The Old Trail

It was an old trail
I’d often travelled as a child
on foot, on sled, on bike, on horse.

It passed the rope swing
out over the steep drop off
then up the hill
through the field
where the abandoned house was.

I remember the left hand turn
through the pine grove
where the ground was soft
with brown pine needles.

It was quiet in there
and every sound
and every motion
seemed amplified.

You could stand there
forever
and listen
to the chickadee
in a distant tree
to the chipmunk
and squirrel
running along the branches,
and especially
to the unknown.

Beyond the grove,
the path forked;
uphill to the right
passing behind the neighbor’s barn
and downhill to the left
towards the old scout camp.

Straight ahead was the stream,
too small to fish
but you might see some minnows there,
various water bugs,
or if you sat
quietly,
long enough,
something mysterious.

I would sit there
on those long summer days
waiting for a blessing
I had already received.

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Sweet and Sour Soup

The rich man complained
that the soup lacked
sufficient
meat and vegetables
and I searched with my spoon
for my own nourishment.

The grieving mother moaned
that the soup was too sour and spicy
and I carefully tasted it
prepared for disappointment.

Then the homeless man rejoiced
at the simple succulent meal,
the warmth and many flavors
and I shared with him
the manifold pains and joys
of each moment.

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The Story

We are an improv team
telling our common story
about the elephant in the room.

We talk about
the trunk and the tail
the flank and the legs
and the gifted
might even
describe how various parts
are connected.

We are an improv team
telling our common story
about the elephant in the room.

and the way we tell the story
shapes us
and shapes those around us
as we try to understand
what is unique;
what is universal.

We are an improv team
telling our common story
about the elephant in the room.

It is a story about
birth
and death
and joy
and suffering
and still
we have problems
understanding
how the various parts
are connected.

We are an improv team
telling our common story
about the elephant in the room,

and by telling the story
we create meaning
and healing.

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The Snowflake

I pause to consider
the snowflake
that has landed
on the handle of my shovel.

Was it part
of the waters
that were separated
from the dry land
on the third day?

Was it part
of the sweat
that fell from Adam’s brow
after he was cursed?

Was it part
of the great flood
God sent
to destroy corruption?

Was it part
of the river
that brought
the infant Moses
to Pharaoh?

Was it part
of the Red Sea
that Moses
parted
providing a path
for the Israelites?

Was it in the Jordan River
when Jesus was baptized
or in the jars of purification
at the wedding feast?

Was it part
of the water that flowed
from the pierced side
of Jesus?

Did it irrigate
hazelnut trees
in the time of Julian
in Norwich?

And what will become of it
after it melts,
flows into the pond
and rejoins
the great cycle
of evapotranspiration?

“It lasts
and ever shall
for God Loves it”

Making Eden Great

Now the serpent was more crafty
than any of the wild animals
the LORD God had made
and he said to Adam and Eve,
“I’m going to make Eden great again.
I will be the greatest president
that God ever created.”

When they heard the boasts
and found them pleasing to the ear,
they cast their vote for the serpent
and elected him their leader.

Then they heard the sound of the Lord God
walking in the garden
and they were afraid,
so they said to the serpent,
build a wall to keep us safe
and drive out those who are different from us.

When the Lord heard this he said,
“Because you have done this
by the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”

Yet still the serpent boasted
“and when I return to dust,
I’ll be the greatest dust ever”,
and the serpent’s daughter
made fancy clothes
that were too expensive
and nobody liked
and tried to sell them in the stores.

And so the serpent started working on his agenda
And he attacked the judges and reporters
That thwarted or criticized him
And he said
“Nobody knew that healthcare
could be so complicated.”

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