A Theory of Everything

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hubbleEta+Carinae

The machine lurches
scattering matter through
the expanding void.

With galaxies, stars, and dust,
we glide wondering across
this this vast black balloon,
this every-day universe.

Yet microns away, mirror-wise,
our image turns.
With our dark twin
we slouch towards breathless
equilibrium.

In epoch attraction,
our fabrics collide.
Thus are born
new worlds without end,

and the cosmic machine
grinds on and on
through vacuous eternity.

(27 Sept. 2010)

Greenland

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earth_by_Moguviel
sheets of ice
cascading to the sea,
plunging in the summer sun
like kids cannon-balling into the deep end.

global warming
spawning new islands and bays,
a lush new age of water,
green-house gases rising
in a great belch
from the man’s
energy binge.

But what is the cause?
Hydrocarbons burning in roaring cars?

The unseen dead rising
into the innocent stratosphere?

Jungle trees are burning
as, wild-eyed, the panther
prowls the Amazon village
hungry for her own energy fix.

We could blame it all on Fulton and Watt:
their steam-punk monsters spitting fire,
as trudging workers descend
into the industrial-grade darkness
and the misery of the money hole.

But one bright student
suggested a more somber cause
from which there is no escape
in cap and trade.

Gaia, walking with large swings,
slings up
volcanos and glaciers and men
while, deep in her brooding, iron core,
she shrugs,
and, most inconveniently,
takes her own sweet time
smiling
as she contemplates
her next move.

(20 Oct. 2013)

Camping at Lake Berryessa

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My children sleep
on the thin vinyl floor
while above our tent,
just past the dark tree-line,
the Milky Way glimmers
like cool waves breaking
on the black coast
of the deep mountain sky.

All night
the lake whispers softly
under gentle western winds
as egret and owl
keep guardian eyes
on the sleeping
human shore.

While watching my sons sleep,
I hear the low murmur
of wild turkey and possum
scuffling through dry dust and leaves,
searching our campground for leftovers
peanut butter crusts, hot dogs and beans,
any careless, easy meal,

when I feel rolling pressure
pushing insistently at base of our tent,
and, alarmed, hear quick, powerful,
exploratory snorts.

Holding my breath,
I gaze into the deer’s
questioning,
fearless eyes,

and wonder
if we campers
are part of this
ancient community,

or welcomed,
honored guests,

or simply curious,
rude intruders.

(30 Jan 2011)

St. Peter Addressing the Begger

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Look up at me, turn
your wide eyes,
expectant, wondering,
hopeful, and see
what I can give.

Do you want a coin? Some-
thing good to eat? Do
you want a little
kindness?

I have none of these
to give you
but the kindness
and the secret of
the seeds of healing
flowing all around you
spring breeze
swirling, gentle desire
blessing your torn lungs, infusing
your tainted blood, singing
sweetly your freedom!

In His name, then, I command you
to rise and take your place
beside me, and enter into
His holy temple!

(14 April 2013)

Compassion

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“What is my new desert? The name of it is compassion. There is not wilderness so terrible, so beautiful, so arid, and so fruitful as the wilderness of compassion.” Thomas Merton

I’ll wander with you
in your pain.

Though dried, dissected,
through rainless days
and starry nights
we’ll search sharp rocks
for pools of cool tears.

Forty days and
forty nights shall we journey
through the wilderness
to the green oasis
where we’ll flourish,

audacious lilies
luxuriant in hidden springs.

There we’ll possess
every good thing.

(13 Oct 2012)

Peter’s Report

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Running all the way,
bent double in breathless pain
we peer and see
the gaping grave
open to the rising sun.

Slowly we enter, our eyes sun-blind,
when we see the empty bench,
the bloody cloth cast within.

I try to imagine
how light must have pierced the cloth,
the sudden shudder
of His broken body,
His sharp breath exploding
like a swimmer breaking the surface,

and I notice John’s eyes
outshining the sun,
and my own face
lighting even death’s
darkest place!

(24 April 2011)

Morning (Good Friday)

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/5829098353/in/photolist-4Kx16z-ecPUED-ebBifu-8i3JQZ-9hVoH9-e5LpLV-btyAdw-6XzVqF-qYzHeE-cdxRC-dSTda4-9iJAV2-9T6DRK-ezu419-bTTTMX-6cVcVw-8CBwoQ-6cPDQ2-8zpm83-9Jvqks-8xMURf-7SWjys-f5eev-noweMv-66GtBJ-8C31Ss-4UUMa5-4zDwwk-ehuk1A-687mU2-9MuBKP-7BCRfM-HaT11-nmMbae-9icGzx-bEETYh-84uTRc-6o6dz1-7Toidh-bRuWiz-4R91qJ-bMfgzX-9B3PR8-7Mp8xG-9CoiFa-f3pjh-buw3Kj-7QoJzu-6o7KvG-nDmpF8/

Therefore let me know trust in the feelings of my heart.
My hope is in what the hand of man has never touched.
Do not let me trust what I can grasp between my fingers.
Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude.

Young grass
high and thick

drenched
filled to brim,

by morning sun released
a fury of green, trees

believing that golden day
will stay.

Persist, oh life,
in the cold of winter,

and beat, oh heart!
With tender heat

awhile yet
I breathe!

(6 April 2012
rev 1 April 2015)