http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/hiker-scottish-highlands/

I took my pack
and my stave
sent my feet to the North
to the misty highlands
for to see God’s creation

Past the stone bridge
the river lane
between the throng of trees
do they e’er cross over
I wondered

Do they meet
now and then
when men have gone to rest
do they stride, stately
in their mossy cloaks

For as I walked
among those sentinels
they waved and they creaked
as if souls aching
to wander

The trees whispered
behind their broad
mighty hands
secret sayings
chanting, praying

These grand souls
lifted their cathedral arches
to the heavens
their mossy feet finely laced
in the earth

They were all at one
the ancient elders
the congregants
the foundation
and the vault

How could I be lost
in that forest house
striding as a penitent pilgrim
before their graceful pillars
they command reverence

I could lose myself there
in God’s majestic
brooding creation
that holy place
silent and vital

Under stained glass windows
of canopies unending
miles of green sparkling
in the blue and sun rays
I found myself

A little smaller.

Repentance

April 3, 2017

Kindle a new fire
on the first day
lit from the cold ashes
of my sordid past.

Tear all that lingers
seared on my flesh.
Bring me away, bleached
bones, from long sands’ reach.

Remove this despair.
Unleash my fear.
Wed faith to my cries.
I have left thy side.

Bring me to ashes,
bent neath the dust
in a blackened robe
rough, bitter and cold.

These wandering eyes
my beating heart,
call them to new death.
End this endless breath.

Blind me with your hand.
Diminish me
into the shadow
behind the cold stone,

pierced and famished,
alone in ashes,
till you recall me
parched for want of thee.

Of Life And Laughter

March 31, 2017

tho she has not
faded away
thinly
veiled as starlight
in twilight
wandering, a tattered lace filament
a piece of memory

the dust has settled
upon the shawl
that settled
round her, solemn
her tender, haggard countenance
fragile now
and tired

and the summer left
so soonly
so unkindly
as a moonless night
darkly lit by wishes unwished
at the dreaming well
moments beyond reach

golems of touch linger
upon her fair tresses
her fingers
her lips
but no whisper, no breath
but shadow, but autumn leaves
that be, but are not

who has bewitched her
who has stolen
the shimmering quick
what fell thief has borne away
the joy, the water
and left instead mist
and echoes

have we traveled so far
so far to the east
that no garden may find us
again
that summer has gone
and we must be the winter
the winter folk, shivering

shall we wait, bones and rags
lingering in mute trust
for dawn upon the snow
the new blinding light
of a sabbath
that knows not sorrow
is that our lot

if remnant we be
amen, amen
lost in dust and scars
naked, trembling
hoping with breath of rattles
that murmur our libations
our foolish babble

maranatha still
be it yesterday
or yesteryear
maranatha tomorrow
when tomorrow comes
with cries of forgotten dreams
of life and laughter

———————————

THE CROSSING (1997) by Michael Whelan