Friday, October 22, 2010

Four Poems

Madonna and Child

She walked past the plate glass window

next to where I sat with my friend Bill

in a booth in the worst hamburger joint on the eastern seaboard,

eating a dripping grease burger

covered with melted Velveeta cheese of all things

with fries fresh from a year in the freezer.

She was twelve months pregnant, going on thirteen.

It had to have been her first pregnancy

as young as she was

and as jauntily as she carried herself

down the walk and through the door,

wearing a red spandex top

and navy blue spandex tights,

bringing forth who and how she was

for all to see,

honor, marvel at, rejoice in, worship.

The wonder of the vision

was equal in every way

to the one that stunned the angels

who announced the Messiah’s birth.

And as redemptive.

She redeemed the day, the week, the year, my life,

all of life, forever, throughout all eternity.

And I carry her memory in my heart

to relish and adore

Mary, the mother of God,

ordering a grease burger and

making all things remarkably good

by her presence with us

in the ordinariness of our lives.

What’s It Going To Take?

Once we figure it out,

what are we going to do with it?

What’s Enlightenment going to do for us,

that’s what I’m asking.

The test is not in the knowing,

but in the doing,

in the living.

We have to look at our lives

and live them.

What’s it going to take

to enable us to do that?

What do we need

to step into our lives

every morning,

and live them

all the way back to bed at night?

Live them

the way they ought to be lived,

I’m talking.

Live them

like we mean it, I mean.

What’s it going to take

to live like we mean it?

Good Families

Good families don’t pretend to be good families

Don’t strive to do it like it’s supposed to be done,

Don’t have anything to hide,

Or don’t hide what they have to hide,

But live with everything in full view,

Available to be seen and said,

Laughed at, or yelled at, and talked about,

Brought up for review and revision,

Capable of being modified, altered, improved, changed.

Good families can be changed.

They are honest and vulnerable that way.

Bad families are fragile, brittle,

Incapable of self-assessment or self-correction,

They remain stuck, unchanging, forever.

Good Luck

There are people

who want to argue with me

about the possibility of luck.

No kidding.

“There is no such thing as luck!” they say,

when I wish them, “Good Luck!”

“It’s strictly a matter of Providence.”

When I say, “Aren’t we lucky

that God is so Providential?”

they say, “It has nothing to do with luck!”

Clearly, one of us

is missing something,


No comments: