Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A voice

 —In response to Scott Simon’s interview with cabaret singer Lady Rizo, 4/21/12

Most of us with a ‘voice’
don’t have publicity materials.
Maybe a Facebook.
Our venue is always small.
Life is indeed a cabaret, ol’ chum—
in a church, a stage in a basement,
graveside or garden wedding,
folding chairs, a friend playing
the piano.  If you’re lucky,
a garage band backing you up.
No tip jar, no personally produced
CDs in cardboard sleeves,
not even a cover charge
(unless you count the offering).
Everyone who’s come to hear
you sing has heard 
the same tunes many times before.
Old hymns lustily sung,
gospels and spirituals from the belly,
Dvořák’s Goin’ Home 
blesses the husband, 
then the wife a few years later.
No grinding or growling of any kind.
Just a voice trying to get it as clear
as can be:  you are not alone.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Waiting Room

No guarantees
You sure you want this?
You might not
even get what you need.
Your best intentions
won’t matter.
Your actions will
be like atoms colliding
in a galaxy
you may have the luck
to live in.
Others will offer
what they can:
in God’s time,
if it’s meant to be,
but they can’t always wait with you.
You will look to blame
but find only yourself.
Whatever it is
you can’t forgive
set it down like a stone
or hurl it into space.
Gravity will turn out
to be stronger than
you are and infinitely
more patient.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

An altar of bones

An Altar of Bones
            It will not out of the flesh, that’s bred in the bone.
                        —J. Heywood, Dialogue of Proverbs, ii. viii. K2 (1546)

Moonlit thanks
Paper joy
We are an altar of bones.

Put on that fragile flesh
Then wear it well.

For Love invites a life
fully inhabited.

Prophesy this:

The incarnation
is the resurrection.

The resurrection
is the incarnation.