late summer rain

first light through thin curtains
the dog asleep below

I am a part of all I see
part of this golden glow

the dog will stir and want his breakfast
and I have much to gain

if I now rise and walk the fields
before late summer rain

prayer of the heart

words said along the way

at the intersection

at night
through day

silent words
felt along an ancient way
before and behind each other word
I might think or say

through all the stations
of the day

words
no more in need of memory

my blister strip of pills
held like a rosary

ever with me
Lord grant mercy

descent

snowflakes flutter to the ledge
as I sit in darkness
awaiting the mystery of the dove’s descent

your face drops in instead
unannounced

the bell tolls thirty minutes
my time is at an end

sacred or profane
it’s all the same

love is all there is
an unseen flame

binding us all
to itself

cornerstone

you wrote your name in the palm of my hand

and laid the cornerstone
I threw into the lake

it sunk so deep
we haven’t found it to this day

though I never tire of looking

like your book
that I drowned in the bathtub

(I am so sorry)
but it never was the same

after that
it says I’m writ in the palm of your hand

and the rock that was laid for us that day
can never wear away

ready

sunlight on an empty vessel
in the deserted house along the shore

only when I am like that empty vessel
will I be ready
for my guest to call

when the wind and the sea and all the landscape
know me and recognise me
as one belonging

then – only then
will I be ready

for the coming

a good spot

the library corner in the new house
is a good spot for meditation

from my chair I can see
a spire rising up between trees

assuming it to be a place of worship
I wondered what denomination it might be

then I was told it was the spire
of the local shopping centre

but it makes little difference to me
it’s still a good spot for meditation

still a spire rising up between trees

the old coast road

and there were many buildings and temples
and who is to say which is false and which true
so I kept going along the old coast road
in the hope that I may find a way through

for once more would I visit my father’s garden
and stand among the olives and the vines
even though I am old and weary
what is his is surely mine

so I keep going
where there are many paths down to the sea

for along this old coast road
there is one
that may be recognised by me

pretending not to hear

darkness before dawn
I listen
as is my practice

lifting the mug of coffee to my lips
with both hands

the dog is sleeping on the bed

you tell me (as have others)
that the truth is closer
than I am to myself
closer than the thick black liquid
quickening in my throat

only it’s not working today

it is not here
that which with a rush is only everywhere

in your voice
the quiet breathing of the dog
the sip of coffee

grace knows no horizon
the heart no other resting place
than this

yet I’m no wiser

like children at a rock pool
we have dipped our buckets
and I have drawn up nothing once again

curious water
a ribbon of seaweed

if I were on my deathbed
even now
yours is a voice
to lead me by circuitous paths
to nowhere

which is the only place
I ever thought to be

it might be birdsong
or the voice of my father
calling up the stair
as I rocked on my heels
pretending not to hear
so long ago

I spit the grounds
place the mug down gently to one side
close my tired eyes
and see more clearly
that I am never closer to God
than when I am about to fall

and know

there is no one here to catch me
but myself

one second

so long I have waited
listening for a footfall at the door

now in that very listening
am assured

that You have never left this house at all
for one second

but have in all this time
been overlooked

simply ignored