Hospital Notes #4: When We Took Off Our Masks

The News The World Health Organization said on Friday, May 5th, that COVID-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency. The leaders of the hospital where I work took that news as the last item in their decision tree and lifted the mandatory mask order for all patients and staff. Of course, personal protective equipmentContinue reading “Hospital Notes #4: When We Took Off Our Masks”

What I Know: A sonnet with the Marquis of Lossie

If you know me, you know I love George MacDonald. I write down quotes as I read through his works. I haven’t read them all yet, but I’m getting closer! This quote felt like it was close to a found poem all by itself, but it evolved into a sonnet below. “Does he not demandContinue reading “What I Know: A sonnet with the Marquis of Lossie”

Bust of Pilate

A concave darkness, deep in eyes of stoneSees true and false in one uneasy breath;A bust and not the rest, no flesh and bone.The heartless head of one who dealt out deathIs, unsurprisingly, colorless, naught.His eyes are hollowed out by sculptor’s skill,The iris is a void, the pupil wroughtBy tender scraping, scratching, smoothing ‘tilTwo delicateContinue reading “Bust of Pilate”

Walking on the Beach

Thinking about feet and Matthew 7:24-27 on Maundy Thursday Walking on the Beach Desiccation ready here,Crumbling sand crunches,Despite the wet sea breeze. Lumpy waves of wind-made moundsTo plod throughAs I seek the ocean’s prize;Not quite dunesBut dune-likeOn a smaller scale. Here, Near my home,The Jersey ShoreIs streaked with darker sand,Stirred throughWith bits of shells; ThisContinue reading “Walking on the Beach”

A Prayer to the Unflinching East

I’m letting Thomas Keating lead me through Lent this year with a collection of his meditations called Journey to the Center. Each day’s reading includes a prayer. “Deliriously Happy Light” began one of the prayers. “Deliriously” is an interestingly two iambed word, so, naturally, it began a sonnet. Keating’s work as a writer and communityContinue reading “A Prayer to the Unflinching East”

Deuteronomic: A Christian Poet’s Manifesto

after Deuteronomy 4:9 Take care to watch yourself closely so as Not to forget the things your eyes have seen, Your ears have heard, the things your heart’s heart has Received and interwoven in your being.  You must remember daily, or you run The risk of losing more than what you’ve known.  Unknowing runs to eyes and ears undone; AndContinue reading “Deuteronomic: A Christian Poet’s Manifesto”

Acoustic Body

Delicate hairsof my ear lobesQuiver gladlywith bulb whispersBreaking blindlyfrom beneath the ground. EyelidsClosing ‘roundMourning dove’s minor thirdbring blood’s brightness to the harmonious humof all eyes see. KneecapsShivering with water’sRipple trill, thoseDazzled bonesEmbraced and embracingWhat peaks must tell. SternumSyncing with eachBore hole beat;the flickers are makingTheir signatureand singing this feast. Rough skinof my elbowsShushing sotto voceBelowContinue reading “Acoustic Body”

False Spring Birds

in Lancaster County, PA These birds woke up as rain lay down to sleepTo scatter dreams upon this false-spring field;February alive from somewhere deep, Reviving early with a hope to yieldThe harvest sooner than it has before.A warm wind seeping from beyond my prayersTo fill the feathers for these birds to soarFrom stubble into windbreakContinue reading “False Spring Birds”

How Long Love Holds 

Only to grow so old in love as these Beloveds in the rest stop parking here! For love that lasts much longer than my knees, For tenderness exceeding vision clear, The chance to prove that I could go so far! A husband who so carefully prepared The chair his wife would wheel in from the car. I watched him get it from the trunkContinue reading “How Long Love Holds “

Of Water and of Wind

After John 3  A long-legged spider  Just descended from the trees  Suspended by her thread,  She dipped her head in water  And rose up  As quickly as she came  Gathering hungrily  With forelegs, the thread  And her body,  Deftly ascending back into the branches,  Cradling between her head and thorax  A single drop of water Continue reading “Of Water and of Wind”

Hospital Notes #3: What a wonder to be wrong!

I was called to pray for a baby who was dying. When I am on call, I take the Pastoral Care Department cell phone home with me, so I had forty-five minutes to get to the hospital. I told that to the nurse, quickly dressed, and started flying toward I-95. When I arrived in theContinue reading “Hospital Notes #3: What a wonder to be wrong!”

Hospital Notes #2: Children are much harder to hate

People often ask me if my job is hard. I am a chaplain in a children’s hospital and they presume difficulty. “How can you stomach all that suffering?” — the subtext of their honest question: “Do you like your job?” My answer: “I couldn’t say I like it; but I think it pleases God, andContinue reading “Hospital Notes #2: Children are much harder to hate”

Being Mindful of God Being Mindful of Me

You know that famous story by O’Henry called the Gift of the Magi? On Christmas Eve, Della Young discovers that she has only $1.87 to buy a present for her husband Jim. She visits the nearby shop of a hairdresser who buys Della’s long hair for $20. Della then uses the money to buy aContinue reading “Being Mindful of God Being Mindful of Me”