Thursday, October 06, 2016

Celestial GIF

In deep of night I see
                                a meteor streak
                                                       as though shot
                                                                             from Orion's bow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

No need to thank me...but hey, for my boy...

2 Samuel 17:27, 28; 19:31-40

King David's somersault career
includes him leading a straggle of loyalists
parched, starved, weary, and on the run
from traitor son, Absalom.

Later he's rescued in the wilderness
unpacking an emergency drop
from friend Bazillai the Gileadite.
Rations so generous
so succulent
a three thousand year old
manifest records

beds - sleep
basins - bathe
earthenware pots - drink

wheat & barley & flour  - bake
dried grain - snack

beans & lentils - simmer
sheep - roast
cheese from the herd - snack
honey & curds  - bon appetit

At episode end
Bazillai turns down David's
thank-you invitation to Jerusalem
pleads that 80 is much too old to
savour delights at the king's table
or hear the high notes from
singing men and singing women
with music from the psalms.
But hey, says Bazillai how about you do for my son instead...
whatever seems good to you.
Not so, says David, in the gracious repartee of ancient kings,
I'll do for him what seems good - to you!

Topic Taboo

No go.
Down shutters.
Default disconnect.

Twenty first century
savvy people
like old cultures
have off-limits places,
locations prohibited
by legend and lore

of the tribe.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Moon in Full

Outside in still of dark
the Christmas morning moon
dazzled me
splendid as a new born babe.

Her lustre, gift unwrapped
serving the hidden sun
as in a tiny face
Eternity has come.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Water for Her

Judges is a gruelling book
of blood, betrayal, pack rape
where heroes who escape
fatal flaws are few
and where the ending, oh God
the ending is tragic, macabre and
outrageously unjust.

Get the point that
here careens the nation disobedient
wildly uncoupled from Devine intention.

Yet see attached to chapter one
a vivid snap of Achsah
the guttural Hebrew consonant in her name
not distracting from the sound
like a sigh of longing
daughter of Caleb promised to the warrior
who captures Debir, the ancient city.

Promised her. They were paternalistic times and yet,
and yet, hear the lady plead her own cause
'She dismounted from her donkey.'
the donkey detail
- dismounted to speak her piece maybe
'What do you want?' her father asks, abrupt
like an Israeli on the streets of Tel Aviv
and she replies in kind, 'Give me a blessing
since you have set me in the Negeb,'
(set me up in the stinking desert for God's sake)
'give me also springs of water.'
Her words verbatim from the text
and Caleb her father
see the grin behind the beard
'gave her the upper and the lower springs.'

That-a girl.
Ownership, inheritance and respect from her dad.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Paintings Resemble Their People

Paintings Resemble Their People

like people possess
pigmented skin
supported on a frame.

Pictures cobbled from
work-a-day stuffs
ochre, cotton, timber
dust to dust.

The Ghent Altarpiece
just a few dollars
in panels and paint
tracked to a salt mine,
by ‘Monuments Men’ dying
to find stolen images
and snatch them back
from the swastika troops
at heart arresting risk.

Risk for the hardened linseed oil
skin less than a millimetre deep
on twelve panels
treasure beyond price.

A rescue undertaking
steeped in passion
like the crucified Lamb's.

The image of man watermarks a painting
like the image of God birth marks a man
imago homo
imago dei.

A rock wall’s leaping bison
parlayed from millennia past
Ghent’s wounded lamb
shepherded through time
to join surlier creatures lately come
each beast inescapably tracked
by the watermarks of man
imago bestia
imago homo
imago dei
in twists of colour
threaded like beaded DNA
through countless canvasses
century to century.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

At Cross Purposes

At Cross Purposes

Particulars are grit
rock salt of the earth
like Abe the Chaldean packing his camel
like the Jew Jesus
who signed as run-away Jonah
and made like a fiery snake
lifted up on a pole in the wilderness.

Universals are fog
that subverts edges, makes
one prophet or pretender resemble another.
Jesus Buddha Mohammed
seeming similar in silhouette
until sunlight evaporates 
the mist and glistens in a bloodied
timber’s gritty edge.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

White Christmas

Christmas morning sparkles 
white the early light 
shines in eucalyptus crowns.

Christmas in Exodus

Christmas in Exodus
Ancient Israel’s priestly garments are described in Exodus 39

How like a Christmas tree
the costume Moses made
for Aaron and his kin
resplendent top to end
with "Holy to the Lord".

Decorated bright
four rows of coloured lights
aflame with amethyst and beryl.
By emerald and by sapphire see
a lace of golden filigree.

Long strands of scarlet twist
wound round are streamers
blue and purple dyed, above
where pomegranate baubles hang
with tinkling bells beside.

Attached where chains of gold
on branching epaulets
are onyx lit, are text engraved
with names of twelve boys born
in ancient times to father Israel.

Sons and the sons of sons
shouldered as aleph ox is yoked
like servant King who bears the load
both priest and sacrifice for comers late
fresh grafted to the tree of life.

Atop the tree a turban star blooms 
from a gilded crown that signs afar 
oh holy night, the Lord has come.
Rejoice, rejoice you grafted men
come see your Maker near the inn.

Sunday, December 01, 2013


Our dining table is
five Celery Top Pine planks rubbed
with Danish oil to a hard finish
where sit two queens of Narnia
ages three and four
arrayed in op shop glory
at the feast of Kingdom Come.

From where I sit I see
the table’s end grain
in tight rings, calligraphy
serving sylvan poetry, line by line
a lyric for each passing year.

Years before I fitted them with legs
these five planks were a door
hung in our house
where passed in and out
two kings of Narnia
ages three and six
a door left always open
like the messianic portal
until, at last, the feast is set.

Long before I hung the door in place
with cross brace 
like the letter χ for Christ
it was a forest seed
ascending year by patient year
to toss at last a leafy crown
above the canopy.

Stellar the trajectory
from first awakened seed
to prince among trees
whose heart rings 
with an echo
in the canopy of stars
fractal of
galactic growth rings receding
outward by years
measured in speeding light
back and back
to singularity.
To seed of seeds.