Tuesday, November 30, 2010


the Statue of Liberty
it was dusk
back in Nashville now
the photo i took three days ago
what does liberty mean?
Beloved came to bring abundant life..
another curiosity to ponder
as to what He means..
i love the clouds in the photo..


Monday, November 29, 2010

a radical thing..

every human has a soul
every human is precious to Beloved
the rich,
the poor,
the in between..
as we traveled back to Nashville today i thought about it..
the girl who never stopped talking,
the man next to me sleeping..
the flight attendant who looked worn out..
the lady selling coffee at the Starbucks..
the business man reading the New York Times..
we are all loved madly by Beloved..
at Mass yesterday in Manhattan i felt it deeply..
in the midst of the wildest city in the world,
the peace in that ancient beautiful sanctuary poured over me..
black, white, Asian, Latino, young, old, homeless..
all being offered a peace that passes understanding..
believing in God's mercy is a radical thing..

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bleeker Street

the subway in NY is fascinating..
the looks people give..
the way no one makes eye contact..
i didn't realize there were that many different places to gaze..
Greenwich Village is where I would live if I lived here,
Bleecker is my favorite street in New York.
The Bitter End..
Cafe Wha?..
the haunts of Bob Dylan..
the spirit of the place is hanging on..
poets on the corner..
music in the air..
a place where people live..hardly any tourist..except us..
i saw an actor and did not make eye contact..they are known to attack.
Ground Zero still has some twisted wire in the hole..
it is overwhelming to think about it..
the Statue of Liberty in the setting sun was pretty amazing..
and all around watching it set,
Spanish speaking people, Arabs, Ethiopians, Jamaicans, on and on..
this is a great country..

New York City

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Central Park

Central Park is beautiful
we walked and walked,
a guitar player and a fiddle player,
standing under a bridge,
playing Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower"
then Oasis' "Wonderwall"..
Hot Dog stand..mmmmm..
why do they taste so much better here?
it has to to be the steamed bun..
we walked over 8 miles yesterday..
the museum was an endless labyrinth of surprise..
when we finally made it back to the hotel,
i went back out for "the world's greatest Burger" at Neils,
i am not sure if it this greatest,
but it was pretty dang good..
grace grace grace grace..
it's all grace..


Friday, November 26, 2010


New York City is alive
Tom Waits said,
"New York City is a big ship and the water is on fire."
Wes, Renee, and I had Thanksgiving dinner last night with new friends,
high up in an Apt in Manhattan,
the journey takes us many places,
and last night proved a wonderful stop along the way..
we are heading out this cold windy morning to the Met,
art art art art!!
I will be in a state of awe much of the day..

New York NY

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Unmeasurable Duo

has anyone ever seen love?
love is unseen..
but love's affects are felt in many ways..
and this is great mystery
has anyone ever seen God?
God is unseen..
but God's affects are felt in many ways..
and this is great mystery
love brings laughter, warmth, beauty, hope, forgiveness, commitment, sacrifice..
God brings laughter, warmth, beauty, hope, forgiveness, commitment, sacrifice..
love can break our hearts
God can break our hearts
love can heal
God can heal
and this is happening to us all day every day by this Invisible  Unmeasurable Duo..
crazy deal..

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wisdom Himself..

the storm last night refreshed everything
even the floor in my bedroom!
the windows were open and sweet rain blew in,
thunder woke me a few times..
is it odd to love the storms,
i wished i could feel the same way about troubles in life,
storms of life that bring pain, confusion, anxiety, etc..
Solomon asked God for wisdom,
not long life, not riches, not fame,
because of this,
when storms blew in his life he dealt with them through wisdom,
had he asked for riches,
without wisdom,
the riches would have destroyed him..
we see it every day on tv and in the tabloids,
the Saints all had one thing in common,
storms became their ally..
storms of sickness, persecution, anxiety, loneliness,
because their hearts and minds were filled with Jesus,
Wisdom Himself....

Monday, November 22, 2010

heavy stuff

We all live as best we can
in and out of faith
in and out of hope
and especially,
in and out of love..
but if Jesus was just a good teacher,
and not the Divine Son of God,
then forget it..
what's the point?
if He didn't walk on water,
multiply fish,
give His Body and Blood as "True food" and "True drink"-Jesus,
rise from the dead..
then the heck with it..
if He was just a man.. and not True God and True Man,
then St. Paul didn't have a vision on the Damascus road,
and his conviction that nothing can separate us from the Love of God,
in Jesus,
was the rant of a crazy man..
but if He is True God and True man,
then He said some pretty radical things to Peter about building His Church,
and keys,
and crosses,
and dying to self,
and giving away everything..
and suffering..
and He didn't rescue the thief on the cross next to him..
even though Jesus promised him paradise,
the thief still had to go through the torture and pain of the cross first..
heavy stuff..
inspired by Fr. Joe Tonos

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kissing the Cross

sitting here looking out the window
the golden leaves falling like rain
the wind is blowing
then hidden by clouds..
we walked after Mass this morning
deep into the woods
Jack looking for squirrels,
shadows and then a bit of rain..
we found out Renee's grandmother crossed over this morning,
she had suffered from a massive stroke for years,
one of the classiest, kindest ladies I ever met..
we talked about her life as we walked..
death comes to us all..
we live in hope..
placing our now and our after in His wounded hands,
praying for strength and grace to live for something other,
and for others,
trusting in mercy,
kissing the cross..

For Louise McClung

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the painting on the wall

the painting on the wall
a red horse with rider falls
a young woman runs to help
an old cowboy makes a call

the painting on the wall
dark ravens gently fall
onto winter's scary branch
in blue sky above it all

the painting on the wall
Adam walks before the fall
in the garden's afternoon
always hearing when God calls

the painting on the wall
old dead leaves of autumn fall
the colors soft upon the eye
winter breath upon us all

the painting on the wall
illness brings another fall
sadness fills the weary heart
and to God the young man calls

the painting on the wall
into embrace the lovers fall
kissing long and deep and true
inside this painting on the wall


Friday, November 19, 2010

within and without

none of us really know anything
we live in and out of mystery
our love and the love of others is our light
everything else is pretty gray
pretty murky
we get hit from time to time,
finances, health, hard choices,
facing things within and without,
and grace is ever falling on us humans,
and daily,
we get to embrace it,
ignore it..
G. K. Chesterton said,
"The reason Angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly"
this is the path,
learning to walk in grace,
laughing at the mirror
because we know we are loved..

Thursday, November 18, 2010

some thoughts

Isaac Newton tried to discover God
Tiny Tim was odd
Rabbi Abraham Heschel was a simple man
G.K. Chesterton was Catholic
James William Moore was a working man
Abraham Lincoln was strange
so was his wife
dancing in and of itself is not a sin
Tom Waits is completely original
Bob Dylan is a song and dance man
U2 is joyful
modern country music is evil incarnate
red wine reminds me of His blood
Townes Van Zandt's death still breaks my heart
William Faulkner was a poet
Juliette Binoche is a remarkable actress
the greatest film ever made is a subjective opinion..
Eudora Welty drove her own car into her 90's
cats are cuddly and devious
Mary is the the mother of God,
Jesus is God..


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

i know this song

what we do in this life
what we feel
what we see
what we believe
what we hope
the wind blows cold this morning
the rains have passed and the cold comes
the darkness of winter is a balm
the low clouds a tonic
Bruce Cockburn is singing in my headphones,,
he says,
"To be held in the heart of a friend is to be a king,
but the magic of a lover's touch is what makes my spirit sing."
it's a song about emptiness and loneliness,
about not being able to touch..
i know this song too well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

that hard..

how often do we want to pull out our hair?
become frustrated with situations?
feel attacked by seen and unseen?
yea, you got it,
it has been one of those days..
take a deep breath,
close my eyes,
do my best with it,
and let it go..
this is what trust looks like i guess..
sometimes there is nothing we can do,
after we have done what we can,
pray for our enemies,
this is hard,
but hey,
it ain't that hard..

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday again..

Monday again..
it's as if,
we are given another chance..
we are given another chance
make a pot of French press coffee
half and half
i drink triple espresso's from the coffee shop..
Monday again
pray the rosary,
mediate on the life of God-man,
run for 20 minutes,
hoping the knee will hold up,
pray for George,
for Jeff,
for 'something to come,
but it never does'.. a rough quote from Dylan
how many of you know what i mean...?
Monday again..


Sunday, November 14, 2010

the ringing ear

inside every ringing ear,
there is the memory of silence..
inside every broken heart,
there is the memory of happiness..
we are fearfully and wonderfully made..
this is true for the physical as well as the spiritual,
Jesus is very often misunderstood as a new age guru,
but honestly,
he is not an easy guy to be around..
he is incredibly demanding,
and he does not always grant our request,
he is often silent, seemingly unconcerned,
in the gospels we see him calling a woman a dog,
we also see him calling others "white washed tombs"..
a term that would today be bleeped on network television..
He also never told anyone who chose to follow him they would be rich, fat, and happy..
in fact,
he told them the opposite,
he told them they would suffer if they wanted to belong to him,
if you gaze closely at our Beloved with honesty,
he is a very demanding dude..
and within every issue we face,
he walks with us,
promising nearness,
at not much else..
which he clearly believes should be enough..


Saturday, November 13, 2010


"I still haven't found what I'm looking for."..Bono

once in a while i sing this song during a show
and i always ponder the lyric and what people are thinking..
someone once asked me,
"is this really something a believer should feel?"
in this spiritual climate of "I know that I know that I know",
this song seems a contradiction..
but honestly,
i think we all feel this from time to time..
i know i do..
it's not a statement of doubt..
it's not even a statement of not being fulfilled,
it is an emotion of the daily grind..
it is a cry for mercy,
it is an honest emotion of reason..
of being human,
of the fight between what we see and don't see..
and it doesn't scare God a bit..


Friday, November 12, 2010

Peace Be With You

i walked with Jack this morning..
squirrels sent out messages,
an old man in the shop walked with a cane,
he looked at Jack and said,
"That sure is a big little dog."
I told him he never misses a meal..
simple stuff means so much
my big little dog here with me,
my beautiful wife here in town,
i am a fortunate fellow..
i am grateful, so grateful..
"Some days we walk in flowers,
some days we walk on stones"---Bruce Cockburn
we all have sorrows,
but then again,
we have the Eucharist,
but most of all,
we are madly loved by our Beloved..
peace be with you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


a heart can mend
a patient friend
she walked out of the fog
wounded by faith
a queen among wolves
a woman unafraid
a heart can mend
a patient friend
sometimes the wind stirs the soul
sometimes the rain makes us old
she called my cell and sang a song
i listened and wept at the end
So come and walk with her
this stranger in blue and blue
she has secrets her wounds conceal
her wisdom she'll share with you

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

great hope

i come to you today with great hope
i have hope that our country will grow mercy
that televisions everywhere will self destruct
that right wing and left wing talking heads will be smitten with untranslatable languages,
that people who claim Jesus will fall on their knees and cry for mercy with one voice,
that atheist will have aha moments about hell,
that politicians will use common sense ( this is a hard one)
that one of my songs will be a huge smash mega hit ( a selfish hope but true)
that people everywhere will be kind to animals
that my dead relatives will make it to heaven ( even the mean ones)
that crows will learn to speak
that every child conceived will be held dear
that my favorite author would come out with another book soon
that my wife will hurry up tomorrow and get here..
that my dog Jack could talk
that my new album will be completed before Yeshua returns..
that the homeless everywhere will be served ( got to get out of my comfort zone on this one)
that tv preachers would lose their voices all at once for at least one month..( y'all can join with me in praying)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Birthday Poem

the tire person just said to me..
"your tire has a tit"
makes a noise
clumpity clump
bumpity bump
but the lug tool is gone..
can't get it off
to replace it
on my birthday
the crow was in the top of the tree
black on green
cawing at me,
i cawed back
he cawed again
the Lord told me something....
ha! i almost had you didn't i?
the only thing God says to me,
the only "word" i hear...
every dang day..
"I Am for you not against you."
that's a sweet song to my ear..


the words of a poem should do more
they should stir the mind and heart
they are no different than any other sentence,
a poem should be dangerous,
like the psalms,
the psalms are full of danger,
one man conversing with his God,
loving God,
pleading with God,
never satisfied with the darkness,
often mystified by the light,
like the Saints,
the poet makes us uncomfortable,
births a little angst,
invites restlessness,
what good is the poet?
Our Beloved is a poet..


Monday, November 8, 2010

a Whisper Speaks

the laughter coming from the room
well beyond the gilded door
behind the multi colored windows,
the angels know the joke for sure
a pack of dogs go trotting by
smell the incense from within
the prayers of kind young men and women
God of mercy listens in
around the bend in this blue river
lies a white and sandy shore
we can kneel there at the alter
there are no pulpits on the moor
false prophets speak on every channel
screaming spewing spitting lies
all for profit all for power
they'll take it all and make you blind
close their lips O God in heaven
for they run off at the mouth
telling tales to raise blood money
in your Name they snort and pout!
walk with me dear near the river
far from satellites tv screens
bring a blanket so we won't shiver
God alone in a whisper speaks..

Sunday, November 7, 2010


the lit candle flickers behind me
as i leave the sanctuary
my prayers continue
sweet smoke floating up to the nostrils of God..
for my son my wife, for guidance,
for a heart of flesh instead of stone,
for passion to press in,
for a clear mind given to clear things,
trust is hard sometimes,
faith is foreign sometimes,
what we see seems so real,
when we know otherwise,
should say,
 when we hope otherwise,
"know" is such a shallow word..
too many think they "know" these days,
it smells gnostic..
do we live in a world of gnosticism pretending to be Christianity?..
every one has personal "knowledge",
their own personal revelation..
"God told me....."
if all of these voices people hear are God's voice,
then God is a shallow, money hungry,
power craving, right wing, immigrant hating,
confused, glitzy, chaotic...


Saturday, November 6, 2010

just before dark

the low side of the road
a tall thin man walked with a cane
the wind blew cold
he wore a long black coat
he pulled the coat collar up over his mouth
his blue eyes stared forward
his limp favored his right leg
the cars sped by in the waning light of day
just before dark
a medium sized white dog walked behind him
the man's salt and pepper hair like mane,
thick and long,
disheveled and disturbed by the breeze
i watched him from my car,
sitting at the eternal red light..
i pulled up beside him,
"Sir, you need a ride?"
his dog growled low..
"no thanks friend, don't have far to go."