Oh Ireland, I am your daughter
Generations removed but not the wonder
Drawn to your lore and mystery
I’ve dreamed of you across the sea.
I am a mut, a mix of kin
Grown up in Poor Town, Oregon
My father’s chin, red beard covered,
Reminds me of a special clover
I walked along a mossy path
In Oregon’s green wilderness
My broken heart longed for another
That’s when I saw God’s love in clover
Oh Ireland, your hills are green
Your son, Patrick, helped me believe
When once I saw that sign of love
I prayed, “Oh Lord, bless Ireland”
You love me, Lord
I saw that day
A sure sign
None can take away
For there amidst green hearts of clover
A blood red heart made me to wonder
Category Archives: poetry
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
I saw his determined face on every screen, today. I wonder if I have a clue. I'm far removed from dark scars on backs, and Souls that bellowed gospel songs in groans. I have no idea how it feels to be beaten for drinking from the "whites only" fountain. I know nothing of shame for a look on my pale face that caused a black man to be blamed. I don't know, what I don't know... but I'm listening. I hear his dream I feel Freedom rattling the chains of my soul Justice calls deep springs to gush forth and I find myself aching for the Day of Peace.
When my thoughts go to your younger years and I hear your deep voice cursing the time, my eyes fill with hot tears and I wonder if singing Jesus Loves Me with you as a toddler was enough.
I lit a fire this New Year and watched the hot embers fly high and burn out fast and fall cold and faltering to the ground and felt my mothering was the same.
A seed may die and defiantly sprout up to new life and grow a tree. But ashes, ashes, they just fall. Hot for a moment and that’s all.
I have no hope for these burned out years unless ashes can be traded. But who does that?
I don’t know how, but here I offer all my ashes. Will you take them Resurrected? Will you make them a crown?
You could shine your face on me and I would be rescued from this degree of pain I can’t escape.
But you don’t.
You show me trees and leaves and shine light through the breeze and make fire in the branches with rays from the expanse of your power.
And I’m tired. But I’ll wait.
How long? How long until you shine your face in full and I don’t have to see you through metaphor?
A weight of glory
This morning before I headed out the door for work, when you were about to jump in your truck and drive to school, I looked up at your face anxious about what you don’t want to face, curious about what you won’t say until it’s too late and then you’ll want to find a way to make space for a debate-
and I grabbed your green eyes with my teary ones and laid a mantle on you like a weighted blanket. The kind they use for overstimulated senses. And I said,
“Son, you can run. You can deflect and avoid reflecting on the truth, but you were born to know the One who made you curious. You can’t get away. He’ll never stop pursuing you. He wants you.” And you rested.
Your shoulders settled. Your eyes relaxed. Your fingers stopped. And I stopped too. Stopped worrying about you for a minute standing under that weight of glory.
This year I watched the world burn
with anger and lies
I watched my sons wallow in the mire
and I prayed.
This year I watched my friends build theories about conspiracies
and I watched my neighbors wave their flags high.
This year I heard cries for justice from the least of us among us and felt strange disdain from those who I thought would claim the fame of Jesus and gladly refrain from blaming
…but they didn’t.
This year I heard a woman say, “I can’t bear the grief anymore,” while one side of her body tried to dragged her to the floor and I stood close and propped her up and helped her see the ones she loves through the window on the third floor.
This year I cried for deliverance
“How long,” can I keep asking you to grant repentance?
This year I felt overwhelmed by the throngs of elders left alone to let someone else find them shelter
and we stood by.
This year I sat next to Job and decided to shut my mouth and hold
This year I opened my mouth and said, “Follow Jesus with me!” to the friend who cried not knowing what she could possibly do with her falling apart life.
This year I realized I couldn’t see past the thorn in my side and the plank in my eye and almost decided to give up.
But what? What is there to let go of except the delusion and illusion that this coming year or another person would bring Shalom.
This year made me long more for home
and the ones he’s redeemed.
there’s a dancer
In me there’s a hospital builder
a wound washer
a home maker
a child discipler
In me there’s a shepherdess
In me there’s a warrior
a strong-armed carrier
In me there’s a companion
a queen on her knees
making way for the weak
In me there’s a servant
a diligent worker happy to labor till the day
her King scandalously bows to say
“Well done. Be seated. Let me serve you, my beloved.”
Christ, in me. My hope of glory.
Whatever you do this Christmas
with your indifference
with your mocking
with your doubts
with your questions
come with your lies
with your rejection
with your acceptance
with your imperfections
come with your health
with your doctrine
with your thoughts
with your past
come with your burdens
with your poverty
with your riches
with your fear
whatever you do just come near
to the king come to set you free
The good of Christmas lights
Light it up
The darkness has to flee
Let it shine
Let it glow
Let the love of Christ show
Let the things that hide
Let the things that run
Come back no more
Let the glory of the Lord
Capture every eye
Burst from every door
Before he rises like the sun
And reigns forevermore
What motherhood was meant for
It was never intended for you to be mine
Only that my womb would be the secret place where you were knit
Only that my body would bear the pain that gave you breath.
It was never meant that I would get to keep you close
Only that my days would be crouched low telling you what you did not know
Listening and smiling at your every coo
Wondering at the fact I get to raise you
It was never the plan that I would keep you from falling
Only that when you did I’d come running
Holding you close while you were crying.
It was never my role to teach you everything
Only to rub that spot on your back all knotted up
While you told me you didn’t feel like you would make the cut.
It was never meant for me to hold you tight
To keep you from sin’s deadly plight
Only that I should proclaim to you
The good news that could make you new.
It was never scheduled that you would stay
Only that while you were away
I would pray, and pray and pray…
You were born that way.
One day you will leave
And it is not me to whom you will cleave
Only to another
Someone never meant to be your mother.