Posted by: Lisa | November 19, 2014

Stream Continued

Okay, here’s something fun! John and I love when poetry inspires more poetry. John’s most recent post, In the Stream, inspired my friend and spiritual buddy, Brother Leo Campos from the Community of Solitude, to send me a response poem. We ended up with a neat little poetry exchange we decided to share here. Enjoy!
—————————————–

Leo:

In the stream of my life,
– Flotsam –
Debris from upstream
Washing slowly down
Until the bend swallows them from sight

Occasionally some treasure. Trapped
In roots of the mango trees

Floating past
What has this exposed wreckage
To do with the fisherman watching
Sitting quietly under the shade
Not good, not bad
Just like clouds in the water
Obscuring the fish
—————–

Lisa:

exposed wreckage
being watched
not good not bad
—————–

Leo:

Fish swims
Unaware of good or bad
Fisherman ignores the flotsam
Only: fish
—————–

Lisa:

Fisherman: Be quiet! Sh….
Fish: Work
Flotsam: Ahh….

Posted by: John | November 17, 2014

In the Stream

At this point
in my existence
people and places
from my past
float to the surface
of my memory
like flotsam and jetsam
in the stream of my life,
some good some bad.

Posted by: John | November 15, 2014

Balancing Act

In meditation
it’s like trying
to balance myself
on the head of a pin.

Posted by: Lisa | November 12, 2014

Go!

“… ten lepers met [Jesus]. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, ‘Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!’ And when he saw them, he said, ‘Go show yourselves to the priests.’ As they were going, they were cleansed.”
(Luke 17:12-14)

O Lord, You see
and hear our distress.
You know our illness
better than we who
attempt to endure.
We call to You.
God of All,
You know us;
You discern
the purity of our hearts.
Even mustard-seed-sized
faith opens the world
of possibility.
You command: Go!
We put one foot
in front of the other,
and Lo!
We are healed.

Posted by: Lisa | November 10, 2014

You Nourish

“A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?”
(Proverbs 18:14)

“God humbled you and made you feel hunger. God then fed you with a food you had never known – to make you understand that human beings live not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
(Deuteronomy 8:3)

Crushed in spirit,
humbled before You,
I repent of pride.
This vast hunger
far surpasses anything
of insatiable flesh.
I’m not immune.
You know, O LORD,
the void, Sheol,
darkness that awaits
me ever patiently.
You nourish me
moment to moment
with light, love, life,
breath, Presence.
These truly fill me
when I let them.
Amen. AUM

Posted by: John | November 8, 2014

Four-letter Words

Bob Dylan said, “Love is just a four letter word.”
But then so is Hate a four letter word.
Hope is also a four letter word.
Life is another four letter word.
Many of our names for abstract,
non-physical things are four letter words.
Word itself is a four letter word.
Yet these words have such power.

Posted by: John | November 7, 2014

Zits

In doing my meditation I understand why we should focus into the third eye.
This helps keep stray images and thoughts from entering and hijacking the brain.
It keeps out the “zits” –
the whatzit,
the whyzit,
the wherezit,
the whenzit,
and the whozit.

Posted by: Lisa | November 5, 2014

Present Now

Okay, this is my first attempt at erasure poetry. Let me know what you think, particularly if you have ideas on how to make this better:

“My beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work. Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life, so that my boast for the day of Christ may be that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. But, even if I am poured out as a libation upon the sacrificial service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with all of you. In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.”
– Philippians 2:12-18

Love, present now,
you work that you may,
with light, hold life
for the day of Christ.
Poured out upon faith,
you rejoice and share joy.

Posted by: Lisa | November 4, 2014

Hidden Defects

Tall, young, super-fit woman
climbs on a treadmill
wearing a snug tank-top and
very tight short-shorts.
What do I see up high
on the backs of her thighs?
Cellulite.
She doesn’t know it’s there.
A hidden defect.
Like our spiritual defects,
subtle and hidden from our awareness.
Lies, gossip, greed,
manipulation.
Borrowing without returning.
Sneaky, sneaky pride.
Well-meaning friends may point
these out to me.
Praise the Lord!
Show me my errors.
What remains hidden
cannot well be
remedied.
Tell me! Show me!
I’m not afraid to see.

Posted by: Lisa | November 3, 2014

Father James

James, the farm boy, dreamed of playing
pro football – But too bad -
the dream died the day his leg
got caught in a tractor.
Five-year-old bathed in blood.

James, whose four blood-brothers
attended seminary, spent
his Friday eves in smokey bars
and one-night stands. Dozens
of women, hundreds of drinks swirled
in his mind. A woman
on the rag he never knew.

James, too tough for the Army,
joined the Marines
to fight and kill Vietnamese.
Some mysterious accident -
mum’s the word – meant
he never left the States.

James, whose would-be-priest-brothers
all got married and had kids,
decided he heard God’s call
to become a priest most-holy.
He informed his latest fling -
She exclaimed, “But why?”

James, on his knees in church,
begged Blessed Mary’s statue
how he’d pay for seminary.
Gust of wind from an opened
door blew dust-balls
from the Virgin’s bare feet.
She said, “As the dust was blown
away, so your expenses will blow away.”
Ah!  A benefactor footed the bill.

James, who wanted to be Franciscan,
found rejection in orthodox Orders.
A newer one made exceptions – men
of conversion should be encouraged.
So, a clean life could begin.

James, conscious of his many sins,
tightened chains around his groin -
became the Father of the 40-day
fast with his daily Lenten Mass.
Nothing but water for six weeks – well,
maybe pureed onions and garlic.

James, who served a parish in Texas,
lasted there one year. He broke
the hearts of mourners with tales
of their loved ones burning;
Preached obedience to kids ’til
they huddled in fear.

James, resolved to be a hermit, told
of the vision. Yes, perhaps
change would be good!  The search
for a place of quiet seclusion.
Road trips around the U.S. ended
in the North.

James, chaplain of women hermits,
passed the laundry to spy
piles of white panties
and snatch and sniff worn PJs -
forced confessions of secret
masturbation.

James, who claimed to know
massage – tore off veils to see
clipped hair; pulled down
panties to know
polluted rags.

James, who never lied,
answered questions with
questions. He couldn’t get
canned: daily Mass was a must.
Pervert in Roman collar longed
to shed his blood as a martyr.

James, you were holy in your mind,
judging your own confessor,
dreaming of a mistress. In the end,
your life was a minor sport.

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