Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter as Murder Ballad...

A song from my church today. "If It Hadn't Been for Love," which is originally a fantastic murder ballad from Chris Stapleton (check it out). With a little adaptation, we played it as an Easter song, which strikes us as quite appropriate.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Jesus Was a Madman

Jesus was a madman
wild-eyed and dangerous
hanging just at the margins
associating with the undesirables
and untouchables 
and unwanteds
'til one day
he just plain snapped

And the clearing of the temple?
That was a horror story,
animals screaming
people running and gunning
money rolling 'round the floor
and flying out the windows
and out the doors
dark and terrifying
hideous and horrible.

Here, there was a mild-mannered preacherman,
teaching,  preaching love and peace
siding with the least of these
til one day, geez Louise!
he just goes
in the temple of God
yelling, whipping,
calling down curses
upon the people
which is to say, 
upon the businessmen

They say he was possessed by demons
A secret servant of satan
Beelzebub's bud
Foaming-at-the-mouth mad

Right there in the Big City
Right under their noses
Right in their faces.

They gonna kill that man, for sure.

They gonna kill that man.

Friday, March 31, 2017


I took a stick
and wrote a story
upon a softly rolling creek

And then I laughed and laughed and laughed
like a woodpecker in love

It was a comedy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Season of Lengthening Days

We live in 
a season of lengthening days

We must believe this to be true

Even when the skies whisper gray doubt
and the streams run slow and

Friday, March 10, 2017

Today, I Looked Up

Today I looked up and, 
to my amazement, 
saw a great blue heron
flying across the sky
with her impossibly long legs and dinosaur wings

I saw a miracle, 
grace in flight
When I looked up today.

Yesterday, I did not look up
And I didn't see anything.
No grace, no miracle, nothing.

And I wonder what I would have seen

if I'd looked up.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

You Are the Light of the World

“You are the light of the world.”

That's what Jesus said.

He said that I am the light of the world!

The sort of light that makes people 
smile and whistle with delight, that
brightens the very fields of the earth
making the grass sing golden songs.

Jesus said that 
you and I 
are this beautiful
world-changing light...
a light like 
the very sun above us,
a light that can not be hidden or
turned off.

That's what Jesus said about us!

That's some kind of pressure...

but who are we to disagree?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Coffee House Celebration

My church has, for 25 years, hosted a monthly open mic coffee house called the Urban Goatwalker. The Goatwalker has been a safe place for members of the community to meet together to share songs, coffee, snacks and friendship. It has been a welcoming place for everyone, especially for our friends who too often find themselves on the margins of life. We celebrated the Goatwalker's 25th birthday last Saturday and it was a grand time. Many, many thanks to all who have made the Goatwalker the blessing that it is and has always been.

The video above has a few snippets from this week's coffeehouse.


Welcome to strangers
to friends, old and new
welcome to travelers
and welcome to you

Welcome to fans of Tupac
And fans of Thoreau
Bienvenidos a mes amigos que habla espanol

Whether you like guitars or drums
Or poetry by Rambo
You are welcome here
Even if you like banjo!

Whether you walked here on foot
or rode in on wheels
We are so glad you're here
you're kind of a big deal

Your smile when you smile
makes our hearts swell
but your tears and your frowns
are welcome, as well

The thing is, we like you
you're great, without compare
and we are so glad that you
you specifically
Have made your way here

Friday, February 3, 2017

Worlds A-swirl

His hands were marked by chains
and memories
bitter as dirt
family disappeared
nephew killed
this refugee student
teaching through iron walls
thicker than blood
softer than driftwood

when worlds collide
we are sometimes

Friday, January 20, 2017


I will find strength
where I have always found strength...

in the Community of those
committed to
Beauty and
Kindness and

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

World Set Aright

Seeing the upside down world
in the drops hanging on the trees
I wonder - 

If I looked close enough
and tried hard enough
could I find a reflection of a water drop
reflected through a water drop
and find a world made right?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Data-Based Adulting

We need to come together as adults. We don't have any other reasonable option.

Look, I hope the GOP is able to come up with a better, cheaper version of healthcare that covers everyone, as much as possible. I hope they can fix the problems that do exist in the ACA as it exists. That would be nice.

But on what basis should anyone believe that they can do so?

Saying, "I really, really, REALLY hate Obamacare! It's a doodyhead plan!" is not the same as actually having a rational, well-thought-out, workable solution.

Basing a "plan" (in this case, repealing the ACA) on a hope and hatred of the old way is not a plan, it's silly, childish, wishful thinking.

Same for Trump and "Russia didn't do it! I don't believe the intelligence community and their data!"
That's fine for him to say it, but based on what? What research has he done? What operatives in the field studying data can he produce? He says he "knows things" but what? He isn't saying what he "knows..."

Saying, "I really, really, REALLY don't want to believe our intelligence community" is not the same
as having rational, well-researched, data-based opinions.

This is the problem with many in the modern GOP and, frankly, many in modern conservatism, unfortunately. They do not operate upon data and research, but on hatred of something based upon fake news and no news and wishful thinking.

It's childish and ridiculous and has no place in a rational government, flawed though it may be.
I say this not to insult all conservatives but to appeal to the best in all of us: We can't operate on wishful thinking and empty claims and fake news. Let us join together and insist upon not repealing one existing and working (if flawed) plan on the hope that maybe, somewhere out there, something might exist that is better. IF a better plan can be envisioned and spelled out and considered rationally, put it out there. But until such time as that happens, do not even speak of repealing what you have no plan to replace.

This is something that surely we all can agree with and rally around, yes?