Gloria

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Pacifica Sunset.jpg

Photo, Brian Federle: Pacifica Sunset

 

Sudden light
flares in the eastern sky.

 

Bright clouds burst
and consume the void
with glory.

 

The newborn child,
wrinkled and pink, warms
in his mother’s embrace

 

and waits for the stunned world
to exhale.

 
(23 December 2012)

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Magnificat

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The poor still wait
for bolted doors to open
hunger to be filled
and concern to replace
the deep scorn

of the rich, who believe
God is on their side,
who offer golden chalices
and cathedrals of crystal
to purchase
eternal life

with God, who remembers
the poor
will fill their every
need
but send away the rich
with nothing

no things to carry
in their powerful, sleek cars
to their empty houses
silent houses
stony, soulless
mansions,
nothing
but their names
on fine marble
engraved,

yet the poor watch
and still wait.

I, John

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Photo: Brian Federle, Desert Sunrise, Dec. 2016

 

I, John, declare.
Listen!
Can you hear?

Open your eyes and see.
With outstretched hands reach and
proclaim to the world of endless strife
the Word of peace,
eternal Life!

 

ref: 1 John 1:1-4

(22 December 2011)

Flow

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It flows
over highways
dripping down
lamp-posts
through gutters,
pounding
storm drains,
filling
narrow lanes,
past dark houses,
past high-tension
wires, driving
through
constraining fence,
unfettered
it fills
the green hills
and rolls
through folding slough, past
low bridge and causeway,
ever lower
down to Suisun Bay,
unstoppable
like a swimmer’s blood
pulsing through throbbing vein,
reaching for gate of gold
to break free,
to become
one with
One.

(19 April 2011)

Three Poems for My Father

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Overcast in Oregon
Photo: Brian Federle, Overcast in Oregon
…on the 40th anniversary of my father’s death

i

When I last saw you
Your hands were clenched
With a rage foreign to your voice
And you were rushing inward
Away from the moon, beyond the glowing
night
Of my grief.

Yet on my way home
I saw the moon rise.

Where have you gone, then, If not
to that land behind the moon?

ii
In the emptiness above the earth
In the terrific clashing of jet with atmosphere

I heard your new voice
I saw your new hands

Tearing at the cold, hurtling steel,
Casting off silk shroud

For dark soil
And even darker rivers.

iii
If stars loom too large
Is not my window too small?

(11/24/1978)

Wildfire in Paradise

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Yellow glares
the burnt sky of
Paradise, drifts
towards the sea.
 
On acrid breezes
ashes fall —
promises consumed
and scattered,
 
as the sun —
its dark,
bloody husk,
exposed at last —
hangs, ruined.

Preparation Day

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The light is fading early today.

Rain turns the whole world to night.

I drive through watery streets,
headlights
stretch to bright tapers,
red lamps
softly trailing
blood beneath my wheels.

Death’s details
fill my busy day.

First, the uncut granite,
sorted and sized,
words neatly arranged,
ready to inscribe
the bare facts of your life,

and then on to the small, white house,
with its big front window and spring garden
hidden behind the black iron gate;

this is where your party will be.

Our guests will arrive soon,
and I must order flowers, great
purple blooms
to dim this too bright room.

Now we’re nearly finished,

but first I must see
to your final ground,
small patch
of turned earth,

and then tomorrow you can finally rest.

Attend us gently
as we weep
and slowly walk away.

(10 Dec. 2010)