Friday, March 29, 2013

Bad Friday

Good Friday.
I was four Good Fridays of age.
She decided to tell me the story.
So she did.
"Bad Friday" I said it was......
My grandmother said not to say that.
That was sacrilegious.
Good Friday because
The badness of the crucifixion
To the best of all good men
Had to happen
for the goodness to come
To the baddest of men.

She told the story as if she'd been there herself
Watching it all from the foot of the cross
Tears streaming down
Her soft ripply face,
Her clouds of white hair
That smelled of the
Powder that was pressed in the tortoise-shell case
With the mirror.
And after the story
She sang.
I can't recall what.
It would have trilled and rumbled always did.
She closed her eyes and rocked with me on her lap
And I loved her.
Though not really the story so much.

It was just like how she had sat
On the leatherette hassock
Close to the black and white tv
When Martin Luther King, Jr was killed
Tears streaming down
Her soft ripply face,
And clouds of hair,
And eyes shining like
The blue cornflower brooch
Pinned to her housecoat
That jagged me when she held me close
Swaying and humming and
Throughout that evening saying
"this is somehow how it's meant to be...even though it feels so wrong,
It had to happen."

So, the Friday story seemed somewhat familiar,
Only it was a shock that someone would do this to baby Jesus,
Or the long-haired sepia toned guy,
3/4 profile looking in the middle distance,
Or the blond one in the Sunday School Music Room
With the sheep on his shoulders.
But, I guess Martin Luther King, Jr had been a baby once, too.
And he was someone's father. And someone's minister.
These things, they happen.

And that was my first memory of a Good Friday.
A Bad Friday.
I didn't like the story.
For the rest of the day,
I didn't want to be alone.
When our grandmother clock struck three,
Everywhere I looked,
I saw crosses:
In the grain of wood
In the paneling of white doors
In the patterns of the wallpaper
In the kitchen linoleum,
In the heat registers
In the bark of trees.
Even in the floating colours when I closed my eyes.

She laughed and
said I had a good imagination.
She gathered me in her arms and
Sat on the rocker
with the green corduroy cushions
She rocked me,
And sang,
And wept,
And said
This is part of what Good Friday is.
In order to grow it has to happen.

In order to be forgiven it has to happen.

I thought it was pretty bad....
Bad Friday.
But at least,
On her lap,
I did not feel forsaken.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Greeny equal

Green is a kind of an equal colour.
It's not hot and heavy
Red or Orange
Summery passion and flame
Nor is it cold and airy
blue or thin yellow
Apathetic wintery skies
Green can be hot or cold
The wiry shoot of crocus through the snow
Not to be defied
Or the eucalyptus and pine of cough syrup
Prepared to heal

That green equal is there in this
It is there somehow in all that ever is.
I imagine the primordial soup was green;
Oozing and simultaneously hot and cold in bits.

It is balance.

And isn't that what we ultimately seek?
The tension of all creation held tightly....
But not too tightly
Held loosely...
But not so much so as to drift off;
Flying into nothingness
A dispersing of colourful nebulae stuff
Rather than a congealing.

But never a hardening.

And we sit here, reflective

In equitable vernalness of mind
The vernal equinox of this year
On this planet
At this time
Of us when it's not easy being green.
And we equate it to life
And wrestle with it nonetheless.

Friday, March 8, 2013

For whatever reason......

For whatever reason.....
We are here.
Not here in the sense of in this room, on this chair,
Aware that we
And these hands,
These knees,
This breath,
And to BE
seems as if
It should
Be natural
And easy
For whatever reason.....
It mostly is not.
What are we
The stuff that makes
The stars
The planets
What are our thoughts
Electrical impulses?
That leap across the gaps
Between cells
Igniting and relaying
Across a network of many cells
To do
A thing
Any thing....
A small gesture,
An involuntary action,
Or a large invention.
Or not.
For whatever reason.....
There is a lot of not.
Sometimes brokenness,
Sometimes vanity,
Sometimes just not caring to.....
There is also the not.
We remember.
We dream.
We plan.
We love.
We lament....
Such a lot for stardust and lightning
To take on alone.
Our mistakes,
Our successes,
Our misfirings,
Our intentional, strategic Firestorms
Our just sitting and waiting.
Both here in this room, on this chair,
And Here.
Wishing we were somewhere else
Wishing we were someone else
Wishing this situation was
You are not alone.
Stardust and lightning even sitting,
Has a way of wandering
And thinking about its very nature....
From stardust and lighting,
are formed such amazing things
Lamenting and singing
Planning and dreaming
In fear and in love
Snapping synapses within a brain
Swirling colors of nebula
Over space
Endless space.
All the while....
We are here.
For whatever reason.
We are here.
And you
You are not alone.

Friday, March 1, 2013


The color for lent...of course....
But also
of shadow between buildings,
Of the lines around clouds as the sun sets,
Of the gleam off a starling's wing in the cool sunshine of winter,
Or of grackle head,
Crocus bloom....
Or darker blood-purple of winter hellebore,
The taste of chocolate
Even though chocolate is brown,
Or called dried plum....
(it's somehow less offensive)
And the mood?
One deeper inward than blue.....
It's an inside the head color.
Purple is.
Of the understanding that
The hardest thing to do is repent;
Is turn around
On a dime
And work your way out.
Deepest purple
Not so much falling over sleepy garden walls,
lit with firefly bottom
And tasting of chocolate milk from purple cartons
Amidst violets and yellow-eyed purple primroses
On sunny morning kitchen sills....
But of deepest purple
the confusing purple of the Sheol
Of our own creation
Or the stuffed, suffocating, overwhelming
Purple dark of the identity we are stuck in
The purple of Lent
We travel through it
Never alone
although it feels so.
And surface....
Alive....but better.