Sunday, July 01, 2007

Psalm 26

there is no justice
in how I live.
I cast about for
and come up
with scraped knuckles
-and that is all.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Psalm 25: a lamentation (with a wink @ Yoder)

seeing always as
the cross & empty tomb

remember in college
a dorm-room door
w/a picture:
"SELF" on a grave stone.

what regression,
what rewind
walking backward & shining
into grave
dirt sucked into backhoe
and out into a pile
lifted out still, quiet
with make-up and a suit
and "waking" as the
angry boy i was

where to, the path
i thought i found,
the way i was learning
to learn,
waiting all day

but mercy still:
my childhood recedes
and most i've done
but what God forgets
i seem to keep
and all the
correction fluid
in all the world
simply will not do
(humiliation seems
not enough
to foster humility)

loving & faithful
trickling understanding
if i submit my
jealous rage

God be God
and forgive
(my sin is great
and great fun)
address the room
a question
who here is devout
and tell the
they have it

will souls find peace
(or even just
actually exist)
and will Your
children's children
inherit their parents' land
-is this truly the point
(please no)-

God whispers to
the devout;
sotto voce
reprove and reward,
quiet glimpses of
a promise
heads up
I'll free you
from your traps

endless mercy
You say
and it will be needed
as my sickness
as also despair
and problems enlarge
and pain
and look at all
my enemies
i don't remember
what i did
but look how much they
hate me

but keep me from my shame
and resurrect me
as Your own
(a smiling golem)
replace my past with
a future of integrity
and put wood in my spine
to be who You want.

redeem in me
a new jerusalem


brain cells
brain sells

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Psalm 24: Our Fathers' World

This world is God’s
and all the sunsets and
mountains and
old-growth forests
in Oregon
(not to mention
small dying men
basements on Chicago’s
near northwest side).
But ascending into God
requires some form
of decency and love
(and probably
good hygiene).
The clean
shall find blessing.
Look hard to see the
face of God
and of your father
who sits in his chair
and looks tired, tired,
and tired
until he thinks
someone is watching.
No, don’t look.
Let God and
your dad
have their rest.
Oh, common ground
reveal yourself
and doors open wide:
God would march
this way.
Oh, sweet love & life &
hard work & sport &
death & loneliness &
confusion & anger & quietude
& joy &
sweet adoration of God’s goodness
reveal yourself
and doors open wide:
God might march
this very way.


if you had
a dad
you might love him

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Psalm 23

1. God holds me close,
and lets me know
that what I have
is more than
2. God shows me
glorious places
in creation
like the lake
and forest
where we camped.
3. In my darkest,
most deadly moments,
God points out to me
the absurdity
of it all
and I laugh;
God reminds me
of Goodness.
4. And though the
stink of death
is constant
in my home
God had made me
by making
clear to me,
by making
my journey
at all
5. A place is
set for me
at the
Feast of
the Lamb
and a place
for everybody else,
friend or foe.
and God has
designated me
to help host
this Feast.
There is food enough
and New Wine
for all.
6. There is Hope
for all of Life,
and a space
for all of being
and all of
as long as I
have breath
to draw.


lenten meditations past

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Psalm 22

Eli, Eli,
lama sabacthani?
Matt. 27:46

Am I now forgotten
and overcome with
my fantasies of loss?

can you even hear me

In the morning I wake
with Your name on my lips
like "Mother."
At night there is a
darkness in the basement
echoing my voice.
Yet I maintain that
You are Holy
& have inhabited my praise.

My Dad seems calmed by his trust.
You have been a bandage
to his recent orphaning.
This faith is his vocation
but mine is doubt,
doubt confounding all
and inviting their disgust.
And why not?
Oh, look at me:
a laughable waste,
good only as a punch-
line cautionary tale,
good for a head-scratch
& a shrug.
The people all I know
would say,
"Oh listen to his death-wish,
his hastening of apocalypse!
If he's so sure, et cetera."

Still and all, I know
that You were the
very author
of all my hope.
I had little choice
but to learn
Your greatness early.
I am ripe
for Your re-education.
Loss is on my face
and no person knows to listen.

The grief of death
[and of getting up to go to work,
and of riding the bus
or shopping for groceries
or walking to church
and seeing the way-laying tragedy
of all the people I might meet]
has surrounded me.
The undiluted pain of
has bitten me on my
legs & in
my chest.
The pouring out
of my stupid fragile heart
has turned to white noise.
My bones are made
of heavy water.
I don't remember strength
or how to speak.
You have watched me into
the dust of death.
Is this the sound
of dogs licking at
my seeping wounds?
Have I hated myself
into stigmata?
Tell me.
My bones wait for me
to relate your answer.
My beloved are eyeing
my books and guitars
thinking this is

But do not be far.
Hurry to calm me.
Move to stop these growing nicks and cuts,
stay my love from the alleys.
Spare me the mundane
by the power of the miraculous.
I'll speak Your name around me
and point at You.
You have taken note of the sickness
of the ill,
and haven't hidden from them.
But when those Last Gasps
and Why Hast Thous
have sounded
You have known.
I'll tell the ones
who know but doubt
and retell your comfort
to the darkness.
Your heart will live among us.
And maybe in Your comfort
my world will be overcome.
That world is Yours.
It cannot be ours
as we fear and rail against
this death
but cause so much of it.
And I, the least of this,
will serve You,
and You will grow me
into much.
The faithful will come
and exclaim
that this is Your work.


in insufficient memoriam:
Carl Peercy
Mildred Peercy
Michael Dahlquist

Friday, October 14, 2005

Psalm 21: Of Transposition

If You are strong,
oh God,
I will show joy
and if you help me
I promise to

is the desire
of my heart
worth requesting


Meet me on the
quad at school
seven years ago
with blessings
and crown me
king of then.

i ask for life
but it's been
forever already

Two weeks from now:
my triumphant return.
You will make my
face and hair
to shine.

should i expect
to see you
in chicago
and be glad

If I believe
hard enough,
rumor has it,
I will be unstoppable.

will Your
granite hand
crush my fear

I am sweating out
my doubts
in the heat of
this farmland,
being swallowed
by the fallow

i hope not to
poison this

The machines
of evil are waiting
there for me,
Monkey wrench them.

distract them
and i'll sneak
else they'll
shoot me
in my face

I plan to
feel joy
in Your strength,
and sing out loud.


in & out
we dance & shout

Monday, October 03, 2005

Psalm 20: A Prayer on My Birthday

You are not too broken for God,
you worship the same one as Gustavo Gutierrez,
The God that surprises you
with quiet
and strengthens you
with talk of the Kingdom.
God remembers the
spark of divinity
with which you were born
and will ordain your efforts
if you make them.
God will grant you
a voice from your spirit:
you are completely
God's people
rejoice in your choice
of life
and celebrate you
in the name of God.
Your prayers are
already answered.
God offers you life
and hears you weeping.
You could trust in your
human violence
or you could
expect the wholeness
of Shalom.
That violence will fail you:
You are of
Resurrection People
and may stand up
God saved you already.
Allow God
to hear you.


3 to go now