Photo: Sunrise Orcas Island, 2014.  Brian Federle
“Sunrise is an event that calls forth solemn music in the very depths of man’s nature, as if one’s whole being has to attune itself to the cosmos and praise God for the new day, praise Him in the name of all the creatures that ever were or ever will be.”  Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
Oh call me softly
in the morning!
With winter’s sun
paint golden
the pale trees.
In deep waters,
in cool ponds brush my
legs, caress
my tender feet.
Your breath flies
through the green
With tongues
of flame
 oh, ravish me!



Photo by Brian Federle, Hawaii, 2016.

“I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day,
playing before him all the while,playing on the surface of his earth;
and I found delight in the human race” Proverbs 8:22-31

Dark mountains rise
to meet the sun.

Night drops
to the western sea.

lifting joy to heaven

as dark waves clash
washing clean the past —

all pain subsides,




“What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.” Thomas Merton


deep in the cathedral
love resounds

through the bright air
of paradise
love rebounds
playful, full of

Oh, hear the organ’s
profundo ring
as love pierces
your living heart

as, prostrate,
love breaks open
your breathless soul.

(18 November 2013 on the ordination of my brother)

May Rain



“Let the one who thirsts come forward.” Rev, 22.

gentle rain
glistens on gray concrete
and makes pools
of shimmering silver,
clean and new.

the rose reaches
to the grey sky
asking only for drops
of life.

the green earth asks
and receives.

(7 May 2016)



From this holy height,
I gaze into
my Father’s eyes.

His fire scorches
my trembling flesh,
and fills my soul
with sacred breath.

In joyful flames
I suddenly see
I never was
what I appeared to be.

(25 Feb. 2013)

El Nino

Vincent Van Gogh, Wheatfield with Crows, 1890

fill your heart
with rush of rain,

open palms
to receive

new life
for your heart
of winter!

oh, see how
the birds
fiercely sing
my love!

(5 January 2016)

Psalm 9-11 (dedicated to Fr. Mychal Judge)


I hear your soft voice
In the hushed evening breeze
as gentle wind fills
these tall, murmuring trees.

For you’re never too far;
your soft breath I can feel.
My soul stirs with faith
that no anger can steal.

Through the cold, empty night
you fill my dark soul.
Your brilliant light breaks
death’s harsh, ancient hold.

In the morning I’ll hear
your clear voice proclaim
my life you’ve restored,
bitter tears wiped away.

(7 March 2014)