Thursday, September 20, 2012

three things

Just a veneer of snow
On the Sierras as I fly over.
A whisper from winter.  This
Is how the end begins. 

There are three things that matter. 
None of them
are what you think. 
The reason for snow,
for one. 

I dance but poorly with Reason 
As it always wants to lead. 
On the other hand, snow dances with me. 
It pulls a curtain around us,
Reveals who has walked before me, 
Makes everything speak in whispers. 

Reason says no two snowflakes 
Are alike. And this 
I do hope is true. 

Out the window and far below, 
In a desert valley between mountains, 
A dirt road snakes through wilderness 
And trails off into whispers 

Like the mountain streams do here in spring, 
When the snow melts 
With nowhere to go 

But down.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


prophets awake exhausted from their dreams.
their beds soaked in sweat.
with the ebbing fever of their visions still ringing in their ears,
they arise each morning in love anew with our broken world.
while we, fearing the wounded, the other, the lost,
make the sign of the Cross and send the world away in the collection plate.

blessed are the prophets' eyes for they see and their ears for they hear:
those in love. those crushed by debt. by earthquakes.
those with child. those with enough. the wedding banquet.

the killing fields.

they taste the sweetness and the sweet bitterness of this life.

they see the glory in the least of things. they hear the poor,
no matter how loudly the pharisees might rage.
they see the oppressed, no matter how well
their ghettos are hidden.

in the thin space between heartbeats, between the threads of the veil of the temple,
between the last breath and the dying, here is where prophets harvest their words.

yet, when they feed the starving, we call them deluded.
when they bear witness, we call them liars.
what they taste and declare to be sweet, we spit out as poison.
little honor is there for prophets,
and I am not a prophet. but if I were I might speak these words to you:

"why are you here?"

I might say to you: "did God cradle you in your mother's womb
just so you could be born and repent of your sins?"

I might say to you: "did He give you life just so you could have
your demons cast out?"

If I were a prophet, I might say to you:
"In this perfectly broken world, you must see
that which strives to be hidden,
hear those voices others would deny,
taste the bitterness of the forgotten,
and yet love all of it without exception,
as if your life depended on it -

because it does."

- r. russeth