cold silence...

                    I want to feel the bells

                    upon their horse's bridles

                    ring within my spirit!

                    --it would be a subtle ecstasy;

                    it would inflame me

                    until I was driven

                    to bury my face into snow drifts

                    upon the Caucus plains.

                    Oh, that Mother Russia

                    might let me suckle her leathery breasts!

                    Perhaps she would let me sit for long hours

                    within her ancient churches

                    until frankincense

                    slowly soaked into my soul

                    as it has infused the wood of icons

                    over centuries.

                    I would sit for years

                    in the fragrant silence of her churches

                    until I heard what a soul should hear.

                    Then I would sing an unknown tongue

                    into the blue smoke

                    which drifts amongst the rafters

                    of village taverns

                    until white doves came down

                    from high metal roof tops

                    unto the heads and hands

                    of the people.








                         ARRIVING INSIDE YOURSELF


                         Kindle a light in your words--

                         let them live!

                         as words should live!

                         For words may hold the spirit

                         as the form of a flower

                         holds dew.

                         Strike the poetical spark

                         and words will flame alive!

                         Then shall you see

                         the luminous beauty

                         of spiritual essences

                         which stream into the deep mind

                         through words.

                         When such words enter you

                         you arrive inside yourself

                         and the world

                         within words.
















                    WISDOM IS A SPONTANEOUS LADY

                    (From Proverbs Chapter 8)


                    She played, the wild, free woman

                    laughed and spun, skipped and ran

                    before the shimmering face of Alaha.

                    In His innocent light she was innocent,

                    and in His pleasure she exalted.

                    Frisky, lithe, more beautiful than deer or birds at dawn,

                    she relished the moist earth of God

                    upon which she lavished kisses and breathed

                    until sons and daughters

                    blossomed in her fingers

                    like little silky wild flowers

                    made of earth and opening.








                    WE SEEK GOD BECAUSE GOD SEEKS US


                    We seek God because God seeks us.

                    We must grow to enter God's concern.

                    The roots give rise to the rose

                    not the rose to the roots.

                    We learn to release, because God has released us.

                    We learn to love, because we are cherished.

                    Freedom is a choice God is waiting for us to make.

                    In truth, only God is free.

                    When we enter God... Ahhhh.

                    Through the process of the tree

                    blows the breeze.











                    IF GOD BE FOR US...


                    If God has limited his working for humanity

                    that it might come through humanity,

                    then we are the partners of God.

                    If we are God's partners, and God

                    waits for us to fulfill His will in the earth,

                    then God must be much more for us then we know:

                    Why would God work against His partner?

                    We are a team, the Holy One and us.

                    Elohim. God the team. The Lord of Hosts.

                    With the angels, we are also the hosts of the Lord.

                    Throw back your wild hair, woman of Christ.

                    Pick up your sling and your harp, man of God.

                    The free powers of the God who is a fuming fire

                    await your choice to enter the fuller freedom

                    of His will.





Blake Steele

P.O. Box 201

Bend, OR 97709














                              Lord, draw out of my soul

                              a fine, thin line

                              of concentrated desire,

                              a filament of dreams

                              which fixes my heart to your face.

                              I would hang in the air

                              (like a beloved spider),

                              upon the silk thread of ardor

                              in a reverie of devotion.





Blake Steele

P.O. Box 201

Bend, OR 97709
















                    As a tree draws up water from the dark,

                    so let us draw up from our roots

                    all agony, all our subterranean pain.

                    Let us learn the lesson of the lilac bush

                    and like a haunting perfume

                    release our dark agony to the sky.

                    Can you feel the angels of blue sky take it?

                    They catch it up upon white wings unto God.

                    Let us be very sure that God will dissolve

                    every foul shadow of us

                    in the goodness and mercy of His light.

                    God is for us. God is for us!

                    The stars in their courses are fighting for us!

                    Let the birds of the sky and branches sing

                    until they come to sing within our souls

                    as we join in the great song of adoration

                    and arise to grow beautiful in Christ.










                    Lord, the little things I need:

                    a bit of bread, a hoe,

                    a plot of ground,

                    a one room house

                    with a view of the stars,

                    an open roof to the sky--

                    a rivulet of provision

                    which makes the mind free

                    to feed holy dreams,

                    to manifest the visions--

                    these things elude me.

                    And so my dreams

                    often fly far away

                    to where I cannot find them,

                    hiding like fireflies

                    behind a peasant woman's skirts

                    in a distant country--

                    dimming there like an old man's eyes.









                    The fiercest warriors

                    sing the mad world

                    back into innocence again

                    and see in the mirror of their new hearts

                    a new world.

                    And walking awake

                    amongst the sleepers on every side,

                    such singers join the company of birds

                    (and other forms of angels

                    who hold the patterns of flowers

                    and meticulous leaves in place),

                    and thus celebrate the close,

                    yet invisible countenance

                    in which they bathe themselves pure

                    under a great bath of light.






                         WHY SHOULD MY LILLY CARE


                         Why should my Lilly care

                         if shadows chain me down?

                         She sits upon her satin chair

                         above the ground.


                         She laughs up at the stars

                         which seek to send me light;

                         then dances by my prison bars

                         within my sight.


                         I hate, and wish her dead,

                         and rattle my thick chains;

                         she wildly shakes her golden head

                         and me disdains.


                         Yet when I beg our King

                         to grant His loving care,

                         it's She who comes to sing...

                         and wrap me in her hair.








                    UPON THE GOOD AND BROKEN KING


                    My Father is a man of great blessing.

                    Gentleness streams from his hands.

                    Intelligence dances and weaves,

                    links and disassembles

                    within his ample brain.

                    He is simple of heart

                    for all his scope of mind.

                    He is compassionate

                    and loves the earth,

                    reading of divine mysteries

                    in the book of his garden.


                    And my Father is wounded.

                    He cannot embrace me.

                    His affections are in chains.

                    He is not wise enough

                    to enter the world of my soul

                    and work wild works

                    to free the infant me.

                    He is not honest enough

                    to bring his deeper truth out into the light

                    and wrap the wounded child of his son

                    in a clarity that cuts and heals.

                    He is not courageous enough to be fully real

                    and present to me so I may pass on

                    his greater truth to my children

                    and to theirs.


                    This is the normal thus...

                    I also forgive him.








                         UNDERNEATH THE HUMAN FRAILTIES

                         SOMETHING TRUE COMES SHINING


                         Certain souls sparkle with it:

                         a quirky kind of thing to some,

                         more like waterfalls

                         and free flowing waves of wind to others.

                         Leaping out into an event

                         beyond the boarders of self--

                         an unique moment of full life is born.

                         I believe that when you stir your tea,

                         whirlpools suck old ships down into the sea,

                         and that when you crinkle your eyes and smile,

                         lions who where sleeping under trees

                         in another world

                         bound up to dance with gazelles

                         in yellow grasses.


                         You know who you are.

                         You've worn a cross around your neck

                         --though you haven't known the meaning.

                         Will you come to realize

                         what your priceless things are

                         and how you must grow to guard them?


                         Why is it that you feel like my own sister,

                         like my laughing soul,

                         like myself with breasts?    


                         I write to you what you will never know,

                         that I love you from a great distance

                         because I have seen

                         in your eyes

                         the eyes of a free people.









                         When she moves

                         she ripples the heavens

                         which surround her--

                         so substantial is her peace.

                         Her eyes hold a primal power

                         which clears the muddle of my heart.

                         There is a forum in her deeper mind.

                         God and the devil debate

                         and God most often wins.

                         Through her, grace is palpable;

                         her forte is beauty.










                    Outside my window lies a vast vista of the land

                    which my heart has often viewed through my eyes.

                    Pigeons, which every morning stroke the skies,

                    glide down to eat cracked corn from my hand;

                    then coo above my head through the day's full heat,

                    telling stories from their hearts unto my heart.


                    I listen to them tell their earnest lies,

                    trying to sympathize and understand

                    why this small, soft, feathered gypsy band

                    always seems to take me by surprise

                    by the way they weave perspective through their stories

                    which colors all the world with subtle glories.








                    AT MIDNIGHT

                    (From Pierre Reverdy)


                    All life has ended.

                    The spinning earth

                    has no eyes to see it,

                    no mind to reflect its devoured beauty.

                    Only the wind utters a sound.

                    It seems to be a sigh.

                    The innocent animals are dead.

                    All the birds have fallen from the heavens.

                    The sun is black, the moon is blood.

                    As the prophets said

                    stars have fallen from the sky.

                    A face peers over the horizon of the world.

                    A hand stops the earth.

                    Golden hair sweeps away clouds.

                    Like seeds in the wind

                    luminous souls are scattered everywhere.









                    Now my hand can stir a flower,

                    pick up a pebble,

                    hold a woman,

                    feel the heat of a flame.

                    Now my body parts the waters,

                    holds up clothes,

                    encloses ecstasy in the midst of its pain.

                    But when I die...

                    I shall touch the fairy of the flower

                    with my hand of pure power,

                    enter the heart of a gnome in the stone,

                    pass through a woman's milk, wild hair and bones,

                    adore with the seraphim of flame.

                    My body shall fall in a rain drop

                    and rise with the mists of the seas.

                    Wind shall be my robes

                    and I shall live in radiant ecstasies.

                    No anguish will be within me--other than this:

                    I can no longer bend a flower with my hand,

                    pick up a pebble and skip it on the waters,

                    rub my skin against a woman's skin,

                    feel the pain of a flame.








                         LIFE IN THE WOMB


                         The incipient child

                         --before lips, before mouth,

                         without voice--

                         is a mere intent and longing,

                         a vestal impulse of life

                         longing for life's becoming...

                         which is a Holy thing!












                    When images from the senses

                    parade into those secret chambers

                    made with walls of glass,

                    whose windows open into infinite inner space,

                    there a wedding takes place

                    amidst the light of passionate torches

                    of love.

                    Wind moves without movement

                    through windows,

                    awakening insight's imagery

                    as imagination throws lights and forms

                    over the wind of light.

                    These images correspond

                    to images of the senses.

                    Recognizing each other they embrace

                    and birth a poem

                    of such power

                    as to make sing

                    the hearts

                    of men and birds.










                   JOY AND SALVATION

                   (Isaiah Chapter 12)


                   Brightly the waters are dipped by the hands.

                   The well opens

                   and shines its silver reflections into the eyes.

                   A face appears above. It is the Lord's salvation.

                   It is He who is open like the sky,

                   free like mist in a wind—as safe as old stone.

                   The thirsty soul places its face into the pool,

                   drinking up bright salvation.




                   (Yeshuah means Yah is Salvation:

                    Opened wide, free and safe.)










                         WRITING INTO A TOUCH OF REMEMBRANCE


                         Can a man write himself into remembrance?

                         Remember, my mind, last bastion of shadow

                         in a field of light,

                         remember elemental things,

                         root things, things rough

                         like knuckles, like wood bark.

                         Delve down deep!

                         There is a holy dark

                         beyond the dark

                         of misconceptions

                         and the anguish about anguish.


                         I once knew a woman

                         whose movement made trees dance

                         and flowers opened with ecstasy

                         in the sunlight of her smile.


                         Can I write myself into such poignant remembrance

                         as shall make luminous waterfalls

                         spill into the dark?

                         Is there is a holy, creative way to weep

                         about a love of such proportions

                         that never accomplished

                         permanent connections?


                         Some people smell like

                         the north wind

                         blowing off that cold north sea.

                         Some people hold fragrances

                         of poppy fields and the new mown grasses

                         of Italy in their bones.

                         I'll write of these rare, rooted people

                         in a odorless new world.







                         I AM A CHILD FULL OF PROMISES


                         I am a child full of promises,

                         having received them

                         and holding them in my heart;

                         having received them--in trust--

                         from the mouth of God.


                         Do you consider me a fool?


                         O, that I may be as foolish as Abraham!

                         who wandered into dangerous wastelands

                         blind with trust.









                         Turn the heart of stone

                         back to flesh;

                         take away rags—

                         bring the bridal dress.

                         The wounded warrior,

                         the weeping maid

                         caught up in glory

                         start to fade.

                         Open the bedroom

                         in a tree

                         out springs that hawk

                         of eternity.






                         MARY ONE AND MARY TWO


                         Mary one said to Jesus

                         "You are just a gardener";

                         Mary two saw a glory

                         streaming from His sepulcher.

                         Mary one tried to touch him,

                         would have clung, would contain;

                         Mary two bowed--and freed Him!

                         drank the fire of His name.











                    Let us become walking Sabbaths,

                    a song of redemption, a dance of the holy.

                    Within God's Sabbath a common man

                    is a prince of Alaha again;

                    a woman becomes royal and mysterious,

                    a sacred keeper of ancient ways.

                    Within God's Sabbath children

                    are jewels set in an ivory temple of the day.

                    Can you hear strains of music

                    issuing from under the hills;

                    from within stones?

                    Sabbath music moves across the seas

                    and into these forests.

                    Our load is lifted, eyes open in delight:

                    for Christ's sake, all the world is forgiven!

                    Let rich people dance a wedding dance

                    with the oppressed and poor;

                    let judges visit prisoners and sing with them

                    songs of hope and freedom!;

                    let the dying be attended by sacred musicians.


                    There is a fragrance that must be shared,

                    an infectious plague that must be spread:

                    It is called Life; it is called Joy!;

                    it is called release of the Spirit;

                    it is called Mercy.

                    It is the hidden holy, the fragrant flame

                    which makes every secret soul

                    radiant again.

                    Let us become walking Sabbaths,

                    holiness within time,

                    drinking God's imagination

                    from this inexplicable gift

                    of existence.








                    IN THE TIME OF SUNLIGHT


                    In the time of sunlight

                    when the miracle gleams

                    upon a bright Mexican serape,

                    or upon yellow and coral colored jugs,

                    or in a flower's sheer throat;

                    when light makes bird's feathers

                    shimmer with incandescent color,

                    or goes wild,

                    bouncing off white blouses

                    to glow in the chocolate brown eyes of women

                    --it is time to taste color and give thanks,

                    catching your breath

                    and listening with your eyes

                    to the silence of light.

                    Then, if your eyes hear

                    and a bird suddenly sings,

                    or a woman laughs,

                    like the voice of light's music...

                    something falls down inside and adores.








                    The stars shine in vast unending reaches.

                    Here, on a distant, obscure planet

                    (hidden amidst the spangled glories of the milky way),

                    there are strange, tiny creatures

                    who can think of stars,

                    who may reflect them in words

                    and sounds and paint,

                    who can read their mythologies

                    from ancient books:

                    creatures who can dream of such a being

                    whose full breadth

                    dwarfs even the infinite spaciousness

                    of stars.








                    THE STUDENT'S QUESTION


                    How can a sweet raindrop

                    falling into the salt sea

                    regain its sweetness?


                    THE OLD RABBI'S ANSWER


                    Only by the sun's heat.








                    THROUGH OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD


                    "We are sure God approves of our defense of Him!"

                    said Job's friends to each other,

                    after much prayer,

                    after they had counseled for a long time

                    with their God-stricken friend.

                    When Mariah came down, the mountains melted;

                    when Alaha came down to reprove

                    the righteous and show His glory,

                    then Job's accusations of the Lord

                    seemed more true

                    than the wise men's affirmation of God's

                    sterling character.

                    It seems most religious folk

                    never quite understand the Holy One's wildness!

                    "I made the crocodile!" said El.

                    "I made the fat hippo in the mud!" said the Maker.

                    "Come before my face

                    and tell me I have no right to be who I am

                    and do what I choose."

                    A fiery whirlwind came down;

                    a million voices spoke like thunder!

                    Job thrusted his boil-swollen face down into the dust.

                    God answered no questions,

                    solved no riddles.

                    He came. He revealed Himself!

                    Then Job saw

                    God's sovereign freedom

                    to be








                         A SIMPLE, MUTUAL DEAL


                         I owe God nothing;

                         God owes me nothing.

                         Let's start right there.

                         What God has to give

                         is the free gift

                         of Himself

                         to a free people.

                         What we have to give

                         is the free gift of our lives,

                         to be loved and to love.

                         Only through such a liberal exchange

                         shall the miracle of God and ourselves

                         be finally known in the world.







                         THIS IS THE PEARL OUR SAVIOUR BOUGHT


                         There is a hidden dignity in mankind,

                         a precious pearl that can't be priced,

                         when our lives with it are at last aligned

                         spiritual veils are cleanly sliced,

                         opening souls over a stream

                         which flows with the love of a divine dream.

                         This is the pearl our savior bought

                         which His life and death and rising taught.









                    TO THE INVISIBLE WILD HOST



                    Brothers and Sisters,

                    let's renounce ourselves!

                    until the word of Christ whirls us around

                    to see the world turned upside down.

                    Then the kingdom of God

                    shall be birthed amongst us as hot laud,

                    while praise moves through us like a breeze

                    unto a freer glory, and purer peace.








                         GOD IS A FREE SPIRIT


                         God is a free power

                         and a pure working.

                         What little boxes

                         we have put Him in...

                         This is our religious sin!

                         He who flies on the wings of the wind,

                         we have brought to a dreadful end:

                         confining on a sterile altar

                         He who is a raging fire!

                         Charting Him within a ledger,

                         tracking Him upon our graphs;

                         the real God (I would safely wager),

                         with His angels, weeps and laughs

                         and longs to crack us open wide,

                         to pour His swirling flame inside!







                           HEAR O ISRAEL, THE LORD IS ONE


                     When the warrior

                                              with his silver sword,

                        and the lady

                                               with her rose

                  become One,

                                         each driving back the dark


                      --with fierceness and with fragrance--


                 each severing, piercing,

                                             yielding,     opening...

                 protecting silver waters,

                                          the ancient golden fountain


                                  of Holy Love,


                 then the High King's throne

                                         is established and revealed

              and His fiery river         

                                                            flows forth;

                 then the elders    

                                                 come forth singing,

                 casting their crowns upon

                                                 the glassy sea;

                 then the lightning bolts of


                                     YHWH               flash!


              out of a child's innocent eyes

                                               and His emerald rainbow

                 is revealed

                                           in every green leaf.


          And the innocent Spirit

                                                                     of God

                              becomes the ecstasy

              of blue sky    

                                                          and the wind...

                 the rustling bush,  

                                                   the rushing stream,

                                 the white flame

                 falling away

                                                  in the belly 

                 and leaping in the loins;

                                                     the clean flush

                 of a             

                                  realized eucharist.



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