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

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.

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.

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.

THE PERFECTION WITHIN

The Perfection Within

Matthew 23:1-12

Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.

“Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called ‘Doctor’ and ‘Reverend.’

“Don’t let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of ‘Father’; you have only one Father, and he’s in heaven. And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.

“Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

#   #   #

How do we name ourselves?
Many times
we can know best who we are
by the names we call ourselves.
So, by what personal set of claims
do we know ourselves:
Strong?
Idiot?
Loved?
Inadequate?
Beautiful?
Fool?
Perfect?
The Matthew text,
at first glance,
seems to be about
religious posturing.
But if I do a sidewalk-psych-eval,
it appears to me there is strong evidence
of a dynamic
of low self-esteem at work.
The Pharisees appear
to be inflating themselves
to seem more important than they
believe they are —
positioning themselves
to look better than
their inner-selves can actually accept as an inner-truth.
Though it is usually preached otherwise,
I read this text as more about
believing in ourselves,
and how we are seen by God,
than
about walking our talk,
or needlessly posturing before others.
So many times we forget,
Or we have never known,
how perfect we actually are.
There is so much crappy theology
being spewed around
that claims only God,
or Jesus,
can be perfect,
and how we are only
vague, dim, imperfect, worthless, vessels.
To which I say, “Hog swill!”
We are how we have been created —
perfect.
No original sin!
No damaged soul!
No fools!
No fooling!
I suggest we begin to live into
what we have been created to be
by naming ourselves,
as God originally named us,
“Good.”
We say we want
peace, love, that we want “nice”
in our world.
Let us first offer these things to ourselves
as God has
offered them to us.
Sit with this for a moment.
Can you feel the goodness
in yourselves?
Can you sense the perfection of Being
waiting to be acknowledged?
Can you?

WHOLENESS OF SPIRIT

Wholeness

Exodus 33

To be whole —
arms, legs, fingers, toes,
knuckles, ankles,
all intact,
all in the right places —
but this is not quite
the meaning of
the kind of wholeness
to which I am referring.
True wholeness
is not only about our bodies
or our minds.
Wholeness of spirit
is what I am reflecting upon.
Wholeness of spirit…
We do not often consider
the wholeness of our spirit.
Being one with ourselves.
Being one with God.
Being one with humanity.
Being one with creation.
Wholeness of spirit is
being one with each other.
It’s like having the heart of creation,
the heart of God,
beating in rhythm
in your own breast —
in your own heart.
God tells Moses God knows him —
Knows his name;
knows his heart —
They are of one spirit
Wholeness of spirit means
we are in tune —
with ourselves, with all that is,
with God.
We cannot be partly whole.
We cannot have whole lives
and have spirits,
or hearts,
or relationships
that are fragmented.
What is the condition of your spirit?
Are there fractures
in your relationships?
Is there a gap
between you
and the rest of what is?
Can you name
any one or thing
or person,
from which
you are estranged?
Can you think
of how to make whole
the un-oneness
of the broken hearts
around you?
I believe that
we can begin to make the
un-oneness whole
by simply being
willing to eat
with one another.
With whom are you
willing to eat,
not eat?
In the Disciples of Christ
I serve,
we have communion every week.
Eating together at
Communion
becomes, at our table,
a metaphor
for living together
outside the
walls and
safety
and
sanctuary
or our little church.
I believe that
as we learn to
share bread and cup
with each other
at this table,
we learn to
share life with
those who are
strangers,
different.
and smell bad.
I also believe
that in learning to eat
with all and any,
we can learn to become
un-one
with the rest of the
all-that-is.

I AM NOT AFRAID!

Sun Through Smoke on Church Window:”The Love In The Air Is Thicker Than The Smoke On The Ground!”

Psalm 23 — The Message

GOD, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of GOD
for the rest of my life.

# # #

I am writing this
as the fires
burn Sonoma County in California
taking lives
homes,
treasures and keepsakes—
leaving us with a strong sense
that we can no longer be safe.
We have been afraid.
We have cried,
I packed twice
For imminent evacuation.
One friend was forced to evacuate
only to be forced to evacuate
from a second sanctuary.
No safe place.
Trauma.
One friend was up late,
Smelled smoke,
Grabbed his wife,
cat and computer,
And fled.
Two minutes later his house was gone.
My reflection this week
was a checking in.
Triage.
Pulse taking.
A naming of our terrors
and joys
in order to gain
a semblance of
order and
power-over our circumstance.
We sang comfort songs
to remind us
of hope.
We read Psalm 23
To remind us
Of hope and companioning.
We broke bread and poured cup
to remind us that
hope is possible,
joy exists,
brokenness can be put back together,
and that our spirits can be refilled.

# # #

How are things going
for you this week?
What’s happening on the front lines of your lives?
Do you,
like me,
flinch everytime you hear your
Nixle alert?
I don’t know about you,
But
I am so relieved
to hear the helicopters and planes
in the sky,
and yet my stomach rolls a little,
just a little,
when they fly over.
There is a T-shirt that reads:
“32/8
11/8
These are Difficult Times,”
and they are,
but these times are more than
a time signature joke
on a T-shirt.
These are truly difficult times,
in many ways,
on so many levels.
There are wildfires
burning in our hills and towns.
There is insanity
and bedlam in the halls of
Congress
and the White House.
Besides all that,
we have lives
we are trying to live
the best we can,
and for some,
that may not seem like our best
is enough.
What I’d like to do in this room,
at this time,
this morning,
is to just share,
vent,
cry,
pray,
with each other and
try to cope a little.
We all have fears,
joys,
hopes,
triumphs,
courage to share with each other
and I propose that we do that
at this time.
# # #

I know that there are a few folk out there who read this blog, and I thank you for your loyalty. I challenge you to also find a trusted someone with whom you can share your moments of dark valleys and fear and hopelessness. I promise that there is hope and triumph in the sharing. Blessings and as the mime on Facebook has so eloquently presented, “THE LOVE IN THE AIR IS THICKER THN THE SMOKE.” And the smoke is pretty doggone thick!

The Time Has Come For Love —