The Miracle of the Sacrament

The Miracle of the Sacrament

If you saw the peace
   in the little crust of bread,
   as eyes were closed
   and thoughts turned upwards;

If you saw the cleansing
   in the little cup of water,
   as if liquid light were poured into a silhouette,
   and great drops of brightness overflow;

If you saw the power
   Christ was willing to use in your behalf,
   the legions of angels armed for battle
   awaiting your prayer for their help;

If you saw the gifts
   He holds, willing to give you,
   the blessings He prepared to make you happy,
   and the joy of living with Him up above;

If you saw the desire
   The Spirit has to live in you,
   to talk to you, to be your friend,
   to make you into something wonderful;

If you saw all this with spiritual eyes –  
   the miracle of the sacrament –  
   would you live the rest of the week
   the way you do now?

The first sunset in the Garden of Eden

Originally published 11-09-19

I know this poem probably isn’t 100% doctrinally correct. The scriptures don’t have many details on the Garden of Eden,  so it’s hard to know much about it with certainty.

The first sunset in the Garden of Eden

The birds
still figuring out how to fly,
tried anyway to flap up
and catch the colors.

The lion and the lamb
stopped playing to see
what made the lamb’s coat
as golden as the lion’s.

The trees,
who feared the dark of night,
were soothed by the flower
of the fading sun.

The crickets,
still untrained violinists,
competed to praise the shades
of beautiful light.

The clouds
tumbling through new air,
paused and held still
to frame the moment.

Adam and Eve
sat side by side
and watched the world
that God had made for them.

Half-Autumn Trees

Originally published 10-26-19

Half-Autumn Trees

For a couple of autumn days 
between the first sparks of color 
and the mountains on fire 

the trees are in my favorite state— 
not entirely red, or brown and shedding, 
but with a few branches tenaciously green.  

It’s a lot like us, with these dashes of life seen among dry, crisp colors— 
divinity heavily spotted with imperfection. 
Though we pretend, sometimes, that we’re nothing but green, 

I like to ponder the half-yellow trees, 
and smile, and look through the leaves 
at the bright white sun. 

For a couple of autumn days 
between the first sparks of color 
and the mountains on fire 

the trees are in my favorite state— 
not entirely red, or brown and shedding, 
but with a few branches tenaciously green.  

It’s a lot like us, with these dashes of life seen among dry, crisp colors— 
divinity heavily spotted with imperfection. 
Though we pretend, sometimes, that we’re nothing but green, 

I like to ponder the half-yellow trees, 
and smile, and look through the leaves 
at the bright white sun. 

To Friends Who Know How to Hear Silence

Originally published 08-21-19

I have had several experiences this week that have taught me
the priceless value of friends who know how to really listen. When I wrote this
poem, it wasn’t based on any specific personal experience, but I think we all have times
in our lives where we need friends who know how to hear silence.

To Friends Who Know How to Hear Silence

When the loudest noise is the stubborn air conditioner,
            and tears rolling on cheeks,

When words are gone, are incomplete,
            though repeated however heartfelt,

When it seems that each man—and I—am an island,
            an ocean away from true connection,
            an ocean away from humanity,

When all I have inside that must be said has
            no words, no true names,

When my thin voice cannot capture my bursting soul,

How thankful I am for friends
            who know how to hear silence.

Frosted Flowers

Originally published 03-15-19

Frosted Flowers

I saw the flowerbed
In the winter morning sun–
Mulch, with
Strong short tulip sprouts,
And white and purple pansies.

In the middle, a statue–a man, a woman,
And a child taking early but encouraged steps
In a joyous, bronzed moment–
And in their shadow, frost.

The frosted flowers, I saw,
Weren’t dead,
But drooped,
Vibrant petals
Hanging down,
Slumped, dejected.

The sun had just climbed enough
that the shadow abandoned one slumping pansy.
It twitched.
The head slowly lifted
And the flower drooped
Not quite as far.

Further from the shade,
I saw the bright purples standing tall,
Proud, stripped of frost by
Bright sunlight,
Becoming bright nature,
And the day seemed warmer.

And I walked away warm inside,
Feeling that however long
And cold
The night,
The sun will come,
And I can rise, bright again.

Stained Glass

Stained Glass

Originally published 03-01-19

A breathtaking mosaic of stained glass,
and shadows fall on all but two panes.

I stop.
The whole window is exquisite,
but only the glass in the sunlight
sparkles.

It sparkles beautifully.

My curious eyes go straight
to the few bright, glittering panels,
and something deep inside me says,

“You, too, are a stained-glass window.
You, too, are a glorious masterpiece
that sometimes won’t let Light through.
You, too, don’t always sparkle.
But you can.”

I cannot forget that day.
I cannot look at a fellow earthly wanderer
and not see their marvelous, divine craftsmanship,
their stained-glass splendor,
and I yearn to see them
glisten their true beauty to the world.

The gospel does not make sand into glass,
it already has ancient, stunning glass to work with.
It makes stained glass sparkle.