Living

Living

We are living today with time to do good for ourselves and for each other.

C Charles Thomas
The Stream

The Stream

we are here, and flowing, in and of, made of, because of You

V Vanessa Williams
Lost

Lost

There was an audible gasp when they heard he* was gone A whoosh of air that sounded exactly like the bottom falling out of his mother’s** world the winds of mortality brushing his father’s** face the last breath of a kind soul All the years of struggle have settled into silence: Unsought,...

L Lindasusan Ulrich
Miriam's Daughter

Miriam's Daughter

We must be willing and prepared to dance with joy when liberation arrives.

M Mandie McGlynn
Goddess

Goddess

The blasphemy of body hatred has no place in this temple.

M Misha Sanders
The Way Out

The Way Out

In order to get out I must go through. There is no other way. No other way? But there must be another way, an easier path, a well-lit road. I cast about, scan the horizon— No other way. The way out is the way through. The way through is the way hard....

K Kathy Fuson Hurt
Supplication

Supplication

I am so tired and weary, So tired of the endless fight, So weary of waiting the dawn And finding endless night. That I ask but rest and quiet— Rest for the days that are gone, And quiet for the little space That I must journey on.

J Joseph Seamon Cotter
What Loss Means

What Loss Means

The words we cast to fill the silence left by one we loved never are enough.

D David Breeden
It Starts with a Spark

It Starts with a Spark

A quick flash that makes you doubt your senses— But then a tiny ember glows on the braided twine And brings a flame to life. Soon you find a candle sitting on a table, Desolate until its wick touches yours, And suddenly the brightness doubles; In an instant the warmth has grown. This intensified...

L Lindasusan Ulrich
Creator

Creator

Inhale—you are Creation. Exhale—you are Creator.

J Jennifer Pratt-Walter
These Days

These Days

I miss singing, the way we trusted/the air that moved between us. I miss/the casual assumption that everything/would be all right in the morning.

L Lynn Ungar
Communion Circle

Communion Circle

The earth. One planet. Round, global, so that when you trace its shape with your finger, you end up where you started. It's one. It's whole. All the dotted lines we draw on our maps of this globe are just that, dotted lines. They smear easily. Oceans can be crossed. Even the desert can be crossed.

M Mark L. Belletini
To My Haggadah

To My Haggadah

Over the years your staples have slipped and pages loosened. Here a faded purple crescent of ancient wine, there a smudge from bricks of date paste. But when you speak I swoon....

R Rabbi Rachel Barenblat
Autumn Chant

Autumn Chant

Now the autumn shudders In the rose's root, Far and wide the ladders Lean among the fruit. Now the autumn clambers Up the trellised frame And the rose remembers The dust from which it came. Brighter than the blossom On the rose's bough Sits the wizened orange, Bitter berry now; Beauty never...

E Edna St. Vincent Millay
A Blessing for Traveling in the Dark

A Blessing for Traveling in the Dark

Go slow if you can. Slower. More slowly still. Friendly dark or fearsome, this is no place to break your neck by rushing, by running, by crashing into what you cannot see....

J Jan Richardson
Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

Perhaps for a moment the typewriters will stop clicking, the wheels stop rolling the computers desist from computing, and a hush will fall over the city....

R Rebecca Parker
Earthquake

Earthquake

(Ahmedabad, India, 2001) Mother Earth is shouting but we do not hear. She is filled with anguish, for all we understand is death. And in her agony she suffers too over the fact that she must kill her own to get our attentionn...

M Marta I Valentín
The Return of Earth/She

The Return of Earth/She

The Earth has returned. She is living, breathing, Realizing her breath was leaving. She was needing us to remember her worth, to recognize her worth all over again. We used to be her friends. We used to help her heal us. Help her, heal us. Help her heal us....

C Christopher Sims
Contact

Contact

I stretch forth my hand Knowing not what I shall touch... A tender spot, An open wound, Warmth, Pulsing life, Fragile blossoms, A rock, Ice. I am tentative, trembling... Wishing to avoid hurt, Wanting to link my life with Life. Lonely, I desire companions Naked, I long for defenders....

G Gordon B McKeeman
Prayer Ballot

Prayer Ballot

(written for the Presidential Election, 2016) I walk in, as on pilgrimage. The altar cloths are red, white, and blue the ushers are the women who have been running these things who have been running everything since before I was born. I’m handed the ballot like a scroll because the questions seem...

L Luke Stevens-Royer
Church

Church

My church is a ring of alders tilting toward a living pond, backed by the punctuation of tall firs fondling the morning breeze. In my chapel, redwing blackbird unravels her liquid song in the cattails. The thick mud smell is an incense, a beaver-felled tree is my pew. I toss my donation, red...

J Jennifer Pratt-Walter
Suppose

Suppose

Suppose you scrub your ethical skin until it shines, but inside there is no music, then what? —Kabir Suppose you cried a thousand years for a child who died when she drank bad water. Suppose you organized a great movement to clean the water. Suppose you carried the first filled glass to the...

S Stephen M Shick
Forgive Me

Forgive Me

Forgive me dear father For all the trouble I caused The missed curfews The missed classes Your unfulfilled dreams for me Forgive me dear father But your dreams are not my dreams Forgive me dear father And I will forgive you For missed moments That you sacrificed So that one day I could follow my...

J Jay Wolin
From the Shore

From the Shore

shouting back to Stevie Smith who cried “I’m drowning! Not waving!” I ain’t waving babe, I’m drowning going down in a cold lonely sea I ain’t waving babe, I’m drowning so babe quit waving at me I ain’t waving babe, I’m crying I’m crying, oh why can’t you see? I ain’t fooling...

R Ric Masten
Origins

Origins

What is the history of any thing? This apple, let's say, that my grandson just picked as he sits on my shoulders, feet dangling like parentheses around my heart?...

P Peter Friedrichs
Outside/Inside

Outside/Inside

Outside The flags fly Down the highway, hanging on to the back of large trucks or the chest of a man....

L Laura Bogle
Pandemic

Pandemic

What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath— the most sacred of times? Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Center down. And when your...

L Lynn Ungar
Vanishing Song Birds

Vanishing Song Birds

I understand history as possibility...that could also stop being a possibility. —Paulo Freire The winds of extinction sing a mournful song in the rustling grass, where the bobwhite drums and the meadowlark's melody is vanishing. The winds of extinction sing a mournful song in the dark forest...

S Stephen M Shick
Nourished

Nourished

When I look up into the night sky, I am in awe of all that is. There in a far away galaxy A star has died, Yet it is still bright for my eyes to see. And make a wish upon When I walk in the ocean I feel the waves rush across my feet And I feel a certain peace with the world I peer out into the...

J Jay Wolin
T’hillah

T’hillah

Barukh atah, Emeth! Blest are you, o Truth. Like the fabled Moses, I too can never claim to have seen you “face to face.” Too often, I’ve hung my own face on you and pretended that I know something I do not. Indeed, my most honest heart confesses that at most, I have only caught the briefest...

M Mark L. Belletini
Release

Release

I wish I were like the trees, Who let their leaves go gracefully, without regret. Or the tumbling stream that flushes silt to sea, Exchanging murkiness for blessed clarity. Or the dandelion, who bows its head to the subtle breeze, Unleashing its future without fear or loss. Instead, I drive...

P Peter Friedrichs
Choices

Choices

Yesterday, there were fewer cars at the Arrivals dock at the Portland airport than there were dogs being walked on my block. Yesterday, a friend reported a clandestine meeting—a walk with her elderly mother—careful to keep a six-foot distance as they strolled together in the sunshine. Yesterday,...

M Marcia Stanard
Monet Refuses the Operation

Monet Refuses the Operation

Doctor, you say there are no haloes around the streetlights in Paris and what I see is an aberration caused by old age, an affliction. I tell you it has taken me all my life to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels, to soften and blur and finally banish the edges you regret I don't see, to...

L Lisel Mueller
Poem in a Time of Peril

Poem in a Time of Peril

Of course truth is hard. It is a rock. Yet I do not think it will fall upon me And crush me. I do not think they can hammer it to bits And stone me. Help me place the rock in the strong current Of these rushing waters. I must climb upon it. I must know how truth feels....

B Barbara Rohde
Meditation on Opposites

Meditation on Opposites

Spirit of the universe, Life force that flows through all beings, Power beyond our knowing, We ask you to help us see beyond our dependence on opposites— To transcend our desire to know who is like us, and who is not. Open us to the knowledge that in this room there are complexities and...

A Alex Kapitan
Utterance of the Timeless Word

Utterance of the Timeless Word

You bring yourself before the sacred, before the holy, before what is ultimate and bigger than your lone life bigger than your worries bigger than your money problems bigger than the fight you had with your sister and your aches and pains bigger, even, than your whole being, your self who is part...

A Angela Herrera
Let the Artists Win

Let the Artists Win

I vote we let the artists win the ones covered in paint from their last attempt to smuggle across the beauty of a bowl of fruit the 14-year-old rapper learning to spit throwing life's chaos on the rhythm wheel uncovering the shapes that live on after the next break I say we let the food bank...

B Bob Janis-Dillon
The Virgin Monologue

The Virgin Monologue

“‘God did it’ isn’t an explanation,” said Joseph. He got no account for the baby’s chromosomes, No description of the mechanism that Transmuted the divine shadow into royal blood. “‘The devil made me do it’ would have sounded better to me,” said Joseph, Though it never did him...

J Jim Burklo
Letter from Our Better Angels

Letter from Our Better Angels

Dear One, We have received your letter and we hate to tell you— not hate so much, but are a bit afraid to say— we cannot grant your requests as stated, but can only remind you of familiar things: First, faith. Faith in yourself and trust in others. We know it can be terrifying to be vulnerable,...

S Sean Parker Dennison
Winter Meditation

Winter Meditation

Something has changed in me this winter. In the past I’ve focused on how long winter is, How miserable I find it, and how it seems so interminable. This winter, I find myself thinking instead That every day, every hour, every minute Brings us just that much closer to spring. We all experience...

T Tess Baumberger
Labyrinth

Labyrinth

Walk the maze within your heart: guide your steps into its questioning curves. This labyrinth is a puzzle leading you deeper into your own truths. Listen in the twists and turns. Listen in the openness within all searching. Listen: a wisdom within you calls to a wisdom beyond you and in that...

L Leslie Takahashi
Part as Parcel

Part as Parcel

I am part of you, O Truth Unfolding. I am part of you. I am part of a cosmos. I cannot see either its edge or its end. How amazing! I am part of a galaxy of a million, billion stars. They say it’s a pinwheel. How wonderful! I am part of a system of planets that swing around a small parent star.

M Mark L. Belletini
The Eternal

The Eternal

It is not old, Yet it comes through the wisdom of the ages. It is not young, Yet it comes through the passion of innocence. It is not revolutionary, Yet it comes proclaiming change. It is not solitary, Yet it travels alone, seeking the open heart. It is not lonely, Yet it seeks relationship....

S Stephen M Shick
Each New Day

Each New Day

Why is this blank page staring back at me, mocking, like an affliction, and fraught with dread? How can it hold such sway, this simple emptiness? Might it instead be a gift left on my doorstep overnight, waiting to be broken open with the dawn?...

P Peter Friedrichs
The Solstice Teaches Us

The Solstice Teaches Us

The Solstices teach us that darkness comes, that darkness goes. The Solstices teach us that light comes, that light goes. The Solstices teach us, calmly, silently, to be calm, silent. Learning. The Solstices teach us as we circle the sun that everything flies....

D David Breeden