Do you like what you’ve become?
Too old to dance, too old to run
Do you look down at your hands?
Wrinkles rise like ridges across the sand
Is there room inside your head?
Memories packed as dense as lead
Is regret your calling card?
Every crossroad unexplored
See that shadow on the wall?
One day soon your name will call
Why not sit here for awhile?
And acquaint me with your smile
I raced into the forest
And ducked behind some bramble
I spied through sweaty brow and prickly thorns
Approaching – that which made me tremble
I climbed into the manhole
And slid the cover tight
A minute passed – the sun poured in
Fleeing – I ran straight through till night
I slipped onto a crowded platform
Of idle subway passengers
You reached right in and pulled me out –
From among the awe-struck travelers
I learned that day – whether home in bed
Or before the firing squad
The safest place to hide is –
Within the will of God
I’d like to live on the edge
Of a river or lake or ocean
To watch the swells and the ripples course by
And ponder every bold new notion
The geese and seagulls are in the know
They float atop each rolling billow
Tranquil and poised upon the formless flow
Unimpressed by the infinite depths below
Their breeds must have witnessed a story told often –
Of fishermen fighting the wind and waves
Who saw a ghost walk upon the water –
And hence inherited the meaning of brave
I remember the day you floated away
The grass stirred as a breeze sailed in
You lifted and hovered five feet above
Without a smile, surprise or hint of chagrin
A natural course of events you surmised
With no home or hearth or dollars or wife
Only a litany of prayers and good deeds
To show for your life
I wondered, amazed at this humble display
To empty oneself – finish lighter than air
Then drift with ease through the atmosphere
Without worry or loss or even fanfare
Pilgrim, where do you reside?
By the sea or mountainside?
Where is your forever home?
Anyplace your feet do roam?
Have you paid a price too high?
For your castle beneath the sky?
The view will take your breath away –
Or so the realtor will say.
Flags and loyalty count as loss.
What you gather you will someday toss.
Stranger or resident alien,
You are neither patriot nor citizen.
Have you slipped beyond this temporal world?
Are you on the altar with our Lord?
How different life would be
Had ignorance been my forte
But I have always comprehended
Both the predator and the prey
Pretension extends neatly
Between the two extremes
Artless chatter parallels
The omniscient primal scream
A monk with rope girded round his waist
In silence weighs the two
Then stretches out beyond the brink –
To both he bids adieu
I like you on these temperate days
As we travel down Recovery Road
I don’t mind when you stop halfway
And drop a bundle to lighten your load
It’s all right, you say then pick up the pace
There are no burdens that can’t be replaced
I like this path that we venture on
I like the way that you pull me along
There are no pitfalls or detour signs
We watch the road not what lies beyond
The milestones may be far between
But gratitude flows leisurely downstream
I inhabit two worlds
One where you are centerfold
I slip back to my other orb
The center does not hold
Here I wait to be summoned
Back into your fold again
You reign supreme in your domain
I search my world for signs of you
Neither sprig nor trace remain
The chasm is deep between my worlds
I stand on the precipice once more
And close my eyes to what’s below
Here I am – years gone by
I don’t know why I can’t let go
What is your Charism?
I have only one
Kneeling once, kneeling twice, kneeling thrice
Until the day is done
Some do heal, some do teach
Some do cast the spirits out
Mine gathers tears and sighs
Then neatly dispels doubt
The Sisters venture without reception
With beads or buses they radiate passion
My own cannot compare to those
Who execute with pure abandon
I raised the cover, glanced inside
I was surprised to find
A slight and tattered object for which
All the world did pine
Negligible of capital
Neither gold nor silver shone
Yet many proffer life and limb
To haul said trifle home
I smiled slightly, closed the lid
Humanity must wait
Who am I to open wide
The straight and narrow gate?