A RETELLING

A Place for Retelling

Deuteronomy 5:1 & 18:15-:16

Called to speak.
Called to listen.
Called and answered.
Called and chosen.
Threatened —
by God —
do it right or else!
This book
has an interesting history.
Deuteronomy is purportedly
a “lost” book
found
after the Exile of the
Hebrew people
to Babylon.
It had been hidden,
and turned up mysteriously,
then
“found”
by the new order of ruling priests.
It is full of laws,
holiness codes,
and or-elses from God.
The strong suspicion
by some biblical scholars
is that the
“finders”
actually
wrote it themselves
as a means of establishing their
own power and rightful leadership
in a community torn
apart by being exiled from,
then returned to,
their homes.
Homes that after 60 years
just did not exist anymore.
There is something powerful
here about this
re-construction of hope.
Something worth paying attention to
in the re-telling of old stories.
Remembering that these are the words of priests,
not so much Moses, or God,
we can then see
a desperate attempt by to build hope
and re-construct a sense of place,
of home.
The Hebrew people thought that they
needed these stories to build their
national and personal
self-worth.
This is revisionist history,
and in and if itself
is less than the best way to facilitate healing.
History happened.
Life happened.
Still there is something compelling
in re-telling a story with a different outcome.
Not to actually history,
but to change
how we can change our own outcome
with a different telling.
There is healing in imaging
ourselves surviving trauma
and emerging strong,
not wounded.
I am not promoting denial,
rather exploring a
re-storying where our victimhood
changes into strength and energy
and inner power
and strength.
What stories do we need for this?
How do we need to revision our old stories?
What do we need to hear
that bolster us
in times of distress,
when we feel dispossessed
out of luck,
unloved,
and short on hope?
Who will we listen to
in an age of “false news”?
Who has been called, chosen,
to tell us these stories
we need so desperately to hear?
Do we need stories of conquest?
Are we seeking stories of greatness?
Or,
is it a story of hope,
of love,
of salvation and
fulfilled promise
that we so desperately need to hear?
How would we re-write
our old stories
so they reflect
our own heart’s desire?

CAN ANYTHING GOOD?

John 1:43-51
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. When he got there, he ran across Philip and said, “Come, follow me.” (Philip’s hometown was Bethsaida, the same as Andrew and Peter.) Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, “We’ve found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth!” Nathanael said, “Nazareth? You’ve got to be kidding, can anything good come out of Nazareth?” But Philip said, “Come, see for yourself.” When Jesus saw him coming he said, “There’s a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.” Nathanael said, “Where did you get that idea? You don’t know me.” Jesus answered, “One day, long before Philip called you here, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the King of Israel!” Jesus said, “You’ve become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven’t seen anything yet! Before this is over you’re going to see heaven open and God’s angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending again.

Can Anything Good

Can Anything Good Come?

Can Anything Good?
John 1:43-51

Judgment and stereotyping,
regionalism, nationalism,
arrogance
and good,
old fashioned xenophobia,
right at the beginning of
Jesus’ ministry—
directed right at Jesus.
Credulous, bigoted, knuckleheads.
And those are the ones
who became his disciples!
WOW!
“You’ve got to be kidding,
can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Or Africa,
or Haiti,
or Mexico,
or San Salvador,
or, or, or?
Well the disciples found out,
didn’t they?
But what about us?
Are there those areas,
places, towns—
nations,
where we arbitrarily
discount
those who are living there?
I have heard many,
some of us even,
refer with ugly claims
to those who come from
the Res, Lake County, Nice,
anywhere other than Geyserville.
Meth heads,
crack heads,
trailer trash,
weirdoes.
That’s where the heroin addicts hang out.
Yet,
we are referring to human beings,
the ones
Jesus loves as much
as he does us,
those who carry the Christ
as do we,
deep in their beings.
The main difference
between us and
Jesus
is that he could look
into the hearts of all
and see nothing
but goodness and grace.
But do we not owe it
to ourselves and to others
to see that same
grace in all?
And if we did,
what might we discover?
Maybe that the Messiah
was walking alongside
of us
all along.
Now that would be
something to miss,
wouldn’t it?

TO THE SUN

To conclude my poem-journey this week of a poem a day. I am using past work from around 1972 that was written after a cold night in the Sierra. It indeed infers an inner spiritual movement — awareness of body, awareness of God/Nature/God-in-nature. The awareness of that unknown entity we understand as that-which-cannot-be-named-known-or-described… nonetheless, discovered in unconditional love of small creatures — death, and the sacredness of summer’s sun…

To the Sun

TO THE SUN
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

That which
was not poem
and
death-locked
in ever-winter-earth
now
beats with poet-rhythms
and
heart-heat
of summer-sun blaze.

You have melted me—
Like summer-heat snow-melt,
I seem to no longer stand
inviolate
against a safe winter’s sun.

You have melted me—
I pour,
fluid-like stream
from my ice-high eerie,
and my dissolution
floods stream-hollow channels.

You have melted me—
and I do not recognize
this I have become:
mist to
sky–breeze-blown vapor.
I seek life
in your heat.

You have melted me—
I reach out
to touch
that which was not
yet. and
I feel heart-heat pulse beat
where once
ice-locked
and protected

SEMMETRY

To continue my poem-journey this week of a poem a day. I am pulling from past and new work that infer an inner spiritual movement — awareness of body, awareness of nature/God-in-nature. The awareness of that unknown entity we understand as that-which-cannot-be-named-known-or-described… nonetheless, discovered in unconditional love of small creatures — and death.

In the Ice of Time

SYMMETRY
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

I discovered grim symmetry
in winter’s freeze.
Tangle of
winter-bare willow.
Rabbit,
raptor-killed-gray
on white-frozen earth:
concentric circles of death
with one red eye
staring death
at center of corpse–
this raptor was
neat–and cautious.

Frozen earth,
soil beneath low branches
of bare willow, where still figure
draws me in.
Circle of fur, two-foot diameter,
shaven from rabbit’s belly
Lays out about carcass.
Death in the round,
warmth near-frozen
in fog-white mirror for earth.

One tuft of fur at a time
shaven from belly in
three-hundred degree circle
of wary movement.

Three inch round red plate of red meat
in center of carcass steams off
last remembrance of life.
Blank eye of rabbit looks at nothing,
and at me, as though I too
have blood on my teeth.
As though I too
might lay belly-bare
on frozen ground–
fodder for some raptor.

I thought: “Here is the glorious beauty
and the
symmetry of my own death.
If I could but die in
solidarity with the cosmos…”

RUNNING

To continue my poem-journey this week of a poem a day. I am pulling from past and new work that infer an inner spiritual movement — awareness of body, awareness of nature/God-in-nature. The awareness of that unknown entity we understand as that-which-cannot-be-named-known-or-described… nonetheless, discovered in unconditional love of small creatures.

Where

RUNNING
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Disco threads ragged patterns
through ploughed meadow grasses.
Starry night
dances the darkness
in red fir and Jeffery pine
patterned on silver.
Where is time?
That magic loom
weaving universe
upon universe.
Ambivalent existence
in trinity.
Tomorrow, Today, Yesterday.
Eternal forever
when I lay by the Jeffery pines
and a yellow dog
kept watch
with restless loyalty
near my head.
A little dog
meant always
for the wild ways
of the forest.
Like me, a runner,
always running.
Little runner
of the wild lands
where do you now run?
Long killed by a city
with no understanding
of how little runners of
wild wood lands
sometimes lose their way
where the grasses
are clipped so short.
But I still have you,
my friend,
fellow runner.
Sometimes
the trail gets too long
and the man
becomes too small,
then I hear
you panting at my heals
and next
ferreting unseen
in the thick trailside brush.
Running,
always running.
I still have that night,
silver moon on fir
and you
ever-watchful,
ever-running
lest I be surprised by that
unknown
living in deep moonshadow.
Still,
I sleep more wary
though
I know you must
now run eternal
on ever-soft fir-carpet.
It is in the dark
I wonder where the asphalt
ended for you
and where
it will end for me.
Ever running.

THE POSSIBILITY OF GOD

To continue my poem-journey this week of a poem a day. I am pulling from past and new work that infer an inner spiritual movement — awareness of body, awareness of nature/God-in-nature. The awareness of that unknown entity we understand as that-which-cannot-be-named-known-or-described…

The Possibility of God

THE POSSIBILITY OF GOD
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Walking along a trail
in a forest
on a wet day.
Raindrops, fog, mist —
the air alive with moist beauty.
God
lurking in the water sparkles.
The leaves glittering God
A day like today:
wet with beauty
alive with drenched light
does not prove
to me
that God exists,
but shows me how
I can walk among
the water droplets that caress
God’s Body,
and feel the erotic
that God is.
I find no boundaries
when God touches
me as I
was touched
by the Presence
of raw and palpable beauty
on that trail.
Sometimes I feel like I
am in an electrical field.
Nerve ends buzzing the
possibility
of God.

COSMIC NURTURER

To continue my poem-journey this week of a poem a day. I am pulling from past and new work that infer an inner spiritual movement — awareness of body, awareness of nature/God-in-nature. The awareness of that unknown entity we understand as that-which-cannot-be-named-known-or-described…

The following is a re-writing of what is commonly termed, The Lord’s Prayer, in Matthew 6.

Into Our Being

Cosmic Nurturer
© Copyright, Hilary F. Marckx

To

the one most nurturing
who loves us
with tenderness:
Holy Creator,
Holy Person of Grace.
Who is in the heaven
of heavens, our being.
The center of earth.
The center of cosmos.
Whose name is holy,
hallowed, exalted,
and most misused.

Let your name still be holy.
From beyond to within,
from the prime explosion
to the silence of my prayer,
let your nurturing include
all peoples,
and let your will be done
in hearts, minds and deeds
of those who live this heaven,
this earth.

Oh,
one who is most pregnant,
Creation sprang forth,
and life came to be
from your very substance,
give us this moment
the love and tenderness we need.
Oh, one who is most sensual,
arouse us with your passion.

Convert us
to an earthy,
lusty,
vibrant
people once more.
Forgive us,
most holy one,
for the times we have been
hard,
cruel,
inflexible,
and
undesiring of your grace.
Forgive us for times we have used you
to harm one another.
Forgive us for blaspheming
your holy intention,
your holy creation,
your holy and lovely,
voluptuous body,
tender body,
sweet body,
Christ’s body,
Church.

Deliver us from being
other that you created
us to be.

Deliver us into our being.

THE LONG RUN

To continue my poem-journey this week of a poem a day. I am pulling from past and new work that infer an inner spiritual movement — awareness of body, awareness of nature/God-in-nature. The awareness of that unknown entity we understand as that-which-cannot-be-named-known-or-described…

The Long Run

THE LONG RUN
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Long run,
from my home in Fair Oaks, CA,
down Fair Oaks Boulevard to Sailor Bar,
along the American River
back up Illinois
to home —
sweat running rivers,
oxygen debt cramping for payback.
Start on
asphalt and flat.
Cars, exhaust and noise.
Run to side road.
No traffic, oak trees
to river run and wild land.
Wild run.
Berries grab bare legs,
rocks roll under shoes,
leaves fall,
creatures dive for cover.

Trail could be anywhere, but follows American River
along long-dead dreams of miners.
Dredger tailings.
Ancient stream-bed exposed,
geo-history bared to present.

And I run
not fast, but steady.
Sun of valley’s edge bakes me.
Early summer run, grass still green, smell still new,
life still fresh.

The big hawks hunt,
some life in the balance.
I run.
The hawks hunt and I run.
Wild
no hawk as free–so bound to territory–
I run seven-mile circle
and shower.

POEMS OF GOD AND NATURE #1

For the next few days I will post some of the poetry in which I write of my experiences of, and my explorations into my relationship with God as I have experienced God in nature and wildness. I hike. I fish. I sit and listen. Many times I see and hear. What will follow will be what I saw, what I heard.

 

Into the Deep Silence

 

A SLOW TURN
© Hilary F. Marckx

Something in my belly does a slow turn.
My eyes
turn outward to the beauty.
In the deep silence I watch her walk toward me.
Hips
swaying to the music of her song.
She plays in joy,
making rhymes,
lyrics,
that become worlds and space.

And we dance.
Creator and created playing child’s game.
Clothed in black,
sequined with stars,
trimmed with rivers
we dance currents of silence
weaving universe to universe,
and our laughter rings
from the walls of time itself.

She dances,
but this time I am missing.
My joy turned to passion.
She comes to me and I,
mingling passion and reverence,
can not be passion,
and live with reverence.
With breath caught short
I tell how I need more
than she creates in me.
And from the substance of eternity,
she forms more cosmos
into her own likeness
and I become more than I am.
A likeness whose form matches mine,
fits mine, graces mine,
we fuse deeply.

Our likeness
creates a world, creates life.

Hot sea, hot soup cauldron, primal brew.
We meet, collide,
explode in life.
We make life.
We weave cell and chromosome
into the likeness of her,
Creator.
The one who first touched me,
touched her,
and created
the desire to create.

And now.
The one who teaches us song,
dance, laughter,
is almost lost to her own creations.
Not seen, but felt.

For deep within us
stirs a movement so gentle,
a tremor so slight,
a rhythm so remote,
we almost lose it,
almost die.
Not quite there is recognition
of something past,
some forgotten goodness,
a lost pleasure,
and again
we hold the old desire to hold
this sensuous dancer.

Deep in our consciousness
something again in our bellies
does a slow turn.
This time. This time.
Our eyes turn inward to the beauty.
Into the deep silence we
dance once more,

and we pray.

A NEW YEAR’S REFLECTION

A New Year’s Reflection

Psalm 104 — The Message

O my soul, bless GOD!
GOD, my God, how great you are!
beautifully, gloriously robed,
Dressed up in sunshine,
and all heaven stretched out for your tent.
You built your palace on the ocean deeps,
made a chariot out of clouds and took off on wind-wings.
You commandeered winds as messengers,
appointed fire and flame as ambassadors.
You set earth on a firm foundation
so that nothing can shake it, ever.
You blanketed earth with ocean,
covered the mountains with deep waters;
Then you roared and the water ran away—
your thunder crash put it to flight.
Mountains pushed up, valleys spread out
in the places you assigned them.
You set boundaries between earth and sea;
never again will earth be flooded.
You started the springs and rivers,
sent them flowing among the hills.
All the wild animals now drink their fill,
wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Along the riverbanks the birds build nests,
ravens make their voices heard.
You water the mountains from your heavenly cisterns;
earth is supplied with plenty of water.
You make grass grow for the livestock,
hay for the animals that plow the ground.

# # #

A NEW YEAR’S REFLECTION

Building and blessing,
appointing and commanding,
starting and setting,
and filling and quenching:
I see what you have done
in the universe,
the beauty of your creation,
and how good it is
and how lovely is all that you touch.
You have touched me with that beauty,
too,
but it is hard for me to see it in myself.
Open my eyes to see how
I am as delicate as the song
of a nesting bird,
as powerful as a spring river,
and as glorious as sunshine itself.
I know that the grandeur
of the entire universe is of you,
and that each part of it functions
has part of your own incredible, cosmic,
and holy flow,
and that
even time moves as if it were
your
own holy blood pumped
by the consecrated rhythms
of your own sacred,
blessed, and majestic heart.
Change frightens me,
so help me now to
know how to trust
that rhythm of your heart-time
as I step into the river
of this season’s flow
and move into
yet one more new year
that is simply,
and lovingly,
the next beat
of your own
glorious heart.